I downloaded and installed the most recent Rest Area Combined file (12/09/2014).
However the Rest Areas BMP Icon does not appear on my Garmin Nuvi 2595 until I am within 0.2 miles of the point.
How do I change the Rest Areas BMP to appear 5 miles or so in advance of the point, so I can discuss with my better half whether to utilize this area and get in the proper lane..
The icon position likely shows at the beginning of the ramp to the rest area. If you want a warning 5 miles ahead, you need to set a proximity alert 5 miles ahead. However, this will be an audible warning, not a repositioning of the icon.
However, I don't see a need to set so far ahead. All mine are set 2500 meters (1.5 miles) and we find this is more than adequate.
When my alert says "Rest Area Ahead", I say the four magic words, "Need a pee break?". The answer is "Yes" or "No" and we still have lots of time to get into the right hand lane, to catch the ramp.
If you don't have a voice alert, contact me and I'll be happy to send the appropriate wav file.
For me, the Rest Areas Combined POIs have my largest alert distance: about three miles. That gives me about two miles to see the Rest Area highway sign
How to install audio alerts:
You can create your own custom wav audio file or use the Rest Areas.wav available on the Rest Areas Combined page.
You have received several great comments about your request regarding rest stops. GPS Geek is correct in stating the icon won't move as it does mark the coordinates used in the POI. The point at which it displays is limited to around two miles from the actual location because that is about all the distance displayed on the Nuvi screen when traveling at highway speed.
Rather than considering a fixed distance for sounding a verbal alert based on the suggestions here, try considering the amount of time you or your passengers would need to reach a decision on if to stop. You can use the rule of thumb of a minute a mile to plan on setting the distance. A two minute warning works out to about 2 miles or 10,600 feet. Personally, my wife and I find that 5300 feet works for us. That gives us about a minute lead time which we find is enough to shift lanes if needed.
The main point is to consider time as an element in setting proximity alerts rather than distance as the only factor.
I like a little more time...some of the rest areas require a right hard off ramp, but occasionally they require a left hand ramp (between the two sides of the divided highway).
I just need that few moments extra...lol
The beauty of custom POI files is that we can tweak them to suit our particular needs. As previously noted the .bmp file is simply a map pin that identifies the entrance to a rest area. Depending on the model of the gps receiver, either an appropriate .wav or .mp3 file will provide an audible indication of the upcoming location. The alert distance for a given file can be manipulated by setting the proximity value in a .gpx file or by renaming a .csv file with distance in feet or meters, or simply running POI Loader in manual mode and setting the desired alert distance for a particular file. Each method has its value depending on the experience of the user.
While many of the newer Garmin GPS receivers feature lane guidance, I haven't noticed that this applies to custom POI, particularly those used as waypoints. Those of us who drive RVs and big rigs especially know the importance of correct lane position well in advance of our exit. In the US, most rest areas are generally posted at 1 mile and while most are on the right, I have come across some that are in the center median, often but not always on toll roads. For that reason, I have set my distance alert at 10,000' to give me a heads-up to be looking for the sign that will advise if the exit is on the left. 10k @ 65mph is about the needed distance to get a response to my question if anyone needs to stop. YMMV
There is always a highway sign 1 mile in advance of a Rest Area but it is sometimes obscured by a truck or large trailer. I keep my Rest Area Alert set for a distance of 2 miles (10,560 feet) and we never have to rush or end up missing a rest area. It is a truly wonderful alert to have in place.
All my custom POI's except Cracker Barrel and Rest Areas are set for 2000 feet...
Rest Areas are set for 12000 feet
Cracker Barrel is also set for 12000 feet, but also as a TourGuide..
Some of the Interstates here get pretty crowded and I find a 2 mile warning gives me plenty of time to get safely get over
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