GPS in RV

Best RV GPS for Easier and Less Stressful Driving

Getting lost in a new and unfamiliar place is never a fun experience. It’s a waste of time and energy and can even be dangerous if you get lost in the wrong places. Continually looking at a map can also be stressful while driving an RV.

Going to new and unexplored territories today is made more fun and a hack of a lot easier with a GPS. GPS, also known as Global Positioning System, is a U.S.-owned technology and utility that provides positioning and navigational tools and services.

The system is made up of 3 segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment.

The space segment of a GPS is comprised of 24 operating satellites orbiting around Earth.

The control segment refers to the worldwide monitoring and control stations which maintain the satellites used by the system. It’s responsible for the tracking of the 24 satellites, updating the navigational data used by the satellites, and maintenance of the satellites.

The user segment consists of the GPS receiver devices that receive the information from the GPS satellites and translates them to real-time location and navigation information that the user can use and understand.

If you’re in a hurry and want to know what the best RV GPS is right away, our recommendation is the Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S RV Dedicated GPS for its overall features and ease of use.

Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S RV Dedicated GPS Navigator Essential...
  • Garmin RV 770 LMT-S GPS
  • UGC-102-BL Dual 12V Car Charger for GPS
  • PocketPro XL Hardshell Case
  • Bamboo Stylus Mini
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, LCD Screen...

5 Uses of a GPS

  1. Location determination
  2. Navigation
  3. Tracking person or object movement
  4. Mapping
  5. Timing measurements

GPS was initially designed and created for the government and the Air Force of the United States. It was a satellite-based radio navigation system made for military purposes. However, over time and with technological advancements, GPS has evolved into something more.

Why You Need an RV GPS

GPS is an invaluable tool for every avid traveler. It is a satellite navigational tool that is available for everyone to use and benefit from. Though you may need to invest in a GPS device that you can install in your RV, it’s a small price to pay for such a beneficial technology. GPS services provide travelers all over the world with valuable information to keep them safe. The best thing about GPS is that it is available almost everywhere, whether you’re in the mountains, in the woods, or on the sea. GPS has helped an incalculable number of people and businesses worldwide with its navigation, tracking, and mapping services. It would be a bit irresponsible not to have one, especially if you love taking your RV to new, unexplored places.

GPS services are also available through mobile phones. So the big question is …

Why Should You Get a GPS Device Made for an RV?

GPS device made for an RV

Recreational vehicles are bigger than cars. They are also considerably heavier and will take up bigger road space. RV’s cannot maneuver freely, especially in narrow roads which means you could easily get stuck in a single, narrow road. RV’s should also avoid low bridges.

These limitations make a GPS designed for an RV essential. GPS devices made for RV use have additional features that help RV drivers and users avoid narrow and constipated roads, as well as low bridges. With these RV GPS devices, you can customize your device to direct you only on wide and open roads, which are RV friendly.

Top 5 Best RV GPS Reviews

Why do you need GPS specific for driving a recreational vehicle?

The size and weight of most RVs mean many roads are not suitable for safe passage.

An RV GPS lets you input your camper’s stats, and then routes you on roads that eliminate obstacles like low-clearance underpasses, hairpin turns, or weight limit restrictions that can lead to frustration or downright disaster.

Arrive stress-free to your camping destination by selecting the perfect RV GPS from this guide to the top five best RV GPS systems.

Keep on reading to learn the pros and cons of each our top RV GPS models, as well as product details, customer feedback, and who each model would suit best so you can find the ideal GPS for your recreational vehicle needs!

BEST FOR – RVers with large fifth-wheels or Class A motorcoaches that need a reliable GPS with automatic updates for maps and traffic.

Garmin dezl 770LMTHD 7" GPS with Lifetime Map and Traffic...
  • Dezl 570 LMT, Dezl 770 LMTHD
  • Universal GPS Navigation Dash-Mount

PROS:

  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Size/weight input for custom routing
  • Large display
  • Advisories and caution alerts
  • Foursquare restaurant/attraction search

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Faulty routes through some large cities

The Garmin dezl 770LMTHD is a great an all-around GPS system for RV use due to the extra features other systems lack like local attractions and lifetime map updates.

The large 7-inch display screen makes this GPS easy to see night or day, and the audio is loud and clear. Another bonus is the lifetime updates for traffic conditions.

Customers like this GPS for RVing because it’s for commercial trucks, so placing the unit to the “straight truck” setting allows you to input your RV height, length, and weight, so you get proper warnings for bridge heights, weight restrictions, and more.

Customers also like the repair and service directory, which works well for many large motorhomes and travel trailers that need maintenance.

Customers take issue with some of the routes chosen by this GPS, so try to check the course beforehand if possible. Fortunately, you can easily change your path by touching the screen at the point you want, and the system will reconfigure the route.

BEST FOR – RVers who like having one device to run the GPS and to check emails and handle other daily tasks that are more convenient on a tablet.

Rand McNally 528013076 Intelliroute 8" TND Tablet with...
  • Large 8" Gps & Android Tablet
  • Built-in Dash Cam
  • Truck-specific Navigation & Trip-planning...
  • Preloaded Applications For Accounting,...
  • Preloaded Applications For Entertainment,...

PROS:

  • Dual use as GPS or Android tablet
  • Large screen
  • Convenient apps preloaded
  • Dashcam feature
  • Travel centers and truck service location directory

CONS:

  • Sound quality lacking
  • Pricey

The Rand McNally Intelliroute GPS is an ideal choice for RVers needing not just a GPS for navigation, but a tablet for other applications to help during RV trips.

The 8-inch touchscreen display is visible without eye-strain, and it offers reliable Rand IntelliRoute navigation that makes getting to your destination easier. Use the tablet for checking emails, watching movies, and more.

Customers like how they can preview their entire trip route and choose multiple stopping points. They also like the ability to record on the dash cam and the lifetime traffic and map updates.

The biggest issue customers note about this unit is the poor sound quality, so you may need to turn off the radio during critical travel areas if you rely on voice commands while driving.

BEST FOR – RVers looking for extras like campground directories and other camper-friendly information as well as a reliable RV GPS.

Magellan RoadMate RV9165T-LM 7-Inch RV GPS Navigator with...
  • Extra large 7-Inch high-definition...
  • Exclusive Good Sam Trailer Life Directory...
  • Customizable route per RV profile and...
  • Free Lifetime Traffic Alert provides...
  • Bluetooth technology for hands-free calls

PROS:

  • Good Sam Trailer Life Directory
  • Large display screen
  • Highway lane assist
  • Comes with mount for deep dashboards
  • A/V Input for movies or Magellan back up camera

CONS:

  • QuickSpell glitches
  • Poor daylight screen viewing

The Magellan RoadMate RV GPS provides a large screen display with a user-friendly interface which makes it easy to plan your RV route.

The exclusive Good Sam directory includes campground ratings, RV service centers, parking, points of interest, and lets users find specific information like whether a campsite has Wi-Fi, or is big-rig or pet-friendly.

Customers love how easy it is to input their camper’s weight, height, and width to receive a custom route that you can familiarize yourself with before leaving on your trip. Lane assist gives you plenty of time to change lanes without stress, which is another favorite of customers.

The most significant problems users note is the QuickSpell feature would prevent typing in some road names without “jumping” to another name and that the screen was a bit hard to view during sunny days.

BEST FOR – Any RVer with a smaller motorhome or travel trailer that don’t have a size or weight concern, but only need general navigation and information on local attractions.

Garmin Nuvi 2639LMT North America,6" inch
  • 6" glass, pinch to zoom display with...
  • FOURSQUARE - Search million of additional new...
  • Direct Access - Simplifies navigating to...
  • LIFETIME MAP UPDATES - Businesses open and...
  • GARMIN REAL DIRECTIONS - Garmin Real...

PROS:

  • Responsive traffic system
  • Affordable
  • Active lane guidance
  • RealJunction View for safe interchanges
  • Compatible with backup cameras

CONS:

  • Power cord “compatibility” issues
  • Minor glitches with location search

The Garmin Nuvi 2639LMT is the best choice when you need a basic RV GPS that still provides plenty of perks that make RV travel more convenient.

The six-inch display can sit in a vertical or horizontal position for comfortable viewing. The North American maps come with free lifetime updates. Find restaurants and shopping locations with the Foursquare feature.

Customers like the Garmin Real Directions that use navigation markers like traffic lights and landmarks to aid in driving. They also like the bird’s-eye view display so you can see where you are and what turns or exits are on the road ahead.

Customers were not as happy with the location search feature that would sometimes get glitchy and faulty power cords that make “compatibility” error messages pop onto the screen, which then hides the route map.

BEST FOR – Tech-savvy RVers who want a GPS with plenty of features that aid in RV navigation.

Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S RV Dedicated GPS Navigator Essential...
  • Garmin RV 770 LMT-S GPS
  • UGC-102-BL Dual 12V Car Charger for GPS
  • PocketPro XL Hardshell Case
  • Bamboo Stylus Mini
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, LCD Screen...

PROS:

  • Large 7-inch display
  • Campground directory
  • Hands-free features
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for maps and traffic
  • RV size/weight/height inputs

CONS:

  • Some faulty road information in some areas
  • Accessories don’t live up to expectations

The Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S RV Dedicated GPS Navigator is made with the needs of RVers in mind so you can stay on top of conditions that may impede your trip.

Routing and road warnings alert you to problems ahead so you can avoid them. The help of the SmartLink app gives you access to live traffic and weather reports.

Customers like the hands-free features like Bluetooth calling, voice-control navigation, and smart notifications. They also appreciate the elevation profile and sufficient warning on lane changes.

Customers think Garmin overstates the “value” of the accessories and that maps in some urban areas are faulty, which could put your RV in a jam, so try to verify all routes beforehand if possible.

Benefits of Using the Best GPS for Your RV

There are many benefits to having a GPS device installed in your recreational vehicle. If you have difficulty remembering routes or reading traditional maps, then a GPS device may be what you need to make every trip stress free. Here are some of the benefits of having a GPS in your RV.

Navigate Unfamiliar Territories with Confidence

Going on a road trip can mean going places that are new to you. While this can be easy with a smaller vehicle, going on unfamiliar places can be more difficult for a larger vehicle such as an RV. U-turns for one, when you decide that you need to turn back, is a lot more complicated with an RV. The directions and roads that you take must be precise and correct to avoid stress and difficulties in your travel.

A GPS installed in your recreational vehicle can give you further information about the neighborhood that you are going to go to. It can help you find and locate the nearest restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores. This is extremely convenient and helpful when you need to stop for food, gas, and other necessities in an unfamiliar town or city.

It’s Easy and Safe to Use

GPS navigation

A GPS is indeed easier and safer to use than a map. With a GPS, you will not need to squint on a printed map. Some GPS systems allow you to simply input your destination, and the GPS device will do the routing calculations. The more sophisticated GPS systems have a voice-over system that will direct and guide you every step of the way. This is a lot safer than traditional map-reading since you do not need to take your eyes off the road while you are driving your RV.

It Keeps You and Your RV Safe

Getting lost in the middle of nowhere may sound exciting and romantic, but it is never safe. If you are on a road trip with your family and your children, then getting lost is never an option. Being in an unfamiliar neighborhood or a deserted nowhere spells danger. A GPS installed in your RV will guide you from point A to point B, reducing the risk of getting lost. You also reduce the need to ask strangers for directions.

It Will Save You Time and Fuel

Trying to navigate places that you are not familiar with can mean going around places, looking for the right street, or turning around after you have made a wrong turn. Being unsure about which direction to take can be time-consuming, and going around trying to find the right direction means more fuel consumption. With a large vehicle, going around to look for the right direction may not be as easy as moving around in a sedan. A GPS assists you by guiding you and giving you the right directions to your destination. It can save you time and fuel by giving you spot on and accurate directions.

It Gives Weather and Traffic Updates in Real Time

GPS gives you all the information that you need in real time. Aside from routes and directions, some GPS services also provide traffic updates and weather conditions. With a GPS service, you can be notified of heavy traffic in an approaching area, if an accident occurred in a nearby area, or if there are severe weather conditions. Some services even provide you with alternate routes if there are impassable routes due to traffic incidents. This can considerably shorten the time you spend on the road, and also keeps you, your companions, and your RV safe.

It Is Available Everywhere on the Planet

GPS service works with a network of satellites, so it is available everywhere to help and assist drivers, travelers, and business owners. You can have GPS services even in areas where there are no mobile data services. You can use it to guide you on all your wild, outdoor adventures. With GPS, you can go on that mountain trip without fear of getting lost or not knowing where you are.

It Gives You Multiple Route Options

Sometimes, in our confusion or exhaustion, we turn left even if the GPS is specifically saying we must turn right. It happens. U-turns are never easy for large vehicles, especially in narrow roads. GPS devices are flexible, and it recalculates the route to your destination, real-time, based on your current location. It can give you a new route once you have made a wrong turn, or if the original route is blocked and inaccessible at the moment.

The System Is Updated Regularly

The system is maintained and updated regularly by none other than the United States Department of Defense. Regular updates and maintenance ensure that the information that the system provides its millions of users worldwide are correct and accurate. The software and applications that use the service are also regularly updated, so they are synced with any system updates. Street names information, road access, and traffic access can change without any due notice. New roads can suddenly pop up. Unlike printed maps which may go out of date after a long while, your RV’s GPS system stays accurate for your convenience.

GPS Services Are Free of Charge

Although you may have to pay for the GPS device, along with the software that you will install in your RV, the service itself is free of charge. The satellites and the monitoring teams and systems are paid for by the US government. Once you have the GPS device installed, you can enjoy the benefits of having a GPS for life.

You Can Focus on Your Driving

Having a GPS to assist and guide you lets you focus on your main task, which is to drive safely. With a GPS, you do not need to constantly check with yourself if you are going in the right direction. You do not have to memorize from a map the roads that you should take. There is no need to memorize landmarks that you have read online. Having less load in your mind means less stress while driving. You will be less exhausted when you reach your destination, and you can have more energy to enjoy your trip.

It Is Specially Made for RVs

GPS devices specially designed for recreational vehicles have additional features that regular GPS devices do not have. GPS devices made for RV’s will not lead you to single, narrow roads where your RV will not be able to pass through. It will not lead you to low bridges that may be difficult for your RV. Some will allow you to input your preferred road dimensions, so it will only suggest roads that your RV can comfortably and safely pass through. This reduces your risk and makes driving your RV easier. Some GPS devices will also give warnings for sharp turns and slopes that you should look out for. They can even provide guides to local RV repair shops and RV parks.

Frequently Asked Questions about RV GPS

What Do I Need to Look for in an RV GPS Device?

RV GPS device

You may now be convinced that you do need a GPS device for your RV, but do not have an idea of what to look for to get the best GPS device for your RV. There are many RV GPS devices available in the market to choose from. You may feel overwhelmed with all the choices and possibilities available. Read on to know what makes the best GPS device that you can get.

It Must Be the Perfect Size

Look for GPS devices whose size fit your RV. It must be portable, so you take it with you wherever you travel. The screen size must also be comfortably big enough for an easy, quick glance while you are driving. Look for GPS devices that will fit your dashboard, and will not affect your view of the road. A four-inch, 4.7-inch, or seven-inch screens are perfect for road trips. The size you choose will depend on your preference and comfort.

It Must Allow Predictive Data Entry

Choose a model that supports predictive data entry. It must allow easy entry of city names or addresses. Predictive data entry can make the input of information easier and simpler as well as do auto-correction, in cases where you input wrong spelling for addresses and location.

It Must Be Easy to Install

A suitable GPS device must be easy to install in your RV’s dashboard. It should not be complicated to mount or remove, can easily snap or slide into place, and should not be easily dismounted with every shake and vibration of the RV. Some GPS devices come with a suction cup with a steady, angle arm.

*It Must Be Designed for RV Use

RV drivers and users have specific needs different from car drivers. GPS devices designed for RV use allow you to enjoy features made specifically for you. You get to set the road size that your RV can safely navigate through. These devices also give you warnings for oncoming sharp turns and steep slopes. There are even devices that go as far as providing suggestions for nearby parks and sightseeing locations.

It Must Be Durable

Choose a GPS device that is durable and shock-proof. It should be able to withstand strong rocking and vibrations. It must also be able to withstand extreme temperatures. Choose a durable device that you won’t have to replace every few years or so. Avoid devices that are made of plastic. GPS devices that are made of metal or other stronger and reinforced material are more durable and can last you longer.

It Must Fit Your Budget

Of course, it goes without saying that you must choose a GPS device and brand that is within your budget. Your budget can be your starting point in limiting your choices among the many available brands and models in the market. With a budget in mind, you can narrow down your options and be able to choose the GPS device that can give you your money’s worth.

It Must Be Able to Provide Accurate Maps

Choose a brand and model that can give you accurate and timely maps. Some models cannot provide full information about some towns and cities. Some may even miscalculate distances and give you incorrect guidance. Choose a reliable brand that won’t get you lost. It would help to read on user feedback and product reviews before you make your first RV GPS purchase.

What Are Additional RV GPS Features That Are Essential and Helpful?

GPS features

There are many RV GPS brands today that are loaded with so many add-ons and features. Here are some features that are extremely helpful and that you will certainly be thankful for.

Audio Notifications

Many GPS devices in the market have a text to speech feature. GPS devices that come with audio notifications, telling you street names and which road to take, are safer to use when you are driving. It allows you to focus on the road, and you do not need to spare a glance on your GPS screen.

Expandable Memory

Bigger memory capacity allows for upgrades and updates in the future. Some GPS device models come with a memory expansion slot. This can come in handy should you wish to expand the memory capacity of your GPS device.

Bluetooth Support

Some GPS devices come with Bluetooth capability, which allows you to make important calls, hands-free. This feature can be really helpful if you want to call a friend who will meet you at your destination, or if you want to make some reservations or inquiries while on the way.

What Are the Common Issues with RV GPS?

There is no doubt that every RV user needs a good RV GPS. However, like with most technology, there will certainly be some minor issues. One issue most users face is a drained battery, after days of not using your RV GPS. When this happens, just charge and plug your GPS in a wall outlet. Other issues are poor display resolution, incomplete map information and loose SD socket. These, however, can be avoided if you buy RV GPS brands with good quality and performance.

What Do I Need to Buy with My RV GPS?

To keep your RV GPS functional, there are some accessories that you need to buy along with it.

Make sure that you get your RV GPS the following:

  • a mobile charger
  • a protective carry case, and
  • a mounting system for your dashboard

Does My RV GPS Come with a Product Warranty?

The warranty that comes with every RV GPS depends on the brand and the manufacturer of the unit. Most brands offer three to five years’ warranty. The warranty usually covers repairs of malfunctioning parts and components.

Get the Best GPS Device for Your RV

In life, a good direction and a spot on advice can take you to better places. The same is true for traveling with your RV. An ideal GPS device will be able to take you to your destination, hassle-free. Invest in the right RV GPS to save yourself from the trouble of getting lost and losing precious time.

Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S RV Dedicated GPS Navigator Essential...
  • Garmin RV 770 LMT-S GPS
  • UGC-102-BL Dual 12V Car Charger for GPS
  • PocketPro XL Hardshell Case
  • Bamboo Stylus Mini
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, LCD Screen...

Product data was last updated on 2019-10-23 at 16:16.

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