Using a Garmin GPS for your upcoming adventures is a great idea. While the earliest forms of GPS devices provided simple navigation from one destination to another, today’s offerings give you so much more. Throughout this blog I’ll discuss why a Garmin GPS is a great addition for trips away, as well as the extra things you’ll get not only if you’re driving a car, but I’ll also take some time to discuss specific product options if you drive other recreational vehicles—commercial trucks too.
Why do I need a GPS when I have a smartphone?
It’s a very valid question. If you have a smartphone, do you still need a GPS? I would say so. There’s more to Garmin GPS systems nowadays that cater to any traveller’s needs. Smartphone maps are sort of a “one size fits all” style of navigation. This means that if you’re driving something that isn’t your standard sized passenger vehicle (like an RV or commercial truck), you can buy a GPS that keeps what you’re driving in mind. I’ll discuss how this works further down the blog.
Don’t forget about the ease of obtaining maps. If your travels will be taking you overseas, your GPS can travel with you and you may have an easier time with GPS maps, instead of using roaming data, which we Canadians know all too well can be extremely expensive overseas.
What does a GPS provide outside of navigation?
When we purchased our first GPS device nearly 15 years ago, all it really provided us with was Point A to Point B navigation, estimated arrival times, and the ability to flick any known speed limits on and off. Considering my previous precedent was printouts of Mapquest, this was gold in comparison. However, this was also before the dawn of the smartphone and more comprehensive search experiences.
Since then, Garmin GPS devices have taken on a new life, offering much more than just navigation. Your GPS can now act as a personal navigator, and it can point out nearby landmarks, stops, restaurants, and more. Some have entire campground packages built in, and some have entire route creators so that you can pace yourself and plan out your journey (including stopping points) in advance of leaving home. This definitely gives your GPS more of a “personal assistant” feel over just something to get you going on the road from Vancouver to Regina.
Many of the GPS devices I discuss in this blog also come with some form of route recording and sharing. This means that you’ll be able to save and keep track of the routes and places you visit, and you can easily share them among your friends or family if they’re looking to make a trip of their own.
Garmin GPS systems built specifically for RVs
One of the things that I was surprised to find out is how popular RV purchases have been over the last 12 months. At least a half dozen of my friends have become first time RV owners, and I’ve heard that there’s more demand than supply right now. As somebody who does not own an RV, I’ve never considered the difficulty of navigating roads that weren’t built for larger vehicles and how that would impact RV owners. Thankfully, Garmin has.
There are many Garmin RV-specific GPS systems that you can get, which help you as a driver. These RV-specific GPS systems can help create routes for you based on the size and weight of your vehicle so that you can always travel on roads that are safe for it.
These GPS systems don’t just navigate either. They come with a list of RV Parks (and other services onboard too) in case you need to find something nearby. This information is maintained through the Ultimate Public Campgrounds App (which, not surprisingly, is maintained by the public), so it should stay up to date and see lots of updates throughout the spring and summer months.
Garmin GPS for the off-road enthusiast
For those of you that love off-roading, there’s a Garmin GPS built for you too. The Garmin Overlander Navigation system can not only get you to the nearest gas station or restaurant, but contains a topographic map system so that you can comfortably take it off the road. The Overlander is built a little differently than other GPS devices too. Given that it can get a little rough off the beaten path, this GPS is built to US Military Standard 810 for thermal and shock resistance and comes with a strong magnetic mount so that it can’t easily fall off while the car is in motion.
In addition, no offroad adventure is clean and free of dust or dirt, so the Overland has IP5X, which gives it high resistance to dust and some resistance to water. It can also perform in extreme temperatures. Overland can communicate with InReach Satellite to provide things like two-way text messaging and interactive SOS too.
Garmin even makes GPS devices for all of you hiking and cycling enthusiasts, if that’s your favourite form of being off the road. The handheld Garmin Montana series is just as rugged as the Overlander, but it comes in a smaller size for you to carry along or slip into a backpack. It also can partner with the SOS services I mentioned above, and it comes with a software keyboard for you to easily send your two-way messages if you’re lost or need assistance.
Garmin GPS devices for fishing
The Garmin Striker GPS systems are geared for those of you out on the lake. The Striker Vivid 5cv is a standalone fish finder with different colour sonar and fish finding options, and it even has a waypoint marking system so that you can virtually keep track of all the hot spots on the lake where the fish are biting. The Striker Cast GPS is a smaller unit that you physically cast out into the water to get the lay of the land through a view on your smartphone. The Sonar connects wirelessly, has a range of over 200 feet, and works in both fresh and salt water.
GPS devices for commercial truck drivers
Do you remember what I said at the beginning of the blog about the one size fits all approach of smartphone navigation? Commercial truck drivers definitely need something that looks after their needs, and products like the Garmin Dezl GPS are just that.
With a large screen and a built-in voice assistant, drivers can remain focused on the road while being automatically told about any hazards in the road ahead. The Dezl GPS can create custom routes based on the size and weight of the rig, and it also provides load-to-dock guidance once you get to your destination. As with the RV-specific GPS devices, this means that you’ll be guided along roads that are safe for you (and your rig) to travel along without the worry of getting caught in a tight spot or road you can’t otherwise navigate.
As you can see, there are lots of different options for the various roads you’re travelling down in your adventures, whether you’re packing up for a weekend trip in your SUV or a couple weeks in the family RV. The full range of Garmin GPS devices is now available online at BestBuy.ca.