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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Built in vs. Stand-alone GPS?

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wing_zealot

East of the Mississippi

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Posted: 11/27/19 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

iPhone running waze and Apple CarPlay; Priceless.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 11/27/19 08:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

$750 built in vs $20 mount for cell phone running a mapping app...hmm

And yes the cell phone will work fine if you are going into areas without cell coverage. The major mapping apps allow you to download the maps to the phone ahead of time.


Sorry but it will not work. Having the maps downloaded into the phone is no more usefull than having a map in your back pocket. Without cell service or GPS, the phone has no more idea of where it is than you do with that map.


Scott, Grace and Wesly
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Bob Sue

Farmington,Mi

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Posted: 11/27/19 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Which ever way you decide to go, just stay away from Rand McNally. They have zero customer service if you have a problem, and eventually you will. Mine worked great for a few years, then lost the turn by turn directions ( and I find it hard to constantly look at the screen while driving ) and there was no help from RM.


Bob&Sue
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rockhillmanor

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Posted: 11/27/19 12:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMHO definitely the stand alone/dash if you use your Toad after parking.

If you are towing a toad with a MH. You can simply take it with you and put it in Toad when needed.

Moot point if you have brand new GPS built in in ALL of the vehicles! [emoticon]

I finally found a gps mount for the dash that actually stays in place and when you move it to another vehicle mount comes with it. You can position gps any way you want over and over again. And mount won't fall off the dash like the window suction ones do.

My gps and mount is as old as dirt and both still works just fine for my MH and toad. Tomtom with big screen and I speak the directions to it!

[image]
[image]


We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


Veebyes

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Posted: 11/27/19 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An RV770 does not cost anywhere near $750.


Boat: 32' 1996 Albin 32+2, single Cummins 315hp
40+ night per year overnighter

2007 Alpenlite 34RLR
2006 Chevy 3500 LT, CC,LB 6.6L Diesel

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pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 11/27/19 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JaxDad wrote:

pnichols wrote:

JaxDad wrote:

Johno02 wrote:

Like someone else said, Google, or a cell phone is great, IF you have cell or internet service. If not, it is just a useless hunk of junk.


Not true at all..

Several GPS apps (for both iOS and Android devices) allow you to download the map database (in whole or just the part you need, in detail or not) and then your phone or tablet will work regardless of service availability, even in airplane mode.

I use an iPad mini (8” screen) with a Bad Elf GPS dongle and end up with a GPS that I can also check in on RV.net with after I get there.

Try that with your Garmin. LOL.


Hmmm .... what exactly do you mean by "I can also check in on RV.net with"? You need Internet access to do that after you get to where you were going. (Some of our destinations don't end up where there is Internet access.)

Also, I wonder how many smartphones have enough built-in memory so as to hold at all times the entire map database for North America ... like our 3550LM stand-alone Garmin unit can. We can travel anywhere in the lower U.S. or Canada or Alaska (or Mexico) without having to download any regional maps -> the huge map database for all of this is right there in the Garmin, which came with lifetime free map updates - which makes it a no-brainer to keep current. This makes for one less thing to have to remember to take care of/prepare before a major RV trip.

P.S. A Garmin stand-alone unit will only lead you on a Wild Goose Chase if you let it do so. [emoticon]


The comment I was replying to was that a phone wouldn’t work if you had no cell service. By tethering my iPad to my iPhone there’s very few places I don’t have Internet since I can access almost every carrier and just choose the strongest signal where I happen to be.

As for storage, the entire map database for all of North America is on ~2.36 GB and you have the option of loading just the portion you need in which case it’s only a few hundred MB. Even the smallest of smartphones are 16 GB and 64 GB is pretty standard these days, some even 128 or 256 GB.


I guess there's something I'm missing in what you're saying:

We tether our iPad to our smartphone when on RV trips too ... since our iPad is not set up as an independent Internet device. However, our smartphone operates on the Verizon network ... and only that network because that's who we signed up with years ago.

So here's my question - how can your iPhone "access almost every carrier"? How do these various carrier's bill you for your iPhone use on each of them, if you jump around on them as you please in any given time period? (I thought a smartphone was registered with, and the owner billed by, only one specific carrier that the owner's device is registered with.)

Of course if a smartphone has a complete mapbase installed locally on it, and the smartphone can function as a satellete based GPS receiver independent of an Internet connection, then I guess that the right smartphone containing the right mapbase can be setup to look, act, and function like a standalone satellite based GPS navigator device.

If so, the above point is not well made in most of the discussions comparing the two approaches to RV navigation aides. Also if so, I should probably retire my Garmin 3550LM and use a smartphone instead, for navigation help whenever we're RV traveling out in the boonies beyond cellular signal reception.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 11/27/19 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

$750 built in vs $20 mount for cell phone running a mapping app...hmm

And yes the cell phone will work fine if you are going into areas without cell coverage. The major mapping apps allow you to download the maps to the phone ahead of time.


Sorry but it will not work. Having the maps downloaded into the phone is no more usefull than having a map in your back pocket. Without cell service or GPS, the phone has no more idea of where it is than you do with that map.


What do you mean when you mention "Without ... GPS" with respect to phones?

I thought all so-called smartphones offered for the last several years could function as a satellite based GPS device? If they can be used that way -> then whenever a phone has the right application software set up in it, and can hold a complete map database in it's memory, and while it's receiving and processing satellite location information ... then it should be able to do anything a standalone satellite based GPS unit can do.

Rarely in the RV forums has anyone explained clearly and fully what's the whole story regarding a smartphone being able to function as a pure satellite-based navigation device not needing any cell signal access. I'm still scratching my head on this issue ... and I wonder how many smartphone owners fully understand what's going on with respect to this.

[emoticon]

Fizz

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Posted: 11/27/19 03:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:


Sorry but it will not work. Having the maps downloaded into the phone is no more usefull than having a map in your back pocket. Without cell service or GPS, the phone has no more idea of where it is than you do with that map.


You must have an old flip phone.

Phone GPS

JaxDad

Greater Toronto Area

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Posted: 11/27/19 04:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

$750 built in vs $20 mount for cell phone running a mapping app...hmm

And yes the cell phone will work fine if you are going into areas without cell coverage. The major mapping apps allow you to download the maps to the phone ahead of time.


Sorry but it will not work. Having the maps downloaded into the phone is no more usefull than having a map in your back pocket. Without cell service or GPS, the phone has no more idea of where it is than you do with that map.


Absolutely incorrect. A smart phone has a GPS receiver, if the map database is in its memory it is no different than any other stand alone GPS unit.

If you have say Co-Pilot, the map database in its memory and a GPS dongle plugged in, an iPad (that isn’t even cellular capable) works just fine as a stand-alone GPS unit.

JaxDad

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Posted: 11/27/19 05:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

JaxDad wrote:

pnichols wrote:

JaxDad wrote:

Johno02 wrote:

Like someone else said, Google, or a cell phone is great, IF you have cell or internet service. If not, it is just a useless hunk of junk.


Not true at all..

Several GPS apps (for both iOS and Android devices) allow you to download the map database (in whole or just the part you need, in detail or not) and then your phone or tablet will work regardless of service availability, even in airplane mode.

I use an iPad mini (8” screen) with a Bad Elf GPS dongle and end up with a GPS that I can also check in on RV.net with after I get there.

Try that with your Garmin. LOL.


Hmmm .... what exactly do you mean by "I can also check in on RV.net with"? You need Internet access to do that after you get to where you were going. (Some of our destinations don't end up where there is Internet access.)

Also, I wonder how many smartphones have enough built-in memory so as to hold at all times the entire map database for North America ... like our 3550LM stand-alone Garmin unit can. We can travel anywhere in the lower U.S. or Canada or Alaska (or Mexico) without having to download any regional maps -> the huge map database for all of this is right there in the Garmin, which came with lifetime free map updates - which makes it a no-brainer to keep current. This makes for one less thing to have to remember to take care of/prepare before a major RV trip.

P.S. A Garmin stand-alone unit will only lead you on a Wild Goose Chase if you let it do so. [emoticon]


The comment I was replying to was that a phone wouldn’t work if you had no cell service. By tethering my iPad to my iPhone there’s very few places I don’t have Internet since I can access almost every carrier and just choose the strongest signal where I happen to be.

As for storage, the entire map database for all of North America is on ~2.36 GB and you have the option of loading just the portion you need in which case it’s only a few hundred MB. Even the smallest of smartphones are 16 GB and 64 GB is pretty standard these days, some even 128 or 256 GB.


I guess there's something I'm missing in what you're saying:

We tether our iPad to our smartphone when on RV trips too ... since our iPad is not set up as an independent Internet device. However, our smartphone operates on the Verizon network ... and only that network because that's who we signed up with years ago.

So here's my question - how can your iPhone "access almost every carrier"? How do these various carrier's bill you for your iPhone use on each of them, if you jump around on them as you please in any given time period? (I thought a smartphone was registered with, and the owner billed by, only one specific carrier that the owner's device is registered with.)

Of course if a smartphone has a complete mapbase installed locally on it, and the smartphone can function as a satellete based GPS receiver independent of an Internet connection, then I guess that the right smartphone containing the right mapbase can be setup to look, act, and function like a standalone satellite based GPS navigator device.

If so, the above point is not well made in most of the discussions comparing the two approaches to RV navigation aides. Also if so, I should probably retire my Garmin 3550LM and use a smartphone instead, for navigation help whenever we're RV traveling out in the boonies beyond cellular signal reception.


Quotes of quotes this long make me a little crazy, but here goes.

Stand-alone is the key. A phone or tablet running without cell service is no different than a stand-alone GPS for navigating, but is a LOT more useful for other things beyond navigation.

The trick to ‘any network’ is the company that provides your service. Verizon isn’t going to tell you they have sharing agreements with a bunch of other companies. They want to keep your money. No surprise, your Ford owner’s manual says all sorts of terrible things will happen if you don’t use ‘genuine’ Ford parts. There are however other providers that have made those agreements.

My cell phone is ‘local’ (no roaming, no long distance) in most of the world, I can switch between several phone numbers in a couple of key strokes, or switch between most cell providers automatically or manually, again with a few key strokes.

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