We have been evaluating the Rand McNally TripMaker® RVND™ 7710. Our favorite feature of the device is all the ways it can inform you about sights and services that are coming up in your route. We wrote about this in our previous article ‘What’s Up Ahead.’ Today, my topic is Multi-Stop Trips.
With most standalone GPS devices, you get directions to a single place. The trip starts from where you are. You are asking, ‘How do I get from here to that single place.’ The RVND is one of the devices that allow you to plan and save trips with multiple stops. When you reach one stop the device notes that you have arrived at your first destination. When you turn it on the next time, it is ready to pick up where you left off and guide you to the next stop. Here is a video that shows exactly how to create a multi-stop trip with the Rand McNally TripMaker® RVND™ 7710.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.