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3954 posts

Uber Geek


# 46097 5-Nov-2009 13:36
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We are going on a road-trip holiday in the US and want to buy a GPS to take with us to use in a rental car instead of hiring their unit. New to this and would welcome any advice on the following:

- can anyone recommend a brand (or specifically perhaps a model) that would be hassle-free in terms of buying/installing/downloading USA maps?

- is it best to buy maps on a card or download? Have looked at NavMan website and it looks messy and confusing. TomTom site looks cleaner and easier/more friendly.

- would we better off buying the unit here and then buying the map on a card when we get there?

- would we better off buying the unit when we get there knowing it will work OK there out of the box? Provided we buy one that is also a model sold here.



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732 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 270338 5-Nov-2009 14:04
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buya TomTom locally, then purchase US maps online and download into device or memory card

that would be an ecumenical matter

1699 posts

Uber Geek


  # 270472 5-Nov-2009 20:38
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as has been said, it's all about the maps. The GPS unit will work anywhere.


3954 posts

Uber Geek


  # 270482 5-Nov-2009 21:05
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Thanks guys - all sounds a bit easier than I imagined.

Sometimes I just sit and think. Other times I just sit.

2041 posts

Uber Geek


  # 271273 9-Nov-2009 13:07
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   I have just returned from a trip to the USA and used a GPS whilst covering some 3500km.  I bought a cheapy off TradeMe (came with NZ and Oz maps) and had the USA maps added to the SD card.  The unit is essentially a TomTom clone and I wanted to play with it before going but found the unit so easy to use I needn't have bothered ... my wife was quite happy for me to read the manual in bed at night although the beeping did engender a few rude comments <s>.

However, when in the USA I found some very very good prices for named models at places like Best Buys, and even with taxes and currency conversion they were cheaper than here and had Canada and USA mapping ready to go out of the box.  Oz and NZ maps (if really neccessary later on) can be added down this way.

Warning ... if using unit in California it is illegal to have anything stuck to the windscreen except for a 2 square-inch area at the bottom of either side of the screen, and most GPS holders have a larger footprint than that.  I used little spring-loaded prongs (came with another brand of GPS/phone holder) that clip the unit to the air vents.


3954 posts

Uber Geek


  # 271312 9-Nov-2009 15:12
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That's all very helpful R and food for thought. Much appreciated. We will be doing alomost exactly the same distance that you did. When you say "had the USA maps added to the SD card" how did you do that - download over the 'net? What brand unit did you have?

Sometimes I just sit and think. Other times I just sit.

2041 posts

Uber Geek


  # 271328 9-Nov-2009 16:05
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Hi again, the unit I bought is a 'no-name' job but looks just like a 4.5inch TomTom and runs the Nav N Go iGo8 maps. The supplier added the USA mapping onto the SD card before delivery to me ($49.00).

TradeMe seems to have a number of similar models, although thesedays widescreen 5 and 6inch appear normal.

As I said, when I looked in Best Buy in the USA they had Garmin and TomTom around the US$120 mark or even cheaper on run-out models.

Let me know if you are after mobile 'phone coverage too as I sussed out a good deal rather than roaming rates .


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