Oct 142011
 
  • 7” GPS device designed specifically for the RVer and camper
  • Website: Rand McNally
  • Cost: $399.99

by Chris Guld, www.geeksontour.com

We received our evaluation unit of the RVND 7710 in early September and used it to navigate from the New Jersey Shore to Ohio, and then south to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  There is a lot to this device and our review will be in a series of articles.  The first things I want to tell you about are the special features that none of our other devices can give us. 

Next Exit Information

I know several people who swear by their ‘Next Exit’ book which gives all the amenities to be found at every Exit on America’s Interstate Highways.  Although that sounds like a great tool to have, we refuse to have any more books in our RV.  The Rand McNally TripMaker® RVND™ 7710 now offers a similar set of information available at your fingertips as you drive down the road.  Here’s how it works.  During navigation, there is an icon on the screen that represents the Exit amenities – actually it’s a square of 4 icons: Food, Fuel, Lodging, and All.  Touch that with your finger, or the provided stylus, and you’ll see a list of the upcoming exits.

Next exit info on Rand McNally RVND GPS
Just touch the Exit info button and a list of upcoming Exits appears with the number of Gas, Food, and Lodging amenities

Now you touch the Exit you want to see and you’ll get the detail of those amenities. If there are more than will fit on one screen, you will see up and down arrows to the right so you can scroll thru the rest of the possibilities.  You can always touch the Back icon in the upper right to return to your navigation screen.

RVND Next Exit

If you decide to go to any of these places, you can touch the one you want, then touch ‘Add as Via’ and the RVND will route you there. 

It’s Not Perfect

We used this feature when we needed to find a grocery store traveling through South Carolina.  Using the Exit details feature, we found an IGA at exit 27.  I touched the IGA listing and then the ‘’Add as Via’ button, and it dutifully told us – in it’s rich, loud voice – to turn off when we got to the appropriate exit.  Then it told us to turn left and go a couple blocks.  So far, so good.  But then it told us that we would find our destination on the left and told us to turn.  We still couldn’t see the IGA but could tell that there was some kind of shopping center set back off the street if we took the specified left turn.  No IGA in this shopping center.  What do we do now?  We navigated thru the shopping center parking lot to the other side where we could take a right on the road back to the highway and, what should appear in front of us but an IGA!  So, the GPS directions were real close, but not quite right.  We actually finds this happens a lot with all of our GPS devices – it gets the ‘on the left’ or ‘on the right’ backwards at the final destination.  Usually, it’s no big deal.  By the time we’re ‘at your destination’ we can see it and don’t mind that the GPS says ‘on the left’ when we can see it ‘on the right.’  But, in this case, the direction was given before we could see the sign.  We almost missed it altogether.

Alerts for Upcoming Items

I like to take  pictures of the ‘Welcome’ sign whenever we cross a state line.  I throw a bit of a fit when I see a State sign go by and I don’t have my camera ready.  So, one of my very favorite features of the Rand McNally TripMaker® RVND™ 7710 is that it alerts you when you are about to cross a State line or a Time Zone.  It does this with spoken words as well as a special screen that displays.

stateline

It also has a warning when you are near an ‘Offbeat Tourist Attraction,’ or ‘Historical Marker.’  These are custom POIs (Points of Interest) and can be managed in the Preferences screen.  First it announces that you are near an Offbeat Tourist Attraction.  If you’re interested, you touch the notice and get more detail.  Then, if you want to go there, you can touch the option to “Route to Here.”

offbeat

If you don’t want the warnings for State Lines and Offbeat Tourist Attractions, you can turn those off, or change the warning distance if I like. You find them in the Custom POIs and it’s there you can set the warning options.

  There is a lot to learn about this unit.  Stay tuned next week for another article on using the Rand McNally TripMaker® RVND™ 7710.

MrsGeek

Traveling the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. We present seminars at RV rallies and computer clubs all over the country.

  7 Responses to “Rand McNally TripMaker® RVND™ 7710: What’s up Ahead?”

Comments (7)
  1. My Tripmaker RVND 7710 unit has completely shut off and I have had it for less than a month. I left to begin my trip yesterday and the unit worked perfectly, however, today, the unit started to flicker and then shut off. I got it to turn back on but it did the same thing and now it won’t turn on at all. Any suggestions or ideas. I am on my way to St. Loius, MO and it makes no sense to me why this won’t work. Help!

  2. Mine came with a hood.

  3. I’ve heard that the 7710 can only be mounted on the windshield. Is this true? If so, I find it difficult to believe that most RVers would be able to use the unit, since it would be nearly impossible to reach the unit from the driver’s seat. We currently use a Garmin Street Pilot 7200, which also has a 7″ (diag.) screen. While I like the size of the screen, the mapping program and unit operating system leave lots to be desired. My only options for vehicles are Auto, Bus (Public trans.) or pedestrian. Because of this, we are sometimes routed into areas where no Class A motor home should venture!!

  4. When the screen is in direct sun it is very hard for me to read. Improveement is required. Tom

    • Yes, It is impossible to see the screen in the daylight, especially in the sunlight. I made a cardboard hood! Maybe Rand McNally will offer one in the future.

  5. what happened to the follow up on the rvnd 7710 ?

    • Dave,
      Yes, I am a bit behind schedule :-} I’m working on that today. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would notice! Thanks for the nudge.

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