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Garmin GPS???

m61376

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Wanted to finally join the 21st c. and get a GPS. Recommendations as to which model and why?

The car I usually drive has Bluetooth built in, so I don't need one for the phone.

Thanks
 

Phydeaux

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How many whistles/bells do you need? Do you need live traffic reports? etc.

Garmin makes the finest GPS available, so you can't go wrong - just buy the model that has what you need, at your price point. Simple transaction.
 

dwojo

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I have had a garmin, tomtom, and magellan. They are all good. What you need to do is research them and decide what has the best features for you. Try to find one that has free map updates and traffic. I prefer my tomtom it has a feature that shows me what lane I need to be in.
 

Talent312

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Look for these Garmin model # codes:
LM = lifetime maps
LMT = lifetime maps & traffic
Garmin also has Lane Assist, a very useful feature for interstate exits.
 

Timeshare Von

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I'm far from an expert, but can say that we just bought the Garmin 1450LMT from Amazon earlier this month, and love it. We just had it down in South Florida and it was invaluable . . . and very easy to use.

It comes with the lifetime maps update plus the traffic feature previously mentioned. For those who need them, you can purchase map packages for international destinations.

We paid $168 for it on 10/31 and it is now down to $130, so the timing couldn't be better to pick it up now.

We also bought the dashboard friction mount and the hard case available from Amazon . . . total price was $199.
 

hvsteve1

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The lifetime maps will save you a lot of money as you can update four times per year. A few updates without lifetime maps is the cost of a new GPS. The most important thing about frequent updates is not the maps, as they don't open that many new roads. It's the updated points of interest (POI). The POI is one of the most important features as it will find restaurants, hotels, entertainment, etc. When those get outdated, you could wind up driving five miles to a closed restaurant or not know about new locations that were not there six months ago. The live traffic is good if you're in a metro area as that's where the updates are posted. The lane assist is very handy as the GPS tells you in which lanes to be miles before the highway signs appear.

Another feature I love in mine is the Ecodrive. Some of the Bluetooth enabled models have a dongle you can buy which plugs into the computer connection under your dash (the one mechanics use to run diagnostics). If your car does not have one of those nice information systems on the dash, this lets your GPS give you MPG, gas usage, trip cost (after you enter your gas price) and user definable gauges of every type. The unit will also run diagnistic codes should your "check engine" light come on and let you reset the warning should it be caused by nonsense such as a loose gas cap.

Monoprice, where I buy all of my A/V cables cheap, also had a really nice GPS case at an unbelievably low price. I would also recommend the beanbag type dashboard mount as the windshield mount that comes with the unit is not legal everywhere.
 

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I bought a Garmin last year on cyber Monday as a gift for DH and it has been a lifesaver. I got it from Amazon and saved quite a bit of money. I suggest what ever brand you choose that you buy a model that has the ability to name the street. Instead of "Turn left at the next street" you should buy a model that says "Turn left on Main Street". Also the lane assist feature is very helpful. We have not updated our memory card recently and realize that we should do so. Updated maps and updated information become very important. GPS are great technology, especially when combined with a good old road map for the bigger picture. We haven't had good luck with the suction cup mount. It just pops off at random times, usually sending the GPS flying on to the floor with really bad timing. So it goes.
Good luck.
 
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Passepartout

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I have one of the smaller (Nuvi 1250) models. I got it online for about $60 and it came with one update. I figured I'd just get a new one after a couple of non-updated years. One thing I like about this series is the ability to operate on foot- so for instance, in Barcelona or Rome, with the appropriate map chip, it will show which bus, Metro, or tram to take to get to your destination. Battery life could be better, but on foot, just turn it on when you need assistance then turn it off.

For purely vehicular use, the wide ones (so you see more side streets) with included map updates and lane guidance are definitely desirable.

Jim Ricks
 

Talent312

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We haven't had good luck with the suction cup mount. It just pops off at random times, usually sending the GPS flying on to the floor with really bad timing.

It helps to wet (lick) the suction cup to create a better seal.
But we broke two, so we bought an aftermarket, extra-strong model.
I found that our 4.3" model is small enuff to fit in a shirt pocket.
 
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KauaiMark

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Just don't leave it visible in the car...

So many cars have been broken into because the Garmin was left visible inside the car.
 

Conan

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Radio Shack had a Black Friday deal on the new, basic model with lifetime maps, model # 40LM. Price was 89.99 + sales tax with free shipping. If you first sign up for an account they'll email a welcome coupon for $10 off making it 79.99 + sales tax with free shipping.

Check 'Cyber' Monday to see if they put the deal back on
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12252540
 

dioxide45

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I'm far from an expert, but can say that we just bought the Garmin 1450LMT from Amazon earlier this month, and love it. We just had it down in South Florida and it was invaluable . . . and very easy to use.

It comes with the lifetime maps update plus the traffic feature previously mentioned. For those who need them, you can purchase map packages for international destinations.

We paid $168 for it on 10/31 and it is now down to $130, so the timing couldn't be better to pick it up now.

We also bought the dashboard friction mount and the hard case available from Amazon . . . total price was $199.

We have the same model and paid about $189 in March. I have already updated the maps twice.

Installing maps used to be a long process, but Garmin has since released a program that you download to your computer and it downloads new maps to your PC and then you can just connect your device to your PC to install. In the past I found that I had to have the device connected for the entire download also.

For a trip we took in the spring, we downloaded the free trial of the red light camera POIs. This warned us of several rid light cameras in Charleston and again on our recent trip to West Palm Beach Florida.
 

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i have the GARMIN 1450 LMT and it IS good. HOWEVER, when you UPDATE the map, you will get an error message saying YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH SPACE TO UPDATE THE WHOLE COUNTRY so you have to pick an AREA of the U.S. you want to download. that REALLY sucked when i was on the WEST COAST and only had the EAST COAST in my GPS!!
 

dioxide45

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i have the GARMIN 1450 LMT and it IS good. HOWEVER, when you UPDATE the map, you will get an error message saying YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH SPACE TO UPDATE THE WHOLE COUNTRY so you have to pick an AREA of the U.S. you want to download. that REALLY sucked when i was on the WEST COAST and only had the EAST COAST in my GPS!!

I haven't experienced that problem with our 1450 LMT. How much hard drive space do you have available on your PC? Could that be the issue?
 

Talent312

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I have the GARMIN 1450 LMT and it IS good. HOWEVER, when you UPDATE the map, you will get an error message saying YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH SPACE TO UPDATE THE WHOLE COUNTRY so you have to pick an AREA of the U.S. you want to download.

I had that problem with an older, discontinued model (#650). I deleted everything 'cept the map, and was able to download the "lower 49." I'll be stuck if I try to drive in Alaska.

I suggest calling Garmin tech support for a work-around. They've helped me in the past.
Have your GPS attached to 'puter. They may want muck about in it or download to a disk.
 

Timeshare Von

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We have already done one update w/o issue.
 

Kay H

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I purchased a garmin in March. It has free lifetime map download. Today i tried to download maps for the 1st time. it attempted to 3x and gave an error message after each attempt. Told me to call garmin. When I called they told me I had a 30 min wait and to try again to call. Best time in the morning. I'll try again tomorrow morning. Doesn't sound too promising.
 

dwojo

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So many cars have been broken into because the Garmin was left visible inside the car.

Do not put your home address in the gps. If some one steals the car they would have turn by turn directions to a house that is possibly empty.
 

Talent312

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I purchased a garmin in March. It has free lifetime map download. Today i tried to download maps for the 1st time. it attempted to 3x and gave an error message after each attempt.

Did your error message say that it could not identify the GPS unit you had attached to your computer?

I called Garmin about that issue a year ago. They blamed Internet Explorer, saying that it has trouble with external media, and suggested that I try Firefox or Chrome instead. Firefox worked fine. Now I use Firefox whenever I deal with the Garmin website.
 

heathpack

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We are sailors and GPS & mapping are a big part of our lives. Asked Mr. H
what is best for the car and without hesitation he says "Garmin." Pick the model that suits your needs, but get a Garmin. We have a Raymarine as the primary GPS on the boat but the back-up is a Garmin, which also has a set of auto maps. The menus are very intuitive and it is easy to use.

H
 

Talent312

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... We have a Raymarine as the primary GPS on the boat but the back-up is a Garmin, which also has a set of auto maps.

I took our street-Garmin on a cruise last year.
It did a good job of charting our position among the leeward Caribbean Islands
... but not so good at finding the highways between them ... :cool:
 

Kay H

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Did your error message say that it could not identify the GPS unit you had attached to your computer?

I called Garmin about that issue a year ago. They blamed Internet Explorer, saying that it has trouble with external media, and suggested that I try Firefox or Chrome instead. Firefox worked fine. Now I use Firefox whenever I deal with the Garmin website.


Yes, that was the 1st error message. The 2nd was that it couldn't complete the download. I'll try downloading firefox and try that. Thanks. I'll let you know if it works.

UPDATE

I downloaded firefox, went to Garmin website and it told me my maps are uo to date. Thanks for the info. Saved me a phone call tomorrow.
 
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I had a stand alone GPS navigator for about 10 years but recently have just switched to using Garmin software on my iPhone, it's cheaper, always with you and should you lose your phone, freely replaceable.

Depending on the country/countries you live in there are other choices, TomTom, Sygic, RoadMate, Navigon and the most popular and cheapest Copilot Live.
 

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Love my Garmin! I believe I have 1300 or 1400 model, a year or so old, lifetime maps and traffic.

One thing I particularly like about it is Pedestrian Mode! I like to walk, but I get lost. The ability to buy a city map is handy, I just haven't had a reason to do so yet but I would definitely do so and use pedestrian mode (fun side note - while stuck in traffic Saturday, the Garmin asked if I would like to switch to pedestrian mode?).

It also has a WHERE AM I? feature that I haven't had to use yet, but, nice to know it's there. Easy access to police, hospitals, etc.

The Places Nearby is a function I use all the time, even at home. It's been very helpful in calling around to nearby hotels to find out vacancy, rates, etc., when we want to stop for the night.
 

geekette

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Do not put your home address in the gps. If some one steals the car they would have turn by turn directions to a house that is possibly empty.

I have "Home" set to a nearby shopping center. let em think I live in a cart at the curb ...
 
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