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Old 08-18-2013, 04:37 PM   #21
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I've had a garmin of some sorts since 2004. Just gave that device to a friend of mine.

I have a 205 and a 255.

I haven't plugged either one of them in over 6 months due to just using the free app called Waze. It's a social network type navigation app. It tells of speed traps and traffic jams. Everyone I tell about it loves it. I have it for my iphone.
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:48 PM   #22
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I've used stand alone Garmin for a long time, then we got a vehicle that had a GPS built in. It is not near the quality the stand alone is, plus I just found out the vehicle one will cost $199 to upgrade. forget that. the Garmin one time upgrade is $40, and a person can add POIs to the Garmin to help them find things. My favorite free POI site is the POI factory POI Factory | new & interesting places for your GPS
One can not upgrade the in-vehicle systems by themselves.

We drove from Denver to South Carolina and back last year, and we used both GPS units. The stand alone Garmin was the most valuable of the two.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:03 PM   #23
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Also long time Garmin user. We have an "old" Nuvi760 that with the addition of $70 SD card, provided us phenomenal trip guidance for an extended road trip in France in May.
We noticed at the time some problem with the charging function but managed to keep it going with careful placement of the charger cord. When we returned, forgot about it until we were on a short road trip--whoops. Came back and got a factory charger from Amazon for $14!! Same cord from Garmin was like $48(?). Works just fine and there is no guessing about compatibility. Frankly at 14, really not interested in taking a risk on frying the unit.
We update about every other year when Garmin has a promo on the updates--$39. Last update required us to use an SD card since there was no more memory available. Figure we get another year out of it for the under $20 SD card, money well spent. ;-)

Like some others, we have found the Garmin far far superior to the auto makers built-in units. In our case, an Acura. Our Garmin goes far into Canada, no big deal. Factory deal checks out about 50 miles over the border. Garmin maps in all types of terrain and locations, while factory unit starts spouting "warning!!, unverified territory" when we leave the main drag to turn onto our street in a well established area that was plotted in the 50's. Give me a break. Factory updates are also more expensive--99 if you buy on their promo.

There a couple of websites out there that will help you pick the model of GPS that fits your needs. Amazon and Costco have decent prices if you decide to go "new".
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:07 PM   #24
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DW has a Garmin nuvi 3760. She loves it. I use the maps app in my iPhone or ipad on long trips, because I don't want to carry an extra device (GPS).

Judging from your post, it seems like you'd be more comfortable with a GPS instead of phone because of bad cell coverage. I'd say explore the lower end Garmin Nuvi's. They have more than enough features to get you from Point A to Point B. IMO, the higher end models aren't worth the extra $
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:22 PM   #25
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A couple of posters suggested the free Waze app for Android. I just downloaded it to my phone and tablet. It looks like a great crowd-sourced tool for navigating. Love the live police reports, traffic tie ups and traffic jam reports.

I poked around the Waze site and saw the quick responses they had to rerouting traffic due to the WA bridge collapse back in early June and the way they responded to the Moore OK tornado (by highlighting the entire area that had been damaged so anyone traveling through could be aware, yet leaving the routes intact for first responders.)

I'll definitely try this out on my drives this week.

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Old 08-18-2013, 05:32 PM   #26
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My last GPS I bought 1 year ago was a Garmin Nuvi 1450 for $100 delivered and no tax from TigerDirect. It was sold as a refurbished unit (I could not tell it from a non-refurbished). Works great. I especially like the lane assist and the speed-limit features. EggHead also has good prices on GPSs. My prior GPS was a refurbished Magellan which worked fine (until DW misplaced it, found 1 year later at her parents house) but did not have the lane assist and speed-limit features.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #27
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We have the Nexus 7 and use an app called co-pilot. It is inexpensive and all the maps are loaded onto the nexus. Seems to be pretty good. There are several apps that are similar so try them out.

Google maps can be downloaded for use offline but they can't be used for turn by turn navigation, only route planning.

I usually just use my phone and Google maps but only works if you have data available. We have the nexus for longer trips when we know we might be unable to get data on the phone.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #28
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I've used a Garmin Nuvi 1490LMT since 2010 and I still love it. I even replaced the battery earlier this year when it wouldn't hold a charge long enough to suit me.

Lifetime free updates on maps and it includes a receiver for live traffic updates on the go.

Less than $200 and highly rated.
+1 I have been using the 1490LMT for a couple of years now and DW uses the 1450LMT which is similar and we both like the units especially the lane assist and the free lifetime updates. The traffic feature has also helped us avoid traffic jams on a few occasions.

I have added a 4 GB micro SD flash memory to both units which cost $6 and that is more than sufficient to handle all of North America map updates.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:12 AM   #29
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Anybody have recommendations on the window holder

We also have a Garmin 255W, but the window unit would not hold... bought a new one... that lasted two years.... bought a third... that lasted 6 months... bought a fancy one that looked impressive, but it does not hold the unit tight and it slowly moves downward...

Or, is there a way to 'fix' the silicone so it does hold?
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:21 AM   #30
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[QUOTE=Texas Proud;1350244]Anybody have recommendations on the window holder

I use the suction cup mount and have not had any problems with is staying on but I also keep the portable friction mount which sits on the dashboard available in the car if needed.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:43 AM   #31
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........

Or, is there a way to 'fix' the silicone so it does hold?
Is this the one that lays flat with a rubber coated bottom? If so, I found that mine lost its stick after awhile and I was able to rejuvenate it by painting on silicone caulk over the bottom. That, too, loses its stickiness over time and needs to be repeated.

Now have the suction cup on the windshield and am much happier.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:01 PM   #32
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Is this the one that lays flat with a rubber coated bottom? If so, I found that mine lost its stick after awhile and I was able to rejuvenate it by painting on silicone caulk over the bottom. That, too, loses its stickiness over time and needs to be repeated.

Now have the suction cup on the windshield and am much happier.

This is the window suction cup like below.... after awhile they just do not continue to stick to the window and will fall off after awhile....

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Old 08-19-2013, 12:14 PM   #33
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Anybody have recommendations on the window holder

We also have a Garmin 255W, but the window unit would not hold... bought a new one... that lasted two years.... bought a third... that lasted 6 months... bought a fancy one that looked impressive, but it does not hold the unit tight and it slowly moves downward...

Or, is there a way to 'fix' the silicone so it does hold?
Make sure the interior of the windshield where you are trying to affix the window unit is kept sparking clean. (It may look clean but all of the plastics in a vehicle's interior off-gas, especially in sunny, hot weather like in TX, which ends up as a light, hazy coating on the glass.)

The rubber base of the window unit may also be degrading over time due to prolonged sun exposure. I'm not sure what can be done to 'refreshen' it without damaging the flat surface needed to ensure a good vacuum seal. Ideally, some sort of a liquid solvent 'wash' that would remove the degraded/oxidized rubber without damaging the rest of it.

(In tire plants, they used to use benzene to "freshen" uncured rubber when it lost its stickiness. I wonder if there's something similar for cured rubber? For wiper blades, I've used an emery board nail file to gently remove the oxidized edge and freshen the blade. But that's a thin straight surface which is easy to do, whereas the window unit is a large round pad. I guess if you have a pad that is not holding fast to the glass and would need to be replaced, it might be worth a very light sanding, making sure to keep the pad totally flat and parallel to the extra-fine grit sandpaper.)

Perhaps removing the window unit (and stowing it) anytime it's not in use might help prolong its useful life.

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:08 PM   #34
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Sometimes mineral oil (aka baby oil) will rejuvenate rubber, like a suction cup.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:13 PM   #35
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Texas Proud,

Have you considered keeping the GPS on your dash? -- either using one of these Amazon.com: Garmin Portable Friction Mount - Frustration Free Packaging: GPS & Navigation or I've seen some flat disks that can be glued to your dash and then the window mount unit is vaccum-attached to it. Either way, you're not fighting sun degradation and gravity quite so much.

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Old 08-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #36
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First.... WOW.... that pic is bigger than I thought!!! It was a cut and paste from Amazon...

We do not leave the mount on the window if we are not using the GPS.... we do not use the GPS unless we are going someplace we do not know... so it does not get a lot of sun... the silicone is not degraded (well, it does not LOOK degraded)...


I will try and clean the window, but we do clean it regularly.... on our truck, we do have a disk down on the dash, but the GPS does not get as good of reception...
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #37
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I love the Waze app myself, but mostly for the real-time traffic avoidance. I actually use it on the way to w*rk and home everyday, because around here, it can save me almost an hour if there is an accident somewhere.

Don't know how it is on road trips, and it does use a lot of battery, but since it's free, I'd totally recommend checking it out.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:03 PM   #38
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Texas Proud,

Have you considered keeping the GPS on your dash? -- either using one of these Amazon.com: Garmin Portable Friction Mount - Frustration Free Packaging: GPS & Navigation

omni
This is what I use and it works out much better than the previous suction cups that I have had.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #39
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My Mom has the Portable Friction Mount that omni550 posted. It works great.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:47 PM   #40
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There are a few states where using a suction cup windshield mount is actually illegal.

I've been very happy for several years using a beanbag mount.
It's basically a small black beanbag with a flat disk on top. You place it on your dash (it really doesn't move around) and use your suction cup mount on the disk.

When I get where I'm going, it only takes a second or two to pick up the whole assembly and place it behind the driver's seat on the floor. That way, it's not visible and there is no telltale suction cup ring on the windshield so potential vandalism is deterred.
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