Tag Archives: Navigation

Furkot: A Funny Name for a Great Trip Planner

Furkot's map view of our trip planby Chris Guld  GeeksOnTour.com

There is no perfect Trip-Planning system, but that doesn’t stop us from continuing to look for one! Here’s a list of systems we have used:

  1. Streets & Trips (we even have a full set of tutorial videos on using this one)
  2. RoadTrippers – see article Roadtrippers for Trip Planning
  3. RVTripWizard – see article RV Trip Wizard for Planning your RV Travels
  4. Google Maps – not really a trip-planner, but everything else! Google’s My Maps and Custom POI Files, Mapping and Sharing Your Travels with Google My Maps

The latest system we are checking out is Furkot.com. It is a free website . There is no mobile app, but the mobile website works fine on either iPhone or Android. Furkot is not specific to RVs. It is generally for cars and motorcycles who need to book motels/hotels along the way. But campgrounds are in there as well and it is based on Google Maps so all the data in Google is available.

Yes, you need an Internet connection to plan your trip, but then it can be available offline for reference.

Planning a Trip with Furkot

It works a lot like Streets & Trips – that’s a good thing since we were so accustomed to S&T:

  1. Start a Trip by entering your beginning and your end destination. One additional feature that I haven’t seen in any other system is a checkbox to make it a “Round Trip.”
  2. Furkot automatically enters tentative night stops based on your settings for when you start and stop your day and how far you want to go. When you enter your own stops, the tentative ones will disappear. I LOVE this feature for showing us exactly where we need to be looking for our overnight stops.
  3. Dates: a feature that was always sorely missing in S&T was any kind of calendaring. With Furkot, it not only shows the date you will arrive/leave any give stop – you can also point to any place along your route and see what time of day you’ll be there! Here is what the “Plan” drawer looks like. Notice the Days and dates for each stop. And, if you change the start date, or the number of nights at any stop – the dates recalculate for every other stop. There is even a feature to “Lock” a date. So, for example, if you need to arrive in time to attend a wedding, you can lock that stop’s date and it will not let you recalculate other items in a way that gets you there late!
    Furkot's Daily plan view of our trip plan

Navigating a Trip that was Planned with Furkot

Furkot is not a navigation system, it is a planning system. That makes a lot of sense to me. I see them as very different things. We use a Rand McNally RVND7720 to navigate with the RV. It is always on the dashboard, and it has only one job to do. Each day as we set off on the road, we’ll look at our plan and enter just today’s destination into the Rand McNally. Then, we trust it to avoid low bridges, and propane restricted tunnels etc. We also use Google Maps on our phones. With Furkot, I can see our plan on the phone, tap on one destination and tap on Navigate. That takes me to Google Maps and it starts navigating to that destination. Good enough for me!

If you are the type of traveler that wants your entire route imported from your plan to your dashboard GPS, they’ve got you covered!

Export trip plan to GPS

We’ll try it out

We leave for a 3 month journey at the end of the week. We will use Furkot and write more about it in future articles, and on our Facebook Page. Let us know if you give it a try by using the comments below. If you’re looking for a trip-planning system, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Furkot. They have an extensive help system that explains everything you need to know.

Navigate with GPS by Taking a Picture!

Photo of our location for purposes of navigating thereThat’s right! Take a picture of a place you need to return to. Take that picture with a smartphone that has the GPS tagging feature turned on. Now, when you need to return, you can view the picture, see the GPS location and navigate back. Pretty slick.  Here’s the details:

  1. I used a Samsung Galaxy S5. This should work with any type of Android device as long as you have Google Maps version 9.21 or higher. It does not seem to work on an iPhone … yet.
  2. I used Google Photos to view the photo
  3. Before taking the picture, be sure you have the Location Tags (aka Geotags) turned ON in your camera’s settings. I leave mine on all the time.
  4. Now, when you take a picture, view it using Google Photos and tap the i (for Information) you should see a map with a marker.
  5. Tap the map marker and it will open Google Maps, then tap the Blue car button and it will navigate to the place where the photo was taken.

If you are an RVer – this is SO useful! For a long time now, we’ve been teaching people about the ability to save a location with a star in Google Maps, then you can navigate back to the star at any time. I still use this technique, but my Google Maps is getting to be covered with stars! This method of using a picture and navigating to it is great for situations like yesterday. We were staying at a large RV park for only one night, we really didn’t have a feel for the directions within the park at all. So, I took a picture of our motorhome on our site. Then, after going out to dinner, I opened the picture (using Google Photos) tapped the i, then tapped the map and we were getting directions back to our exact site. It would be really useful if you’re trying to return to a boondocking site in the middle of nowhere!

  • App: Google Maps and Google Photos
  • Author: Google
  • Cost: $0
  • Platform: This feature only works on Android right now

Some tutorial videos related to this topic:

  1. Episode 74 of What Does This Button Do – at timeline mark 24:50: Navigate to a Picture
  2. 403. Google Maps – Saving a Location with a Star
  3. 419.Google Navigation – Add a Stop

Also our What Does This Button Do? Episode 15: GeoLocating Photos, Waze app