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Old 06-18-2008, 03:51 AM   #1
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Just starting to do research before purchase. Any advise. Driving motorhome, which will take that into consideration. I see adds that will find locations such as fuel. Will any find MH friendly fuel centers? Will any keep me off some roads that is not suitable for MH? I've got a lot of research in front of me. I don't like to jump in and buy before checking out.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:51 AM   #2
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Just starting to do research before purchase. Any advise. Driving motorhome, which will take that into consideration. I see adds that will find locations such as fuel. Will any find MH friendly fuel centers? Will any keep me off some roads that is not suitable for MH? I've got a lot of research in front of me. I don't like to jump in and buy before checking out.
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:58 AM   #3
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Wizard, just go to the manufacturers web site and you will get a world of information. Each unit has pluses and minuses, many times its a matter of choice. I have a Lowrance as its what I use on the boat, but I think for the most part Garmin is the unit of choice. Good Luck
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:26 AM   #4
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We use a laptop with CoPilot 10. The program has an RV routing option and will avoid low bridges. Its weakness is the mapping database isn't as robust as others and it won't have the number of POIs as others. Its strengths are that the user interface is very, very good - the best I have seen and it is RV-sensitive (low bridges, propane-restricted tunnels.)

Microsoft S&T arguably has the most complete and accurate road database and POI listing (although many products use the same mapping database source.) We use S&T for pre-trip planning, but not for real-time navigation.

I like using the laptop instead of a portable unit due to the size of the screen and buying program/database updates is usually cheaper than with portables.

There in a web site dedicated to reviewing GPS units - Google "GPS review." We have also discussed this topic on this forum a while back. Do a forum search here.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:42 AM   #5
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We use the Garmin Street Pilot 7200. It has a 7 inch screen, making it easy to see even at a distance which can be an issue when mounted in a motor home. You can specify the type of vehicle you are driving, which adjusts routing accordingly. It comes loaded with about 7 million points of interest, which include some of the POIs mentioned below but were incomplete, however it also allows you to add/load your own points of interest, of which I have about 40,000 loaded. These include Flying J, Pilot, Loves and TA for fueling, campings, State Parks, National Parks, bank ATMs and others and not to forget Starbucks. The other thing I like is that I can plan my route for the next day on the laptop and than download it to the 7200 GPS. Most GPS units are not very suitable for planning your routes but a laptop is great at this. This was a feature that had been on my wish list for a long time. I am extremely pleased with the 7200 and the best part is that the price has come way down. Costco sells it currently for $500

We (DW) still use a laptop along side the Garmin, which also has mapping software loaded and GPS receiver attached (old habbit/comfort level) but we are using the laptop less and less and depending more just on the Garmin 7200.
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Old 06-18-2008, 05:55 PM   #6
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We also have a Garmin unit,but, we don't believe everything is says. Got into a mess last year in the St. Louis MO area. We use the Truck setting and haven't had any back road problems. Our unit is 2 years old and has been updated but like anything else changes are made daily. Just read everything and compare closely!
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:24 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">We also have a Garmin unit,but, we don't believe everything is says. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Baby Bear makes an excellent point.

No GPS is fool proof.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:38 AM   #8
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This topic is sort of "which do you like, Ford GM or Dodge?" TomTom and Garmin are both fine units. I have a TomTom 720 and am very satisfied with it. It has lots of POIs (Points of Interest) and you get the up to date map warranty, you can get a free map upgrade for the first 30 days you have it. It is also easy to add more POIs as you wish.

There is a great site for researching GPS units. Go to www.gpsreview.net There you can compare almost all the units and read customer reviews. For additional POIs there is a website www.poifriend.com that has lots of groups of POIs that can be downloaded and installed on to your GPS unit.

Good luck making you decision.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:23 AM   #9
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I have two Garmins.

Neither one is worth a darn for trip planning for a motorhome. I don't feel using a laptop for planning a trip and then downloading it to a Garmin is acceptable-- Too much extra effort.

Being an old pilot, having used Garmin's for years for flight planning, enroute navigation and terminal arrival procedures, including full instrument approaches, I am totally disappointed with their ability to plan routes for my motorhome. I need to use hard cover trucker maps as much as pre-GPS days.

I run up and down the east coast twice a year-- Washington DC, Balitmore, Philly, New York, and Boston-- Its a mess. Avoiding the Baltimore tunnel is a chore.

I want to plan a trip, with a Garmin, like (for example) I-95N- Richmond, I-95N- HWY 301N, HWY 301N- I-97N, I-97N- I-695N, I-695N- I-95N, ETC,ETC. The Garmin now, every chance it gets, will try to take me through the tunnel. Maryland considers Propane a hazardous material and I won't take a chance going through that particular tunnel-- although many do.

To find a particular address with a Garmin is great, in your toad.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:32 AM   #10
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After I come back from my trip to America I will be looking at getting a HGV Sat Nav (what truckers use )for the UK/Europe because we have a lot of low bridges , narrow roads in England and there is some great new units that have just come out or due out soon.Im not sure if they sell anything like this in the US but it may give you another option



ProNav allows drivers to enter their vehicles' vital statistics, including weight, height, length, width , the software then calculates a route to ensure drivers are not confronted with roads or obstacles not suitable for their vehicle .

During a journey, ProNav warns drivers of hazards such as steep hills, high cross winds, and the risk of grounding. These are displayed as icons on the software's maps, well in advance of approach to provide drivers with time to decide whether to change their route. ProNav can instantly re-route a driver's journey if deemed necessary


Just found a US one here I have no idea if its any good but it looks ok

http://www.teletype.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=P...tegory_Code=WorldNav


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Old 06-19-2008, 05:05 AM   #11
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I have had several Garmin units starting with the III+ up to the Nuvi 5000 I currently own. I would love the 7200 unit but it wouldn't fit too well in the jeep toad. The thing I love about the Garmin units it the capability of route planning on the computer and downloading to the unit mounted in the vehicle. One can accept the route the program designates or one can customize the route. When I had a motorcycle I customized backroad routs for the unit I used. One of the drawbacks of the Nuvi 5000 is that it is not portable and if you are into Geocaching the portability might be an important feature. The Nuvi 6XX,7XX, and 8XX units have a battery in the units but they have a smaller screen.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:06 AM   #12
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Paul - CoPilot has many of the truck features of ProNav, but it runs on my laptop. In fact, I believe the commercial truck market was/is the primary focus of ALK Corp (CoPilot.) I think CoPilot has a version for the European market, so check them out before you buy.

-------
You are a brave man to RV over there - we toured Germany and Normandy by car about five years ago and even our car (large station wagon) was difficult to maneuver on some roads and especially in small towns .
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:53 AM   #13
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Hi John
Last time I was in the states on Holiday I just used my tomtom and put the U/S maps on it and it was ideal for the hire car.

I now have onboard sat nav in my car so I will be looking to buy something in the states when I get over there ( as I will be selling the car before I leave )I also have the laptop so I can plan my route.

I passed my driving test in Germany lived there for about 2 years had a great time and Im looking foward to Europe in a RV lol


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Old 06-19-2008, 05:46 PM   #14
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John - are you using CoPilot Truck version or just the "normal" version. I noted that they have the "truck" version which allows all sorts of input from the user (length, height, etc. etc.) I am looking at various softwares and was just wondering. I have a Magellan GPS in the toad and like it but, it does not allow (easily) input for the MH and my travels.
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:23 AM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by David K:
John - are you using CoPilot Truck version or just the "normal" version. I noted that they have the "truck" version which allows all sorts of input from the user (length, height, etc. etc.) I am looking at various softwares and was just wondering. I have a Magellan GPS in the toad and like it but, it does not allow (easily) input for the MH and my travels. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Dave - I'm using Laptop 11. Unfortunately ALK completely redesigned the user interface and dropped many features from previous versions. It also crashes - usually twice a day. I sent ALK's tech support a list of ten 'problems' I had with 11, and about eight of those 'problems' were due to their dropping features.

I have reverted back to Laptop 10 and I'll use it until the ALK developers get their collective heads screwed on straight.

Look around the web for a bargain on version 10.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:30 AM   #16
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One thing you should research when shopping for a GPS is the ease and cost of map upgrades. If you use an Apple computer (as I do) stay away from Magellan--they have ZERO support for the Mac OS. Plus their telephone support is overseas where all they can do is read from a prepared script of stock answers.
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:46 PM   #17
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If your coach is like ours, I would not suggest using a laptop when driving. My dashboard becomes "airborne" on the lousy roads and my Garmin doesn't seem to care about the crashing bumps. I don't know if the computer disk drive would survive? The Garmin DOES make stupid mistakes and I have ignored what it says on many occasions. The map updates for my c330 cost $80. They used to be free. I told it the vehicle is a "bus" so it won't try to have me U turn with the toad attached. Often it only gives me &lt; 30 ft. to get in the left turn lane on surface streets, at slow speeds. That can be a problem when you are 53 feet long. It also gets ahead of itself when you are approaching a freeway off ramp and tells you to turn way too soon. I would always check your route with a map and let the GPS help you navigate with a eye on occasional mistakes. I tell it to go to a location and ignore its suggestions to avoid places I don't want to drive. It is usually pretty good at recalculating the route to keep you going in the right direction.

I don't have any experience with TomTom GPS devices.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:54 PM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BigRedLancer:
If your coach is like ours, I would not suggest using a laptop when driving. My dashboard becomes "airborne" on the lousy roads and my Garmin doesn't seem to care about the crashing bumps. I don't know if the computer disk drive would survive? --snip-- </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Our laptop is mounted on a Jotto Desk (see our RV pages for pictures and description) which is screwed into the floor. It has preformed great for 30,000 miles including a trip to Alaska and back. It is a wonderful arrangement and I can't imagine changing anything.
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