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Old 04-28-2015, 02:41 PM   #1
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Finding RV-safe travel routes

We have a Garmin Nuvi that apparently likes to send us on back roads and rickity bridges where no RV (or person?) has gone before... very scary!

Garmin sells a much more expensive RV version of GPS which supposedly takes your RV's height, length, width, and weight into account. Of course Garmin says "The ultimate responsibility for a safe RV travel route is YOURS." Sigh...

So how do you navigate *your* travel route while avoiding low clearances, ancient bridges, tunnels, etc. ?

Gps?
Phone app?
Trusty map?
Crystal Ball?

Funny thing too. We noticed some underpasses that have no clearance info at all. Did we miss something besides the main road?
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:46 PM   #2
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I bought a truck drivers atlas and check out my route before I leave.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:33 PM   #3
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I use Google Maps and Street view for planning, when actually driving the route I use my smartass phone with Google maps, along with a paper map backup. After one less than stellar navigation error down a dead end road we don't use Apple maps anymore. The good news is with our low clearance units we don't have to worry... much.

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Old 04-28-2015, 10:38 PM   #4
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I've had pretty good luck using the GPS in my truck. Only once did it take us on a road that was primarily used by motorcycles (slow and twisty) crossing the Ozarks.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:16 PM   #5
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I bought a truck drivers atlas and check out my route before I leave.
x2....don't leave home without it!
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Old 04-29-2015, 01:14 PM   #6
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I bought a truck drivers atlas and check out my route before I leave.
I was hoping I could add to my existing rersources as in add points of interest to my gps. Probably unrealistic though. So where did you buy your atlas?

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Old 04-29-2015, 01:17 PM   #7
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I've had pretty good luck using the GPS in my truck. Only once did it take us on a road that was primarily used by motorcycles (slow and twisty) crossing the Ozarks.
I've only been on the one trip and as bad luck would have it our gps got confused by a traffic circle that doesn't exist anymore. I swear I heard yodeling and saw mountain goats where we ended up before we finally turned around.

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Old 04-29-2015, 01:29 PM   #8
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I use Google Maps and Street view for planning, when actually driving the route I use my smartass phone with Google maps, along with a paper map backup. After one less than stellar navigation error down a dead end road we don't use Apple maps anymore. The good news is with our low clearance units we don't have to worry... much.

Aaron
Yeah that's true. We don't have to worry so much about heights like with taller RVs. But I think it's good to have a guide and to know what to look for. I saw a class A wedged under a bridge once and it wasn't pretty.

Granted we're nowhere near that height but just saying...

This RV is like our first child I think. The kid you run to the hospital for the slightest thing ya know? Then by the last kid, it's no big deal.

Ken
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:17 PM   #9
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You might want to check your settings and under the navigation tab check to see if you have some features turned the wrong way. I did that once and back roaded through West Virginia with a 24 foot TT rather than taking a tollway that would have only cost three dollars instead of five hours and innumerable switchbacks.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:48 PM   #10
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So where did you buy your atlas?
Ken
Check out any truck stop like Flying J, Pilot, TA, Loves etc.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:56 PM   #11
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You might want to check your settings and under the navigation tab check to see if you have some features turned the wrong way. I did that once and back roaded through West Virginia with a 24 foot TT rather than taking a tollway that would have only cost three dollars instead of five hours and innumerable switchbacks.
Good suggestion! I looked at our navigation settings and the only "avoidances" we have checked are U-turns and unpaved roads.

Since my original post, I did find a pay service that has GPS POI (points of interest) for low clearance overpasses (Low Clearance GPS Data). Their database sounds impressive but I tend to let POIs on the GPS just float by while I drive. And since as far as I know, and that's not far when it comes to Gps modes :-), these POIs would not grab my attention or be something the GPS could auto-route around, I'll just keep doing the best I can through other (free) means.

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Old 05-01-2015, 04:26 PM   #12
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Rand Mcnally 2016 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas (Rand Mcnally Motor Carriers' Road Atlas): Rand Mcnally: 9780528013218: Amazon.com: Books

This should help all those that have 13ft.+ high RVs.
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:30 AM   #13
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Great book!
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:48 AM   #14
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Kalm,

Are you doing your routing just on the Garmin Nuvi?

Or are you doing your planning on Garmin BaseCamp and then uploading to your Nuvi?

BaseCamp is software you can download from the Garmin website at no charge.

In BaseCamp you can set your preferences for the types of roads to avoid.

You can select what type of "vehicle" you are building the route for. All the way from hiking to a Semi.

You can "build" waypoints, routes, POIs and then plan your trip around them.

Been doing so for 18 years now with either Garmin MapSource or BaseCamp. BaseCamp is a "database" application...so you never lose anything...unless you specifically delete. Thus you can save your data and trip logs.

Takes a bit of work to learn, but works very, very well!!

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Old 05-03-2015, 06:56 PM   #15
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Kalm,

Are you doing your routing just on the Garmin Nuvi?

Or are you doing your planning on Garmin BaseCamp and then uploading to your Nuvi?

BaseCamp is software you can download from the Garmin website at no charge.

In BaseCamp you can set your preferences for the types of roads to avoid.

You can select what type of "vehicle" you are building the route for. All the way from hiking to a Semi.

You can "build" waypoints, routes, POIs and then plan your trip around them.

Been doing so for 18 years now with either Garmin MapSource or BaseCamp. BaseCamp is a "database" application...so you never lose anything...unless you specifically delete. Thus you can save your data and trip logs.

Takes a bit of work to learn, but works very, very well!!

Pirate
Hey Pirate,

I have several (too many) Garmin GPS units, from the Nuvi (crap), to the Montana series and now a new RV 760. I use Base Camp along with Google Earth.

You recommend use Base Camp for trip planning! Do you have a simple way to get the data from Base Camp into the GPS unit?

I can't do it.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:51 AM   #16
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Arlan,

Its really simple. When you open BaseCamp, on the left side is a "browser" at the top of which is a folder icon named "My Collection" every time you connect your Garmin GPS to the PC with BaseCamp...everything is transferred to "My Collection".

If you right click on My Collection at the bottom of the menu is "New List" and "New Folder List".

An example from my life. We're headed to the Rally On The Rocks in Moab, UT so I have made a Folder List "ROTR 2015". Then for each day we are there I have a List for the trail we are going to do that day.

So:

ROTR 2015
Fins N Things
Hells Revenge
Kane Creek
Porcupine Rim

And so on. Many of these trails we have done over the last six years. So I copy routes, tracks and waypoints to the appropriate List.

OK, now, when you connect your GPS to your PC, you should see the GPS partially start up and perhaps a bar that lights up as the GPS connects.

Looking at BaseCamp, you will see the unit at the bottom of the browser column you will see your GPS by name. A file below that is "Internal Storage". Left click on that and in the lower half of the browser everything on your GPS will appear. If you highlight one and right click a menu will open. One item is "Send to...".

So...the process is:

Open BaseCamp

Create a new "List Folder" and name it as you want.

Create a new "List" for the information you want to copy from the GPS to BaseCamp.

Go down to the "Internal Storage", left click so that everything on the GPS becomes visible at the bottom of the browser.

Select the items using the Ctrl key, then right click and left click on "Send to..."

Another browser box will open in the center of the page, scroll down to the "List" file you want to put the data in, and left click.

In a moment the data is transferred and you can left click on the "List" file and all the data will be there.

from there by right clicking on an item in the List file. You can create Routes from Tracks, Join tracks or routes together. Build new routes...all kinds of things you can find in Help.

Make sense? If not...ask away! I can answer just about anything on Garmin GPS units...I only have six! And use them extensively!!!

Pirate
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:34 AM   #17
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Pirate,

I am feeling like such an idiot right now. I don't know what I was thinking, or not thinking. I do know how to transfer way points using Base Camp.

I was busy with Google Earth and spoke without thinking. I'm really sorry.

You did give some useful information that I was not familiar with though. I will work with it in the morning.

Thanks
Arlan
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:40 AM   #18
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Oh, and have a great time in Moab!

Where do you stay?

We used to camp at Sand Flats, but don't fit with the Voltage. I can't believe what they did to the overflow area!
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:41 AM   #19
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Arlan,

Don't feel bad. My first Garmin was a III Plus...and I about threw it off the bluff a couple of times trying to figure it out!

I'm not familiar at all with Google Earth...but if you can take that data and make a .gpx transfer file you can then import it into BaseCamp.

I use TOPO software for some off road trips. And you can create .gpx transfer files and get the info up to BaseCamp and from there up to my GPS.

Currently I use a Garmin Zumo 660 mounted on the dash of the Silverado or the dash of the RZR.

I have used RAM MOUNT components to put together mounts of for two Garmin Rino 655t units. The Rino units have a screen a lot like and Oregon unit...but its a radio, a digital camera the "geo tags" each pic. And its the first Garmin I've owned that I can start and top "tracks" where I want to.

Got more questions...ask away!

Pirate
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:11 AM   #20
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Pirate,

A buddy of mine has the Garmin III plus. He use the heck out of it. I think my Garmin list is/was. 2 garmin 12's.... a 12XL....a 76 or two....a couple Nuvi's....2 gps 60's.....a 62.....a Montana 650.....a Montana 600..... A the RV 760 LMT.

I think that about covers it.

Arlan
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