Garmin Overlander Navigation

Since september 2019 I am testdriving the new Garmin Overlander. Before I used the old Garmin 276, then the Garmin Montana and then the new Garmin 276CX came. I sold the Montana and…. the 276CX was very slow, not even delivering what the old 276 did. So then the Overlander came out.

Lets start with the biggest disadvantage. Transfering routes, maps, waypoints or tracks are not possible between PC and Garmin Overlander without internet!

The Overlander is advertised with as an OFF GRID device. But without internet there is now way to transfer your data.

This said. Since firmware 3.30 there is a workaround for GPX files and waypoints. You can plan your route in Garmin Basecamp, export it to an empty micro SD card and then via the EXPLORE app on the Garmin Overlander via Library, import them to your Garmin Overlander. The card must be empty or it will copy old gpx files again into the device.

I am wrote this while I was on firmware V3.40. Change logs are here.

It worked with it now on my trip to Norway. It is still not what I want, but it is workable. I still think Garmin should solve this issue fast!

Garmin overlander main screen
The start screen is adjustable.You can remove items or place them somewhere else. You can also swipe the whole screen and fill a blank page with icons. The icons can also be shortcuts to your favorite websites. For me these are the Victron Color control which is also connected via the wifi router. So I can see the status of the Solar panels etc.

The Navigator is an Android device filled with Garmin apps. You can not install your own apps. There are all preinstalled, which in my opinion is fine. The main apps are DRIVE for navigating and EXPLORE for getting indept maps and more planning tool.

To find your way around you can search in the installed maps but also pre-installed in iOverlander, ACSI, Tripadvisor, Campercontact, Trailerspark and Foursquare.

Overlander vehicle size
You can add your own truck, even with a trailer and set the size, weight and top speed. These settings are used for route planning.

Navigation is made very easy. I like the screen setup, how you can change the items in the sidebar and how easy it is to change zoom, and see your complete route. The route planning for large rigs like our expedition truck works a lot better then expected. The speedcamera info etc is accurate and map updates are available allmost everyday.

Tablet or Garmin Overlander

After I was dissatisfied about the 276cx I testen a lot of navigation apps on a tablet. OSMand, Gurumaps, maps.me etc. But none of them is as easy to use as the Garmin Overlander. I am also a lot less distracted from driving without all other apps on a tablet.

And?

I am happy so far. The Navigator is robust, does what it should do, is fast and the screens are all as they should be.

Must change!!

  • Transfering maps, routes, tracks between the Garmin Overlander and Basecamp via a USB cable!!!!!!
    It makes it a lot easier to manage routes, waypoints and also to transfer them. In a big part of the world is no internet available, or to expensive or to slow. To save my travels I want to export my tracks to my laptop also.
  • More route planning possibilities. I find it not to complicated to add a step. But I did not figure out how to change the order of your waypoints in a route or deleted for example the 3th waypoint in a planned route.
  • Install own maps.
    I am fine with Garmin charging money for maps, but some maps like China, Russia etc are not available. But there are OSM maps which do have this info. At the moment it is not possible to install these.
    Garmin replied on this: ” You can add other maps, however, if you add more topo type maps you view them in the drive side not the explore side. The explore side only uses the mapping available within it. View Maps Purchased as a Download or Pre-programmed SD Card for an Overlander Device You can change the settings to view the time on the screen when navigating in the drive app. Changing the Map Data Field “

Nice to have

  • The magnetic holder has a different USB cable (mini USB) then the chargeport at the Navigator itself (micro USB)
  • It would be nice to see the time when navigating. The time can be shown in de MAP DATA FIELD but then you can not see for example arrival time at the same time.
  • I would like to have a total trip counter like a odometer which is not that easy to erase.
  • A kilometer “timer” which gives a warning at a pre-set odometer number.
  • A build in HELP tool with a lot more info then there is now. Without Garmin support I had missed some options. The whole help section is webbased anyway. So lets copy it in to the Overlander Device.
  • Integrated dashcam. The Garmin Camper 785 has the same housing as the Overlander but for less then 30% of the price, the Camper edition has a built in dashcam.

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