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Post Info TOPIC: Trip Planning Software


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 208
Date:
Trip Planning Software


I have been using Microsoft Streets and Trips for the last 4 1/2 years.  It has been unsupported since 2013 and is no longer offered by Microsoft.  My software crashed back a few months ago so I have been looking for a replacement.  I can't find a highly reviewed replacement, nobody seems to love what they are using.

So the question is:  What are you using to plan your routes and what are your recommendations?

I use a PC for planning but we use an iPad as our travel GPS.  We have a stand alone GPS but find the iPad to be easier to use and more accurate with routing. 

I still don't trust any GPS as we have been sent on a few crazy routes during our travels.  The only thing worse than a GPS would be having no GPS.  So my only choice is to yell at her every now and then.  Don't ask me the name I have give her, it's not nice.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

5 months (Winters) in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months wandering in the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT Motorhome

1 month visiting different countries (16 countries in the last two years) 

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

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You made me chuckle Russ. Hubby yells at our GPS "Mandy", and she gets called a lot worse, especially when she has us driving in the ocean, across lakes or impassable terrains - LOL.

FWIW, I tend to spend a lot of time beforehand, researching the states/provinces we will be concentrating on through paper maps and google must not miss/hidden treasure/of interest searches. Then I create our own spreadsheet of umpteen destinations/stop offs and copious notes. Leaving some wiggle room for extra days or an as we travel tidbit of a place to stop/explore from other travellers. In addition over the years I've kept notes (MacBook Notes) from others of places of interest and detailed notes for return areas for ourselves as most do I'm sure.

Once we have the basic ideas, I then use google maps that I've found as good as anything else out there. I've tried RVparky, Tripwizard and various others I've read about on forums with frustration, so keep going back to google maps.

This is what has worked really well for us in recent years. B4 the internet age/GPS, we would send off for Travel & Tourism guides covering all the areas we would be travelling through or go to AMA/AAA and pick up the books/camping guides from them and formulate our spreadsheet that way coupled with a hard copy map.

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Oh yes I remember when the GPS Lady sent us in a non-motorhome friendly zone through St Louis....

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Since this post is in the Technology forum, I’m thinking you are looking for software or an app to replace what you’ve been using.  With that said, I have found the Rand McNally Motor Carriers Atlas to be valuable when planning routes.  Just yesterday we drove from Savannah,GA to Stephen C Foster State Park in Fargo, GA - well off the beaten path.  I used Google maps to plan the initial route - but later when checking the Motor Carriers Atlas (truck routes), I found a different route that was big rig friendly.  The initial route may or may not have worked, but by following the truck route we arrived at our destination without any worry or unneeded stress.

Barb



-- Edited by Barb and Frank on Monday 20th of November 2017 09:05:46 AM

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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I’ve been using Streets and Trips since the first release in the early 2000’s.  I have travel maps, with campgrounds, that go back almost that far and fortunately I’ve kept them up to date with the last 2013 version of S&T.  So, I feel your pain.  But now what?

We’ve also been using GPS since the 1990’s and it has worked just fine.  However, I don’t use it “blindly.”  That is I review its “suggested” route and almost never use addresses as waypoints or a destination, especially when towing.

Either Google or Bing can suggest a route and one can “tweak” that route with weigh points that will force the route to go as you want.  Now, this is the trick, IMO, for using any GPS.  Use Longitude and Latitude to determine those weigh points as well as the destination CG specific turn/ turn-in point.  Then put those weigh points in the GPS.  I use a real GPS.  Not a phone.  I say real because a dedicated GPS does not depend on the internet connection for maps and one can have hundreds of pre-stored weigh points in the device.  And, FWIW, I don’t let the GPS talk to me.  That’s Linda’s job, she does it very nicely and doesn’t nag. 

Using satellite pictures available on Bing (or Google) from the maps one can pinpoint an exact turn / route point and the entrance to the CG.  This is important with a big rig.

I use Bing Maps because one can get the Latitude and Longitude more easily, IMO, then on Google but let’s not get into the Ford / Chevy thing.  Either is fine.

Do not let the GPS (or phone) do the total (non-reviewed by you) navigating.  Plan your route ahead of time, put in fixed weigh points (i.e. make it go the way you desire) and the GPS will follow your directions.  Dedicated GPS units allow the saving of a pre-planned trip.  Do that.

Finally, IMO, I don’t use a “RV GPS” to determine “RV routes.”  Fine if you like but I’ve found they (RV / Truck routing) don’t work reliably.  I don’t trust their height databases.  (Another discussion.)  They also tend to cost more and don’t do any better based on my experience

As I said, we’ve been doing routing this way for “years” and pulling the 13’ 4” fiver way over 100,000 miles through all the US and most of Canada it has worked perfectly.  I don’t have to read a map while driving or worry about an internet connection while driving off interstates.  I follow the magenta line and always end up going the way I planned at the entrance to the CG.

 

My opinion.

Bill



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2014 New Horizons Majestic F37RLTSS 96

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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We don't do any sightseeing while traveling from point A to point B. That's what the toad is for - so we use US Highways where available, look at possible parks the night before using satellite view to see the 'in and out' for the park (and rule out some parks), and then when we get to the area we use the toad to go sightseeing.

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2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
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SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Barbaraok wrote:

We don't do any sightseeing while traveling from point A to point B. That's what the toad is for - so we use US Highways where available, look at possible parks the night before using satellite view to see the 'in and out' for the park (and rule out some parks), and then when we get to the area we use the toad to go sightseeing.


 The "Satellite View" prior is a hell of an idea.

 



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We generally travel between 100 - 150 miles at a time moving about once a week. We always know where we are going and we call ahead to make sure there is availability. Below is what we do.

1. Use Mapquest to obtain driving directions.
2. Use Good Sams Club to obtain RV driving directions.
3. Compare routes and decide our route.
4. While writing the route in our notebook use Google Earth to verify the route, distances and identify advance landmarks for making turns. Use Google Earth Street View to make sure we don't have low overpasses or turns that we can't make.
5. Verify our route with our Rand Mcnally Truckers Atlas.
6. Search the states highway departments for road construction.
7 When traveling, our written instructions are the master. My wife uses her phone GPS for additional support.

This might be a bit of overkill, but we are still fairly new at this and it gives us some level of comfort when we head out. It is not unusual to spend close to 2 hours doing this research.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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As I sit here in sunny Mazatlan I am planning our Spring and Summer travel overview.  I am missing Microsoft Streets and Trips as a good long range planning tool.  I liked being able to view overall mileage and fuel costs.  It allowed me to view several months travel at one time.

What do you use for long range planning?  I would like to use only one software for the ease of general planning.  When it gets to daily travel we know the value of several sources to avoid those "travel surprises" that would come from using one source.

Is anyone using Co-Pilot?  or RV Trip Wizard?



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Russ & Terri Ranger

5 months (Winters) in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months wandering in the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT Motorhome

1 month visiting different countries (16 countries in the last two years) 

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

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What is long range planning? Doesn't everyone flip a coin at the crossroads when leaving the last place you were? biggrin

Sorry, but all that planning would take the fun out of fulltiming for us.  Not that we don't have general direction that we are going each summer and usually a couple of reservations for summer holidays, but otherwise, 2=3 days out planning is about all we do.



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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net/Site/Welcome.html
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Long range planning is needed when family will be flying in to meet us for a family get together on the East coast.  Also if you show up two days late for a Good Guy Hot Rod Show no one will get to see my brother-in-laws Chevy hotrod.  Sometimes a schedule is needed.

When no planning is needed I prefer next day planning.

I wish that there was BLM land everywhere that way I would never have to plan anything.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

5 months (Winters) in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months wandering in the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT Motorhome

1 month visiting different countries (16 countries in the last two years) 

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com

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