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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Best Off-road GPS options?

I did a search for this topic and most of what I found was quite old (circa 2008-2011) and weren't quite relevant. I figure that things have improve quite a bit since then so I wanted see what opinions you all may have on them. This is an area I really don't know all that much about.
I want to start by making an admission, I have a terrible sense of direction. This is something I'm striving to remedy. While I have maps, I've been looking at a few different ideas for GPS while out Off-roading/Overlanding. We spent a good amount of time in the desert on BLM and fire roads in Southern California. Our next trip that could potentially require GPS is starting in Yuma AZ and taking mainly BLM roads back to San Diego County. About 75-100 miles or so. I'd like something that obviously shows off road trails but that is as intuitive as possible to use. I have multiple USB charging ports in the FJ so battery life isn't a huge concern. I just want something that works. I don't mind spending a little more money for something that does its job well.

My search has brought me these two options:

1. Dual SkyPro GPS (or Garmin GLO) receiver connected to my iPad while running:
a. Gaia (My preference based on nothing more than the description on iTunes)
b. Backcountry
This is the cheaper of the two options because I already have an iPad that I don't really use but I'd like to get a solid mount to keep it visible and protected those area in the area of about 200-300.00, from what I've seen. The receiver is about 149.00 and the app is 19.99. So 470.00 on the higher end.

2. Magellan eXplorist TRX 7 Offroad GPS- The more expensive option at about 649.00) I like this for the reason that it claims to have 44,000 preloaded maps of OHV Routes, Back tracking and off trail alerts, and that its "rugged and shock resistant" because not only to I get lost easy but I break stuff too.

I'm also completely open to other suggestions, brands, methods etc. Like I said up top, I'm looking for something that works and is easy to use. If it comes preloaded with GPS maps of OHV routes, thats a sweet bonus.

2008 Black FJ
Exterior:Pro Comp rims, 305/70/R16 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ, TRD intake, TRD Exhaust, 2 Baja rack dual 5 gallon Jerry Can holder for fuel and water, Bullet Liner doors, hood and roof, blacked out turn signals, clear tail lights, 2in squadron lights, 50in curved light bar ARB compressor, Total Chaos 2" Long Travel w/King coilovers, King Extended Travel Rear Shocks. Interior: USB chargers, 4in foam sleeping pad, net pet barrier, passenger arm rest added, Ram mount for iPad Nav
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:07 PM
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

That's pretty much what I settled on. Samsung tablet running some map apps. My favorite app is a PDF map of 2 ORV parks near me. Offline maps are awesome and my tablet's fairly large screen is ideal.

Navigates on road, offroad, large screen, cost, and everyone loves tablets are the reasons I was sold on this route. Plus I have all my music on it too.
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Just got around to hardwiring it:
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

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Iconic_ previously said: View Post
That's pretty much what I settled on. Samsung tablet running some map apps. My favorite app is a PDF map of 2 ORV parks near me. Offline maps are awesome and my tablet's fairly large screen is ideal.

Navigates on road, offroad, large screen, cost, and everyone loves tablets are the reasons I was sold on this route. Plus I have all my music on it too.
Iconic's Partial To Blue Build

Just got around to hardwiring it:
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That looks pretty nice! Thanks for showing me that, I think that I find something out like that. My iPad is the 9.7" so I'll have to try it to mount it somewhere for my co-pilot aka girl friend to view. Are you running any GPS receiver with it? Do you have an app that you prefer to use for trails?
I see that the AUX cord in running down the inside of the dash and then back out to plug into the AUX port but is there something related to the tablet plugged in/hanging from under the AC mode knob?

2008 Black FJ
Exterior:Pro Comp rims, 305/70/R16 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ, TRD intake, TRD Exhaust, 2 Baja rack dual 5 gallon Jerry Can holder for fuel and water, Bullet Liner doors, hood and roof, blacked out turn signals, clear tail lights, 2in squadron lights, 50in curved light bar ARB compressor, Total Chaos 2" Long Travel w/King coilovers, King Extended Travel Rear Shocks. Interior: USB chargers, 4in foam sleeping pad, net pet barrier, passenger arm rest added, Ram mount for iPad Nav
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:25 PM
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

Did you consider Hema maps? That's what Expedition Overland has used with great success on both their South America and Alaska trips I believe.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

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Did you consider Hema maps? That's what Expedition Overland has used with great success on both their South America and Alaska trips I believe.
No I didn't, but thank you for the suggestions. I'm looking it up right now... It appears to be an Atlas more than a GPS... Not a bad thing, just an observation. Do you have any personal experience with it?

2008 Black FJ
Exterior:Pro Comp rims, 305/70/R16 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ, TRD intake, TRD Exhaust, 2 Baja rack dual 5 gallon Jerry Can holder for fuel and water, Bullet Liner doors, hood and roof, blacked out turn signals, clear tail lights, 2in squadron lights, 50in curved light bar ARB compressor, Total Chaos 2" Long Travel w/King coilovers, King Extended Travel Rear Shocks. Interior: USB chargers, 4in foam sleeping pad, net pet barrier, passenger arm rest added, Ram mount for iPad Nav
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:35 PM
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

Quote:
760JVRFJ previously said: View Post
That looks pretty nice! Thanks for showing me that, I think that I find something out like that. My iPad is the 9.7" so I'll have to try it to mount it somewhere for my co-pilot aka girl friend to view. Are you running any GPS receiver with it? Do you have an app that you prefer to use for trails?
I see that the AUX cord in running down the inside of the dash and then back out to plug into the AUX port but is there something related to the tablet plugged in/hanging from under the AC mode knob?
Thanks, you bet. No GPS receiver yet. I found it to be slow only once so far when making a GPS connection, so I might add one later but not sure if there will be a huge benefit. That's been on my list of things to research how much of a difference one makes, if anyone has input we're all ears.

I use the Avenza PDF map app, but because I had to purchase a map for a local park that works with that app, and another map for another park I found a free download for. They both work pretty good and people added the trail lines to the maps so it works out really handy when navigating the spaghetti mess of trails. Not sure how it will work in other areas but for ORV parks its great.
Avenza Maps Mobile App

Yeah before I hardwired it I had the wires running down in front of the dash. One is a 3.5mm audio jack and the other is power connected to a USB charger in the cig outlet.

Here is another thread with mounting ideas. Corey and Zero mounted their larger tablets on the passenger side of the dash, perfect for your passenger to swing into view.
Show Off Your Tablet Mounts
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:39 PM
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

Quote:
760JVRFJ previously said: View Post
I see that the AUX cord in running down the inside of the dash and then back out to plug into the AUX port but is there something related to the tablet plugged in/hanging from under the AC mode knob?
Oh, I see what you are talking about now, that is my CB.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

Quote:
Iconic_ previously said: View Post
Thanks, you bet. No GPS receiver yet. I found it to be slow only once so far when making a GPS connection, so I might add one later but not sure if there will be a huge benefit. That's been on my list of things to research how much of a difference one makes, if anyone has input we're all ears.

I use the Avenza PDF map app, but because I had to purchase a map for a local park that works with that app, and another map for another park I found a free download for. They both work pretty good and people added the trail lines to the maps so it works out really handy when navigating the spaghetti mess of trails. Not sure how it will work in other areas but for ORV parks its great.
Avenza Maps Mobile App

Yeah before I hardwired it I had the wires running down in front of the dash. One is a 3.5mm audio jack and the other is power connected to a USB charger in the cig outlet.

Here is another thread with mounting ideas. Corey and Zero mounted their larger tablets on the passenger side of the dash, perfect for your passenger to swing into view.
Show Off Your Tablet Mounts
I gotcha. I've wondered if the receivers really help that much too. I definitely lose service for hours in the area I go to. So maybe that would be a reason to get a receiver, than again maybe not.
That screenshot totally looks like exactly what i'm looking for. I'll have to check that how. Also thank you the mounting ideas. I'll have to check out the Avenza PDF app. That will be next on my list after dinner!

2008 Black FJ
Exterior:Pro Comp rims, 305/70/R16 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ, TRD intake, TRD Exhaust, 2 Baja rack dual 5 gallon Jerry Can holder for fuel and water, Bullet Liner doors, hood and roof, blacked out turn signals, clear tail lights, 2in squadron lights, 50in curved light bar ARB compressor, Total Chaos 2" Long Travel w/King coilovers, King Extended Travel Rear Shocks. Interior: USB chargers, 4in foam sleeping pad, net pet barrier, passenger arm rest added, Ram mount for iPad Nav
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 08:14 PM
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

If you are going to use an external, go w/ a bad elf. At the least you'll have consistency when off the grid. Accuracy will be better and reliable.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 08:54 PM
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Re: Best Off-road GPS options?

I use both android table and iPad for nav with built in GPS service, a bad elf dongle and a delorme inReach blu tooth gps service. See how much you can get done on the iPad alone, if it has built in GPS, or add a radio. The early iOS built in, assisted GPS was weak. Recent models are much more robust, I no longer use the bad elf and sometimes use the delorme, mostly for satellite texting.

The Avenza PDF app is excellent advice, especially in SoCal with most parks having free maps online. Anza Borrego has like five. These maps include trails, camps, toilet facilities and other park features. In the Big Bear area they include difficult to locate, yellow tag campsites which are solo and free campsites not on USGS maps. Just find the maps in your browser, copy the pdf URL and paste it into the Avenza download tool.

Gaia has USGS, Satellite, GAIA open maps and more. The GAIA maps are constantly improving. USGS shows historic trails, mines, topo contours and more. Thing is you have to cross check current park maps for possible closures, especially in Anza, they are ticket happy. Satellite imagery can help you find access to trails not on maps.

ROAM app shows BLM land and land ownership lists. Awesome for PewPew and hunting as there are many small BLM patches around our desert parks.

Dedicated gps units are a shrinking market.

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