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Old 01-11-2022, 08:47 AM   #1
Jmckaycr
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Rv map app??

Planning a trip out west. Got a new fifth wheel. Looking for the best mapping app that will take into consideration height and length. Any recommendations? Would prefer an app over a stand alone unit. Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:11 AM   #2
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If you search the forum you will see many, many posts on this very subject.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:24 AM   #3
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Planning a trip out west. Got a new fifth wheel. Looking for the best mapping app that will take into consideration height and length. Any recommendations? Would prefer an app over a stand alone unit. Thank you in advance.
Can't help with an app, but from my experience with a rv specific app/device is it seemed to always take the long way around to avoid some unknowns issue. The Waze app was the worst, seemed to do 3-4 right turns so you could go left.
Traveled 10 years full-time across this great country using Google maps on my phone, truck GPS & a Motor Carriers Atlas (MCA) purchased at a truck stop.. The MCA has all roads highlighted for truck travel, if they can go so can you, with all low clearances & other cautions listed by state in the front, never had an issue.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:44 AM   #4
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I agree...there are many ways to skin that cat. There are many tools available and a simple google search would help. For me, I have been using RV Trip Wizard. It is a fee-based service, but I like that it's web based and fairly comprehensive in terms of parks, attractions, routing, etc. I also use the Garmin 770 RV GPS, which helps to navigate safely around any known hazards, such as low clearance. So far so good.

Like many topics like "which truck?", "which hitch?", "which RV floor plan?", this is a very subjective topic. Various solutions will work...pick the one that helps you the best.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:58 AM   #5
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Just remember that no matter which app or mapping service you choose, things change on a daily basis and the information you're being "fed" to navigate in unfamiliar territory is only as good as their last update.....

Most of those companies don't do "RV mapping" as a business focus, but rather as an "also ran for their automotive or trucking service"... So, for most, the focus is not on RV's but on commercial trucking (big vehicles) or on automotive mapping (little vehicles)...

RV's are the "red headed stepchild" in navigation services for most of those apps and most of the web based mapping.

Whatever you choose, confirm the routing and if you're in doubt, don't make that left turn onto an oncoming one way street.....

Just like all the "auto driving programs" that make an average of 8 mistakes per mile, those navigation apps aren't foolproof.....
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Old 01-11-2022, 11:04 AM   #6
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I also use a Garmin RV gps. I have the Garmin RV 785. I picked this one as it has a very good dash cam. It also has two profiles you can set up, one for your RV and the other for daily driving.

Also about a week ago I received my 2022 Motor Carriers' Road Atlas. Looking forward to using it this year with my gps.
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Old 01-11-2022, 02:36 PM   #7
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The Sygic Caravan app presumably does all this. I found the interface difficult to manage, and the cost excessive for the use I would get out of it. As you might tell from the name, it's European, and there is a bit of culture friction. I believe it does do downloaded maps, which are really handy when you are traveling through areas with poor or no cell service (like SW Texas, which was totally dead to T-Mobile from Uvalde to Van Horn).

I think the RV Life app was written to do these things as well, though I haven't tried it.
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Old 01-12-2022, 03:52 AM   #8
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I also just use Google maps but, I try and check with state DOTs websites to see if there is anything I need to be aware of. Does anyone use RV Trip Wizard? Curious if it is any good.
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Old 01-12-2022, 05:20 AM   #9
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I also just use Google maps but, I try and check with state DOTs websites to see if there is anything I need to be aware of. Does anyone use RV Trip Wizard? Curious if it is any good.

Can't really speak to the navigation aspect of RVTW but we like it for planning purposes as it will identify campgrounds and other POIs between points A and B, including gas stops and so on. It's nice to be able to drill down and see how a campground/resort is rated, the amenities etc. right from the map. Once I find a CG I like I will usually just click the link, bring it up in a new window and book it from there...nice and convenient. You can indicate your trip start date and length of stay for each stop and you have a running timeline for the trip. You can also indicate a range of minimum/maximum daily travel in miles or hours and it will draw boundary lines for these areas on the map to give you an idea of where to stop for the day. If you enter your TV's average MPG and tank size, it will also place low fuel warning icons on the map.

Although it obviously has to lay out a route for you, we don't use it for the actual navigation, which I believe is done through the RV Life companion app. Like most others we stick with Garmin, Google and Waze (for the 'object on road ahead, disabled auto ahead etc. messages). We usually run all three concurrently. On a side note, with regard to navigating with/from the RVTW route, I believe you can also export the navigation file to Google maps or a Garmin as well, although I haven't tried it yet.

Overall, I like it a lot when laying out a multi stop trip. If nothing else, it's definitely worth a free trial look IMO.
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jmckaycr View Post
Planning a trip out west. Got a new fifth wheel. Looking for the best mapping app that will take into consideration height and length. Any recommendations? Would prefer an app over a stand alone unit. Thank you in advance.
I have been using the RV Life app for RV Friendly directions while traveling (alongside Waze for traffic updates), and the RV Trip Wizard for trip planning. The RV Life app is also a great source for checking out candidate campgrounds at a destination and along potential routes.
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Old 01-14-2022, 06:35 AM   #11
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Google maps are the ones most frequently updated.
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Old 01-20-2022, 08:15 AM   #12
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https://rvlife.com … This is a great app where you enter your rigs info and how many miles you want to travel in a day, avoid low clearances etc. We planned our trip from California to Michigan and back.
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Old 01-20-2022, 08:47 AM   #13
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I use Trip Wizzard which I love. But also use Garmin 890 and also WAZE. Can’t have too much help.
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:00 AM   #14
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This is probably geared more towards the newer RV'er like me, and not the OP, but I'd like to add that in addition to the tools I mentioned in my previous post I recently downloaded the electronic version of the Mountain Directory. While this info is likely available on many of the state DOT websites, it's nice to have it all in one place. In addition to the electronic version, the Mountain Directory can be had in hard copy as well. Versions are available for both East and West.

Although this summer will be our 4th trip from Arizona back home to Ohio (once with a Class-C, two TT so far), this June will be my first pull through the Rockies and was curious about the grades/difficulty level of various routes. I must admit I am a bit anxious about it and found the Mountain Directory an excellent resource for getting specific mountain route information.
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:21 AM   #15
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I use Trip Wizzard which I love. But also use Garmin 890 and also WAZE. Can’t have too much help.

I'm not so sure about "can't have too much help"....

Imagine being on I-35N in Dallas/Fort Worth at rush hour, trailer in tow, bumper to bumper traffic and GARMIN says "exit right now and take the next left" while WAZE says, "exit right in 1 mile" and Google says, "exit left at the next exit, then turn left".....

WHO (what) DO YOU BELIEVE or do you just keep going north on I-35 to the next rest area to "sort it all out" ?????
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:41 AM   #16
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I'm not so sure about "can't have too much help"....

Imagine being on I-35N in Dallas/Fort Worth at rush hour, trailer in tow, bumper to bumper traffic and GARMIN says "exit right now and take the next left" while WAZE says, "exit right in 1 mile" and Google says, "exit left at the next exit, then turn left".....

WHO (what) DO YOU BELIEVE or do you just keep going north on I-35 to the next rest area to "sort it all out" ?????

^^^^This is SO right. You can get too much of a good thing, and all those electronic guidance systems want to go a different route. I've been going to Branson for decades and thought I knew my way around. Came in a back way from TX so let the nav in the Hummer bring us in; DW was on her phone using googlemaps as well. Came to an intersection somewhere on the back of Tablerock Lake and I wasn't sure where to go (we were already on one of those little backroad 2 lanes). Vehicle nav said one thing, googlemaps another. I said "we'll go with the nav in the truck - it's bigger". Well, it deviated a LOT from googlemaps and I ended up driving all around Tablerock to places I'd never been, including the "bass capital of the world" or something....WAY "out yonder" and out of the way. Finally ended up coming back into Branson through Branson West and it still was trying to find me out of the way roads to take..... Now I use the truck nav, smartphone, road atlas and print out maps and study them prior to leaving. Yep, IMO there is such a thing as too much of a good thing...
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Old 01-20-2022, 11:30 AM   #17
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I'm not so sure about "can't have too much help"....

Imagine being on I-35N in Dallas/Fort Worth at rush hour, trailer in tow, bumper to bumper traffic and GARMIN says "exit right now and take the next left" while WAZE says, "exit right in 1 mile" and Google says, "exit left at the next exit, then turn left".....

WHO (what) DO YOU BELIEVE or do you just keep going north on I-35 to the next rest area to "sort it all out" ?????
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^^^^This is SO right. You can get too much of a good thing, and all those electronic guidance systems want to go a different route. I've been going to Branson for decades and thought I knew my way around. Came in a back way from TX so let the nav in the Hummer bring us in; DW was on her phone using googlemaps as well. Came to an intersection somewhere on the back of Tablerock Lake and I wasn't sure where to go (we were already on one of those little backroad 2 lanes). Vehicle nav said one thing, googlemaps another. I said "we'll go with the nav in the truck - it's bigger". Well, it deviated a LOT from googlemaps and I ended up driving all around Tablerock to places I'd never been, including the "bass capital of the world" or something....WAY "out yonder" and out of the way. Finally ended up coming back into Branson through Branson West and it still was trying to find me out of the way roads to take..... Now I use the truck nav, smartphone, road atlas and print out maps and study them prior to leaving. Yep, IMO there is such a thing as too much of a good thing...
But at the end of the day you still have to pick one. When you're en route, like Danny's example, you flip a coin or draw a straw, but you still decide which one to trust. I've had both Google Maps and the Garmin send me on a wild goose chase, but for the most part they both work well. I guess a good paper map is the most reliable but you've got to pull over to take a look or have your co-pilot being ever-vigilant.

In my mind, one benefit of the electronic solutions is that they can be updated frequently...especially Google Maps since it's always online. The Garmin seems to have frequent updates...you just have to connect regularly to see.

For me, since the Garmin is RV specific, I've chosen to use it as my primary direction giver. If I know better I ignore its directions, but if I'm new to an area I might double check the overall route with Google Maps before taking off.

Bottom line...there's no perfect solution.
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Old 01-20-2022, 12:42 PM   #18
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Having used Garmin GPS units for the last 20 years or so I trust them.. The current one I use is an older Garmin Nuvi with large screen for my older eyes... Not RV specific but its navigated us to Oregon, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, and all over Idaho...

It has made a few mistakes over the years but nothing drastic... I also have Low Clearance Points loaded into the NUVI so it will let me know if a route has a low bridge, etc...

I don't carry any maps, atlases, etc... I may double check a route using Google Maps and look at a few gas stops in advance with Google Earth to verify I have clearance to get fuel..

I don't and never will refuel at any truck stop...
YMMV
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Old 01-20-2022, 12:52 PM   #19
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Bottom line to me is this, GPS, APP, or map, they are all AIDS to navigation. As for information overload, yes it can happen. That's what led to the development of the HUD (heads up display) for fighter jets. During the Vietnam War the pilots were suffering from information overload and having negative effects on their performance.

Every aid has it's advantages and disadvantages. For me personally I think paper maps are the most disadvantaged due to the lag time in the information. The roads may be replaced or closed or restrictions applied between the time the information is gathered, assembled, printed, and distributed. Pilots used charts (maps) but before taking off you check the NOTAMs (notice to airmen) for changes/updates, etc.

An app like Google maps may get updated more frequently but is only useful where cell service is present and stable enough to connect to the internet, and then what if you are monitoring your tire pressure, navigating, streaming music, talking on the phone, ...

The GPS is my go to. I find it accurate enough, and I download updates before a trip as well as update POI's (points of interest) from Poi-factory.com. It will not only warn me of red-light cameras, speed cameras, and popular speed traps ($25/yr. subscription required) but for no charge I can download all sorts of other Poi's like state parks, dump stations, restaurants, fuels stations, etc. This is my preference, to each their own.
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