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which is the best GPS to buy for the car.


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I would like to know which is the best GPS to buy and use in the car to get you to the caches. I have been useing my handheld and want to buy one for the car.
I would wholeheartedly support your decision to use two units. Both the handheld and "big-screen" automotive units have their respective benefits.


More or less in order of priority:


Whatever you buy, make sure you are comfortable looking at the display. The older you get, the more you may favor only the 4.3" units over the smaller ones :rolleyes: I know that I wouldn't want a car nav system with a display any smaller than the one I have now. If it isn't comfortable to use while you're on the move, you probably shouldn't be using it -- too distracting. A good mounting solution (and there are many) is part of that picture once you have the unit in hand.


You'll also find it VERY, VERY helpful to have a unit that into which you can load the results of your Pocket Queries, likely directly as GPX files or converted by GSAK into the POI file type your unit prefers. GSAK is perfectly happy to create files for both current Garmin and TomTom units. This will avoid all of the manual entry which takes a lot of time while you should be out caching! There are still a lot of units (especially in-dash units) that are incapable of this. Avoid them!


I'd also recommend a unit that allows you to easily create an "itinerary" or "route" where you can look at the map at gc.com and make a list of the caches in the order in which you want to search for them. I prefer being able to do this on my PC.


Spoken directions including street names can be very nice. It gives you a heads' up on what you'll need to do in advance, and where streets are dense or tricky, having the name is often easier than just the distance to the turn. Having experienced it, wouldn't buy one without that feature.


Those above would be my key elements. What you choose beyond that is a matter of taste and other use when driving.


For example, if you want truly LIVE traffic data, you'll find units that don't rely on the local RDS system often have more up-to-date traffic data than RDS. Instead, they'll be using some kind of bi-directional wireless system. I have mine pulling down data via Bluetooth using my cell phone as a modem (known as the Bluetooth DUN profile). Only works if your cell provider is giving you what they call "tethered" service, though.


There are tons of other features/whistles/bells being offered. I'd like to tell you that one has better maps than the other, but it's a function of where you live. In some places, Navteq has more up-to-date maps, and in some areas, Teleatlas has them. Both are decent, and the manufacturers that use them provide reasonably frequent updates.


There are a couple of Garmin Nuvi and TomTom Go series GPS units that will do all of these things and more. I like my TomTom 730 because I can also load all of the cache detail and log information as HTML and the unit's internal mini-browser can display all of that. That feature isn't as important now that I've just picked up a Dakota 20 that also holds that kind of info, but when I was using just my eTrex Summit HC, I was back to the TomTom more than once to see what log or hint I might need. I understand that there have been some recent Nuvi releases that are also able to do this.


I also like a unit that lets ME make certain kinds of map changes -- roads that no longer exist (like a frontage road on a local interstate here that was moved 1/2 mile away!) or are blocked, or were picked up on the satellite survey but aren't really roads! Once I've identified those on my unit, it will never try to route me on one again, no matter what the maps from the manufacturer say is there or isn't. AFAIK, none of them let you actually add a road, though.


I'm able to program my unit to warn me of my proximity to a particular POI type (in this case, geocaches -- some addicts do it for Starbucks!). There aren't many around my area that I haven't found, so when I get within my programmed 300 yards from one on my "unfound" list, my unit can holler out "Geocache Alert!". Like I say - lots of whistles and bells, some of which will just be trivial but fun.

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Car units have come down in price considerably. I would suggest nothing less than a widescreen. The Nuvi 205W is available at Amazon for $112. Considering it comes with $80 routing maps, that is a pretty good deal. Nuvi's are from Garmin, there is also Mio, Magellan, Tom Tom, etc... I would match what you already have to make it easier to use hardware both may use together.

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