Travel RVing finds the Global Positioning System (GPS) to be a technological marvel. When on a long trips in unknown territory, RVers know that having a good GPS system on board makes driving time more simple, efficient, and enjoyable.
Taking the correct route is, in all likelihood, more important to the RVer than to any other group of travelers. Turning around a 40 foot motorhome while pulling a towable car can be a challenge to even the most seasoned RVer.
The GPS system is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites. GPS works in all kinds of weather conditions, 24 hours a day, all over the world. The system has to be defined by three coordinates – the latitude and longitude, as well as the elevation above sea level. This is called trilateration – that thing they do in all the TV shows to catch crooks using a cell phones or tracking devices. I know you appreciate this technical information that I am imparting to you and I'm sure you know that I have no idea how the darn thing works– I just know it works … most of the time.
For the RV traveler, GPS devices can provide a whole array of useful functions in addition to getting from point A to point B. Depending on how sophisticated the device is (that means how expensive) it can find gas stations, campgrounds, emergency locations, landmarks, restaurants and Joe the Plumber.
GPS devices come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. Some are mountable, some hand-held, and some are in-dash units. Which one is best depends entirely upon what you are looking for your GPS to do. Gosh, some of them will play cds, dvds, and mp-3s. The portable models have some advantages over the in-dash units since they can be taken out of the RV and used for excursions away from the RV like hiking or bicycling. They can also, of course, be used in the tow vehicle for all those fun things you want to go see and do while in a given area.
Since GPS devices have become so prominent, lots of folks these days are into geocaching. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Is not that great? Guess playing hide and seek never gets old. This is really great family fun.
Travel RVing is a real fan of the GPS. But, unfortunately, GPS does not always work. Remember that a GPS device receives signals from satellites which are in a galaxy far, far away. It has to receive signals from at least 3 satellites in order to calculate its position. If these signals are too weak or obstructed by tall buildings or heavy foliage, GPS tracking can be “iffy”. These are the times that try men's souls.
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