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Thread: Opinions, please: Aftermarket Navigation Systems

  1. #1
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Opinions, please: Aftermarket Navigation Systems

    How about some members' input on aftermarket navigation systems? My wife and I ordered our new Ford Escape with the $799 factory navigation system built in. I really like it, but it doesn't do me any good in my truck when pulling a car trailer.

    I don't have a smart phone because I'd be intimidated by owning something smarter than I am , so I'm thinking about buying an aftermarket navigation system for the trip east to deliver Bill Pressler's new (hey, it's as new a Studebaker as I've seen in decades!) '66 Cruiser...and some sights co-pilot Howe Clark and I plan to see after delivering it.

    What do you guys / gals have to say about specific navigation system brands, experiences, etc? Do you have to pay an annual subscription fee and /or activation fee when you buy one?

    Any information / opinions would be appreciated. Thanks. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  2. #2
    Speedster Member toymobile's Avatar
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    I use a GARMIN NUVI 54, works as good or better than some I've tried, it will at least get you in the right area but not always SPOT ON with an address.

    Good luck

    Johnny

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    Silver Hawk Member
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    Setting behind me in a box is a Garmin 2797lmt 7" GPS, ready for the road, including an excellent aftermarket windshield mount. I used it for a year or two before I bought the Ram with the built-in system which I like. This Garmin is, in my mind, the best portable unit available as the size 7" makes it easy to see and it has free lifetime map and traffic updates.

    Here's my offer, I haven't used it in a couple of years. It's in great nick. If you want to try it for your trip, I'll send it to you for the postage. Use it, if you like it, we'll talk. If it's for a one time trip, just send it back.

    I've had Tom tom's, Garmin's and OEM units. None are perfect but the newer ones are darn good.

    Best I can do today. Bob
    Last edited by sweetolbob; 03-23-2017 at 08:05 AM.
    , ,

  4. #4
    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Standalone navigation systems are expected to go the way of the Do-Do Bird within several years as most, if not all cars will come with them. I have a Magellan that works great but now both of our cars are factory equipped with nav systems.

    What you can do is download Google Maps on your phone for free and it has real-time updates on road conditions. It's only drawback is that while it's activated it draws power down on your phone so leave it connected to the 12v power supply in the car.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

  5. #5
    President Member Commander Eddie's Avatar
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    I have a couple of Tom Tom units and have been really happy with them. Their screens are a good size and the graphics are great. They have excellent support and lots of goodies you can add to enhance your GPS experience.
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

  6. #6
    Chief Cat Herder showbizkid's Avatar
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    I started with Magellan years ago because I was used to them in my Hertz business rentals. Then my brother-in-law gave me a Garmin and I've been a fan ever since. I have a Nuvi for my wife's Pilot, even though I have an iPhone with a couple of navigation apps - I just feel that the way the Garmin navigates, and the route selection options, are more flexible than what's on my phone. Plus, the Garmin doesn't heat up from constant GPS activity and power flow
    Clark in San Diego
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  7. #7
    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    Been very happy with our Garmin units. Just as good as our factory Toyota unit and maybe a little easier to use.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

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  8. #8
    President Member j.byrd's Avatar
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    My old Garmin unit that I gave to someone I didn't like very much was replaced with a new paper road map. The Garmin had me living two or three different places, changed the GPS location everytime it was used, and ....well, I really hated it. But, having said that, my wife while riding in a rental car with another lady and her "unit" had even worse luck on Oahu....a really small island !.... Nope, we're too old and have no patience I guess, and besides that, have never got lost or had trouble from reading a road map or asking folks that has "been there" . Just keep you head up, enjoy the "real" view out the window, and have a great trip Bob. (was this a rant ? ha ! )

  9. #9
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    For a few years, I used a GPS program for my laptop. I had installed one of those "Law Enforcement" type computer stands in my personal pick-up, and our commercial trucks. Since it was initially "state of the art," and I had no exposure to other systems, I was very pleased at first. I thought having the laptop size screen was better than the smaller dedicated GPS only systems. Then, I began having computer problems. When you are using GPS through a finicky problematic computer, things can go bad very quickly. One day, while home between trips, I commented to my wife about some of the problems I had been having.

    A few days later, the UPS truck pulled up in my yard, and delivered a brand new Tom Tom GPS with lifetime map updates. (She bought it off the QVC shopping channel). After a few frustrating hours of trying to figure it out, I finally got up to speed on its features. That was back in 2006, and I am still using it! I think the Garmin brand is higher rated. All are probably improved over the one I use. As long as you purchase one of the major brands, I think you will love it. Expect a little learning curve, but as long as you realize that folks "dumber" than you are using them successfully... I know you are up to the challenge.

    It wasn't until I quit using the computer and it's GPS program, did I understand how much quicker and responsive a dedicated GPS is. With an old slow computer, it is possible to drive faster than the computer can compute. That means, you can drive past your turn while the computer is refreshing. That's how, one morning, I found myself sitting in traffic on a Manhattan bridge, after missing my turn. Forty five minutes later, the guy at the toll booth had no sympathy, as I paid a toll twice just to turn around! Paying unintended tolls, to "Recalculate" directions, adds up fast!

    Garmin, Tom Tom, or one built into a smart phone, I recommend one of the two familiar stand alone units. Get one, make a few trips and report back to us. I think you will be pleased.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

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    President Member
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    I use a 1993 Rand McNally road atlas....

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    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses...and those to come. I'll weigh all this as soon as my income taxes are done. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  12. #12
    President Member
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    garmin 760 rv 7" screen, updates for life....4 years running
    Bill Foy
    1000 Islands, Ontario
    1953 Starlight Coupe

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member
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    I have a Garmin unit that I use when out of this area. I am satisfied with it.
    I don't see how you can beat Bob's (sweeetolbob) offer.
    My taxes aren't done yet either.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  14. #14
    President Member BobWaitz's Avatar
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    I have a Garmin but I rarely use it anymore as my new truck (2017 Honda Ridgeline) has one and so does my iPhone. The Garmin is fine except you have to plug it in to your PC periodically to update it. The iPhone and my Honda's unit get updated automatically.

    One thing those standalone units like the Garmin are really good for is act as an accurate speedometer if you are driving an old car with dodgey instruments.

    Bob: Get a smart phone. It's good for an awful lot of things. Really. Look at this website from 2014 -- you can do everything in this 1991 Radio Shack full page ad on a smartphone:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-...b_4612973.html

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    President Member Lothar's Avatar
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    Google maps and my phone generally works pretty well. You can enter a destination and get turn-by-turn directions. It has been very accurate and gives you choices whether to take the shortest or fastest route. I have a state highway map as a back-up.
    John
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  16. #16
    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    My problem with using the phone is that it is hard to read on the highway. My wife's new car can use the phone and direct the readout to the screen in the dash. Problem I see is that the screen is low and in the center of the dash. It looks like to me it might be hard to seen especially in traffic. I have several Garmins of different sizes and costs. I do like them. I use a dash or windshield mount. The downside is that you have to upgrade them and I have had a bit of trouble with that.
    Joe Roberts
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    Silver Hawk Member 53k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRoberts View Post
    My problem with using the phone is that it is hard to read on the highway. My wife's new car can use the phone and direct the readout to the screen in the dash. Problem I see is that the screen is low and in the center of the dash. It looks like to me it might be hard to seen especially in traffic. I have several Garmins of different sizes and costs. I do like them. I use a dash or windshield mount. The downside is that you have to upgrade them and I have had a bit of trouble with that.
    I'm in Joe's court here. To me the smart phone is too distracting and hard to use. My Suzuki SX4 (yes, I drive orphans) has sort the best of both worlds. There is a pop-up receptacle on the top of the dash in the center. The car came with a Garmin made for the car, but it can be removed and used in other vehicles or whatever. It works through the car radio and also serves as the bluetooth connection. Gunslinger is right about the future of stand alone GPS units. I have seen several of the nice features of the Garmin (like real time traffic info) go away. Updating is no problem. Garmin just reminds me that it needs updating and I do that on the computer by USB to the Garmin.

    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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    If you use an iPhone ,get an app called Waze.
    It talks you to your destination and warn you of accidents, speed traps , red light cameras etc.
    It will reroute you when there are problems ahead and you do not have to read the screen.
    Robert Kapteyn

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waze...323229106?mt=8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    If you use an iPhone ,get an app called Waze.
    It talks you to your destination and warn you of accidents, speed traps , red light cameras etc.
    It will reroute you when there are problems ahead and you do not have to read the screen.
    Robert Kapteyn

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waze...323229106?mt=8
    Waze works with android also. It has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are it does what Bob says and lets you know about issues ahead on the road. The disadvantages are it let's you know about issues ahead on the road, time after time after time until you're ready to throw the blasted thing out the window.

    Google maps is my go to smartphone gps app but I still prefer the built-in unit in my Ram. The best thing about Google maps is it they are always up to date and less irritating than Waze. The only downside is if you run out of tower range for your phone.

    Bob
    , ,

  20. #20
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    My first choice is an excellent highway map (MapArt is a good brand in Canada). I use Google maps for trip planning in unfamiliar areas, then list the routes with a felt marker on a card for quick reference while travelling.

    Recently I bought a Garmin 50 GPS. I experimented by using it for several trips in familiar areas to learn its several quirks. The screen is nice, as well as the pictures of exits, and the maps. Exits often come sooner than it shows, by about 400 metres (0.25 mile). The verbal instructions appear to be good. Sometimes it does not give the best route.

    Entering an out-of-town street address is sometimes a challenge, especially if more than one community has the same street name. In Canada, I enter the civic number of the address and the postal code with excellent results. Have not used it in the U.S. yet, so not sure if a U.S. 9-digit postal code would work as well. I always set it to give the "fastest" route.

    After hearing the horror stories that some people have with GPS usage, here is some wisdom: NEVER let the GPS over-rule common sense. Continue to use maps to get the big picture. The GPS does not tell everything you need to know: for example, locations of toll booths, "Stop" and other highway signs, and even international border crossings. And, of course, keep your eyes on the road, not on the screen.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Greenstude; 03-25-2017 at 02:45 PM.
    Bill Jarvis

  21. #21
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetolbob View Post
    Setting behind me in a box is a Garmin 2797lmt 7" GPS, ready for the road, including an excellent aftermarket windshield mount. I used it for a year or two before I bought the Ram with the built-in system which I like. This Garmin is, in my mind, the best portable unit available as the size 7" makes it easy to see and it has free lifetime map and traffic updates.

    Here's my offer, I haven't used it in a couple of years. It's in great nick. If you want to try it for your trip, I'll send it to you for the postage. Use it, if you like it, we'll talk. If it's for a one time trip, just send it back.

    I've had Tom tom's, Garmin's and OEM units. None are perfect but the newer ones are darn good.

    Best I can do today. Bob
    Thanks, Bob. PM sent. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  22. #22
    Silver Hawk Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobPalma View Post
    Thanks, Bob. PM sent. BP
    Back at yah! Bob
    , ,

  23. #23
    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Another tidbit of a suggestion. (It might only apply to me), but I'm gonna offer it anyway. Try to take the time to learn how to operate the device and suppress any preconceived expectations from previous such technology you may have been exposed to. My first exposure to GPS was using a computer with what is called a "Dongle" that plugged into a USB port and dangled from a suction cup on the windshield. To enter the address for your destination, all you had to do was type the address into the computer program as if you were addressing an envelope to mail.

    When I got my first true dedicated GPS device, in my haste to use it, I attempted to try and operate it in the same sequence. Of course, they don't work that way. I became so frustrated, angry, and nearly trashed the little electronic brick! While sitting in my truck, face red with anger/frustration...I caught a glimpse of what a contorted mess I had become in my rear-view mirror. Suddenly, my red with anger face changed to red with embarrassment. I finally sat back, relaxed, and began to actually read the instructions that came in the package. It wasn't the device that needed adjusting...just my attitude. Instead of typing in an address like it was an envelope to be mailed, the GPS unit needs to know the State, town, name of the street, and then the number on the street. Once I figured that out, the next biggest problem was to make my fat fingers work on a tiny touchscreen keyboard. For example, you won't get to the right destination if you accidentally hit the "S" instead of "W" when typing in Whit Road.

    I'm sure some are better than others, and there may be minor operational differences, but I have found them to be great little gadgets, even the ones that are smart phone apps. After you get yours, come back and give us an update.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

  24. #24
    Speedster Member
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    On my third Garmin. First one went to my son when he moved to CA. Replaced it with I believe a NUVI 750 with lifetime maps. It's wise to "learn" how the unit works by programing it to a destination you already know. See how it responds & then adapt to what it's telling you & when. The second unit I had was absolutely psycho. Because I had such good success with the first one I just trusted it on a trip to MA. It had me existing tollways just to get back on them. Had me on surface streets when I needed a freeway. We quit using it & then just to see how bad it was, back home we used it to go into Seattle. Had me turning East on I-90 heading to Spokane. Had me going North on I-5 when I was going to Tacoma. Called Garmin & they sent me the replacement within one day & I received a call back from them apologizing for the unit we previously bought. The tech support person admitted that he's never seen one act the way ours did. Pleased with the new one & it's proved itself on 2 cross country trips & countless times when I have to rely on it for business.
    "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
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  25. #25
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetolbob View Post
    Setting behind me in a box is a Garmin 2797lmt 7" GPS, ready for the road, including an excellent aftermarket windshield mount. I used it for a year or two before I bought the Ram with the built-in system which I like. This Garmin is, in my mind, the best portable unit available as the size 7" makes it easy to see and it has free lifetime map and traffic updates.

    Here's my offer, I haven't used it in a couple of years. It's in great nick. If you want to try it for your trip, I'll send it to you for the postage. Use it, if you like it, we'll talk. If it's for a one time trip, just send it back.

    I've had Tom tom's, Garmin's and OEM units. None are perfect but the newer ones are darn good.

    Best I can do today. Bob
    Thumbs-up to our SDC Forum.

    Bob sent me this unit, per his above offer, and I used it on the trip to deliver Bill Pressler's "new" 1966 Cruiser April 17 and 18. It worked perfectly and saved us a lot of time looking for John Wolf Instrument Repair in Willoughby OH the next day, tucked away in an industrial park.

    Bob and I got together on a price when I got back and I mailed him a check. He assured me the money would be coming back to Indiana when he attends the SDC National Meet next week!

    Thanks, Bob (and the forum!) BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  26. #26
    Silver Hawk Member
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    Posted by Bob Palma
    He assured me the money would be coming back to Indiana when he attends the SDC National Meet next week!
    If I can find my why there now. Thx, Bob. Excellent transaction. Bob
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