GPS issues

I had to purchase a new GPS unit when we were in Calgary, as our previous one fell and shattered the screen. The new one has some nicer features, including the ability to search for RV and Camping sites which has proved useful, at least until yesterday. The campsite we stayed at in Prince Edward County was called Barcovan Camp, and I was unsuccessful in finding it in the GPS by using the address given in the Camping Ontario book we’ve been using. We were pleased to find it specifically listed in the Camping section of the GPS, so we thought we were well on our way once it was giving us directions. I have set up the GPS to provide us with the shortest time on any route it gives us, and as we started to travel down smaller and smaller backroads in the middle of nowhere, I was reminded of the Kelowna couple who met tragedy this spring trying to get to Las Vegas. Our situation was by no means as isolated, but I did see some very interesting and narrow roads in our one hour trip to Carter Road in  Carrying Place Ontario. Unfortunately when we got there, we found it to be a dead end gravel road with no hints of water any where near what was supposed to be a waterfront Campground. I called the campsite, and the owner gave me some hints on setting up the GPS to find Carter Road in Quinte West Ontario, which is nothing I’ve been able to find on any map we’ve used so far. We did manage to get to the site, after another hours drive and some more unnecessary back roads traveling, which I figure might have been shorter by a few hundred feet, but was by no means faster. It turns out we’d driven within a km of the  correct location earlier, just on a parallel road.

After all the gallivanting we wasted a couple of hours, but did see some pretty rural landscapes. We took off that afternoon to visit Huff Estates, and find a grocery store in Picton. I didn’t use the GPS for directions, but did attempt to use our maps to see if I could do better myself. Not such a good idea as we got just as lost with me trying to be the navigator. We did see some more of the area though, and came across a gas station just as I was needing to refuel. Who needs GPS anyway. Once I handed the map over to Sylvia she figured out a way to get us back where we belonged. There seems to be a lesson there somewhere.

I also have to reconsider my previous assessment of Ontario drivers. We drove right through the Toronto Mega Maze in the mid morning, and I found that traversing 6 or 7 lanes of crowded freeway was actually a fairly painless experience. The traffic was courteous enough to let me change lanes when I needed to get over to the correct lanes, and people around TO really do know how to merge on and off the freeway. We’ll see how Ottawa is in the next few days, as we’re here for 4 nights, and will have to travel about 30 km into town on a busy road several times.

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7 responses to “GPS issues

  1. Well, it really sounds like you ARE seeing the country…maybe not totally the way you wanted? But who knows getting lost a few times might get you to places of real interest.

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    • At least we’re not spending all our time on the Trans-Canada highway. There are so many things to see, and we’re only scratching the surface, but the back roads excursions are interesting. At least I think so, Sylvia’s not so convinced….

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  2. The GPS is just another tool and cannot be totally relied on. I have tried both the shortest distance and quickest time settings and neither is perfect. What it needs is a “common sense” setting. Ours got us on a narrow gravel back road in Louisiana while trying to find an RV park. We ended up stuck in a field trying to make a u-turn. Nothing serious, we managed to get ourselves out and I am sure Norma carries enough food so we could live on reduced rations for a good four months!

    I hope you are visiting and tasting some of those Ontario wineries as there are some very good ones.

    Maybe you could give an update on the Shaw Direct dish. Did you replace or repair it? Also, what about the tires and alignment? Last we heard you were taking it in on Monday. Inquiring minds await!

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    • I’ve noticed some issues with the GPS in the past, but they’ve all been minor side trips as we’ve pretty well stuck to the main roads, especially in the US. The excursion around Prince Edward County was an eye-opener for sure. When I got a good look at the area on Mapquest I realized how many side roads we were sent on that were unnecessary. Even yesterday when we arrived at this campsite the GPS tried to send us to the service road on the left side of the highway for a few hundred meters before it wanted us to turn right and cross the highway again. A common sense setting would be nice.
      As far as the dish goes, I’ve put our account on hiatus until this winter when we are planning on heading south again. We’ve found that we have had access to several Canadian and/or US digital channels no matter where we’ve been (and more to come by the end of summer) so we’ve been using the antenna and not feeling that we’re missing anything. In the US, when we’re probably going to be planted for longer periods with NO access to Canadian news we’ll set up the dish again, and have access to the PVR which will probably be more used than during the summer.
      Now, as far as the tires go, we’ve used the trailer for 3 years, with this trip, a trip to Moose Jaw and back, another to Calgary and back and the Arizona trip which have probably totaled 20-25000 km on the tires. The one set was shot, and the others are hardly half worn down. When the tire tech looked at the differing wear patterns he said we should get the axle aligned, but that they couldn’t do it, and couldn’t recommend anyone in the area as we were in the middle of nowhere. I’m watching the tires at every stop, and so far things look fine, but I’ll get the axle looked at once we get the time.

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  3. Digital TV channels have a range of about 100 miles so you should be able to pick up a few all along the Canadian border. When I was in Kitchener I read about the construction of a new tower nearby just for digital TV so it is moving into Canada. I am not sure why as it was the USA military that claimed the frequencies analog TV broadcasts were using that required the changeover. Maybe Canadian TV signals were bleeding over into the USA and annoying the military.

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  4. Ontario driving must put the Island drivers in perspective, eh???

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    • Oh yeah, but if you put the typical Island driver in the kind of congestion you see in Southern Ontario it could be a recipe for disaster……wait a minute, am I a typical Island driver ?!?

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