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I just enter the destination and review the route it shows. Often I don't agree with what it suggests. No problem, I just go the way I want and the GPS eventually catches on to what I'm up to. If it just won't take me the way I want to go (which often happens), then I choose some point along the way and route to it instead. As I get closer, I switch back to the original destination (easily done using the "recently found" feature).
Works for me, no "prep" is required. :)
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Comparing Google to Garmin is apples and oranges. The nuvi is a wimpy little computer with very little storage and a processor that's generations behind modern smartphones. Google uses powerful servers and a huge map database that is constantly being updated, your computer or smartphone is merely a terminal to access this powerful system as opposed to a self-contained device like the Nuvi.
Google uses their own proprietary map data (have you ever seen those "Google cars" with cameras on the roof?). Garmin purchases map data from a company called "Here" (formerly known as Navteq).
If you really prefer Google, then a smartphone with their app will be a better solution. Can you still return your Nuvi and get a refund?
Don't you have the option to avoid unpaved roads? Menus are different, but typically it would be something like Settings > Navigation > Avoidances > Unpaved Roads.
If you have already done this, then the roads may not be correctly identified on the map, and then you're out of luck. Or if these are paved roads but in poor condition, I guess that would be a problem.
But I'm a little surprised. I live in a very rural area with lots of unpaved roads and lots of small paved roads. My Nuvis (and also the iPhone StreetPilot app) are VERY reluctant to route me on small paved roads. And these are roads in good condition that are often much shorter alternatives. But the Nuvi just won't use them in a route. When I go down one and it recalculates, it almost always acknowledges a quicker arrival time too.
With the unpaved road option checked, it has almost never sent me off the pavement.
People often find threads like this when they search on Google for help with a problem. So, while the point is well taken, I think it's great when people follow up on old threads - especially threads where nobody has suggested a solution. :)
You might also want to look at this long thread. I made a number of posts about StreetPilot, including screenshots: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/30239/does-it-still-make-sense-in-2016-to-buy-a-garmin/p1
Also see this thread, I posted screenshots of the Western EU map and pedestrian mode there: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/comment/194716/#Comment_194716