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Custom Route Capable GPS Units - I'm SO confused!!!

viragoxv 31 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
OK, I've read what seems to be dozens of threads regarding which GPS supports the use of customized routes, but it seems the more I read, the more confused I get!

I want to use a fairly simple custom mapping system, similar to MapQuest, to drag and drop routes. I don't want to have to use dozens of waypoints to form a route. I then want to export these custom routes, then import into a GPS. The main use for this will be scenic motorcycle touring, though geo-caching in my car is a close second.

I'm not familar with Garmin's BaseCamp, Tyre, or such programs, but if they perform the same drag and drop route customizing as MapQuest, that's all I need to know.

Lastly, I'd prefer not to spend over $500 if that's possible.

Please, some "Keep It Simple" help!!!


  • Boyd 1999 Points
    Garmin's devices can be used with Mapquest if you like. See this FAQ:{34b70a30-12e3-11dd-dc9c-000000000000}
    How do I use MapQuest with my device?

    Garmin has partnered with MapQuest to allow the transfer of addresses, Points of Interest (POIs), and routes1 from MapQuest2 to compatible Garmin devices. To accomplish this, follow these steps:

    Confirm that you have a compatible device
    Connect the device to your computer
    Download and install the Garmin Communicator Plugin
    Enter the desired route or location on the MapQuest website
    Click Send To
    Click the GPS tab
    Select whether you want to send Waypoints (all the locations will show up separately in your device) or the route (the waypoints all as one collection)2
    Place a check mark next to the name of your connected device
    Click Send
    The waypoints or route you selected will now appear in your device. Waypoints will appear in the device's Favorites list. Some devices require routes to be imported before they will appear in the Routes menu. To import a route:

    Touch Tools
    Touch My Data
    Touch Import Route(s)
    Touch the MapQuest route(s) you want to import, then touch the Import button
    Once the route has finished importing, you may access it for navigation or editing by using the Routes menu in either Where to? or Tools.

    1Sending routes is limited only to devices with multiple stop routing. A route is considered a specific series of waypoints in a certain order (and not necessarily the exact path taken between those points). Additionally, not all multiple stop routing capable units support the transfer of routes from MapQuest or other websites/computer programs. To confirm that your device supports the transfer of routes from MapQuest or another mapping program, please review the article Which automotive Garmin devices have the ability to receive routes transferred from a computer?

    2When a route is sent to your device and imported, the calculated route may not be the same as the route calculated by MapQuest or another mapping program. Although all waypoints should be present and in the correct order, the exact street choices will vary based on many criteria such as map version, route preference, avoidances, etc...
    Both Mapquest and Garmin purchase their data from the same supplier - Navteq. However there are bound to be some differences between the map on your GPS and the map on Mapquest's site. For example, the Mapquest map is going to be newer (since it takes garmin awhile to properly format the data and issue an update). So Mapquest might route you on a road that's not on your GPS and that would cause the route to be recalculated using available streets.

    All of the newer model Nuvi devices (since about 2010) have abandoned tradtional routes and now use "trips". These are quite different from routes and almost universally disliked. Why Garmin has done this is a mystery...

    But their outdoor products still use traditional routes. Your budget should allow you to get the Montana 600, which will store 200 routes and give you many advanced features not found on other models. Beautiful bright 4" screen. Waterproof and shockproof. I have had one for two years and love it. Also works great on a hike.

    A new model, the Monterra will ship next month and perhaps that will lead to a price drop on the Montana? You could also wait for a holiday sale, which is pretty typical during the Thanksgiving-Christmas season.

    You will need to purchase the map and a mount separately, which will be another $100 or so.
  • Thanks Boyd!
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