best rv gps

The 10 Best RV GPS Navigation Systems to Buy in 2020

Peter Wade

If you love off-road camping, you are probably already using Google Maps on your smartphone, since there’s no other way to get around, especially in hard-to-get-to places off the beaten path. While Google Maps might be sufficient for urban driving, if you are a full-time RVer or plan to travel quite a lot, it is absolutely essential that you have the best RV GPS (Global Positioning System) on hand. Seasoned and full-time RVers everywhere swear by these handy units and deem them among the first RV accessories that you must get for camping.

On the most basic level, RV GPS units help you navigate and get to your destination on the quickest, most effective and stress-free route available by taking into consideration real-time updates on traffic, road and weather conditions. 

On top of these basic features that you get with a regular GPS, an RV GPS system is specially designed to deal with the challenges of the road that only someone driving an RV faces. A few prime examples include low hanging bridges, narrow roads that make it difficult to reverse or turn, routes with a jungle of low hanging trees that will scratch your roof finish. 

That said, not all GPS for RV owners live up to their marketing claims of relieving such problems that are unique to navigating in an RV. Worry not, as our comprehensive guide to the best GPS for RV will help you grasp all the basics and narrow down on the most well-rounded and absolute best RV GPS units on the current market. You will learn how GPS systems work, the different types of GPS for different needs, important buying criteria and our carefully handpicked list of the very best RV GPS models out there, based on their specifications and the actual RV GPS reviews by fellow RVers as well as professionals. At the end of this guide you will find frequently asked questions regarding usage, maintenance and how to get the most out of your GPS unit.

best rv gps

Best RV GPS Comparison Chart

NoBest RV GPSPricesOur Ratings
1Garmin RV 760LMT$$$*****
2Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S$$$*****
3TomTom Go 520$$***
4Garmin RV 660LMT $$$$$***
5Garmin RV 785$$$$*****
6Garmin dezl 770LMTHD$$$$****
7Garmin DriveSmart 61$$*****
8Garmin Nuvi 2639 LMT$$$****
9Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV$$$****
10Magellan RoadMate RV9490T-LMB$$**

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RV GPS Basics

What Is an RV GPS?

GPS, or the Global Positioning System, is a global navigation satellite system that provides real-time location information and, in case of a moving object or person, velocity. 

GPS is now a widely applied technology. GPS systems are present in your car, your smartphone and your watch. It can track where you are at a certain time and how you are moving about, thus in travel and commuting, it helps you get to your intended destination.

GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, with no subscription fees or setup charges. 

Then how can a GPS track your location and movement? It does so thanks to three key elements: GPS uses satellites, a receiver and algorithms to synchronize location, velocity and time data for all kinds of travel.

  • Satellites: 24 satellites in total circles the Earth and transmit unique signals to users GPS devices.
  • User equipment: GPS receivers and transmitters including items like smart watches, smartphones and telematic devices, which are installed in a vehicle, including cars and ships, to track its driving behaviour.
  • Ground control: Located on almost every continent, Earth-based monitor stations track and operate the satellites and monitor their transmissions.

How It Works

GPS tracks a user’s exact location and their movement through a technique called trilateration, a process of calculation with the input being signals collected from the satellites.

As mentioned above, GPS satellite system consists of a network of 24 satellites (in specific six Earth-centered orbital planes, each with four satellites) circling around the Earth at a speed of 8,700 mph or 14,000 km/h at a distance of 13,000 miles or 20,000 km above the Earth surface. 

Each satellite circles the earth twice a day, and each satellite sends a unique signal. To be able to calculate the exact location of a user, a GPS device must be able to read the signal from at least four satellites. At any given time, a GPS device can read and interpret the signals from six or more satellites.

An interesting technical fact regarding the requirement for four satellites’ signals: While only three satellites are needed to calculate a location on the Earth’s surface, a fourth satellite is often required to calculate the altitude of a device by moving  us into the third-dimension as well as validate the information from the other three.

Benefits of RV GPS

Never get lost again 

If you rely on maps and phones for navigation, it’s likely that you need to pull to the side of the road now and then to get your bearings. With the best RV GPS models, you will not get lost anymore. A GPS unit will give you the most up-to-date information, so you get to your destination on the quickest route possible without having to stop every now and then to ask for directions, especially in rural areas and off the beaten paths.  

Get to your destination on the quickest route

In addition to pointing you to the right direction, GPSs will provide real-time updates concerning traffic conditions on your route. This feature will ensure you never find yourself in a traffic jam when it’s avoidable. And when it does pick up a potential issue, such as dangerous road conditions due to bad weather or traffic jam due to an accident, it can provide alternative routes that’ll get you to your target quicker.

We should also mention some models even have a built-in app, which can receive news updates. These updates could be the difference between you sitting in traffic for 3 hours and taking a detour to avoid the issue entirely.

A GPS device is also handy in helping you find the location of certain RV parks and campgrounds, along with important RV local services, such as dump stations or towing services and groceries.

Avoid RV-specific mishaps

We must make this perfectly clear, multiple times: If you think a regular GPS device or Google Maps is sufficient, once you take the plunge into RVing, you will soon realize just how much of a benefit an RV GPS navigation device can really be. 

That’s because when you’re driving off the beaten path in such a gigantic gorilla, you’ve got some extra considerations to think about, so driving a motorhome is nothing like driving a regular passenger car, whether you are towing or not. For instance, if you find yourself on a narrow, bumpy route that makes driving hell, making a turn or drive in reverse to find an alternative path is not so easy if you’re driving in a Class A diesel pusher.

Another common headache is low clearance, like low hanging bridges. Same goes for the scenic route in the mountains overhung with a jungle of low-hanging tree branches. What follows is troublesome and expensive repairs to your RV’s roofing finish, which got scratched badly.

While some basic entry-level models might only cover the truly basic needs such as navigation, the best RV GPS models are designed with these kinds of RV-specific considerations in mind. When they do their job effectively, they provide advanced notice and real-time information on obstacles that RVs should avoid.

Offer great chances for exploration 

best GPS for RV

Many GPS for RV come preloaded with millions of points of interest that bring fresh changes of pace to the travel plan of RVers. If necessary, owners of recreational vehicles could even import extra POI to the GPS as they move to new areas. 

Trip planning 

RV GPS systems offer the most effective way to plan out your trips in advance. This is a great way to make your trips more efficient, thus affordable and stress-free, as there is no short supply of failures and mishaps when you are away from civilization and comfort. 

List the points of interest you would like to pass by, where to stop for gas and groceries and so on. Once your trip is planned, your RV GPS device will keep you on track so that you can maximize your fuel economy, spend less time driving and spend as much time as possible for explorations.

Larger than your smartphone

Using your smartphone can also work, but it won’t suffice. On long drives, that’s a lot of stress for the eyes due to the smaller screen, plus it can be hard to determine exactly when to make a turn. 

RV GPS tablets typically have a larger screen display with an average of 5 inches and mount on the dashboard where the driver can easily see the display without taking their eyes off the road.

Entertain users on the road

Aside from data related to navigation, GPS units can be stored with music for entertainment. Certain models on the market may lock on to signals of radio stations as well. 

A brief history of GPS

The launch of Russia’s Sputnik I satellite in 1957 introduced the world to the wide applications of geolocation and soon after, the U.S. Department of Defense bagan to use the satellites network originally for military use. 

In the 1980s, the U.S. government made GPS publically available for civilian use , but still kept control of the available data. It wasn’t until 2000 that companies and the general public gained full access to the use of GPS, eventually opening the door to more advanced commercial possibilities.

An interesting fact: The U.S. Department of Defense once applied a tactic called Selective Availability to satellites, making GPS signals less accurate in order to keep their political “enemies” from using highly accurate GPS signals. The government turned off this function in 2000, which greatly improved the accuracy of civilian GPS receivers.

Other GPS System

There are other navigation systems similar to GPS, which are all classified as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). For instance, Russia built and operates the satellite system called GLONASS. The European Space Agency owns Galileo, while China is creating its own BeiDou. 

Many brands produce GPS receivers that track more than one satellite network at the same time. The more satellites a device can track, the more accurate you can expect it to be. Garmin, one of the market leaders in this arena, manufactures many receiver models that track both GLONASS and GPS, with some even track BeiDou as well.


Types Of RV GPS

In general, GPS for recreational vehicles comes in all shapes and sizes but today’s market contains two predominant types of models: portable and permanent.

Portable Systems: As the name suggests, portable GPS for RV could be readily moved around the interior and between rigs. Naturally, models of the type earn positive remarks from enthusiasts of RVing that value versatility. 

Permanent Systems: Designed to be attached to a rig for good, permanent RV GPS tend to be held in high esteem by serious RVers that require comprehensive guidance while traveling. In addition, models of the type have the ability to program routes using the dimensions and characteristics of vehicles too. 

And since you’re camping among nature, you might want to check out different types of GPS devices other than the one typically used for RV driving. it’s worthwhile to look at another way to categorize GPS as street navigation systems, sports GPS systems, and handheld GPS systems. 

Street Navigation Systems

Street navigation systems are the most common type of GPS units found in RV settings. This is the type of GPS unit that mounts on your RV’s dashboard or, in some cases, is already built into the newer, more expensive RVs. This category includes both portable and permanent systems.

A street navigation GPS system can provide turn-by-turn visual and audio directions, estimate your time of arrival at your next destination, tell you your current traveling speed, and tell you your mileage so far. 

As mentioned above, a huge perk from the best RV GPS devices is the ability to plan your trip in advance. Once you have determined where you would like to visit and mapped out your desired route, you can program your street navigation system with the planned itinerary. The GPS unit will keep you on track, thus saving you gas and time.

The best RV GPS systems in this category can connect right to your smartphone so that you can program routes on a device that you’re more familiar with, or have your companions double check directions while you’re busy keeping your eyes on the busy road.

In addition, a street navigation GPS system typically comes with a set of preloaded maps for your region and most can be updated to include international maps as well. Most include a number of important landmarks that can come in handy in your travels, including gas stations, grocery stores, repair shops, police departments, hospitals, airports, and other points of interest for exploration. Many even provide interesting information and user reviews about certain locations along the way.

Handheld GPS Systems

As an addition to a dash-mounted GPS system, handheld GPS systems are often used for applications like geocaching, long-distance backpacking, and trekking on foot in unfamiliar surroundings. They can be a great tool for the outdoorsy adventurers who love to get out and explore trails and wilderness once they’re settled into a new campground.

Sports GPS Systems

Also an addition to a dash-mounted GPS system typically used in RV travel, this type of GPS system is more commonly used for sports applications than RV driving. The best units in this category often can withstand water for use in sailing, scuba diving and swimming. 

It should be noted that while handheld and sport systems are more durable and mobile than the street navigation units typically installed in an RV, they offer a much smaller screen, which is not ideal for navigating down the highway.


Reviews Of Top-Rated RV GPS

Owing to the diversity of preferences, different RVers often have different opinions about particular GPS. That being said, if you like to get your money’s worth, you should take a look at these models. 

Without further ado, here is our handpicked list of the very best RV GPS models available on the market. Each comes with its unique features as well as pros and cons, so which model is the best RV GPS for you really depends on your budget, how seasoned of a camper you are, how often you travel and your needs. 

If you know what you’re looking for, dive right in. Otherwise, skip to the next section to understand the most important buying criteria when looking for the best RV GPS, then come back. 

If you are a full-time RVer, or almost, then a high quality model that covers all or almost all of our buying criteria in the next section will be your best bet and will be well worth the money you pay for it. After all, you will use GPS every time the wheels are rolling, so you get a ton of use out of it. If you are limited by a limited budget, of if you don’t travel as much, it might be wise to compromise and focus on models that offer a good balance of your top priorities.

1. Garmin RV 760LMT – Best Of The Best 

Garmin RV 760LMT
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 7 Inches
  • Resolution: 800 x 480 Pixels
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery 
  • Voice-activated navigation
  • Free lifetime updates 

Why This Is The Best: 

Optimized for RVing, RV 760LMT of Garmin never fails to meet the expectations of owners of recreational vehicles in use. Possessing a flush screen with high resolution, the GPS of Garmin allows RVers to comfortably and effortlessly follow displayed guidance. In addition to that, RV 760LMT is equipped with voice-activated navigation that reacts to verbal commands of the users. As a result, Garmin RV 760LMT is considered to be the best RV GPS for those that prefer to focus their attention on the road. 

Interestingly, RV 760LMT could provide RV-oriented travel routing with customizable height, weight, width, … restrictions. Hence, by putting the GPS made by Garmin on your rig, you would be able to avoid getting into trouble with laws as you travel. Also, Garmin RV 760LMT receives a free lifetime map and traffic updates that cover plenty of RV-related stuff from tow services to repair workshops. Needless to say, a lot of enthusiasts of RVing nowadays from novices to veterans hold RV 760LMT in high esteem 

Last but not least, the Garmin GPS is compatible with wireless backup cameras that give users much-needed vision of the back of their rigs. In the case that you seek improved situational awareness, RV 760LMT would suit you well. 

First of all I am not new to Garmin products so the reason I bought Garmin is that I have had pretty good success and service from Garmin on their products that I have purchased over the years. In 2012 we bought a travel trailer and I was about to take it on a long trip from Indiana to Florida and then probably over to Texas and I noticed that Garmin had a new RV Navigator out.

What is nice about this RV 760LMT model is you can program in the size of your RV, in our case a travel trailer, and it will try and avoid areas where RV’s of this size should not be or should not go. So far we have been successful with that feature as I have been in some pretty tight places in the past not having that feature and with a 34 foot travel trailer backing up is not fun.

This model also allows you to switch back to automobile mode when I do not have the Travel Trailer connected which is a good feature. This model has a different connection than the other Garmin’s I have and I am not sure if they are switching to this type of mount or if it is because of the size of this Navigator, it is HUGE is all I can say but traveling with a travel trailer that is a nice feature to have in place….

Shared by WayneZ

Pros:

  • Reasonable price 
  • Impressive adaptability 
  • Setup princess is undemanding 

Cons: 

  • Owner’s manual needs some work
  • Scroll rate is slow 

2. Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S – Editor’s Choice 

Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 6.95 Inches
  • Resolution: 1024 x 600 Pixels
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Preloaded directory 
  • Driver alerts 

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

As an advanced model with various innovations, Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S works superbly in a wide range of arrangements. Coming with a preloaded directory that contains thousands of campgrounds and parks for recreational vehicles, RV 770 NA LMT-S lets RVers explore multiple travel opportunities. It’s worth pointing out that the directory of the Garmin GPS holds details about amenities available in each location. That means if you pick up RV 770 NA LMT-S of Garmin, you could determine the suitability of particular RV sites prior to visiting them. 

In the course of operation, the RV GPS of Garmin would consistently deliver driver alerts about railroad crossing, speed changes, sharp curves and so on. Moreover, boasting built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, RV 770 NA LMT-S is even capable of receiving updates on the road. Because of that, Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S is widely known as the best RV GPS for full-time RVing enthusiasts at its price range. Finally, it’s possible to connect the GPS unit from Garmin to smartphones using the Smartphone Link app and monitor traffic conditions in real-time.

Upon purchase, RV 770 NA LMT-S of Garmin is accompanied by a one-year warranty. So if your Garmin GPS failed due to manufacturing defect within the warranty period, you could claim a free replacement. 

Perfect for RV travel

I love this GPS system. I must admit it wasn’t as easy to setup as I thought. Of course, I thought I could just open up the box, plug it in and get going. Well, after I admitted to myself that might not have been the best answer, I actually got out the instructions and, to my surprise, it was pretty easy to use after I understood the rules. We used it to navigate from Texas to central California in our new RV. Just like they advertised, it showed fuel stops, RV parks, and all kinds of other points of interest along the way. It monitored my speed, compared it to the posted speed limit and let me know when I was being a bad boy. I’m sure we only scratched the surface on this unit and I’m anxious to try it again. Or, is that just an excuse to get back on the road?

Shared by Rscearcy

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface 
  • Instantaneous installation 
  • Tech support is responsive 

Cons:

  • RVers sometimes report odd routing  
  • Signal reception fluctuates on occasions 

3. TomTom Go 520 – Editor’s Choice 

TomTom Go 520
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 5 Inches
  • Resolution: 480 x 272 Pixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Magnetic mount
  • Destination prediction

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Slim and sleek, Go 520 of TomTom proves to be well-suited for owners of recreational vehicles that have little space to spare on the dashboard. Though its screen and resolution don’t seem to be exceptional, the GPS from TomTom still provides solid navigational guidance to RVers on the road. Additionally, Go 520 is compatible with Google as well as Siri so people could access both while traveling by speaking up. RVing enthusiasts also have the option of pairing Go 520 of TomTom with phones to make and answer calls hands-free.

Owing to its ability to learn directly from the driving habits of users, Go 520 packs a unique function: destination prediction. So the more you drive with the TomTom GPS, the more accurate its prediction becomes which saves route setting time. TomTom Go 520 comes with a convenient speed camera that warns RVers as the speed limit is about to be reached. That is why with Go 520 on your rig, you don’t really have to worry too much about accidental speeding as you move between regions.

The GPS made by TomTom is distributed with a magnet mount, therefore, its installation is straightforward and lasts only moments. Thus, to those that need to secure GPS navigation for RV in a hurry, TomTom Go 520 is undoubtedly the best RV GPS on the market. 

I ordered this GPS for a road trip I was taking. I ordered it thinking it would take me from point A to point B without using my cellphones data. Well it does so much more than that! The smartphone functionality is great – I can receive incoming calls without worrying about digging into my purse to retrieve my phone. I can read text messages all while staying focused on the road. For me, as a young adult, I happy to say I was very pleased with the features in this GPS. The traffic routing feature is pretty cool, too. Helps you avoid hold-ups.

Shared by Taylor

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly 
  • Great handling 
  • Compact 

Cons: 

  • Customer service should be overhauled 
  • Sporadic update issues 

4. Garmin RV 660LMT 

Garmin RV 660LMT
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 6 Inches
  • Resolution: 800 x 480 Pixels
  • Dual-orientation
  • Elevation map tool
  • Custom routing

Why We Love It:

With custom routing, Garmin RV 660LMT could help RVers create travel plans based on the characteristics of their own rigs. As owners of recreational vehicles approach steep grades, bridge heights, weight limits, … RV 660LMT is going to issue warnings too. So with the GPS made by Garmin, RVing enthusiasts should be able to reach any location in a casual manner. Similar to its contemporaries, Garmin RV 660LMT carries a handy filterable directory that permits users to find suitable places to camp based on preferred amenities.

Thanks to a combination of big screen and decent resolution, the GPS from Garmin makes it easy for people to keep track of current progress. That is a big plus if you have to travel in low light conditions from time to time and really don’t want to take your eyes off the road. Besides the touchscreen control interface, RV 660LMT incorporates voice-activated navigation as well so you can keep booths of your hands on the driving wheel. All you have to do is speak up and Garmin RV 660LMT would duly respond.

Coming at a reasonable price, RV 660LMT matches the wallet of typical enthusiasts of RVing. Hence, you likely have no trouble squeezing the GPS of Garmin to your spending plan.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Dependable and reliable
  • Control layout is linear 

Cons:

  • Certain users complain about overlapping icons
  • A number of units arrive completely inoperable

5. Garmin RV 785

Garmin RV 785
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 7 Inches
  • Resolution: 1024 x 600 Pixels
  • Integrated dash cam
  • Backup camera compatible
  • Lane departure and collision warnings

Why We Love It:

Though Garmin RV 785 indeed costs more than many of its competitors at first glance, its values justify its price tag. Packing a huge directory that is updated regularly, the GPS from Garmin lets you include interesting locations in your travel. In addition, RV 785 delivers timely lane departure and collision warnings that maximize situational awareness as you head toward your destination. Overall, if you wish to grab an all-around unit,  Garmin RV 785 would be the best RV GPS for you. 

Equipped with an integrated dash cam, RV 785 could record your travel which is advantageous if you happen to run into an accident and have to deal with the police, insurance, … Aside from that, the Garmin GPS is backup camera compatible too, thus, maintaining a clear view of the rear is a walk in the park. Regarding installation, the setup process of RV 785of Garmin is undemanding and lasts mere minutes. Naturally, RV 785 is well-liked by those that frown at devices with draw-out installations. 

As proof of confidence, Garmin backs its GPS for recreational vehicles with a one-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. That means you have something to count on if your Garmin RV 785 suddenly experiences problems in the course of operation. 

Pros:

  • Resilient 
  • Simple to operate 
  • Precise routing 

Cons:

  • Kind of steep price 
  • People notice a couple of inconsistencies between units 

6. Garmin dezl 770LMTHD

Garmin dezl 770LMTHD
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 7 Inches
  • Resolution: 800 x 480 Pixels
  • Advisories and cautions
  • Map and traffic updates for life 
  • Boundary notices 

Why We Love It:

Engineered for modern requirements and built to last, Garmin dezl 770LMTHD gives a good account of itself in numerous environments. Featuring user-defined routing, dezl 770LMTHD tends to be sought after by RVers that prefer to travel on specific roads. All people need to do is to add a point on the screen and the GPS from Garmin would reconfigure the route on its own. Also, Garmin dezl 770LMTHD automatically shows advisories and cautions about all kinds of issues from grounding risks to hazardous materials.

Unlike the average navigation systems for recreational vehicles, the GPS made by Garmin keeps owners of recreational vehicles informed of the sunset and sunrise time. That is why with dezl 770LMTHD, making the most of daylight hours is a cakewalk. It’s noteworthy that Garmin dezl 770LMTHD could display boundary notices as RVing enthusiasts approach state lines and country borders. Furthermore, the GPS of Garmin boasts free map and traffic updates for life so it earns positive remarks from RV GPS reviews for its utility.

To increase road safety, Garmin dezl 770LMTHD is designed with a service monitor log that facilitates the monitoring of tire mileage, oil change and more. Unsurprisingly, those that like to minimize the odds of accident often deem dezl 770LMTHD to be the best RV GPS

Pros:

  • Economical 
  • Light and compact 
  • Interface is user-friendly 

Cons:

  • Long pairing preparation 
  • Power cord could use some work 

7. Garmin DriveSmart 61

Garmin DriveSmart 61
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 6.95 Inches
  • Resolution: 1024 x 600 Pixels
  • Real-time services
  • Capacitive touchscreen 
  • Smart notifications

Why We Love It:

Don’t want to put up with units that take ages to process your queries and present you outdated information? Then, in that case, it’s strongly recommended that you check out DriveSmart 61 of Garmin. Being highly responsive, the Garmin GPS would give you what you seek on the road with pretty much zero delays. Additionally, DriveSmart 61 possesses real-time services including live traffic and live parking too so you could stay up-to-date on your surroundings while traveling.

In terms of power, the RV GPS of Garmin is made with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that at full charge is capable of sustaining its operation for one hour. Of course, keeping the DriveSmart 61 plugged in throughout the trip is possible as well. By pairing Garmin DriveSmart 61 with Bluetooth-enabled phones, enthusiasts of RVing can receive calls and text messages without having to remove their hands from the wheel. Needless to say, for owners of recreational vehicles that favor convenience, the GPS from Garmin is the best RV GPS.

Garmin DriveSmart 61 is inexpensive, hence, there is no need to cut back key expenses in order to pick it up. To reassure RVers, Garmin willingly backs its GPS with a one-year manufacturer warranty that addresses troubles caused by defects. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight 
  • Affordable 
  • Flush screen 

Cons: 

  • Reports about unit not holding charge show up intermittently 
  • Software updates create stability complications every now and then 

8. Garmin Nuvi 2639 LMT

Garmin Nuvi 2639 LMT
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 6 Inches
  • Resolution: 800 x 480 Pixels
  • Spoken guidance 
  • Bird’s eye view 
  • Indicative arrows 

Why We Love It:

Since it employs a highly adaptable dual-orientation screen, Garmin Nuvi 2639 LMT could be put to good use in horizontal as well as vertical setups. The screen of Nuvi 2639 LMT is equipped with pinch-to-zoom capability too so it’s simple to get a close look of displayed information. Because of that, the Garmin from GPS is the number one choice for RVers who don’t like to squint their eyes all the time just to stay on track. Garmin Nuvi 2639 LMT also offers spoken guidance which allows enthusiasts of RVing to get to where they want without hassle.

Designed with a bird’s eye view function, the Garmin GPS simplifies the task of getting bearings on the road. Therefore, if you pick up Nuvi 2639 LMT, you would never have to worry about making wrong turns as you travel. Owing to the use of recognizable landmarks and indicative arrows, Garmin Nuvi 2639 LMT eliminates most confusion while providing navigational guidance. In the course of operation, you can even use the GPS of Garmin to learn about locations up ahead without having to leave the map.

As for affordability, Nuvi 2639 LMT of Garmin is released to the market at a price that RVing enthusiasts could accept. If you have to work with a rather tight shopping budget, you should consider adding Nuvi 2639 LMT to your shortlist.

Pros:

  • Low-priced 
  • Free updates 
  • Straightforward interface 

Cons: 

  • Quality control still leaves something to be desired 
  • Several units come with mismatched cables 

9. Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV 

Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 7 Inches
  • Resolution: 1280 x 800 Pixels
  • Snap-on magnetic mount
  • Anti-glare screen protector 
  • Built-in speakers

Why We Love It:

Being an all-inclusive model, Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV proves to be a great companion for enthusiasts of RVing that travel on a regular basis. Incorporating a wide range of voice-enabled features, the Rand McNally GPS permits people to do many things hands-free: call, text, call on Siri, … In addition to that, with OverDryve 7 RV, owners of recreational vehicles could stream music, movies, podcasts and others via Bluetooth. As a result, Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV is one of the best RV GPS units for RVers that like to stay entertained on road trips. 

At a size of seven inches, the screen of OverDryve 7 RV ensures that users have an easy time following guidance. Moreover, the GPS of Rand McNally packs an anti-glare screen protector that increases the clarity of information on the screen as ambient light changes. Thus, if you travel with Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV onboard, you would be able to get your bearings without having to constantly adjust the screen to match variable lighting conditions. OverDryve 7 RV is sold with a snap-on magnetic mount so mounting and dismounting it should be child’s play. 

Boasting Tripmaker and Road Atlas, the GPS made by Rand McNally simplifies the task of planning routes and making preparations. Using OverDryve 7 RV, users could search for nearby amenities and alter routing to access them in times of need too. 

Pros:

  • Low-profile build
  • Top-notch endurance 
  • No-nonsense control layout 

Cons: 

  • RVers complain about occasional errors 
  • A few functions should be redesigned 

10. Magellan RoadMate RV9490T-LMB

Magellan RoadMate RV9490T-LMB
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Specifications And Features: 

  • Screen: 7 Inches
  • Resolution: 800 x 480 Pixels
  • Dual usage
  • Preloaded RV-oriented POI
  • HD screen 

Why We Love It:

Designed with a focus on practicality, Magellan RoadMate RV9490T-LMB is the all-time favorite of RVing enthusiasts that hit the road year-round. Featuring a first-class HD screen with enhanced clarity and responsiveness, RoadMate RV9490T-LMB is a breeze to use. Also, with custom routing, the GPS made by Magellan lets owners of recreational vehicles avoid unpaved roads, U-turns and more. All in all, for typical travels, Magellan RoadMate RV9490T-LMB is certainly the best GPS for RV nowadays. 

As the GPS from Magellan is preloaded with RV-oriented POI, its users could access much-needed amenities and gain new experience on the road. Aside from that, depending on the situation, it’s possible to set RoadMate RV9490T-LMB to work with recreational vehicles as well as cars. Hence, in the case that you have a car and an RV, you should go with Magellan RoadMate RV9490T-LMB instead of buying a separate GPS unit for each. The Magellan GPS takes moments to set up and remove so moving it between applications is a piece of cake.

About post-purchase support, RoadMate RV9490T-LMB is backed with a one-year warranty. Throughout its lifetime, the GPS unit of Magellan would receive free map and traffic updates. 

Pros:

  • Fast shipping
  • Linear interface 
  • Uncomplicated setup process 

Cons:

  • Battery life is less than ideal
  • Overheat is reported by users 

Best RV GPS Buying Guide 

Models on the market have distinct characteristics but if you seek a good buy, it’s key that you keep the following criteria in mind. Surely the more features below a certain model offers, the more its price tag should be. However, if you’re a full-time RVer, you will be glad to have invested in one of the best RV GPS models on the market.

GPS navigation for RV

Screen 

While you should mostly be relying on audio cues from your GPS as you’re driving so that you can keep your eyes on the road, it is best to double check with the visual confirmation of what you’re hearing. Seasoned drivers do both at the same time. 

You have to check your GPS regularly and keep your eyes on the road as well, hence, it’s essential that you get the best RV GPS with a big, no-glare screen that allows you to decipher immediately what’s on it. The last thing you want to pick up is a GPS with a poorly-designed screen that gives you a hard time following displayed information. 

The larger the screen on your GPS, the easier it will be to confirm your next turn with a quick glance, as at times it is quite hard to determine when to make a turn and missing one might be a hassle. 

While you might suspect that a larger screen might be a distraction, most users find the opposite to be true. For one, the screen will be mounted in a place so as not to obstruct your view. Secondly, with a larger screen, it becomes easier to read what’s on it with just a quick glance, so you don’t need to linger there for too long and take your eyes off the road. 

When you’re looking for the best RV GPS unit, be sure to look for a model with a minimum screen size of five inches across. Many users even prefer one of seven inches. These larger models are a bit more expensive, but they make it much easier to use the touch screen features.

In addition to the size, to avoid headaches on the road, you must take a close look at other features like brightness and resolution. In addition, opt for a non-glare screen, since the glare on many GPS screens make it difficult to see. 

If you do opt for a model with larger screen size, just make sure that you mount it in such a way that it doesn’t impede your view of the road. Don’t commit to a purchase until you make sure that the GPS you like packs a screen that you could work with while traveling.

Interface 

A GPS’ user interface essentially dictates how you interact with it, either while you’re driving or when stopped. A touch screen feature is essential, but when you’re driving down the road, the easiest way to interact with a GPS is through voice commands.

Modern-day GPS tends to come with plenty of functions which makes it necessary to take into account the interface. As a result, it’s suggested that you thoroughly inspect and examine the control layout of the GPS you like. Besides making your own evaluations, you should read the reviews of fellow RVers and see what they say to reach an objective conclusion as well.  

Data Entry Method

Unless you always have a companion at the ready to input the address of your next destination, you’ll probably have to plan ahead if your GPS only allows data entry by hand, which might not be very safe while you’re behind the steering wheels. Look into the data entry method of a certain model, as it’s a big no-no if your GPS requires you to take your hands off the steering wheel and eyes off the road to enter your next destination. 

Fortunately, the best RV GPS models nowadays offer voice-activated navigation for safer driving, so no need to stress over whether you will miss your next exit while trying to command your GPS manually.

Even more advanced is a feature called ‘predictive data entry. Many modern GPS units are getting smarter and can actually keep track of your favorite or frequently visited destinations and recall later when needed. Now you can pull up directions more quickly and focus on driving.

Trip Planner

If you like to keep the logistics of your RV vacations dialed in, choosing a GPS unit with a trip planner feature is essential. Some models come with a trip planning feature and others do not. A trip planner can be a very useful feature for saving trips so that you can more smoothly navigate those routes again at a later date.

You’ll also be able to edit saved trips to further customize your future RV trips. Other useful features of a GPS trip planner include reordering locations, optimizing stop orders, editing active routes, and adding trip scheduling information.

WiFi And Bluetooth Connectivity

Most modern GPS units allow you to connect to your RV or your smartphone via Bluetooth technology. 

In addition to enabling voice-activated navigation, wifi and bluetooth connectivity is a very functional feature because it allows users to interface with your GPS in a more streamlined fashion, including placing phone calls straight through the GPS interface and your RV’s speakers, and listening to music or podcast to keep yourself awake or entertained.

Another important benefit of having an Internet-connected GPS also means you’ll have access to real-time traffic updates and up-to-date weather information for the region to which you’re traveling. This will allow you to adjust your route in case of traffic jams, accidents, bad road conditions, bad weather, thus reaching your destination in less time and with less stress.

Memory

The GPS’s memory size is another thing to consider when buying one of these devices. This feature is crucial in improving the model’s performance. After all, a device with a small memory won’t give you the ability to add on features or load more maps in the future.

It’s ideal that you get one with an SD or micro slot. This slot will make it possible to use many different memory formats and types, so you’ll be able to load new maps and points of interest much easier.

Portability

Most RV GPS units are made to be mounted in your RV and remain there. Some users, however, require a unit that they can remove and take with them once they park their RV and head out on the trails.

While this is less common amongst full-time RVers, it’s worth noting that you should choose a GPS unit that can go with you so that you can use it in a variety of settings if that is your preference. 

Update 

As mentioned above, the ability to get real-time information on weather and traffic conditions is invaluable in RV driving. In addition, road networks and regulations change all the time without us knowing. Therefore, when hunting for the best RV GPS systems, seasoned RVers deem the feature of automatic updates is extremely important. 

That said, you should be aware that while some units automatically update their maps to include new or changed roads and other traffic obstacles, others will need to be manually updated. Automatic update would be most convenient and ideal as there are enough little things to worry about when you’re living the RV life.

Whether they update automatically or manually, most modern GPS units come with lifetime map updates. Even a slight detour can cause a significant delay in your travel timeline, so lifetime updates are an important GPS feature to help you avoid that sort of delay.

It’s worth pointing out that in a couple of models, RVing enthusiasts could even choose between several update schemes. To determine whether the update scheme of a particular GPS is sufficient for your needs, you need to consider update interval, method of update, and the associated cost.  

Ease Of Installation 

After you embrace RVing, you likely need to deal with numerous issues so you don’t have all day to install a complex motorhome GPS. That is why it’s essential that you give ease of installation some thoughts as you look for the best RV GPS on the market. 

The best RV GPS models come with multiple mounting options. This gives you the freedom to mount your unit in a location that makes the most sense for your RV. 

Some common installation methods involve a suction cup or a windshield mount. Some models simply snap or slide into place, hassle-free. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the installation methods of the GPS unit you’re eyeing before making your purchase. 

In addition to the mounting options, the best RV GPS unit should also have a steady, angled arm, so that it will be secured without shifting positions as you bounce down the road, and off-roading rides can be really bumpy at times. If your GPS doesn’t remain securely in place, you won’t be able to quickly decipher the visual display to confirm the audio directions you’re hearing.

Regarding arms, many RV GPS reviews warn against models that have gooseneck arms. These models tend to vibrate along with the motion of your vehicle, making it difficult to see the screen and with time can also cause permanent damage to the unit itself.

Overall, you should be able to get a general idea regarding the setup process of a model simply by going through its owner’s manual. Rest assured that it is quite a straightforward process.

Price 

With multiple models coming across the price points, securing a suitable GPS is possible on pretty much any shopping budget. That being said, prior to making up your mind on what to get, remember that price is linked to quality. Thus, though you don’t have to spend big bucks in order to own a GPS, it’s also unwise to grab a dirt-cheap model to save some money. Those that produce RV GPS with unbelievably low prices routinely cut corners and use subpar materials to reduce manufacturing cost so units made by them rarely hold together for long. 

How Often You Travel

Having said all these, it’s quite important to take into consideration how often you would be on the road. If you only take your RV out twice or thrice a year on shorter trips, it might not be necessary to invest in a top-of-class model that offers much more features than you would frequently require. 

However, if you are a seasoned traveler or a full-time camper, it is definitely worth your money to grab one of the best RV GPS models out there, as there are always failures and mishaps here and there when you are driving a gigantic vehicle on the road, especially off the beaten path, where you should take advantage of all the help you can get.


Top Brands Of GPS For RV 

RV GPS units

Countless manufacturers build dedicated RV GPS units but in terms of popularity, a few clearly stand out from the rest 

Garmin

Known as one of the leading brands of navigation systems, Garmin is the number one choice for the best RV GPS that caters for every type of RVers, from the novices to the veterans. Models made by Garmin adapt well to variable conditions and have relatively basic maintenance requirements. 

CoPilot

If you’re not willing to spend extra money on an RV GPS that mounts on your dashboard, although this is not recommended, the good news is you can use your existing smartphone or tablet with CoPilot, a navigation app designed specifically for RV that can be downloaded onto either iOS or Android.

It’s extravagant as far as apps go, costing $59.99, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest RV GPS alternatives you’ll come across. However, despite the price you pay, there are some major drawbacks. For one, you’ll be stuck with your device’s small screen, which as we tried to emphasize, is totally unsafe. In addition, you will not be able to use its other features while you’re navigating.

TomTom

Owing to constant applications of innovation and heavy investments in advanced technologies, TomTom could assemble versatile and long-lasting GPS. Naturally, TomTom units earn a shower of praise from owners of recreational vehicles that travel extensively and don’t have many opportunities to replace equipment.

Magellan

With a user-oriented approach, Magellan is held in high esteem by enthusiasts of RVing that value convenience and wish to have no-nonsense GPS.  In addition to that, products from Magellan come at reasonable prices so they could fit the wallet of ordinary RVers. 

Rand McNally

As a long-established brand with substantial experience, Rand McNally knows how to create solid GPS that please the users. If you favor consultancy and reliability, Rand McNally is going to be your best bet. 

FleetSharp

If you’re looking for a comprehensive app that works as a GPS as well as a tracking device, look no further than FleetSharp, which works for both towable and drivable RVs. 

In addition to navigational guidance, FleetSharp also includes a lot of other vital information about your rig, such as oil level, tire pressure level, and more, so you can provide your precious rig with timely and proper maintenance, which is vital when off-roading. This system can tell you where your RV is at all times, even if it’s hundreds of miles away from the smartphone or computer browser from which you’re tracking it.


FAQs About GPS For RVs

The 10 Best RV GPS Navigation Systems to Buy in 2020 1

How to use an RV GPS?

Each RV GPS system will come with its own dedicated instructions. However, if you are familiar with Google Maps and other RV planning and exploring apps like Allstay and InRoute, you shouldn’t have a hard time figuring out how to use different features. The best RV GPS apps are designed with intuitive, friendly user interface and easy-to-understand instructions. 

For the fullest picture of how to properly use your RV GPS and take advantage of all its available features, be sure to read your instruction booklet.

What are common issues with RV GPS?

The most common issues with RV GPS that users should be aware of is urban canyon. Accuracy tends to be higher in open areas with no adjacent tall buildings that can block signals. 

When a device is surrounded by large buildings, like in downtown Manhattan or Toronto, the satellite signal is first blocked, and then bounced off a building, where it is finally read by the device. This can result in miscalculations of the satellite distance.

In addition, for your information, factors that can affect GPS signal and accuracy include the following:

  • Signal multipath: The GPS signal may reflect off objects such as tall buildings or large rock surfaces before it reaches the receiver, which will increase the travel time of the signal and cause errors.
  • Number of satellites visible: The more satellites a GPS receiver can receive signals from and interpret, the more accurate it can calculate the user’s exact location. When a signal is blocked, you may get position errors or possibly no position reading at all. GPS units typically will not work underwater or underground, but new high-sensitivity receivers will still be able to track some signals. As mentioned above, sports GPS systems can typically withstand water to a certain level.
  • Receiver clock errors: A receiver’s built-in clock may have slight timing errors because it is less accurate than the clocks on GPS satellites.
  • Orbital errors: The satellite’s reported location may not be accurate.
  • Ionosphere and troposphere delays: Satellite signals slow down as they pass through the atmosphere. The best RV GPS system uses a built-in model to partially correct for this type of error.
  • Satellite geometry: Satellite signals are more effective when satellites are located at wide angles relative to each other, rather than in a line or tight grouping.

How accurate is GPS?

As listed above, many technical factors can impede the accuracy of GPS. Fortunately, many critical issues in GPS technology have been identified and improved over the years. The best RV GPS receivers provide better than 2.2 meter horizontal accuracy in 95% of cases, and better than 3 meter accuracy in 99% of cases.

Would vegetation affect the performance of GPS?

Depending on the signal receiver, GPS units could run into a number of problems if used under vegetation like large trees, dense bush and other. Hence, if your own GPS behaves oddly out of the blue, you should attempt to move into an open area. 

Is it possible to plan routes using GPS?

Different models have different capabilities but most GPS units can be used to plan routes. Using the average systems, owners of recreational vehicles may view weather forecasts, traffic warnings, landmarks, …

How could I increase the storage capacity of my GPS? 

A wide range of market’s models accept SD and Micro SD cards that help increase the overall storage capacity. By switching between cards, you would be able to get a detailed picture of a lot of regions while traveling.

Should I purchase GPS online? 

With the rise of e-commerce, RVers could buy various things including GPS without having to drop by actual stores. Also, online retailers permit owners of recreational vehicles to compare prices and values of models to get the best deal. Still, just in case, you should stick to well-known names such as Amazon, Walmart, …

You can also find other in-depth reviews and buyer’s guides on best RV tire pressure monitoring systembest RV backup camera, best TV for RV, best portable satellite dish for RV, best RV TV antenna, best Wifi boosters for RV, best cell phone booster for RV, best pet temperature monitor for RV, best RV thermostat, best RV security system, and best TV mount for RV  in RV Electronics category where we provide you the handpicked list of top-rated products on the market with specific reviews, pros and cons to help you easily choose the best products for your needs and preference.

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