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Author Topic: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?  (Read 12116 times)

MNTRAILRIDR

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Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« on: November 16, 2011, 05:43:24 PM »
Newbi looking for a GPS unit to use only off road on Mn and Wi ATV trails.  My first choice is a NUVI 500 (cheap), back up choice is Montana 600 (spendy). 

My main concern with the 500 is that it is not custom map capable like the 600.  I know a lot of people us the 500 for off road only but I dont know how they are able to load maps onto it. 

I want to be able to view/load a specific trail onto the GPS and then go ride without having to do so much navigating aong the way.  Being able to add waypoints here and there which I can upload to the PC later and then download back to the GPS would be a plus.  Can anyone help with what maps or tools I need to accomplishthis on the Nuvi?  Thanks!

Boyd

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 06:22:39 PM »
I have a Montana 600 and it's the nicest Garmin product I've ever owned (which include a Legend C, GPSMap 60csx, Oregon 400t and 4 different Nuvi models). If you plan to keep this unit for a number of years and can afford it, there's just no comparison.

The are right that the Nuvi 500 cannot use custom maps (.kmz files containing scans of paper maps or aerial photographs). It also cannot use Birdseye aerial imagery or 24k USGS topo maps. It *can* use traditional garmin maps however, like most of the files available here to download. But the Nuvi series really doesn't do a very nice job of rendering topo maps on its screen and lacks the advanced menus that handhelds have to control the map appearance.

To make maps of your trails, see this recent thread: http://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php/topic,2456.0.html

This thread also touches on some different approaches to making your own maps: http://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php/topic,2465.0.html

MNTRAILRIDR

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 04:36:32 PM »
Thanks Boyd.  I can afford a Montana, but if I can do what I want for considerably less I will for sure go that way.  Over on the RZRForum, members all swear by the how great the Nuvi 500 is, but no one can really goes into detail about the mapping works.  And trust me, i've asked. 

I think the biggest hurdle is finding the trails I want to ride on a particular map product.  I assume if (for example) Garmin Topo 24k for MN has the Red Top ATV Trail on it, then I can utilize MapSource to zero in that particular area, cut and paste (or whatever) to make my custom map and then upload it to the Nuvi 500 SD card.  I could use the street maps side to navigate the truck to the trail head, disable that, then enable my custom Red Top map and go ride.  Right?

Boyd

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 04:48:31 PM »
If the Garmin 24k map has the trails you want, then just install the map and you're good to go. That map also has the same routable roads as Garmin's City Navigator maps, so it will also get you to the trail. You can view the maps online to see if the trails you want are there. Choose the product you want, click the Coverage Details tab, then click the link for the detailed interactive map: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=255&fKeys=FILTER_SERIES_TOPOUS24K,FILTER_REGION_NORTHAMERICA

The free maps here may also meet your needs, but generally speaking, they will only show your position on screen and won't provide routing capability though. There are also ways to make your own maps, but that gets a more complicated. For what you describe, a tracklog might actually be all you need and not a map. Tracks are separate from the map and can be displayed on top of any map you choose. You may be able to get one for the trail you want from a friend or download one somewhere.

Trust me, the Nuvi 500 and Montana are not even in the same league. The Nuvi may meet the needs of many users, and the price is attractive, but it's a bottom-of-the-line product with much more limited capabilities.

MNTRAILRIDR

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 07:16:47 PM »
I just looked over the Garmin Topo 24k for MN.  Kinda disappointed with the trail detail... none of the trails we ride on are there.  It looks like it is just topography (obviosuly) with limited paved and dirt roads.

I guess the guys that brag up the Nuvi 500 do so because the trails they ride are on the map product they are using.  Since I can't seem to find a map product with MN and WI atv trails, the Montana is my clear choice.  I have come to the realization I just have to spend the money for it.  With the Garmin custom map feature I can do exactly what I want. 

Thanks for all the help Boyd!

maps4gps

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 03:38:28 AM »
AFAIK there is no current comprehensive national level public database of trails for map authors to use.  Have you tired any of the four 'trail' mapsets listed on this site (under MN)?
It is up to the people who have been riding these trails with GPSr units (some for years) to take the time to clean-up their track logs and send them to OSM or jbensman.
Perhaps those who say they havetrails on their GPSrs are sharing their track log .gpx files.
They might also have Garmin's City Navigator on their Nuvi 500.

Boyd

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 04:02:25 AM »
ATV use is actually a rather contentious topic in many places, especially in my state (NJ) where it's illegal to use an ATV on public land.

Seldom

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2011, 07:20:38 AM »
It is up to the people who have been riding these trails with GPSr units (some for years) to take the time to clean-up their track logs and send them to OSM or jbensman.
In case the OP isn't familiar with it, OSM is short for OpenStreetMap.

BobT

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2011, 08:20:24 AM »
MNTrailridr, I do exactly what you want to do and I ride with a lot of people who use various Nuvi models.  You can load a custom map (like the ones on here to any Nuvi, the new "custom maps" like Google Earth you cannot.  All of the ATV riders on RZR and other forums use the tansparent custom maps.  I think the work "custom map" is becoming confusing.

You can search for maps on here by me, "BobT" and you will find three custom ATV trail maps for West Virginia, Taylor Park, Co, and Moab, UT.  These maps are widely used for ATV riding.  These all work great on all Garmin GPSr's.  These are the type of custom maps that ATV'ers use.  "eparks" on this site also makes ATV trail maps.

Not sure if this is the type map you were thinking about.

The link below will take you to a site where you can download a tutorial to make these type of maps.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/b7mfd8rkabwzdd9/Garmin%20Map%20Making%20Tutorial.zip

You can also get a free progam called "gpx2img" that will make maps from GPX tracks with one click of a mouse.  They are not as nice or customizable but or OK.  These are not as easily distributed to friends as the ones in the tutorial which shows how to a distributable .exe file.

MNTRAILRIDR

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 12:16:28 PM »
MNTrailridr, I do exactly what you want to do and I ride with a lot of people who use various Nuvi models.  You can load a custom map (like the ones on here to any Nuvi, the new "custom maps" like Google Earth you cannot.  All of the ATV riders on RZR and other forums use the tansparent custom maps.  I think the work "custom map" is becoming confusing.

You can search for maps on here by me, "BobT" and you will find three custom ATV trail maps for West Virginia, Taylor Park, Co, and Moab, UT.  These maps are widely used for ATV riding.  These all work great on all Garmin GPSr's.  These are the type of custom maps that ATV'ers use.  "eparks" on this site also makes ATV trail maps.

Not sure if this is the type map you were thinking about.

The link below will take you to a site where you can download a tutorial to make these type of maps.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/b7mfd8rkabwzdd9/Garmin%20Map%20Making%20Tutorial.zip

You can also get a free progam called "gpx2img" that will make maps from GPX tracks with one click of a mouse.  They are not as nice or customizable but or OK.  These are not as easily distributed to friends as the ones in the tutorial which shows how to a distributable .exe file.

Thanks Bob T!  I agree that "custom map" can imply many things and cause confusion.  I have since gotten a chance to talk to one of the guys on the RZR forum who went on some crazy 4800 mile ride across America and they did all thier trail navigating with a Nuvi 500, City Navigator and Mapsource.   I already have a Nuvi 205W that I use in my car, but I doubt it would last one trail ride in out the elements.  What Nuvi's are you guys using?



Boyd

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 02:55:38 PM »
I would suggest the term "third party map" today, since Garmin has given "custom map" a specific meaning in all of their documentation (http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/custommaps).

Look at this comparison of the eTrex Legend Hcx and eTrex 30: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=145&compareProduct=87774&compareProduct=8701 and note that it says the eTrex 30 is "custom maps compatible" while the Legend is not.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 02:57:09 PM by Boyd »

BobT

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 12:21:23 PM »
Some of our guys use the 500 but a lot use the 1300 or what ever they have.  I have ridden about a 1000 miles with my 1300 on and it still works.  I rode through a big rain storm with it on and it still works.  ATVers like them for the big screens.  You can see them pretty well while you are moving and bouncing.  It you are hiking or geocaching you can easily stop and read a smaller screen.  The other thing is you can get them real cheap on sale.  I would try your and see how it works.  You will need to get a ram mount to mount it securely, the Garmin mount will not work very well on an ATV.

MNTRAILRIDR

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2011, 09:09:10 PM »
Some of our guys use the 500 but a lot use the 1300 or what ever they have.  I have ridden about a 1000 miles with my 1300 on and it still works.  I rode through a big rain storm with it on and it still works.  ATVers like them for the big screens.  You can see them pretty well while you are moving and bouncing.  It you are hiking or geocaching you can easily stop and read a smaller screen.  The other thing is you can get them real cheap on sale.  I would try your and see how it works.  You will need to get a ram mount to mount it securely, the Garmin mount will not work very well on an ATV.

I had a RAM mount for my old Garmin etrex and it worked great so i will def go that way again. I am going to try loading some maps on my 205w. I think i will have to get a dvd copy of city navigator first tho. I cant for the life of me get map source to work on pc. I used your tutorial, downloaded the garmin trainer, some of your maps and still nothing. I keep getting the no previous vrsion found error.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 09:28:42 PM by MNTRAILRIDR »

maps4gps

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2011, 04:45:56 AM »
First, download BaseCamp from the Garmin website and install it.
Then download and install Mapsource - BC includeds a general map which MS recognizes as a valid map product to allow the update to MS.
If you are doing this on a 64-bit PC with Windows 7 you may also need to install a mapset which used a 32-bit installer, i.e. My-Trails...

MNTRAILRIDR

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Re: Nuvi 500 - Good for ATV only use?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2011, 07:01:38 PM »
First, download BaseCamp from the Garmin website and install it.
Then download and install Mapsource - BC includeds a general map which MS recognizes as a valid map product to allow the update to MS.
If you are doing this on a 64-bit PC with Windows 7 you may also need to install a mapset which used a 32-bit installer, i.e. My-Trails...

Got it.  Thanks a ton!

 

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