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Thread: Backup GPS for car

  1. #1
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Backup GPS for car

    Most of us use our phones, or the built-in gps in the car, but Iím looking for a stand-alone gps with maps and turn by turn for use in vehicles that donít have gps and I areas where cell coverage is spotty. Would be great if it worked in Europe too.

    Wire cutter recommends this guy, so I guess Iím looking for either a less experienced save option or some reason not to get this one.

    TomTom GO 520 5-Inch GPS Navigation Device with Free Lifetime Traffic & World Maps, WiFi-Connectivity, Smartphone Messaging, Voice Control and Hands-Free Calling
    by Amazon.com
    Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07174RPJC..._Pl2cDbRDSMMRK

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    Most of us use our phones, or the built-in gps in the car, but Iím looking for a stand-alone gps with maps and turn by turn for use in vehicles that donít have gps and I areas where cell coverage is spotty. Would be great if it worked in Europe too.
    I have gone through a number of the Garmin Nuvi, and bought most of them refurbished. Not sure the exact one I have now, but here is something similar:
    https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Naviga...y&sr=8-2-fkmr2

    Another one might have the worldwide maps.

    ETA: I also like having the GPS doing GPS no matter what the phone is doing, and no matter where we are.
    A few years ago we bicycled (in five segments) from Cincinnati to Cleveland. Navigating with cell phones was quite a challenge in the "scenic Amish country" areas, busting your balls going over hill after hill after hill, not knowing if you were going the right way...
    Last edited by mmc45414; 06-20-2019 at 06:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    I currently have an old Nuvi that wonít seem to hold a charge. I may also be doing it wrong, but it looks like itís $70 to add the Scandinavian MPs and another $70 to add other regions.

    Not opposed to doing that if there is a strong reason to go that route, just trying to not have to plus-plus-plus after the initial buy n

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    I currently have an old Nuvi that wonít seem to hold a charge. I may also be doing it wrong, but it looks like itís $70 to add the Scandinavian MPs and another $70 to add other regions.

    Not opposed to doing that if there is a strong reason to go that route, just trying to not have to plus-plus-plus after the initial buy n
    Yes, I never bought a map, just bought a new refurb Nuvi for the same cost. Was never using it internationally, though.

    I also do not use the Nuvi without a charger, seems the battery is only enough to get addresses plugged in while I am at my desk. Also the new one needs to be pugged into the charger to get the proper signal for traffic.

  5. #5
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    I have an older Garmin Nuvi and bought the maps for Europe. It works well, and I like it ok, but if the functionality is equivalent, the Tom Tom seems like a better deal. Also, I've never been impressed with the Garmin traffic reporting. I haven't used it in ages, though, so it may be better now.
    Last edited by Erik; 06-20-2019 at 09:31 AM.

  6. #6
    LE Forum Moderator BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_s View Post
    areas where cell coverage is spotty.
    You don't need cell service for the GPS on your phone to work. Just download the maps for the area you are going to be at prior to leaving then it's irrelevant if you have cell or data connections. I downloaded all of Paris prior to leaving the States since data is more limited on international plans, and I routinely download maps for trails I'm going to hike where there's no data connection.
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  7. #7
    Site Supporter S Jenks's Avatar
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    I used Waze through my iPhone in rural Scotland last week- I have Verizon and it would pick up Vodafone signal without issue. When connected to the O2 network the maps would work but I could not get traffic/delay information. This only happened just outside Glasgow.

    Just an FYI, as a backup system is never a bad idea.

  8. #8
    A camel named Charlie... TGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    You don't need cell service for the GPS on your phone to work. Just download the maps for the area you are going to be at prior to leaving then it's irrelevant if you have cell or data connections. I downloaded all of Paris prior to leaving the States since data is more limited on international plans, and I routinely download maps for trails I'm going to hike where there's no data connection.
    Yup. Just to tack on, if you want to use a PC for the greater features and user interface, you can also build your route there and then send it to your phone.
    Last edited by TGS; 06-20-2019 at 11:24 AM.
    "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll."- Last words of Todd Beamer

  9. #9
    I use a Garmin in a work capacity.

    It isnít without its faults, however....itís an awesome unit overall.

    Having multiple references is...best. A paper map, one or two mapping apps on a phone or tablet, and a GPS unit, such as the Garmin...is best, in my opinion.
    Fredís Principle: The smartest of a large number of hamsters is still a hamster.

  10. #10
    Site Supporter Suvorov's Avatar
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    Most of us have old smart phones laying around. Most newer phones (iPhone 4 and up) have built in GPS receivers and donít need a data plan to display location. What gives people the idea that they do is the fact that many apps require data.

    Iím installing YouNeedAMap for general use as a backup navigation and then loading the remaining space with tunes. YouNeedAMap wonít provide turn by turn guidance like the online systems will but itís huge and pretty much packs everything a big gazette had into a small phone with the ability to show your location as well.

    There may be better apps out there but this is the best general one I have found. As others have mentioned- apps exist for foreign locations as well.

    For most applications (especially vehicle born) I am beginning to think the day of the dedicated gos is over.
    Last edited by Suvorov; 06-20-2019 at 12:28 PM.

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