GPS Buyers Guide For RV’ers

Thinking about a new GPS? The task of choosing the one that’s right for you can be very intimidating. With so many great brands, models and features to choose from, how do you know which one to buy?

When picking a GPS, the most important question to ask is “What do I want to do with it?” Any automotive GPS unit will tell you where you are and where to go, without getting you lost. As RV’ers, we all have a set of basic needs our GPS must fulfill. Beyond that, it’s completely up to you whether you want, and are willing to pay the extra money for certain features.

Pre-Loaded Maps

The first factor to consider is what maps you need pre-loaded in your GPS. That, of course depends on where you plan to travel. Many systems come with road maps for the entire United States and Canada loaded into their main memory. Some come with all of North America and some come with Europe as well. This gives you the luxury to go anywhere without worrying about whether or not you loaded the proper maps; it also makes the device ready-to-roll, right out of the box. Pre-loaded maps occupy part of the main memory of the GPS; any excess main memory can be used for additional maps, MP3 music, or custom POI’s. This brings us to memory capacity.

Memory Capacity

How much memory your GPS can hold is very important as well. If you purchase a unit that has very little extra main memory, and can’t be expanded; you may find yourself unable to add features or points-of-interest (POI) when you want. Many GPS models only contain enough main memory to hold their pre-loaded maps, with very little left over. This is only a problem if they do not have a memory expansion slot. A memory expansion slot allows you to add memory to the GPS should you ever need it. Most take a Secure Digital (SD) card for memory expansion. SD cards are inexpensive and a great way to add memory to your unit when you need it. More expensive units typically have a considerable amount of their main memory free for your use, and also have a memory expansion slot. Less expensive units typically use most or all of their main memory for built-in features, but most of them still have a memory expansion slot.

Text To Speach

Another important feature to look for is “text-to-speech.” Most voice-prompting GPS units will give an audio notification such as “Turn left in 300 feet” or “Take next exit.” A unit with a text-to-speech function will speak not only the direction but the name of the street as well: “Turn left onto Mulberry Lane in 300 feet” or “Take Exit 23A.” This is a huge help for many people, especially RV’ers, as they won’t even have to glance at the screen to know where to go.

Live Traffic Service

A great new feature to consider is live traffic service. Available in larger cities, a subscription to a traffic service gives you real-time, up-to-the-minute updates on traffic and road conditions. Freeway’s blocked from Exit 23 to Exit 29? Your GPS will notify you and offer an alternative route. After a free trial period, traffic service typically costs about $7/month. Some Garmin units also offer XM Radio services, so that you can get not only live traffic but XM Satellite Radio as well.

Even beyond a typical traffic service is the new Enhanced MSN Direct service. Many of the upper-end Garmin units, like the Nuvi 780 come with this capability. With MSN Direct, you can check the weather, avoid traffic backups, compare local gas prices, get enhanced movie listings, stock information, news and local events when you travel with your unit. Even plan trips from the convenience of your computer, via Windows Live Local, and then wirelessly send locations to your GPS. Like a traffic service, MSN Direct carries a monthly charge after the free trial period.

Bluetooth Enabled

One of the newest additions to GPS systems is the integration of a Bluetooth chip. If both your cell phone and GPS unit are Bluetooth-enabled, you’ll be able to pair them up for hands-free calling, dial-a-POI features, and more, making your automotive electronics suite completely integrated. Many campgrounds POI lists like the CoolRVToyz Ultimate RV Parks & Campgrounds Directory takes advantage of this feature on the Garmin GPS units and allows you to dial a campground hands-free from a touch of your GPS screen.

MP3 Enabled

Another new addition to GPS systems is the ability to play MP3 music. By loading your favorite MP3 music or audio book into your GPS you can play it either through the GPS’ speakers or your in-dash radio. Many of the better GPS units also come with an FM transmitter to link them directly to your in-dash radio so the music comes out of your vehicle’s stereo system. This is particularly useful since the GPS will automatically lower the volume of the music to give you directions, or if you receive a phone call.

Travel Guides and TourGuide(TM)

One of the most exciting new features is Garmin’s new TourGuide(TM) capability. With TourGuide(TM) you can purchase completely guided tours for your GPS. Start the TourGuide(TM) and simply follow the tour. Your GPS will guide you to points of interest, explain them and even show you photos. It’s like having your own tour guide right along for the ride.

Conclusion

Among the most popular GPS navigation systems for RV’ers are the Garmin nuvi 200, 360 and 680, the Lowrance iWAY 600C, the Garmin StreetPilot c550, the Magellan Maestro 4040 and CrossOver GPS, and the TomTom ONE 3rd Edition. So which GPS is the “best?” That depends entirely on your needs, your preferences and your budget.

Horse Riding Lesson Guide – Got Buyer’s Remorse? 5 Tips About Your Purchase Contract

As an attorney, I am often asked by newcomers taking horse riding lessons, what are the buyer’s legal rights when they buy a horse. You are governed by contract law which is defined in your state. It is imperative to have a written contract so that your agreement is less ambiguous and easier to define.

Generally speaking, and one of the most important horse riding lessons is that the buyer purchases a horse “AS IS”, meaning that the duty is on you, the buyer, to examine the horse prior to the purchase. Any defects gone unnoticed and found after the purchase are not a cause of action for a law suit against the seller. It is truly a “buyer beware” situation!

Of course, any agreement can change the “as is” nature of the transaction. You may include in your purchase contract, for example, that the horse is 8 years old and suitable for a child to ride. If you later find out that the horse is actually 15 years old and was used by the seller as in gymkhana events, you may very well have a cause of action against the seller!

1. The more you can get in writing, the better. At a minimum you should expect to receive a Bill Of Sale in which the horse is identified by name, age, breed, color, sex and any other identifying traits that distinguish him from another horse. If any of those elements of the contract are later found to be untrue, you may have a cause of action if the breach is material. For example, if the horse is said to be 6 years old and in fact he is 5 years old, you may not be damaged in the eyes of the law. If the horse is said to be 6 years old and he is in fact 18, you would be damaged because you are buying a horse whose lifespan is significantly less than you expected.

2. If you can prove (that’s the hard part) that the seller engaged in fraud, you can overcome a written contract just as in other civil contract cases. Fraud is difficult to prove, however, because it requires that you show the seller made an intentional misrepresentation designed to make you buy the horse. For example, if the seller knows the horse has navicular disease, yet tells the buyer he is totally sound, the buyer has a cause of action if he can prove the seller’s knowledge of that fact.

3. Besides the written contract, look also at the advertisement the seller may have published. The ad could contain specific statements that could be interpreted as part of the bargain. For example, a buyer who purchased a horse advertised as having “no vices” could likely successfully sue the seller if, immediately after the purchase, the horse turns out to be a terrible cribber. Even if the contract says you are buying the horse “as is”, the written ad would likely give the buyer recourse anyway.

4. If the seller has a higher, specific duty to you, then you may have recourse as well. If the seller was also your instructor, he or she has an affirmative duty to help you buy the right horse above and beyond the normal seller’s contractual obligations.

5. Determine whether the seller is subject to the UCC? The Uniform Commercial Code governs the sales of goods from “merchants”. In the horse business, a merchant would be someone who makes a regular income with horse transactions, like breeders and livestock agents. If the UCC applies, then the transaction will come with two implied warranties: merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. This will mean that, regardless of the contract, the horse must be reasonably sound and healthy as well as suited to the buyer’s purpose. These can only be excepted if done so in writing in the contract. So, look for that language!

Do not lose your head when it comes to buying a horse. This is the first horse riding lesson everyone should learn! Think things through and get it all in writing!

For more information on contracts go to http://www.horsebacklessonsguide.com or http://www.equestrianriderguide.com