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Open Roads Forum  >  Technology Corner

 > Rand McNally RVND7710 & Magellan 9165T RV GPS comparisons

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Hudsoner

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Posted: 01/29/12 11:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

professor95 wrote:



Maybe if enough RV'ers speak up about the cost of updates added to a particular GPS or share if they are avoiding purchasing GPS units without updates it would make a difference? I would certainly be glad to share with my company contacts what RV'ers have to say.

I am in the market to update from my car GPS (TomTom) to a RV suitable GPS. I am also using MS Streets & Trips on my netbook. I will hold back with a RV specific unit until I receive the same service as TomTom is giving me (free map updates and free traffic)

emiddleb

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Posted: 01/29/12 02:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Professor,

Thanks for the feature comparison. As you say, sounds like both are "close but not perfect" at this point.

Have you tried creating routes on either/both, especially like someone would do for a vacation going a week or two with stops at campgrounds, POIs etc? Today I use MS S&T because it's easy to sit at the computer and map it out. How easily can one do it on those GPSs?

Side comment: sometimes I wonder if "free upgrades" are all that normal? My car's GPS upgrade is not free, not sure about other car manufacturer's systems, MS S&T makes you buy a whole new version each year, the old Alpine GPS that was OEM in my RV was not free. Is it reasonable to get "free" or is it just baked into the price of those who say it's included?


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professor95

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Posted: 01/29/12 07:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

emiddleb wrote:

Professor,

Thanks for the feature comparison. As you say, sounds like both are "close but not perfect" at this point.

Have you tried creating routes on either/both, especially like someone would do for a vacation going a week or two with stops at campgrounds, POIs etc? Today I use MS S&T because it's easy to sit at the computer and map it out. How easily can one do it on those GPSs?

Side comment: sometimes I wonder if "free upgrades" are all that normal? My car's GPS upgrade is not free, not sure about other car manufacturer's systems, MS S&T makes you buy a whole new version each year, the old Alpine GPS that was OEM in my RV was not free. Is it reasonable to get "free" or is it just baked into the price of those who say it's included?


Free map updates for life (the life of the GPS) are being offered by several GPS brands. Apparently this is an incentive to get one to buy their product. I know Magellan, Garmin and Tom Tom provide this as an all inclusive item on some models of their GPS.

Right now both Magellan and Rand McNally are offering 90 day map update guarantees. But, both representatives I have talked with indicated off-the-record that they would be provided for the first year after registration. Then, it is $89 for the map update.

Personally, I have found little need to purchase updates every year. I have ended up replacing my GPS units as new features and technology are introduced and will probably do so in the future as well.

The "thing" with both the Magellan and Rand McNally units is the amount of data and complexity of the routing information. If you want to go to All Stays or Trailer Life and update your directory and POI's you will pay at least $50 with no GPS - much like M S&T. BTW - Microsoft offers a free 90 day update to current owners. I have found that the roads and routes I drive have not changed. What does change is the names of the business at each Interstate exit, etc. Sometimes these changes come slowly - like a couple of years after they are gone.

Yes, I have run routing for many east coast trips on both GPS units. I have NOT routed further west than Little Rock or further south than Orlando. They are far ahead of my "Trucker" Garmin in providing POI and campground info. Both are extremely easy for invoking a detour to the route provided. With my Garmin, I often used M S&T to develop my routing and then uploaded it to the GPS. This is not a feature for either the Magellan or Rand McNally RV specific GPS units - I miss this feature!

As far as live traffic reporting goes - on the Rand McNally it is an extra cost option and requires an accessory receiver/antenna. It is included with the Magellan 6510 - no extra fee or equipment needed. The reports are provided via cell phone towers ONLY in select locations (which I do not know where). But there is a catch...... the free live traffic also includes "pop up" advertising for hotels, restaurants, etc. along your route. I got so sick and tired of the constant intrusion for Best Western bonus points and coupons I ended up turning live traffic off. The pop-ups were especially annoying at night as they made the screen bright. They would stay on about 10-15 seconds and then clear only to come back about 10 minutes later. My guess is the Magellan traffic is only free because of the advertising.

The POI's in the RVND7710 are "interesting". Being home based out of Virginia it was the first state I pulled up. I could not help but laugh when it showed the highest point in VA as also being the lowest point. But, if you are a fisherman and want to know about the lakes, rivers and streams along your route you will probably enjoy the POI database in the RVND7710 tremendously. Many of the 7710's POI's are "Editor Picks" - again I wonder how much the picks are influenced by paid advertising.

But, back to the bottom line - both or either unit is a tremendous improvement for someone with a LARGE RV as far as routing. Either one is better than M S&T because you can set your RV size and it chooses routing based on that data and your preferences. M S&T has no idea what you are driving. Mistakes are made by both GPS units - the highway, roadway and streets databases are imperfect. But, both manufacturers have created a really nice GPS with bells and whistles that blow a car GPS away. The only alternative is the parent models of the RV units - which are the true trucker database units. You will get a different POI database and warnings for every weight station with the trucker version but the routing is basically the same.

* This post was edited 01/29/12 08:50pm by professor95 *


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Us out West

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Posted: 01/29/12 07:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't see your comment Professor

We are really looking for an RV gps and are intrigued with the Rand.

Have had Garmins with good experience but want the RV application.


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Posted: 01/31/12 08:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bottom line ... no one is making a product that has all of the features Rv'ers want. We are forced to use several products to map our trips. Yes we want free upgrades. Yes we do need to know about low bridges. Yes we need to pick our routes. Yes we want large displays. Yes we want our laptop and gps units to talk to each other. Yes we want to know about rest areas, fuel stops, campgrounds, etc. I'm still waiting ................

Us out West

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Posted: 02/11/12 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ordered a RM 7710 today and will have it for our mid-March 9 hour trip to Menifee, CA. to p/u our new Pinnacle.

Our car Garmin did OK but felt the RM was the best RV GPS in our searching.

IMOP of course.

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Posted: 02/14/12 08:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

professor95 wrote:

For those interested..... Rand McNally will be including the Woodall's Campground Directory in all of their RV GPS products beginning sometime in April. Current owners of both the 5" and 7" RVND models will be given the opportunity to upgrade software for their GPS via the dock for free.

This will result in a real run for the money between the Magellan and RVND models. The Woodall's directory is at least equal to the Trailer Life directory included in the Magellan RV GPS.


Wonder what Rand McNally and Magellan are going to use in 2013? Here's an interesting fact:

Trailer Life RV Parks & Campgrounds Directory and Woodall’s Campground Guide to Unite in 2013 to Form One Combined “Super Directory”

here is a link to the merger announcement


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professor95

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Posted: 02/12/12 11:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Us out West wrote:

Ordered a RM 7710 today and will have it for our mid-March 9 hour trip to Menifee, CA. to p/u our new Pinnacle.

Our car Garmin did OK but felt the RM was the best RV GPS in our searching.

IMOP of course.


I think you will be happy. It is a quality piece of hardware and with the NEW RV Docking software is much better than when I first received mine. Just be aware the RV Dock software can take up as much space on a hard drive as Microsoft Streets and Trips.

professor95

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Posted: 02/14/12 07:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For those interested..... Rand McNally will be including the Woodall's Campground Directory in all of their RV GPS products beginning sometime in April. Current owners of both the 5" and 7" RVND models will be given the opportunity to upgrade software for their GPS via the dock for free.

This will result in a real run for the money between the Magellan and RVND models. The Woodall's directory is at least equal to the Trailer Life directory included in the Magellan RV GPS.

Craig95005

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Posted: 02/16/12 02:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Professor, we have the Rand-McNally 5510 and used it on a four month circuit of the country last fall. We liked it, and I can't imagine a trip without a GPS, but its routing seemed far from perfect.

It would often send us on complicated routes, with many turns, when a straight shot was available. Maybe they all do that, but I don't remember our old Garmin doing so in our cars, and in a motorhome, the fewer turns the better, of course. It would be nice if there was an option something like Direct routes when available, even when convoluted routing might be slightly shorter.

I also noticed that if you are making the same trip - campground to town, for example - multiple times, the routes are often quite different - telling me that there is a randomness to the software's initial try for routing, and that the GPS doesn't experiment with all available routing options before selecting the best one.

One issue for me was that when you are off a main road, such as in a campground, and you enter a new destination, the GPS doesn't tell you which direction you are supposed to turn when you reach the designated road. Sometimes you can figure it out from the position of the RV symbol on the screen, but not always.

Did you notice any or all of those issues?

We are considering getting a second GPS, to supplement our Rand-McNally and give us a second opinion on routing. Would prefer not to spend the big bucks of a second RV-specific unit. What would you recommend? Thanks for the thread.

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