What type of GPS do you like?

Discussion in 'The Other Stuff' started by Wrenchgear, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    3,250
    382
    Sep 28, 2011
    Santa Clarita, California
    I was a die hard Garmin user until I got Waze! It is the best phone GPS app. I use Navigator in MYFORDTOUCH and Waze. (Navigator is owned by Garmin). I rely on Waze full time and use Navigator as back up. I like the Navigator while on highways, it usually show number of lanes on exits. Waze doesnt show that.
     
    soft 17 likes this.
  2. NorcrossFlyer

    NorcrossFlyer Member

    272
    25
    Oct 26, 2015
    North Georgia
    A very relevant topic for me!

    I did use Google but that got me in to trouble a couple times. Once when I was leaving Tybee Island, GA it routed me through downtown Savannah. Very narrow streets with cars parked on both sides. Thankfully I was hauling my pup so it wasn't a disaster. Second time was on our trip out west last summer. On the way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon it wanted me to make a turn down a dirt road that eventually led to some forest service trail. Had we done that we would have gotten stuck somewhere and literally died in the desert. I had been that way years before so I sort of knew that wasn't the way we wanted ago so catastrophe averted. Not cool, Google!

    Then there were other times when it was just annoying. Like when it takes you on small backroads that lead to an awkward left turn in order to save you .2 miles. I don't need that.

    Decided that I wanted a RV/Truck specific GPS after going to the Dark Side and started doing the research. I learned that there isn't one out there that is a slam dunk, 5-star device. After reading through hundreds of reviews that required some reading between the lines (Actual issues vs issues where people aren't very smart or they are expecting miracles out of the unit) I settled on the Rand McNally Tablet 70.

    https://www.campingworld.com/rand-mcnally-rv-tablet-70-gps

    The device isn't perfect but I just finished a 3000+ mile haul with it and I'm generally pleased. In the "route more like truck" mode it did just that. I'm sure I drove extra, unnecessary miles but I would rather error on the side of caution then find myself in a situation I would rather not be in (Navigating a large downtown area, tiny roads, low clearance roads, etc)
     
  3. Hoomi

    Hoomi I write everything the voices in my head tell me.

    829
    68
    Jul 20, 2012
    85713
    We use a Tomtom for the vehicle. I've had good experiences with the Tomtom, and bought one with lifetime map updates for all of North America. We periodically drive into Mexico for scuba diving, and while I know the way to where we're going, it's nice to have the GPS backup in case we get detoured from the familiar route.

    For hiking and geocaching, I use a Garmin eTrex 20. I don't use my cell phone for GPS, as it's not as precise, and for a hike, if it starts searching for cellular service, it will run the battery down faster.
     
  4. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

    1,620
    560
    Sep 9, 2013
    Kansas City
    The only GPS I've ever used is the Google Maps on my phone and it's sent me on a wild goose chase more than once, so I'm not really a fan of any of them. But if you're going to buy one, buy a Garmin.

    Garmin's corporate HQ and a huge distribution center are just down the road from me and they employ a lot of people here so I want to see them do well. [;)] [:)C]
     
  5. Grousetales

    Grousetales New Member

    13
    2
    Mar 19, 2017
    I literally own about 20 GPS units, from micro units that plug into a USB to large screen automobile navigation units. I prefer the Garmin GPS units, hands down. My favorite (that I own) for the car is the Garmin 2797.

    The 2797 has free lifetime map updates, as well as traffic maps and avoidence. I bluetooth it to my phone for enhanced traffic maps, and even weather radar and weather alerts. The size is large and easy to see. The route guidance is great, with no annoying "off route-recalculating" messages. If you make a wrong turn, intentionally or not, the GPS will just start giving you new guidance. I enjoy the "voice command" feature, where I can give it verbal commands to control it without touching it.

    The lane guidance is awesome. You can be on a 6 lane highway, and it will highlight exactly which lane(s) you should be in to make your turn. When it comes time to turn, it has a window that opens up on the side which shows a picture of what your exit sign will look like.

    While smartphones have their place for urban commuting, I think a real GPS unit will do a better job overall. You don't have to worry about having a data connection, or going over your data plan limits. It's also handy in disaster areas where cell coverage may not exist, or way out in the boonies.

    Regarding Waze, it's a great app. I use the Garmin 2797 for navigating, and a tablet or phone running Waze to monitor traffic, and hazards.
     
  6. Hoomi

    Hoomi I write everything the voices in my head tell me.

    829
    68
    Jul 20, 2012
    85713
    The biggest reason I didn't go with Garmin for the car, was when I was looking, none of the Garmins in our price range included Mexico.
     
  7. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    586
    413
    May 28, 2018
    California
    I now have a big map book in the clipper for back up. I have a Garmin and I generally like it. But, when going to a favorite campground, it always has me get off the highway, circle through town, and get back on the highway - this happens about halfway through the drive every time. When I'm thinking, I remember and ignore it. But my last trip there, I had a fuel tank issue right before leaving home and was a bit discombobulated. So, when it told me to get off the highway, I just did it without realizing I was at that spot.

    I ended up on a different highway going east instead of north. The garmin recalculated the route and I could either turn around and continue on my usual route or take this new route. The new route was estimated at 30 minutes quicker than turning around and so I decided to take it.

    Things went well for about an hour. I climbed up into the forest in a northerly direction and the road was good. Passed a small town. Then, the road became gravel on the straightaways and paved on turns (instead of all paved). Then I started going back down. The road became a rock road (big rocks sticking out of the dirt) that was not something you want to drive without 4wd.

    I looked at the time estimate and the garmin said I had only an hour to go to the campground. If I turned around, it would be an hour back to my misturn and then another 2 hours. So, I figured I stay on this route. I got down the mountain and passed two reservoirs. I now had 30 minutes to the campground. Garmin told me to turn onto a road. I did. Within minutes, the road turned into a hiking trail. I looked for a spot to turn around as it was not a proper road. When I reached a spot to turn around, the garmin said "in 4 miles go off road"... Well that was it. I got turned around and found a place to park at the litt le reservoir. It was dark and I decided to just camp there for the night and hope someone came by that could help me. No cell service.

    The next morning a forest employee came through with a grader. I ran out and stopped him and asked for help. Now, I had messed with that garmin for hours trying to find another route out of this place (other than going off road) and it insisted there was no other route. The worker told me to go back one mile and turn left. That road would take me straight to a highway that would take me straight to my campground. As I drove out, the garmin kept insisting I turn left onto dirt roads - even though I was on a paved road and I had no "avoid highways", etc., selected. It did this until I got to the highway, then suddenly it acknowledged this direct paved road route.

    What got me, was that it KNEW it was going to take me off road for this route even though a quicker route on real roads was available. It insisted that this route was the ONLY route to my destination.

    My clipper is now missing a cb antennae and the radio antennae due to my Great GPS Adventure. They are scars of honor.
     
  8. MissLou

    MissLou Member

    205
    2
    Jan 1, 2003
    We have a Tom-Tom with lifetime free maps but it is now considered obsolete. Just last week I was able to update my map of the U.S. but that's all that will fit now. Tom-Tom has done well for us.
     
  9. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    4,245
    176
    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    I have an older model Garmin (NUVI 1350 LMT). Does a great job! I keep the maps updated and hasn't steered me wrong yet!! Except in Michigan! Kept on putting me on those dang gravel roads!! That is until I told it to avoid unpaved roads!!!!

    You might look at the Garmin site. Sometimes they have reconditioned models for sale. Our son has a reconditioned model and works just fine and was about $100 cheaper than new.

    I also use Google maps on my iPhone once in a while. Works good. But if you get to an area with no cell signal, forget it!!!
     
  10. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

    1,175
    321
    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    I used to have a TomTom - I liked them but the unit crashed and bricked itself, and no amount of restoring could fix it. When TomTom went to the subscription based android app I pretty much wrote them off completely, as I used to use the old android app pretty extensively for travel. I liked Garmin, and the units I have owned always worked well and had a good gui. Unfortunately the last one I had was pre-lifetime map updates, and after a while I quit using it. I now use Waze almost exclusively unless I need to download maps in advance due to service issues, in which case I go with Google.

    Waze has saved our bacon more than once with on the fly routing around traffic and road incidents. It does a great job for city navigation as well, I just wish it would get upgraded to have lane guidance as well.
     
  11. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    3,250
    382
    Sep 28, 2011
    Santa Clarita, California
    You can remove dirt road routes in settings.
     
  12. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

    2,873
    304
    Aug 5, 2010
    5 Star Eagle Camper
    Both of my Garmins will occasionally have me do similar things. It would be nice to see them correct the software problem in future updates.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
    Toedtoes likes this.
  13. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    4,245
    176
    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    Our Garmin has lane guidance and it really does help out, especially when towing. Our sons Garmin is newer and the lane guidance is even better!
     
  14. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    13,642
    810
    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Garmin's
     
  15. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    586
    413
    May 28, 2018
    California
    The problem with that is many of the campgrounds have dirt road access. And a dirt road isn't a problem - being told to go "off road" is a serious problem.
     
  16. dbhost

    dbhost Member

    74
    14
    Sep 19, 2018
    I haven't messed with a stand alone GPS since 2012. No need. Just use a suction cup windshield mount and get after it with my Note 9...
     
  17. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    9,143
    541
    Jul 19, 2007
    Ontario
    That works great if your in an area where you can receive cell service..
     
  18. dbhost

    dbhost Member

    74
    14
    Sep 19, 2018
    Most navigation apps offer offline routes / maps. And you are right, service reliability is a HUGE issue with cellular. My Note 9 has 256GB installed, not like I am super worried about how much space offline maps take... And the screen is bigger than my last dedicated GPS unit, an old Garmin.

    Nothing wrong with a dedicated GPS, but they are definately a one trick pony.
     
  19. Overland

    Overland Member

    86
    54
    May 1, 2013
    Bristol, Pa
    I have a notebook I was given with a phone upgrade a few years back. Always thought i'd get a GPS puck, software that saved routes/points for my backcountry travels.

    My Garmin 255w was awesome while it lasted.. one day it would no longer aquire satellites and the online fix didn't work for it. Been using Google maps on phone since..
     

Share This Page