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About to drive the Alcan (northward) -- need recommendations

Hello,

I'm about to move to Alaska, and I'm making a leisurely road trip of it. I'll be driving up the Alcan. I'd like recommendations for a GPS with good coverage for western Canada and Alaska. May be making a side-trip to SE Alaska as well. I'm looking for the type of GPS that will plug into the 12v receptacle of my truck, and can be mounted to either the dash or windshield. Thanks!

Comments

  • t923347 392 Points
    edited September 2016
    Any of the Garmin automobile GPS models with full North America map coverage will meet your requirements and probably have the best Western Canada/Alaska map data coverage of any of the more popular brands.

    Since you didn't mention a price range I'd suggest you compare models on the Garmin website. Look specifically for models which show "detailed maps of North America with free lifetime map updates" in the description. You can find all current models at https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/cOnTheRoad-cAutomotive-p1.html
  • dhn 228 Points
    TomTom also provides a decent range of products. The 50S/60S might be a good fit. See here for products:

    http://www.tomtom.com/en_us/drive/car/
  • Boyd 1735 Points
    edited September 2016
    Look at some of the recent posts in out Garmin Automotive forum regarding the new "Drive" models. Apparently they have features to warn you of school zones and curves. These features cannot be disabled and some people find them annoying. We have a thread where a user says curve alerts constantly appear on a winding road for example. http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/30593/curve-ahead-alert-freezing-drive-60-lmt

    Maybe not an issue for your trip, but for general usage I would not be happy about this. I don't think the older "Nuvi" models will do this, and a number of them are still available. Sorry, my devices are all several years old so I have not kept up on the specifics.
  • t923347 392 Points
    Boyd said:

    Look at some of the recent posts in out Garmin Automotive forum regarding the new "Drive" models. Apparently they have features to warn you of school zones and curves. These features cannot be disabled and some people find them annoying. We have a thread where a user says curve alerts constantly appear on a winding road for example. http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/30593/curve-ahead-alert-freezing-drive-60-lmt

    Maybe not an issue for your trip, but for general usage I would not be happy about this. I don't think the older "Nuvi" models will do this, and a number of them are still available. Sorry, my devices are all several years old so I have not kept up on the specifics.

    I agree that those warnings would be annoying but I believe, like me, you drive with the sound of the GPS muted most of the time so if the OP can live with that, it's one possible solution. At least until Garmin updates the software to allow for this warning to be toggled off and on like other ones can be.

  • alanb 348 Points
    edited September 2016
    You will need to decide how much you are willing to spend, but for my money I still think the refurbished nuvi 3597LMTHD for $179.95 is the best deal around. This model does have school zone alerts, but not the "curve ahead" warnings. The school zone alert is just a dull "bong" and banner at the top of the screen which I have not found to be distracting or annoying.
  • Boyd 1735 Points
    I just don't understand the need for either of those things. Have yet to see a school zone that wasn't clearly marked, same for any serious curves in the road. Where does Garmin come up with these ideas? I seriously doubt they received a flood of user requests for "curve alerts". :O)
  • t923347 392 Points
    Agree 100%. In many thousands of miles of travelling in Canada and the US I can't recall ever not seeing a school zone, and particularly, a curve that wasn't pretty well marked. School Zones, in some cities, could be easily missed with all the other signage that may also be present but as alanb said's, at least that warning is isn't all that distracting.
  • willkayakforfood 0 Points
    edited September 2016
    Thanks, everyone, for this helpful discussion! I'm deeply immersed in the chaos of last-minute sorting and purging for my upcoming move, and just don't have time to reply to each message individually, helpful as they all may be. I'll be making my decision soon -- because I need to! :) On the other hand...

    Something I always keep in mind as well -- I was a driver long before GPS became available, and somehow, I managed to survive all my road trips using ... wait for it ... paper maps! :) If need be, I even know how to use a compass. :)

    At least paper maps don't insist on annoying me with stuff I don't want annoying me.

    Thanks again!
  • alanb 348 Points
    Boyd said:

    I just don't understand the need for either of those things. Have yet to see a school zone that wasn't clearly marked, same for any serious curves in the road. Where does Garmin come up with these ideas? I seriously doubt they received a flood of user requests for "curve alerts". :O)

    I can appreciate how it would be nice to turn these alerts off. That said, in heavy traffic on multi-lane roads, it is quite easy to miss signage because it is blocked by high profile vehicles in the lanes next to you.

  • I can appreciate how it would be nice to turn these alerts off. That said, in heavy traffic on multi-lane roads, it is quite easy to miss signage because it is blocked by high profile vehicles in the lanes next to you.



    I'll be driving northbound on the Alcan in October. Not multi-lane, and not crowded with either other vehicles or signage (well, lots of signs at the Watson Lake "Signpost Forest", I guess). I'm really beginning to think that a paper map along with the "Milepost" will be my happiest solution for this particular trip. I'll make the occasional side trip off the Alcan for this or that, but in general, it's one simple road from here (WA state) to there (Alaska). :)

  • Boyd 1735 Points
    If you like Garmin's "nanny" philosophy then I suppose you will like these new models. It is yet another reason why I'm unlikely to ever buy another dedicated GPS. If I don't like the features of an app on my phone, I can try another app. ;)
  • sussamb 632 Points
    Don't think its just GPS. Cars now can warn you if you're going out of lane, falling asleep, give collision warning alerts etc. Technology can do it so it's assumed consumers want it ;)
  • Boyd 1735 Points
    Yes, no doubt this is a feature that consumers want. ;)

    http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/30282/garmin-drivelux-50-lmt-d

    "The upcoming curve alert came on literally every few seconds. With the unit mounted at eye level on the lower left corner of the windshield, this was extremely annoying and distracting."
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