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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't bought this system "YET", just looking for more information and seeing if anyone here has messed with it.



What GPS system to use has always been a bit topic I have seen. Some prefer to run 3rd Party Apps on a Tablet/Phone and others prefer the purpose built system. Either way you go I see it as personal preference. With that said, has anyone looked at the new Garmin Tread GPS? Looks like Garmin is designing a ATV / UTV specific system trying to get more into the off-road market. I know some people prefer Gaia Maps or other systems but this unit appears to have some potential with a lot of added features:

GPS Mapping
2-Way Comms: only 2 watts with a hand mic but budget friendly
Garmin Style Switch Pro capability: on Screen selections to power accessories
Decent memory storage for additional maps
Bluetooth
Add on Back up Camera


Those are just a couple of features. I use to run a Tablet with 3 different types of map data and i want something more purpose built without spending a whole lot. I dont need a $1500 Lowrance but also dont want to pay $200 for a tablet or something (yes prices vary). Current price for this system is about $700

I am not running a Baja race so not to worried about the map data comparison between Gaia, Garmin, OnX, etc. I generally map out areas before I ride anyway or carry some paper maps if i can get them. I also have my phone with COTREX, OnX, and EarthMate as back ups.

Whats everyone else's thoughts on this system?
 

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While I have no experience with this new setup I do have extensive experience with Garmin products from handheld to portable to aviation hardwired setups. Garmin makes fine products with one exception: their ability to use outside sources for mapping, routing, etc. All of their stuff is proprietary and map updates are always pricey. They will require their own software to use with a computer. There are workarounds to get it to use data or maps from ther sources but it’s not intuitive or user friendly. The radio itself is very limited in frequency range as well as power. Seriously 2 watts is ridiculously low especially in the MURS frequencies. I bet you can’t alter the programming either. This leaves you out when riding with guys that have Rugged or PCI systems as their frequencies won’t match yours with standard programming. No mention of an intercom feature on their radio and no mention of an interconnect for a helmet or headset. Maybe for the casual guy with a quiet utility UTV cruising on a Forest Service road with a few buddies leisurely it is a good integrated setup but it seems to me for the price it lacks features and power. I’m not bashing Garmin as they have been the leader in GPS technology for years but as new technology emerges, their shortcomings have been recognized and many who once though they were the “cat’s a$$” for navigation are realizing there are better and more versatile systems available at better prices with updated mapping automatically with a modest yearly subscription. For example, I had 3 separate Garmin products for a while. A handheld GPS only unit, a handheld GPS with Radio built in, and a portable aviation GPS. None of the mapping communicated with each other and there were multiple applications and cables that had to be used to connect them to a PC for updates, etc. Their mapping updates were costly and the quality of the map detail left something to be desired. IMO if you are looking for something totally integrated plug and play, ready to go and don’t need to see terrain detail or satellite imagery up close and don’t rely on the radio for safety when the group is spread out 2 miles or more then this system might be for you but good luck hearing that radio on the trail while riding in an X3.
 

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Be careful of one product does all. Usually combined units lack features in every component they combine and execute these in a poor manor.
 

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I run a Lowrance built into the dash and add my tablet when going to unfamiliar places.

hopefully this Garmin will allow you to download google maps and save them so that you can see detailed color zoomable maps ......really amazing for exploring new areas . A few Lowrance models allow this.
2 watts is pitiful , I assume it’s due to the size of the unit ??
 

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i think garmin fell into the - we are the biggest and best - got lazy and have now fell well behind. with 9" tablets for $150, and their first swing in the game is a 5" screen? disappointed that no intercom function was talked about. i have basically no knowledge about radios, but as jdpbflyer stated it seems like it doesn't have much range. will be interesting to see how it does and how future versions play out.
 
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i think garmin fell into the - we are the biggest and best - got lazy and have now fell well behind. with 9" tablets for $150, and their first swing in the game is a 5" screen? disappointed that no intercom function was talked about. i have basically no knowledge about radios, but as jdpbflyer stated it seems like it doesn't have much range. will be interesting to see how it does and how future versions play out.
5 inch screen has always been the norm for built in gps on sxs and off-road , Lowrance Baja was the one everyone used and it was a 5 inch . Most aftermarket cutout plates are for 5 inch.
But you’re right .....seems small now a days but bigger won’t fit some dashboards
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I agree mostly with what Mega said, a lot of features in a small package. Screen size being 5" is not to bad, the Garmin 276c Chart Plotter on my KTM 990 is that and works perfect. But at the same time how often are you really screaming down a road or trail and staring at the GPS also, just my thoughts.

Radio is weak but again I think they are marketing mainly toward those that ride in larger groups and stay relatively close, it does have Bluetooth so you can connect to compatibly in helmet style set up and work that way instead of the hand mic. A buddy and I tested our PCI set ups and made COMMS about 6-7 miles out. Yes, that far we plotted our locations on the maps and straight line was that far but these radios push 50W also.

The main thing i like is its a rugged system made for Off-Road unlike repurposing a Tablet. However i still agree with everyone else that it may have room to grow, would need to be able to take 3rd party map data to really set it apart from everyone else.

Thanks for the discussion on this. I want to move away from my Tablet but not sure what to. If only there was a cross between the Garmin Tread the Garmin Outlander but able to be customizable.
 

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Here’s a couple Lowrance gps screen shots ......screen sizes 5,7,9,11 inch
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just a thought, but has anyone looked into Jail Breaking a Garmin or other device? Seems like the biggest complaint is the versatility of Map Date and how Garmin likes its proprietary Map Data. Some like the Garmin Data and a lot prefer Gaia. Not sure if this would work or not but similar to how you can "Jail Break" a smart phone to run other non standard apps, can something from Garmin like the Overlander or this new Tread be capable of that?

Before i get yelled at, i know you can buy a Tablet for cheap and use it for more than just navigation but it isn't purpose built for off road use and is, I believe, more susceptible to damage. Yes i can go buy a Lowrance or something else, just asking for more thoughts. I like the ruggedness of the two new Garmin ones but as others stated, still limited in some capability.

I have ran Tablets in my X3, did ok but was not satisfied with its performance. Still had to put it in a Otter Box to protect from the elements, the additional screen protector collected more dust and made it difficult to view at time, went through 2 x Samsung Tablets that quit working after a year or so each. I had repurposed two i had for nothing but navigation and both started to malfunction after long use.

Just trying to get more additional thoughts on capabilities and use of what is out there.
 
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