If you are doing research before joining the more than 80,000 customers that have rented our camping and travel gear, or have already received your camping gear rental package from us, here's where you can learn about the setup and operation of specific camping or travel equipment before you head out on your big adventure.

The information below provides more details on how to operate the nuvi gps we rent for travel in the US, but we encourage you to give us a call or find more resources online if more details are needed. For more information on this rental item including rates, check out the main product page at Rent a GPS for auto travel in the US. There are more how-to pages on nearly all of our most popular rental items; find most at our video and user guide to rentals main page .

The GPS models we rent for car navigation in the lower 48 states are going to be some version of a Nuvi model from Garmin.  They all operate similarly.  While we buy new units and map chips every year, we hang on to them until failure, so the maps on our rental units will be 1-4 years old.  As with any navigational aid, believe your eyes over anything a compass or gps tells you!  Included in your gps rental will be the display unit, a DC power cable, and a suction cup attachment if you wish to put on the windshield (this is optional; some prefer having the unit in the hands of he passenger "navigator".

rent gps unit for US travel

The windshield attachments for your US gps rental are attached in various ways that are pretty intuitive once you see it.  Here's one common setup.

rental gps car windshield attachment

The specific Nuvi model we have rented you usually has the model number on the back.  Sometimes behind the mounting plate; otherwise typically on the bottom of the back side.  If you need additional operational guides, user manuals for each model are available online.

garmin nuvi gps renting for US travel

Once powered on, the main menu screen will allow you access to 3 main areas:  directions to a specific locations; viewing a map of your current area; or setting up the device for your specific needs

renting Garmin Nuvi models for the lower 48

To use any rented gps device, for auto or trail navigation, you need to capture satellite signals, which requires a clear shot to the sky - on your dashboard or otherwise outside.  Most gps devices will not work indoors. 

reading maps on rented gps units

Nuvi models have trip computers to reflect distance and time traveled and estimated arrival times.  Rest this as needed.

trip computer for US Garmin rental gps unit

This is important - to enter a specific address to route to, you need to first specify a general area nearby.  This box of "search near" may default to the last place used; edit this box to change to the destination area of interest. 

using address search in the lower 48 when renting a gps

To narrow down your search, most models go from biggest geographic area to smallest - country / state / city / street / house number.  

rent a gps for travel within the US

You can find a destination by street address, or points of interest by category

rented Garmin gps features and functions

One overlooked setting adjustment you may want to change is the way your movement on the display map is shown - "track up" always shows you direction headed upwards - sometimes that is easier since if the audio directions say 'turn left' you will be going left on the display screen.  Some prefer "north up" which will orient your travels as if on a paper map with northern direction being upward.  Experiment to see which you prefer; there are pros and cons either way. 

hire a gps for US travel

Here is an example video about the nuvi gps.  While this may not be the exact model you get, the principles of operation are very similar.