Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Sunday, December 15, 2013

GPS: Garmin-1; Rand McNally-0

At home in Fort Worth...

In a previous post, I was complimentary toward a Rand McNally GPS for RVers that I had recently purchased. Well, I no longer have it. It left my residence in a garbage truck, and I really don’t care where it is now. It has been replaced by a new Garmin 760, a model also designed for RVers and truckers.

It was during Phannie’s transit through Springdale, Arkansas en route to Branson that the Rand McNally display froze and went blank, never again to return to life, irrespective of my attempts at resuscitation. Now, before you get the idea that I just toss things away willy-nilly, let me explain my thought process following the event and my rationale for ditching the Rand McNally in favor of a different one: When I purchased the Rand McNally unit, I was a bit skeptical about quality, as I knew it was the mapmaker’s first foray into GPS and surmised the company was counting on its name recognition to drive sales. It was because of this skepticism that I bought a used one. If it had turned out to be a good unit, I could have had the satisfaction of a bargain; if it didn’t, then I wouldn’t have lost much money.

While I would have been satisfied in keeping the Rand McNally unit if it had continued to work, there were a few things about it that I found annoying—mainly that it wasn’t very user-friendly. Entering data was a bit clunky, and it wasn’t easy to access certain screens on the fly, but the good seemed to outweigh the bad. I suppose if I had been in love with it, I would have had it repaired or bought a new one.

I bought the Garmin unit new at Best Buy. It was on sale during Black Friday, and I knew that Garmin had a good reputation; so far, I really like it. It’s definitely more user-friendly; and, you can load in the statistics (weight, height, etc.) about your RV, and it will keep you away from roads that do not meet the restrictions of your vehicle. It also picks up traffic reports, has Bluetooth and displays warnings on the screen. I also like the big 7-inch screen and the elevation feature; I suppose my former career as a pilot has something to do with that.

So, that’s the latest with Phannie. We will be loading her up next weekend and traveling to Houston, with Santa’s gifts in the lower cargo bays.  Christmas will be at the “kids” place, and we will remain there at Northlake RV Resort through January, as we welcome our new grandson, Pryce Girard, who is due on January 10.   


  1. Garmin is like Timex. Take a licking and keeps on ticking. Love my Garmin.

  2. Our very first GPS displayed the elevation... we've had maybe 3 since then and none of them do/did this. I'm not a pilot, but sure miss that feature. Guess it's time to look into another one.... but whatever, I'm sure it will be a Garmin... my favorite.

  3. We enjoyed our Garmins. Now we use our Verizon Navigator. The V N is ok unless we are in a rural area, like here at Red Bay, AL. Then it gets confused.

  4. We're like Nan - we use our Verizon Navigator and it's okay. At times I wish we had a regular GPS but we do okay without it for now. We did have a Garmin and loved it years ago.

  5. We have never used anything except Garmin and have been happy. I also use my phone navigator a lot, but sometimes the signal fades so it's nice to have the Garmin. We bought the truckers model a year or so ago, but I see now they have come up with some very nice Rv models.

  6. It's been a couple of weeks now, so how is that new Garmin working out for you? Our Garmin Nuvi has fallen on the center console enough times that the connection on the back is finicky and if it is moved, it will go off........... so it is time for a replacement. I have wanted the RV model every since it was mentioned on TRVN. Hoping for an after Christmas sale!!

    Would be interested in any opinions that you have on it's use.

    Merry Christmas to both of you.



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