Anyone who knows me will happily supply that I have a terrible sense of direction. In fact my utter lack of internal compass has often been the source of many fine jokes and hours of hilarious moments for my friends, including the time I was given a piece of paper with 4 drawn arrows helpfully annotated with the directions “up”, “down”, “left” and “right” as a birthday present. So, as you can imagine, the GPS descended into my life like a gleaming beacon of hope and my Garmin Nuvi has become a constant and happy companion ever since.

When we moved into our RV the darling GPS naturally came with us but, as we very quickly found out, a GPS is simply not enough. Our handy little mobile home hits the road at ~42 feet long (~50 feet with the car towed in the back), a svelte 33,000 pounds of weight and rather limited turning capacity. So, knowing your route involves not only knowing the way, but also clearance (for tunnels), gradients, accessible gas stations and places to get out of trouble. Paul usually does the route-planning (see first paragraph), but over the past  few months I’ve managed to make a marginal contribution and have become quite savvy with the various publications. 

Here’s the best of the best: 

  1. Good Sam’s RV Atlas - more than an atlas it maps campgrounds, truck routes and RV service centers
  2. Mountain Directory – a detailed description of mountain passes and steep grades specifically for RV’ers and truckers
  3. Good Sam’s Exit Now Directory – lists fuel, RV parks, truck stops, rest stops, hospitals, food and just about everything else available at each and every exit of the US interstate

So, for those looking to hit the open road,  by all means bring the GPS, but don’t forget the good ‘ol books too. 

Best of the best

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One Response to A GPS is not enough

  1. yes – make sure you bring a physical map – just in case. my dad says – don’t rely too much on technology – its all still in the testing phase – nothing has been perfected yet

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