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Old 06-26-2014, 09:26 AM   #1
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RV Friendly Routes

Hello -

We just picked up our first travel trailer last week and now we're busy thinking of all the great places we can visit. We live just outside of Charlotte, NC and within a few hours drive west, there are a lot of great trout streams... I mean places to camp in the mountains. I know from my pre-RV days that sometimes the GPS picks a route that takes you up and down a lot of steep switchbacks. It may be the most-direct way on paper, but there is often another route that may be a few extra miles but is much easier to drive.

Now that I'll be towing the TT, I'd like to find the most RV friendly routes when planning trips. Are there any good sources for trip planning that will calculate a route that is easier to drive your RV?
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:43 AM   #2
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Congrats on your new TT! There are several different companies that make a GPS with the ability to input the data with the dimensions of your setup. (and other important criteria of concern about your vehicle) I have a Rand McNally Tripmaker 7710. It does a pretty good job for me mostly, but I always double check an unfamiliar route before with a map or road atlas. I started doing this because sometimes it would route me through small towns (still marked as major state/us routes) If I'm going through an area that I'm concerned about, then I also will google map a satellite view and zoom into the portions of concern. This has been a learning process. Also, the beauty of the google map is the street view, which allows me to see exactly the view that I may be looking for (such as the entrance to a campground). Good luck and start making some great memories with your nee TT.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:24 AM   #3
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Check to see what avoidances your gps has, I can set mine to avoid tolls, u turns, various road types.

That's the one downfall to a gps, they're terrible maps!
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:10 AM   #4
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they sell a 'trucker atlas' that will list all sorts of things -clearances, weight restrictions, , etc.
they make 'trucker' GPS's too - expensive last I checked (like $900).

Remember that a tractor trailer can go all sorts of places - if they fit you will too!
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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We have a GPs that is made for truckers and RV. You program in the height weight and length of your rig and it routes you around any potential issues. It also "somehow" figures out road construction through the magic of "satellites". No paid service. I can take a pic and send you the stats. I bought it at a car toys type place. We usually program that one and the one on our phone to compare and then don't run our phones so as not to run up data. But, it's a good comparison before we leave. We also carry an actual map.


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Old 06-26-2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. As a new TT owner myself, living in an area of the country with tunnels, this was a big concern for us as well. We live in the DC area and I am from Massachusetts, so we travel alot up and down the 95 corridor between DC and MA. Anyways, after lots of research, we settled on a Garmin Dezl Trucker GPS. It has an RV mode, but we just use it in truck mode. So far it has successfully kept us from low over passes or from propane restricted areas. You have to order online, they dont carry it at the store, but it is free shipping if you get it shipped to the store. We have only used it a few times for trips down to the Greensboro NC area, and to Virginia, but it hasnt given us any problems at all.

Garmin dezl 760LMT 7" GPS with BuiltIn Bluetooth 010-01062-02 - Best Buy

You can also have different profiles in there if you had multiple trailers to tow, and there is also a "car" mode, so when you are at the camp ground and want to find a grocery store or something, you dont have to take the truck route (which can sometimes be significantly longer). Just enter in a profile name for your trailer, input the height, width, etc and it is suuposed to keep you out of trouble. From the research we did, the common theme was that RV mode can help you find RV specific stops, but it actually doesnt avoid propane restrictions, but the truck mode does. That makes no sense to me, but who am I to tell Garmin what to do, lol.

It will also clearly show you what lane to be in at exits and turns (like when there are 2 exit lanes, sometimes it is important to be in the "right right" lane, and sometimes it is important to be in the "left right lane", lol). There are many options out there, we decided this was right for us (didnt hurt that we have been long time garmin users and was familiar with how garmin typically works). Hope this helps a little, we spent several weeks doing our research. I am always willing to help, just hope I dont steer you down a path that doesnt work out for you
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:58 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've used Garmin products before too so that may be one of the first I investigate.
I was originally thinking about something that would route to avoid the 15mph switchbacks in the NC mountains but you've all made great points about height restrictions, propane restrictions, etc.
Sheesh... I got a lot to learn!


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