Review of the Garmin Streetpilot C550 GPS

When I first started RV’ing full-time, one of the first things I realized I was really in need of was a reliable GPS. It was essential to help me locate some of the more out-of-the way parks however that wasn’t the sole reason. The most valuable use of it was when navigating the town after we came to a stop. While traveling we made the decision to go to areas we’d never visited before , or had been to only once. Finding our way around town became easy once we had an GPS.

The first GPS I purchased was an Garmin Streetpilot C550. It proved to be an excellent investment. It has ample memory Text-to-Speach capabilities which allows it to speak the names of streets, Bluetooth to join to my cell phone, and the user interface is straightforward and easy to navigate. It took me a short time to determine that it was a good fit to what I needed a map for.

The primary benefit of the Streetpilot is its user-friendly interface. When you turn it on, you’ll be presented with two main options … Where To? as well as View Map. When you press Where To?, You now have 9 choices. One thing I love is the “Go Home” button. Each whenever we stopped for a moment, I simply told the GPS to indicate that it was now “home”. When we moved around town, all I had to do was tell the GPS I wanted to Go Home and it would take me back to my RV. That’s a nice feature after you’ve walked around a strange city all day and aren’t sure which direction you’re in with regards to the park you’re staying in. Visit:-

Another fantastic feature is the six million points-of-interest (POI) already in the GPS. Are you looking for Mexican food for dinner tonight? Click the Food, Hotels… button and search for what you’re looking for in terms of food or fuel, banks/ ATM’s, banks, etc. These POI’s are fantastic however they are not as plentiful in the RV Parks & Campgrounds. Garmin places RV Parks together with Campgrounds into the Lodging category and there’s not a lot of them. Unless you have the exact name for the place, they were difficult to locate, even the ones that were already included in the GPS.

Fortunately, Garmin built the C550 with plenty of memory as well as the capability of loading custom POI’s. That was the primary reason I started compiling The Ultimate RV Parks & Campgrounds Directory. I was frustrated with the information that was in the GPS. I looked over other RV Parks Directories but couldn’t locate any that had anywhere near all the RV Campgrounds in them. Most of them were decent but they were not in the completeness. Others had more parks, but their accuracy was not very good. So, I decided to draw on my expertise in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and computer databases. The result was the biggest RV Campgrounds Directory available anywhere It’s also growing. I was using it as we traveledand even gave it to some of my friends at first, but my friends thought it was a mistake to sell it.

Another feature that comes with C550 that C550 I use a lot is the Recently Found list. Each time you use the GPS to navigate to an address, it will save the exact location in its Found list. Then, all you need to do to go back to the location once more is to press the Recently Found button and there it is. The GPS has the 50 most recently found locations handy for you to return to.

Naturally, no device isn’t without flaws. The areas I felt were that were unsatisfactory in the C550 were the lack of a coordinate display, and the inability of it to reset it’s own timestamps while travelling. The C550 doesn’t provide you with an indication of the Latitude and Longitude of your current area. It’s quite uncomfortable. However, Garmin has fixed it in its Nuvi line. If you’re concerned about this it might be a good idea to check out the Nuvi instead of Streetpilot. I’ll be reviewing a Nuvi later, so check for updates.

Another issue is the fact that the C550 cannot adjust its internal timezone. It’s a little absurd considering that it’s an astronomical device that always “knows” the location it’s in. You’d think it would know that it was crossing into another time zone and then reset its settings accordingly. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the C550. You have to manually adjust the time zones when you travel.

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