GPS unit

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by teresab, May 22, 2006.

  1. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    Just wondering if anyone out there travels a lot and has a portable GPS unit for their car and if so which one and do you like it. My daughter is going to become a traveling nurse and go all over the country on 13 week assignments..the problem is she is terrible with directions. I am making myself sick with worry over her and decided maybe this is the way for her to go. We know NOTHING about these kinds of things so if you do could you enlighten us as to what to look for and what kinds of accessories they need. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I have heard good things about them, and I am thinking of getting one -- they still seem a bit pricy to me.

    If you have Costco around, they have some now. They have a no-questions-asked return policy, so you could buy, try it, and return it if not to your liking.

    As another thought, if your daughter carries a lap top computer, you can buy a GPS attachment for laptops for much less than the standalone GPS units cost. The Microsoft Streets and Trips software will run on a laptop with one of these add on GPS units, and provide turn by turn instructions.

    Gary
     

  3. paden

    paden Well-Known Member

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    I have a Garmen GPSmap 60cx and love it. It's probably a mid range gps( around $450). With map quest maps (sold seperately) you can put road maps in it from anywhere in the US then tell it you want to go to a specific place and it will give you directions on how to get there. It will tell you where every turn is etc. The mapquest software has all sorts of points programmed into it so you can look up food, stores, hospitals etc. and it will tell you where that is.

    I have topo maps for it as well for backcountry travel.

    I have only had it a few months but wouldn't trade it now.

    what to look for....
    ---for turn by turn navigation you need mapping software, memory enough to store maps and the ability to use them.
    ---you need a computer in order to put maps into a gps.
    ---Battery life isn't great so car kits are a must for lots of traveling.
    ---screen size
    ---color, b/w
     
  4. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    I have owned and used a Garmin GPS V for the last 3-4 years and I would recommend the largest screen that you can afford and get it specifically for the use intended, in-car navigation.
    The GPS V is dual purpose to be used in-car or walking through the woods so, in my opinion, it has some drawbacks to each purpose.
    I do like using the laptop for the size but unless you have a mount for it where it's accessable to you without looking over to passengers seat then it's not safe.
    My choice would be one of the Garmin Streetpilot models. This new Tom-Tom that is advertised on TV looks pretty good too. http://www.tomtom.com
     
  5. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    I have a palm lifedrive (the treo line and tungsten work as well) and have been looking pretty heavily at the systems for it. Both TomTom and Mapopolis are good solutions. For another $200 I can convert my PDA to full GPS navigational system for my car and then pop it out and take it with me to handle my contacts, notes, email, mp3 playing and the like. All together it's cheaper than dedicated car navigation systems and is a lot more useful. A PDA add on might be the best way to go for you as well. Take a look and see what gives you the best bang for the buck.

    J
     
  6. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input ...I will let her know. She does have a laptop so maybe that will work for her...guess we should make a trip to Staples or Circuit City and talk to them and get some ideas on what would work. I am hoping for something she can sit on the dash of her car...don't want her having to take her eyes off the road to see something and have an accident.
     
  7. FreightTrain

    FreightTrain Well-Known Member

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    i mean no offence, but following driving directions and map reading is easier (and cheaper) to learn then the operation and cost of a gps unit
     
  8. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    That is assuming you get good directions, have a good map of the entire country and stop often to look it over.

    I have excellent map reading skills but the details available on most maps, especially when driving out into the country or a small town is very poor. Having a navigation system that can show me exactly where I am on a map and /or give me directions straight to a location by voice while I keep my eyes on the road is a major benefit.

    Between poor road marking and poor map details I'll gladly employ a naviagtion system. That doesn't mean I don't have an atlas in the car as backup.

    J
     
  9. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i hope gps technology has improved since i bought my $100 unit for hunting. reception was a real pain. you could never get signal where you needed it. i live a bit close to some military stuff so maybe that has something to do with it.
     
  10. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    I have used gps a lot, some operationally in the military in iraq & kuwait, some travleing around the US. I am a big fan of Garmin units, they have provided great service for me. I got my Dad a garmin eMap unit that is designed for road use, it works very well. I imagine the current ones are even better.

    http://www.garmin.com/mobile/products.html#automotive
     
  11. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

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    FreightTrain- my daughter is 22 and will be traveling to major cities..her first assignment is in Baltimore...she is a country girl and has never traveled much. Like Thatch said...I would much rather she be listening to a GPS unit tell her where to go then be in 6 lanes of traffic..missing her turn off and trying to figure out where she is- possibly in the bad section of the city. And yes it would be cheaper to just read the map....for me, I could never afford a GPS unit but she is making very good money at what she does so that isn't really an issue with her.
     
  12. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you already have a laptop, you cannot beat either Delorme or Microsoft Streets with gps module. the delorme is around $100 the microsoft around 120. it has paid for itself many times over in fuel alone...it has paid for itself many thousands of times in peace of mind. it has saved me from devorce many many times.

    Delorme is better program, more features, more usable, but they do not up date their maps as much as microsoft.

    microsoft is simplier to use, easier to find a mail box location, but does not have as many aid functions as delorme. after using both,,,,i'm going to switch back to delorme but keep microsoft loaded in laptop.

    both are basically like having an expert navigator in the right hand seat. both will show you every curve in the road before you get to it.

    i love maps,,,i never leave home with out maps, but nothing compaires to having a interactive gps and none of the deticated gps have as many features and easy to read screen as a laptop.

    how nice is it to know for sure "should i have turned at that intersection?" ok now tell me what to do since i missed the intersection... how far to gas? which lane should i be in? where is a place to stay the night? where is a rest stop? how steep is the mountain that i have to go down with a 12,000 lb load? you can go three states over and go to a persons house as if you had been making the trip everyday.
     
  13. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Yep id use the lap top as well.The size of the screen alone would be worth it.
    But for a regular GPS i have the Garmin V ,and i love it. :) Check your local pawn shops! I gave $169 for mine with every thing, including the software and unlock codes.
    http://www.garmin.com/products/gps5/spec.html
     
  14. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    Not to knock the GPS units, but they can lead you astray from time to time. She should have normal map reading and nagivation skills as well. Put a compass in her vehicle if there isn't one already. I find a $10 compass and a decent sense of direction (even without a map) much more useful than a GPS.
     
  15. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    I have a Garmin 1260 GPS and absolutely LOVE it! We have used it in Europe and all over the US. We bought when we were living in Germany ... we figured the cost of the GPS was nothing compared with the cost of a divorce caused by arguing over directions in numerous foriegn languages.

    Now ... I have noticed, espicially out west where there has been a lot of recent construction that sometimes there are roads on the map that don't exist yet. Also there are some roads which do exist which haven't made it into the map database yet. But, all in all, it is a wonderful tool that has allowed us to travel to different areas with a minimal amount of worry. The map data base carries information such as hotels, gas stations, shooping areas, major stores, and airports along your route. It gives you the detour option, which will recalculate you route to detour around an area. Plus, I really appreciate the audio directions it gives. It's not safe to attempt to drive while reading a map. However, we always try to keep a local map on hand. Just for those times when the GPS isn't quite up to the job.

    Nikki
     
  16. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    Two more things...
    Continuously check for updates for the mapping software as things chage all the time. Even with current updates I have been lead astray more than once.
    And never take the word of the GPS 100%. Use your own senses also. Mine once told me to take a right turn to loop onto an interstate where it was actually a left turn onto the frontage road to merge on to the interstate. And the time it took me to the nearest Burger King that had been closed for years. lol