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You should be OK using that method on the 1490 as it does not have any other feature files other than JCV.
If you are asking about using MapInstall (from the Basecamp menu) to install a map to your device, then yes, you will NOT get the JCV file or other special feature files that come with a map update. You should use Garmin Express to install the map to your device and computer. That way you will have the map in BaseCamp and all the feature files including JCV on your device.
Could you give us an example of a route (start point and destination) that routes you over these dirt and unpaved roads? With that we could check it on our devices to see if we get the same results or if it is some kind of failure in your device, maps, settings, etc.
It is good to see Garmin introduce a new product. That said, the Garmin wearable devices do not interest me at all.
Pretty much any Garmin nuvi or Drive device with the trip planner feature will do this. That would include all the models in the new "Drive" line and all the 2015 nuvi models, plus many of the earlier models. There are many of these models that would be within your price range, either new or refurbished. Just make sure the spec's on the Garmin site say "Trip Planner: Yes" for the model you choose. Don't avoid the older Garmin nuvi factory refurb models. They are like new and have the same warranty as a new device. Often, you can get a 2 or 3 year old high end refurbished model for the same price as a new bottom-of-the-line model, and get a much better device with more features.
Just as an example, I looked on Amazon and saw a Garmin Nuvi 2689LMT 6" Bluetooth GPS w/ Lifetime Maps & Traffic - (Certified Refurbished) for $143.37, sold by PrimeDeal and fulfilled by Amazon. If you search you can find many other models in the $100 to $150 price range.
If you narrow your choices down to 3 or 4 models, post back and we can give more detailed opinions about those specific models.