What type of GPS do you like?

Nandy

Super Active Member
Mar 29, 2010
2,255
I was a big Garmin customer, lover and even designed my own maps for them for my own use. So If I were to ever go back to a dedicated GPS it would be Garmin, specially now that most of their units come with free maps, however..... I dont see that happening as long as Google maps continues status quo. If we are talking turn by turn directions in roads Google maps just simply stomps every one.

You can create POI's and save them under a number of labels (favorites, place to visit, saved, etc). You can even save icons in your phone home screen for those daily destination... now you ask why if you go to a place daily you need directions? Read traffic updates.... every morning after stopping my alarm I click on my work icon which fires google map, destination already set and I can see how will my commune look. I do that every time I am going anywhere I can expect traffic. Saved my bacon many times....

You can also save your maps to your phone. In our trip to Greece we did not know if we would have coverage and if we used our phone we would have paid $10 a day. So, we downloaded the google maps for the entire island, never needed data for gps the 9 days we were there. Of course, having the data off we did not got traffic updates but there is no traffic in santorini greece to speak off, lol! Any offline data is updated as any new info is available, automatically or on demand. Google has the most updated map data.

As far as using the phone, having a stand alone gps will not stop it, heck, when I am using my phone as gps I set my phone in blocking mode, no calls nor text comes thru in my screen except the short list of people I allow. I dont want the text/phone call interrupting the gps.

Good luck!!

It's interesting how the Garmins seem to be the popular choice. As said, I also use a Garmin in my TV. It's a 50LM, which means 'lifetime maps'. All maps are free to update, and can do it as many times as I want, whenever I want. Great for when going to the States, just replace the Canada maps with States maps, when I get home, swap them back. It's all very easy. Garmin sends me notifications when updates are available, I plug it in and it all happens for free. I'm just interested in what people think of TomTom or Magellan or other, if I should buy a different brand for some reason.

I'm shying away from young daughter using an app on her phone for a couple of reasons,
1) She's a brand new driver and I don't want her playing around with her phone, while driving, trying to figure out where to go and what to do. On a real GPS, she can touch the 'home' button on the screen (or 'work', 'Grandmas', 'cottage', 'camping', etc...in the favorites), and it takes her right where she needs to go. I can put most of the places she needs to go into the favorites, so she doesn't need to worry about searching addresses.

2) My older daughter uses an app on her phone, (she lives away from home and has her own car). The app is a complete piece of junk. It will eventually get her to where she wants to go, but she better leave about an hour early because it will take her the worst way possible to get there. I've told her to find a different app, or we'll find her a real GPS, but she thinks what she has is good.
 

Wrenchgear

5 Star Eagle Camper
Aug 5, 2010
3,683
Near Elmira, Southern Ontario
Well, once again I thank everyone for chiming in on this thread. I again have made some changes, although I didn't think I would. Back in post #16 of this thread, I mentioned that I picked up a Garmin 58LM. This was primarily purchased for my daughter to use. She has since bought a new iphone, and likes to use the 'maps' app that came with the phone instead of the Garmin. She gets along with the phone app quite well. So I put the 58 in my TV and took out the Garmin 50LM that I had in there. After a few months now, I have swapped the 50 back into my truck, and after careful consideration, sold the 58 on kijiji (for a slight profit over what I paid for it). I didn't like the newer 58 for a few reasons.

1) I like the looks of the graphics on the older 50 better, thats personal preference. (I'm just used to an even older one in my work vehicle I guess)
2) The 58 seemed to send me in even more ridiculous ways than the 50. (both updated maps on the same day, sitting beside each other on the dash, going to the same address, avoidances set the same)(The 50 seems to do pretty good for direct route)
3) The feature of painting a blue line on the road traveled to find your way back has been removed from the 58. I use that all the time. 58 has no return feature, so you have to search another address, or hit 'home', which is in a menu, to find your way out.
4) 58 no longer alerted while coming up to 'red light camera' intersections. I like that in the 50
5) Searching and picking addresses on the 58 didn't seem as smooth and straight forward as I feel it is on the 50. (again, thats probably personal preference and what you get used to).
6) Both have the split screen that shows you exactly what lane to be in while approaching an off ramp. It then pops back to regular screen when you are back on regular road. I really like that feature.


These are just a few small differences I guess, but when I had them both in my hands, and decided to get rid of one, I figured the newer one should go. Its worth more money for re-sale at this point as well. The next vehicle I get may very well have a built in nav system anyway, so I might as well get rid of the more expensive newer one.
 

nhlakes

Active Member
Oct 15, 2011
707
DE and NH
If I were to buy another dedicated portably GPS it would be a Garmin. I have a pile of portable GPS units, but for the last 10 years or so in cars/trucks I have relied primarily on apps (Google Maps, Waze or CoPilot for the height/LP tunnel restrictions). Apps like Google Maps and Waze (now owned by Google) will always be WAY ahead of off the shelf portable units since the system and data (maps/traffic/road changes) are updated real-time. Apple CarPlay and the like is helping to change that.

I travel for work and can rely on Google Maps exclusively. In an hour or so I'll use it to monitor traffic on the way to the airport, then at my destination I'll use it to show me which train to take to get close to my hotel, then it'll show me the fastest way to walk from the station to the hotel. Unless I get lazy and get an Uber. ;)
 

kennedyma

Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Oct 8, 2018
124
I love Gaia GPS for my phone/tablet. Seems to do everything a dedicated unit can do, plus you get tons of map layers.

Here is a How To from a Family on YouTube I follow:
 

Ronal Owens

Member
Jun 27, 2021
22
I love The Garmin dezl 780 LMT-S, very happy with it. It has a lot of good functions and my favorite is that it is compatible with Garmin smartwatches
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,820
Southern California
I love Gaia GPS for my phone/tablet. Seems to do everything a dedicated unit can do, plus you get tons of map layers.

Here is a How To from a Family on YouTube I follow:

Absolutely with the Gaia GPS. I can't see any reason to buy any other type GPS on the market. Seriously! It is far superior in features. I have been using Garmin GPS since 1998. My first one was the Garmin GPS 38. In 1999 I got the Garmin GPS III Plus. I am still using the same one to this day. It is now very outdated and can't do half of what the newer one can do. But all I use it for is marking and finding Waypoints and making a track when I'm out in the field. I liked it so well that I bought two more off of Ebay. I have one permanently mounted on my Quad, one in my truck and, one spare.
20210810_082044[1].jpg
About a year ago I thought it was time to upgrade a little. I was shopping for a new modern Garmin GPS. The one I was looking at was about $450.00. But then I saw the demo on the Gaia GPS. The app is free. If you get a subscription for $19.00 per year you can download TOPO maps, and even automatically have your waypoints, maps, and tracks store in the cloud. On a recent camping trip to the high Sierra mountains, I used it to keep track of where I went, and to mark certain waypoints. You don't need cell service for it to work in the no-service areas. My Android phone was all I used. When I got back home I found all of my tracks and waypoints were automatically stored in the cloud and I could review the whole trip on my home PC. My GPS III Plus is very old, scratched up, dirty, beat up and can't be updated, but it still works.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,820
Southern California
Well, another Zombie thread gets re-animated! At least this was a pretty decent one... Never paid attention to GAIA GPS, going to look into that.
GAIS GPS is a little odd to the user at first. There is a learning curve. But it isn't too bad. It didn't take me long to figure out all of the features. I was very surprised about the Cloud feature when I first used it and got back home. Here is the track and marked waypoints that I recorded on my last trip. upload_2021-8-10_10-12-51.png
upload_2021-8-10_10-12-51.png
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,863
Oakland, California
This is a worthy thread. Lately I have been using Google Maps more as it synchronizes my saved locations between all the devices.

My ooold Garmin Nuvi still works and its search function is still very contrary. Today I got an "out of memory" warning, but it kept working.

I do have the Gaia Premium service, and I have not yet tried to download any of the special layers (e.g. National Geographic) for offline use.

When my Garmin eTrex jumped off my belt in Snake gulch I never replaced it - the screen was far too small.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,820
Southern California
This is a worthy thread. Lately I have been using Google Maps more as it synchronizes my saved locations between all the devices.

My ooold Garmin Nuvi still works and its search function is still very contrary. Today I got an "out of memory" warning, but it kept working.

I do have the Gaia Premium service, and I have not yet tried to download any of the special layers (e.g. National Geographic) for offline use.

When my Garmin eTrex jumped off my belt in Snake gulch I never replaced it - the screen was far too small.
Anthony, You have to have a wifi connection to download Topo maps. So you do it before you leave on a trip. Once it is downloaded it is stored in your device and in the Cloud. Then you can open and use the map when you don't have a cell signal. You go into "Saved Items", - "Create New" "select Area" Give it a name and then use your cursor to make a square around what you want downloaded. The download time depends on the Wifi connection speed.
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,863
Oakland, California
Anthony, You have to have a wifi connection to download Topo maps. So you do it before you leave on a trip. Once it is downloaded it is stored in your device and in the Cloud. Then you can open and use the map when you don't have a cell signal. You go into "Saved Items", - "Create New" "select Area" Give it a name and then use your cursor to make a square around what you want downloaded. The download time depends on the Wifi connection speed.

Yup - just like using Google Maps offline - need to download at home. With our new Fiber-Optic connection that should be quicker than it used to be.

I also use Topo Maps+ on the iPhone, and again, maps need to be downloaded in advance if there is no cell signal.

On the etrex20 that got lost I had the 100k topo map of the entire US (on a chip) - but on that tiny screen it was borderline useless.

The thing with maps is that after putting in time learning the ins and outs of one software package - its super annoying when one has to change software. Just wait for the owner of Gaia to screw it up.

On a side note - sometimes it's the user - a few days back I pulled up my old .tpo files for Topo! on the PC and was looking for my hot springs (blue diamonds) on the map - nothing. Same result on other hot spring maps. Well - For some reason I had "view waypoints" turned off - so let's say it was my error.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,820
Southern California
I would like to have one of those fancy new hand-held trail model Garmin GPS units. I think they would be more rugged than my cell phone. But I just can't justify the cost of one.
 




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