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ChuckD

GPS When is it time to replace?

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Just thought I would throw this (to me) humorous true story regarding a GPS. One our most recent trip we were going from Traverse City, MI to St. Ignace, MI on the Upper Peninsula. It is a relatively short distance, about 125 miles. I plugged the name of the campground into our Garmin RV760LMT and it told me to drive to a location and take a ferry. Well, then I set ferries as an avoidance and then tried again. This time it told me the trip was 799 miles as it wanted me to go all around Lake Michigan.

Really? Come on Garmin! The Mackinaw Bridge has been there since 1957 and is an interstate highway. Just goes to show that the maps in a GPS are only as good as the data base loaded and I did have current updates installed. We took that trip using the good old road atlas we always carry.

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Things like that I hear (and experence myself) about and that is the reason the map is alway near.  But then, how old is the Map? Just a thought!

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We are going to replace our Garman GPS and considering the Garmin RV 660lmt . Amazon has it as RV 660lmt-navagator. Not sure why "navigator" is apart of the identification , Garmin web site just has RV 660lmt. Best Buy has it as RV 660lmt GPS . I will assume the product is the same if the RV 660lmt is in the name ?

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We Use the Garmin 465 T trucker GPS had it for years .We keep the maps up to date and have few problems.New road construction is at times faster than the maps  update.We carry paper maps and cell phone GPS . We double check our course on every trip.GPs is a great resource for travel.

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 I am a professional truck driver that has been using GPS's as long as they have been available, starting with a Lowrance high end model identical to the ones installed in the instrument panels in Kenworths/Peterbilts in the early part of this century. Although Lowrance still is in the marine and aviation markets, as is Garmin in a big way, Lowrance ditched the automotive market almost immediately because of competitive pressures( no money to be made) Maybe 1.5 million miles accumulated experience with these marvels. 

I currently run 2 GPS units simultaneously, a Garmin Dezl 570 and a Rand Mc Nally truck model that is about 4 years old. And I also run routes on tablet with Google maps. And of course I refer to the Rand Mc Nally Truckers Atlas frequently. Paranoid? Not really. 

Almost all of the units being talked about here, including the ones I use all use similar databases for routing information, which are all flawed. Example: The Garmin will absolutely not let me go down I-95 in Connecticut between New Haven and NY state line, citing a 13'5" bridge near Milford. The Rand McNally doesn't care. The bridge doesn't exist. I have made presentations at the HDT rally in Kansas about routing and tips for staying out of trouble. One of them is to never rely solely on the info provided by the GPS. Know your basic route before you start, take it a mouse bite at a time( doing a 1500 mile trip, break it into 300 mile segments), and look out the window. This is not IFR capable stuff. 

I replace them every few years even after updating them frequently because the internals( chip speeds, screen clarity etc) get better and better all the time. If you are going to rely even partially on a tool of this sort I think in the interest of safety the best you can have is prudent. I would pay 3-4 times for a unit if it had access to the superior databases that are used by the big carriers, but even those get those drivers into trouble. 

One of the best examples of a driver blindly following his GPS:

 

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My absolute favorite thing about Garmin is their customer service. When I call I usually,,,,,,,,,,,,,Get a direct answer instead of recorded instructions,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The tech spoke clear fluent ENGLISH,,,,,,,,,,,,Said she was in Kansas (NOT Pakistan),,,,,,,,,,,,,,Her name was NOT Habib,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Provided excellent help.

While you can easily get map updates online, as the products advance they have better features so its been my experience maybe every 3 or so years its time to upgrade to a new device.

That all being said, when the wife uses Google Maps on her I Phone, it seems better (more detailed and advance direction as to whats next and whats the next turn direction etc)  then Garmin ???????????????

John T

 

    

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I had the Rand McNally RV unit. I get about 2 years and they quit working. Got an 8" tablet, Copolit and so far, enjoy it. 

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