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Jennifer’s Tips: Turn Off Your GPS?!?!

| Updated Jul 22, 2017
Jennifer's Tips: Turn Off Your GPS?!?! 1

The idea of turning off our GPS or satellite mapping units while RVing might sound a little crazy in a day and age where we’ve become ultra-dependent on them.

But our friend, Jim, says doing that might just be a great way to create a more enriching travel experience.

“You talk about travelling the roads less travelled…” he said in a recent tip he sent in to the podcast. “My wife and I, when we go on our trips…when we’re about an hour or so from our destination, we’ll take our GPS and turn it off of highways so it will lead us into our destination via the back roads.”

Jim says they have found it to be fun, and that they’ve “seen a lot of interesting things leading up to our destinations.”

Mike and I agree that it sounds like an interesting way to travel the road less travelled!

Besides, we've found that our GPS unit – no matter which model we have (and we've tried them all, including smartphone apps) – are not always accurate. We currently have two in our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 – one is the standard Decker console-mounted GPS that came built in to our Mercedes Sprinter. But we also bought a standalone Garmin Nuvi unit, which is easier to program and has many more options, including lifetime free map updates.

And we have really come to like paper maps. We used to collect individual paper maps from each state and province we passed through. Now we use the Rand McNally Road Atlas book that has detailed maps for every state, Canada and Mexico.  There's nothing like holding a map in your hands to give you true perspective of where you are. Plus those paper maps are filled with interesting little tidbits of info that often lead to serendipity discoveries along those blue highways and two-lanes that we prefer to drive.

So like caller Jim says… turn off your GPS. Explore and enjoy!

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to

Have a tip or suggestion for the RV lifestyle? You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile device to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

Jennifer Wendland

Published on 2017-07-22

Jennifer Wendland travels North America with husband, Mike, in a small Motorhome. She has worked with Mike as a television producer and traveled extensively all over the world. She is a self-described "gym rat," enjoying fitness and exercise wherever she goes. She is a certified Water Aerobics instructor and has taught large group classes in leading health clubs for more than 20 years. She and Mike have three grown children and seven grandchildren. They travel about two weeks out of every month. When not on the road, they live in southeastern Michigan.

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