Redesigned inside and out, the RVND 7730 LM provides all-new hardware, a faster processor, two new graphical user interface options, with improved map appearance, according to the company’s written announcement. Bringing together Rand McNally’s award-winning navigation and new features such as toll cost estimates and advanced lane guidance, the RVND elivers leading-edge technology and tools specifically designed for RVers.
“Rand McNally’s RVND was the first navigation device designed specifically for RVers. With this next generation device, we’ve incorporated an all-new look but more importantly, new features to better help RVers get the most out of their on-the-road adventures,” said Stephen Fletcher, CEO of Rand McNally.
The device features a new, sleeker hardware design with a 7-inch screen — rugged and large for any RV dashboard. Inside, the RVND has faster processing speed, allowing for quicker route calculation, point of interest searches, route comparisons, and screen-to-screen transitions.
New navigation options give RVers more assistance and the ability to further customize routes:
• Estimated toll road costs are now included for more informed trip planning.
• More Advanced Lane Guidance instruction, combined with an increased number of enhanced Junction Views, goes beyond just turns and shows the best lanes in which to drive when approaching a turn or heading toward a complicated intersection.
• And drivers may avoid areas permanently — such as heavily congested city areas — or temporarily — to accommodate closures of bridges or other roads.
The onboard mapping has been upgraded to include improved text and road shields, and new coloration for certain reference points such as shopping centers and parks. There are two new color schemes for the maps, giving RVers even more personalization options.
To further customize the devices, RVers can choose between two new interface options – “Ice” (with a white background) and “Carbon” (with a steel grey background). Users also may choose the familiar “Classic” design interface, from prior generations of the device. The new, proprietary, color-saturated icons in the design were created by Rand McNally making features easy to recognize with just a glance.
The 7730 LM device includes extensive updates to features such as:
• The addition of the latest Rand McNally Best of the Road towns with roadside attractions, dining, and historical sites.
• A complete update of campgrounds — with 1,521 additions — including Good Sam campgrounds, public and commercial campgrounds, and Good Sam-rated campgrounds.
• An updated cross-reference to the new 2015 Rand McNally Road Atlas, with emergency and roadside assistance information by state.
• A comprehensive update of RV parking including rest stops and welcome centers, travel centers with RV-friendly amenities, and stores such as Walmart and Sam’s Club locations.
In addition, Rand McNally has incorporated new features and thousands of updates derived from “Tell Rand”, Rand McNally’s proprietary feedback loop for RVND users. For example, multi-stop trip planning now provides the detail of upcoming legs of the journey color-coded for easy differentiation, allowing for easy analysis of trip segments. And, with a one-click selection, drivers may hide buttons on the display to provide a larger view of the map.
The RVND 7730 LM includes lifetime map updates and the ability to switch over to car routing. The device is Wi-Fi connected, allowing for up-to-the moment information along a route such as current fuel prices, weather and traffic.
The new RVND 7730 LM device is available at RV dealers and other retail locations nationwide, and in online stores such as amazon.com, bestbuy.com and walmart.com.
For more information on Rand McNally’s new RV GPS, visit randmcnally.com.
Rand McNally has released an update to its highly rated RV GPS app, the first such iOS application for iPad designed for navigating recreational vehicles. According to a press release, the RV GPS app routing considers road, bridge and tunnel restrictions for propane-on-board, as well as RV-prohibited roads.
The new release, available to all current users, includes new features that allow drivers to choose between a primary and alternate route, manage and track fuel costs, and easily search for local information. They include:
• Real-time fuel prices and logs: With market-leading fuel price data, this feature provides diesel and gas prices at stops along a route or near any location. Fuel prices and fuel stop icons can be shown on the map and in list format, viewable by brand, price, or distance to location. Additionally, the feature includes fuel logs that automatically calculate fuel economy for a route, and can be viewed by month and by quarter.
• Integrated local search: This feature expands the ability to find points of interest on the device, using a keyword search, such as ‘burger’ or a category or business name. Once a location is found the app shows a description, address, and phone number. With one tap, an RV-specific route to that location is generated.
• Compare Routes: Compare Routes provides a primary route and a reasonable alternate, allowing the driver to choose. Both routes are presented on a map for quick review.
In addition to new features, the release includes a full road map update for the U.S. and Canada. The update includes:
• 52,000 changes that impact RV routing, including enhancements to parkways, weight restriction and vertical clearance updates.
• Significantly enhanced speed limit information.
• Updates and additions to numerous points of interest important to RVers such as commercial campgrounds and ratings; overnight parking information; dealer and repair locations; rest areas with RV-friendly parking; dump stations and RV-friendly travel centers.
• 17,000 new roadside attractions and Rand McNally’s Best of the Road® finalist towns.
• An updated Road Atlas e-book, as part of the app.
The RV GPS AOO is rated more than four stars on the iTunes store, and is compatible with iOS 4.0 and higher. Turn-by-turn navigation is enabled for iPad cellular models, but requires a GPS accessory for Wi-Fi-only models.
Once again, Rand McNally has partnered with Good Sam and Geocaching.com to once again search for the Best Small Towns in America.
According to a press release, the Best of the Road program kicked off July 1. Winning towns in six categories will receive a free custom iPhone App and online travel guide developed by Rand McNally and coverage in the 2015 Road Atlas.
In 2012, with over 700 towns participating and over 1 billion media impressions generated, thousands of road travelers and small town residents encouraged friends, family, and fellow residents to vote for their favorite town in five different categories: Most Beautiful, Most Fun, Most Patriotic, Friendliest and Best for Food.
“The Best of the Road program put us on the map in a way that no amount of traditional advertising could,” said Kim Huston, President of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency, representing Bardstown, KY. “We have received so many national accolades, visits and notoriety because of Best of the Road.
Enhancements to Best of the Road 2013 include:
- A new website featuring a simple path to registration and easy voting features.
- Increased integration with social media.
- A new category Best for Geocaching, sponsored by Geocaching.com.
Winnebago Industries Inc. has selected Rand McNally as its exclusive provider of mapping and routing services for its 2014 motorhomes.
According to a news release, Rand McNally’s award-winning RV GPS navigation will be featured as part of the new X1 family of “Infotainment” systems from XiteSolutions North America, available in Winnebago, Itasca and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes.
Winnebago Industries has chosen the new X1S 6-inch and X1DM 10.4-inch “Infotainment” systems. The company said that the 10.4-inch display is the largest integrated, in-dash OEM solution in the RV market today.
“Our Winnebago Industries motorhome owners expect the best from us. We’ve partnered with the navigation industry’s best – Rand McNally – to provide navigation and routing information specific to RV travel, providing RV-specific stops along the way and enhancing the trip experience,” said Russ Garfin, product manager for Winnebago.
Rand McNally’s RV software includes:
• Specialized routing and turn-by-turn spoken directions in the U.S. and Canada for 11 different classes of RV.
• Navigation based on legal and physical restrictions, such as height, width, weight limits and propane restrictions, and the ability to favor right- or left-hand turns depending on motorhome class.
• Warnings for speed limit changes, sharp curves, dirt roads, and other potential hazards.
• Millions of points of interest including those specialized for RVs: RV Campgrounds with detailed amenities, RV dealers and maintenance facilities, dump stations, rest stops, travel centers and pet-friendly locations.
• RV Checklists/Maintenance Logs/Trails.
• Rand McNally featured road trips, including Best of the Road, Regional Trips, Scenic Tours and Weekend Getaways.
• 2D/3D Maps with Junction View.
• Multistop route optimization.
• User-configurable warnings to assist in creating detours, choosing to permanently avoid road segments, and receiving warnings for upcoming hazards such as bridges and construction
“Being selected as the exclusive GPS provider by industry leaders such as Winnebago Industries and XiteSolutions North America recognizes the routing expertise and superior user experience that Rand McNally has developed,” said Rand McNally CEO Dave Muscatel.
Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced that it will be launching a new web-based trip planning service this summer, according to a press release. The Good Sam Trip Planner, which will be available exclusively to Good Sam Club members, will be a comprehensive road trip planning tool featuring both routing and information about thousands of RV parks and campgrounds as well as points of interest across the U.S.
The Good Sam Trip Planner will be the second product to be released as part of the recently announced Good Sam-Rand McNally partnership and follows the release of the Good Sam GPS. With the new Trip Planner, Good Sam Club members will be able to create point-to-point directions, research and plot thousands of points of interest across the U.S., and create custom road trips, either across town or across the country.
“Good Sam is dedicated to helping our members make the most of their travel, whether in their RV or car,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Good Sam. “The new Good Sam Trip Planner acts as a personal travel assistant, helping people map routes to their destination, find new places to visit and camp and to find interesting things to do and see along the way.”
Users will be able to map their routes from start to finish while searching for and adding points of interest along the way. Camping World Super Centers and Pilot Flying J locations are integrated into the Good Sam Trip Planner, making it a comprehensive road trip planning solution. To assist users with making the most of their time on the road, the Trip Planner will also include pre-planned scenic routes and recommended points of interests based on content from Rand McNally’s Best of the Road program.
The planner divides road trips into manageable days, based on desired daily travel distances, quickly allowing the user to add stops from either the Trip Planner database or their own experience. It also provides users with the ability utilize printable directions and share information with family and friends on social media sites such as Facebook.
Additionally, the Good Sam Trip Planner will seamlessly integrate with the Good Sam GPS, enabling users to create custom road trip itineraries and download them directly to their Good Sam GPS.
Good Sam Enterprises LLC today (April 4) announced a partnership with Rand McNally to launch a suite of navigation products designed “to meet the needs of today’s outdoor consumer,” according to a press release.
“Today’s consumer has made it clear they want to increase their ease of learning about and navigating to the places they want to visit and the areas where they participate in the activities they love,” noted Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Good Sam. “Customers will appreciate an increased ease of planning and navigating to their destinations, such as events from horse shows to trade shows, national parks, campgrounds, lakes and trails as well as all of the great places to see along the way, with products customized for them.”
The first product to launch through the partnership is the Good Sam GPS, powered by Rand McNally. The device provides custom navigation on suitable routes, taking into account the specific vehicle or vehicle/trailer combination. After entering vehicle attributes, including length of towed trailers, if propane is being carried and vehicle and trailer height, the Good Sam GPS provides navigation on roads suitable for the customer’s specific vehicle configuration.
For travelers on the go, the Good Sam GPS also features information and navigation to more than 2,000 Good Sam affiliated campgrounds where Good Sam Club members receive nightly discounts, as well as 12,000 additional parks and campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. The Good Sam GPS also provides information and navigation to thousands of points of interest, all searchable directly on the device.
For NASCAR fans, the Good Sam GPS includes pre-programmed track locations. NASCAR locations will not only help fans, but NASCAR team haulers too.
“We are very excited by the early interest in the product by potential partners and are in discussions with RV and trailer rental companies that have interest in providing the Good Sam GPS for use by their customers,” concluded Lemonis.
Good Sam said that additional products are in development and slated for release during 2013.
Other features of the Good Sam GPS include.
• 7-inch, high-definition screen – nearly 90% larger than most GPS units.
• Full-color touchscreen.
• Large and high volume speaker.
• Turn-by-turn spoken directions.
• Pre-programmed “Points of Interest.”
• Lifetime map updates.
• Wi-Fi connectivity.
Nearly two years after introducing the first GPS designed specifically for RVers, Rand McNally today (Jan. 9) launched the first RV GPS app for the iPad. The RV GPS is being shown for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
According to a press release, Rand McNally’s RV GPS for iPad is the first iOS application offered that is specifically designed for RV navigation. The new application, available on the App Store, provides RV class-specific routing based on Rand McNally’s proprietary road data and navigation, plus thousands of RV parks and campgrounds, RV-friendly locations, RVer tools and pre-planned trips.
The app also includes “dynamic weather,” a map overlay feature that helps drivers anticipate conditions such as high wind and precipitation along the route.
Also included is a bonus feature of the app: An e-book version of America’s #1 Road Atlas.
“About 20% of RVers have an iPad, and many of them take it on the road,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. “Our new app lets those travelers access the same premier RV routing, navigation and content available on our RVND GPS devices, and load it on their tablet.”
Rand McNally announced that XiteSolutions North America Inc. will be offering Rand McNally’s navigation software as part of Xite’s Infotainment systems for RVs.
According to a press release, XiteSolutions, which provides in-dash information and entertainment solutions to RV manufacturers, will begin delivering Rand McNally’s RV navigation with its new X1 family of Infotainment systems in early 2013.
”Rand McNally’s RV-specific navigation delivers the perfect solution for the RV market – from superior routing based on RV size and class, to points of interest with RV-specific amenities, to features designed specifically for RVers such as checklists and breadcrumb trails,” said Craig Smith, president of XiteSolutions North America. “Our RV OEM manufacturer partners are very excited about the added value Rand McNally’s navigation brings to our family of Infotainment systems.”
Rand McNally’s RV software includes:
• Specialized routing in the U.S. and Canada, including legal, physical and propane restrictions, for 11 different classes of RV.
• Millions of points of interest including those specialized for RVs: RV Campgrounds with detailed amenities, including Woodall’s campground data, RV dealers and maintenance facilities, dump stations, rest stops, travel centers, pet-friendly locations and fishing locations.
• RV checklists/maintenance logs/trails.
• Rand McNally featured road trips, including Best of the Road, Regional Trips, Scenic Tours and Weekend Getaways.
• 2D/3D Maps with Junction view.
• Enhanced text-to-speech navigation commands.
• Virtual Dashboard – ability to view key features at a glance.
• Multi-stop route optimization.
• User-configurable warnings to assist in creating detours, choosing to permanently avoid road segments, and receiving warnings for upcoming hazards such as bridges and construction.
• Lifetime Map updates provided via Internet download and transferred from a PC to the Infotainment System via SD Card.
XiteSolutions North America’s Infotainment systems with Rand McNally RV navigation will be distributed by RiverPark Inc.
Rand McNally has introduced the RVND 7720, a new 7-inch RV GPS device with Wi-Fi connectivity allowing for real-time weather information and display. According to a press release, the new device joins Rand McNally’s line of RVND GPS devices designed for RVers.
Offering RV-specific navigation, the unit can route motorhomes and towables around road restrictions, low bridges and other physical hazards. One of the key new features is Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables the transmission and display of weather as well as other real-time information. With updated weather information, RVers will be able to anticipate delays and make plans by viewing current and predicted conditions displayed on the map and along the route.
The RVND 7720 also has an all-new hardware platform as well featuring a new rugged design with ridged casing for added protection, a brighter screen that adjusts for low and strong light, and video input compatible with a range of back-up and rear-view cameras.
The base maps and overlaying content, such as campgrounds, parks, RV service and other RV points of interest, also have been updated for the RVND 7720.
Rand McNally and the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) announced the release of the “RVDA Dealer Locator” app, providing RVers “a simple way to find RV dealers and service providers across a variety of platforms.” According to a press release, the new app is being showcased this week at RVDA’s Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, Oct. 1-4.
The information, compatible for Android and iOS platforms, is also available via Rand McNally’s online maps and directions, as well as on board Rand McNally’s RVND GPS.
The app, powered by Rand McNally’s “Best of the Road” online platform, enables RVers to quickly access a listing of nearby RVDA member dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Each listing includes critical information such as location, contact information and RVDA service certifications. In the future, the app also will provide up-to-the-minute deals and specials available at dealer and service locations.
The service will be marketed by RVDA to its membership. The information will be available on Rand McNally’s RVND GPS units shipping next month, and as a download for current owners of the product.
RVDA member dealers will be able to easily update their entries via a password-protected online administrative tool specifically designed for the program. Updates flow on a regular basis to all products and applications.
“This app will be extremely beneficial to our members and allow RVers to quickly find a quality dealership and service provider at the touch of their fingertips on their smart phone, Rand McNally RV GPS device, or online,” stated RVDA Chairman Andy Heck of Alpin Haus, in Amsterdam, N.Y. “Our members will find it easy to update information about their dealerships by using a new password-protected online portal.”
In addition, RVDA dealer information will be integrated into Rand McNally’s Best of the Road “Best of RVing” microsite, and into maps and directions on randmcnally.com.
“Now RVers will have quick access to RVDA members’ top-tier service locations whether they are planning their trip or on the road in an emergency situation,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. “Our Rand McNally RV GPS users as well as RVers using the mobile app or online maps will be able to access dealer data easily.”
Rand McNally and the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) are working together to “provide RVers easy access to RV dealers and service providers across a variety of platforms,” according to a press release.
The information, available this summer, will be included in new mobile phone apps and website maps and directions, as well as on board Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND GPS units.
“RVers have unique service needs while on the road and providing RV dealer information across North America in a variety of formats will certainly assist them whether it’s an emergency or a routine visit,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. “RVers will be assured of top-tier service provided by RVDA member organizations.”
As part of their agreement, Rand McNally will develop a dealer-locator application for iOS and Android mobile phones. The app will enable RVers to quickly access a listing of nearby RVDA member dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Each listing will include critical information such as hours of operation, contact information and services provided, as well as up-to-the-minute deals and specials available. Marketed by RVDA to their membership, this app will be available mid-summer, 2012.
RVDA dealer information also will be provided in Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND line of GPS devices. The product provides RV-specific navigation as well as services that RVers need while on the road such as campgrounds, pet-friendly locations, rest stops and service centers. The RVDA information will be available on GPS units shipping later this summer and as a download for current owners of the product.
In addition, RVDA dealer information will be integrated into Rand McNally’s Best of the Road website, “Best of RVing” microsite, and into maps and directions on randmcnally.com. Best of RVing (bestoftheroad.com/rv), launched in May, provides content designed to engage and inspire RVers, offering a variety of information for the experienced and novice RVer.
“We are excited to be working with Rand McNally, a trusted source of maps, directions, and navigation content to provide applications and information that is critical to the on-the-road experience,” said RVDA Chairman Andy Heck of Alpin Haus, in Amsterdam, N.Y. “The applications will enable RV enthusiasts to quickly access the information they need in a variety of formats – through phone, online, and navigation products.”
RVDA member dealers will be able to easily update their entries via an online portal specifically designed for the program. Updates will be regularly provided to all products and applications.
Rand McNally has expanded its award-winning travel community “Best of the Road” with a new microsite dedicated to RVers, according to a news release.
The “Best of RVing” site, at bestoftheroad.com/rv, kicks off with a prize-a-day giveaway featuring items such as Rand McNally RV GPS devices, e-reader tablets and campground memberships. In collaboration with the Good Sam family of RV clubs, the site also features an “RV Stories” contest in which RVers can win up to $5,000.
“Following the success of the ‘Best of the Road’ online community of road travelers, it was logical to build a special section just for RVers,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. “Rand McNally has a long-standing relationship with RVers, who use our TripMaker RVND RV GPS as well as the Rand McNally Road Atlas, to explore the country. The ‘Best of RVing’ site extends that experience, providing an outlet for RVers to connect, share their stories, learn about the lifestyle, and get practical tips from experts and partners.”
Launched a year ago, bestoftheroad.com is a community of road travelers who review the best stops on America’s highways and byways – including small towns and the points of interest between them. Every year votes are collected for the best small towns, which are then visited by amateur travelers in a Best of the Road Rally. With more than 77,000 “likes” on Facebook, bestoftheroad.com has become the must-visit destination for travelers planning their road trips.
Rand McNally and Woodall’s are partnering to include Woodall’s campground data in Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND GPS units for RVers.
According to a press release, the data will be pre-loaded in devices shipping mid-April, and also will be available to current owners of TripMaker RVND devices – both the 5-inch and 7-inch models – via a free download early in the second quarter.
Rand McNally said it will be reaching out to existing owners to ensure that they are able to download the new content.
“Woodall’s is North America’s leading source of campground information for RVers and campers. We are very pleased to offer this very valued content as part of our industry-leading RV GPS devices,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally.
Highlights of the Woodall’s Campground data include:
• Listings for more than 12,000 RV parks and campground locations, with amenities.
• Family-friendly campgrounds and pets-allowed locations.
• “Big Rig” parks.
• “Green parks.”
• Site information such as extended stay sites available, typical site width and pull-through information.
• Services such as fees, escort to site, dumping.
• Essential information about seasonality and rates.
The data also includes the proprietary “5-W” ratings, which reflect the views of unbiased inspectors who visit and rate every possible private campground each year.
“We are excited to bring together two well-known brands in the RVing community – Rand McNally and Woodall’s,” said Ann Emerson, vice president and publisher, Woodall’s & Trailer Life Directory. “Our carefully researched data will certainly enhance the value of the TripMaker RVND GPS to RVers, especially those who have been loyal users of Woodall’s for decades.”
The following is an article authored by Rand McNally offering a review of the proliferation of GPS devices and specific RV applications.
GPS devices have become nearly ubiquitous in personal vehicles. Today, mapping and directions can be delivered via mobile phone, or a device mounted or factory installed in a vehicle.
With so many options, one may begin to wonder what really is the difference between routing solutions? Is it simply a brand preference, or is there more to it? What about “specialized” devices for RVs? Is it worth the additional dollars generally needed for these types of units?
GPS (global positioning system) has become an essential tool in navigation. GPS devices detect a user’s location, thereby allowing the delivery of relevant maps, directions, and other information.
GPS was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and became fully available to the public in 1994. Satellites orbit the earth, sending signals to GPS devices, which in turn determine the user’s location. By combining satellite signals with digital mapping data, the navigation device calculates the best route to the desired destination. Besides mapping, GPS devices may show points of interest, offer turn-by-turn directions, and in some cases provide information about traffic conditions.
There are a variety of federal, state, and local laws that govern where large vehicles may or may not travel. Federal law governs: 1) the weight of vehicles on the Interstate System, and 2) the width of vehicles on the National Network. Often state or local jurisdictions will enact additional regulations based on RV lengths and width.
States and local jurisdictions may restrict or allow access by RVs. Physical restrictions occur due to low vertical clearances, such as bridges and underpasses, or due to weight and/or length constraints. Legal restrictions may apply related to items being transported, such as propane on board.
Needless to say, the nationwide collection and update of this data is an exhaustive, expensive and continual process for data suppliers and manufacturers of GPS devices, but critical for safe routing.
Benefits of RV navigation devices
Those using GPS devices for assistance with routing and navigation should employ a device that is designed specifically for navigating the type and size vehicle they are driving – one that contains information about restricted roadways, as well as takes into consideration the size of the vehicle (length, weight, height and load type) as it routes.
Although personal navigation devices (PNDs) – commonly called GPS devices – have existed for years for passenger cars, devices that accurately route large vehicles are relatively new. Part of the delay was in collecting RV-specific information on the roadways, which takes time and money. Unlike car devices, RV-specific GPS devices provide safe routing for such vehicles, ensuring that RVs and campers are not mistakenly routed on roads that cannot accommodate their weight or height. RV devices route to avoid low bridges, illegal routes and too-tight turns.
Drivers of RVs need to consider the ease of turns based on vehicle size (right for smaller vehicles and left for larger ones), and of course height and width. A car would not typically be concerned with this and therefore routing can be quite different.
And using a truck-oriented device is not the answer. RV GPS devices have propane restrictions for tunnels and bridges that are specific to the bottle sizes and volumes commonly carried on RVs.
(As an aside example, Rand McNally produces separate GPS devices for commercial truckers and RVers for this very reason. Although commercial vehicles and RVs may have similar size characteristics, there are distinct differences in routing an over-the-road truck and a motorized or towable RV or camper.)
In routing an RV, it is helpful to receive warnings about what lies ahead. An RV-specific GPS can be used to identify and warn of potential issues on the road ahead – steep grades, upcoming merges and lane changes, dirt roads, and more.
In addition to the safety of the RV, accurate routing for the vehicle size helps protect fellow travelers on the road by avoiding accidents and the delays they cause, while protecting the structural integrity of our highways.
Pay attention to data and signs
When considering an RV GPS device, it’s important to note the data source. Is the company reputable? Does the data have an updated copyright? Are map updates available? The best, freshest data will help with more accurate routing.
Road conditions and status can change. It is important to note that no matter what form of in-vehicle navigation a driver uses, he or she should pay attention to local signage. Local postings provide the definitive guidelines as they will be the most up-to-date.
Providing a great user experience
Robust road specifications as well as municipal and state restrictions are key in producing an RV-specific GPS device. But data collection is just one piece of the puzzle. Besides a route, what else enables an RV driver to be safe on the road and enjoy the trip?
RV-specific stops and points of interest are critical. An RVer may need to know where to find the nearest dump station or where to find overnight parking for a large vehicle.
In an emergency situation, and RVer may need to find the nearest RV dealer – or animal hospital for a beloved pet along for the ride. Campground locations, RV Parks and all the amenities (dump stations, showers, parking, and electric hook up) are also part of the navigation experience for RVs and campers. And since RVers are leisure travelers, useful information for trip planning, such as pre-planned getaways, pet-friendly locations, family festivals, and city information, also helps make traveling easier.
Beyond content, the device itself is important to the experience; RV-specific devices should be large, easy to use, with loud speakers and big buttons.
Putting it all together
GPS devices created specifically for RVs and campers can help take the worry out of routing. Such devices can cost more than their car counterparts, but the RV routing and content they offer is worth the price. The best units offer:
• RV-specific navigation with routing options for various types of RVs and campers;
• Routing based on physical and legal restrictions;
• Thousands of locations with distinct RV amenities (such as dump stations, RV repair, and restaurants and other facilities that allow RV parking), and tools geared just for RVs;
• Additional trip content that works for RVs and campers;
• And the right form factor for the device – large, loud and easy to use.
Representatives of a time-honored, 140-year-old brand name in the road atlas business, Rand McNally, were working the floor of RVIA’s 49th Annual National Trade Show, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Louisville, Ky.
And while the company’s world-famous atlas is still available in print and digital formats, Rand McNally executives were promoting a product that is nothing short of cutting edge: a custom GPS system for RV and camping enthusiasts called Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND.
First introduced to consumers in June, the TripMaker provides an impressive level of detail in terms of RV-specific routing and unique features designed for RV and camping travel with safety in mind.
Amy Krouse, a public relations director for Rand McNally who was showcasing the dash-mounted 5-inch TripMaker RVND 5510 ($299) and high-definition 7-inch TripMaker RVND 7710 ($399) in Louisville, says the new system utilizes proprietary data and routing for certain types of RVs.
“The routing is specifically for the size of the RV,” says Krouse, who was working the show with John Peters, vice president and general manager for Digital Strategy and Business Development. “You can choose from 11 different configurations — Class A, Class B, fifth-wheel, toy hauler, etc., – and the routing will take into account the general configuration of that size vehicle. If it’s a larger vehicle, you are always going to have a left-turn preference. If it’s a smaller vehicle, you’re always going to have a right-hand preference.”
Krouse, standing in the Equine Motorcoach exhibit at Louisville, said the new system was under development for a year and a half and takes into account plenty of RV owner input as well as various legal restrictions.
“So, low overpasses, weight restrictions, carrying propane, it will take that into account as well,” she told RVBUSINESS.com. “A general GPS has none of that data in it. In addition to navigation, we also do amenities for the RVers. When we tell you there is a campground, we are going to tell you if it has a dump station, electrical hookups or different size places for you to park.
“If we tell you about a Walmart, we are going to tell you if it has a 24-hour pharmacy or overnight RV parking, and we are going to give you the phone number. So, when you are an RVer on the road and have a breakdown, we are going to tell you about the dealers and how to route there. If you are traveling with pets, we’ll tell you where the pet hospitals are.”
In general terms, Rand McNally’s GPS TripMaker includes amenities and easy search tools for more than 13,000 RV parks and campgrounds, 6,000 travel center locations, dump stations, parking, showers, and electric hookups plus 24,000 pet-friendly locations including animal hospitals and more than 150,000 places near interstates organized by exit and number.
Based on consumer research, this new GPS system also includes suggested RV trip plans – with photography and video – on anything from a weekend getaway to a week-long excursion with places to stop and things to do.
Rand McNally markets the product through distributors in Canada and the U.S., such as DEHCO and Stag Parkway.