A GPS unit is helpful, keeps track of where you are, where you have been, can help plan a route for you, help you get back on your route if you manage to miss it, help you circumvent some construction, and even talk to you while driving that route. GPS systems range from expensive to pretty cheap but there are good reasons to purchase one.
I do not recommend the small-screen car-sized GPS units for motorhomes. Sure, they work just fine, but you are seated so far away, you cannot see the details on the screen. In our motorhome, I am 4-5 feet away from where the GPS unit would have to sit.
For the Motorhome
I do not want some semi-permanent mount up front for the GPS. So, we use the iPad and GPS Apps so we have complete flexibility and a screen much larger than a car-type GPS. Cost-wise, the car-type GPS is significantly more expensive when compared to these Apps. Current maps for these Apps are updated frequently and free on an ongoing basis.
I have found two GPS Apps for my iPad. There are slight differences so we actually use both. They are…
MotionX-GPS Drive… I think this App was $0.99 but that was a couple of years ago. We have used this App longer than any other GPS App and for us, there’s good and bad news. Good… It’s great at finding POIs (restaurants, places) especially in strange towns or on your route. Good routing, too. Bad… You can only put one trip segment in at a time. So, when you get to your first stop, you have to put in the next segment of your trip. Ultimately, we use MotionX all the time to find things in some strange town but rarely do we use it for our trip.
Premium CoPilot… I think this App was $6.99 a while back. One thing I REALLY like is that it has a “Vehicle” option (choose your vehicle). I chose the RV setting and then set a clearance height. I set mine for 13-feet of clearance. Also, you can put in a trip with (I think) 50 segments (or stops).
Map downloads are sometimes very large. I generally go to MacDonald’s and have lunch while using their free WiFi to download new, giant files, or updates.
Using an iPad for this purpose solves numerous problems… cost, screen size, updating, and flexibility (moving to other vehicles).
The rule of thumb when using a GPS is that it is okay to listen to it (giving you directions) but it is not okay for the driver to look at, adjust, fiddle around with, play, set, or search with it while you are driving—especially when you are driving close to me! If you don’t have the skill to set it before you depart, you won’t have the skill to set it while driving. Have the copilot do the searching—not the driver—or just pull over and stop.
If you find another GPS App for the iPad, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org