Wednesday, May 25, 2016



Back to using the app -

Okay, we will continue now as if the problems never happened (or as will hope will eventually be corrected as to routing and we are ready to head off on our trip. The app navigates by GPS.  My Android 5.1 OS is different from my older phone. There is no GPS button to click to turn on GPS. In settings there is are "Location" settings. This sets to one of three settings - GPS, Wifi and mobile networks (which is the default setting), Wifi and Mobile Networks, or GPS only. Set "Location" to  "GPS, Wifi, and Mobile Networks" or "GPS only".  My phone defaults every time Location is turned on to the default GPS, Wifi, and Mobile Networks. I generally keep it off to save battery power. So, with GPS/Location on, you then open the app - if you have not entered your destination as we discussed above, do that and if you have, click on Continue Driving (shown when there is an active route in the app). The map will open to your current location. This photo is borrowed from the Copilot website. The image will move down as you drive with the big red arrowhead designating your RV as it travels along the route. When you are stopped that big red arrow turns into a red circle. You can also set the display to scroll in the actual direction you are going. The speed limit is shown on the display. You can also have a compass show on the display showing your direction. (Since my Roadtrek has the compass on the dash display, I turned this off in the app settings.) At the bottom you get - (left to right), total miles for the trip, the direction and miles to the next turn, and the estimated time of arrival which has been pretty close to actual drive time. Below that you have the next turn you will come to. On the right, the green line is the traffic monitor. Green is clear, yellow is a slow down and red is a traffic standstill. You can set this monitor to up to 100 miles ahead. As you get into any of the yellow or red areas, you will also see that color on the map on the road you are on. The profile that is in operation (which you have chosen) is shown by a symbol on the bottom. In this photo, it is set to a car profile. If this was set to an RV profile there would be a picture of an RV there. (See the photo below this and you will see the RV profile icon in that same place.)

 You can set points of interest to show up along the roads on the display. These appear as icons and the new Copilot RV GPS has redesigned icons from the other Copilot apps that are clearer in what they are. To identify what icon is which category go to the POI More Categories screen and look down the list of categories to see the matching icon.  Below is one of my photos of the app and you can see a restaurant icon in yellow on the display. Oh boy! See that traffic bar there is a slow down that goes to a standstill and back to a slow down ahead before we get to clear road!  You will also see Road Restrictions on the map - either for your specific profile settings or you can see all Road Restrictions including those that don't apply to you.

 The parkways here are No RVs  or trucks allowed and some of the overpasses are 7' - and on the display there are No Trucks Icons all along those roads - and you will not be routed onto those roads - unlike a popular RV specific standalone GPS unit that put us right on those roads! All entrance ramps on these roads are also marked as restricted with a different No Trucks symbol. There are plenty of low clearances on these particular roads but since they are marked for RVs as no entry and are not routed onto them, they do not show up on the display as low clearances. BUT - all other roads that you could be driving on - if you ignored the routing, they do show up marked at that spot with  "Low clearance" and the height. I was not seeing these as I have the Roadtrek height set for ten feet and they are over ten feet and the Road Restrictions Notices set to my profile only - but when I set the Road Restrictions setting to show all on the display - they all appeared - all around me here on the streets and RV permitted roads. Roads are also marked on the display if they are weight restricted and show the weight limit.

TEST: I wanted to see what would happen - driving in my car - with the Copilot RV app if I just happened to ignore the route and got onto a parkway. (This is a different test than detailed above.) I was hoping for an audible warning but it did not do that. It did direct me to get off every exit that I purposely passed in an attempt to get me off the road that I should not have been on. There are low clearances that I went through - in the car - that would have been a serious problem for the Roadtrek - even at ten feet. It did its job. Now one of those exits it told me to get off on was another parkway, but there would have been an exit on that parkway before I had gotten to a low clearance and would have directed me off before that.  Bottom line is, don't ignore the routing. It is set that way to keep your RV legal and safe.

As you approach a turn on a major roadway you will get an image come up on the screen that shows you what the exit looks like and what lane to be in to turn. You can set when this display comes up and how long it remains on the screen. You will also get lane arrows and what they call "Clear Turn" that you see in advance the lanes you need to be in and what the exit will be like as you approach it so that you are prepared in your not so easy to change lanes in suddenly RV.

Let's talk about traffic. As I have said, after the first year of free traffic (that you don't have to activate as soon as you get the app but when you want to so that it would last further into the next year, there is a one year subscription fee of $10 and it will use your data service and your data to alert you to traffic and route you around traffic. In addition to the traffic bar on the side of the screen, when there is a change in traffic along your route you hear "Traffic: X minutes added to your estimated time of arrival" with a screen that says keep driving or choose an alternate route around the traffic. You can just choose that alternate route without seeing it or you could have your partner look at see where it will go. DO NOT TRY TO DO THIS YOURSELF WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING. Frankly, I have found this annoying - and the Copilot car app does the same thing. I tend to ignore it and in less than a minute the screen goes away and you continue to drive into traffic. On a test trip - again in the car - we had this running and I had another feature set to ON - "Active Route". I did not really know what this is and have since found out. I ignored the alert that BIG traffic was ahead and as we got right up to where the traffic was starting there happened to be an exit and the app told me to turn off at the exit. I had not told the app to take an alternate route with the traffic warning that came up on the screen, but it was telling me to get off. I had never had this feature set on with the Copilot car app so I could not understand why it was taking me off onto a street. Well, I sometimes think that I know better than to follow some silly GPS onto a street in Queens, NY so we ignored that too. It tried to get me to go off at the exit following that which was close by. What it was doing was taking me onto the service road which was moving. We for the most part were standing still and we spent 45 minutes in that traffic jam. We should have listened to the Active Route alert because what it does is put you onto an active route that is moving that will get you to where you want to go. It would have taken us back on the freeway after the problem causing the traffic was past. This is a nice little feature - if you trust it - and it is on the Copilot car app.

Test: I have propane restrictions set on my RV profile to ON. This means use no road that says propane is not allowed. This is often some bridges and most tunnels. I had the Copilot RV GPS app route me from home into Virginia. The problem section of this trip are the two tunnels that go through Baltimore that do not permit propane. The app routed me on Route 695 which takes the Francis Scott Key Bridge around Baltimore and south - and that bridge allows propane. I had no influence on this route. It is the route that I have taken with the Roadtrek when I have routed myself with a map to Virginia down I95.  Good job!

Does it drain your phone battery as you are using it? Yes. It would have to, as any GPS app will do. It keeps the screen on all of the time while you are routing. There are settings that you could turn this off. I want to see the display and the route as I go.  If you have a phone screen that does very well in direct sunlight and does not glare, then you can leave your phone display setting dim. My phone, and my past phone have a lot of glare in direct sunlight - as does any GPS standalone unit I have had - and I need to set my screen brightness to 100% which - as a function of the phone and not any app - will drain the battery even faster. BUT, this has never been a problem for me with this or any other Nav app as I have a 12 volt adapter for my phone and plug it into the accessory socket on the dash when I am using a GPS app while traveling. When I get to my destination the phone is fully charged and I have not drained the battery at all along the trip with the GPS app running.

Alright. Let's compare this app to what else is out there for RV GPS routing. Other than RV specific GPS units there is not much - other than the current Copilot car app that currently includes an RV profile with limited settings. There is a Rand McNally RV GPS app which is basically the same software as in their standalone units. It is for Iphone only. There is no Android version. It sells for $99.95. If I thought that $59.99 was high for an app, that is way out. Plus I have used the Rand McNally RV specific GPS standalone app and that routed me right onto all of those parkways where I live that do not allow RVs and have low overpasses that would rip the roof off even a Roadtrek when the RV height on the unit was set to 13 feet and should have routed around everything.   I don't trust the Rand McNally RV GPS. It is one of the alternatives to this app. It sells for $314.00 with a seven inch display screen. It is the Rand McNally RVND 7730 LMRV. It does route around propane restrictions. It does not have traffic routing and a setting for hills (inclines/declines). As I say, it took me onto a road not meant for RVs. There is a TomTom RV specific GPS standalone unit. It is the TomTom VIA 1605M RV GPS Navigator. According to Amazon it is currently not available - and that tells a lot. I don't like TomTom GPS in general. There is one built into the dash of my Roadtrek and up until now I have used the Copilot car GPS app set to RV instead. The most recommended RV GPS is the Garmin. It is the Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS Navigator. It sells for $317.48 on Amazon. It also has a 7" screen. It includes lifetime maps and traffic. It has voice commands. It knows known tunnel restrictions, though it has no propane restriction settings. It has an elevation map that can be displayed on screen with steep grades and verbal warnings. When this came out I contacted Garmin and asked why there was no propane setting. They told me that they did not know that was important. They said they might consider it in the future. That was a long time ago. There is also a truck GPS line by Garmin called the DEZL and this has a truck profile and also an RV profile. The truck profile includes a setting for hazardous gas - not specifically propane but it would route around those propane restricted roads. The RV profile settings in the DEZL, like the Garmin RV GPS has no setting for propane restricted roads.  The DEZL sells for $369.99 on the Garmin website store. It is not available new on Amazon. When the DEZL was on display at Best Buy stores I tried it out. It routed me onto the no truck parkways when it was set to the RV profile. Problem!

Let's compare and talk money. What you get with the Garmin and the Rand standalones are the sharp turns and elevation warnings. They are 7" screens. Other than these warnings, the Copilot RV GPS app does all the rest that these do - perhaps better. With the Copilot if you want a 7" screen install it on a tablet and you now have a large display. My new phone has a five inch screen - as most phones now do - and that is large enough to clearly see in the Roadtrek or any RV on the dash (or car towing a trailer). Price for these RV standalone GPS units are both approximately $320. The Copilot RV GPS app sells usually for $59.99. $320 for either standalone minus $60 for the Copilot RV is $260 savings. After the first year, if you want to continue the traffic annual subscription at $10 a year you can buy 26 YEARS of traffic for the Copilot with the savings of $260. That makes it look even better to a budget limited me. You can move the app to a new phone when you get it so your display keeps improving and there will be updates for this app adding new features and correcting any problems.

What can't I do with the Copilot RV GPS app that I could do with the Garmin. I could create a routing with stops on my PC and transfer that to the Garmin. I can't do that with the Copilot. I would have to create the route right on the Copilot app and save it there. This is also what would need to be done with the Rand McNally RV GPS - this gives you 50 stops to route, and the Copilot also gives you fifty (if that featured worked more smoothly on the Copilot RV app).

As to other apps that do the same thing, other than the $100 Rand McNally RV app which is only for IOS and the current Copilot car app with RV profile, there are none. All other GPS apps are not specific to RVs. They do not route you around low overpasses or take RV specifics into their calculations of a route - and for an RV - especially a large RV these are very important. I have seen comments on forums that any GPS is OK for an RV, just download low clearance POIs and it will alert you to low overpasses. Well, I know a number of roads that have no exits right before low overpasses and I would hate to rely on a warning that I am about to hit a low overpass when there is no way to avoid it other than stopping in the middle of the road. Low clearance POIs are not going to work. You don't want to be routed on that road from the beginning. I have read in some forums that WAZE is a good GPS app - well, WAZE may be good for traffic alerts, but again, it is not routing your RV on roads that it needs to be - nor is Google maps. Plus WAZE needs a data plan actively running to work as the maps are on their server and not on your phone. WAZE also does not shut down in the background with its off button. It will still be using your battery unless you close it through the phone.

One of the most important things to know and understand about any GPS - not just this app - is that no GPS routing is perfect, or perfectly safe. Whenever you route a GPS, look at where it is taking you - you can do this by looking at the "Directions" - and then when you are driving, if something does not look right, if a turn it is telling you to make would take you off the side of the road - just ignore that turn and keep going in a safe direction. I am sure you are all intelligent enough to know and do this, but there are so many reports of drivers turning when the GPS told them to turn into a river or hazard that evidently some just follow orders and do what they are told. It sounds funny, but it can be deadly. (Just a little public service announcement - and now back to our scheduled program...)

Do I like the Copilot RV GPS app? I want to like it. There needs to be a resolution to all of the problems that I am encountering with this app - as detailed in this article.  As it is I cannot recommend it - especially since there is no trial version before you spend $50 or $60. It may be that this app has problems with Android 5.1.1 which is a very recent Android version and while there is now an Android 6, few phones other than very high end phones have it. It may be that it has problem with my particular phone. Perhaps other phone models and other versions of Android or the IOS version of the app have no problems at all. BUT, if it is happening with this Samsung phone with Android 5.1.1, what other phones will it have problems installed in? My concern is this - even if the problem occurs only once in awhile, can you put trust in the app to not do it when you might need the app's help the most?  As I have said, 97% of the time when setting the destination into the app and having it route OUTSIDE or in the RV or car, it has worked fine. Since the app is for RVs and once on your trip, you will be meeting that condition of being either outside or in the RV, the app works as it should. If you are willing to pay the price that is asked for this app, knowing this, then the app meets many of the needs of having an RV specific GPS navigation app.

Is it worth the money - if it worked 100% of the time as it is should? Complicated question depending on whether or not the Copilot car GPS app continues to include an RV profile. If it does not - then had I not gotten this app as I did, and I knew what I know now - which I have just shared with all of you in this article, I likely would buy it just to gain back the ability to route around low overpasses and propane restricted roads. Right now, for a Roadtrek, the original Copilot USA Premium app for $10 does all that I need it to do. If I had a Class A or Class C or a Travel Trailer, I would look to buy this app over Copilot USA Premium as it will meet the needs of an RV specific GPS app much more for such an RV.  I will add that I would be annoyed as all heck that the original Copilot after costing me ten bucks no longer had what I bought it for. I did not need a GPS app. I needed an RV GPS app when I bought it. And as I say, a Class B van RV, the Copilot car app set to RV does just enough to keep the Roadtrek off where it should not go. And, again, for an RV of any larger size, I would definitely want this new Copilot RV app. You can set in any height, length, width, and weight (up to 26000 pounds). BUT this is all contingent on if it it gets updated and fixed so that it works - regardless of phone or OS version.

Does the Copilot RV GPS app need some improvements? OH YES, and I have noted them all in this article as I see them right now. I know that Copilot will be reading this (and I told Copilot I would tell it like it is) and I am going to be looking for updates and a MAJOR FIX that will make some of these changes. Add tight/sharp turn warnings and elevation warnings and there is no question that this app would be the best and most reasonably priced choice for an RV GPS- IF it works. Unfortunately, there is no free try it before you buy it version. You can get that with the car app. You have to decide for yourself.

I will be making comments to this article when there are updates, especially the fix for the main problem  - and perhaps even amend this article if there are changes and improvements made with any updates that come out. As soon as I learn from the techs what they have found about this app based upon my experiences with it, I will share that with you. 

If you would like to visit Copilot's website and see this app here is a LINK to the RV app page.  If you go to the Play Store and look at this app, there is a video about the app. 

This has been a very long article that had to be split into two parts - another of my epics. Much longer than I had intended and it was intended to be one article in one part, not two. When I saw when I printed out the entire article that it was 19 pages single spaced, there was no choice but to split it into two parts.  And the problems kept adding more and more to this article. I looked to see an appropriate place to split it into two parts but there was no spot that would not have interfered with the flow of the article.  One of the things that I saw while using this app and in particular setting it up is that it really needs a manual specific to this app. There is a Help section on the app and this will take you to a "Users Guide" which is a manual type of guide for the generic Copilot collection of apps. It is not specific to the RV Copilot app and having a specific manual for this app would be useful particularly since there are settings and features to the RV specific app that are not on the car Copilot app. At one point a notice appeared on the app that said to click to see how to set RV settings. It basically said fill in the measurements in the boxes for your RV and save that. As I have always looked upon this site as a place for step by step how to's for the Roadtrek and RVs in general, as I went along writing this article I tried to include how tos within it for the Copilot RV GPS app in addition to opinions, tests, and a review of its functioning or lack there of. With this you should have a solid starting point to getting the most out if it, should you decide to buy it. And to Copilot - a detailed and illustrated manual to download from your website specifically for this app would be a nice addition.And please get this app to work as it is supposed to.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Right here at the start of this article I want to make something to my readers very clear and be right up front from the beginning. I have received this app without charge for the purposes of reviewing it here on this site. When I was offered the app for free, I told the company rep that contacted me that if I accepted the app for free and I reviewed it, my review would not be influenced by the manner in which I received the app - I told her that on this site I tell it like it is and don't hold back. I have never taken anything in return for an article on this site in the past and this is a first, and it will not become a habit or the norm here. Some will understand very clearly why I am going on with this explanation. I will also share with you how this all came about. I received an email at our Meryl and Me Hit the Road email address a few weeks back from the  Copilot US rep about their new RV specific GPS app - at a cost of $59.99. Two things went through my head reading this - 1) $59.99 is a lot of money for an app - any app and 2) Did this mean that the CoPilot regular USA app was no longer going to have an RV mode profile setting?.  I replied to the email - which also thanked me for the article that I wrote here in May 2014 about the CoPilot US car GPS app with RV mode included. So evidently, the article had been noticed by the company. My reply expressed my two concerns above - lots of money and what about the current app. I received an answer (which I actually did not expect to receive as so many companies don't want to hear the problems as they are launching something new) which said
"as of right now CoPilot has remained the same with the basic RV functionality" and the offer of the app was made so that I would install it, try it first hand, and review it here. So - "as of right now" tells me maybe in the future, if you want RV mode with Copilot USA Car app you either don't update the version anymore or you move to the RV specific app.  I will also add - which has nothing to do with this app - that when I received this email I was within a couple of weeks of getting a new cell phone, replacing the one that I have been using since just before we got the Roadtrek in 2011. (No contract cell phone plan that requires you buy the phone.)  So, I waited to get this new phone to download the Copilot GPS app and I have been learning the ins and outs of the phone as I have been testing this new app. But this is a good thing because I can also relate some of the differences with this app over the Copilot USA Car app in how it relates to a phone with Android OS 5.1.1.

Unfortunately, I have to also tell you something else before I start this article in regard to my testing of this new Copilot RV GPS app. I have been testing the app since early April. My intention was to post this article for you to read two weeks after I started testing, but I was finding a very significant problem with the app, that never occurred in my two years of experience with the Copilot USA Premium car app. I even installed Copilot USA Premium to my new phone to see if it was the phone or the Copilot RV app. Copilot USA Premium worked on the new phone as it always has on my former phone with no problem. That and the testing of two other GPS apps in the new phone did not result in the same problem the Copilot RV app was having. WAZE and Google Maps Nav worked perfectly.

Here is the problem. If a destination is put into the Copilot RV GPS app and calculated by the app inside a structure - in this case inside my house (as opposed to outside including out of any structure and being in the RV or a car) - when the phone is taken outside to start driving a trip, the app does not re-establish the GPS signal that the app had when the destination was set into it inside my house or a building, and when we started driving, the app did not detect any movement - at all. The screen icon that shows the location of the RV which is a solid red circle when stopped and becomes a red arrow when the vehicle is moving - showed the red circle at the initial position as stopped as it showed when it routed and that screen never changed. We did tests in which we drove for ten minutes and the screen never changed - and the app was not navigating as we drove. For a GPS app this is very serious. It is its main purpose. And it happened intermittently. Same circumstances repeated would not always result in the same thing. Sometimes it worked and navigated, but most of the time it did not. I looked at many different variables, tried different settings - thought for a few days that I had found the correct settings to resolve this - but no, then it happened again, and again and again. NOW - if you are outside or in the RV or a car and you always turn on the app there for the first time for a routing, set in your destination, and start to go, the app works as it should - about 97% of the time. BUT - there have been many times with the Copilot car app that I have set in my destination in the house the night before or even that morning before we leave and the next day, turn on the app as we are heading out the door, and tell it to continue the route it established when I set it, and it always worked. This new app does not. With the Copilot car app, if the app has a route calculated in it,  you could shut off the app for days - even shut off the phone -and when you got into the car or RV with the app and turned it on, it found the GPS signal and picked up the route exactly from where you are at that moment - instantly.  I even downloaded a GPS satellite app that locates all of the GPS satellites overhead and shows how many GPS satellites the phone is connected to at that moment. Inside my house there were over 13 GPS satellite connections. Outside that only increased to 14 or 15 satellite connections. The phone's GPS was locked onto satellites with a "3D" GPS fix. The phone's GPS is functioning normally - and as I have already said, it works just fine with the CoPilot USA Premium car app in the new phone. At that point I decided that I wanted to be fair to this company and contacted the person at Copilot who first contacted me and was then put in contact with a tech. The tech, who is on the app's development team, took all of the details that I had of what was occurring including a screen photo, and was going to consult with other techs. A few days later I was told that they were going to obtain the same phone that I am using with the same Android 5.1.1 OS and see if they could duplicate the problems I was finding. I told the tech that if I was informed of no resolution to this problem and what to do to fix it - or if there was to be no app update to correct this in the next two weeks when this article was rescheduled to be released, I would release the article noting this serious problem. Here is the article with no resolution yet. As you read the article I will detail some other problems encountered.

OK - here we go. This app is available for Android phones (all the way back to Android 2.3) and also IOS  (Iphone 3Gs or later and IOS 6 or greater). It is purchased at Google Play or the Apple App Store. The price for the app is $59.99 and at this moment, the app is discounted to $49.99 as an introductory offer and I do not know how long that offer will last. The app includes one free year of a subscription traffic service which will then cost $10 per year which is the same as is offered with other Copilot apps. Traffic is powered by INRIX which is apparently a big deal in traffic GPS services. To use traffic when traveling you do need an active data connection. From my experience with the Copilot car app on a four hour trip with the traffic service turned on very little data was used.

The Android app installs to your phone in a matter of a few minutes and can be moved to your SD card. In my Android 5.1.1 phone that means the external SD card which is a function of the OS and not the app. You start the app and go right into set up of the app which includes submitting an email address and password which is used for an included backup feature should you decide to move the app to another device and don't want to lose some - not all - settings. You are then asked to download maps. Maps are FREE just as they are in other versions of Copilot. This RV app includes maps of the US and Canada. You are downloading the maps to your phone so that you need NO data to use the app while on the road to navigate. Set the maps right off to download only using wifi. These map files are very large files and will use a lot of data to download should you use your data plan to do so. This is no different from the other versions of CoPilot - there is ONE very major difference. At the top of the maps list it says - Download to Device/Download to SD card!. This is something that Copilot users have been asking for for years. It was not included on the last update that I got of the car Copilot app. I decided to download - at the moment - only the Eastern states map which includes Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia. This was a 430 MB download. I did not install the Southern States that includes the rest of the East Coast. That would have been an additional 700 MB download. From here you could also install - any or all - Midwest, Plains and Rockies, Southwest, Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rick. You can install the entire US all at once if you want with one click. or all of North America. All of North America is 2.36 GB, all of US is 2.14 GB, and all of Canada is 386.9 MB. With the ability to put these on the external SD card with a 32 or 64 GB card you are not going to be overwhelmed if you want them all. I checked after installing the maps and they are in a folder on my external SD card. Perhaps this is because Android 5.1 allows this - I don't know. I do know that there is no such choice in the Copilot car app. You can add or remove any maps at any time. There are map updates during the year - and these are free. You can also submit map corrections through the app.

You will now want to set up an RV profile which is easy to do - and you can set up several different ones if you wish - each able to be saved with a different profile name. I named and saved mine as Roadtrek. You will go to this screen and select Vehicle Routing Profiles.

Next on this screen - select RV and then at the bottom of the screen select "VIEW/EDIT" and you will come to this screen -

You can see here the settings you have to enter. You can display Road Restrictions on the map - either all or only those pertaining to this profile based on your settings or none at all. This is a feature of this RV app.  I will talk about these further in this article. Enable Active Routes that you see on this screen will work with the Traffic feature. I will also talk about this further on when I talk about traffic routing. At this point the app is very close to the Copilot car app settings when setting up a profile for an RV - but instead of having only two height restriction choices you now have an entire screen of RV specific settings.  

What you see in the photo above are the default settings for the RV profile. You can change every one of them. Total weight is has a MAXIMUM of 26000 pounds. I read a criticism of this from someone BUT I have to wonder what RV is over 26000 pounds. Perhaps the largest class A. If you are reading this and own an RV over 26000 pounds you cannot set he weight any heavier. For most of us however, this should not be a problem. I filled in these settings with numbers that applies to my Roadtrek. My Roadtrek is 8' 10" tall. I like to keep at least one foot over that for any overpass I am going to drive under so I set this for my Roadtrek to 10 feet. I used the specs from Roadtrek for my 2011 190 and entered the rest of the numbers. 

As we are are going through this - see the left pointing arrow on the top left of the photo on the display. Only use that arrow to go back to a screen before or back in the app. If you use your phone's back button, you will get a screen that asks if you want to close the app. This is something that Copilot added in their apps since I first got the car app. It is a good thing as before this, if you needed to close the app you needed to scroll through screens on the app to find an off button - now there are more of those and all you really have to do is go to your phones back arrow and shut off the app. If you shut off the app, when you turn it back on it will go to an opening screen that will say "Continue driving" or "New destination". You will go right back to the current route. And this works even if you shut the phone completely off. 

So go back with that left arrow and you come to the screen two photos above again for RV settings. What is not visible in the photo is a selection at the bottom that says "ROAD PREFERENCES" which takes you to this screen. 

Above you see what is on that screen and the screen scrolls down further to show "Local Roads". With these settings you get  - strongly favor, favor, neutral, avoid, strongly avoid - and this will be taken into account when you are being routed. Never want to go on a freeway - if it is possible to get where you are going without one, set it to strongly avoid. I like freeways so I set this to Favor.  You have to try these settings for each road type yourself and find the combination of avoids and favors or neutrals that you like.

These are all of the RV settings. There is also a Car Profile - yes you can set this RV GPS app for a car - which is very good if you are towing a trailer and want to then use your car when you get to your destination or if you are towing a car and will be using your car to get around. There are also a Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Walking profiles that you can set up and select.

What the RV settings do not have that some other RV GPS stand alone units have  - there is no setting to avoid or not avoid sharp turns or to avoid or not avoid steep inclines or declines. HOWEVER - the RV routing does take these into account and will route around them on the Copilot RV GPS app. It does not warn you that there are sharp turns ahead or a steep incline or decline ahead. I tried to test this on one of my test trips. The route that the app set for me to drive routed around an area that I knew had sharp curves. I turned down that road anyway. It did not warn me - and there was no way off this road without going through more sharp turns so it kept me going to the main road that I knew was at the end of this area. Was I going around hairpin turns - no. The road was posted with curves ahead. Interestingly, I have discovered that there is a European version of this RV app - or rather in Europe it is called a "Caravan" app ("caravan" is RV or Travel Trailer in Europe) and that app does have settings for sharp turns and inclines and does warn when you are coming to them. The European app is not on Google Play and it is only mentioned on a chart comparing Copilot apps on their own website. When this app is updated, hopefully they will add these alerts to the North American version also. For the time being, follow the route that it tells you to take and you will not be on a route with sharp turns or inclines (unless there is no other way to go).

There are other non-RV settings. There are several map styles - day and night to choose from. You need to select the voice that it will use to tell you turn by turn directions using street names. You first select your language and then that takes you to voice selection. Choose your phone's own voice for turn by turn with streets spoken directions. If you choose one of the other voices you will get only turn by turn directions with no street names. This is common to all GPS units - not all voices speak street names. Tweak the phone in your phone's own settings - you can also choose other voices there if your phone's manufacturer provides them or install a different voice engine to your phone for other voices. You can also set the distances you want to be alerted to turn. Go through the menu for various other settings.   

With your RV profile set you are ready to hit the road. Before you start routing make sure that GPS or "Location" is turned on in your phone BEFORE you start routing - and also when you are traveling using the app.  You can route by address you enter, points of interest,  places that you have saved, addresses in your phone's contacts, by selecting a point on the map, or by entering coordinates. With
"My Places" which is places you have saved, it puts them into one of two categories of your choosing - one is HOME and the other is WORK. You can have several in each of these categories. It really is not like a "favorites" list in structure but it functions as one.

Routing and Points of Interest -

I have had problems overall with searching for points of interest and with some of the routing that this RV GPS is doing. When you select Points of Interest this is the first screen that comes up - 

The scroll lines are camera artifacts from the phone display. Here you see Truck Stops, Campgrounds, and RV Services.  If you want the other standard POI categories that are not RV related select More Categories and they will all come up. I have looked in areas that I know the campgrounds and all have been on the list that comes up. I did the same with RV services and here there was a problem. My Roadtrek comes from a large RV dealership and service center in Souderton, PA. - Fretz RV. It is not on the list! Not good. Another RV dealership in that town does come up and it is just down the road from Fretz. I tried this - I entered Fretz RV into Search All which searches all categories - and there is was! I don't really understand this and it is listed under auto dealerships. I don't know who controls what POIs are included or what categories they go in. It may be done by the map service company that supplies the maps or it may be Copilot. This is an RV specific GPS app and it needs to be as complete as possible in its RV POIs.  I tested routes to several local places that did not come up on the POI listings which surprised me. We were going to a COSTCO store in the next county. This is one of the oldest COSTCO stores on Long Island. It did not have this specific COSTCO included in the POIs. I searched COSTCO in the town it is located and it did not come up on the list. Every other COSTCO for miles and miles around came up. I looked at the map at that location - not there. OK - simpler. I went to the Municipal categories - entered our local post office - not there. Other post offices came up all around this town. Not this one and it has its own zip code.  I went a step further and pulled out my old phone with the Copilot car app on it still. I searched POIs for this COSTCO - there it was, but the Copilot car app has been updated and now the POIs that are missing on Copilot RV are missing on CoPilot USA Premium as well.  I did the same for the post office - no post office prior to the update on the car app. There was also no POI for a popular children's amusement park on Long Island - Adventureland in Farmingdale, NY - it is a small park but an attraction here for families. It does also does not know a large county operated museum village restoration which is one of the few attractions and well known museums in this county. I also did a test drive with POI alerts set to tell me that gas stations are coming up. On a main road we past ten gas stations that were not shown on the map and therefore no alerts. On another more major road we passed four gas stations and no alert with no POI shown for those gas stations. On another major road we did get gas station alerts for 2 out of 3 stations that we passed. I realize that it cannot know all local gas stations, but it seems to know every little cafe we pass - all shown with POI icons on the map. POIs are lacking. Some of the categories POIs that are there are odd.  If this is determined by Copilot they need to adjust some POIs - especially the RV services and add some. If something is found in the same category on the car app, if it was the map company's fault it would not come up on the maps in the other CoPilot app.  I do not see a way to add POIs to a category yourself. You can make a My Places listing if it is someplace not in the POIs. You could also add it to your Contacts with the address on your phone. This is only fine if you know of the POI to add it in advance. If you are traveling and need gas, you need to know that there is a gas station coming up and from my test, it may or may not be there on the map. You can also add POI categories full of POIs of your choosing through third party POI websites - poifactory is a good one and they have directions there on how to add POIs to Copilot. You can set the map to display POI categories of your choosing and you will see icons on the maps for locations of those categories. There is a way to set alerts to POIs ahead at a specified number of miles. One problem is that the alert says "Point of Interest" instead of "Rest Area Ahead" or "Gas Station Ahead". It does now show the POI icon on the upper left of the screen for the alert. I asked Copilot on their website forum for this to be changed a couple of years ago for the car app and they said maybe. So far it is the same, though now with the RV app there is the Icon. Why is this important" If you only have one POI category alert set, it is not a problem as you know whenever it says "Point of Interest" there is a Rest Area coming up - if that is the POI you have set to alert, but if you have more than one POI set to alert you to you will not know which one is coming up - unless you look closely at the screen to identify the Icon - which is a VERY dangerous thing to do while you are driving. One other thing to be aware of is that there is a Speed Camera and Traffic Light Camera combined POI but it is greyed out in settings and this apparently is specific to USA installations. When I asked Copilot about this with the car app I was told that it is not legal for them to include this feature on USA maps. I was surprised at that then and still am, as all GPS US units have this feature - some charge extra for it and some include it. You can download traffic light camera and speed camera POI files from, poifactory for free IF you participate in their forum for a specific number of posts and discussions.

One other thing about POIs and this app - when you get to the POI screen of POIs AFTER you select a category. If you just search you are searching locally and what you see when you get to that screen are local POIs where you currently are per the GPS. At the top it says "Search Nearby". If you click on that you will see a list - pick "In another city" - and enter the zip or town name and state. You will then be searching in that location. 

You can also set up a trip with up to 50 stops - or 50 places you want to travel through on one trip with one routing. This sounds great - just like the big RV GPS units have - but getting a setting for a route is a little tricky. The first stop that you set on this app is the current location that you are in. On the original Copilot USA Premium car app with limited RV mode, the first stop that you put in is your first stop and the GPS automatically starts from wherever you are. This does not seem to do this. You have to add that or it starts from the actual first stop you want to stop at. It does not take you there - at least in my tests it has not. You can add up to 50 stops all together. If you click on options you get a menu that lets you load a route, save a route, or optimize the stops. If it optimizes the stops it will take you to stops in distance order rather than the order you may want to go to them in. You can also tap on each stop on the list and another menu comes up on the screen allowing you to re-position that stop to whatever order you would like to move it to or if you wish delete it all together. You can also change a stop to a waypoint - meaning that you will be routed to pass by this stop rather than stop at it. If you do not plan to actually stop and go right to the door of the location you have put in, make it a waypoint. Be alert to this when planning a trip. Also, always remember to save and name any route that you put in. I did a few test drives with routes planned.

I made several test drives with routes planned. On one, I started driving and it was sending me to Walmart which was the first actual stop I wanted to go to. I did not set this to a "waypoint" - and perhaps I should have.  Once I got to the Walmart parking lot I turned where it told me to turn to get into the parking lot and it started directing me out the exit. It wanted me to go around and come back in again. I did not drive up to the door of the Walmart and it did not know I was there. I decided to follow what it wanted me to do - perhaps it was now directing me home. I followed its first two directions and as I past the Walmart entrance where it had told me to turn in to Walmart the first time, it now directed me to go in again. I gave up at that point and decided to proceed to the next stop which was my home. I passed that entrance to Walmart and figured that the route would now move on to the next and last stop - home. It kept telling me to turn around. I kept going toward home. At every street I passed it was telling me to head back to Walmart. I pulled over and shut it off and went home on my own. I repeated the planned trip again, this time setting Walmart to a waypoint - no need to stop - and when I got into the parking lot it started all over again telling me to go around, come back in, the whole bit it did the last time - but this time I drove through the parking lot - passed all of the parking spaces and drove up to the front door of the store. At that point it finally recognized that I was at Walmart and it started to route me to the next stop - home. I have never had a GPS with a planned route do this. They always recognized any place in the parking lot or the property as the destination. This is something that happens other than with planned trips. You destination is reached in a specific spot that it decides is the end of the trip. For most places, you know you are there, stop, get out, and clear the route, but with this, if you don't clear the route it wants to keep going to get you to that unknown exact spot. While a 50 stop trip planning and trip editing feature is good to have, this app needs some work in how to plan a trip and how it actually gets you to those stops.

Using normal routing, you enter your destination to where you want to go, it will find it and then you will see Go - there may also be up to three alternative routes to choose from. This is important because it may like to go in a way that you may not want to go. Each alternative route will be one based on your settings as well as the original is. Here is my test - take me from Long Island to Lancaster, PA. For some reason, RV and truck GPS devices want to take a route heading north off of Long Island and into the Bronx and then into New Jersey. Perhaps this is the shortest route, but it is not a way that I want to go. I want to avoid the New York City as much as possible. I like to go by the Long Island Expressway if I am in the RV to the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway (yes, in the city but familiar - and there is no way off Long Island without going through some part of NYC) and then over the Verrazano  Bridge, through Staten Island and over another bridge into New Jersey onto the NJ Turnpike. One of the alternate routes went just that way! I selected that and I had a route I liked much better. You can also go to the route map and it will say Drag to Edit. Zoom in close to where you want to change the route and put your finger on the current route and drag it to a road you want to use. It will recalculate the route that way. Also - if you look on the list of directions you can click on any one and say avoid - and it will calculate a route avoiding that part of the directions.

Another test - above is what the route screen looks like before you accept it and tell it to go. I put this route in to Charlottesville, VA on Meryl's suggestion. At the very end to get to the campground, the campground website says not to come in onto the road the campground is located on from the west as the section of that road on the west end is very curvy. Frankly, we have been on that road from both directions and it is curvy but not terrible - at least for the Roadtrek. Perhaps it was taking the Roadtrek's settings that I put in into account but the route RV Copilot routed brought you in from the west. I looked to see how to prevent this and the way that I could do it was to drag the route to the east end of that road and it then took a completely different route down in this area to the campground road so that you can come in from the east. I tried resetting routing to the default RV settings - it still went from the direction that the campground says not to take. Again, a sharp turns setting would be valuable for this app. This combined with incline/decline warnings would be an important update.

When you have a route in, you can see your route by tapping on the lower left corner of the screen where you see six blue squares. With a route set, you will see a place, "My Route", to click to view the route  on a map as shown in the photo above. You will then see the entire route on the map. With this there is a GO on the bottom that takes you back to the main screen and the road you are on. There is also a place on that same menu to see all of the directions along your route - all of the turns from start to finish. Click on any turn and you can tell the app to avoid that and it will send you around that. Here is a problem with going to the Directions screen - you can't go back to the main driving  screen unless you click the blue boxes on the bottom again, go to that same menu that took you here and then click on "3D map" to get back to the driving screen. Too many steps when a simple MAP button on the top of this display could take you back to the driving map. This MAP button is on many other screens BUT not this one! Minor annoyance but it took me ten minutes to figure out how to get off that directions screen.

Map view can be turned off and you can have the list of directions with the next turn shown bold and large if you don't want the distraction of the moving map. You can also freeze map motion if it distracts you. There is also a choice of 2D maps or the usual GPS display of 3D maps.

While you are stopped you can do local searches through the app to Yelp, Wikipedia, or Google. While driving it is best if a passenger does this for you with the app. You can also access local weather reports. It will also find nearby parking, but not necessarily RV parking. These all do require that you have data service. How could they work otherwise?

Some of this app's routings are marginal. It will get you to about the correct place but then will tell you to turn left when the destination is on the right. I never encountered that with the Copilot USA Premium car app before - but while testing this RV app, I loaded that on the new phone and downloaded maps - and the POIs that were there before on the last map on the car app are not longer there on this one - just like the RV app - they would have to be the same maps and POI listings. Copilot gets its maps from a know GPS map source and they should be better than they suddenly are. In the past they have always kept up with road changes and new additions. A navigation GPS app is only as good as its maps and Copilot's have been excellent in the past. I do not recall any trip with Copilot USA Premium telling me our destination was somewhere other than where it actually is.

Routing is also a big issue, especially with an RV specific GPS app if it is sending you somewhere incorrectly or in the wrong direction. On two tests the app was sending the RV to a location that is reached on a large local road. Both times I was directed to "Turn right on "ramp" to X Avenue" (which is the road that the destination is on but not the road we needed to turn on to get there). It was sending me onto an entrance ramp for a local parkway - which happens to be a ramp that has two exits from it not onto the parkway, but still not to "X Avenue". And that parkway ramp is clearly marked NO Vehicles Over 7'10" and "X Avenue" is never mentioned on the sign. The road we should have been directed to turn on comes right before that ramp and runs parallel to the ramp. This is all happening with the app set to RV profile! I knew enough - because I live nearby - to not get on there with the RV - BUT I did repeat the routing in RV profile while driving the car and followed where it was saying to go and what it was saying was so confusing as nothing mentions "X Avenue" until you actually get onto the Parkway itself - and then it was too late since as soon as I got on had I been an 11 foot tall RV I would have ripped the roof off on the 11 foot overpass that was right after that entrance. Bang! I am sure that the app did not intend one to get on the parkway itself, but it never identified either of those two ways off that ramp correctly - and those two exits never intersect "X Avenue" but take you to the road that I would have turned on to begin with. With any GPS and especially an RV GPS one cannot always know the area that it is routing on or through. I know what to avoid here because I have been there before. You are not supposed to have to know every area and road you will get on that the app is sending you on. And if you need to check each turn it is taking as you drive with a map, just use a map and forget the app. I well understand when using any GPS be aware of the route before you start - but this takes that to too much of an extreme.