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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just went on a 185 mile trip towing a travel trailer. Used the Subaru navigation for the first time and it took us on tiny county roads, short cuts through residential alleys when the main intersection was clearly visible only .2 miles away, and one time, suggested we make a turn onto a street not wide enough for the car, never mind the trailer. Does anyone know how to limit the type of roads it will navigate on? Or should I stick with google maps?
 

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Just went on a 185 mile trip towing a travel trailer. Used the Subaru navigation for the first time and it took us on tiny county roads, short cuts through residential alleys when the main intersection was clearly visible only .2 miles away, and one time, suggested we make a turn onto a street not wide enough for the car, never mind the trailer. Does anyone know how to limit the type of roads it will navigate on? Or should I stick with google maps?
technochauvinism

My recommendation is to always check your route on a printed map. the map will provide information as to the type of road and you can reconcile the two resources. 185 miles is not a long trip, but you were towing a trailer so the trip provided unique requirements. As the article notes digital maps accuracy is dependent on the financial investment made to maintain it. I do not know what database Subaru maps uses but clearly that investment was insufficient such that it drags you around (trailer or not) into side streets.

You might also reference caltopo. use the search box to enter the area and you can see using the filters streets and trails etc. Caltopo is probably one of the most robust mapping services available as it references many databases that are constantly being updated.

You can reference caltopo ahead of time download the route or even print it out. Depending on cell service, you can reference it on the go although on on the Ascent navigation screen.
 

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Printed maps tell me way less than what's available on digital maps. I use a number of websites when planning a route, including Google satellite and street views if I have any question about the suitability of road, and others that provide the road gradient. With street view you can even preview what the scenery is going to be like along the way. Google nav gives real-time traffic, closures, etc...
 

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Printed maps tell me way less than what's available on digital maps. I use a number of websites when planning a route, including Google satellite and street views if I have any question about the suitability of road, and others that provide the road gradient. With street view you can even preview what the scenery is going to be like along the way. Google nav gives real-time traffic, closures, etc...
I find my google maps very useful, but I am aware of its limitations and errors, which is why when it is important I reconcile the resources. I can always look at the printed map and them use google to view important transition points or note any detours or construction going on.

Drivers in more remote areas have died relying entirely on digital mapping resources either because of inaccuracy, cell device battery loss and or loss of signal.
 

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Easier to get an RV-specific GPS like one of these

go into it eyes wide open. These units can be helpful; but not always reliable.
 

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I've been around and using many types of maps for a long time including road, marine and aviation. I don't get what it is about the act of printing a map that makes it more reliable.
 

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I've been around and using many types of maps for a long time including road, marine and aviation. I don't get what it is about the act of printing a map that makes it more reliable.
The printed ROAD maps (not the ones you simply print from google) focus on providing the data and not all the other potentially useful features. they generally have very accurate mapping and provide info on the type of road including small roads. the science demonstrates that our brains do much better with that type of paper interaction compared to digital representations. You can also scan and see the entire area and focus on a particular road much more quickly than a digital representation. By tracing a route with your fingers you capture a better understanding than through only viewing the digital representation. there are advantages with both systems and I employ both depending on the need.

In terms of reliability, in theory both can fall on either end of the target, but I can not recall ever having a problem with a printed road map that was the latest version (this of course excludes very remote areas which require more specialized maps).
 

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Did you happen to check the navigation options to be sure that they are set so that they don't avoid major routes, etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
technochauvinism

My recommendation is to always check your route on a printed map. the map will provide information as to the type of road and you can reconcile the two resources. 185 miles is not a long trip, but you were towing a trailer so the trip provided unique requirements. As the article notes digital maps accuracy is dependent on the financial investment made to maintain it. I do not know what database Subaru maps uses but clearly that investment was insufficient such that it drags you around (trailer or not) into side streets.

You might also reference caltopo. use the search box to enter the area and you can see using the filters streets and trails etc. Caltopo is probably one of the most robust mapping services available as it references many databases that are constantly being updated.

You can reference caltopo ahead of time download the route or even print it out. Depending on cell service, you can reference it on the go although on on the Ascent navigation screen.
Thanks for the suggestions. I agree that paper maps would be great, unfortunately my co-pilot is not map savvy, so when we get sidetracked, I have to pull over and re-read the map. Listening to the navi-guide is usually easier. Subaru uses the Tom Tom navigation system, and was just updated a few months ago. I wish there were a way to denote the type of streets not to go down. I will take more time and check the route on Google Earth next time.
 

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Printed maps and built-in gps are both outdated compared to services like Google Maps and Waze. It’s Unfortunate that a premium price is charged for the navigation feature. It would already be out of date in my area the way they’re constantly updating the roads. Not a problem on Google Maps and Waze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I find my google maps very useful, but I am aware of its limitations and errors, which is why when it is important I reconcile the resources. I can always look at the printed map and them use google to view important transition points or note any detours or construction going on.

Drivers in more remote areas have died relying entirely on digital mapping resources either because of inaccuracy, cell device battery loss and or loss of signal.
I definitely need a paper version. I have had the digital system quit on me in thunderstorms in the mountains and it was only because I had previewed the route that I realized we were heading SW instead of NW.
 

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Printed maps and built-in gps are both outdated compared to services like Google Maps and Waze. It’s Unfortunate that a premium price is charged for the navigation feature. It would already be out of date in my area the way they’re constantly updating the roads. Not a problem on Google Maps and Waze.
generally very true, but I have experienced enough inaccuracies in my metro area with Google. In the city, it typically is not life or death, but it can be. Most of us find ourselves relying on google maps so much that we act like lemmings (white wilderness myth).

In the wilderness, I carry phones with two different service providers, downloaded digital maps, printed digital maps, printed road/trail and topo maps, em supplies and local sheriff emergency contact numbers. I note coordinates for turnoffs and planned stopping locations. In the city none of that matters.
 

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You set it to avoid interstates and you are wondering why you went on weird roads? Seems like a no brainier to me :)

As far as paper maps, yea, never use them. They don't tell you about closures, accidents, etc. Waze has saved my butt so many times by routing around hours long traffic jams. I have had it do reroutes on accidents that happened before emergency responders arrived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You set it to avoid interstates and you are wondering why you went on weird roads? Seems like a no brainier to me :)

As far as paper maps, yea, never use them. They don't tell you about closures, accidents, etc. Waze has saved my butt so many times by routing around hours long traffic jams. I have had it do reroutes on accidents that happened before emergency responders arrived.
Yes, no interstates, but we were on a state hwy in Georgia and could SEE the intersection about 2/10th of a mile away and it told us to turn left and took us on a tiny road through a mobile home neighborhood (and not a very nice one at that). Just seems odd that it routes like that. I've used Waze a lot, but not with the trailer. I guess I'll just have to use a non-subaru app.
 

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"Recalculating!!!!"

I've had nav on my Ascent take me down various side streets and other divergent paths, when all I needed to do was literally take a left, go 4 mi down a main road, and take another left to get to my destination (I was testing the system out early on and this occurred several times), so I always take it with a grain of salt. It doesn't happen often, but it does on occasion. I also had it take me down an unimproved dirt road/ path that most other cars would not have made it down going to the garlic festival in North Central Massachusetts one year. It was odd being taken down such an unimproved path, but it was fun doing pseudo off-roading in the car. The advantage to the nav having sent me down that path, was that I completely bypassed all the traffic going in on the main road, and it probably saved us 25 minutes.

Technology is not perfect, it never will be. You might be better off looking for a trucker type atlas, or navigation system designed for truckers/ rigs you can use when you have the trailer on, especially if you're often going to unfamiliar or crowded places.
 

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I definitely need a paper version. I have had the digital system quit on me in thunderstorms in the mountains and it was only because I had previewed the route that I realized we were heading SW instead of NW.
Google maps allows you to download routes to eliminate the loss of signal issue while driving.
 

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generally very true, but I have experienced enough inaccuracies in my metro area with Google.
Waze has a map editing feature. You can literally login and fix inaccuracies if they haven’t already been identified.
 

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Yes, no interstates, but we were on a state hwy in Georgia and could SEE the intersection about 2/10th of a mile away and it told us to turn left and took us on a tiny road through a mobile home neighborhood (and not a very nice one at that). Just seems odd that it routes like that. I've used Waze a lot, but not with the trailer. I guess I'll just have to use a non-subaru app.
A peachy adventure
Waze has a map editing feature. You can literally login and fix inaccuracies if they haven’t already been identified.
Waze is better than others with receiving user feedback. My concern was with relying solely on the digital maps in a new area.
 
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