Need advice on purchasing a GPS

RubberSoul

Member
Jun 27, 2013
33
We currently do not own a GPS and do not have a smart phone. We would like to purchase a GPS that we could use for geocaching and also use in our car for driving directions. We'd appreciate any advice! Thanks!
 

HiFiDave

Singin round the campfire
Feb 1, 2012
1,069
Kewl...RubberSoul as in the Beatles maybe?

Anyway, I've never owned a GPS and I rather doubt that I will. Today's better touch screen smart phone does my GPS directions and so much more. It speaks to me via blue tooth through my touch screen vehicle head end unit speakers. I don't do geocaching though so hmmmmmm don't know...
 

cullinan18

Active Member
Aug 14, 2012
430
trailers / rvs aren't allowed on all roads across the country. check your areas first and then consider if an rv gps is a good idea. the car gps units (garmin) that i have owned, haven't been good for geocaching. personally, i would recommend getting a unit for your vehicle and one for geocaching.

gps function on a smartphone really trains the battery quickly. a handheld hiking gps unit is best, IMO, for geocaching. happy hunting.
 

Misc99

Super Active Member
Mar 19, 2012
1,001
FYI A smartphone requires cell service to operate the GPS and a good app with maps will take up storage space. Not all locations have good cell service if any.

We don't have one, but we are starting to look. We will be using a smartphone and google maps on a trip and keeping the phone in charging mode while we are traveling.

Someday we may buy a GPS and then maybe not. We don't have a huge need for it right now.
 

tombiasi

Super Active Member
Sep 1, 2012
6,764
Northwestern New Jersey
RubberSoul said:
We currently do not own a GPS and do not have a smart phone. We would like to purchase a GPS that we could use for geocaching and also use in our car for driving directions. We'd appreciate any advice! Thanks!
Two different apps. The geo units have a topo map data base as opposed to roads. There are dual purpose ones but I think you would be better served with a dedicated unit for each job.
Just my $.02
 

rslaback

Active Member
Jul 21, 2012
165
Misc99 said:
FYI A smartphone requires cell service to operate the GPS and a good app with maps will take up storage space. Not all locations have good cell service if any.

No it doesn't. I use my smartphone as my geocaching gps. My kids of course always wanted to hold it and with the terrain I was naturally leery of letting them do so. So I hopped on ebay and bought a cheap LG Ally (but you could buy basically any android phone) with a bad esn for $15 shipped. That means it can't be activated on a cell network and as such is super cheap. I put c:geo on it (an android geocaching app) and load/search the caches at home on our wifi and when in the field I have no real concern about them damaging the phone. I also can tether off my smartphone if I want to load up a new cache but usually I just plan ahead.

A phone like this would also take care of your travel gps if you wanted it to. Without a live data connection you wouldn't get live traffic data but everything else should work just fine. There is a ton of computing power in a smartphone and with their popularity, life expectancy and the ability to essentially be parts (bad esn) they are a great resource for cheap mobile processing power.
 

cztardust

Super Active Member
May 29, 2013
880
I purchased a Magellan Roadmate not long ago. I navigate mostly state roads and county roads and can say my Garmin Nuvi base model was soooo much better. Magellan sends me way out of the way to get to the same destinations. Avoid Magellan. I would have done better to nick a twenty year old paper road map from a junk-yard station wagon then to spend the buck on new Magellan (even with the free map and software updates.)
 

Camp-N-Nuts

KrustyKamper
Aug 9, 2011
2,025
Central WI
I have an old Magellan Roadmate (maps are out-of-date) and would have to say it served me well and was faster accessing satellites than the Garmins I used from the same vintage.
I use it in the old car and have a new GPS with free map updates for the main travel vehicle.
 

BuxCamper

Active Member
Mar 29, 2003
318
Bucks County, PA
Lowrance made a few handheld models which aimed to do both car and land navigation well. One friend of mine uses it for both.

TomTom car GPS' can be set to take you to a particular later/Lon and they will do so quite well. However their big backlog screens eat the internal battery very quickly.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk HD
 

electronflux

Super Active Member
Jun 16, 2010
825
I have a couple of gps units; an old magellan sportrak map, a magellan explorist 310, a tomtom and my iphone. The first 3 I've use for both caching and in my car. The magellans mostly for speedometers, since the one in my '69 Fury is busted. They weren't really made as car gps units. The tomtom works well for caching, since it's primarily made for road nav, it'll take you there on the best driving route. The explorist uses a straight line.

If you're not confused by the above, Use a tomtom (or similar) for your vehicle and a handheld for caching.

I found my tomtom on ebay for $50 and bought the explorist new.
 

bknjohnson

Tyngsboro MA
Apr 1, 2006
397
Tyngsboro, MA
Our Garmin Nuvi 550 can be used for driving and for geocaching, it's an older model now and I'm sure the newer ones can be used also. It's a bit confusing at first to switch from driving mode to geocaching/walking mode but relatively straight forward once you get the hang of it. You would have to generate a pocket query on the geocaching website and load it from your computer, takes a few steps but nothing too difficult. Or you can load the caches you wish to find one at a time, obviously takes longer but if you are only hunting some specific then it's no big deal.
 

yetavon

everything is better around a campfire.
Mar 11, 2010
3,527
Western NC
We are Magellan fans, a roadmate for the car and a Triton 500 for hiking, it has a geocache function but We don't hunt for stuff.
 

KissingCamper

Member
Jun 19, 2011
60
Three Hills, AB
We bought a tablet Google Nexus for $250 with GPS loaded all the maps we needs for our trip called "Maps with Me" cost $5. But all the other uses we get with a tablet makes it very versatile. Games, WiFi and video. when crossing the border we used a burner phone so we could text back home and be reached while away in the States.
 




Top