If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best rv gps money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know.
Knowing which roads are wide enough and the location of campgrounds and service stations is important when you are driving a large recreational vehicle which is why we have gathered information from expert reviews, feedback from consumers, activity on social media sites, and compared sales figures, prices, value for your money and brand quality to find the bet RV GPS.
In our research we noticed that the Garmin RV 760LMT stood out from the competition due to its easy to see and operate 7 inch display, ability to customize the device to your vehicle’s specifications, and user friendly features that ensure you always know what is up ahead on your route.
We also know that this product might not be compatible with your vehicle or priced to fit everyone’s budgets, which is why we also recommend the Rand McNally RVND 7730 LM as a second best option.
This unit is designed to be the helpful companion you need on your trips as it provides loads of useful features and free map updates.
- How to Choose a Top RV GPS
- What to avoid when buying an RV GPS
- RV GPS terms you need to know
- Which are the best RV GPS manufacturers?
- Garmin RV 760LMT
- Garmin RV 760LMT with Wireless Backup Camera
- Garmin RV 660LMT
- Magellan RoadMate RV 9365T-LMB
- Magellan RoadMate RV9145-LM
- Magellan RoadMate RV9165T-LM
- Rand McNally RVND 7730
- Rand McNally RV Tablet 80
- Rand McNally TripMaker RVND 5510
Why is an RV GPS useful?
If you’re wondering just how an RV GPS is different from a map or a regular GPS, we’re here to give you a helping hand. Journeys are safer and more exciting thanks to this kind of device, as it allows owners to go to work, on trips, or visit relatives and friends as quickly and efficiently as possible.
You won’t have to go through the trouble of asking for directions, making too many stops, or just pulling over to have a glance at your map.
What’s more, you can be absolutely sure that you’ll reach your destination in the time approximated by the model you’re thinking of utilizing.
Probably the most notable advantage of owning and using such a device is that it is convenient and easy to use.
Of course, it all depends on the unit, but most of the products that are available on the market make it very easy for the end user to understand what they have to do in order to travel safely.
The vast majority of user interfaces make it possible for the driver to select the most cost-effective route, and a number of models can even calculate the fuel consumption and the miles you’ve been on the road for.
In addition, we’ve seen that many modern devices make it as easy as pie for the user to select routes that don’t have any toll roads, thus making your journey even more affordable than you’ve initially planned it to be.
Convenience also comes from the fact that these devices not only show you the way but also come with text to speech or some sort of voice capabilities.
This means that you’ll be able to have your eyes on the road instead of constantly glancing at the GPS.
Another reason an RV GPS may be quite helpful is that it usually comes with points of interest.
Camping sites, fuel stations, ATMs, as well as tourist landmarks generally come preloaded into the interface, which significantly adds up to the enjoyment of the ride.
Several models feature modes that can be utilized by cyclists, whereas others come with Bluetooth and can thus be used for iPhone, for iPad, for Android, or for tablets.
This Bluetooth capability will give you a lot of freedom in terms of dialing a number and having a call without even touching your mobile phone.
In the end, it is worth noting that an RV GPS simply surpasses the efficiency, versatility, and sometimes even the performance of standard products in the same line.
All RV drivers know that they need to choose the road that has the least number of obstacles, in that they should be using a GPS that can take into consideration the weight, height, and width of their vehicle and thus suggest an appropriate course.
This feature can help drivers save a lot of time which would otherwise be spent on selecting a different route and going around the tunnel they may have come across.
How to Choose a Top RV GPS
In today’s marketplace, it’s often times difficult to get a dependable RV GPS navigation system that is well worth the money.
If you don’t have too much time on your hands to figure out which features you have to correlate with which of your needs and preferences, we’ve decided to give you a helping hand. Have a look at the buying guide we’ve put together for your consideration to understand what detail matters the most for you.
If you have the budget, we urge you to pick an RV GPS that has a screen with a size of at least 5 inches. 7 inches might be better, but models with such large displays usually cost a little more.
The main thing to keep in mind is that, if you go for a smaller screen, you won’t be able to glance at the image without needing to focus a lot.
After all, while you’re behind the wheel, what you should do is keep your eyes on the road. Unless you strictly plan on using the GPS when someone else is sharing the ride with you, don’t pick a small screen size.
Controls and ease of use
The interface matters a great deal when it comes to buying a new RV GPS. You won’t enjoy fiddling with the device as much as you’ll enjoy the actual trip.
Most of the models we have stumbled upon have a touchscreen, which considerably takes the hassle out of inserting addresses and the names of the streets.
While some might come with a loading time that’s more reasonable to you, others might take a while to allow you set the trajectory of your trip.
Above all, the unit has to be easy to operate. It shouldn’t take you a Ph.D. in neuroscience to see the map, select the route you want to take, and consult all the info you might be interested in.
Since you’re likely to buy the model of your choice online, it might be a little difficult to know if it’s easy to use.
Here’s where reading some RV GPS system reviews might come in handy, as the opinion of other buyers can let you know just what to expect in terms of usability.
Text to speech
This is a special function that you might not come across with every device. What it does for you is that it customizes the voice of the GPS system to let you know when you have to turn right or left and which street you have to go onto.
If you receive an audio notification telling you to do something in 300 feet, you might miss that particular exit or turn.
Text to speech lets you correlate the indicators with what the audio is telling you, in that you might see the name of the street as instructed by the GPS.
An excellent GPS for RV travel will allow you to pair it with your cell phone and dial a number hands-free, with a single touch of the screen of the device.
For example, if you’re using the interface and run into a campground you’d like to try, all you have to do to call and talk to someone over there is click on the corresponding icon on the GPS. The GPS will pair with your cell phone, allowing you to make the call hands-free.
The safest bet when it comes to memory capacity is to get a unit that comes with a micro or SD slot. This will allow you to use virtually any type of memory. Sure, some models feature their own internal memory, but it might not be enough for some people. If you have a card slot in your device, you can load extra maps and points of interest.
RV points of interest and more
Since you’ll be using your GPS for your RV, you might be reassured to know it comes with all of the advantages of advanced devices nowadays.
For instance, you might want to check whether it features specific tools like points of interest, warnings, hazards, restrictions, RV trip planning characteristics, RV friendly exits, and an RV campground locater. All of these are crucial and can make the difference between a trip you love and one you’re not so happy with.
Ask around, go to a store, talk to a consultant, and read some customer reviews. These activities can help you get the right unit for what you’re planning to do.
What to avoid when buying an RV GPS
With the plethora of models that are available out there, it’s often times difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Let’s say you want to get an RV GPS for sale.
That’s certainly not a bad idea, considering that there are many online marketplaces that organize discounts during the holidays and in various events.
However, choosing the cheapest one may not be an option, as you’ll find that it’s not exactly usable.
For one, an RV GPS can come with an interface that takes just too much time to load. Perhaps you just want to jump behind the wheel and start driving right after pressing the on button and selecting the route.
Some systems can’t handle that much pressure, and so you risk wasting precious minutes on waiting for the maps to charge and on customizing the device depending on your momentary requirements.
The menu of some options you might stumble upon while prospecting the market can be so complicated that it can hardly be usable.
Since it’s hard to tell whether or not an RV GPS does have this problem or not, we recommend going through some of the best RV GPS reviews, as dissatisfied customers will inevitably include all the issues they’ve encountered in their ratings.
Cheap models can have several disadvantages. One of them might be the fact that they haven’t been constructed with excellent materials, in that the screen isn’t glare-free or the plastic that covers the system is prone to melting when it’s hot and the sun is shining directly on the back or front of the GPS.
We all know how frustrating it is to look at your phone or any other mobile device while not being in the shade and simply not being able to see the information you want to check.
An additional problem of cheap units is that they typically don’t come with map updates or traffic updates. It goes without saying that this can’t possibly be beneficial to the user, as this way, he or she may not have the convenience of knowing which is the right route. To make it very clear, we’ll give you an example.
It’s common knowledge that local businesses may have a somewhat limited lifespan; so if, last year, you went to a diner in a state you’re not really familiar with, you have a high chance of not being able to go to the same place should your device not come with map updates.
The same applies to traffic updates, as choosing the cheapest RV GPS will inevitably make it very hard for you to know whether or not there’s an obstacle in the road, or whether the street you’re planning to drive on isn’t blocked by a local celebration or manifestation.
What if there’s been an accident and, instead of being notified and knowing beforehand, you have to go to that place and then go back and choose another way of reaching your destination? You should consider all these details before making your final call.
RV GPS terms you need to know
If you are not well-versed in the terminology of RV GPS units, it might be a good idea to learn a few things about the most important ones. We’ve compiled a list of the essential terms you may encounter during your buying journey.
Don’t worry; they’re not overly complicated and they can be understood easily by any driver who’s been making an RV GPS comparison but still has yet to grasp the standard designations.
Accuracy refers to how easily and quickly it is for a model to deliver the position of the vehicle and the one of your destination. Some models may take a while to lock into the GPS position they’re aiming at, whereas others can do the same thing in as little as two seconds.
The coordinates of the area are, in a nutshell, a set of numbers that can show you the latitude and the longitude of a particular spot on the GPS map.
The distance can be expressed in miles, feet, meters, depending on the model you’ve chosen or whether or not it allows you to customize it according to your needs. The most frequent distance you’ll encounter when setting up the device for a new trip is the one from the area you’re located in to the one of the destination.
The ETA is an acronym that stands for estimated time of arrival. You’ll probably notice that the device automatically modifies the ETA depending on the road you take, the number of stops, or traffic.
A fuel log comes in handy if you want to track the gas consumption of your vehicle. Many drivers use this function in order to estimate the total fuel cost as well as the average gas economy.
Both the junction view and the lane assist feature can help a driver in terms of intersection layout and allow him or her to select the right path.
As previously mentioned, some devices come with lifetime traffic updates which can let the driver know ahead of reaching a certain place that the traffic may be heavy or that an accident has occurred.
If you aren’t a big fan of cables hanging down your windshield, you may want to choose a cordless option. In this event, you’ll come across terms such as battery life or Lithium battery.
At the same time, if you’re leaving on a trip with your entire family and there’s a high chance of you making many stops, you might benefit from multiple destination routing.
This feature enables you to program the GPS to guide you to all the places that you might want to visit before you reach your destination at the end of the day.
The higher the number of pixels in an LCD screen, the greater the resolution, and thus, the clearer the image displayed.
Points of interest should be a concern to any prospective buyer, as they come preloaded in the GPS and can let you know ahead of time when you’ll be able to go to the bathroom or have dinner. Campsites are included.
Voice-activated navigation is, above all, conducive if you want to avoid glancing at the screen of the unit all the time.
Which are the best RV GPS manufacturers?
Your budget should not be your sole consideration when choosing a new model, especially as we’ve seen how cheap ones just can’t raise up to par.
Buying your unit from a reputable brand is favorable for a high number of reasons, as these companies invest a lot of time and effort into designing top-notch products, backed by a warranty, and that you can return, replace, or get a refund for, should you be dissatisfied.
Garmin is a world-known name when it comes to designing excellent products in a range of sectors that includes marine, automotive, sports, outdoor, and even aviation.
Some of the brand’s fishfinders have acquired an immense degree of appreciation, mostly because they’re winners in terms of performance.
The company has been working towards designing reliable navigation units ever since the 1990s, including GPS for RVs and trucks, as well as for motorcycles.
Best models from Garmin
Garmin RV 760LMT
Considered the best Garmin GPS this model comes with a lifetime of free traffic and map updates, a color display that is easy to read and navigate, along with convenient audible directions and alerts.
It can be customized to the exact specifications of your RV, and it can even be connected to a backup camera.
According to the best Garmin GPS reviews this unit comes with a lifetime of free updates.
This ensures that you will always know the fastest and safest route, or which road to take when you want to enjoy scenic views.
You also have the advantage of the free traffic updates which will help you avoid road closures, along with alerting you when a new exit or lane is open.
You will appreciate the 7 inch high resolution display that is easy to read in low or bright lighting.
The color screen makes it easy to see your intended route and navigate through the various menu options.
The GPS unit will also display your current speed, intended arrival time and distance to the next exit or lane change so you never have to worry about getting lost along the way.
The 760LMT comes with convenient navigation system that is voice activated so you never have to take your eyes off the road when you are driving.
The friendly voice will let you know when a lane change, turn or exit is approaching, and will even display an alternative route with a simple command from you.
Some consumers have mentioned that this GPS device can freeze on occasion when it is being used in the city, and while this can be inconvenient the issue can be easily resolved by downloading a simple software update.
Garmin RV 760LMT with Wireless Backup Camera
This model is the second best product from Garmin and shares a lot of its features with the previously described one.
The main difference between the two is that this is an RV GPS with camera, which is a net advantage for users who’d like to know what’s happening behind their RV without needing to glance in the mirror.
If the vehicle you’re driving is longer the 45 feet, you may need to use an extension cord to be able to spot obstacles behind you as you are maneuvering into a parking spot.
The model has many useful features, which range from customized RV routing to lifetime maps as well as Garmin Real Directions.
The 7-inch bright touchscreen display gives a lot of freedom to buyers who don’t want to keep squinting when looking at their GPS while the sun is shining up in the sky.
Since this model has gathered over fifty positive Amazon reviews and has been named a perfect alternative for RV, it might be a good idea to check out its features before making up your mind on a different one.
Garmin RV 660LMT
Even though this is the third best option we’ve discovered while doing our part of the research, it’s still worth taking into account if your budget is a problem.
We’ve noticed that the model usually costs less than four hundred and even three hundred and fifty dollars, depending on the online retailer you choose.
Aside from affordability, the convenience of the 660LMT comes from its features.
It has the same convenient custom RV routing shared by other Garmin RV GPS units, along with easy route shaping, elevation profile, as well as road warnings.
The screen size is a tad smaller compared to the 760LMT, as it measures 6 inches. This, however, should not be a problem for most users.
While it might not come with all the points of interest you may want from a high-end GPS unit, and this one does feature enough RV parks, services, and campgrounds to allow you to travel both comfortably and safely.
Plus, the interface is very easy to use and poses no problems for people who aren’t tech-savvy.
As is the case with Garmin, Magellan is yet another world-known name in the industry of designing excellent handheld outdoor navigation units, as well as vehicle navigation models.
What sets the difference between Magellan and its competitors is that this brand has been granted many patents on account of the company having designed various technological improvements.
Furthermore, the manufacturer has even developed a RoadMate app, which is an RV GPS app for iPhone, just to serve the modern needs of consumers out there.
Best models from Magellan
Magellan RoadMate RV 9365T-LMB
The 9365T-LMB is packed with all the features you might have been looking for in a dependable and entirely functional RV GPS navigator.
The model does what it’s supposed to do under most circumstances, which is why it can get you out of a tricky situation by telling you where to go and by indicating you a plethora of points of interest.
What’s more, it is worth noting that all the routes suggested by the Magellan Roadmate are entirely customizable depending on your preferences and requirements.
Plus, one needs to adjust the settings of the device in accordance with the dimensions and profile of the motorhome or RV one might be driving.
Doing so is what will help the navigator select the perfect routes so that you’re never forced to turn back or go around a certain area without any notice.
In spite of the fact that it might not be the cheapest model in the line, the Magellan Roadmate 9365T-LMB is undoubtedly worth considering as it comes with a series of characteristics that virtually make it impossible to say no to.
Top everything off with free lifetime traffic alerts as well as complimentary lifetime map updates and you’ve got yourself a product you can use for your RV all the time.
Magellan RoadMate RV9145-LM
Even though this is your second choice for a RV GPS this product can be customized to your vehicle’s specifications, ensure that you never miss a turn because you are in the wrong lane, and also comes with a lifetime of free map updates.
One of the reasons this GPS unit is a popular choice with budget conscious RV owners is its ability to be customized to the exact specifications of your vehicle. This ensures that the route you take will always be wide enough to safely drive your RV on, and that you don’t have to worry about getting stuck on low overpasses or underneath tree branches.
Like most GPS devices the RV9145-LM comes with “lane assist”, which gives you plenty of warning before you have to exit or turn. It also features a 7 inch color display that clearly shows your intended route, current rate of speed, and distance to the next turn or point of interest along the way.
You will appreciate the convenience of free map updates, which ensures you always know the best route to take. You will automatically know when new roads are open, or if a favorite route has been closed or changed.
There have been some mentions that this device can be slow when it has to recalculate a route, and while this can be frustrating it is often due to changes in road conditions and not an issue with its performance.
Magellan RoadMate RV9165T-LM
The RV9165T-LM is the second best model you may want to consider from this brand. It has anything from a large 7-inch touchscreen that’s bright enough to allow you to see directions even on sunny days. As is the case with other units in the line, this one can be adjusted in accordance with the specifications of the RV you might be driving, in that you have enough freedom to select the width, height, and weight of your vehicle.
Another reason you might want to consider this option is the fact that it comes with free lifetime traffic, which makes it close to impossible to avoid taking the right route. The device is a winner when it comes to signaling delays and hazards you may encounter during your trip. Moreover, the RV9165T-LM includes multi destination routing, which means that you can make as many stops as you feel like, because the Magellan navigator will indicate you the most efficient route.
With six million points of interest and built-in Bluetooth, it’s safe to say that this model is worth analyzing, should you be in the market for an affordable alternative.
Best models from Rand McNally
Rand McNally started out by manufacturing atlases, maps, globes, and textbooks specifically designed for travel, commercial, and educational purposes. With over seven decades of experience, this brand has the right to be a proud developer of the North American Mileage Guide. Many Rand McNally GPS reviews speak highly of the features offered by the company’s devices, as they are known to have a wide platform support and thus be compatible with Windows, Unix, and other operating systems. Nowadays, the Rand McNally RV GPS for iPad has become quite popular among individuals interested in getting almost the same benefits out of using a mobile app as they would when using a separate navigational system.
Rand McNally RVND 7730
The Rand McNally product is undoubtedly one of the remarkable RV GPSs of this year. It’s perfect for any adventure and it’s the top choice of frequent travelers. It comes with a navigation system that will assist even the most difficult users find their destination. In fact, the system is so specific that it will even guide you towards designated campsites. Not only does it allow people to select and avoid specific routes, but it will also let them know about fuel prices and traffic.
As is the case of other products belonging to the line, this one also comes with video input for back-up cameras, which will assist you even with parking your car.
Rand McNally RV Tablet 80
While it might be the second best option from this brand, this one is definitely taking into account if you’re in the market for a tablet that does everything for you while you’re driving. For one, the product features one of the largest screens we’ve encountered in products in the line since the display measures eight inches. What’s more, the tablet is backup camera ready and comes with its own powered magnetic mount. It goes without saying that it has wireless support.
Some of the reviews gathered by this unit praise its excellent graphics. It seems that the size of the screen actually makes a difference, as does the brightness and clear visuals of this alternative. The contrast is so good that you’ll keep wondering just how the manufacturer managed to design such an excellent product.
If you’ve been wondering where to buy an RV GPS such as this one, we’ll tell you. It’s available on Amazon and a broad array of other internet retailers.
Rand McNally TripMaker RVND 5510
Although the RVND 5510 is the cheapest unit we’ve discovered from Rand McNally, it’s definitely worth every penny. In fact, a low price does not mean low quality in this case, because the model has almost everything you might require, except for a large screen. The display of this model measures just five inches, but if you think you can manage with this size, you’re good to go.
Some of the most esteemed features of the RVND 5510 seem to be RV-type routing, RV services, logs, and checklists, as well as trails. All of these make it a breeze for the user to adjust the device in accordance with the vehicle he or she may be driving. Over 13,000 amenities and tools come preloaded in this device, so you won’t have any trouble selecting one of the travel center locations, parks, or campgrounds you might be interested in going to. Besides, this model can be utilized to keep track of the maintenance you might have performed on your RV.