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Garmin vs Google maps, allstay, GasBuddy, etc


gypsydan
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I rarely stay in parks, so have been wondering if it would be useful to get a Garmin?  How many people who boondock use one? If so,what for?  I do want a dashcam, which is why I was thinking of a Garmin, as it would also give the location of the video. As I say that, I realize I've not checked to see if dashcams, like GoPro, give you location data.  More homework!

Thanks.

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I have thought about upgrading my Garman to one with a dash cam in it for my truck. I have a camera for my Jeep and use the Android Auto and either google or waze maps for most of my travel in it. 

I have the Navi 4 for my motorcycle that is integrated and I can zoom in or out without touching the unit. Just have to be in the right place with the "Wonder Wheel".  

If  the first GPS units I used still existed and could have traffic updates, I think they were the best. Too much garbage, ads and such on the newest units. Some of the times the additional stuff block the view you need to see. 

 

Rod

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1 hour ago, Dutch_12078 said:

A GPS could be very useful for reaching your boondocking location. Beyond the normal public highway directions, and with some models traffic information, most will also accept coordinate entries as a destination. Most units are also useful for locating retail stores, fuel stops, etc in your general area.

For boondocking a GPS shows your route IN....which comes in real handy to show your route OUT.

I use a GPS much, much more than my phone.  It is handy for arrival information, etc.  I keep it on the lower left of my windshield.  Out of the way and I can check with a easy glance.

The only place GPS works poorly is Canada.  In the US almost all government work is in the public domain.  So the GPS companies can get their data for free from the Federal government.   The Canadian government "sells" their work to private companies.

I bought a Canadian GPS, in Canada, for travel to Alaska.  It was handy for keeping track of my speed in metric.   I was STUNNED at huge lakes that were not shown on the GPS!!  Oh well, it did show the Alaska Highway and was handy in Alaska.

For western Canada, check out the Backroads company and their maps.  

 For boondocking you want a GPS.  

Oh, you might want to check out this company.......https://www.avenza.com/avenza-maps/

The Forest Service has a deal with the company and fire teams can upload their situation maps that are geo-referenced.  Those worked really well.  

I am a fan of paper Forest Service maps since I own so many of them!!!  But this company is a real alternative that if your full-timing and serious about boondocking.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/28/2021 at 5:08 PM, lappir said:

If  the first GPS units I used still existed and could have traffic updates, I think they were the best. Too much garbage, ads and such on the newest units. Some of the times the additional stuff block the view you need to see. 

 

Rod

wHat do you mean ADs?  Do the Garmin units place ads on their screens when in use?

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16 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

I have had 5 different Garmin GPS and currently have 2, one in each vehicle and to date have never seen any advertising of any kind on any of them. 

Yep, I only mention the Four Square database business listings since they're the closest thing to ads, although businesses don't pay for the listings.

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The items I was referring to are most likely the markers for the various businesses and most are not the ones I am interested in so I refer to them as Ad's. I want to see gasoline service stations, not fast food places, but the food places outnumber anything else on my screen and they often block things I need to see. 

The Garmin I am referring to is the one on my motorcycle and the "Ad's are larger than the street names I need to see. 

 

Rod

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1 hour ago, lappir said:

The items I was referring to are most likely the markers for the various businesses and most are not the ones I am interested in so I refer to them as Ad's. I want to see gasoline service stations, not fast food places, but the food places outnumber anything else on my screen and they often block things I need to see. 

The Garmin I am referring to is the one on my motorcycle and the "Ad's are larger than the street names I need to see.

Rod

Simple matter to change the settings so they aren't shown on the screen.

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Do you see all these units better than Google Maps on most cell-phones?  Mine is up to date every time used, where as the one in my RAM.... is wrong too often.  It would be correct, if I paid them $149 every couple years to update it.

Rant on:  For what you pay for these darn trucks map updates should not be charged but standard.  It's just another way for the parent company to continue to shaft customers....  Have never paid nor will I pay them for this B.S.  Rant off.

I can understand buying one like the trucker's version for routing avoiding traffic and low bridges/tunnels and road grades for the bigger RVs.  Google (cell-phone) has never let us down to date but I'm sure it could.

 

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1 minute ago, NDBirdman said:

Do you see all these units better than Google Maps on most cell-phones?  Mine is up to date every time used, where as the one in my RAM.... is wrong too often.  It would be correct, if I paid them $149 every couple years to update it.

Rant on:  For what you pay for these darn trucks map updates should not be charged but standard.  It's just another way for the parent company to continue to shaft customers....  Have never paid nor will I pay them for this B.S.  Rant off.

I can understand buying one like the trucker's version for routing avoiding traffic and low bridges/tunnels and road grades for the bigger RVs.  Google (cell-phone) has never let us down to date but I'm sure it could.

 

My Garmin GPS units have all come with lifetime map updates. The screens are easier to see and the traffic updates are accurate and timely. I like being able to pre-plan our trips including any routing variations and uploading them to the GPS. I also like the way they manage detours around construction, accidents, etc.

One of our daughters has a factory GPS in her car that wants her to buy annual updates, but she still prefers her standalone Garmin GPS with lifetime updates. Lifetime updates can also be purchased for a one time fee.

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3 hours ago, NDBirdman said:

Rant on:  For what you pay for these darn trucks map updates should not be charged but standard.  It's just another way for the parent company to continue to shaft customers....  Have never paid nor will I pay them for this B.S.  Rant off.

I can understand buying one like the trucker's version for routing avoiding traffic and low bridges/tunnels and road grades for the bigger RVs.  Google (cell-phone) has never let us down to date but I'm sure it could.

The trick is to buy a Garmin Dezl with LFT. That gets you lifetime updates and routing around traffic jams.  The Dezl version lets you enter data about your RV/truck so it won't route you down roads you should not travel. You do need to updates your maps at least once a year to keep the lifetime free updates. I always did ours twice a year so as to not take a chance on missing out by a day or so.

Linda

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6 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

My Garmin GPS units have all come with lifetime map updates.

I had a Garmin, once, well, twice.  Many years back, don't remember the model but I paid for lifetime subscription.  After 6(ish) years (I did the updates every 6 months), I went online to update it and got the reply, model no longer supported.  Could not get the updates I paid for.  I threw that in the trash.  This is why I love my google maps on my cell phone, always up to date.  I also had a Garmin fish-finder/GPS unit I used for ice fishing.  1 year (season) it quit working, I went to the store I bought it from.  They said they won't warranty it or send it in for repairs as it was now a discontinued model.  Contacting the company got the same reply.  Garmin..... l'm glad y'all have good luck with them.

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23 minutes ago, NDBirdman said:

I had a Garmin, once, well, twice.  Many years back, don't remember the model but I paid for lifetime subscription.  After 6(ish) years (I did the updates every 6 months), I went online to update it and got the reply, model no longer supported.  Could not get the updates I paid for.  I threw that in the trash.  This is why I love my google maps on my cell phone, always up to date.  I also had a Garmin fish-finder/GPS unit I used for ice fishing.  1 year (season) it quit working, I went to the store I bought it from.  They said they won't warranty it or send it in for repairs as it was now a discontinued model.  Contacting the company got the same reply.  Garmin..... l'm glad y'all have good luck with them.

Bought our first Garmin GPS in 2008 with lifetime updates. Two newer Garmin units later that first one is tucked away as a spare, and when I update the two active units I pull that one out and update it as well. The only problem I had with updating it was when the updates would no longer fit in memory and I had to install a larger memory card. I used a Garmin fish-finder on our boat for almost 10 years until we sold the boat some years ago that never failed us. Just lucky I guess...

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7 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Bought our first Garmin GPS in 2008 with lifetime updates. Two newer Garmin units later that first one is tucked away as a spare, and when I update the two active units I pull that one out and update it as well. The only problem I had with updating it was when the updates would no longer fit in memory and I had to install a larger memory card. I used a Garmin fish-finder on our boat for almost 10 years until we sold the boat some years ago that never failed us. Just lucky I guess...

We bought our Garmin in 2008 as well. I just updated in in November with no problems.

Linda

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  • 11 months later...
On 12/23/2021 at 3:05 PM, sandsys said:

The trick is to buy a Garmin Dezl with LFT. That gets you lifetime updates and routing around traffic jams.  The Dezl version lets you enter data about your RV/truck so it won't route you down roads you should not travel.

@sandsys … can you provide a link to a current model?  I see a bunch on Amazon, but can’t find one that actually says you can enter your RV’s info 🫤. Thanks in advance!

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Here is a link to the Garmin RV Series of GPS which have been very popular in the RV community. You can also find them on several other locations and some have lower prices. Amazon also has a wide range of Garmin GPS as well as several other brands. I have been using the Garmin RV 780 GPS Navigator with Traffic for a couple of years and really like it. I use in in both the car and the RV as you can easily change between your RV  settings and those for a car. I believe that all Garmin GPS units sold today come with lifetime map updates. 

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When we were RVing using a Garmin with LFT the requirements were that you update maps regularly or lose the free updates. I am not current on that, though, but I do recommend you read the literature to see if that's still true. I simply made it a habit to update in April and October so I never had a problem.

Linda

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1 hour ago, sandsys said:

When we were RVing using a Garmin with LFT the requirements were that you update maps regularly or lose the free updates.

If you visit the Garmin Store you will discover that none of the GPS units currently for sale have the LFT designation. The RV 770 that I currently use does list as being an RV770-LMT. It came with life time maps and since they usually have updates 3 or 4 times per year, I have never considered going as long as a year without an upgrade to keep mine current. On the Garmin website it does list lifetime maps terms and conditions and that does include the following statement.

"A product will be deemed to be out of service and its useful life to be ended if no updates have been downloaded for such product for a period of 24 months or more."

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