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GPS Navigation Systems
June 30, 2011
9:47 pm
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Jerry Gregg
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Chris, I know you guys use MS Streets and Trips but FMCA is advertising a new Rand-McNally system, TripMaker RVND 5510.  Do you know anything about it yet?  It is very pricy, even with a discount.  Supposedly it is designed specifically for RVers.

July 1, 2011
4:13 am
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MrsGeek
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We will always use our Streets and Trips for the trip planning part of the equation.  For navigation on the road, we like S&T, but also use our Garmin, and lately are preferring our Droid.  We would love to try the Rand McNally because of its RV specific features, like entering the height and length of your RV and it will make sure to route you appropriately.  But, we're not willing to spend the $350 right now.  We'd be happy to accept a demo unit but so far one has not been delivered :-).

Here's a review of the Rand McNally TripMaker GPS from CNET.

Amazon sells it for $350 and includes some good screenshots.

Rand McNally has a FAQ page for the RVND.

and, if you have a few hours to spare – here's a lengthy thread on RV.net's forum about the RVND.

 

July 3, 2011
11:25 pm
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David Cross
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I have this unit and so far, am very disappointed. I just began traveling with it 2 days ago. You cannot download your own POI's to it and while I have had it for only a month, I have already received a note from Rand McNally advising me that there is an annual map update for only $79.99. I sent them a note asking if they were serious but have not received a reply. There are a few good features, but save your money as it is difficult to use and it wasn't able to find the campground I wanted to stay at today. I had to input the Lat Lon to get to Heartland RV Park, a Passport America park in Hermosa, SD. You can't easily plan a trip online with their software. You can't plan in S&T and then import a file into it. You have to plan and input every trip into the unit itself, using it's touch screen. It is difficult to read in sunlight and after dark, it is too dim to see clearly.

Day after day as I try to remember, I find my forgetter working better and better.

July 4, 2011
1:41 pm
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JimAdmin
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That is disappointing to hear, David.  It sounded like such a good idea.  I like the RV specific functions but implementation is lacking, especially the ability to use 3rd party POIs.  I guess we'll stick with the Garmin until something better comes along. 

Streets & Trips is still the best for planning. 

Helping Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share their Travels

January 2, 2012
6:24 pm
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William Brower
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Mr. Geek, new member here, would like to know your final evaluation on the Rand McNally GPS units.  I am new to Class A's after several years in a Class B so am concerned that my old Garmin Nuvi 350 may lead me on a route where I shouldn't be with the bigger motorhome.  Seems last posts were back in July 01 with a disappointed comment from a new user of the RVND TripMaker.  Looking at the 7710  7″ display but can't find many decent reviews on this unit.  Also not much positive comment on the Garmin Truck units.  Any help would be appreciated. 

Will Brower, 2011 Tiffin Allegro 32

January 2, 2012
8:10 pm
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JimAdmin
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I am not ready to proclaim a final evaluation on the 7710, because they are still improving and updating it.  For a stand-alone unit, it is the best device for RVers, in my opinion.  I especially like the data input ability.

That said, I still prefer Microsoft Streets and Trips for planning multi-stop trips.  If you have the room in the cockpit, Streets and Trips running on a laptop combined with a GPS receiver, is a great alternative or supplement to a stand-alone GPS device.

Point to point navigation is rapidly moving to smart phone platforms.  Our Androids do a superlative job anywhere data is available. 

 

Helping Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share their Travels

January 3, 2012
8:38 am
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William Brower
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Mr. Geek, thanks for your quick reply.  When you refer to Streets & Trips on a laptop combined with a GPS receiver, which version of S&T are you using and does it operate like DeLorme's with the dash device attached to the laptop to a USB port?

January 3, 2012
10:44 am
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JimAdmin
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We always use the latest version of Streets & Trips.  The 2011 version is current.  The setup is the same as DeLorme.  The receiver is USB.  You can purchase the program with the receiver for about $70 list price.  I have seen prices in the mid $40s on Amazon.

You can use the DeLorme receiver with a free driver from Microsoft, but the latest receivers are faster and better.

I prefer S&T over DeLorme for a couple of reasons; the maps are more current and the user interface is more like other MS programs.  DeLorme's interface does not conform to MS conventions.  It is what I am comfortable with.

Helping Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share their Travels

January 3, 2012
12:21 pm
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MrsGeek
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Make sure you scroll all the way down on my last article about the 7710 that's where I write my conclusion.  I really like the 'what's up ahead' information that it gives you, but I don't like the slowness and the clunkiness of the device.  As for RV routing – it's better than those that don't have the RV routing option, but it's still not good enough to depend on – yet.

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