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Old 10-18-2019, 10:51 AM   #1
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Poll: Hard Nav or Big Screen?

So, as of today we have a nice Kenwood head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. it has a DVD player built in...that is what comes standard. OR, you can UPGRADE to the next version...same 7" screen, but Garmin Hardward Based Navigation

It is clear, that automotive has gone larger screen, no more double DIN (MB 10.25", Ram 8.4" and some 12") Aftermarket has adapted, but they also have adapted to a new trend. navigation. They are starting to drop hardware based navigation and instead are using AppleCarplay and Android auto. Hardware based is not as intuitive as smart phone, many times you have to put an address in and do not have the "unlimited" database of POI's like smart phones do.

So we just happened to look at this Alpine system with a 9" screen. They do NOT offer hardware based Navigation and it is at a very good price point.

So my question is how important is the navigation versus screen size. Right now, the uptake on the Garmin is pretty high...but what if THIS 9" screen was standard? And then the "upgrade option" was the 6.95" screen with Garmin Navigation????

Would you take the option or stick with a Apple CarPlay 9" screen?

Apple CarPlay icons are 75% larger on the 9" screen versus 7".
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:11 AM   #2
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I'd go with the larger screen. A top of the line standalone GPS that can interface with your smart phone can be had for about 130 bucks, if needed to supplement smart phone nav (for cell phone outage areas). Only the elderly who refuse to adopt new tech like smart phone nav and bemoan the lack of cassette players will be unhappy.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:13 AM   #3
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I like the larger screen, I wish you could get the Ram’s with the 12” before I order my Isata 5.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:29 AM   #4
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No idea about anything other than Ram 5500 so my opinion invalid otherwise...
Personally, biggest screen you can get no NAV from OEM. CarPlay allows use of Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze etc. Phones can all download Garmin GPS programs. There is zero compelling reason to order hardware based NAV. That being said. Business wise... The hardware based NAV systems from OEM can also use all the aforementioned phone based systems as well, so in order to simplify and capture all of the market, just keep ordering it. My two cents.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:30 AM   #5
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I would go the larger screen.
My only concern with using Apple/google maps is that it must consider the height of the MH/truck for routing. (been down that wrong road already!)
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbenedict View Post
I like the larger screen, I wish you could get the Ram’s with the 12” before I order my Isata 5.
Further to the discussion, (Ram 5500) the 12" screen is nice don't get me wrong but unless you have the hardware NAV, you can't use full screen on CarPlay or android auto. So the 12" screen has to be looked at as 2 seperate 8.4 screens stacked on top of each other. Still very cool. But a very expensive upgrade when you essentially are still looking at the top half of the screen 90% of the time. (at least if you use apple car play like me)
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by KRedburn View Post
I would go the larger screen.
My only concern with using Apple/google maps is that it must consider the height of the MH/truck for routing. (been down that wrong road already!)
This. Neither the typical builtin nav nor the Android Auto / CarPlay solutions address this issue. I'd say go for the bigger screen since a 6.95" screen in something as big as a Freightliner dash just looks silly.

If the screen has good auxiliary inputs or can somehow accommodate one of the truck GPS's or GPS software on a phone that would be best but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:50 AM   #8
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I work in a high tech industry and am pretty tuned into what all of the smart phones can do today. However, when I retire and have to start paying a monthly fee for smartphone level functionality out of my pocket I may return to just basic phone/text service. And, if you plan to travel to remote areas of Alaska, Canada, Mexico, where cell phone coverage will never be as good as it is in the lower 48, how does that impact the functionality if you rely solely on the phone version? On that basis you can make the Android/Carplay standard but keep the in-dash OEM nav system as an option.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:08 PM   #9
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Ok, here’s the old guy opinion. I don’t care what size the screen is as long as it is easy to use the radio. Am fm and XM. I like my Garmin navigation unit that I can take into the house and sit in my lazy boy and pre program for the next trip. I do use my cellphone at times for around town use in my toad and when I’m at home.
My 3 series came with nav in the radio and I pulled the module so it’s a radio only and the radio screen is always up.
My rear camera is in the mirror on the windshield and I like that as well. I could do without the side view cameras as I prefer using my mirrors but there only annoying when I use the turn signals so I don’t mind them.
I know I’m in the extreme minority but that’s ok.
I like mechanical switches and knobs as well if that tells you anything.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:17 PM   #10
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My only concern about Nav is the two items mentioned

1. lack of cell coverage for phone based nav. (Though that is really diminishing) And I also had TomTom app, which downloaded the entire map onto your phone. It was a 1GB app, but eliminated the "coverage" issue

2. Truck sizes. This is in fact for the M2 where size matters most. ONCE Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze take into account vehicle length, height, weight it is a moot point. BUT, we are not there yet to my knowledge...but I suppose you could use a "truck navigation app"
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:21 PM   #11
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“My only concern with using Apple/google maps is that it must consider the height of the MH/truck for routing. (been down that wrong road already!)”

This.... so any RV friendly solution not dependant on cell service gets my vote regardless of size ... and i for one like the separate screen for the camera’s mounted on my XL.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DieselBurn View Post
“My only concern with using Apple/google maps is that it must consider the height of the MH/truck for routing. (been down that wrong road already!)”

This.... so any RV friendly solution not dependant on cell service gets my vote regardless of size ... and i for one like the separate screen for the camera’s mounted on my XL.
I'm not proposing losing the 2nd monitor, just a bigger screen, mechless for nav/radio.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
My only concern about Nav is the two items mentioned

1. lack of cell coverage for phone based nav. (Though that is really diminishing) And I also had TomTom app, which downloaded the entire map onto your phone. It was a 1GB app, but eliminated the "coverage" issue

2. Truck sizes. This is in fact for the M2 where size matters most. ONCE Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze take into account vehicle length, height, weight it is a moot point. BUT, we are not there yet to my knowledge...but I suppose you could use a "truck navigation app"
1. Google Maps lets you download maps for defined areas (you basically draw a rectangle on the map and it downloads everything inside that rectangle including routing and POI data). It's only limited by the amount of storage you have on your device. The whole state of Colorado takes up ~550MB. That's just a data point; unless you're literally traveling all the backroads you don't need the entire state downloaded. As you travel in and out of cell service the app seamlessly transfers from live cloud data to your cached map data.

2. Those truck navigation apps need to be certified by Google for use in Android Auto, and I assume the same deal for Carplay. To my knowledge none of them are yet. So at least you can use them from your phone/tablet but not on the in-dash screen.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:42 PM   #14
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Larger screen.

To address the two concerns above:

1. You can download offline google maps ahead of time as well, and they don't take up much storage space at all. It takes a little more planning work on the front end, but it's good insurance.

2. I'm not sure if/when google maps will incorporate RV info into their routing algorithm, but there have been some fairly recent developments in this area from rvtripwizard. They were purchased by (or they merged with) RV Life this summer, and the development has stepped up. They now claim the ability to provide real time turn-by-turn navigation using routes/trips planned on the rvtripwizard site. This probably doesn't sound like much, but, if you're a fan of rvtripwizard and have used it extensively, you know this is a huge step forward. They haven't divulged the source of their maps yet, but I don't get the feeling they are using google maps data exclusively. I was hopeful that google might acquire them like they did Waze, but that hasn't happened yet. I haven't gotten a chance to test this yet, but I'm hopeful that it works as described.
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:08 PM   #15
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If the maps are not resident on the device and require a cell connection, it is worthless in the areas where there is no cell coverage. That would be much of the back country, you know, like roads to National Parks, remote lakes, & such.

Keep the two separate. GPS with resident maps & the ability to drive a large ultrawide aspect ratio overhead monitor like the type used for advertising.

Better yet, do it with a RasberryPi where you can add third-party software to add additional layers of data onto the map.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:19 PM   #16
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If the maps are not resident on the device and require a cell connection, it is worthless in the areas where there is no cell coverage. That would be much of the back country, you know, like roads to National Parks, remote lakes, & such.

Keep the two separate. GPS with resident maps & the ability to drive a large ultrawide aspect ratio overhead monitor like the type used for advertising.

Better yet, do it with a RasberryPi where you can add third-party software to add additional layers of data onto the map.
Well, it appears that you can download maps in advance and store on the device. So that sort of takes that out of the equation. Plus, I did some touring around national parks this year and it was very rare that I didn't have cell service...or when I didn't, we had a trusty paper map that seemed to work well (though more for trip planning than navigation).

And again...I am not taking away the option of upgrading to hard Nav on the Garmin we run today...just trying to gauge the "buying decision impact" of large screen vs. storage based navigation.

It seems like large screen is winning pretty handily in this very informal poll.

I guess its sort of a choice between...

"large screen 100% of the time, with some minor inconvenience a small portion of time". or "Zero inconvenience 100% of the time, large screen 0% of the time"

At some point, maybe no one needs to choose, but this is what I have on the menu today.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:04 PM   #17
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FWIW, I see a large, high eez screen as a safety factor. Bigger is easier to see what needs to be seen faster - and therefore safer
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:31 PM   #18
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FWIW, I see a large, high eez screen as a safety factor. Bigger is easier to see what needs to be seen faster - and therefore safer
x2 and more in front of your face too! Especially a nav map more so than cameras.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:42 PM   #19
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My experience with "Truck" GPS apps is that I could NOT enter propane (my 5" Garmin Dezl only allowed "Hazardous Gases" and, I don't remember what the specific problem was when I tried Copilot HD Truck but, it too had a glitch). I believe some GPS devices can be upgraded via WiFi (not sure if any of those units are suited for RVs though). If the IS an RV suited GPS that has WiFi, upgrades could become a LOT easier. The Rand McNally software that was OEM on my 2015 DX3 had its' own issues. It frequently tried to route me onto PARKWAYS (famed for LOW overpasses) in NY and, would tell me that there were restrictions along my route, even when traveling ONLY on Interstate Highways. I would LOVE to get a true RV GPS that "just works", even on big RVs. To the best of my knowledge, today, that animal simply does not exist.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:46 PM   #20
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Larger screen.


...rvtripwizard. They were purchased by (or they merged with) RV Life this summer, and the development has stepped up. They now claim the ability to provide real time turn-by-turn navigation using routes/trips planned on the rvtripwizard site. This probably doesn't sound like much, but, if you're a fan of rvtripwizard and have used it extensively, you know this is a huge step forward. They haven't divulged the source of their maps yet, but I don't get the feeling they are using google maps data exclusively. I was hopeful that google might acquire them like they did Waze, but that hasn't happened yet. I haven't gotten a chance to test this yet, but I'm hopeful that it works as described.

FWIW I've been unable to get Trip Wizard to interface fully with either my android phone, tablet or my high end Garmin 760 GPS. Just back off a nearly 9k mile Wizard planned trip. I love Trip Wizard but this is a gaping hole they need to fill themselves or partner with someone like Garmin on. Planning a trip is half the job. Loading that EXACT trip into a GPS app or device is the missing half. Still...I wouldn't be without it!




There is LOTS of the usa where Google doesn't work as GPS without pre loading maps which is a pain and there is no "truck" routing option so anything other than major roads is a bit of risk.
Co-Pilot is an excellent and cheap app that does store ALL maps on board and doesn't rely on a cell system... works well and does have a truckers version for those not wanting a standalone GPS.
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