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Old 08-05-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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Ok, we are talking about getting a GPS (DW doesn't like reading maps). I was wonder what are some of the pro's and cons to look for, is one brand better than another, what features to look for and do cheaper ones work as well as the more expensive ones.This is thestart of myresearch.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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Hopefully I'm not going to start GPS Wars. I'm partial to Garmin. I am on my second road unit and just bought a handheld for geocaching. I tried the Garmin and TomTom side by side last spring. The Garmin recovered quicker after a lost signal (Ft. Pitt Tunnells). On one trip, I was out to I-79 before the TomTom got me back on track, the Garmin will recover before Banksville Road. I also prefer one that will tell me street names. Being that you tow a trailer, also look for one that will allow you to change the type of vehicle that it is routing for. Mine haseverything from walking to truck. I use truck anytime I have the trailer in tow. Good luck, it's a jungle out there.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #3
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I guess it also depends on what you want to do with it. We wanted one to give us directions to places we had not been before but also wanted one that is handheld that could be used for hiking, biking, fishing and hunting. I chose the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. I use our laptop in the truck with a RAM mount and connect it to the GPS via a USB cable and run the free Garmin nRoute software on the laptop. So the route on the GPS is displayed on the 17" laptop screen with voice commands. This setup works well for us and allows us to use the GPS when we get setup for other things. My dad uses a Tom Tom in his truck but wanted something for directions only and this works well for him.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:56 PM   #4
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We went with the magellin, The reason, it was a good value, I could see it in the sun light, and I can here the annoying voice. I think it is like anything else it is wat ever suit you. I stay away from Tom Tom , at the time they wanted to charge you 150.00 a year for updates they may not do that any more.

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:55 PM   #5
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Consumer Reports constantly rates Garmin above the others. I have a three year old Garmin I update each year with new maps. If you use the free Points of Interest software you can add all the personalized locations you desire. Mine now has all kinds of RV related things such as ULSD stations, low clearances, campgrounds and many others. Adding POIs is SO easy even I can do it.



I drive a mobile showroom in my retired part time job. The company owns two of these Sprinter vans, one with a Garmin and the other Magellan. The Garmin is much better with quicker recovery on reroute and has better features.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:59 AM   #6
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I have had both Garmin and lowrance. The garmin is much better than the lowrance. One thing to remember is the gps will get you there but might not take you the best route. I had the lowrance send me down a dirt road over a 1 lane bridge when I was towing. I wasn't very trustworthy of it after then.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:57 AM   #7
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Tom Tom is the number one GPS worldwide ... not the States though.



I have a Tom Tom and really like it. When I purchased mine last year Tom Tom was offering regular map updates and at that time Garmin was behind. HOWEVER, having the "TRUCK" feature would be really nice. I drove and survived a switchback infested state highway in West Virginia that Tom Tom directed me to. My Tom Tom does not have the Truck feature. Thanks to that experience I can now turn the trailer on a dime, but really wouldn't want a repeat performance.



If all you drive is the flatlands then almost any unit will do. Get one with the features you need, and a display that is easy to read in a hurry.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhenn
We went with the magellin, The reason, it was a good value, I could see it in the sun light, and I can here the annoying voice. I think it is like anything else it is wat ever suit you. I stay away from Tom Tom , at the time they wanted to charge you 150.00 a year for updates they may not do that any more.






I believe Tom Tom still charges for updates, I don't know how much they charge you. Do the other brands, Garmin or Magellin not charge for updates?
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:36 AM   #9
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Garmin charges for updates. I have never bought an update in the years that I have owned a GPS. the only benefit I could see with the updates is you'll get new roads and POIs and such. If you go a couple of years, you can just buy a brand new GPS and it will come with the new maps. I never had an issue with my first Garmin and the maps were 2 or 3 years out of date. My current Garmin reminds me that the map is out of date, but it works just fine.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:15 AM   #10
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Tom Tom offered free map updates for two years. Don't know what the charge would be after that.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:45 AM   #11
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Although I have a Garmin 255W NUVI - and like it - there are a few things you should consider whether you want or not:

1) Bluetooth (dont have it - dont want it);

2) Spoken Street names (have it - nice feature);

3) larger vs smaller screen (mine has the larger screen - I like it);

4) text to speech (nice feaiure - have it - but not critical);

5) route planning (don't have it - but would like to);

6) ease of use (takes a while);

7) functions (espcially in setting up the "tools" such as "fastest" or shortes route options);.



The one thing my NUVI does not have that I wished it had was the "use major highways" option. Sometimes the fastest route - or event eh shortest route planning algorith likes to send you on bizarre paths to your destination.

Route planning would be nice as well.

Nevertheless, I am happy with the NUVI.

Still does not hurt to have a paper map and do your recce first - just to make sure the GPS is accurate.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:51 AM   #12
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I knew I asked the right people. I'm learning a lot here. Thanks to everyone for the input!!





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Old 08-08-2009, 08:44 AM   #13
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We just finished a 5 week long trip into the US and my TOM TOM ONE XLworked quite well. It actually showed the switchback roads at Zion. Although when we returned to Canada the darn thing kept telling me to get back onto the highway. I update mine free of charge everytime I'm about to use it. One feature that would have been nice would be the truck route option but then again we probably wouldn't have seen as much beautiful scenery had we followed the truckers.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:56 AM   #14
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I am partial to Garmin also. We have 5 in the family and all have performed as advertised. I update the maps about every 3-4 years or just get a new unit if that is economical.



I use a 5 year old 340C in the car, truck, and on my motorcycle.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:12 PM   #15
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Well I went out tonight and bought me a Garmin nuvi 765T. I will let everyone know what I think of it at the end of the month after we get back from Myrtle Beach.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:58 AM   #16
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We just did our 2 year free upgrade on our Tom Tom . Close to 2 hours, so be ready for it to take awile.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:26 AM   #17
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Went online to register the GPS and after doing so, it came up that the maps already needed to be updated. It said I could update the maps now or before October 15th (I think that was the date) for free and after that date I would have to pay, but it did not say how much. From start to finish downloading and installing 2 1/2 hours. I have to see if it can be calibrated. It is showing my house a block away from where it is!
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:15 AM   #18
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George it might not be too bad. If that block is in a cheaper taxing district, you could take the GPS down to the tax office and have your tax rate changed

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Old 08-12-2009, 09:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhenn
George it might not be too bad. If that block is in a cheaper taxing district, you could take the GPS down to the tax office and have your tax rate changed




Its showing it in a higher district, good try though!!
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:34 PM   #20
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I bought a Garmin on sale through a catalog.These thingshave come down in price so much even poor folks can own one. My wife was my GPS and took care of all the routing and helped find the way. All I had to do was turn the wheel and mash the gas.



Now we wonder how on earth we have traveled so much without GPS!!! It makes pulling a 5th wheel so much easier because now we are warned ahead of time with a voice command that we will be turning in one mile, in 1/4 mile, in 200 feet.......turn now. Can you imagine how this aids you in getting into the correct lane??? People drive like idiots and always buzz around your rig on their merry way 10+ over the speed limit. Driving the speed limit pulling an RV makes route changes significantly easier if you are warned ahead of time that a turn is coming up!! If you do make a wrong turn the GPS will warn you, get you corrected and assist you in more ways you can ever imagine. BUY ONE TODAY. Garmin seems to be the best. Take it out for a Sunday drive and practice practice practise. Learn to use all the features, learn the limitations and you will love it!!
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