This may be a dumb question to all you seasoned travelers but it is something that I have not been able to find the answer to and it is driving me nuts.
My husband and I use our Magellan Maestro 4370 whenever we travel and love the convenience of using a GPS. Our only problem is that if we want to go on a different route than the GPS programmed for us, it insists that we use a street address instead of a via point. This sometimes causes confusion especially in a large metropolitan area, because the GPS is leading you into a city area when you just want to bypass it.
Is there an option I have not found that will allow you to just put in the city name, or is there a GPS that will actually let you tell it how you want to get to your destination and then plan the route for you.
We are planning our first long distance RV trip and would like to simplify the planning with as much knowledge about the GPS as we can get.
My Garmin has a detour function that will let you re-route to avoid a part of the selected route. (though honestly I have not used it much). The Garmin also lets you use any known location as a waypoint to force a route you like.
However when we are going to deviate from the GPS selected route we normally just do that - eg make the turns we want and ignore the box. Usually the GPS will start to agree with our desired route pretty soon. It depends on just how much you want to diverge from the GPS route.
We have a Garmin which has been somewhat accurate. On a trip this fall, the crazy thing wanted me to go down a back alley in my 36' DP. I've learned to plan the trip a little more and know which roads/highways make sense and pay attention.
When I want to work out a complicated route along obscure back roads, for example, I use Street and Trips and just click on the roads themselves at enough points to force the software to have to use my exact route. At best all these mapping software packages are just a starting point for the "best" route. In fact sometimes they are completely nuts in their choice of roads to take. Street and Trips on a netbook is my normal travel companion, but some of the dedicated GPS units have some very helpful features and are well worth having.
We,too, have a Magellan Maestro (4700). I knowexactly what you're talking about.
My wife and I just finished traveling from Roswell, NM to Fresno,CA. I posted the same topic as you on here just before the trip & tried all of the suggestions that I could.
What I finally found that worked (though not perfectly; gps led us to a restaurant parking lot just outside of Fresno instead of a road) was this:
Plan your route (and learn it as best you can) exactly as you want it, on a paper map highway-by-highway. This will help you if your gps tries to direct you in a direction or onto a road that isn't right. You'll have the heads-up that something isn't right and you'll have a reasonable idea of what the right route is because you have a pretty good idea in your head from studying the route on the paper map beforehand.
When we wanted to go around a city, rather than through it, here's what we did:
We programmed our total trip on the Magellan by programing (before we left Roswell) a series of shorter trips that, when completed, would complete the total trip from Roswell to Fresno, but allowed us to bypass the cities.
The first trip in the series of trips that we programmed onto the gps was from Roswell,NM to Las Cruces,NM. We saved this trip (along with all of the other trips in our series that was taking us from Roswell to Fresno) in our address book on the gps. As we didn't have a specific address to go to in Las Cruces, we simply had the gps route us to the city center (if your Magellan is similar to the 4700, there should be an option to route you to the city center of a city, on the same page of the gps as where you can access your address book,program the gps to go to an intersection, etc). As we wanted to actually bypass Las Cruces, not go to the city center, and head west on the I-10, we shut off our gps just outside of Las Cruces. We turned the gps back on and it asked us if we wanted to continue the trip to Las Cruces. We said "no". Then we hit the "GO TO", went to our address book and had the gps take us on the second trip in our series. This second trip in the series was to take us to the city center of Tucson,AZ. As Tucson is on the I-10 and past Las Cruces, the gps automatically routed us from our present location on the highway just outside of Las Cruces to Tucson. As Tucson is on the I-10, the gps routed us via hwy #70, bypassing downtown Las Cruces.
We stayed on the I-10 through Tucson. When we got north of Tucson, we again shut off the gps, turned it back on, hit the "no" option when asked if we wanted to continue the trip (which had been programmed to take us from Tucson to the city center of Phoenix), pressed "GO TO", went to our address book and started the third trip in our series, this time to the city center of Quartzsite,AZ as our destination. Quartzsite is on the I-10 west of Phoenix, so the gps automatically took us from our current location north of Tucson by/around Phoenix via the I-10, towards Quartzsite, rather than ending up in downtown Phoenix.
In other words, to bypass a city, find a second city that's located past the city you want to bypass. Make sure this second city is on the highway you want to take. Program your gps to take you to the city center of the second city. The gps should bypass you around the first city. Then just before the second city, shut off the gps, turn it back on, and repeat using a third city, etc, etc.
Also, between a gps, a paper map, and highway signs, the highway signs will be the most up-to-date. So if a highway sign differs from what your gps or paper map indicates, it's usually best to follow the highway sign. Both a paper map and a gps map can be months or even a couple of years old. Highway signs won't be.
I know this whole piece wasn't the easiest to understand. Sorry, but it was the best way to describe what we did that I could put down in writing. Feel free to send me a private message on here if you're confused about the instructions, or if I can be of any further assistance.
GPS is so overrated....these people want you to think that their product is the answer to your prayers. Well...it ain't. In fact MY experience with it was so bad...I threw it out and went back to: MAPS!!
Should I want to find an address somewhere....I just fire up the laptop and go to BING MAPS....type in the address and: there it is!
As far as RV Travels go, I have 3 books: Th GoodSam map book, the Trailer Life Directory and the KOA book. None of these books ever tried to get me to drive down a dirt road to an Army Base.