I have a simple question. I see an increasing number of rallies and tours offering the option of having the route available as an app on a smart phone. On the SCM 1000, we used both the  Rallista app and had a printed route book.

Do you have a preference? Does using an app detract from the old school ways of turning pages and keeping track of miles? Does the app make it seem like you are just following a nav system like you might do in a newer car? Does the navigator become less involved with the tour?

Also, route books offer an opportunity to have more information about the geographic and cultural attractions you are passing through. Do you miss not having that additional content on a phone app?

Given a choice, how would you prefer tour instructions be presented?

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  1. Rick Mahrle

    Route book all the way

  2. Victor Holtorf

    Prefer the route book. Old school all the way!

  3. Ralf Berthiez

    Hi Keith,

    Without a doubt I prefer the route book. Indeed more of the general area is described in the book. It’s easier to refer to exactly where you are and check off where you were. Then there is the connectivity issue. I have been in countless rallies where you loose cell reception. There is also battery life of your phone. I would rather have enough battery juice available if I have an issue/ emergency with the car. I speak from experience having rallied on both US coasts, Europe, the UK and Northern Africa.

    Never Lift!

  4. Paul Gommel

    As the driver I would prefer the app so that I can keep my eyes on the road and the scenery. As the navigator the route book is more useful and at the end of the road you have a memento you can look back on-or reuse.

  5. Route Book, app can be a back up only. Tours ( monthly ) I participate in with PCA GGR does both. Often times we enter zones – areas with no cell service. Even though the leads have pre-run the routes, it is still super helpful to have that guide book.

  6. Rand Wintermute

    Keith. Having participated in many rallies both here and in France, there is no question that Route Books are THE choice for any rally, if offered a choice. Having driven the Cal Mille Miglia in 2014, we lost complete Satellite reception with a failing Fuel pump, which cost us time …without the Route map
    On paper, the mountains around Lake Tahoe that week, would have claimed another victim ! Route books also serve as written memories !

  7. Jean Pierre Legras

    Why not both, I agree that it’s nice to have the info on paper if you have a copilot. I have done some rally’s alone and it’s imposable to drive and review the book simultaneously. In those situations, I try to follow a group. I have lost them before, had to stop and figure out where I was, which is sometime difficult and had no reception on my phone. One of the guys pre-programed the route into his phone so connection wasn’t an issue. I’ll probably be doing that in the future.

  8. I tried to use Rallista to map some routes I wanted to drive solo. But in the noisy open car, I can’t hear the route instructions. For Rallista to be useful to me, they have to add a much louder nav voice.

    So stay with the route book and human navigator.

  9. Frank Barrett

    For 25 years I produced what turned out to be very comprehensive route books for The Colorado Grand. Besides the route itself, we included interesting local history, a descriptive list of cars/entrants, special stories, photos of all cars, sponsor ads, and way more. Since we traversed areas where cellphone reception was bad to non-existent, there was never a serious question of replacing the book with an app. That said, when driving alone, it’s great to have an iPhone blue-toothing instructions directly into my hearing aids!

  10. Forget the phone! I’m sick of phones!!

    Incredibly, you CAN live life without a phone – try it sometime.

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