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. Jason Robert Jones on April 12, 2020 at 4:02 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.

  2. Tim Ribich on April 12, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Useful explanation of the various options. Thanks!

  3. peterdement on April 12, 2020 at 4:08 pm

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

  4. Ian Schneiderman on April 12, 2020 at 4:11 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?

  5. Juliana Discipio on April 12, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Super helpful thank you!

  6. golfnut on April 12, 2020 at 4:15 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

  7. Tony M. on April 12, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    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

  8. Smoove Truccin on April 12, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks for getting straight to the point

  9. Sue Mendez on April 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Good comparison. Thx!

  10. gene snyder on April 12, 2020 at 4:26 pm

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

  11. Paul H on April 12, 2020 at 4:26 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.

  12. Christopher Brown on April 12, 2020 at 4:28 pm

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

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

  13. N Foss on April 12, 2020 at 4:29 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.

  14. DeMeaning Plebny on April 12, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    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.

  15. Lost Comma on April 12, 2020 at 4:33 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.

  16. Obsidian Jay on April 12, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    please like this comment so others can see: i just bought a 2017 version for 3.00 free shipping on ebay. you do not need the newest. save some money

  17. InnerPeaceCoachingdotcom on April 12, 2020 at 4:40 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!

  18. Kirk Emerson on April 12, 2020 at 4:41 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.

  19. Dave Putman on April 12, 2020 at 4:42 pm

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

  20. SoonToBe Salad on April 12, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Thx for the review!!

  21. John E. Random on April 12, 2020 at 4:52 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. 🙂

  22. Dad7474 on April 12, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    good review thanks

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