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Old 12-10-2009, 03:49 PM   #1
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GPS buying advice

Anybody out there in Jeep land use a GPS? Thinking of asking for one for Christmas so any advice would be appreciated. Make, model etc. Thanks.

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Old 12-10-2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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I use a Magellan and love it. But I do not have any experience with other makes.

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Old 12-10-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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Be wary here as not many GPS receivers are good for both on and offroad use. Most are 99.999% onroad with little to help offroad. A very popular GPS for offroaders that does both on-street auto routing to a destination while having a full set of offroad oriented features is Garmin's 60Cx or 60CSx (the S standing for Sensor giving it a true barometric altimeter and magnetic compass vs. the usual GPS derived info). You can save all tracks you make offroad or trails you take with names you key in for future use. It leaves a "breadcrumb" trail too so if you get lost, you just tell it to follow the breadcrumb trail back out. It doesn't have a touch screen but that's a small price to pay for a unit that does so well on and offroad. It also has pretty much all normal Points of Interest including restaurants (sorted by category), gas stations, hospitals, national parks, etc. which even includes their phone numbers. It's totally handy!

I have a different Garmin GPS I use in my Toyota (a NUVI) that has a touchscreen but I'd never consider using it for offroad use or in my Jeep as it just wasn't designed for anything but onroad use.



It also has a rubberized coating & is water, dust, & shock resistant... ideal for a Jeep.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:12 PM   #4
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I got the Spot GPS transceiver for my wife. It doesn't help with directions, but it lets her send a message that she's safe, or send an SOS signal for help. Pretty cool, since she goes hiking by herself, and spends time on roads that don't get cell phone signals.

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Old 12-10-2009, 04:24 PM   #5
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Yep, for offroading etc you'll want waterproof/shock resistant and the ability to upload/download track/map info.

I went with this one as it was on sale at Costco online this spring (love it, does everything I need it to do).

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Old 12-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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They are right it depends on your use. If you want offroad, its a totally different animal. I have had several, all for on-road use. Between Garmin and TomTom, Garmin may have had the most accurate maps but I liked the TomTom interface, and the look of the map & car symbol, etc., better on the TomTom.

Be prepared that all of them will give you directions that sometimes are not the most expeditious way to get there ... meaning, if you already knew how to drive to that destination, you probably would not have chosen the route the GPS does as you know better. (I can plot from my office to home and would not go the route my TomTom chooses for me). But all of them will get you from Point A to Point B when you have never been to Point B before, which is helpful for me as I get lost easly! LOL
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:45 PM   #7
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Yep, for offroading etc you'll want waterproof/shock resistant and the ability to upload/download track/map info.

I went with this one as it was on sale at Costco online this spring (love it, does everything I need it to do).

What kind is that?
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:06 PM   #8
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ive been geocaching (off road) and traveling (on road) for years and i can say from experience of owning both garmin and magellan gps receivers that garmin takes the cake by far. although the magellan will defenitely get the job done.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:29 PM   #9
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What kind is that?
That's definitely a Garmin and I think it's their Colorado model which is a little more expensive than the 60Cx or 60CSx.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:35 PM   #10
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Garmin 205W, works great on and off road. Ive got my topo maps from a handheld in the SD expansion slot, I use it to mark trails and to find my way back if I end up getting all turned around. I highly recommend it, they are not too expensive and with the topo software just makes it better.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:48 PM   #11
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So you can save offroad trails for future use with the 205W?? Can you give those trails a custom name and is there any limit to the number of trails you can save on it? I wasn't aware of a NUVI that could save trails so if it can and they have enough datapoints to make them so they aren't confusing when on a trail with many routes or incorrect turns you could take, that would be good.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #12
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I had an early Garmin - too complicated - I got frustrated with it - threw it across the yard. Dead.
Now I have a Magellan Explorist 210 - no streets, no trails but it does leave breadcrumbs. Still not what I want. The Garmins seem to have improved a bunch!
My wife uses a TomTom - loves it, good for streets, but no good off road.

Last year a friend had one that was a bit bigger than the handhelds, used a stylus - he downloaded maps - it even showed most of the Hammer trails, not just breadcrumbs, but downloaded from software. I have no idea what it was, he died of a heart attack soon after. His wife has no idea what I'm talking about. I'd like to have one of those - (the GPS, not the dingy wife.)

My test - download Calif maps, they all claim they use the USGS maps, but I have yet to see one that that even shows the Rubicon trail.

They really aren't ready to fill our needs, just like cell phones th-- sputt-r and drop inf--mation --en y-u need -t -he most.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:55 PM   #13
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I have tried to figure out how to get them to save through the Nuvi, but I always find it easier to just mark the trail head and set a waypoint when at an intersection. There are not too many trails around here with multiple directions that you can go so it is relatively easy that way. If im wheeling up north Ill usually bring my Vista HCX and upload the waypoints when I get home for future use. I really wish that the Nuvi had the same capabilities as the Vista, because life would be so much easier.
I just took some pics of the display so you all can get an idea of what I was talking about. Ill upload them in 5 mike.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:00 PM   #14
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I have tried to figure out how to get them to save through the Nuvi, but I always find it easier to just mark the trail head and set a waypoint when at an intersection. There are not too many trails around here with multiple directions that you can go so it is relatively easy that way. If im wheeling up north Ill usually bring my Vista HCX and upload the waypoints when I get home for future use. I really wish that the Nuvi had the same capabilities as the Vista, because life would be so much easier.
I just took some pics of the display so you all can get an idea of what I was talking about. Ill upload them in 5 mike.
Gotcha, thanks for that info. Based on that, the Nuvi doesn't save enough datapoints to make my trails all that easily followed.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:01 PM   #15
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garmin !

get the most expensive one in your particular budget range...
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:06 PM   #16
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garmin !

get the most expensive one in your particular budget range...
For offroading, there are plenty of more expensive GPS receivers than what I run (the Garmin 60CSx) that would be useless offroad. Instead of just assuming the more expensive GPS has the features needed, pick out one that specifically provides the features needed instead.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:10 PM   #17
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Here are some shots, Its pretty fun and great as a multitasker, but its ok at most but not excellent at all.



It saves pics, the way I mark the trailhead so I can remember it.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:15 PM   #18
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She is a pretty good unit, and you could probably find one cheap. If you are looking for an all out trail gps, check out some of the Geocashing forums, they should have the best advise.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:11 PM   #19
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Jerry - does the 60Cxs have a voice when operating on streets and it's time to turn - like TomTom says "Turn right 200 Yards." ? Or is it an alarm of some kind? My wife wants to know.
When you downloaded maps into it, did it show off road trails like the Hammers or Dale district? If so, what maps did you buy?
Thanks, Rich

It looks like I'll get one of those.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #20
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Hey Rich, I've noticed on newer maps fewer roads (4wd roads) are shown. I believe it to be an evil plot by the Ecotards to throw us off. Bit then again maybe USGS is just trying to save red ink.............
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:03 PM   #21
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Jerry - does the 60Cxs have a voice when operating on streets and it's time to turn - like TomTom says "Turn right 200 Yards." ? Or is it an alarm of some kind? My wife wants to know.
When you downloaded maps into it, did it show off road trails like the Hammers or Dale district? If so, what maps did you buy?
No voice at all, it just gives a warning beep at certain distances before the next turn comes up with a message that flashes up on the display. I have the voice on the Garmin I use in my Toyota and it's on my wife's Nuvi too but I never use it as the insistant voice that often talks too much can easily become annoying very quickly. And even if the 60CSx I use in the Jeep had a voice, I probably wouldn't be able to hear it all that well over the noise level inside my Jeep. The beep it gives, which can be turned off, is perfect in the Jeep.

I have a Garmin topo map loaded in but I've never used it, not even once. The base map works well out in the desert areas (most trails show up but I haven't noticed the Hammer trails) and I don't need the topo's contour lines on the trails I run. So far as the specific Hammer trails go, mine were all created from me leaving a bread-crumb trail as I followed the leader. I'm sure there are some Garmin compatible Hammer trail routes/maps I could download but I haven't bothered.

All in all, I've yet to see another GPS I liked well enough for both onroad but especially offroad use where I'd trade my 60CSx for it. Though some of those large Lowrance units look like they could give it a run for the money.
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:08 PM   #22
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Hey guys, I've been using a Garmin 296 aircraft gps. You can downlod Topo maps and it shows all the old roads, names of mines and a lot more. It has had me following roads that have been overgrown and unused for years in old mining areas. Wife tells me were not on a road and soon you can tell it was a road at one time.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:12 PM   #23
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I hear some of the newer GPS's has the voices you can download from the internet, a friend of a friend runs Mr T.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:19 PM   #24
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What kind is that?
Rob, Jerry is correct. It's a Garmin Colorado. They are more expensive than the 60 series except that mine was on sale at Costco online for $199 (the no map version). I haven't seen it for sale since but I haven't checked that often.

I think the most important thing is to have a rugged GPS that can take the beating it gets and has the ability to up/download to a PC.

I wouldn't use my wife's Nuvi on the trail.

I've found websites that will allow you to merge turn by turn maps into gpx files and I can use mine for turn by turn, but no voice directions. Don't use that too much anyway.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:19 AM   #25
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I have used a GPS for many years know Garmin is my Fave.
I use two in my Jeep the 60Cx and The Nuvi 265W both have city maps and Topo Maps installed .....
the only reason I run two GPS's ....I Geocache and I use the Nuvi to navigate me close to the cache and the 60Cx I can jump out of my Jeep with it in my hand to walk around to find the cache
both units have have been very abused and I have had no issues with them at all ..........I dropped my 60Cx and broke the cover on the back that holds the battery's called Garmin told them I had dropped it asked how much to sale and ship me a new cover ..the Lady at Garmin asked for my Address and told me no charge and she had it here in a day and a half was on my front porch


FYI ....I had A Magellan to me it was to hard to use sold it bought a Garmin have not looked back since
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:50 AM   #26
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My very first GPS was a Magellan and that was the last Magellan I'll ever own. 7-8 Garmins later over the years and I'm still buying nothing but Garmin. Magellan's crappy non-intuitive user interface is why I left them and stayed with Garmin.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:43 AM   #27
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Just don't leave it in your Jeep or someone will steal it.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:49 AM   #28
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For street use, Garmin Nuvi 260 I think is the model. Works great for me.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:53 AM   #29
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Garmin is the only brand to own.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:58 PM   #30
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My very first GPS was a Magellan and that was the last Magellan I'll ever own. 7-8 Garmins later over the years and I'm still buying nothing but Garmin. Magellan's crappy non-intuitive user interface is why I left them and stayed with Garmin.
Jerry ...X2 on the first one and never buying another on... do you Geocache at all ??

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