By Bill and Jenn Gehr
March 30, 2015
Filed under Gear Reviews
Newly upgraded Magellan RoadMate RV9490T-LMB takes the guesswork out of RV travel
Traveling in a motorhome takes precise planning and a keen sense of awareness to keep surprises — and embarrassing moments — at bay. Unexpected occurrences along the route such as hazardous weather, traffic jams, low bridges or lane closures can cause delays on even the most carefully planned trip. To equalize the playing field, many RVers use a GPS for guidance and Magellan has been making units that are RV-specific for a while. The RoadMate RV9490T-LMB is the latest model and the improvements are substantial.
Designed solely with the RVer in mind, the new Magellan RoadMate provides upgraded RV-specific navigation, roadside information and valuable content in one easy-to-use-device. Unlike generic GPS devices earmarked for the general public, the RoadMate allows the user to enter individual RV profile information that is used for calculating directions and providing road information, including safe places for large RVs to negotiate, like fuel stations. Specific information that can be loaded includes RV type, weight, height, width and length. The RoadMate can also be switched over to automobile mode when traveling in the dinghy vehicle.
The new Magellan is sleek and responsive and utilizes a glare-free, 7-inch, high-definition, bezel-free touch screen with fast and powerful Android OS navigation software for calculations made in seconds. The device is loaded with 9 million points of interest (POI) including 30,000 RV-specific locations and fuel stations. Additional data includes 4,000 Wal-Mart locations and more than 13,000 RV parks and campgrounds, which includes 2,100-plus Good Sam RV Parks. There are even 12,770 dump locations that can be called up at a moment’s notice.
Weather can change rapidly and catch RVers off guard, which makes the unit’s forecasting ability a valuable tool on the road. Overlays include temperature, rain and snow, and allows the user to see conditions ahead, in real time.
The Magellan RoadMate also provides a virtual dashboard with the touch of a finger. The dashboard displays information on the upcoming two turns, remaining time and distance, mile markers, direction, elevation, grade change and traffic information.
Through the years, Magellan has pioneered a number of innovations that differentiate its product. These innovations include Geo-tag navigation by simply inputting latitude and longitude when an address is not available. “OneTouch Favorites” is a Magellan exclusive feature that allows the user to locate personal favorite locations by touching the screen. Speed can also be managed by using the speed limit warning.
One of the most practical features is the junction view and highway lane assist, which displays realistic images of upcoming highway signs. Lane arrows, superimposed in the image, help with lane merging before it becomes difficult to negotiate. We found this takes some of the stress out of traveling on unfamiliar roads. Destination routing can be used to plan a trip with multiple stops in the order you choose, or the Magellan navigator can select the most efficient route. Audible instructions allow the driver to keep their eyes on the road.
Magellan offers free lifetime updates with the most current maps and points of interest, including free lifetime traffic warnings.
Magellan’s GPS RV9490T-LMB truly lives up to its name as a “RoadMate.” The device has an MSRP of $379.99 and is protected by a one-year warranty.
Magellan | www.magellangps.com