Looking for a new road atlas - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-27-2013, 08:09 AM   #1
Raz
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Looking for a new road atlas

A while back I started a thread asking "how many folks still use paper maps?" Many responded that they do. Every time we get lost the navigator blames the map. So, this winter I decided it was time to replace our aging road atlas. We actually have two, a 2006 Roadmaster (Mapquest) large format atlas and and an 2007 American Map large format atlas. Both appear to use the same Map Quest maps, are spiral bound, and have lots of information that is easy to read. Unfortunately if you are in Canada you are out of luck. The large format versions are U.S. only. I was hoping to replace these with an atlas of equal quality that was up to date and included Canada.



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2006 Roadmaster


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2007 American Map


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2014 Rand Mcnally


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Michelin

The first one I tried was Rand McNally, a name that has been around for years. Well, if you want Canada, you have to go with the standard edition. These are suppose to be the same detail as the large format just smaller. Perhaps too small. While there's a lot of detail it tends to be confusing. Road numbers appear in the middle of nowhere and campgrounds are hard to identify. Also no topography except for the National Park maps. Maps are organized by state with lots of city maps. An interstate map can be found in the front.

The second try was Michelin. These folk divide the continent into a grid (yes Canada and Mexico are included in the large format version) and present a west to east flow rather than a state by state approach. Despite the large format there is a lot missing. Like rest areas! There are also fewer city maps. No city map of Burlington VT. for example. No topography here either. This one also has an interstate map in the front.

While it may just be I'm used to them, my old atlas seem to be easier to read and contain more detail. If you have one of these map quest derived atlases you may want to take care of it!


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Mapquest

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Rand McNally

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Michelin


Other atlases I found.

Hema produces The Ultimate Road Atlas. The one sample page I found showed similar detail to the Michelin map.

The Kappa group which apparently now owns American Map has decided to "improve" the American Map Atlas much to the chagrin of many. The reviews of their atlas was less than favorable. The sample map shown on their web site (southern Florida) seems to confirm these are not the same maps.

National Geographic sells a road atlas that received good reviews but it's hard to find when it was last updated. (2004? 2010?)

Finally, both Walmart and AAA have road atlases. I did not look either. Raz
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post

Finally, both Walmart and AAA have road atlases. I did not look either. Raz
WalMart's Atlas is the same Rand-McNally you have pictured. It usually costs about 8-9 dollars and includes the addresses of every Walmart. It's cheap enough to buy a new one every year or so when your old one gets too ratty.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
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I purchase at least one Walmart Atlas per year, keeping one in the tow vehicle, one in the trailer, even one in the stick & brick, all to look up information on locations I haven't planned to be or check out.

For actual maps, I prefer the AAA individual state maps. My local AAA cringes when I come in, knowing I'm probably heading out on one of my country wide trips & will be picking up maps & camp books (well, their "new" Woodall books, not their older, better AAA Campbooks) for 1/2 to 3/4 of the states. They take up a little more room than an Atlas, but provide better resolution, more detail & roads, and show more towns with campgrounds.
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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Wally World Map

We have experienced a couple of problems with the Walmart map books
1) There are roads in the walmart map book that are shown as under construction yet the roads were completed 3 to 4 years earlier (So much for updating)
2) Their are county roads and state highways which are missing from the Walmart maps but are shown in other map books or on official state maps. We have found several state maps in the walmart map book to be rather incomplete

It appears the only thing that is updated in a walmart map book is the date on the front cover
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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We carry the large spiral bound maps but as well we carry individual state and province maps. We stop at visitors centers as we cross state and boundary lines and always pickup a map and other info. Usually the state/province maps are much better and larger than any 'atlas' map, certainly the case for generally neglected places like Newfoundland.

As to construction zones, nothing seems to beat our smart phone for up to date info.

We also generally put the maps aside in the rare city and use the phone for directions.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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Have you taken a look at the Rand-McNally Motor Carriers Atlas?

2014 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas (MCRA) (Rand Mcnally Motor Carriers' Road Atlas): Rand McNally: 9780528009181: Amazon.com: Books


It caters to professional truckers and seems to be well-suited to RV'ers, as well.

Rick
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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WOW you guys are OLD SCHOOL. I use my GPS but do use a paper map once in a while when I want to pre-plan something or want to get fine details.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kb1flr View Post
Have you taken a look at the Rand-McNally Motor Carriers Atlas?

2014 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas (MCRA) (Rand Mcnally Motor Carriers' Road Atlas): Rand McNally: 9780528009181: Amazon.com: Books


It caters to professional truckers and seems to be well-suited to RV'ers, as well.

Rick

I did look as this one but perhaps not close enough. The maps did not seem much different than the regular atlas with the addition of truck routes, bridge heights, etc. Raz
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rick Mooyman View Post
WOW you guys are OLD SCHOOL. I use my GPS but do use a paper map once in a while when I want to pre-plan something or want to get fine details.
You must have missed round 1 .

Do you use a paper map?
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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Old School

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Originally Posted by Rick Mooyman View Post
WOW you guys are OLD SCHOOL. I use my GPS but do use a paper map once in a while when I want to pre-plan something or want to get fine details.
We do not have cable TV , I phones ,credit cards , cash cards , no dvd player ,no online banking , no home A/C , heat with wood , use maps , pay with cash , our phone only makes phone calls and dial up internet. Our grand children believe we live in the 19th century but we survive
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:43 PM   #11
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Steve,

We have satellite TV, Smart Phones, carry a computer, pad and e-books, credit and debit cards, do online banking, use maps and gps, our phone does everything YET our kids and grandkids still think we're from another time. There's just no way to keep up. We adopt those technologies that make our road life easier and in some sense possible.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #12
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That's the key Norm and Ginny......
What works for you - works for you.

I know just enough to get by.
Nothing fancy pansy. Still don't know about iPhones or iPads, etc.
My mentally retarded daughter does things on hers and I just shake my head.
She can't read or write so she still calls ol' dad.......LOL
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #13
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I'm not a fan of gps.....old school, dinosaur generation tyvm. I've used the rand McNally across the US with no problems. Having all the walmarts listed including the off ramp # was very helpful.

I've heard benchmark was a good choice also.

If you enter my location into a GPS device.....it takes you on seasonal roads where you won't be found until spring. If you are pulling a trailer.... Forget it!
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #14
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My GPS has led me astray and I had to get back on the road
using the atlas.
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