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Old 05-28-2006, 04:18 AM   #1
Montana_5833
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Choosing a GPS

I am looking for opinions on which GPS to purchase. Our travels will pretty much start now, since I have recently retired. Our trips start from LI NY, which seems insignificant but as you can see from my user name I've seen way too many tractor trailers on the wrong roadways. I am not very familiar with out of state roadways but here on LI, parkways are for cars only and if you venture onto one with an RV you will surely be stuck under the first over pass. Point being a new GPS should have a truck route option. I am not one to plan the route on my computer, upload it to the unit and go. I want to enter my destination and start the trip. I'm sure that planning the trip step by step is desireable but these new units can accept multiple destinations and plan the route for you. I have been looking at the Garmin 2620,2720 and the Magellan 760. Any oppinions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Anthony
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Old 05-28-2006, 04:41 AM   #2
CountryGuy
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This has been discussed here a number of times, use the search function and search the archives from the front page.

FIRST, welcome to the forum

Next, our experience is that we need a couple of different resources to run with Tana, we have the Garmin 2610, which after a major update of software,is now at least workable. Al did not mind pre-upload, but I had major disagreements with the entire thing.

We also use Microsoft Streets and Trips, I can plan the trip better on it, as the puter screen is larger and more "carol-friendly"

We also use: Trucker maps/atlases, they list the low underpasses. Also use, Exit Authority and there is a Trucker stop book (sorry, name escapes me) which lists truck stops along the major I-ways, but not the US highways.

By pre-planning the trip with Garmin or S & T, you can tell the thing, DON'T GO HERE, AVOID this area, etc.

Steve R. put a lot of us on to a web site with downloadable files for truck stops, walley worlds, all kinds of neat stuff you can add to S & T. (cannot seem to find the URL for this at the moment, someone will happen along with it)

Here is an interesting site, someone on MOC shared:

http://www.aitaonline.com/Low%20Clea...w%20Clearances

And, of course, we must remember, that what works for us, may not appeal to you, your way, might not work for us. Makes the world spin and keeps it interesting, eh??

Enjoy your retirement, your rig. OH, and thanks for serving the populace in your area as a police officer.
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:01 AM   #3
ols1932
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We use Delorme's Street Atlas with Earthmate GPS. Works great for us.

Orv
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:04 AM   #4
steves
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I've been using a Garmin Street Pilot III for about 5 years and am getting ready to upgrade. I don't want to deal with a PC in my truck so I've opted to stay with the Garmin line. I will be getting the Garmin 2720. This unit can operate with or without PC downloads as it contains all the US and Canada city maps in memory. It has touch screen controls as well as a remote, it is ready to go right out of the box and is transferable between vehicles. There are a lot of options out there so good luck with which ever unit you decide on.
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:00 AM   #5
patodonn
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We use the Garmin 2720 in the vehicle. First, we review the route planning on the laptop the evening before, using MS Streets and Trips. Big picture, good directions and other good info. IF (and only IF) we are going to be away from the major highway routings, we also look at the Streets and Trips map with the addition of the "low clearance" file we got via the Forum.

It is a really good idea to know your route before the Garmin GPS figures it out. On the travel day, we let the Garmin do its "thing", but, before rolling out, modify the route if the Streets and Trips preliminary mapping revealed any significant differences or problem locations. Hasn't been necessary yet, except for some construction info we already knew about.

The Garmin has done a couple of "weird" things while traveling...I remember one time (in S. Calif) when it wanted to take us off the Freeway and then loop us back onto it at the same exit! ("Nothing can ever go wrong...wrong...wrong..."!)

I'm a real believer that "fiddling" with a laptop while moving down the road, even by the passenger, presents a real safety problem with distraction, so don't even carry it in the TV while driving. The Garmin route doesn't get "modified" either while moving. If what the Garmin is displaying doesn't make sense, based on your advanced planning, follow your original "plan" and ignore it until you can pull over and resolve the conflict.

Sounds complicated and time consuming, but it isn't...5-10 min the evening before traveling, 1 or two minutes with the Garmin just before rolling. You don't even have to have the tow vehicle running, if you use a "hot" plug-in location for the Garmin.
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Old 05-28-2006, 07:25 AM   #6
sreigle
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I suspect there are several "right" answers to this question. Which is best for you depends on your priorities. I use Microsoft Streets and Trips with their GPS unit on my laptop. I personally prefer having the large screen and lots of detail and being able to see what is coming up several miles down the road, etc. That's only available on a large screen. Others don't care about that. I also like having the voice prompt me that a turn is coming up or I'm off route.

I've also Delorme's Street Atlas. It's also a good choice in my book. Voice prompts on it, too. I think it has more businesses than S&T but S&T is easier to use. SA is more powerful.

Good luck. Lots of good choices out there.
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Old 05-28-2006, 07:52 AM   #7
CountryGuy
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Steve, I am with you ALL the way with the larger screen, so much so, that that particular preference was also part of the reasons I was so ANTI Garmin for well over a year. Now that the software upgrades have made significant improvements in the behavior of Garmin, I am able to "live" with it, JUST. That said, guess what is in the back seat of Big Butt, with S & T loaded with my route loaded and in suspend mode. Yep, the computer. I have pulled it out a couple of times and used it while talking Al through or to a destination. Personally I have no trouble with having the computer going while he is driving or viceversa, Patodonn, but, fully respect your comfort level on this, and if it makes you uncomfortable, then you have to do what you have to do. We have been in a couple of situations where I needed either a big map, or S & T, and S & T won, cause I can make the detail go up and down so quickly, one way, then the tuther! I have been known to have out campground book, Exit Authority, big Travel maps, and the computer and the Garmin, all at the same time.
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:27 AM   #8
ols1932
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My navigator is sold on using her laptop rather than a smaller screen device. It not only gives her the opportunity to navigate but she can also get her e-mail when we stop to refuel or at a rest stop. Like Steve says, the devices are all good and you use what you feel comfortable with. My wife had thought about Garmin but the cost differential was too great for us to handle.

Orv
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Old 05-28-2006, 10:59 AM   #9
H. John Kohl
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Anthony,
You stated you want all in one. They may be expensive. I have been looking into that and currently find the dash mounted GPS are great for cars but automatically including low underpasses does not seem to be there. With that thought your "don't want to" comment is something you might have to change. I plan my trip on the laptop using an additional inserted list of low bridges. Then I put the way points in the truck gps and it tells me where to go.
Good luck on finding an vehicle mounted unit that does it all and please let us know if you do find one.
With that thought I always take the truck routes in towns. Returning to Rochester, NY I was on East bound Route 20 in Western NY and followed the truck route. When I got back on the main route I noticed the West bound lane had a sign saying low 11' underpass. Got lucky on that one.

Good luck and safe towing.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:35 AM   #10
Montana_5833
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All the units I mentioned have a truck route option. I wanted to see if one was being used more than the other. It seems that the laptop/ GPS is the most popular in this forum. I guess I will keep researching and let you know.
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:22 PM   #11
patodonn
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Re distraction due to computer "stuff" while driving, just too much airplane cockpit time under my belt to change at this stage of life!! My trusty nav has also had the TL Directory and a large map out at the same time!!

A very recent "big airplane" accident appears to have been exactly the divided attention scenario...the guy flying ("driving") appears to have been under some stress due to an airplane "problem" and then, on top of that, got momentarily distracted when the copilot was having trouble making the appropriate inputs on the flight navigation computer...The "driver" didn't remain focused on his primary responsibility, and lost control as a result....and that isn't the first time that has happened in the aviation world.

I'm sure you can see the parallels with a computer telling you, unexpectedly, to turn left in 500 ft, or you are trying to find the nearest Wal-Mart ot pit stop, so your trusty "copilot" is trying to straighten it all out on the laptop or TV GPS...and you are glancing over at him/her to make sure of what he/she is doing....

I know, I know...towing a Monty at 60 mph isn't the same thing as 200 tons at 500 mph, but that was my experience and training for a long time, and it worked REAL well for me for a lot of years. Love those computers, but first things first, especially when moving fast in several tons of machinery.

Y'all drive safe out there!!
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Old 05-28-2006, 07:13 PM   #12
kwbosch
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I'm with PJ. I have a Garmin 2620. I wouldn't want to fuss with a laptop in the cab of the truck.

Ken
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:28 AM   #13
Montana_5833
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First off let me say my only experience with a GPS is with a small handheld I use so I don't get lost in the woods. I have sat in the passenger seat once or twice when one was being used and was pretty impressed, but thats the extent. Is the big difference between a small portable and a lap top the size of the screen? Can the same routing be done on a portable? Garmin has another unit that hasn't been mentioned yet, the 7200. It gives all the options as a 2720 and more and has a pretty big screen. I don't want this to turn into a price comparison as either way the numbers get pretty high when you are starting with nothing( I don't own a lap top), just performance to be considered. Ideas or opinions? Thanks
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:56 AM   #14
CountryGuy
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Muray the cop

The basic maps on Garmin, computers, etc. (as we understand it) come from the same place, US government --don't know the agency.

The difference is the size of the screen, the way the software behaves and how many points of interest (and which kinds) the software has installed.

Have not used the 7200, not sure I have seen in a store, but the words "big scree" would have me interested, my opinion,

I'm still not real fond of that small screen on our Garmin, even tho the software is improved a LOT in the last year and a half.

Carol
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:52 AM   #15
sreigle
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PJ, Street Atlas and Streets and Trips can also occasionally route you off the freeway and back on the other side. That's why I always go over the route closely before leaving on a trip. I think it has to do with the road being on a curve and the software set to take the shortest route. The route is shorter to take the exit and then re-enter than to stay on the freeway. Being an old computer programmer and system designer it drives me nuts to see this kind of sloppy work. It wouldn't take much to program it to avoid that.

I seriously doubt I "fuss" with the laptop while on the road than anyone else would with a dedicated GPS unit. In any case, I never even look at it when in traffic coming towards or moving in front of me. My motto has always been safety first. If it means I miss a turn, so be it. I avoided the risk because of it. This is a big reason why I like the voice prompt telling me when to turn. I wouldn't have to look at it at all if I totally trusted it. In reality, I do look at it to confirm but only if there is no danger in doing so. I rarely go anywhere while towing without the gps running. And often while sightseeing.
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:14 AM   #16
richfaa
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We use the Garman GPS-18 and it works as well as any of the others,It is just a matter of learning the unit you have and the software. The GPS-18 feeds into the Laptop PC with the big screen..we like that.. there is plenty of room in the 05 F-350. The driver NEVER looks at the screen//Whoever drives drives and the other is the navigator. They all have their little quirks but you will learn to work around the software.
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Old 06-02-2006, 04:58 PM   #17
bob n pam
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We use a Magellan 360, and have found it to be very handy and generally accurate. Only in Texas with road construction did it become confused. Like the others, it has voice reminders, to which Bob commented, "Now I have two women telling me what to do." Ha!
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:50 PM   #18
JH Sechelt
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We use a laptop with Streets & Trips, Mainly because we already have a couple of laptops. Streets & Trips with the GPS locator was a heck of a lot cheaper then buying a dedicated GPS unit with all the maps etc..........
I was going to buy a Magellan or something close to it but figured we would never go anywhere with out at least two laptops. So why spend more money? WOW after reading this statement I can still remember going camping with a tent, Coleman stove and a 5 gallon jug of water. What have we become??????? Maybe stress was a lot less 30 years ago.

J&D
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Old 06-03-2006, 01:08 AM   #19
dsprik
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John... What's a tent???

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Old 06-03-2006, 08:22 AM   #20
JH Sechelt
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Dave,

I think it is something you buy from Home Depot to park your Monty in so it is not out in the inclement weather all year.
just my guess....
J&D
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