My response below is detailed, and rather long at times. Pick what you need of it.
I intend to use an etrex 30 for the Trans Am, traveling east-west. I have the very latest version of City Navigator loaded onto the GPSR, and use BaseCamp to correspond with the GPSR and load into it the ACA GPS data.
I assume you also have City Navigator in BaseCamp as well, no?
The etrex 30 has the capacity for 200 routes and 2000 waypoints. Can I now use the waypoint capacity for the information unrelated to routing, e.g. hotels, campgrounds, etc.?
Exactly. You should be able to use the full waypoint capacity for points of interest. The route should not take any of that capacity. Here is a trick (using BaseCamp
v4.1.1 on Mac Computer):
- Manipulate the route and waypoints as you wish in BaseCamp.
- Ideally, you make sure that the route is following the road, instead of being a collection of straight lines between route points. Here is how. Note: the steps below are only valid with a detailed map present in BaseCamp, such as City Navigator or OSM.
- Double-click on the route that you want to follow the road
- BaseCamp opens a small window with route details. It also displays the full route on the map
- Take a good look at the route map to remember its layout
- From the small window, select the round arrow button to recalculate.
- Take another close look at the route, noticing any irregularities in the calculation. This is common, particularly when the route is supposed to be on a trail off-road that City Navigator does not know about.
- I believe this exercise is well worth the trouble. While the route is following the road, the GPS will give you exact directions and prompts. It will also accurately calculate the distance to destination, so you know how much is left for you in the day.
- To keep your library organized, create new lists under My Collection. Create at least one list for routes and other for points of interest.
- Select My Collection
- In the box at the bottom left corner of the screen, locate the "gear" symbol next to the title My Collection
- Select the gear symbol
- Select View Detailed Data List from the menu
- Select Routes from the menu of choices at the top
- Select the routes you want from the list, most likely all of them
- Using the mouse, drag and drop the select routes into the new list
- Highlight the list that you created in the previous step for routes.
- From the menu bar, select File.
- Select Export <list name>.
- You should now have a GPX file on your computer.
- Most likely the file will still have ACA waypoints.
- Remove them manually per the steps I explain separately.
This file now is strictly for route data, whether following the road or straight lines. It does not take any of waypoints memory.
If so, how do I do this, and how will it display as I am rolling down the road? Do I have to go into the menu of the GPSR and search through "camgrounds", or will they display automatically as I pass near them?
You have two options to do this. Whichever one you prefer, please test it and write your feedback. I do not have an eTrex, therefore, not exactly positive of its performance.
- No prompts, default settings:
- Remember that we earlier created two collections: one for routes and another for waypoints.
- Review this list, edit it, clean it up, and change it until it contains the waypoints that you like.
- Export this list to a file and copy the file to the GPS.
- As you are navigating the route, when you are looking at the map, these waypoints should appear on the map.
- You will not get prompts when you are near a waypoint, not will you see it on screens other than the map.
- You can still select it or search for it from the list of locations on your GPS unit.
- Proximity alerts:
- Double-click on a waypoints
- In the new small window, select Advanced
- Enter a value in the Proximity field.
- This is the distance that you want to be alerted of the waypoint
- Notice how BaseCamp shows a red circle around the waypoint based on that distance
- You can do this for multiple waypoints at a time to set the same proximity distance
- Export the waypoints file
- Copy the GPX file to the GPS unit
More generally, is this a way to work around the 2000 waypoint capacity limitation of (in this case) the etrex, eliminating the need for a mid-continent reload of the data necessary to complete the Trans Am?
It should, assuming you have fewer than 2,000 waypoints along the route.
With the routes loaded, does the GPSR care that I am traveling east-west rather than west-east?
Yes, it does care. It follows the route points sequentially. Make sure the routes are in the direction of your travel.
Will the turn-by-turn instructions and proximity alarms function identically regardless of my direction of travel, or do I need to reverse the route in BaseCamp and reload it into the GPSR
Proximity alarm to waypoints as we set them up above should work regardless of how you are traveling.
The turn-by-turn instructions and route map will not display correctly. You must reverse the route in BaseCamp.
Also, will the routes follow each other consecutively, or will I need to select a new route when I have completed the one immediately preceding it (For me, JOCE90 is followed by JOCE70. Will I need to prompt the GPSR to kick off JOCE7O?).
Indeed, you need to select one route after the other manually. The GPS will not move from one to the next automatically.
I have spent hours working with the etrex and BaseCamp, as well as searching this forum and watching online videos, and still can't seem to grasp quite how this system of navigation is supposed to work.
Great. This is the way to do it. Take the GPS on bike rides, hikes, & even car trips. Get a feel for its prompts, routing, display options, & battery life. Learn how to plan a route and then navigate it. Come back to this forum to share your experience & ask questions.
For a cross country trip, with just a little bit familiarity, the GPS unit can turn into a very trusted navigator that will save you time & frustration.