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GPS Recommendations


JPL

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There is NO "perfect" GPS. Many members here like Copilot Truck HD (software solution available for iOS, Android, Windows but not Mac OS X). Garmin dezl is another GPS (self-contained hardware and software). LowClearance.com is a database that can be added to many types of hardware. Many, many other solutions. Decide what features you MUST have, what features you can live without and, then go shopping.

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I have the Rand McNally RV7720 and I have been pleased with it. Like FlyGuy says lots of choices. Have some people who want nothing but Garmin and then saw someone on RV Accesories Forum (IRod) trying to trade one off for RM. He will be at the ECR so may want to talk to him as to reasons. Mine allows input to your RV--length, height, etc. and is supposed to keep you out of trouble. Whatever you get, don't get a "car" GPS and think it will suffice. Tried that, got into trouble with low bridge on two lane with a fire engine coming up behind. Cleared by 1 inch. Also be sure you purchase a Rand McNally Motor Carriers Road Atlas to have in the truck so you can refer to it if the GPS is "iffy". It will define all hwys that can handle our rigs by weight and clearance.

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There is a discussion of this not that far in the past you may find helpful if you do a search. I went through this process in November and almost went with the Garmin Dezl (still highly rated and a very good choice) but right now am trying out using Co Pilot on a Samsung Tablet. I needed a new tablet anyway as my Kindle needed replacement and figured I would try Co Pilot before springing for a new independent GPS.

 

The CoPilot truck program costs about $150. I instead am using the CoPilot auto program which is only $15.00. I found that the auto program has an RV setting so the height restrictions etc are included. I am not sure of what the benefits of the truck program would be. Maybe someone will chime in.

 

As others have said there is no great single solution. I am still getting used to CoPilot but so far it has been quite good except for once where it avoided a toll road I should have taken (my fault for the improper setting and not having reviewed route ahead of time).

 

My routine now is a bit more time involved but has been working. I (1) look at alternatives using Google maps, (2) I check the route on Co Pilot (nice to have the tablet as you can use it easily outside your vehicle while planning--big advantage), then (3)( a new step I find very valuable ) I review the route in the Motor Carrier Atlas to make absolute sure I am not missing something http://www.amazon.com/Mcnally-Motor-Carriers-Atlas-Deluxe/dp/052801322X/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= . Then when I am driving I just use the tablet with the CoPilot.

 

So far so good but still trying things out. If you already have a tablet it is a much cheaper way to go. If you don't have a tablet, you can buy a tablet, enjoy it, and still wind up paying less than for the Garmon Dezl. You do need to find a good way to mount the tablet on the dash. I am still looking for the best solutioon for that.

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Perhaps it's just me, but I have a RM 7720RV and find it difficult. To me, it's not intuitive, and has led us astray several times. One time, I could see my destination, and it wanted me to go several miles out of my way through a large city, rather than the 200 yards directly to our destination.

 

Get current maps as you travel (welcome centers), and familiarize yourself with a logical route. Even if you use a GPS, know your route in your head.

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Yea a laptop would be great Glenn but I have an F350 without the center console and that seat area is occupied by a dog. I meant something like this so that I could keep the tablet at eye level without it falling with bumps or sudden braking http://www.amazon.com/Dealgadgets-Dashboard-Windshield-Holder-Samsung/dp/B00Y4RLRG6/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1457999546&sr=8-17&keywords=car+mount+for+tablets

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I am on my second Rand McNally. Customer service is the absolute worst. I actually had one rep yell at me and tell me he didn't have to listen to the customer. That alone is reason enough for me to never buy one of theirs again.

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Coincidence----Just planning our drive for Wed and Google maps gave me 3 proposed routes. I went to CoPilot and it gave me a route different that the three proposed by Google maps. Checked the motor carrier atlas and CoPilot set up for RV was right. So that was really quite impressive and reassuring.

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Have a Garmin 760 Dezl. Great except for two caveats. 1: The things are a PITA to update. Time, space, can't delete old maps, and shame on you if your setup is not what they assumed. 2: They work very well to plan a route. However, if you get off the route for some reason, they are very difficult to get aimed in a new direction. Just derned stubborn.

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I run a Garmin Dezl 770LMTHD in our truck as I just prefer their menu setup (probably because we have so many in the family) I also keep a Motor Carriers Atlas in the cab as well. Both come in handy to avoid low bridges, bridges with weight limits, etc.

 

I also use the Dezl 770 and has been great. Moved the Dezl 560 to the Smart Car. We also have a 10" Asus (android) tablet that my DW uses google maps on on her side mounted with RAM mount.

 

20150518_161446.jpg

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Howdy!

 

Dave, I use a Ram mount for my 10.1 and now 12.2 Samsung Note Pro tablet. Works great found it on the internet. I also use the Truck version of Co-pilot. Purchased it after we got our new toy hauler 5er that turned out the height was over 13'. Other than that I see know need to upgrade. For us it was worth it to purchase the truck version. Still better than a stand alone gps.

 

"Happy Trails"

Chiefneon

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To all, Thank you so very much for all of the inputs. That was why I posted and now Shirley has to put all of that info together and see if she can find one that will help us out. Hopefully we won't get lost on our way to the ECR. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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I also use an Android tablet (7" Dell Venue) and really like it. Mostly, I use Google Maps because of the real-time traffic feeds. I use it in my daily drivers as well as the truck, but in the truck, I micromanage the routes much more than in the dailys.

 

I have not used Co-Pilot, but I will definitely give that a try. So far, I have not gotten in trouble with Google Maps, but it is always a concern.

 

For the mount, I bought one of these for the truck - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NIVGNE0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

 

I have the suction cup on the windshield and the base of the arm forcefully resting on the dash. The base has positioning grooves cut into it so it holds pressure onto the dash very well and keeps the tablet from bouncing. I'm very happy with this mount.

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I have used a Ram mount for a iPad now for a few years. Mount it on the drivers side window and it never has fallen off.

I use the Co-Pilot for RV, Car, Bicycle & walk version.

I also have S&T GPS running on a Laptop beside the driver seat on a table for the whole days trip.

 

But I always set the Co-Pilot for my next stop, be it breakfast, fuel, attraction or campground.

That gives me arrival time or miles to go. And it is much easier to see(being less them 1-2' away) then the small roads on the S&T laptop.

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I am still willing to trade my Garmin Dezl for a Rand McNally if anyone gets one and is disappointed. I won't give Rand McNally any more money directly for a while. Customer service is the reason.

 

A few things I dislike about the Dezl. I use it in my car when the truck is parked. Every time you turn it on you have to "agree" to all the requirement on screen before you can do anything. Many times it takes several touches to finally get the screen to respond. Took me forever to find how to turn the volume down. Should have never paired it with my phone. I don't get a lot of calls but when I do and I happen to be in the car I cannot answer it. Never remember to try and turn it off or unpair until I get a call. Maybe tomorrow I will fix that. There are other things but that's the most irritating things. I have only used it in the truck a couple times and missed many of the Features that Rand McNally had.

 

I also have CoPilot on my Samsung Tablet and my S5. It works OK, but I think I still want a dedicated GPS

 

I have used Google Maps on each of my Samsung devices and that is by far the best for getting you exactly where you want to be. Issues are power consumption and the lack of a speedometer on the screen. The mini usb ports and plugs are not made for a somewhat bouncing ride or anything else that may put even a little tension on the cord. (Motorcycle airflow or movements of the handlebars. )

 

One of these days I might try a TomTom for the motorcycle. Anyone have any experience?

 

Rod

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I would be careful using the Road Carrier Atlas. It shows the roads fine but does not show the low bridges, that is in a list at the front of the atlas. We had made the assumption(I know!!) that is the road was good in the atlas it was good to drive. 2 low bridges had me looking at the atlas a little more to see what was going on.

 

I am planning to switch to the Garmin RV660 before our next trip. You can put in RV height. The only problem is we don't like basecamp, just can't seem to get it to work simply. I have downloaded to all my mapping programs(including old Streets, by far the easiest to use) low bridges so I can map out a route and check to see if there are any low bridges. We generally stick to interstates when moving but not all the time. What has gotten us twice this last trip were tunnels that we didn't know about and when we saw the warning sign were in the wrong lane and couldn't get over. I guess technically we were breaking the law but they need to warn you a couple miles ahead of a tunnel. I don;t think it would have done any good, I didn't see a place to pull off and turn off the propane before the tunnels anyway.

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Yes, I am careful using the Road Atlas and do check the table showing low bridges. That table is one of the reasons I like the Atlas. I feel the most comfortable using overlapping resources. Nothing out there is perfect.

 

I also prefer google maps but it can't be set up for truck or RV (also needs internet connection). Once that is added it will be exceptional.

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I've also relied on Google Maps as long as I've had a smartphone/tablet. The real-time traffic data is by far the best out there, especially when combined with crowdsourced incident data from Waze. And given the open editing of maps, changes to roads/routing are implemented faster than anywhere else. The I-75 closure in TN was published within a few hours.

 

While it doesn't warn you of low clearances or other restrictions that might affect RVs, I've not found that to be a problem. When you look at road widths and geometry, it's pretty easy to pick out where there might be trouble and preview the route a little closer. The old railroad underpasses with less than 7' of clearance in Knoxville and Chattanooga are pretty easy to spot and avoid. Some of the trickier stuff is beyond the reach of the stuff the GPSs keep track of. Things like Locust and Walnut streets (25% grade) between Neyland and Hill Ave in downtown Knoxville, which allow trucks without restriction, but none of the GPSs will tell you it's a really bad idea. You still have to be thinking when driving a large vehicle.

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