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Using gps and maps ATVing

Started by freeagent, March 24, 2012, 07:10:24 PM

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Hello all,

I am new to ATVing and spend most of my time with friends in NC and traveling to WV.  I need to purchase a gps for an upcoming trip and would like feedback on the garmin ryno vs Montana and how easy it is to upload and use the hatfield and McCoy maps available on this site.  Not very technologically savvy so any help will be useful.  We also want to use which ever device suggested to map our trials in nc.



These are completely different units. The Rino series has been around for awhile and the older models have a pushbutton interface while the news have touchscreens. But their main attraction is that they have a FRS/GMRS radio built into them. Do you need the radio? If not, there is no reason to get a Rino.

The Montana has a large screen with much higher resolution (Rino has 38,400 pixels while the Montana has 130,560) and many advanced features not present on the Rino. But it doesn't have a radio.

I have a Montana and it's the nicest Garmin product I've ever owned (and I've owned a LOT of them  :) ). It should work really well on an ATV as well as in your car or hiking.

I haven't used that map, but both models will be compatible with all the Garmin maps on this site.


Thanks,  the main reason I was looking ryno was most of the folks we meet up with have them and even if the radio doesn't work, we should be able to see them on the gps screen.  At least that is what the advertisement says.

Since I am completely new to gps, when I upload maps from here do they go to the built in memory?  Have you had any issues with the unit losing what you have uploaded?  Does the trails on the downloaded maps stay in the background even while tracking our current path (breadcrumbs, I think)?


Before proceeding, you need to decide whether you want to track others on your screen as you describe. If so, the Rino (spelled with an "i" :) ) is your only choice. The Montana cannot do that.

Garmin's better models all have the option to put maps either into the unit's internal memory or on a memory card. From a user standpoint, this doesn't really matter, they will work the same once loaded.

Don't really understand your other questions about trails and breadcrumbs. If you load a map of your area, it will always show on your screen with a pointer that indicates your current position. As you move, the map also moves.


I use a GPS extensively on an ATV and the group I ride with we all use GMRS radios with earbuds to keep in touch and to keep some foolishness going on while we ride. 

This is a few years back, but the riders that had the Rino GPses never felt like their GPS/radio combination ever really excelled in both aspects as well as the radios and Gpses that those of us had that were a dedicated GMRS radio and a dedicated GPS.  One thing to keep in mind is that if the Rino radio won't work (out of range) then the location of your buddie's Rino won't appear on your Rino's screen.

If the Montana is a little pricey for what you wish to pay, then I would suggest the Oregon 450 for around $250-$300.  Some riders in the past year have started using the automobile Nuvis since you can get a lot bigger screen for around $100 that includes street maps and download the free custom maps and topos that you want.  These Nuvis they are using are not waterproof, but seem to be doing ok.  For the price of around $100 for a large screen, it is hard to complain much about it, if something did happen to it.  I believe different model Nuvis, over the years have treated at what zoom levels custom maps will start to appear at differently and they don't handle creating tracks/breadcrumb trails nearly as well as a handhelds will.

If you are new to using a GPS there will be a learning curve in getting comfortable using it.  Don't get discouraged and before long you won't go ATVing anywhere without it.  It's great being able to zoom in/out and being able to see an entire trail system to mentally map out how where you want to go and where you are in the trail system at all times.


I would not get the Rino, it is a radio and GPSr and does neither well.  The radios are always out of date regarding range and the screen is too small to be a good ATVing GPSr. 

As eaparks said, the Nuvi's do quite well.  And the Montana is an excellent unit.

We also use the cheap GMRS radios with earbuds, they are much better than the Rino. 


Boyd, BobT, eaparks,

Thanks for all your input.  Looks like the Montana or similar is in and we will get seperate radios to chat.  I may have jumped the gun, but downloaded Garmin BaseCamp and the trails we are going to ride in WV.  The trail map is great, but is on a white screen.  When uploaded to the GPS will it look the same as on basecamp or will it be overlayed on the topo or satelite imagery?  Is there any way to overlay the trail map onto the topo on BaseCamp?

Can't thank you enough!



What brand GMRS radios do you use?


The WV ATV Trails 3.0 is a transparent map so it can be displayed along with (at the same time) as any other map of your chosing on your GPS; topo, street maps, etc. 

Basecamp and Mapsource only allow you to view 1 map at a time on your PC, so unfortunately you can only view the WV ATVTrails 3.0 map by itself on our PC, the same goes for any other map in Mapsource or Basecamp.  Basecamp will allow you to view satellite imagery and another map at the same time.

I use the Midland GMRS Radios I don't think there is any signaficant difference in the Motorolas or Midlands except Midland has a pretty much no fault warranty that is good for 3 years.  I have used it 1 time and the Midland Customer Service was excellent. 

If memory serves me correct you can get a 21 mile up to a 36 miles Midland radio.  Prices go from around $30 up to around $65 for the top of the line 36 mile ones and this is for a pair.  These communication distances they state are in the theoretical perfect world, maybe on open ocean, don't ever expect to get anywhere close to the distance the radio is rated for talking.  The Midland earbud that can be bought seperate as an accessory for $29 / pair and has a coiled clear tube is 10 times more comfortable in your ear and you can hear alot better with it than the standard earbud that comes standard with several of the Midland models.  The better earbud is worth the addtitional cost.

Top of the line Midland in Black and Silver ($60); camo version is about $10 more.

The better Midland earbud I'm talking about that is more comfortable and easier to hear with.