What type of GPS do you like?

Wrenchgear

5 Star Eagle Camper
Aug 5, 2010
3,655
Near Elmira, Southern Ontario
I'm looking for a GPS for a second vehicle. I'd like to know what type of aftermarket GPS you like and why. I'm not talking about a OE factory installed unit, but one that you buy at a store somewhere. I currently use a Garmin in my work truck, and I also use a Garmin 50LM in my TV. I've only used Garmin so I'm very use to them and like how easy they are to operate. I'm looking to buy a used one, so I'm kind of at the mercy of what others are trying to get rid of. Right now on the local sale boards, I can't really find what I'm looking for in the price range that I want. So what do people think of TomTom and Magellan and ones like that. Give me model numbers and likes and dislikes. Do they have free map updates? Does it talk forever when giving a hwy/ramp exit number. My son's phone GPS is like that. It talks so long that you forget where it said to make the turn. I want one for our 2nd vehicle. My youngest daughter has just started to drive, and I want her to be able to find her way home when she's out and about. She can get from home to her work. She can get from home to Grandma's house. She can't get from Grandma's to work. Thats the problem for when we leave town to go camping and she has to stay in town to go to work this summer.
 

nineoaks2004

Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday
Oct 15, 2006
8,242
Dukes, Fl
I use the Garmin, It does a good job for me. I had 2 tom tom and is was terrible got me lost all the time, I gave 2 of them to my son and he threw them away.
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
I thought Smartphones had pretty much made standalone GPS go the way of the wringer washer. We have nav in both vehicles now, but also use apps quite often. You can purchase GPS apps with offline data if you're worried about being caught without coverage.
 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
11,892
Ontario
We have Garmins in all our vehicles. . I'll get you the model numbers in the morning if you want... 2 of the units are 6 years old, both need updates done to them but memory cards are small and full... Third unit is just over a year old and offers things like corner ahead warnings, red light camera warning and speed limit drops..

I may upgrade mine shirtly to one of the RV or transport truck models..
 

generok

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 7, 2013
3,391
Anchorage, AK
I use Google Maps on my phone. Maps are always up to date, it responds to voice commands and it is fast. I used to use Garmins. I just threw two out that I bought in 2010.
 

durhamcamper

Super Active Member
Apr 21, 2010
755
Pickering, Ontario
I had an old Magellan that I really liked but the screen was small and started to glitch so I bought another Magellan. I was nor happy with the user interface in the new model but used it for a year. We were heading out to the East coast a couple of years ago and in our departure to the airport I forgot the 'electronics bag' at the front door. Since we were going to be doing a lot of driving and sightseeing I ended up buying a Garmin and we are very happy with it.
 

Wrenchgear

5 Star Eagle Camper
Aug 5, 2010
3,655
Near Elmira, Southern Ontario
It's interesting how the Garmins seem to be the popular choice. As said, I also use a Garmin in my TV. It's a 50LM, which means 'lifetime maps'. All maps are free to update, and can do it as many times as I want, whenever I want. Great for when going to the States, just replace the Canada maps with States maps, when I get home, swap them back. It's all very easy. Garmin sends me notifications when updates are available, I plug it in and it all happens for free. I'm just interested in what people think of TomTom or Magellan or other, if I should buy a different brand for some reason.

I'm shying away from young daughter using an app on her phone for a couple of reasons,
1) She's a brand new driver and I don't want her playing around with her phone, while driving, trying to figure out where to go and what to do. On a real GPS, she can touch the 'home' button on the screen (or 'work', 'Grandmas', 'cottage', 'camping', etc...in the favorites), and it takes her right where she needs to go. I can put most of the places she needs to go into the favorites, so she doesn't need to worry about searching addresses.

2) My older daughter uses an app on her phone, (she lives away from home and has her own car). The app is a complete piece of junk. It will eventually get her to where she wants to go, but she better leave about an hour early because it will take her the worst way possible to get there. I've told her to find a different app, or we'll find her a real GPS, but she thinks what she has is good.
 

JustRelax

Super Active Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,031
Indianapolis
I know it's not what you are looking for but I use Waze app on my phone to possibly recommend to your other daughter. You can set up favorites and will reroute you if traffic starts to back up in real time.

I understand why you don't want to give her a reason to get on your phone. I had a co worker get pulled over in Toronto for using his phone as a GPS too. He wasn't on it but had it hanging from the window like a GPS and the cop was next to him at a light, saw that it was a phone and pulled him over.
 

BikeNFish

Super Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
4,348
Maplewood, MN
I have the build in, but it's powered by Garmin. It has only done me wrong once (sent me to the wrong side of a highway - off by a block). My only dread is that when I have to upgrade it, the cost will me around $150. Ouch.

On the other hand, My IPhone (Siri) has sent me astray on numerous occasions and is very inaccurate out in the boonies with a weak signal and of course, doesn't work at all where there is no signal.
 

DJS12354

Super Active Member
We currently have three Garmins. Like the free map updates and how they give you a graphic of what lane you should be in. Would be nice if they did it a little sooner or made that feature adjustable. Prior to the Garmins we used a make from Radio Shack called MIO. Really liked those.
 

Fuzzy Bear

Active Member
Mar 3, 2004
541
Norwalk CT
On my third Magellan and have been happy with all of them. In between I got a Tom Tom mainly because the sale price was too good to pass on. Worked for a couple months then had all kinds of problems with it. When I finally ditched it I would lose satellite connection pretty much every minute or so and it would take 20 minutes or more to re-acquire it. Now I use the Magellan with the 7" screen and love it.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,376
Northern Virginia
I have a Garmin as well about 8 years old now. Works fairly well, but did get me a bit twisted up twice in the city. I was looking for a townhome and instead of taking me to his front door, it took me to his back door. It once tried to take me on a one-way street to get on the road I need. If you have any very large apartment complexes near you, it can get twisted up there too. I chalk it up to an issue with the maps though because city roads are downright complicated where I live.i also use Waze app for my long trips, as it helps my family at home keep track of me. So they are not in panic mode the entire trip. It came in handy when I ran into a road closure once too.
 

tenttrailer

Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
3,758
Thornville, OH
we use several Garmin 2557 LMT. My magellan just died from me not packing it correctly for an air flight. Just bought the garmin 60 LMT. I was a magellan person for a long time. But I do like the speed limit display of the garmin. But thin magellan does better with the routes. Less sending me down some poor quality road to save 100 yards in the trip.
 

Dback2k4

Active Member
Jul 16, 2017
448
Davenport, Iowa
I have Garmins in both my vehicles. They're the low- to mid-range ones. The one in my car is a 40LM I got in 2013 and my truck is a 42LM I bought in 2015. Free lifetime maps, but I'm only allowed to update 4x a year, if I recall right. I probably only update them about once a year anyway. Garmin tends to be a little behind with new construction. They just expanded US 61 from Muscatine to Wapello last year from 2-lane to 4-lane which means the Garmin thinks I'm driving through the corn field, even after I updated it 9 months after the new road opened.

It doesn't always take me on the most efficient route, either There's a 2-lane county blacktop (Monastery Road) that bypasses Dubuque, IA when going from US 61 to US 20 or vice-versa. The garmin will choose that route if I start my navigation north of Maquoketa. If I start navigation from anywhere south of Maquoketa it wants me to go into downtown Dubuque.

upload_2018-6-4_20-38-14.png

It will also get "stuck" on a route if I start going another way and will spend half an hour instructing me to make a U-turn until it finally figures it out, or (what happens most of the time) I stop the navigation and re-launch it. Overall I like it, but it does have its quirks.

I also use Google Maps on my phone quite a bit. It's usually a little more reliable unless I'm out in the boonies with crappy cell reception. It lets me pre-download maps to save on data, although I don't think that quite works as advertised. It's not perfect either. I was in Kansas City for work last winter trying to get from the Briarcliff area to Overland Park. It completely had the signs and turns wrong at the I-70/I-670/US-71 interchange. The first day I thought I just missed the turn. But when I had to make the same U-turn at The Paseo Rd 3 days in a row, I figured out it had the exit numbers and highway exits wrong.

So what I tend to do is on long road trips look at the map ahead of time on Google and choose the route I want, then plug it into the Garmin. That keeps my phone freed up. I also use the Garmin on routes I know well to keep an eye on posted speed limits and arrival time. Then I use Google Maps for new destinations within a city.
 
Last edited:

Wrenchgear

5 Star Eagle Camper
Aug 5, 2010
3,655
Near Elmira, Southern Ontario
OK, so thanks for all the input. I read it all, thought about it all, lost sleep over it, and came up with a plan.

I decided to hang on with buying one until I found a Garmin for a good price. So that came a little quicker than I thought it would take. A guy advertised a nearly new, and it truly is nearly new, Garmin 58LM. Said he paid $139.99 + tax for it about 6 months ago, (Its $189 on Amazon.ca right now). Still in the box, with USB cord not even out of the packaging yet. He never went on line with it to register it. He just bought a new truck that has a nav system in it, so he wanted to get rid of this Garmin before it sits in a closet and becomes worthless. I got it for $80, I figured that was pretty good. I was looking at some older 255W for $50-$60 and they don't have the lifetime maps. I used it on the way home from his place last night and it worked perfectly without a hiccup. Thanks for all the advice.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Jun 11, 2015
267
Indiana
I'm looking for a GPS for a second vehicle. I'd like to know what type of aftermarket GPS you like and why. I'm not talking about a OE factory installed unit, but one that you buy at a store somewhere. I currently use a Garmin in my work truck, and I also use a Garmin 50LM in my TV. I've only used Garmin so I'm very use to them and like how easy they are to operate. I'm looking to buy a used one, so I'm kind of at the mercy of what others are trying to get rid of. Right now on the local sale boards, I can't really find what I'm looking for in the price range that I want. So what do people think of TomTom and Magellan and ones like that. Give me model numbers and likes and dislikes. Do they have free map updates? Does it talk forever when giving a hwy/ramp exit number. My son's phone GPS is like that. It talks so long that you forget where it said to make the turn. I want one for our 2nd vehicle. My youngest daughter has just started to drive, and I want her to be able to find her way home when she's out and about. She can get from home to her work. She can get from home to Grandma's house. She can't get from Grandma's to work. Thats the problem for when we leave town to go camping and she has to stay in town to go to work this summer.
I purchased a Garmin that was reconditioned several years ago for under $100 ,it was 5 years ago and I can do free updates on it and I do every year . Its been a very good unit and am well satisfied with it.
 

TRR

Active Member
Nov 3, 2014
461
Alabama USA
Prior to the Garmins we used a make from Radio Shack called MIO. Really liked those.
I had a MIO. What was cool about it was that under the hood it was actually a Windows CE mini-computer that booted directly into the GPS software. Along with some other MIO owners, I was able to hack mine to boot to a Windows desktop where I could run games, play music, watch movies, and even write my own apps to run on the thing. And I was able to delve into the source code of the GPS software, even to the point of redesigning the screens, adding new buttons to run other apps from within the GPS app, and changing the way it pronounced certain words that drove me crazy. I even added a headphone jack to it and used it as an MP3 player. I had a blast modding that thing! Sadly, the touch screen finally wigged out on it and I replaced it with a Garmin. You can forget about modding a Garmin. It works fine but I sure miss my little customized MIO. [:!]
 

Balthisar

Active Member
Jun 26, 2018
327
Plymouth, MI USA
I remember my MIO! One of the first things I did was modify the XML to show me altitude, as I was spending a lot of time driving throughout Mexico at the time.
 

J Starsky

Super Active Member
Aug 3, 2017
1,163
East Central MN
I rely on the passenger seat GPS, known to all as the Nag-igator!

Seriously, I have a pawn shop Tom-Tom GPS. I just wanna know about how far I am away from a certain town, by miles or hours. Keep it simple in my ride.
 




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