GPS for RV question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
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GPS for RV question

Heard the Rand McNally GPS for RV with 7 inch screen was the latest and greatest travel aid for convenient trailer camping trips, with plenty of data on nearest campgrounds, gas prices, tourist attractions, etc. Was going to buy it because I'm fed up with my Tom Tom GPS being very unhelpful when I need to search for something. Example: search for "Hospital" and it does not include any VA Hospitals in its search. Just finding a menu for campgrounds can lead to a fatal distraction.

But just read some disturbing reviews on the Rand McNally version, like freeze-ups, etc. What to do? Go Garmin? Magellan?...etc. Has anyone got a hassle-free GPS they really like?
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:20 AM   #2
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I have a Garmin . The point of interest function which is used to find campgrounds does not work well and often gives you an address which is incorrect. The touch screen is terrible, you have to sometimes almost pound on the screen to enter information. In Florida ,north and south are reversed so if the GPS says turn left you need to turn right . The memory in the GPS is too small to accept full updates IE If I want the mapping for Mexico ,I have to delete the mapping for Canada. When I contacted Garmin about the problems I was encountering , their answer is "Buy a newer unit" at a considerably higher cost..
GPS' s seem to be like computers in that they are outdated the day you purchase them.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:47 AM   #3
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When I chose the Tom Tom over the Garmin it was about price... needing only basic stuff thought I'd get a better return for the buck. Now, not so sure. Moral of story: don't throw away your paper maps.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:59 AM   #4
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We have a Rand McNally GPS for RV with 7 inch screen and love it! It searches for private campgrounds, state parks, COE, BLM. I don't know about the VA hospitals since, luckily, we've never needed medical care while on the road. It'll even show pet parks and vet clinics (however they show up and are not searchable-just click on one and request directions). We bought it because it was designed for the RVer. For gas prices and weather, you need to be connected via wifi. We've had it for about 2-1/2 years and it only froze up once. It seems very stable. It has lifetime map and software updates.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:15 AM   #5
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Easily finding all the nearest campgrounds is what appeals most to me about the promises Rand McNally makes. At $319 the latest version is a bit much so I'm hesitant to pull the trigger if there's a trail of woe I'm not aware of.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:34 AM   #6
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I know its not the same but my smart phone has gotten me out of crunches more than once. Just saying on Google "directions to nearest hospital" or similar and it starts the nav program and takes me there. I also use RVParky and have had great results with that program as I can call from with in it or near by searches. I do have a Tom Tom too. I had Garmin but they kept wanting money for new maps. The TT was lifetime. Also with the smartphone the map updates are just done all the time and it even indicates when there is a traffic delay. JMO
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:35 AM   #7
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Just looking at reviews of the 7730 (RM) and they aren't very good. But I noticed they have an iPad app which might be a cheap way to find out how good their maps and campground recommendations are (if you have an iPad.) I didn't see a price on that.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:17 AM   #8
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I have lifetime updates with my Garmin GPS and have installed a micro SD card to increase my GPS' s memory . That being said ,I still cannot load the complete update package. Garmin adds points of interest with each update but that does me no good if my GPS cannot store the information. Plus states like Wisconsin have unincorporated towns and villages which are not a legal entity so Garmin says they do not exist. If I enter the closest town to my residence (pop 200) because the town is unincorporated ,my GPS says it does not exist. There are hundreds of small towns in Wisconsin that are unincorporated making my GPS useless on many occasions.
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:23 PM   #9
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GPS

OnStar?
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I have lifetime updates with my Garmin GPS and have installed a micro SD card to increase my GPS' s memory . That being said ,I still cannot load the complete update package. Garmin adds points of interest with each update but that does me no good if my GPS cannot store the information. Plus states like Wisconsin have unincorporated towns and villages which are not a legal entity so Garmin says they do not exist. If I enter the closest town to my residence (pop 200) because the town is unincorporated ,my GPS says it does not exist. There are hundreds of small towns in Wisconsin that are unincorporated making my GPS useless on many occasions.
I have a Garmin Nuvi 3580 with lifetime maps, and added a 8GB micro card. I've been able to do complete North American updates with no problems, and still have space enough for adding some of the POIs available at the Discovery Owner's Website.

As to finding small towns, I've found that you can often find them by doing an address search. I put in "1 Main Street". The database seems to be better at finding an address than a town all by itself.

Lastly, as to finding "all" campgrounds, there is no application, GPS or app that will do that. You are going to miss some, find some that are closed & abandoned, and trailer parks that don't do camping with most applications. I prefer Allstays Camp & RV, and The Ultimate Campground Project apps, both of which have filters that let you select the type of campground you are looking for over the Garmin's camping database.

Allstays tends to favor commercial campgrounds, while the Ultimate Campground Project only includes non commercial campgrounds. Between the two of them I've always been able to come up with what I'm looking for...
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
I have a Garmin Nuvi 3580 with lifetime maps, and added a 8GB micro card. I've been able to do complete North American updates with no problems, and still have space enough for adding some of the POIs available at the Discovery Owner's Website.

As to finding small towns, I've found that you can often find them by doing an address search. I put in "1 Main Street". The database seems to be better at finding an address than a town all by itself.

Lastly, as to finding "all" campgrounds, there is no application, GPS or app that will do that. You are going to miss some, find some that are closed & abandoned, and trailer parks that don't do camping with most applications. I prefer Allstays Camp & RV, and The Ultimate Campground Project apps, both of which have filters that let you select the type of campground you are looking for over the Garmin's camping database.

Allstays tends to favor commercial campgrounds, while the Ultimate Campground Project only includes non commercial campgrounds. Between the two of them I've always been able to come up with what I'm looking for...
There is a large county campgrounds in Jackson County near Hatfield Wisconsin
If I enter "Hatfield" the GPS says there is no such place. ( Hatfield appears on a Wisconsin State road map). I enter the legal name of the park ,again it comes back as no such place. If I enter the GPS coordinates for the park it finds a location but shows the location being in the middle of a river. I added an 8 GB SD card to my GPS before doing the last update and still had to choose between Canada or Mexico. My frustration is that I paid extra for the lifetime updates but I am unable to access the full updates . I called Garmin and their answer is "Buy a new GPS" . My GPS is only 2 years old and in my way of thinking I should not be required to replace it every 2 years. I am glad that your experience has been good but unfortunately mine has not
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:08 PM   #12
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I have the Garmin RV760LM, it has the 7" screen, voice command. it is designed for RV so it has all the campgrounds that can be filtered by amenities, you can program in you combined rig size and it will avoid roads with low overhead, steep grades, etc if desired. You can also pre program your route. You can also connect it to an optional back-up camera. So far I am very impressed with the unit.
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:24 PM   #13
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Another vote for the Rand McNally rv unit, no freeze ups and with the on line mapping program, very easy to upload to the unit a custom planned trip by you at home. Also has a list of vets, for those traveling with pets.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:45 PM   #14
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Re Onstar: It came free for 3 months with my new Silverado. We used it a few times for non camping drives over that time and found it helpful and agreeable. Her more than me, actually, because I just don't like asking an actual person for directions. Who does? Something about that live sweet voice into my cab smacks me as an irritating, nosy, spoon feeding invasion by big brother. Get out! Who are these strangers? My domain, my truck cab, my castle.

But, when our free trial period was up I did nothing to stop the service. So it now is costing me over $33 a month, a silent service shovel into my credit card.

Last week I got an email from OnStar alerting me to a three dollar increase in the monthly charge and that's when I my radar screen began to arc and spark red. We hadn't used the thing at least the last 3-6 months. So why am I paying out $400 a year for a service my Tom Tom replicates, true, imperfectly, but at no monthly charge? Paying OnStar a $340 upfront yearly discount price (nice little annuity for them there) was also not an option.

For the record, I also refuse to own anything but a ten dollar burner cell phone, and then only if we'll be gone for over 4 days. Smart phones and aps are great fun but totally over the top tinsel to me. Which has brought me to this post, and a search for the best of all possible worlds: A GPS which works really really good.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:29 AM   #15
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I love my Garmin 760 LTM made specifically for RVs. (LTM means lifetime traffic and maps.) It has a 7 inch touchscreen and you can buy it with a bundled wireless rearview camera. I have the camera but haven't set it up yet. It also has voice navigation which I occasionally use.

I cannot compare with the Rand McNally GPS because I haven't used it. I

Several people have told me, "You can't find my house with a GPS," but my Garman took me right there.

Google maps once took me two hours out of my way. And Google maps only works when you have a good data connection. I travel with my iPhone, Garman 760LTM, and hardcopy maps from AAA.

The 760 lets me plan multiple trips in advance and save them. When it's time to go, I can call up the one I want.

Most GPS's let you can choose shortest distance, fastest, etc. I often want the most scenic, which is not an option. So I sit down with my 760 and my extra large Rand McNally Atlas and set up the exact route I want. The atlas has dots next to the scenic roads so I can find them at a glance. I put in waypoints to force the GPS to the route I want. This is all done in advance when I have plenty of time.

I can do the whole trip in one plan or create a different plan for each day.

If the Rand McNally GPS has scenic routing options and I were buying now, that would be a major selling point!

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Old 04-24-2015, 02:42 PM   #16
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Hi, Myron.
We have two Garmins and one of them is useless much if the time because of the connection on the back of the screen. We have bought a new connection again and again and they go bad as they soon do not fit right and will not work. That is a tiny connection piece. The other one has a big clip-on piece and that still works a few years later. It is the newer one that does not work and I am afraid that is how they do them all now. Don't know.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:36 PM   #17
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I've never used the Rand McNally GPS, but have used Magellian, TomTom, own a Garmin, Sync in a Ford Edge, and now the Nissan in dash Nav system. They all seem to be flawed in one way or another, which leads me to believe that the technology is not ready for autonomous car control. The Magellian unit that I used (with most current updated map data) insisted that I drive the wrong way on a one way street. That is the most egregious error that I have witnessed.

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Old 04-24-2015, 05:33 PM   #18
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Interesting comments about these devices. Have never owned one myself and probably never will given that my iPhone 6 has worked virtually flawlessly for all of these needs. Great maps, great directions and it does so much more. My neighbor once loaned me a Garmin for a long road trip. We weren't gone 3 or 4 days before we shipped it back to him it had so many faults. We never run into these issues with our iPhones. We just returned from a one month long road trip after picking up our Oliver on Mar 3rd and used them exclusively with nary a hitch.

Some of the camping apps are fabulous too, as well as other helpful traveling apps that you will not get with a GPS device. Like someone else mentioned Allstays and the Ultimate Public Campground are great apps. I also like iExit if you are traveling the interstates. It doesn't do so well on secondary back roads though. At this point I wouldn't own a stand alone GPS for travel and road, though I do have one for backcountry hiking. Maybe if one were factory installed on my truck might be nice though.

I find it odd with the extreme advancement and capable technologies that exist in mobile devices not to mention user friendliness that GPS devices by comparison seem stuck in another century with outdated non functional applications.

Not sure this help, but it is my suggestion.

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Old 04-24-2015, 08:15 PM   #19
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GPS for RV question

Hi Rob,

I love my iPhone 6 plus. It's the best computer I ever owned and it even makes phone calls!

I agree that the apps you mention are fabulous and I would never leave home without my iPhone even if it did not make phone calls b

Unfortunately, it was my iPhone 6 with Google maps that took me two hours out of my way on a five hour drive. I corrected it once, only to have it screw up later. If I hadn't been so tired I might have noticed. But I trusted it and it let me down. Apple maps might have done me right.

One other thing to consider... If you boondock, you'll go place without data services. Google maps and Apple maps both require a data connection. I have a Tom Tom app in my iPhone that works offline, but my Garmin work better than it does.

I agree that dedicated GPS units have more faults than they should. You'd expect the GPS "experts" to know how to make good devices.

All I can say is that so far, my 760 has done a decent good job.

Hi Cathi,

My Garmin 760 has a big clip on the back. The ball for the mount goes into the clip, the clip goes onto the GPS. The power cord with traffic antenna plugs into a mini USB on the clip. You can charge the GPS with a micro USB on the main body, but without traffic. And if you want to mount it, you have to use the clip. Hello Garmin! Why would anyone ever use a GPS in a car without mounting it? Also, it makes no sense to have a clunky external traffic antenna except that it forces you customers to use your cord.

I have a love hate relationship with my Garmin. It does some things really well, more things OK, and it sucks at a few things. Even so, I would not voluntarily leave my 760 at home. It sits next to my iPhone on the dash and is my main navigated. My iPhone usually has Gas Buddy up.

And then there's the atlas in the seat next to me. I don't use it while on the road, but it's well worth the $20 it cost for advance planning.

Rich
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:37 PM   #20
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Rich, sounds as if it has been very good so far. Those micro USBs are the problem to me. I know the ones for RVs get excellent reviews but I wonder how long that micro will plug in right. After a while, we cannot charge, no connection as the micro no longer works. How long have you had it?
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