GPS or old school paper maps for you? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-26-2014, 09:49 PM   #29
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Scamp 13 2014
Michigan, Blue Water Area
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post

I got it for nothing, and it's worth every penny of what I paid for it.
Frederick, get a, get a, get a Garmin, and make it one with free updates. I had the same problem with the map updates until we got the new one. Basically I couldn't see spending that much on map updates. There are a bewildering array of models to choose from. We got this one and it is light years ahead of the 5 year old model it replaced. Free traffic updates for life too! Not too big or small, $153 currently in the jungle. It will change your opinion of GPS.


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Old 08-26-2014, 11:24 PM   #30
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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If you have a GPS navigation device that allows you to store destinations don't make your home address one of them. Device gets stolen and thieves know enough to check it for a home address. They know you are not there right now because your vehicle is "here".

Use the address of a nearby business for "home" so that when travelling and want to find directions for home the directions will take you to your local gas station, grocery or drug store. You can find your way home from there. The thieves can't.

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Old 08-27-2014, 04:43 AM   #31
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I had never heard of Benchmark. Looks like they only cover western states, but the product looks good. Delorme covers the country.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Franswa
American Map Company. Stopped printing in 2010
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:21 AM   #33
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
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I use both. The GPS for travel (I have a big screen GPSMAP 7200 but in recent years use the on-board navigator of the Ford Flex.

Once there, I have a bunch of the state-wide Delorme Atlases to scan the area to choose interesting destinations for exploring the area.

And I have a number of US-wide atlases (Michelin and others) in case the GPS ever goes out.

Another plus for the auto-based GPS' is that it normally will have a fairly complete POI (Point of Interest) index of local attractions and stores. And it can't be beat if looking to find emergency services for a camping mishap. Mine has "hot buttons" for police/hospitals. But without a specific destination in mind the paper maps are best for me.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:32 AM   #34
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Maps and Smartphone GPS

Ginny always has maps for our trips, for some of our favorite places she has local maps as well. We use smartphone GPS for finding non-mapped places. As well we use Smartphone GPS for geocaching.

The smartphone always knows where we are and is happy for finding anything.

We also have Delorme maps for Maine, NH and NC. If you're near exit 17 on the Maine Turnpike stop in at Delorme and see their multi-story globe and visit their store.

Ginny also carries the eastern and western mountain directories that provide information on all the steep hills and mountains.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:33 AM   #35
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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Good discussion, thanks for the replies. The following comes to mind as I read the posts:
a) The kid. Good point about teaching her to read maps and getting her involved and such, but exactly how many of YOU really did/do this with YOUR kid? I will try and do better by her but dangit Dad is just trying to get down the road!
b) I do not have a “Smart” cell phone, just a plain old dumb one good only for actually talking on. I do wonder if a GPS app might have real advantages though.
c) Free updates to maps. Yes that was a selling point of the one I got, I did not get the traffic function though. I hope that my pre-trip planning will help avoid any real problem areas as I do tend to skirt Cities if possible.
d) The GPS, and computer maps (Google Maps, Mapquest, etc.) do choose some interesting routes at times. One thing I see frequently is their tendency to take a zigzag diagonal approach to getting you over to a parallel road. I see this a lot and when I am in an area I know, like leaving my home town, I just drive down a little farther and cut over all at once avoiding a bunch of stopping and turning. I guess the computer does not care about how much you have to brake and turn.
e) I will have to investigate the POI (point of interest function), it sounds very interesting. What I really want is an “all the locals eat at this joint because it has cheap great grub” function.
f) I have been pleased that the Garmin does not announce that it is “recalculating” but just quietly, and pretty quickly, goes about doing it. I have messed with it around town some and can just imagine what the machine is thinking: “Where is this guy going? Why did he not turn where he was supposed to? I am a good mind to let the dumba** get lost. I know, next time out I will direct him down through the ‘hood’, that will fix him.”
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:44 AM   #36
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Name: Deborah
Trailer: Prius camping - want an Oliver
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Going to Canyon de Chelly from Four Corners, I was relying on my GPS. It told me to turn left from the highway, which I did. After about a mile on a good paved road, the pavement ran out. Since there was a lot of road paving equipment around, I figured they were just working on the road. At 23 miles in (always the optimist), I was still on a narrow, unpaved road. I'd long since reached the point of no return, when I saw this, and KNEW I'd taken a wrong turn:

Now I check the map before heading out
I don't get lost, I go on interesting side trips.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:52 AM   #37
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There is no doubt a GPS can make the wrong choice, the reason Ginny is first order maps and GPS for specific locations when in an area.

A nice feature of phone GPS is that it's always with you, updates daily, fits in your pocket.

A Smartphone is like a Leatherman Multi-tool. It performs all kinds of functions, almost beyond counting.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:28 AM   #38
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Scamp 13
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A couple comments:
1. My kids are map literate and I would encourage the 11 year old to use this opportunity also. My kids love using the maps and the GPS. We sometimes have competitions between the two.
2. I would still use a stand alone dedicated GPS. (Garmin or ...) I have been too many places where cell phones don't work so my cell phone maps are a backup only.
3. The GPS is 99% good and only 99%. Garmin and their suppliers put an incredible amount of work into making them very good, but the very fact they put that much work into it tells you it is a very difficult task and they probably are not 100% correct. Every night I check my route for the next day to make sure common sense and the GPS match. I and many others could tell you many stories about why we are not 100% confident in them.

Have fun with your trip!
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:59 AM   #39
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by TomK View Post
Frederick, get a, get a, get a Garmin, and make it one with free updates.
I picked up a Tom Tom for about $125 from Costco with free lifetime map updates about 3 years ago and pretty happy with it. Get a few updates a year from TomTom - having said that the lifetime is only as long as TomTom deems the product's useful life to suspect with the way the life of electronics goes these days I may only have a few more years out of it.

The main reason for the purchase was three fold: 1) often travel on my own so reading paper maps while driving not easy 2) when I do have a co pilot to read the paper maps they have more than once gotten me into big problems in regards to sending me down the wrong road in the dark and no space to turn around. LOL 3) while on the road I can ask the GPS where the nearest grocery store (name of choose) or gas station is. I love the last reason as it has saved me a great deal of time driving around a town looking for what I want/need.

The GPS has occasionally tried to send me down a road that was clearly not meant for trailers or that had been decommissioned. Mostly when outside of large urban areas. I think one has to use common sense and not totally take its word for it if there is any doubt as to where it is sending you! LOL The nice part is most times if you ignore its direction to turn down a suspect road and keep driving a short distance past, it will more often than not quickly come up with a far more acceptable route.

The GPS I have also shows the length of the various traffic delays on the route and the distance they are from your current position. It updates the delays and adds the new ones as they happen. It will also offer up an alternative faster route if there is one & tells you how much faster it thinks the alternative route is. Nice feature to have when traveling in a strange to you city & your clearly stuck in a big traffic jam due to an accident miles ahead.

I agree with the others that when you plug in the address (actually using the longitude and latitude works best) always look at the whole route it calculates. If you don't want to travel on gravel roads - change your settings so it knows that! If any doubt as to the route it has suggested I will also use Google maps on my phone to see if it has a different suggestion.

One also needs to keep in mind that the GPS and Google maps when calculating the time it will take to get from A to B is assuming you are doing the max speed limit the whole route..... never going to happen - either due to traffic volume or the fact I don't do over 65mph when towing. Wish that someone would make a GPS (perhaps they already do?) that gives you the option of telling it what your personal max speed limit is going to be. Also wish the TomTom would calculate Border waits. I find it funny it knows about traffic accident delays etc on both sides of the border, so why not the actual Border waits if your crossing one.

I do keep a large atlas in the trailer for pre planning as well and for use if the GPS is clearly having issues with obtaining a signal or coming up with a route I like.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:31 AM   #40
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
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I have several generic comments with respect to GPS and they’re mostly about a solo traveler or if the driver is also responsible for navigating:
· Big display, in color. You are taking your eyes off the road, often at a confusing, heavily trafficked intersection. Color makes differentiating features, like the planned route vs side roads, easier.
· Mount it as close to your line of sight (without blocking it) and as far away as practicable to minimize the refocusing your vision for distance. Down on the dash against the front window works for me. I do have to lean forward to push buttons (when using the Garmin). Some states do not allow suction cupping the GPS to the windshield but are apparently okay with the bean-bag type mounts loose on the dash. Go figure.
· It needs to talk to you. In busy traffic you’re not going to want to take your eyes off the road. The spoken directions will be important.
· Don’t sweat a missed turn. Set the GPS to automatically recalculate if you miss a turn. It’ll still get you there and the extra time vs. a lane changing accident is a good trade. You are on vacation.
· Never pick the shortest distance. Downtown Big City, USA, and through every sketchy neighborhood. ‘Nuff said.
· The both my Garmin and the Flex’s navigation allow me to set average speeds for residential, main roads and freeway speeds.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:06 PM   #41
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Trailer: small
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When our daughter was young, we would try to take largely unplanned vacations. We knew point A and point B, but points in between were unknown. Before the trip, we sometimes showed the trainee A & B on the atlas, and gave her a chance to give input about possible route and things to see in between. Then, during the trip, as we sat around the picnic table after supper, we would pull out the atlas and have a family forum to plan the next day. She got as much input as mom & dad. It made for a happy camper.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:33 PM   #42
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Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
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GPS or old school paper maps for you?

I use motion-x gps on my iphone. Works great. I can only count a handful of times it's been wrong, and most of those, the place I was looking for used to be there.

I can't set speeds that I know of, but on a 10 hour drive, I'll usually arrive within 15 minutes of when it said I would starting out, and even less than that when 1-2 hours from the destination.

I have taken some interesting routes, but to be fair, much if the time when I've ignored it and went the usual route, I quickly found out why it had me going a weird way.

Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV

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