Rand McNally Road Atlas | Product Review | Large Scale vs Motor Carrier version

Rand McNally Road Atlas | Product Review | Large Scale vs Motor Carrier version

Rand McNally Road Atlas Spiral Bound – Large Scale and Motor Carrier Versions. Note the 2018 versions have just been released!

2020 Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas (USA, Spiral Bound)
2018 Rand McNally Deluxe Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas (Spiral Bound)

We actually have both versions of the Rand McNally Road Atlas and each have their pros and cons, so watch the video to determine which one is going to be best for your needs. While we see the benefits of the motor carrier’s version (which is about $50) we actually prefer the Large Scale version at under $20, as we like the larger maps and the ability to see more detail of the smaller towns we may want to visit on our travels. The Motor Carrier version is designed for truckers but it also useful for large RVs and makes it easy to see and highlight your route on the big roads.

1. Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas
The large pages in this spiral-bound Large Scale edition make it easy to see the detail of towns and roads. Contains maps of every U.S. state that are 35% larger than the standard atlas version plus over 350 detailed city inset and national park maps and a comprehensive, unabridged index. Road construction and conditions contact information for every state conveniently located above the maps. Contains mileage chart showing distances between 77 North American cities and national parks with driving times map. Tough spiral binding allows the book to lay open easily which is a great feature for travel planning.

Other Features
Best of the Road® – Rand McNally’s Editor features favorite road trips from their Best of the Road® collection which follows scenic routes along stretches of coastline, both east and west, to forests, mountains and prairies; and through small towns and big cities. For road trippers heading out on weekends, vacations or longer trips.

Tourism websites and phone numbers for every U.S. state and Canadian province included on map pages

Dimensions: 10.375″ x 15.375″


2. Rand McNally Road Atlas Motor Carrier Edition (Laminated Pages)

The laminated and spiral bound Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas is for heavy-duty users. This is the #1 selling trucker’s road atlas in North America, and also suitable for large RVs. With laminated pages and spiral binding, the Deluxe Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas can stand up to all of the wear-and-tear from the road.

Other Features
• Durable, laminated pages stand up to stains and liquids, and won’t show signs of normal wear-and-tear
• Tough spiral binding allows the book to lay open easily
• Detailed coverage of state and national designated routes
• Updated restricted routes, low clearance, and weigh station locations
• 22-page mileage directory including more than 40,000 truck-route-specific, city-to-city mileage
• Road construction and conditions hotlines
• Updated coverage of hazardous materials regulations
• Easy-to-use chart of state and provincial permit agency phone numbers and websites

Dimensions: 11.25 x 15.375


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  1. ConsumingFire12 on November 23, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    good review thanks

  2. peterdement on November 23, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    Marc, does Rand/Mcnally offer a digital version for an iPad? Stored on the device not dependent on GPS

  3. InnerPeaceCoachingdotcom on November 23, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    I have had a Rand McNally road atlas since hitting the road at 16!
    Love my motor carrier laminated road atlas I got earlier this year – it is perfect for use with my new to me rv now!!!
    Like you Mark, I don’t like gps = and never use it to plan my route, I prefer to go old school as well!

  4. Sue Mendez on November 23, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Good comparison. Thx!

  5. golfnut on November 23, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    great review, i’d just like to add that we’ve always carried a road atlas too and since retiring this year we upgraded to the National Geographic version which for rv’ers give a lot more info on national parks and other venues that gravitate to outdoor places to see, got it on amazon for $15 thanks marc

  6. Kirk Emerson on November 23, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Found this channel a bit ago and was going through your older vids. Great info.
    I was an over the road trucker (OTR) for several years and I highly recommend the RM Road atlas’s. I personally used the trucker edition specifically for the height and weight restrictions. Plus it has the tandem settings, length restrictions, haz-mat routs etc. Plus being able to highlight my route was a big help too.
    I used this atlas in conjunction with a RM truckers GPS (and Google navigation) and would highly recommend that for larger RVers. It will route you with all the atlas information and steer you clear of low bridges and weight restrictions and such. Just program it with your specific information and all good. The RM GPS also gives many warnings when a low bridge is ahead. They also let you easily switch from truck to car settings too so when you unhook your car you can explore without those restrictions.
    After I stopped for a night I would pull out the atlas, get on Google maps and use both to plot my route. Using both kept me free from any trouble.
    One other tip for long trips: Use dry erase pens to list out your highway interchanges across the TOP of your windshield. You will never have to take your eyes off the road to double check what interchange exits you need to catch and you can easily mark through them (your finger will erase it) once you make them so you wont have to study where you are in your route. At the end of the day just erase it all.
    Yes, the GPS will tell you but sometimes, as we all know, they can be wrong. So easy to check. I always used redundancy to make sure I was heading the right way and it is much safer too.

  7. Jason Robert Jones on November 23, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Nice review! We are planning a trip to Canada in July and to use our phone for the google maps nave app will run us $10 per day on top of our regular data plan. Not too bad but that can add up and an Atlas, as you point out, can be great for preplanning and the large pages are great for viewing. Rand McNally is king, however, when it comes to Canada they are lacking in options. The large spiral bound motor carriers, as well as national parks and smaller 8×10 road atlas versions, do cover Canada, however, the large-scale spiral bound road atlas does not. Kind of a bummer as that option is the only one with 35% larger maps. Wish they would add Canada to the large-scale spiral bound version but unfortunately, we will have to settle for the much smaller 2019 EasyFinder® Midsize Road Atlas.

  8. Tim Ribich on November 23, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Useful explanation of the various options. Thanks!

  9. CapCon Jimmidy on November 23, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Thx for the review!!

  10. Juliana Discipio on November 23, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Super helpful thank you!

  11. Lost Comma on November 23, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    The one thing that I get concerned about when it comes to GPS devices and google maps that they might replace physical maps entirely. Electronic navigation devices have their places but all too often they fail me. Sent me in the wrong direction, directed me to drive into a farmers field because of it’s inaccuracy and just lacking the detail I require. No tool is perfect but still, love to have the oversight, that all those colours and lines on paper provide.

  12. Ian Schneiderman on November 23, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Mark have you seen this one? Large Scale Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas. I just saw this on the Rand McNally site, but have no idea how it might compare to the Large Scale "standard" Road Atlas?

  13. Paul H on November 23, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    I like the HEMA United States Road Atlas. The entire country is done on a grid that has the same scal from page to page. Try going through a sliver of Maryland, West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, Western Virginia and Eastern Ohio, and having to go to different pages on the Rand McNally map for each state, with a different scaled map for each state.

  14. Dave Putman on November 23, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Just one more reason to have the Rand/Mcnally Good Sam RV GPS Everything that is in the Atlas is in the GPS

  15. Christopher Brown on November 23, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Now available, the large scale, laminated, motor carrier edition.

    It’s great and usable as a 20ton jack stand if necessary

  16. N Foss on November 23, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    We always carry a Road Atlas. It is a great way to get around the back roads. Also, when you have no service on your phone, you are never lost.

  17. Smoove Truccin on November 23, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks for getting straight to the point

  18. gene snyder on November 23, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    As a truck driver I carry a rand McNally but rarely use it any more with GPS I can save regular stops

  19. John E. Random on November 23, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    I don’t know if its just Colorado or all states in the Large scale version, but normally the top of a map book page is North. So, everytime you open the Large scale version – you have to turn the book to the right to orient north? Not really a big deal with the spiral bound, since you can fold it open on itself I assume. Sorry, for pointing this out – it’s just the way my internal compass works whenever I get turned around – I first locate North wherever I am , then orient the map, to figure out exactly where I am. It’s one of the things I hate about GPS maps, is the rotating map orientation — In my opinion, I think the top of whatever map you are looking at , whether it be a hand drawn, electronic, or printed — the top should be north. 🙂

  20. DeMeaning Plebny on November 24, 2019 at 12:03 am

    I was looking for road atlas reviews because the last atlas I bought was from 2004, so it is high time to update (2019). I noticed some complaints about the quality of the newer large scale Rand McNally’s, on AMZN so I took a second look at my atlas (which I really like) and found that it was sold through Discovery Channel. Well, Discovery doesn’t seem to sell them at this time. Further searching took me to National Geographic and they sell a large, spiral bound one which has really good reviews, so I decided to try that one this time. Hopefully it will be as good as my old one from 2004.

  21. Tony M. on November 24, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Thanks Marc. In this GPS on my phone days, you sometimes forget how helpful those road atlas’s are. Very interesting about the truckers version. Thanks for the Great information.
    Tony & Cathy

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