Our first trip planned and navigated by Microsoft Streets & Trips
We are ready to leave for our extended 2011 trip, planned and to be navigated with 2010 Streets and Trips on our new netbook. The trip itinerary is contained in five routes covering 12,400 miles from Arizona to North Carolina by way of Chicago and back to Arizona, with approximately 600 “stops” (some as short as 15 minutes or as long as overnight).

We have found a reasonably convenient but secure location on the dash of our Winnebago View for the netbook, and the sound is routed directly into the sound system. I will be using a 135 watt inverter to keep the netbook powered continuously during the day, and anticipate placing the netbook into sleep mode at each daytime stop.

I would appreciate comments regarding my anticipated process to be used before and after all stops except to our overnight camping stops. In almost all cases we have to go “off route” to find parking, get closer, etc at stops. Since I have disabled the automatic reroute option, I will ignore the warning from Streets & Trips that we are off route. We will park, I will “pause” navigating, put the netbook to sleep, and exit the MH. When we return to the vehicle, I will power up the netbook, “unpause” the netbook (using the pause key again?), wait until S&T finds a signal, THEN DELETE THAT STOP(?) , and then follow S&T navigation to my next destination. Does this sound like the most efficient way to move from stop to stop? Any advise would be welcomed.

Just in case anyone who regularly participates in this forum is interested, I will post my observations/evaluation of traveling using this process. Last year we used our Tom Tom for navigation and Google Maps for planning but thought being able to see more of our route on the screen would be helpful.

I'm new to this, had Etrex for 6 years, just entered waypoints via Googl Earth, Topo, Exel into GPS, then download tracks, etc. into Streets and Trips.

You seem to have covered all bases with the plan, I look forward to your appraisal.
Good luck with your trip!

A couple of comments:

1. I wouldn't bother with deleting stops after you have reached them; I don't see the point.

2. I wouldn't bother putting the netbook in sleep during daytime stops. That will mean you have to restart the GPS monitoring and, again, what's the point? You've got it wired-up full time so your netbook won't die on you. You are just creating more work for yourself.
SpadesFlush, my thinking about the deleting was to prevent S&T "thinking" I needed to be routed to point A after seeing that stop. Occasionally we will be off the planned route before we visit point A. As we proceed after visiting A we can often navigate back to the planned route without help, but occasionally reenter the route with points A and B on the same side of our present location. How does the navigation "know" that we have already visited A?

Will the netbook, in full operation mode, and the inverter draw enough current to drain the vehicle battery if the stop requires an hour or two? I was worried about that, thus the reason for using the sleep mode, and possibly shutting down the inverter.
As one who likes using 'sleep' mode, my experience with other navigation programs shows the navigation can recover within 8-10 seconds of return from sleep. I normally do not shut down the program before putting the computer to sleep. I can't recall if I have tried this with S&T or not but it is easy enough to test.

On the other hand, the netbook plus inverter should not have a serious effect on the automotive battery in that short a time frame. Also, the netbook should be able to survive easily on its own for 2 hours with the inverter off if it has a 6 cell battery. And it would probably automatically go into hibernation mode if its internal battery got too low.

Ron, if the inverter is on a circuit that goes through the ignition switch (usual in cars, I don't know about MHs), then the netbook will not be able to draw on the MH battery. What should happen is that the netbook automatically draws on its own DC battery if the AC supply is interrupted and that should hold up as long as you are out and about. Even if it isn't enough, the netbook should just go into sleep mode anyway which is what you are talking about doing manually each stop.

If the circuit is always open, I still would not worry about the netbook draining the MH battery; a netbook does not require a huge power draw and it is something the MH battery (ies?) should be easliy able to provide. Do you have a refrigerator in the rig? Now, that is something that can draw current big-time.

With regard to your backtracking concerns, I think you are making it too complicated for something that will only occasionally come into play. Perhaps you can do the stop-deleting only when you know you are in a potential backtracking situation.
SpadesFlush, thanks for your response. The front 12v runs from the engine battery, so I think you are correct that when the engine if off, the circuit is not live. The carriage has two batteries, but the fridge runs off LP when we are stopped. Based on suggestions from the forum I think I will be safe leaving the computer active while we are stopped since most stops are one hour or less.

I will experiment with the deleting stops consideration, but one clarification. Suppose after visiting stop A I approach the route from an intersecting street. If I turn left I will be heading toward stop A, and if I turn right I will be heading toward stop B. Assuming I am confused (not an unusual situation) so I turn left. Will Streets & Trips warn me that I am traveling in the wrong direction, or will I guided back to stop A? That is the scenario that I decided I would avoid by deleting stop A before attempting to return to the route.
Ron, if you are using GPS tracking for your navigation, it will show on the map where you are, right? So, won't it show you going the wrong way if you turn right when you should turn left? Isn't that enough warning?

But do what is most comfortable for yourselves; I am sure you will find the right accommodation without over-thinking it.
SpadesFlush, I have not had enough experience with S&T full screen routing to know how much of the route shows, but it seems like I would be able to see at least the next destination in relation to my present location. You are right, I am probably over-thinking this. I think I will begin with doing the least, and adapt as the need arises. It would not be the first time I heard "aren't you going the wrong way?". Thanks for your advise.

This is my first up date on our trip and so far we have covered about 3000 miles and are somewhere in Michigan.

When S&T says "do not use the mouse or key board" boy does it mean it. I finally learned after having to stop by the side of the road twice when I crashed the software trying to delete a second stop while it was still working on deleting and rerouting the first stop!!! I have found that deleting each stop as we pass or stop at them is most convenient for me since when I don't, the pre-stop and post stop routes gives me instructions which often conflict with my intuition.

I do need to a command which I can not find, but know it must contain. Occasionally we need to "fix" our present location. How is that done? Today, we were mid-route, and wanted to place a new location as the next stop. When I put it in the route planner and used f5, it routed me as if I were at the most previous deleted location. Was this a fluke? Also, occasionally, the "keys" seem of be functional or nonfunctional in a random way. Sometimes the +, -, and menu icons will disappear after pausing and unpausing. Is this normal?
Marvin Hlavac
When S&T says "do not use the mouse or key board" boy does it mean it.
The message is actually generated by the S&T Keys (info) add-on you are using, not by S&T itself.
OK, we have been using S&T continuously for the past 30 days and I give up. Since S&T locates a programed address accurately (within a quarter mile) only about 80% of the time I say it is time to go back to a real navigation device. Also, the "keys" are crap! They are active (giving the "menu", "+", and "-" upon start-up, but as soon as the "delete", "f5", "pause", or any other action is taken it closes. Then if you are in full screen mode, you have to stop navigating to be able to zoom so that you can see the route beyond the next block. After this delay, I could not figure out how to go back to navigating in full screen. Twice I chose to us "f5", only too late did I realize that not all of the previous stops had been deleted and S&T was taking me back to the first undeleted stop! This definitely was grounds for divorce. Also, something I didn't notice when I was planning the trip. When you enter a stop, it will often locate the stop at the nearest corner rather than at the specific location. And finally, after a stop, if you delete that stop the route is rerouted to include an "around the block" routing. If you don't believe this give it a try. If you find this not to be the case, but think you detect that I am doing something incorrect, I will apologize. But as of now I am no longer a user of S&T for navigation.
This is a further up-date on using S&T for navigating a long trip. Today confirmed my most serious complaint about trying to use S&T for navigation. We had scheduled a stop at The Wolf Creek Indian Village. The address was 6394 North Scenic Highway, Bastion, VA. We approached the Highway (SR 52) from SR 614. S&T routed me right on 52 and identified the stop would be in approximately 3.4 miles. As we watched the house numbers (very few, since this was a state highway) we observed they began at 4300, and as we continued as directed the numbers were decreasing. Assuming they may go to zero and then begin increasing again we continued until S&T informed me we had reached our destination (confirming that I did not misunderstand the instruction to turn right). Sorry to say we had to reverse direction and travel beyond where we had entered from 614 for another two miles. If this were an isolated incident, I could forgive S&T, or if our Tom Tom had given the same directions we could assume the address was incorrect. However the Tom Tom correctly located the stop! Shame on S&T because this has been happening repeatedly. S&T is nice if you want to travel across the country, watching your route, much the same as driving with an atlas on your lap. However if you are looking for specific street addresses, don't count on S&T to locate them with any degree of accuracy.

On a positive note, I did discover that "esc" and "f11" make it exceedingly easy to toggle between full screen and non-full screen. Also the arrow keys and "-" and "=" make it simple to expand and move your map so that you can gain perspective between where you are and where you want to be, especially when you get off route.

I am sorry for being so negative, but it has been a frustrating day for finding our planned stops using S&T.

Ron Adams

You will slowly discover as much as you use gps for driving that the exact street address is not almost accurate (no matter what software you are using. It could be ok in one software, for an address, but inaccurate for another one). I use to verify them in multiple softwares. I have also often compare S&T across google map and in canada, S&T is better most of the time, while google map could be very often far away (miles) from the street address.

Another alternative is that i often use street view in google map to help me figure out at what exact spot i am if i can regognize visually some spots.
Marvin Hlavac
S&T is better most of the time
I agree with MisterMoonlight's statement that in long term use, also in my experience, Streets & Trips is better at showing accurate locations of addresses than other mapping products that are not based on Navteq map data. Errors can be found in all products, but over all S&T is very good in this one respect.

But Ron, you have certainly pointed out very well at several of other S&T's features which could and should be improved.
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