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Old 05-04-2019, 09:22 AM   #1
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Lets talk GPS.

In the past we used a TOMTOM. The last couple years we been using GARMIN. The Garmin has dumped me more than once..Mostly happens in large towns. It got confused in Dallas and didnt know which end was up. A restart fixed that. Most recent was in Phoenix Az, it wanted me to take a HOV lane. Then later that same day it just malfunctioned and started going in circkes pointing me offroad through buildings. I think I need a new TOMTOM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:38 AM   #2
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I have always used the Garmin. This last one was for RVs and never had an issue but a few times it sent me on a little longer path that I really knew the other way was shorter. It has never sent me on a bad route nor has it malfunctioned. RV760 model.
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:39 AM   #3
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Satellite signals are not infallible, and may happen with any system. Solar flares and other events can wreak havoc on these very weak satellite signals. So can topography, especially in urban areas with high buildings.
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:41 AM   #4
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For our Motorhome we use a Rand McNally set for the correct size vehicle, has never dumped us anywhere, really like it. For the toad we use a Garmin, which has gotten lost on occasion. I think the Rand and itís mapping support with updates is the better unit but just to large for a 4 wheeler.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:04 AM   #5
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I also have two Rand McNally GPS devices.

One is six years old and is now used in the car, but just last year I purchased the Rand McNally RVND 70 GPS/Android tablet device with 7-inch screen.

It is awesome as a GPS...the tablet bites the big one.

However, since it is a tablet I connect it to the hotspot in my phone or my Verizon Jetpack Mifi device and it gets automatic updates, traffic reports, weather...and even gas prices at each exit!

It also has a built-in dashcam.

It was on sale at Camping World last week for $289 (I paid $350 for it last year).
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:12 AM   #6
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It's amazing how the prices have fallen on these. My latest greatest Garmin (last one was over 10 years old, still works) interfaces with an app on your phone to give you live traffic updates, etc. I only bought it because I wanted something that doesn't depend on a cell signal. 120 or 130 bucks last December from BJ's Wholesale club. 5" screen, which is now as sensitive as my iPhone screen. Huge improvements over my old Garmin NŁvi.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:18 AM   #7
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We use Rand McNally GPS , and waze on the smart phone, great for traffic reports. We also use a map, and written directions. with all 4 we usually get where we are going.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonz View Post
In the past we used a TOMTOM. The last couple years we been using GARMIN. The Garmin has dumped me more than once..Mostly happens in large towns. It got confused in Dallas and didnt know which end was up. A restart fixed that. Most recent was in Phoenix Az, it wanted me to take a HOV lane. Then later that same day it just malfunctioned and started going in circles pointing me offroad through buildings. I think I need a new TOMTOM.
Have you been occasionally updating it using the Garmin Express application on your PC? I often ask friends that question and find out they've never updated. Garmin provides firmware and map updates even on old systems. Map updates are provided four times a year. https://www.garmin.com/en-US/software/express

If yours is older and not updated it may have experienced the "GPS week number rollover" problem in early April this year. Firmware updates were provided by most vendors to fix that issue.

I've never owned anything except Garmin and likely will buy their new RV 780 within the month: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/660527

Ray
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:47 PM   #9
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I have the Garmin RV760 LMT. Mostly I like it alot but I do have occasional frustration with minor errors or confusing directions. And I always go online and download the latest maps before any major trip.

Using a GPS in a 35 foot motorhome pulling a toad that you cannot back up with, can make any errors worse than when you are driving in a car. So I have developed the habit of before driving, taking the turn by turn directions from the GPS and tracking them on Google maps to verify that they make sense.
It takes time but it ensures that the turns all work. I never want to learn anything new about my route from my GPS while driving. The GPS is just reminding me where I need to make the turns I have already reviewed.

On my trip to Michigan last year I found three problems that I was able to fix ahead of time by adding waypoints to the route.


I will note that the cumbersome process for adding waypoints is my biggest frustration with the Garmin.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonz View Post
In the past we used a TOMTOM. The last couple years we been using GARMIN. The Garmin has dumped me more than once..Mostly happens in large towns. It got confused in Dallas and didnt know which end was up. A restart fixed that. Most recent was in Phoenix Az, it wanted me to take a HOV lane. Then later that same day it just malfunctioned and started going in circkes pointing me offroad through buildings. I think I need a new TOMTOM.
I have a Garmin for truckers. I'm too lazy to give you the model, because in sitting under my RV canopy and sleepily gazing into the woods. It sends me wrong just sometimes, but it is always because I "overdrive" the satellite refresh. Meaning I go faster than the GPS can rethink. I've learned to slow down near upcoming turns. I have the lifetime update, which i highly recommend.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneT View Post
On my trip to Michigan last year I found three problems that I was able to fix ahead of time by adding waypoints to the route.
May I ask what the problems were and how you figured them out in advance? I'll be 38' with a toad on a dolly soon.

Thanks,

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Old 05-04-2019, 02:53 PM   #12
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I bought a new Garmin last year to replace an old outdated TomTom. The new Garmin kept trying to route me down dirt roads although 'DO NOT ROUTE' on unpaved roads was one of the options I had selected. It did the poor routing before and after updating the device.

The Garmin had a lot of nice features I liked, but I could not trust it, so it was returned.

Bought a new TomTom. The new TomTom doesn't have some of the features I liked on the Garmin, but it routes me correctly!

Everything seems to be a compromise of form versus function.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:55 PM   #13
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Ray, Two of the problems related to the Garmin giving the wrong final directions to RV parks that were in its database. The first one showed the final turn to be an exit off of a state highway where there was no road. The Garmin shows the turn directions in words with a picture of the turn on the map. Satellite view on Google maps showed no road or driveway there. It was easy to see the RV park and what roads to take to get there.
The second was the Garmin showing making a left turn into an RV park entrance from a county highway, when Satellite view on Google maps showed the RV park entrance to be on the right side of the road about a third of a mile before the the Garmin showed turning.
The third problem was where I needed to make a turn from one minor highway to another at an odd interchange. The Garmin showed making a set of turns that was not as easy as the simple cloverleaf type highway entrance that was apparent looking at Google maps.

In a car, these aren't big deals. In a motorhome, and depending on traffic and weather. They can be bigger headaches.

The other big advantage I find of using Google maps in conjunction with the GPS is that for fuel stops, you can use satellite view to make sure the gas pumps are positioned so you can get in and out safely.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbonz View Post
The Garmin has dumped me more than once..Mostly happens in large towns. It got confused in Dallas and didnt know which end was up. .... Most recent was in Phoenix Az, it wanted me to take a HOV lane. Then later that same day it just malfunctioned and started going in circles pointing me offroad through buildings.
Dallas and Phoenix have had so much road work lately that I'm amazed anything can keep up.

With the Garmin (which we have), you have to occasionally change it's settings in advance to avoid tolls or to take the shortest route instead of the fastest route. What it will allow you to avoid depends on the model you have, but updating is critical when you're going on a road trip.

We tend to use the Google maps app on our smartphone for cities. It's the most up to date. It's also the only one that does the different levels and flyovers fairly accurately.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:32 PM   #15
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The third problem was where I needed to make a turn from one minor highway to another at an odd interchange. The Garmin showed making a set of turns that was not as easy as the simple cloverleaf type highway entrance that was apparent looking at Google maps.
Thanks for taking the time to write that. The one I quoted reminded me of something I used to see at one junction when driving home from work. You got on the interstate at the right-hand lane and the GPS said you had to jump across three lanes of traffic to make a quick left exit, quick as in maybe a quarter-mile during rush hour at 60 MPH. But if you actually took a leisurely right-hand exit at the same place you went up a ramp and across an overpass that crossed the interstate and dropped you in the same place.

It was five lanes at that part so maybe that's why they had a left-hand exit and a right-hand exit. Yes, a lot of dangerous driving at that junction.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:18 PM   #16
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Have you been occasionally updating it using the Garmin Express application on your PC? I often ask friends that question and find out they've never updated. Garmin provides firmware and map updates even on old systems. Map updates are provided four times a year. https://www.garmin.com/en-US/software/express

If yours is older and not updated it may have experienced the "GPS week number rollover" problem in early April this year. Firmware updates were provided by most vendors to fix that issue.

I've never owned anything except Garmin and likely will buy their new RV 780 within the month: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/660527

Ray
It was updated 2 weeks ago..it gets updated before every trip. I may need to get a RV specific one..It tried to send me onto a HOV lane.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:48 PM   #17
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Those who use Waze it has been updated so it is said to be compatible with Android Auto app available on late model Chevy and GMC. I have tried it but it doesn't show on my screen. Android Auto goes directly to Google Maps.


Edit: You need to double tap the navigation icon on the bottom of Android Auto on your phone, you will then get the choice of Google Maps or Waze. There is a problem with Waze showing the entrance to our campground 1/4 mile north of it's actual location. The campground office is 1/2 mile west on their private road off the main state hwy.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:06 AM   #18
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That's because many addresses are extrapolated given a range of addresses when using GPS. i.e., if the street begins with address zero, and ends with address 100, it will show address 50 right in the middle of the length of the road. It depends on the GPS and their mapping software.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:06 AM   #19
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Does anyone use the copilot app (RV Version)? I've read a lot of good things about it. https://copilotgps.com/en-us/rv-navigation/
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:40 AM   #20
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I have not and like you I've read a lot on it on various forums, almost all very favorable. 5M+ downloads for Android, which is very impressive. I just downloaded it and read the EULA and Privacy policies. It looks like the company is now owned by Trimble as of February, a long-time name in GPS. I see references to NAVTEQ and TomTom so they appear to be using good data sources.

A review from May 1st says that custom profiles were removed and there is no longer RV support. That didn't sound right so perhaps the vendor will add a response.

Hmmm, but as I read more, other people are complaining about the same thing. A general "Please contact us so we can address your concern personally" was the reply. If custom profiles were still available why wouldn't they just say they are still there?

A review from Feb. 15th says the app got rid of "route preferences" with the same laconic reply from the vendor.

I suggest you read the app reviews on play.google.com (or Apple). Seriously negative in the past months. Some people are saying you now need to pay for the RV version but I don't see that version on the Play store.

After I read the EULA and Privacy policies I deleted it without agreeing. Although it seems to use offline maps they are collecting a lot of data on you and you have to request to have it deleted. Feel free to call me old-fashioned but I am trying to limit how much devices I pay for can track me. I know it's a losing battle because even Garmin's no doubt are tracking you if you pair it to your phone but I do not do that.

That's probably one of the great things about the F-53 chassis, right? It has none of that 21st century Big Brother tracking stuff built-in.

Ray
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