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Automotive GPS units

Ted Scott

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Hey, I was just wondering...

Does anyone use an automotive type GPS device as opposed to a handheld type device? I have a Garmin Etrex. It's simple and cheap and works great in the field but it's not the kind of thing I want to be looking at when I'm driving.

Do the truck units detach and become handhelds? Or, do you have to have both types if you want both? Just wondering what experiences you all have with those types of units and whether or not you think these truck units have any value to the nuggetshooter in and of themselves. :hmmmmmm:

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Depends on the model and what your looking for Ted. Most of the larger screen units can be battery powered so technically they could be called hand held. You won't find the batteries lasting 16 hours like on your eTrex though and it will be more than 2 or 3 "AA" to refill them. Most all of them come with various mounting options, A neighbor bought a large screen Magellon (spelling) and uses it both in his truck and on his Ranger RZR. He had to buy an extra mount for the RZR, but it wasn't a problem to find a mount that worked. He does however use the 12 outlet on the RZR to power the GPS. Seems like everything else, its a trade-off. Myself personally I bought one of the earlier model large screen GPS units (Garmin Street Pilot III). Its still in the box. I had it out once to look at it, thought I would need it in our move to Arizona. I don't know I doubt I'll ever use it, dumb of me not to sell it. The only time I use a GPS is off-road so my eTrex is the unit of choice.


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Hi Ted,

I use an IQ-M5 made by Garmin that is a palm pilot with GPS. It will detach from the vehicle and is portable. I can take it out of my work truck and fly out of town get into a rental car and it will direct me with voice prompts where I need to go. That is real nice when trying to get into and out of an airport in a city I haven't been to before. For prospecting and hunting I use the E-trex Legend. I have a handle bar mount for it and it costs a lot less so I don't worry about banging it up. Having 2 different units with their own strenghts and weeknesses works better for me. The units that come with the vehicle permanently mounted seem to be over priced and you can't transfer from one vehicle to another. Navigating on streets with the E-Trex will be a lot more difficult than with something that has voice prompts that literally tell you in advance of a turn that will need to be made. They interface with sattelite radio for avoidances like accidents and traffic jambs. I do not have that feature on my IQ-M5 and those units that offer it require a monthly service fee $10-20 a month.

Technology changes fast with GPS I am sure there are quiet a few new things that I don't know about that have hit the market since I purchased mine. I use mine a lot and I reccomend it to any one. One thing I would change if I could is that I would get a GPS for my car that is GPS only. I don't use the palm pilot part of my GPS.

The amount of info is incredible. With a 1 Gig SD card it will hold maps for most of the US complete with points of interest, businesses address and phone number. You can ask it where the nearest food, gas, bank, hospital etc. etc. and it will take you there and give you their phone number.

You also might ask Mick or Flak Magnet they both have a real good working knowledge of these things.


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I use the Garmin Nuvi 660......a really nice unit, I have downloaded garmin topo info, also google images of areas I plan to hunt. It is also a bluetooth unit and has traffic info too, There is no way to enter GPS co-ordinates, but you can point and click locations and use the go to button.......my :twocents:


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Car units are just that, but they sure are top notch, 2 years ago I gave Mrs. Eldorado a Garmin Street Pilot for X-mas, This year I got Garmin Nuvi 250W. They just cannot be beat for what they are designed for.Eventhough they can be taken out of the car and used remotly, they are not for the backroads or no road. You need 2 units. I have a Delorme PN-20 for all boonie bashing and for all the reasons it is great, it isn't so good for on road vehicle direction..

The only time I could see using a car unit remotly would be if I had to park 10 blocks away from a destination in a busy city and still needed trun by turn infor to get to my destination, or it could also work in reverse, getting back to the car parked in a 20 acre parking lot.

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Hi Ted,

I am using a Garmin Nuvi (model number 370, there are a bunch of them but I got this one because it had

all of Europe pre-programmed in it as well as all of North America).

This thing is magic.

I took my family to Europe last summer. I didn't know anything about anywhere I was going

and we were going to five countries.

I plugged all the addresses of all the places we were going to stay, all the points of interest,

train stations and all sorts of other locations into the Nuvi.

I never took out a map while I was in Europe. I never had to wonder where I was,

I never got lost.

The Nuvi comes with a mount for the car (we were jumping in and out of all sorts of rental cars),

and it runs on batteries when you use it as a portable.

The batteries run for hours, I never ran out of power.

It is about the size of a deck of cards.

It has an mp-3 player in it if you want music. You can put a language translator card in it.

You can store pictures in it.

It's only drawback: it does not do light housework.

Can you tell I like it?

Before this I had a Magellen unit which also worked great, but it didn't have portability,

and the Nuvi is much more compact.

Hope this helps,


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I suggest the Garmin Zumo. Comes in two models, one with XM radio and one without. It is intended for use on a motorcycle so it has large buttons and it is weather proofed. Or if you want to get fancy then there is the 276c or 376c. The 376 can overlay current weather info via XM subscription. :icon_mrgreen:

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