Using a Garmin Nuvi as an ADV GPS

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by trailer Rails, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    That is the point of my post. It is an inexpensive way to get into a GPS and works decent. It does have flaws.

    I did a search to see if anyone did a detailed write up of how to make one work and my search came back with a lot of people saying that the Nuvi can not be used to navigate tracks. I figured I would start a thread to show how to make one work.

    The great thing, just like motorcycles, there are lots of choices out there and no single choice is the right one for everyone.
    #21
  2. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    My 1300 and 1350 don't seem to record many days until they start deleting. It probably has to do with internal memory. I know mine are low on internal memory after some map updates.
    #22
  3. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    As far as I know the 500 series Nuvi are the only ones that can handle routes. My description is more aimed at the run of the mill Nuvi. If I put a route in my Nuvi, it just draws a straight line, tracks are the only way to go.
    #23
  4. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    There are number of Nuvi's that can handle multi point routes out of basecamp, not just the 5XX series.
    https://support.garmin.com/support/searchSupport/case.faces?caseId={65814150-50b3-11dc-4ec8-000000000000}

    But you are right, your 1300 series are not one of them.
    Out if curiosity, you say it will take a route, but its only a 2 point or single end point route, correct?
    #24
  5. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    If the GPX file has a route, it will recognize the start and end but lacks the ability to do anything more than draw a straight line between the two.

    Edit: thank you for the list of Nuvi that can accept routes. I will add some of them to my Craigslist searches. Part of the problem with buying the used Nuvi is most of the owners who are selling cheap can not be bothered to figure out the model numbers. If I see one for $20, I don't ask questions, I just buy it.
    #25
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  6. Ridin Dirty

    Ridin Dirty What day is it?

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    I've used a Nuvi 760 for years but wasn't concerned with how it handle tracks. Great info here and worth learning.

    I actually run the Nuvi and an etrex at the same time when I'm taveling distances. The Garmin etrex Venture Cx handles my tracks. If I need to find a POI (usually fuel, food, or lodging), I'll pull it up on the Nuvi. I don't rely on cell service so I keep the iPhones tucked away until I'm in town. My concern with the Nuvi has always been waterproofing. I'll stash it when the rain starts coming down and rely on the etrex. Rain just adds to the sense of adventure.
    #26
  7. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    I used a nuvi and it works fine within its limitations. I'm all for nuvi for what it can do.

    Since you're taking that many devices along, though, I'll mention that you can load maps to your iPhone for offline use and the GPS chip will give your location without cell service.

    The phone will require as much or more protection compared to the nuvi. I live where there's no cell service so having a cell phone is a Royal PITA. But as a backup device for your etrex, you might consider the iPhone.
    #27
  8. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    A little bit of silicone sealant around the edges of the screeen and any other holes on the face of the nuvi will water proof it fairly well. I have ridden in some pretty hard down pours. The only issue I had was the memory card malfunctioning when it gets wet. A little bit of duct tape over the memory card port fixed that.
    #28
  9. Ridin Dirty

    Ridin Dirty What day is it?

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    Any concern with waterproofing the power cord?

    I also have a Garmin 920XT on my wrist so if that's not enough devices to get me out of "the sh!t" I have no business being in the woods.
    #29
  10. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    I did have an issue with the power cord once, it rained hard one night, I had my gps in the tent. The next morning the power cord did not work. I left it unplugged for half a day and it worked after drying out. That would have been inconvenient if my wife's gps also did not work, but she was able to lead the way till mine worked again.
    #30
  11. City Rider

    City Rider Adventurer

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    It worked like a charm on my ancient Garmin 255w. I’ve just loaded T.W.A. Trail (the one that I’m planning taking in spring) and it showed green trail from Illinois border all the way up to Lake Superior.

    You sir have saved me some serious $$$$ since I was planning to buy expensive GPS.
    #31
  12. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    I am happy to help out. I have had more expensive GPS units and sold them. I could not justify the price difference when something so simple works just fine.

    Just make sure to put some silicone sealant around the edge of the screen, water will get in there pretty easily make the screen quit working.

    I know this guy is disliked areound here but he does a good tutorial of waterproofing.

    #32
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  13. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    IMG_5934.JPG



    I am taking this to the next level and going to try and use this as a dirt bike GPS. I am taking bets on how long it takes till I destroy this thing. You can't see from the pic, but my stock computer got smashed and is removed, I did not want to mount the gps up there because I thought it would definetly die quickly. This seems like a good spot. It is where the gas cap is on most standard dirt bikes.
    #33
  14. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Dude I'm all for trying stuff, but you're going to smash your balls on that.

    Behind the number plate is the safest, our between the number plate ave the cross bar.

    If it works ,(that GPS) it works. Just move around on the bike while it's on the stand and see how close your ahem gets to it.

    :-)
    #34
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  15. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    Do you hit your balls on the gas cap of a regular bike often? This is sitting right where the gas cap would be.
    #35
  16. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    the one time i tried that position for my phone mount, it got hung up on my pants and ripped the mount off, which i then ended up sitting on and smashing my nuts. I'm only speaking from experience. the gas cap has had its vent hose (super shorty) ripped off by oopsies.
    #36
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  17. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    I used the GPS for 2 days in the Hatfield and McCoy trails and it worked great. If anyone has ridden there before, they know it is a maze of trails and you need to look at the map every 5 min. We rode some pretty rough trails and only one time did the gps touch my junk. It is a winner in that spot. Multiple bike drops and crashes, one day of rain, covered in mud, it worked.

    Edit, only down side is I need to detach it from the Ram ball so I can flip my seat up and access my fuel cap. So it adds a minute or two to a fuel fill up.
    #37
  18. airhead_irl

    airhead_irl Been here awhile

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    I recently bought one of these handlebar mounts for my Nuvi 250:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    For power, I was going to buy the Garmin hardwire pigtail harness but then I had a "eureka moment" á la McGuiver and decided to modify my Garmin car
    charging cable/connector. I spied an older broken trickle charger that I had in my garage so with my creative hat on, I cut the Garmin charger open......

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I de-soldered the red and black wires and replaced them with the connector from my old trickle charger (taking note of polarity here kids !). Here it is below
    going to the connector from the bike's battery......

    [​IMG]

    The final step was to cover it up somehow so I chopped up/shortened the original Garmin holder, bonded it back together with a two-pack adhesive and then
    sealed the open end with some silicone sealant to keep the evil watery stuff out.

    [​IMG]

    Et voilá - instant Nuvi power !
    #38
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  19. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    I too have cut the cigarette ends open but never came up with a solution I liked. Yours looks clean. I buy the moto hard wire adaptors from eBay for about $15.

    I would suggest adding some type of rubber band to hold the garmin plug in the Nuvi if you do rougher road riding.

    I use something similar to this: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/ram-...3Y9gvWfGFDRh03YzCcBpRTV3_IJ0OBfkqcaAih88P8HAQ
    #39
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  20. airhead_irl

    airhead_irl Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I was aware that maybe I should reinforce how the plug goes into the back of the Nuvi. I guess vibration could/will kill it at some stage (riding
    a vibey ol' airhead and all :D). Even though it's mounted on a GS, I'm merely a wimpy tarmac rider so it might last a little longer !!

    By the way, thanks for that link - that looks like a useful piece to hold the cable tightly fitted.
    #40