Spoke with a rep at GPS Central who advised Garmin is coming out with an RV specific device this spring/summer. Only time will tell, but enough to make me wait a lilltle longer before I buy mine (whatever it may be).
I have the 7710 and major complaint is the glare problem. Getting ready for a 5 month tour of the US, so going to be interesting to see how it works compared to my old Garmin NUVI, which maps are out of date.
One of many features I like about the 7710 are the user settable warnings for curves and grades as well as speed limit changes. It does make some mistakes but overall performance is pretty darn good.
On our recent 3,200 mile trek I often switched to the dashboard mode once out on the Interstate highway. I really like the RM dashboard functions showing which mile marker you are approaching, % of uphill and downhill travel and other user settable data features. It even anticipated our crossing time zones and adjusted our ETA time accordingly. The more I use it, the more I learn how it is different than my old "car" GPS units and better fits into our RV traveling needs.
It appears RV specific GPS devices are getting more popular with the major manufacturers. Guess some big company dollar crunchers finally realized we are an important part of the consumer population. Hopefully, we will all benefit from the competition as newer devices and features hit the market.
Professor Randy T. Agee & Nancy Agee. Also Oscar, the totally ruined Dachshund.
2009 Cedar Creek 5th Wheel - 2004 Volvo VNL670 class 8 MotorHome conversion as toter.
Turbocharged, 12L, 465 HP and 1,800 ft. Lbs. of torque.
This has been an excellent thread! Very informative. Professor you should be writing product reviews for a living! Thanks! I will note that in the not too distant future most of these devices could become illegal due to driver distraction laws. I think the Professor's multiple video screens on the dash are illegal in Alberta today! They sure know how to spoil a guy's fun.
I bought the Magellan 7" 9165T-LM to replace a Magellan 4040 but soon discovered the many short comings and more importantly, found out I couldn't use my custom RV related POI files so I took it back for a refund. I also found the One-Touch feature to be redundant/useless for a navigation device.
When I telephoned Magellan tech support, they told me the SD memory card slot was non-functional. WTF? I was also told that Magellan has disabled the use of 3rd party POI files so people can not load red light camera locations! Again, WTF?
I'll keep using my Magellan 4040 because I can and want to use my custom RV POI's, but in the mean time, I'm shopping for the best deal for a Rand McNally RVND7710 which will allow the use of 3rd party or custom POI files.
So if anyone from Magellan is listening, it wouldn't take much in the way of a software up-date to make the RV9165T an excellent GPS. IMO, the Magellan has the potential to be the hands down winner in the RV category.
I think the Professor's multiple video screens on the dash are illegal in Alberta today! They sure know how to spoil a guy's fun.
I'm probably illegal - period.
Front facing video screens can be a gray area in some locations. Most all of the lower 48 now only disallow front facing video screens that the driver can see if they are for "entertainment" - like playing a movie. Video screens for communications devices, navigation and rearward visibility are legal. It's a changin' world and amazing what we can now do with microchips and TFT displays.
BTW - with the external, non-image reversing video input feature of the Magellan 9165 you can plug in a portable DVD player and watch a movie while driving. The input was designed to use their accessory video back-up camera but they reversed the image at the camera rather than in the GPS display. The GPS automatically switches to video when a signal is present on the input line.
You know, I can get directions from a panhandler on a street corner, on the CB or even look it up on a map. My iPhone can dub as a directional GPS when needed to get me from point A to point B. What I really appreciate with a RV specific GPS is the availability of information specific to my type of vehicle that I cannot easily access otherwise. When this makes my travel safer, it is a worthy device.
We were coming through Nebraska 2 weeks ago and I noticed a small old junky SUV that was wandering from the shoulder to the outside lane ( I-80 She was 3 cars in front of me. I stayed back for awhilke and watched as she looked down and wandered. Either reading a book or texting. When I got close to her I hit the air horn and passed her. Gave her a wide berth. Yup she was texting. Maybe 25 years old. How stupid!! I am envisioning the Professor watching Hangover on his GPS. Wouldn't that be a site? The youtube video would go viral.
I am envisioning the Professor watching Hangover on his GPS. Wouldn't that be a site? The youtube video would go viral.
Yes, I agree texting is stupid and I will NEVER watch a video while driving. Truthfully, I don't have time I need to scan my gauges for oil pressure, air pressure, turbo temperature, coolant temperature, transmission temperature, RPM and road speed. Once I finish that scan I check the tire pressure monitor to be sure all 14 tires are performing OK, check both the left and right side rear view mirrors, look in the rear view camera monitor and check the monitor for my right hand blind spot. Then, I might take a glance at the GPS to be sure I am not lost. While doing all of this I am also watching the road ahead. My co-pilot mans the iPhone and computer as needed. It takes a lot to safely drive a big RV (or a small car) - inattention from texting, eating, putting on make-up, fooling with a radio, iPod, phone, CB, etc. all take away from attention needed for driving. Shucks, I rarely even talk to my passenger while driving. That in itself is a distraction.
Appreciating this informative topic thread. Am sitting here trying to decide on taking the plunge for a Magellan Road-mate RV 9145 -- can't tell if the maps are as comprehensive as the Garmin car models - with split screen and reality views.
My husband and I are about to purchase our first rv (Class A) and will be flying to destination for purchase then 'first-time' drive it the 1200 miles home(oh my!.)
Will back up with my iPad navigation, but think the RV route guidance with the RV specifics programed in will be especially helpful.
All of the maps and related road info come from the same database, which is not specific to the the manufacturer.
Some models, like the RVND 5" and 7" from Rand McNally have a user interface to report errors in the map. RM will investigate and if they confirm something is in error will make changes. I do not know if other makes do the same or not.
How the GPS selects routing is extremely important to me, especially with a big RV. I have been extremely pleased with the routes selected by my RVND7710. I also like the RM's "dashboard" showing elevation, % of uphill vs. downhill driving, speed, Interstate mile marker, route time and mileage, etc. Speed, sharp turn, time change, state line, tolol road warnings and more are also useful.
What I am saying is the maps are not the feature I would use to select a GPS (as long as they are up-to-date). There is a whole lot more to consider in your selection.
Congratulations on getting your new Class A! I hope you have a safe and pleasant trip home.
Rand McNally is now offering lifetime maps with the 7710 for just $50 more. Or a lifetime map package can be added to any of their RV GPS for $89. This is looking better and better.
There have been a number of comments on the lists that the Magellan will not allow third party POIS such as from POI Factory to be added. Plus other complaints about the Magellan. The Rand Mcnally units get the most positive reviews.