GPS Buyers Guide For RV’ers

Are you thinking about getting a new GPS? The task of choosing the right model for you may be overwhelming. With so many fantastic brands, models and features available What do you do to decide which one is the best?

When selecting a GPS the first thing you need to consider is “What do I intend to do with it?” Every GPS for cars will tell you where you are and where you should go, without getting lost. We all have a set of fundamental needs that our GPS has to meet. In addition, it’s completely up to you whether you’d like to, and if you’re willing to spend the additional cost for specific features.

Maps that are loaded prior to loading

The first factor to consider is the type of maps you’ll need pre-loaded in your GPS. This, of course, depends on the destination you’re planning to travel. Some systems include road maps that cover the entire United States and Canada loaded into their main memory. Some come with every part of North America and some come with Europe also.

This gives you the freedom to travel anywhere you want without worrying about whether it is loaded with the right maps; it also makes the device ready-to-roll, right out of the box. Preloaded maps are an area of the main memory on the GPS as well as any additional memory can be used for additional maps, MP3 music, or custom POI’s. This brings us to memory capacity. Visit:-

Memory Capacity

How much memory your GPS will hold is important, as is the capacity of your GPS. If you purchase a unit that has very little extra main memory, and can’t be upgraded, you could have a hard time adding features or points-of-interest (POI) at the time you’d like. Many GPS models have only sufficient memory to keep the maps they have loaded, and just a little. This is only a problem if they do not have an expansion slot for memory. A memory expansion slot allows users to add memory to the GPS in case you ever require it. The majority of units use a Secure Digital (SD) card for memory expansion. SD cards are inexpensive and is a fantastic option to expand the memory of your unit when you need it. The more expensive models usually include a substantial portion of their primary memory available for you to use along with an expansion slot. The less expensive models typically utilize the majority or all of their primary memory for built-in functions, however many are still equipped with an expansion slot for memory.

Text To Speach

Another crucial feature to look for is “text-to-speech.” The majority of voice prompting GPS units will give an audio alert, such as “Turn left within 300 feet” or “Take next exit.” A unit with a text-to-speech feature will communicate not only the direction but the name of the street as well “Turn left onto Mulberry Lane in 300 feet” or “Take the exit 23A.” This is an enormous help for many , particularly travelers, as they don’t need to look at the screen to know the direction they should go.

Live Traffic Service

One great feature to consider is live traffic updates. It is available in cities with larger populations the subscription to a traffic service gives you current, live updates on road conditions. Freeway’s blocked between Exit 23 and Exit 29? Your GPS will alert you and provide an alternative route. After a free trial period the cost for traffic services is typically approximately $7 per month. Some Garmin units also offer XM Radio services, so that you can get not only live traffic but XM Satellite Radio as well.

The only thing that is more than a typical traffic service, there is the brand new enhanced MSN Direct service. A lot of the top-end Garmin units, such as the Nuvi 780, have this capability. Through MSN Direct, you can examine the weather forecast, avoid traffic delays, compare local gas prices, access more detailed movie listings, stock info as well as local and news events while traveling using your device. Also, you can plan trips using the comfort of your personal computer, through Windows Live Local, and then wirelessly send directions on your map to your personal GPS. Much like a traffic system, MSN Direct carries a monthly cost after the free trial period.

Bluetooth enabled

One of the most recent enhancements of GPS equipment is integration of a Bluetooth chip. If both your mobile phone and GPS device are Bluetooth-capable, you’ll be able to connect with them for hands-free calls, dial-a-POI features, and much more and make your vehicle electronics suite completely integrated. A lot of campgrounds’ POI lists such as that of the CoolRVToyz Ultimate RV Parks & Campgrounds Directory takes advantage of this feature of devices like the Garmin GPS units and allows users to call any campground’s phone number without hands at the click on the GPS screen.

Support for MP3

Another recent addition to GPS systems is the capability to play MP3 music. If you download your favorite MP3 audio book or music into your GPS , you are able to play it via the GPS’s speakers or your in-dash radio. The majority of high-end GPS units also come with an FM transmitter that can connect directly to your in-dash radio , so that you can play the music through the stereo system in your car. This is particularly helpful since the GPS will automatically lower the volume of music in order to provide you with directions as well as if you get calls.

Tour Guides as well as TourGuide(TM)

The most intriguing new features is Garmin’s new TourGuide(TM) capability. Through TourGuide(TM) it is possible to purchase fully-guided tours for your GPS. Begin your TourGuide(TM) and follow the tour. The GPS will lead you to places of interest as well as explain them to you and provide you with photos. It’s like having your own tour guide on the journey.