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Printed Road Atlas or GPS Navigation?

fmca road atlas

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#1 tmoning


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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

Although it hasn't arrived yet, the new FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide is flying off the shelves.

When the preorder option was announced yesterday, our Web site received so many concurrent "hits" that some users experienced slower page-load times. 


I remember a road atlas that my father and I shared during a trip to the Smokey Montains in the 1970s, when I was 10. I would spread the atlas across my lap in the front seat of Dad's Mercury Marquis, tracing the route with my eyes and fingers while Dad talked about the towns, exit signs and mile markers along the way.


It was a good trip.


And I still have that atlas, in a cabinet in my garage. Can't seem to part with it, for the sentimentality it stirs.


The FMCA atlas, 7th edition, is available for preorder from the FMCA Store.

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

I ordered the Atlas but I'm usually disappointed . They are never as advertised. Hard to read and navigate. 

I also hesitated because the shipping is nearly as much as the map so it gets expensive.

I would like an addition showing the Wall-mart's that do not allow overnighters as I have been thrown out in the 

middle of the night. Fingers are crossed!!

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#3 parmm


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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

I bit the bullet and ordered the 7th edition FMCA Atlas & Travel Guide.  Never had one before.  We are planning a six week long trip to the southwest this coming winter,  and it will come if very handy if it has everything they are claiming.  DW does not like the Michelin Atlas because the pages do not match up right and things get lost between that spiral binding, so she may not like it because of it being spiral-bound  We do use Microsoft Streets and Trips, but the atlas will be nice for finding those out of the way places that one might miss if they stay on their computerized routing that does not show odd ball points of interest at a glance..

for the Wallyworld Parking you want to get on Yahoo Groups http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/walmartrving/ . It maintains updated list of the Walmarts that you can overnight park at and the ones that you can not park overnight (NOP). Very helpful and easy to navigate. But every once in a while somebody does something that gets us evicted, and you can run into those. You prevent getting kicked out by going in and asking if you can park overnight. Asking is a requirement of Walmart corporate, along with other stores that might permit us access to their lot overnight.

Walmart says: "Can I park my RV at a Walmart store?
While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV."

You will also find RV Industry and Club Sanctioned (includes FMCA) Overnight Parking Guidelines on that web site:
" Industry-sanctioned Code of Conduct
(RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy)
1. Stay one night only!
2. Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
3. Obey posted regulations.
4. No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills.
5. Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).
6. Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
7. Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.
8. Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe."

If you don't ask, you run the chance of being ran off!!! Sometimes even those stores that prohibit overnight parking will allow it if asked!!! And always ask where they want you to park in the lot. Some want you way out front, and others want you on the side, and some even want you way out back out of sight.

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#4 desertdeals690


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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:58 PM

I usually get a Walmart atlas every other year.  It has all the Walmart stores and the Sams Club stores listed and it only $7-8.

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#5 JerryPotter



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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:02 AM

I now usually use the google maps to print a map of my trips if I think I need one. Long trips only. I have found that you should not put absolute faith in a GPS navigator. Lots of people trying to find my house have problems as there is a Nelson Rd. in town but we live On another Nelson Rd. in the county. GPS also has carried my motorhome on some roads that I would not have gone on if I had looked at it on a map.

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#6 NCBounder


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Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:53 PM

I use the Rand McNally Walmart edition and my trusty Garmin.  Like others have said, there's nothing quite like sitting down and spreading out the maps.  The Atlas allows you to see a bigger picture and get an idea of alternate roads and routes, other things nearby to see, etc.  But the GPS calculates exact mileages and can find other points of interest along the way.   I usually do my planning with the map open and my Google Maps app on the laptop, then transfer it to the GPS when i'm ready to ride.



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Chuck & Pam
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Our Blog: http://www.lomaxonline.com

#7 aztec7fan


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Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:40 PM

We may be old school, but we use our paper Rand McNally to plan all our trips.


 Occasionally in big cities, I use the navigation feature on my phone to find specific addresses.  


We plugged in our address recently on our return trip from CA. and were surprised to see that the navigation did not recognize a major road through Monument Valley in UT.

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Chris Guenther
Westminster, CO
1989 33' Southwind (Gas 454 Chevy)


"Life is just a collection of memories

and memories are like starlight, they go on forever"

-C.W. McCall

#8 bizsmith@yahoo.com


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Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:28 AM

When we travel we use both printed maps and GPS. I like GPS and use Delorne software on a laptop for a large display that I can see in an instant. I map out the route and go over it with my copilot who prefers paper. Neither method is infallible but they are complementary.
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#9 parmm


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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:52 PM

Thought I ought to report on the new 2013 FMCA North American Road Atlas and Travel Guide.  Actually, this is the DWs report and not mine, I'm just the messenger!  I should start by saying that my wife does not like spiral bound atlases!!!  But I ordered it anyway.  Before I ordered, I told her all about it, including the fact it was spiral bound.  Well , it came while we were planning a western trip for this coming spring.  As to the review, I can't get it away from her.  We have a Rand McNally Walmart atlas (hers), a old large print Rand McNally Atlas, a older Rand McNally Motor Carriers Atlas, and a older Michelin Atlas.  they are all spiral bond except her Rand McNally Walmart Atlas.  She has told me how the new FMCA atlas has all the Walmarts close to the interstates on it, all the different campgrounds on it, and especially all the different special points of interest on it,  But I don't know, as I have not been able to get it away from her yet.  She hasn't said anything about it being spiral bound yet!  I don't think she has noticed.  Did I mention the fact that she does not like spiral bound atlases?

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