Plan RV Travels Using Google Maps

After way too long in one place, Fran and I have been on the road for the last few weeks… we’re calling it the reunion tour because we’re visiting favorite people and places. I’ve found Google Maps to be very helpful in planning our travels. It’s an acceptable substitute for having a GPS device.

Google Maps is a map service provided by Google.com that you view in your web browser. You can view basic or custom maps and local business information, including business locations, contact information, and driving directions. Click and drag maps to view adjacent sections immediately. View satellite images of your desired location that you can zoom and pan.

I use it for planning the day’s drive, estimating driving time and scheduling fuel stops as well as local directions for getting around in unfamiliar areas.

Google Maps gives pretty good directions but, like all mapping software, is not always perfect so it allows you to modify the rout just by clicking on the blue ‘route’ and dragging it to your preferred route. Once you have your route the way you want it you can actually see the route using ‘Street View’ and even print photos of important turns and/or intersections.

Planning a stay at an unfamiliar RV Park? Use Google Maps’ Satellite View to zoom in for an arial view of it. It’s a good way to see what surrounds the park… industry or farmland, country lane or busy freeway. Use Street View to see the entrance and maybe some of the park too.

Again, the satellite view isn’t perfect… sometimes the resolution is too low to see much when you zoom in and if the images are old the new parks won’t show up. But when it works it’s really nice.

Also, Street View isn’t available everywhere… especially in rural/remote areas but you may be surprised at just how much of the United States Google has photographed!

The biggest drawback to depending on Google Maps is the need for an internet connection with better than dial-up speed. Fortunately many RV parks are offering Wi-Fi and if that’s not available you can always visit a McDonalds or a local coffee shop.

Get started using Google Maps by going to Maps.Google.com. If you need help Google has a very complete User Guide.
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One Response to "Plan RV Travels Using Google Maps"

  1. I’ve been enjoying your RV Tips.

    Here’s one way I use Google Maps in addition to the ways you described.

    I belong to the American Legion. VFW, Eagles and Moose. I use Google maps Satellite View to zoom down on their parking lots to see if they might be large enough to allow room for me to park my rig. If the parking lot does appear large enough, I click on it and it gives me their phone number which I then call to confirm that they can accommodate me. If yes fine, if no, I ask if they know other locations in their town. I use this method frequently and it works really well.

    Nice to hear you are back on the road again.

    Best regards,
    Jim

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