The best GPS....your thoughts.

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Rollin Ollens, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Rollin Ollens

    Rollin Ollens
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    My old Garmin has died. It was just a standard unit but it worked well enough. I need to buy a new one and I want it to be RV capable. My rig is pretty tall and in my travels I have seen some overpasses that worried me some. In my Class C I had a Clarion combination Stereo/GPS that I really liked but it was just a standard unit as well. It was powered by Tomtom. I have searched Tomtom's site. They do not seem to list an RV special. Garmin lists an RV660LMT that sounds very good but has options that I don't need such as Bluetooth and a Hands Free option. Magellan shows an RV9490SGLUC. It has fewer bells and whistles and is about $100.00 less. I have no experience with a Magellan. Amazon reviews are not favorable but most reviews were made by new users thus not all that reliable IMO. I'd rather not spend $100.00 for stuff I don't need.

    What do you use and how do you like it?

    Thanks

    Darrell
     
  2. rracer5

    rracer5
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    I would stick with Garmin.....tried & true. I've had Garmin since 2006 (before we bought our RV's). I now have a Garmin NUVI 1300 & purchase a 3rd party "Low Clearance" download for Garmin however, that doesn't seem to work as I expected but does give "a warning" that something is on your route. I always double check my route on Good Sam's Trip Routing if I'm taking a new unfamiliar route.

    When I'm ready, I will purchase another "RV model" Garmin. It may have more "bells & whistles" then you feel you need but, you never know, you may find that if you try them, you may like some of the extra features.
     
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  3. LarryLS

    LarryLS
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    My wife, the navigator, keeps a Garmin and her I-Phone at her disposal. Her experience is the Garmin is easier to use and to search for destinations and businesses along the way. However, the I-Phone can be a handy backup to have especially as you get closer to your destination. Many times we have decided to use the I-Phone(usually in a city). Having both GPS units to compare routes has been worth the hassle of trying to hold on to and operate two different handhelds. BTW, if you're using a GPS unit stick with Garmin. This brand has proven to be much more dependable than any other.
     
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  4. usamacdonald2

    usamacdonald2
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    We use the Rand McNally GPS. We like it because it gives you more flexibility to avoid low bridges, overpasses, tunnels, ferries, etc. It also allows you to set your RV height (we're 13'4") and keeps us out of trouble on backroads. We've used a Garmin, and it was ok but we're more comfortable with the Rand McNally due to our current size (we're 42' 2012 Fuzion Toyhauler towed by a 2016 GMC Denali dually.) The navigation panel for the Denali doesn't have the ability to set our rig's parameters, and therefore has set us on a path through a tunnel that prohibits propane tanks. The Rand McNally also lets you use an RV icon that kinda cool!
     
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  5. Boonville Jim

    Boonville Jim
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    I originally had a Rand McNally GPS but after using it for awhile I switched to a Garmin RV760. Garmin pretty much wrote the book on GPS and I've been extremely happy with its functions and features. It was designed specifically for RVs and is programmable for your RV type/size. Also, free map updates.
     
  6. seeinsilver

    seeinsilver
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    I have the Rand McNally 7735 with life time maps & Goodsam branded. I've not been that happy with it. It keeps trying to send me down roads no RV belongs on, occasionally it trys to send me in circles. I use google maps on my phone as backup to keep me on the right track. I suggest you try to get some hands on experience with a couple models to see which you think will work best for you. RM uses HERE maps, I think there are some serious flaws in their software. I don't know who provides map info for Garmin. Good luck in your search, nothing's perfect, You'll have to pick what works best for you.
     
  7. RFCN2

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    We have 3 garmin's of various ages and sizes. They all still work even the old and very small one. Our latest is the 760. We have had it for over a year and it works extremely well. I move it from RV to car when we travel and you just tell the garmin which you are in and it changes it's parameters such as height. My recommendation is garmin. My only dislike is the slow and huge file updates. Even on a fast computer with a very fast internet connection they take over an hour. But then I only update once a year. If we were full time and did not have a fast internet at home I am not sure what I would do.
     
  8. Kbt

    Kbt
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    We have the Rand McNally RVND 7735, and at 12.9' x 60' (with tow) this device has been a total bacon saver. We started with a Garmin, but it gave way too little lead time to switch lanes when driving through city traffic on a freeway and took our big rig through old neighborhoods with cars parked on either side...in short, we HATED it. Our Rand has the Good Sam stuff loaded, traffic monitoring, free updates and tons of rv tools...we love it.
     
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  9. Dave Burtrum

    Dave Burtrum
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    Here's another vote for the Good Sam 7735/ Rand McNally 7730 (same unit). Overall, it seems to be the fullest featured and most flexible and generally is does a good job. However, it has done a few really stupid routings. This is not unique to GS/RM, any GPS will occasionally give just plain stupid routing. The advice to try both the Garmin and the GS/RM is good if you could get a week and a few trips on each unit. Between those two units, they have the majority of the RV GPS market. As I'm sure you're aware, any GPS is just one of many routing tools available, not the gospel! Either of the above will do an adequate job, my preference based on features is the GS/RM unit. Good luck!

    Dave
     
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  10. Mcewena

    Mcewena
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    My 10yo Garmin has been acting up once and a while so last trip I used WAZE on my ipad along side it. Big a** screen, excellent heads up of traffic hazards on interstates, free (as long as you have the data plan for it). Wasn't able to do cross country routing so I had to make my own waypoints but I'm seriously thinking of NOT replacing my Garmin when/if it dies.
     
    #10 Mcewena, Nov 1, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  11. Baboomer

    Baboomer
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    I have been using the Garmin RV 760 for approximately 3 years. I add the low clearances POI subscription for Canada and the US. Garmin has some low clearances built in as well as prohibited roadways and tunnels due to propane etc. I customize the low clearances to my RV height. I tow a 13 ft 6 inch 5th wheel with a chev 2500. I also have lots 9 other POI files loaded, such as red light cameras and speed trap cameras, walmart etc.
    I also have an 8 year old garmin nuvi 760 which is still working great which I use in the car and 8 now my wife's GPS.

    What I like: 8 inch screen, low clearances work great only warns you of low clearances for the road / route you are on not the ones that are close to you, touch screen, great speakerphone for your smart phone, enhanced apps for weather and traffic for smart phone updated to Gps in real time work well, maps are accurate. The mapping software for PC is complicated to learn but has a ton of features so is worth learning, it allows garmin map updates to br imported as well as your POI files. This allows me to make a route from Ottawa Canada to Florida which routes me around all low bridges and which includes all gas and overnight stops. Also able to change the route fairly easily on the fly once you learn how to use the voice command. In summary I have had no problems with regard to software or hardware and the maps have only been in correct die to recent construction.
    In summary the RV 760 is expensive, with a ton of features, most of which I use when towing, has mutilated profiles for RV AND car, and is very dependable, and warns you about curves, high winds, hills, prohibited roads, non rv suitable roads, and warns you if you are going down a road that has not been traveled by an RV, as per it's database. Database updated by user info.
    I wouldn't buy anything else, it has warned me numerous times about where not to go with the 5er.
    Boomer
     
  12. snabo

    snabo
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    We would agree that Rand McNally does a great job with their software. However, beware of one hardware issue that we have encountered. The window mount cantilevers the display a long way out and, on far too many occasions, left us WITHOUT a power connection since the power connection port on the Rand McNally was jiggled loose by the vibration during travel. We were aghast at the time required for turnaround )(three of them), particularly on the road with changing addresses; we now let the display sit comfortably on the dash surface, unattached to the window, where vibrations are cushioned nicely. Good luck.
     
  13. GiroRV

    GiroRV
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    We use the Garmin RV 760 LTM. Have been very happy with it for the past 3 years. Only problem was the power cord. Malfunctioned after the suction cup window mounting failed multiple times landing the Garmin on its head. Now use a sandbag dash mount and it sits happily. I thought to replace it with the unit build into our new Ram but it is head and shoulders above the built in unit and retains its place as our primary unit. Also LTM, free map updates which Ram does not have.
     
  14. YourACman

    YourACman
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    Have a really old Garmin Nuvi that still works....but very small. Bought the RV-760 for my class C. It works a LOT better than the "fancy" GPS in my new Yukon. I sometimes use it in the Yukon instead of the GM unit ...... which occasionally "gets lost". (The RV-760 allows you to use it with or without the RV parameters you load in when you first set it up.)
    Just my 'sperience.
    Ed S in Denver.
     
  15. solarsteve4x4

    solarsteve4x4
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    We used Streets and trips for years. Now that Microsoft dumped it we got the Garmin RV760 sfter reading comparisons between that and Rand McN. I can say the 760 is tops on the road navigation, but pretty useless for trip planning. (They do have an on-line-only planning software). But the 760 can find campgrounds through a long menu process, following "other" destination menues, however if you use the quick find RV parks icon it may find one, then several others 75 miles away, and a few much further, as if trying to plan ahead for several days. So we still plan the trip on the old Streets and Trips, then use internet and RV park reviews for up to date info on RV parks, and really do like the Garmin RV760 as very best for driving guidance while on the road.
     
  16. Bruce Johnston

    Bruce Johnston
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    Just switched. Had the Good Sam 7725 Rand McNally with 7inch display. Happy initially but it became very frustrating. The interface with the display face was challenging. Often a finger touch didn't 'track' correctly. Lots of retracing steps and starting again. Also often we were offered truly 'weird' routing. Starting the Rand was also annoying as it takes a long time to boot up.
    So went for the Garmin 760 LMT (as I recall as it is in the truck at the moment). Again a 7 inch display. As with the Rand you can program the length and height of your rig (22 ft truck and 40 ft trailer). Also weight and this summer on the Icefields Parkway in Alberta the GPS would not allow us on the hwy as there was an 8000 lb limit for trucks. You then have to 'lie' to your GPS and tell it you are an automobile! Also a very short boot up and finds satellites quickly.
    The big advantage of the Garmin is voice command. This allows you to introduce or re-introduce locations almost instantly! Big advantage when you have just missed your turnoff in major traffic, etc. The Rand gave you chapter and verse every time you were making a turn on or off the freeway. Hwy #, toward Hwy # city, etc. The Garmin says 'take next right turn' and then shuts up. Also appreciated. So for me the Garmin is well worth the expenditure. Wish I had found it first.
     
  17. HollyLouise

    HollyLouise
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    I do our navigating with our long-bed dually and 41 ft 5th wheel all over the country. I use only Google Maps in satellite view and/or street view as needed. Google Maps has improved so much over the years. Google Maps is always up to date including construction, accidents, etc. With Google Maps you just speak into the phone the name of the location or the address you want and it comes back with all the various routes you can take, options to avoid tolls and highways, etc. I can zoom in and out and easily see what's coming up, and I can see what businesses are in an area, and can see the entrance and layout of campgrounds so we're not doing last minute guessing and chancing missing entrances which are not always where the exact address is located. For our travels, haven't seen a need for a stand-alone navigation equipment. Happy trails!
     
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  18. Skal

    Skal
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    We use and like the Good Sam/Rand McNally also which we use with our 45' Newmar. FYI, We add an extra 6" to the height to allow for road improvement/repair/added layers of asphalt. 14 years and full timing 4 years without any problems. One time only the RV park address listed did not take us to the RV park - the park also does not know why. We have learned in more remote areas to ask what the GPS address is - which is different from the physical. Have fun exploring this beautiful Country!
     
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  19. dakotaken

    dakotaken
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    I upgraded to the Garmin RV 760 LMT from an old Garmin V last year. The BIG screen is great and the warnings are an absolute necessity. I also got a wireless back up camera to put on the back of the trailer. Otherwise, I agree with all the previous reviewers. I'm glad I stayed with Garmin!
     
  20. docj

    docj
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    If you haven't recently tried using Google Maps for navigation with a powerful smart phone you may not know what you've been missing. Around town, in the car, I don't both with my old Garmin Nuvi, the phone is many times better. For one thing it is far quicker at rerouting you if you miss a turn or simply want to do a different way. At the start of each trip it usually provides one or more alternative routings and shows the time and distance. But its ability to use real time traffic info to change your route on the fly is incredibly helpful when there's serious congestion. Yes, the Garmins have Navtek traffic info, but IMO that's nowhere as as current and updated as the data being provided by every Android phone running its location app.

    But, the problem is that Google doesn't permit you to provide your vehicle's size and weight information so you have the low clearance and weight limit issue. What I did last summer was to use the phone as the primary routing tool with our Garmin Nuvi 465T Trucker GPS backing it up. The Garmin will point out truck restrictions ahead of you even if it's not being used in a navigation mode. Several times it identified truck restrictions "xx" miles ahead of us, but the phone showed that we were turning off ahead of them. It's not an ideal arrangement but I hate to give up the power and flexibility provided by the phone.
     
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