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Author Topic: What is the best GPS to use?  (Read 9188 times)
ilyafish
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« on: October 29, 2008, 08:07:35 PM »

I currently use a Garmin....not sure of the model, but it has quite some troubles.

One of which being it loves to take me through small residential areas that are clearly not made for a bus, not to mention a trailer. And going into settings there is no highways option....just shortest time, shortest distance, and off road.  i have yet to try off road but i am willing to bet that will not fix the problem  Smiley

The other, is one of my favorites, one time it had me on a highway, had me exit off and drive on a parallel unpaved road for 5 miles, and then get back on the highway.

After that I am clearly determined that i am done with Garmin.

What do you guys use?  Or should i stick to good ol' maps?
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 08:32:24 PM »

I use delorme with my laptop, that screen I can see, the other ones have a screen that is too small.  And besides you haven't lived until you've chatted with slow rider and dallas in the bus garage at 70 MPH on the interstate lol, I'm sorry, that would be totally irresponcible of me, the speed limit is 65 lol.
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WEC4104
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 08:38:56 PM »

I have used serveral different styles of GPS units, including a laptop-based Delorme Earthmate, a Garmin Nuvi 260W, and a factory dash unit built into my car.

I can't remember the last time I actually used the Earthmate for GPS, because firing up the laptop and hooking up the serial cable remote antenna was a pain. I really liked the software however, and I still use it when planning long vacation treks. Bopping around the screen with the mouse and changing the intermediate stopping points makes playing "What if?" scenarios so easy.  I can rough out a nine day trip and easily judge the total mileage and driving time, as well as intermediate point-to-point estimates.

I regularly take the Garmin with me on business trips, and it seems pretty good. I sometimes find that the address I want is not in the database.  I can't say whether or not it is better than others out there, but I think it was worth the money.

Overall, I find GPS units very useful and I rely pretty heavy on mine.  But I still think there are many times when a map is easier in certain types of situations.  Let's say I am sitting at location A, but I want to estimate the driving distance between point B and point C.  Most GPS units would require 3-5 minutes of button punching, if they could even do it at all.  But I can flip out a map, find the points and estimate the distance in 10- 20 seconds.  

Each method has advantages and it depends what you are looking for.
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ilyafish
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 09:04:56 PM »

I am in a touring band, and we do roughly 200-400 miles of driving every day.  sometimes more, sometimes less.  so we are pretty much just always on the go, and dont have many stops.  our only stops are the shows we play, and walmart supercenters late ate night to stock up on supplies and things such as canned and microwavable food.

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Barn Owl
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 09:14:28 PM »

I use a TomTom One LE because that is what I got for a good price last year during the black Friday sales. The one feature I like the most about it is that it will display almost all of it's information on the first screen without having to flip between different screens (mph, time, eta, tta, miles etc. located across the bottom) I wouldn't travel without it and the speedometer is much more accurate than what is in my bus. Stay with the big names and you should be happy.
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ilyafish
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 09:27:14 PM »

yea my garmin has a screen that gives all that information. very helpfull. especially where it says time driving and time stopped.....and makes you realize that the reason 4 hour drives take 10 is because you decide to stop for 5 hours hahaha

im just looking for a gps that isnt.....stupid.

haha
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008, 09:30:20 PM »

Yes, I know what you mean. Mine has made some weird mistakes. I think smarter ones are not to far off in the future.
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008, 09:42:35 PM »

I have a Garmin Nuvi 550 with a flexible goose neck mount which we use in the car and totally love although I recently used my sisters Nuvi 770 which has the wider screen and more options including built in fm xmitter and bluetooth and I'd now like one of those some day when prices fall a bit more.
Also have MS Streets and Delorme on the laptop with usb gps receiver and I like that a lot and feeds into the 7" flip up lcd screen on the stereo (no fancy laptop mount for me yet) .

For me if I need to do much of my own routing while driving etc I prefer the Nuvi but if I can pre-plan the route in advance or have a co pilot I think I kind of like the laptop with the larger screen etc.
The Nuvi still has much better voice prompts etc though imho and I cant seem to leave it at home when we travel. 
Also, the Nuvi can also fit in shirt pocket for walking around or in a toad whereas the laptop would be quite a hassle. Laptop seems better suited for co-pilot use in the bus to me.


I'm planning on running gps video out of the laptop and through a modulator to the tv's in the bus so that anyone in the bus can see where we are, ETA etc just by flipping to the channel, sort of like first class air travel. Also good for using the tv for external monitor. On other channels would be the Voyager cameras, especially forward facing so that the bedroom can see out the front (or other views) by tuning to the appropriate channel.


-Dave
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2008, 10:01:29 PM »

I have Tom Tom software on my Treo and use a little GPS receiver.  It is not as good as a separate unit, but it does work.  I find that the GPS will always get me where I want but not always by the best route, so I will also look at a map or google if I can.  If I can't, I accept what it gives me.  There is a problem occasionally with it giving nonsensical routes that, as you say, do things like take you off a highway only to go back on it some miles down the road.  It also does choose routes through streets that I do not want to get stuck on with a bus.

I recently received an ad to join Good Sam.  One of the benefits that was making me interested in joining was a route planning service designed for large motorhomes.  I do not know anything about how it works though.  Even maps and Google can take you down an inappropriate street.  I would say that the GPS is a good tool, but does not replace looking at a map-- not yet anyway. 
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 03:46:39 AM »

Hi Peach,

Here are some older threads from the bbs.
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=7872.msg77342;topicseen#msg77342


Nick-
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 04:27:31 AM »

iminaccess,

There should be a setting on your Garmin where you can select vehicle type.

If you put it on Bus or Truck it will generally not take you down side streets.

It will also plot a large loop when you hit detour, instead of a U-turn.

Cliff
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2008, 05:11:55 AM »

iminaccess,

We have a ATAT Blackberry. We have the ten dollar a month plan for GPS. That  has absolutely worked AWESOME. We have tried a PDA software called Co-Pilot in the past. That did some of the really strange detours, and some really strange routes. The Blackberry's GPS has been the best one we have ever had. Since it works off of the internet it does require a cell signal. Even things down to one can type into it, "where is the nearest...McDonald's...Gas station...Wal-mart...Olive Garden...etc. It hasn't put on really strange routes yet, or any of the like.

That is my .0002 about the GPS.

BTW, when is your next trip?

God bless,

John
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luvrbus
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 05:36:58 AM »

Peach, the key to a gps is what FL Cliff stated knowing how to program ( haven't figured that out myself) my wife uses the AT&T voice activated it does work good.Last year I programed my GPS going to a rally in CO at the Gardens of God RV park I left out the words RV park and believe me a one way narrow road through the Garden of Gods park is no place to be with a bus and tow vehicle.They will all work if programed right good luck and check the voice activated units also
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 06:22:55 AM by luvrbus » Logged
Dreamscape
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 06:52:07 AM »

I have a BlackBerry with GPS also and have found it to be very handy. Another thing, you don't have to keep upgrading the unit for newer maps and directions.

It's small size makes handy, should be looking at the road anyway! My co-pilot just lets me know when I make a wrong turn. Grin

FWIW,

Paul
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Hartley
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2008, 07:07:49 AM »

I have a Garmin for the Car and Enroute/Garmin for the laptop.

Both tend to take me on adventures great and small no matter what the settings.

It appears that the problem is with Microsoft Streets & Trips being totally screwy.
They can't even get street names right most of the time.
The other error is that when selecting by address, Watch out. You will or could be off by as little as 600 feet or 30 miles if a road is called the same from two different cities and the numbers switch somewhere in between.

The worst is that "recalculating" and insistent message to make 4 right turns.
when you pull into a parking lot or rest area.

We have found that trying to argue with the GPS will only keep you awake if not already off course and lost...

Dave...
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