Monday, October 22, 2012

After-market Garmin Maps for Central America

Buyer Beware!!

Our Jeep's dashboard package came with a built-in Garmin/NavTeq GPS system. Familiar with the Garmin product, we were happy to have it incorporated into the dashboard, so there would be no tell-tale windshield ring residue inviting trouble.

I, in my indubitable wisdom, decided to plug in addresses for Mexico and Belize while sitting in our driveway in Nashville. Lo and behold, the Mexico map zeroed in on its destination; Belize, however, did not exist!!! Uh oh, now what? Further investigation lead me back to the dealership in search of an owner's manual, where I was told, "It's a satellite connection, should be no problem." But it is. In further discussion--with a salesman, who was a techy--I found out there are no Central American maps pre-installed on this particular system AND there is no way to install them after market!! AND there is no owner's manual for this GPS system-it does not match up with the GPS system represented in the owner's manual supplied with the vehicle!! WHAAAT?? 

After trying to call Garmin's customer support twice--and refusing to hold for a 40 minute wait, Google happened. 

Here's what we discovered

The Central American maps are ALL after-market and have to be downloaded from your computer to the GPS device via the USB port. We had to purchase a 2nd Garmin, we chose a Nuvi 2555LMT, to accept the download! Yes, we now have 2 devices.

For all you techies out there, in order to get Central American maps installed, check your device's specs and go to www.gpstravelmaps.com. We chose to install the Central American package, covering all countries. Individual countries are also available.  You may also view the maps, and pre-plan a route on www.garmin.com/basecamp. It's free for both Mac and Windows.

After all that, we'll be traveling with dueling GPS's on the dashboard through Mexico--we shouldn't get lost.................

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