The Ultimate Travel Companion

What weighs 15 ounces; is the size of a deck of cards and could possibly save an RVers marriage? Let me give you a scenario. You’re driving your 35-foot RV on a congested four lane highway, during rush hour, somewhere you have never been before and your better half is your navigator. You miss your exit and now you need to go 25 miles out of your way to get back on the correct route, arguing about whose fault it was the whole time. Sound familiar?

Now, let’s see what we can do to fix this problem. You’re driving your RV on a congested four lane highway, during rush hour, somewhere you have never been before and your new Global Positioning System (GPS) is your navigator. The unique, turn-by-turn, voice prompt feature instructs you to turn right in eight tenths of a mile. You don’t miss your exit; you don’t need to go 25 miles out of your way and your marriage remains intact.

In the past, whenever we would take a trip in the RV, I would print the driving directions from a trip planning website. Then, as we traveled, my wife would inform me of when and where we would make any changes in our route. Needless to say we missed turns, took wrong exits and on more than one occasion there were those last second, white knuckle lane changes; if you’ve been RVing for a while you know what I’m talking about.

I finally decided to take advantage of modern day technology and purchase a GPS system. All I can say is I should kick myself for waiting so long to do it. The more I learned about these GPS systems the more fascinated I was with the capabilities they had to offer. Most come preprogrammed with detailed maps, automatic trip routing, voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions along your route, and easy to follow touch screen displays, which is exactly what you want when you’re traveling in an RV. If you get a text-to-speech feature the GPS actually calls out the turns you need to make, so you can keep your eyes where they need to be, on the road. If you miss a turn the GPS system automatically recalculates the quickest way to get back on the correct route.

Other features we liked about the GPS are the Points of Interest (POI) like, restaurants, shopping centers and tourist attractions. In addition to all of these features the GPS model we purchased includes a built in MP3 player and a JPEG picture viewer too.

I don’t know about you but driving an RV in places you have never been before can be nerve-racking at times, especially if you are navigating the old school way, using a map. I am a little slow to change sometimes, when it comes to keeping up with the latest technology, but getting a GPS system to help navigate the RV is the best thing I’ve done since switching from dial-up to high speed internet service. This truly is a great way to make traveling in your RV less stressful and who knows, it just might result in a happier marriage too.

P.S. I still print the route from a trip planning website and keep my maps next to the drivers seat, just in case!

Happy RV Learning,

Mark Polk
RV Education 101
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