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GPS unit
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We were just wondering if there was a GPS unit out there that allowed you either download a route exactly like you chose it, say from Mapquest or something like that, or would let you "drag" the route to the specific road you want on the unit itself?

We own two GPS units, one that advertised the above, but we spent weeks trying to make that option work, but never could.

Thanks!



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Ellen & Rex

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We've been researching, and are looking at both the Garmin Dezl760 and the Garmin RV760. I've read that the Dezl has pop-up ads, that you have to manually close. That would be extremely annoying! So, for those of you using either of these units, my questions are:

Does the RV760 have those pop-ups too?

Is there any way to disable the pop-ups without also disabling key features of the unit?

Thanks!

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Ellen & Rex

Ralphy (Goldrn 13 yrs old), Sadie (English Setter 6 yrs old), Doug (English Setter 2 yrs old)

  2008 Cedar Creek 34SATS 5th wheel and a 2006 Chevy 3500 dually

 

Counting down, 3 1/2 yrs until retirement!



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We just got the Garmin RV 760 and there are no pop-ups. The only thing we are noticing - and others please feel free to chime in as this unit was highly recommended - it seems to route you out of the way unnecessarily sometimes. Like we were going to a restaurant to meet our daughter, we were traveling north and it sent us 2 exits past where we needed to get off (about 12 miles out of the way), just to turn around and get off at the same exit from the south bound side of the road. We could see the entire north side ramp from the south bound exit, there was no reason why we needed to do that. It wanted to do the same thing when we were coming back to where we are now, we KNEW we could make a left onto a specific road (we had done it before) and the GPS wanted us to make a right, then a left then another left just to make a right onto the SAME specific road. CRAZY - we are wondering if there is a setting we have checked off wrong, but we cannot seem to figure it out. Might have to call, as the unit did not come with any instructions at all. It did get us where we needed to go, don't get me wrong, this was just one feature we cannot seem to understand.

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jrzygrl64 wrote:

We just got the Garmin RV 760 and there are no pop-ups. The only thing we are noticing - and others please feel free to chime in as this unit was highly recommended - it seems to route you out of the way unnecessarily sometimes. Like we were going to a restaurant to meet our daughter, we were traveling north and it sent us 2 exits past where we needed to get off (about 12 miles out of the way), just to turn around and get off at the same exit from the south bound side of the road. We could see the entire north side ramp from the south bound exit, there was no reason why we needed to do that. It wanted to do the same thing when we were coming back to where we are now, we KNEW we could make a left onto a specific road (we had done it before) and the GPS wanted us to make a right, then a left then another left just to make a right onto the SAME specific road. CRAZY - we are wondering if there is a setting we have checked off wrong, but we cannot seem to figure it out. Might have to call, as the unit did not come with any instructions at all. It did get us where we needed to go, don't get me wrong, this was just one feature we cannot seem to understand.


 That's why I've been hesitant to even buy one.  I certainly wouldn't use them for long trip routing (not the online maps either).  If I need help getting to someplace locally that I don't know the way to, we use Jo's cell phone's navigation feature.  We also carry a city map in the truck.

I'd mentioned in another thread somewhere that I knew of someone whose navigation device (OnStar) kept wanting to put them on a road where RV's and trucks were NOT allowed.  After finally getting the OnStar operator and a local policeman involved, they got out.  The sad part was the the "new route" took them under a low overpass and it peeled back the roof of their fifth wheel.

Terry



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Thanks for the reply. We have charged up both our old GPS units and have been playing with them. For some reason, with a test route, they both take us thru a city that we are trying to avoid with a 37' fifth wheel! Like right downtown, with no maneuvering room, even in truck mode!

Guess we're not getting rid of the 50 state atlas!

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Ellen & Rex

Ralphy (Goldrn 13 yrs old), Sadie (English Setter 6 yrs old), Doug (English Setter 2 yrs old)

  2008 Cedar Creek 34SATS 5th wheel and a 2006 Chevy 3500 dually

 

Counting down, 3 1/2 yrs until retirement!



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ejhall wrote:

Thanks for the reply. We have charged up both our old GPS units and have been playing with them. For some reason, with a test route, they both take us thru a city that we are trying to avoid with a 37' fifth wheel! Like right downtown, with no maneuvering room, even in truck mode!

Guess we're not getting rid of the 50 state atlas!


 

You might still want to get rid of it, depending on which one it is.  The trucker's atlas (I think it's called Motor Carrier's Atlas) also has all 50 states but includes a section in the front dealing with low bridges and overpasses.

And if you do get that one, use it for every trip.  When we moved from Oklahoma City to Colorado, we went through one town in the Texas Panhandle that had a 13' clearance overpass.  Even though I was pretty sure we were under that, I still winced as I went under.

Terry



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Navigation units have limitations. So I use them more as a guide than follow the exact instructions.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind:
First they will always try to use the fastest route (unless you specify otherwise). Fastest can be based on primary roads, traffic delays, unknown construction, non-toll roads...etc. So if I know a secondary road is quicker or there is construction, I will go the route I feel is best. Luckily some of the units will provide several route options or allow you to eliminate certain types of roads (toll, interstate, one way).

You can add destinations to force the unit to choose a route you prefer. For example if you are travelling from Los Angeles to Seattle the units will choose I-5 for your trip. But if you add in Santa Barbara, San Jose, San Francisco or other cities near the coast it will route you along Hwy 101. Or add in Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento and the unit will route you up Hwy 99.

Here's a recent example I ran into. I was near Seattle and wanted to go get some food. The unit took me to the place I wanted to go, but on the way I notice one of the roads, the traffic in the opposite direction was bumper to bumper for about 3 miles. I made a mental note to not take that road on the way back. Sure enough the unit wanted me to head back the way I came. I chose to take a perpendicular road for several blocks until the unit had reset the route and had me take a parallel road in the direction I need to go. I figure I save about an hour by not following the suggested route bogged by traffic.

I have an AT&T navigation APP on my iPhone that I tend to use primarily over the built in or portable units I have. It seems easier to use and so far hasn't led me astray as long as I use it as a guide and make route changes based on common sense or area knowledge.

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OK:

 

Have owned these time savers for Lots of time.

some cavaets:

a) make sure you know if your routing is fastest route, avoid tolls, or scenic route (on the RV/trucker models, I hope they have more choices. havent bought my 

RV unit yet...

b)if  you have a 'car' unit, you CAN download a POI database (such as ALL walmart locations, or a HEIGHT alert database), and upload them to your unit.

Highly advised. we bought the add-in of the Height alert database (help me cheryl...) , and it was VERY painful to install but DID work,

 

I am also going to download the Walmart location POI database too, just to have it.

 

That being said, we STILL use our GPS with a grain of salt.

a) we always look ahead at the directions, and see if we know how it's taking us.

b) we DO use phone/tablet based apps:

we are all android, and use:

WAYZE (availble for iphone and android)

and google maps too.

 

between those three, we generally have stayed out of trouble.  don't just think ONE will be perfect!

it never is!



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cheryls-other-half wrote:

b)if  you have a 'car' unit, you CAN download a POI database (such as ALL walmart locations, or a HEIGHT alert database), and upload them to your unit.

Highly advised. we bought the add-in of the Height alert database (help me cheryl...) 

lowclearance.com

 

WAYZE (availble for iphone and android)  Actually, Waze.com


 



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I also signed up for low clearances.com and I have to figure out how to actually use it - I got it as a double check to the GPS, as I agree using only one thing is not enough - just wish I weren't so techy challenged - LOL! Everything I want to do takes me SO LONG!

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Kelly - I'll alert Mitch to this when he returns; maybe he can walk you through the installation (send me a PM here or on FB if you want him to get in touch with you). I find it useful BUT... 1) I don't know if it has a voice alert, as we always have the sound off on our GPS, 2) that means someone needs to be watching the screen at all times as the warning appears on the screen but it's kind of a small triangle, and 3) it only comes up a block or 2 before the overpass, so if you're not watching it, you won't have enough time for a Plan B. Fortunately, we discovered this when we were not towing so height wasn't a problem, but we realized if we were towing, we would have been in trouble had we not been watching the GPS.

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I agree that you should not use a GPS as your primary navigation. I have a Roadmate which I love. It is large and easy to read and has all the bells/whistles you needs such as lane assist, camping, speed limit, traffic, clearance, etc and also lifetime map updates. I also have a paper road atlas. I use Google Maps (or the like) to get a good idea of the route to take. Then I look over the map as well. I enter the addresses in the GPS and look over the route and decide what I will do.

In the end, I trust the paper map first and use the GPS as a guide. They are especially helpful at busy intersections, etc by letting me know what lane I should be in if I want to exit.

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Thanks again, I'll look for the low clearance app. That really worries me a lot. We tried the POI database once and gave up on making it work. Probably will revisit it.

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Ellen & Rex

Ralphy (Goldrn 13 yrs old), Sadie (English Setter 6 yrs old), Doug (English Setter 2 yrs old)

  2008 Cedar Creek 34SATS 5th wheel and a 2006 Chevy 3500 dually

 

Counting down, 3 1/2 yrs until retirement!



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GPS is a wonderful tool. But no navigation tool should be used without vectoring all data through the human brain. I go into all kinds of unknown places in cities with all kinds of restrictions, both legal and physical. I let the GPS plan the initial route and cross check with satellite pictures and maps. Ultimately, my brain makes the decision.

If you are uncomfortable, stay on STAA truck routes. I know of none with less than 13'6" clearance. While parked on level ground, measure the height of your vehicle. Try to plan routes with left turns when in a town or city. Left turns are typically easier to make with a large vehicle. The more you experience the easier it gets. The better you know your vehicle, the easier it gets. Everyone should be able to back their trailer up at least four blocks using only mirrors. Around corners couldn't hurt.

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cherylbrv wrote:

Kelly - I'll alert Mitch to this when he returns; maybe he can walk you through the installation (send me a PM here or on FB if you want him to get in touch with you). I find it useful BUT... 1) I don't know if it has a voice alert, as we always have the sound off on our GPS, 2) that means someone needs to be watching the screen at all times as the warning appears on the screen but it's kind of a small triangle, and 3) it only comes up a block or 2 before the overpass, so if you're not watching it, you won't have enough time for a Plan B. Fortunately, we discovered this when we were not towing so height wasn't a problem, but we realized if we were towing, we would have been in trouble had we not been watching the GPS.


 oh, my better half.

 

A few caveats on installing the POI database on the Garmin.

It is step by step, but not for the faint-hearted.

 

Also, you CAN specify HOW far in advance (in feet) you want the warning to come up.  As said above, it is tricky!  They recommend at least 1/2 mile to a mile in advance for the warning.

and yes, you CAN program an icon to pop up, and no I dont know if it does give a voice prompt, as I HATE the voice on GPS.  Cheryl, however, loves that Brit's voice.

 

 



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Can any of you tell me why the GPS is sending us out if the way to, what appears to be, avoid a left turn off any main road? Please read my post above for more detail.
Bill got the lowclearances.com into the GPS we have not tried it yet though but will be end of this week when we move again.
I think I will get one of those trucker atlases Mark talked about - I like being able to "see" the whole route.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions with the above issue!

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jrzygrl64 wrote:

Can any of you tell me why the GPS is sending us out if the way to, what appears to be, avoid a left turn off any main road? Please read my post above for more detail.
Bill got the lowclearances.com into the GPS we have not tried it yet though but will be end of this week when we move again.
I think I will get one of those trucker atlases Mark talked about - I like being able to "see" the whole route.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions with the above issue!


 I noticed in your referenced comment that your Garmin didn't come with instructions.  Have you looked online to see if you could find a "manual" that way?

I found this:

RV 760/Camper 760 Owner's Manual

I don't even own any kind of GPS unit yet, so I can't answer your question specifically.  Maybe that manual will help.

Terry



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jrzygrl64 wrote:

Can any of you tell me why the GPS is sending us out if the way to, what appears to be, avoid a left turn off any main road? Please read my post above for more detail.


 I think sometimes the data in the GPS indicates a left turn isn't possible at a specific location, so it takes you another way or has you turn right and go down the road to do a U-turn.  We were at Nature Coast Landing north of Crystal River, FL, last winter, and our GPS, as well as Google Maps and Mapquest didn't seem to know we could turn left coming out of the park, and would try to make us turn right and make the first possible U-turn.  We'd just turn left and let the GPS recalculate.  It seems to me to be a case of the maps in their database not being accurate at that location.  Other similar places it would direct us to take a left turn, so I guess in those locations its maps were accurate.



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I am on the verge of buying the rand McNally 7" truck GPS. I would prefer the RV version but Loves doesn't stock that one and I am using my points to buy it. I haven't heard a lot about how well these units perform but I haven't heard a lot of negative either. They recently introduced a new version with an improved interface. I'm looking forward to seeing how it handles routing a large vehicle in LA and San Francisco.

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We have the RV760 and one thing that we caught ourselves doing is not changing the size of vehicle in the program when we weren't pulling the camper. By not changing the size of unit it will route you just as if you were still pulling the trailer. Routing you the best way it knows how for the size of unit.

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Thanks Terry! I was very annoyed that it didn't come with one. I got on the Garmin site and wanted to call a human for assistance but there is no phone number! Guess I will download the manual.

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We have the Garmin RV 760 and like it. You do have to remember to change to the correct vehicle you're driving. We also use the trucker's Atlas for low bridges, but it's not perfect either. We also use Google Earth & Maps. When you put an address into the Garmin RV 760 and it finds the address click on the info icon and you will see more than one route if available and you can choose which route to take. I like using Google Maps or Safari Maps on my iPad, because you can see where you are in relation to where you're going and sometimes that makes all the difference.



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We have used a smartphone app called Sygic for years. It is available for both i products and Androids. We use it on our 7" tablet and love it. It will let you drag routes and will also offer different options for routes when first programming it. You can also edit on the fly. The app is free but you have to buy the maps but they are relatively cheap.
I think they offer a free trial.


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Thank you, Mark.  Your post will be very helpful when I get underway.

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