Using my Garmin...

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So, I just bought a Garmin nuvi50, and I have a several week road trip planned in the middle of June. We are driving to MI to attend my brother's wedding (yes I'm shooing it!!!). On the way home we are going to spend about a week along the 40/10, hitting Mammoth Caves, maybe Carlsbad Caverns, Petrified Forest, etc. I am anxious to use the GPS to its fullest. The Garmin sight offers their app called BaseCamp for trip planning, etc. I'm wondering if anyone has used this, or is there something better out there? I want ease of use first and foremost. Thanks!!!
 
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Hmmm, thanks. Sounds like I am wanting a "better" unit... But I didn't want to spend a ton on something I'm not going to use regularly... Would I be better sticking with this new, lower end model, or buying a refurbished higher end model for a little more? I was under the impression that with GPS units it was usually better to buy newer... I just don't really want to spend $200+ on a unit I'm going to use a handful of times a year...
 
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I don't think you're going to find much better or at least more convenient than basecamp. There are other waypoint-management programs but Basecamp is designed to work with the latest maps in the GPS, and the routing algorithm is pretty close to what they put in the Nuvi firmware.

From reading up on the Nuvi-50 I think you're faced with only going from point A to point B with it though and your "trip planning" is going to take some imagination to work (depending on your expectations). With some of the more advanced GPSs you can carefully plan a route with some complexity, load it into the GPS, then be ready to go. With the lower-end receivers you're pretty much stuck with just going from where you are to a destination or waypoint while the GPS calculates the route for you. I'm pretty sure that's what the Nuvi-50 does.

Having said that, Basecamp will let you create your own custom waypoints for wherever you want to go. Even though many (if not all) of the places you want to visit will be in the GPS already, creating a list of your own waypoints may make it easier and quicker to select your next destination. Rather than having the GPS search for a landmark you'll just pull up your own and tell the GPS to navigate to it.

Since the '50 apparently doesn't allow custom routes or multi-waypoint navigation you can be creative and create a route in basecamp by planning more custom waypoints. Let's say you really want to take a route that goes a certain way, just drop waypoints along that route - call the waypoints "A01", "A02", A03", etc, then in the car tell Nuvi to navigate to A01, then later go to A02, etc. Basecamp will help visualize that kind of route.

You can also explore sites like POI Factory for waypoints you can upload using Basecamp too. You might find it useful.

BTW, I should have said, Thank You! for being thorough and giving me the advice and the link. :smile:
 
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What ever happened to the good old book of maps of all 50 states that you could study, and plan a route without some device planning it for you? I still enjoy using maps, studying them, and deciding where I will drive, how far it will be, and not worrying about a device telling me. Don't get me wrong, a GPS does wonders if you are in a remote area, where there are no roads, and you are flying along at 180 knots, and you can't see any landmarks to tell you where you are. But driving on roads? I just don't see the need of it. Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer that book of maps.
 
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What ever happened to the good old book of maps of all 50 states that you could study, and plan a route without some device planning it for you? I still enjoy using maps, studying them, and deciding where I will drive, how far it will be, and not worrying about a device telling me. Don't get me wrong, a GPS does wonders if you are in a remote area, where there are no roads, and you are flying along at 180 knots, and you can't see any landmarks to tell you where you are. But driving on roads? I just don't see the need of it. Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer that book of maps.
I carry paper maps, and pre-plan my trip/route. What GPS does for me is tell me faster routes, and it finds hotels and restaurants for me (and the kids!!!). :smile: Paper map won't do that! As well, my GPS tells me altitude, accurate speed, time to arrival, all little things that I enjoy knowing as I drive... not necessary, but I love knowing that stuff, especially the altitude. It's fun to see. It will also alert me of POI's that might not show on a regular map...
 
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Got an iPhone? If so, Waze is excellent, can set multiple "stops" and is FREE :biggrin:
No I don't... believe it or not, but so far, I've resisted the smart-phone "craze" :tongue: and the much larger monthly bills that go with it. Gonna give in soon tho! :wink:

Also, for this application, I had thought it would be nicer to have the GPS separate from the phone... for use with both at the same time, larger screen, etc.
 
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Also, for this application, I had thought it would be nicer to have the GPS separate from the phone... for use with both at the same time, larger screen, etc.

True, it's a lot easier to have separates... but it's FREE lol.
 
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Also, for this application, I had thought it would be nicer to have the GPS separate from the phone... for use with both at the same time, larger screen, etc.

True, it's a lot easier to have separates... but it's FREE lol.
Free is relative. I would have to upgrade my phone ($100 minimum), upgrade my plan (currently pay a ridiculous $10/month on family plan). I bought my GPS unit for $130. :biggrin: Free? I think not!
 
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Free is relative. I would have to upgrade my phone ($100 minimum), upgrade my plan (currently pay a ridiculous $10/month on family plan). I bought my GPS unit for $130. :biggrin: Free? I think not!
$10/month? I'm jealous. We pay $60/month for 2 phones on a family plan, and that only is good within Alaska. We also don't have smart phones or a data plan. If we wanted to send text messages, they would cost $.20/each.
 
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$10/month? I'm jealous. We pay $60/month for 2 phones on a family plan, and that only is good within Alaska. We also don't have smart phones or a data plan. If we wanted to send text messages, they would cost $.20/each.
True, but look at the view you have!!! :smile:
 
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I have an old Garmin Nuvi 255W. I purchased the "lifetime updates"; major mistake!! Last time I updated it, my Garmin went blank then displayed a message indicating that no maps were loaded! :frown: Mind you, the update took several hours. I had updated in the past (also took several hours), but maps never reflected roads accurately. This last update was the worst of all!

After a frantic Google search I was able to reset it back to factory standard and load maps again. However, all my history had been erased! :mad: Worst part is that the "updated" maps don't reflect accurate roads even in my own city. Also, the routes that I get are not accurate; they have me driving around in circles to get to some place. One time it took me through a dirt road up a mountain to the point where there was no actual road; I was with my wife and kids and a minivan definitely can not drive off road on a mountain trail.

I lost confidence with this GPS to the point that I make sure I have actual paper maps with me when I travel (I get them for free at AAA). I think it is way too dangerous to rely solely on this unreliable GPS, especially when traveling with small children. AAA offers a "triptick" service were they print out a small book with maps, driving instructions and detailed info for free as well.

I was happy when I first purchased my Garmin, but after the horrible update problems I don't think I would spend the money on another Garmin again. At least I won't ever purchase the lifetime map updates.

My advice to you; make sure to take a good paper map with you as back up!


P.S. I too do not own a "smartphone", so downloading some map app is not a possibility for me.
 
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