Tell Your Garmin GPS Which Road to Take Using Via Points
My first via points were created to select one road over another to avoid congested areas. My home is on Long Island. To get to the mainland, I have to cross one of many bridges to go through New York City, where gridlock was invented. Would you let the GPS tell you what bridge to take? I have a via point for every bridge.
How It Works
A Garmin road GPS calculates a route based on shortest distance or other settings. If you prefer a different road, you can use via points to force the route the way you want. Having the ability to do this onboard the GPS is an advantage because it is always with you and it can be done in the car, as well as edited later.
The same technique can be used in Garmin BaseCamp on the computer and the data transferred to the GPS. That is outside the scope of this FAQ. A wealth of information on BaseCamp is already available in other FAQs on POI Factory and Garmin Support.
There are two categories of Garmin Road GPS. Newer models use Saved Places and Trips, and have the Trip Planner app onboard the GPS. Older models use Favorites and Routes. The newer and older models operate in exactly the same way, except that different names and different menus are used.
Locations of any type can be used as via points. Having lunch at a restaurant can be planned as a via point, but that is not what this FAQ is about. We will create new via points on your preferred road to be used only for the purpose of forcing the route/trip onto that road.
For newer road GPS units like the nuvi 55, 56, 57, 58, 65, 66, 67, 68, 2200, 2300, 2400, 2405, 2407, 2408, 2505, 2507, 2508, 2509, 2609, 2707, 2708, 2709, 3400, 3500, 3507, 3508, 3700 series devices, LIVE 1695, LIVE 2300, Camper/RV 760, dezl 560, 570, 760, 770, zumo 350, zumo 390, or zumo 590:
Creating a Via Point
While viewing the map, zoom in all the way in on the road you want to take. The lanes will separate for each direction. Choose an open area away from ramps or side roads. Touch the road and a blue circle appears. Touch the menu icon (three bars). Touch Save. Name the Saved Place something easily remembered, such as Route 17 Northbound. Then make another via point in the opposite direction for the return trip, such as Route 17 Southbound.
Creating a Trip
To use these via points, create a Trip, onboard the GPS, using the Trip Planner app. Touch Apps. Touch Trip Planner. (On some units, menus are different.) Touch New Trip. Select a Start Point and touch the plus sign + to select an End Point. Touch the plus sign + to add a via point. Select a via point you already created from Saved Places. Add another via point (up to 30 points total). All points can be reordered if necessary by dragging and dropping the orange arrow icons on the touch screen. Save the route and name it something easily remembered. After saving the route, look at it on the map to be sure the magenta line goes the way you want for the entire route. If not, add a via point and save it again.
For older road GPS units like the nuvi 465, 500, 700, 705, 800, 805, 1400, 1690, or 5000 series, and the zumo 200, 400, 500, or 600 series:
Creating a Via Point
While viewing the map, zoom in all the way on the road you want to take. The lanes will separate for each direction. Choose an open area away from ramps or side roads. Touch the road and an arrow appears. Touch Save. Name the Favorite something easily remembered such as Route 17 Northbound. Then make another via point in the opposite direction for the return trip, such as Route 17 Southbound.
Creating a Route
To use these via points, create a Route. Touch Where to? (On some units, menus are different.) Touch Routes. Touch New. Select a Start Point and an End Point. Touch the green plus + sign to add a via point. Select a via point you already created from Favorites. Add another via point (up to 200 points total). Save the route and name it something easily remembered. If necessary, once the route has been saved, it is possible to touch Edit and Manually Reorder Points. After saving the route, look at it on the map to be sure the magenta line goes the way you want for the entire route. If not, add a via point and save it again.
Driving the Trip/Route – All units
While navigating on a trip/route, you can navigate away from the trip/route with a "Where to," or drive away from it without navigating. You can then navigate back to the trip/route in the direction you are going. It is rejoined somewhere that makes sense, not the beginning.
Trips/routes can be edited at all times. If you are navigating on a trip/route, edit and save it. Navigate to the newly saved trip/route. Again, it is rejoined somewhere that makes sense, not the beginning.
With these skills, you can drive the scenic route. For example, create via points on Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia, a road the GPS would never take otherwise.
Garmin Support FAQs were of great assistance in checking facts.
This FAQ was developed from an online discussion at POI Factory created by canuk.
Each of the following posters participated in his/her own way toward the FAQ:
a_user, alandb, BarneyBadass, Box Car, canuk, charlesd45, dobs108, jgermann, Jim1348, metricman, rthibodaux, TXRVer, uber360