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GPS - Navigation Systems and What They Can Do for You.

Updated on January 20, 2020
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life and he shares his experiences along with valuable tips for RV owners.

GPS Navigation Systems are Everywhere

Once, not too long ago, if you wanted to use a good Navigation system when you traveled, you needed to purchase your own GPS Unit.

But today, many of the vehicles on the road will have a Navigation System built into the vehicle itself.

A third way to use a good Navigation system is to use one of the top navigation applications (APs) that are available on your SmartPhone.

Which one is right for you? Read on for a simple, non-technical explanation of how these can meet your traveling or even shopping needs when you are looking for a store or Doctor's office, or whatever address you may need to find.

Using a good GPS Navigation unit when you travel

Once, travel was a task that required a lot of planning and even numerous stops along the way to ask for directions.

People often stayed on the major roads out of fear of getting lost, and as a result they missed seeing and experiencing so much of the beauty of America.

One of the technological tools that the average person now has available to help with his travels is the modern GPS NAVIGATION device for travel in cars.

As these little dash-mounted devices became more popular and their prices dropped, it became the norm to see one attached to the dash or windshield of their automobile.

And, as people used their GPS devices more, and gained confidence in them and their accuracy, rural America was literally opened up to a new kind of traveler, the Rambling Tourist.

A tourist used to be someone who lived a point-A and traveled directly to point-B and spent their vacation time at point-B.

Today, towns, hotels, motels and such have had to cope with this new breed, the Rambling tourist. A Rambling Tourist might take a few days or even a week or two of vacation and just head in a general direction, making their trips more of an adventure.

And as they all traveled more, using the power of their GPS device, they began to demand more and more of the same device.

They wanted to know more about where they were going and what was along the road they were traveling.

So, today the definition of a GOOD GPS Navigation device is not reliability so much as does it have all of the functions that I, personally want in my device.


The Garmin Nuvi465t GPS Navigator
The Garmin Nuvi465t GPS Navigator | Source

Different Drivers have different Navigation requirements and needs

One thing you realize when you go shopping for a new GPS Navigator device is that each manufacturer provides a variety of units with a wide range of pricing, and segmented by which options that you, the user, might want.

Many people just want to get directions to a local store or to a specific address in another town and they only use their unit occasionally.

While, on the other hand, there are drivers that not only travel often but they also have very specific needs and requirements from their GPS device, for instance.


The Casual Driver is that person I mentioned above who just wants a simple aid to find a store or get directions to a place or town that they are not familiar with. And there are a wide range of devices out there for them, and they are relatively cheap.


The Heavy Driver, on the other hand is someone who travels often. They might be a sales person, a long distance commuter, or just someone who is out and enjoying life on weekends.

These people generally have more demands for their GPS device such as; Hotels, Motels, Fuel Stops, Restaurants, or even local attractions in areas.

These units are also relatively simple today, but can cost a few dollars more than the entry level devices.


The Truck Driver has very specific needs when he is traveling around the country.

The most important truckers need is to be routed via streets and roads that his big Tractor-Trailer can use safely and quickly.

This often means that Truck Drivers have to often use roads that are different from what a car driver would use. Usually this different routing is driven by the length, height and weight of the Tractor-Trailer combination.

Because their needs are so different there are only a few vendors that provide quality GPS Navigation devices designed for them. And, as you would expect these are at the top of the price range for Navigation devices.


Today, you can almost be guaranteed to find a GPS Navigation device mounted onto the dash of every Motorhome, or towed RV owners vehicle.

And RV drivers have their own specific list of requirements for their GPS Navigator. In addition to those of a Casual or Heavy Drive or an automobile.

They have a need for information on Fuel Stops, Rest Areas, Shopping Mall parking lots, Public parking, and more.

Their needs are driven by the fact that once they are on the road, they are either driving a very large motorhome or a towing vehicle hooked to camper of some sort. Their size alone forces them to seek more road and roadside stop information.

Some RV drivers will, like the Casual Drivers, just buy a simple unit and head down the road, leaving a lot of their trip up to chance.

But, the larger group of RV drivers really wants all of the information that they can gt to make their trip safer and more enjoyable. They are the ones that select the better, option loaded devices.

Other Drivers:

And there are other drivers who have specific needs but are often a much smaller population group, so they end up basically just using whatever they can find on the market.

So, you can see that the special needs of these groups of drivers alone end up driving the market for a good quality GPS navigation device for their vehicle.

GARMIN nuvi465T Navigator Screens

Start Screen
Start Screen | Source
Options Selection Screen
Options Selection Screen | Source
Curve Ahead Warning screen
Curve Ahead Warning screen | Source
Truck dimensions data input screen
Truck dimensions data input screen | Source
Truck Road warning screen
Truck Road warning screen | Source
Vehicle Height Limit Road Warning screen
Vehicle Height Limit Road Warning screen | Source

The GARMIN NUVI465 Navigator and its features

I have used several different GPS Navigation devices over the years, but recently, my older Garmin broke on me and i had to go out and shop for a new one.

After my first trip to Best Buy, I realized that in just a couple of years, the GPS units available had evolved dramatically.

There were many more units out there, and they provided a wide range of new and exciting features for me to consider.

So, the first thing that I did, and I recommend that everyone do, before they go out and purchase a new GPS device. And, that is to sit down and make a list of what you are really going to use your new Navigator to do.

I did this and these were my requirements;

1- I own and use a motorhome up to 1/2 the time during the year.

2- I take long trips and use interstate highways a lot.

3- I need data on rest stops, parking areas, and campgrounds along the way, as I travel.

4- I need good, up to date data on traffic problems ahead, and good road re-routing that provides me with reaction time to get around such problems.

Well, after doing my research on the web, and a couple of trips to Best Buy to talk with their sales people, it turned out that the GARMIN NUVI 465T was the best unit for me at the best price.

Here are some of the features that this unit gives me as an RV driver;


With my GARMIN, I can select between my vehicle being a CAR or a TRUCK. This provides me with more fleibility while on the road.

If I know the roads ahead, i can use the CAR mode and be routed onto faster and nicer roads.

If I am not sure of the town or city or roads ahead then I can flip over to the TRUCK mode and be re routed to roads that it is safe for me to drive my RV on, considering it's height, width, weight and overall size.


Often, I have been routed onto streets that my Rig just doesn't fit on and end up taking some scary side streets to get around; a turn that I can't make, or low hanging tree limbs, or whatever.

By using the TRUCK mode, I can enter my RVs overall dimensions, especially length and height and be confident that I will be routed through safe and open roads ahead.


One thing that everyone on the road hates to happen is to be rolling down the highway and suddnely all you see are cars and taillights.

Something has happened ahead, and there you are, stuck in the middle of it, and by the time you get out of the traffic jam, you look and you are 10, 15, even 30 or more minutes behind your schedule.

Today, Cities and State provide satellite data when there is planned road construciton ahead or even regularly slow traffic on sections of road.

Most of the better GPS devices now receive these updates along with their other satellite data, and provide you with warnings of possible traffic delays ahead and even offer you the opportunity to allow a re-routing around the problem area.


One feature of the better GPS devices is that after you select your route, you can place Way Stop tags along the route if you want to stop at a Truck Stop, a Point of interest like a park or historical marker, or just a little town that you like.


I like to place certain of my favorite addresses and Points of interest that I go to occasionally or rarely, but I don't want to have to remember it's address.

If I already have these in my Favorites menu and decide that I want to go there, I just press a couple of buttons and it's is my new destination or Way Stop. This gives me great flexibility with my unit.


This is a great option, and to me it's a necessary one, when I travel. With this option in the nuvi465T, I can just turn on my Cell Phone Bluetooth function, and my nuvi465T will synchronize with my Cell Phone.

I can then just set my Cell Phone aside, and receive calls and even call people verbally over my nuvi465T.My eyes stay on the road, my hands stay on the wheel, and can still communicate with people as i drive down the road.

This option is very popular with RV drivers.

There are many other options available with the nuvi465T, but these were the major one that I had to have and the nuvi465T unit provides.

GPS Navigator Tips and Trick for the Beginner User

There are any number of ways to improve your driving by using the power of your GPS Navigator, and here are just a few;


always take the time to go through the menus on your GPS and set everything you can to what defines your vehicle and your driving preference.

Setting such as; whether you want to get to your destination by the fastest route or the shortest route, or even the scenic route can really change your trip.


I recommend that you sit down with your unit and take the time and enter the coordinates of your favorite addresses, whether; family, friends, stores, sports arenas, or whatever.

You can then just press a couple of buttons and have your route defined without having to remember the address later. This is a great thing to use, even in town when you run up on a traffic jam or a street under construction, and you need to just get around it.


If you have traveled a route, and it worked out well for you, save the complete route for the next time you might need it, and save yourself some time, making changes every time you go to that destination.

And MORE and MORE and MORE! Take your GPS unit, whoever makes it, and read the manual, look it up on the web for other peoples tips, and press those buttons.

You might be surprised at how many tricks you learn about that will make your GPS Navigator even more valuable to you when you are on the roads of America.

How to use the Nuvi465T

© 2012 Don Bobbitt


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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Efficient Admin- So good to hear that you have found a good GPS that you really like and that it happens to be a Garmin.

      Here is a hint you might think about. Even though I have lived in Tampa for three years now, I still turn on my Garmin when I get into the car. You see, it has a great TRAFFIC function that will warn the driver of road blockages, traffic backups, road work etc.

      Try it for a while with your unit.

      And Good Luck, DON

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Michelle Dee 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      About 2 weeks ago I bought my very first Garmin Nuvi 50LTM GPS and I really love it. I used it for the first time on a long distance trip to the mountains last weekend, and it worked really well. I already have programmed future places as "favorites" and I think it is a nifty helpful gadget to have around. Voted up and useful!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      8 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks RV Guy. But, watch out at Best Buy, they are not always the cheapest for a product. I ended getting mine on sale at Camping World and saved over $45. I had even checked on AMAZON and they had it cheaper than Best Buy. Just Saying! have a great Day!

    • The RV Guy profile image

      The RV Guy 

      8 years ago from Somewhere In America

      Perfect timing. Today's plans include a trip to Best Buy to research GPS for RVs...Hub will be and was a great help. Voted Up and Useful!


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