RV GPS Comparison and Review: What are the Best Options?

A RV GPS you say? GPS navigation technology makes traveling and locating destinations easier for car or truck owners, but RV’ers have been apprehensive about using GPS systems due to an array of RV specific factors. RVs tend to be lengthier, more elevated and heavier than the car sitting in the garage. GPS units designed for Cars don’t take any of these factors into account and can leave you in stressful situation to say the least. Having a traditional GPS guide you to take a surface street where your RV is hitting every tree branch on the way or when you get directed into an overpass that is lower than the height of your RV puts even the coolest characters on red alert.

RV-GPS-Comparison-Featured

In today’s marketplace many GPS companies are taking notice and designing RV GPS units that are specifically designed with the RV’er in mind. The features and effectiveness vary, yet one thing is for sure, the folks who make RV GPS units are going in the right direction. Unfortunately the RV GPS products as a whole struggle as a result of issues with accuracy, functionality, connection speed, and other ailments. These issues will work themselves out over time. Most of us however are not interested in waiting 10 years for the perfect device, we just want the best available TODAY as we set out on that next road trip.

The rest of this article will explore the most well regarded manufacturer’s and the highly rated RV GPS units they offer.

Features Generally Available on a Purpose Built RV GPS:

  • 5” or Larger Display (Can be as large as 7”)
  • Option to enter the profile information for your particular RV (weight, height, length, etc.)
  • Custom Points of Interest specific to RV’ers: RV Parks, Campgrounds, Hazards, Highway Exit Amenities, Trip Planners.
  • Custom Routing based on type of vehicle
  • RV Specific tools and checklists

Magellan RV GPS Benefits

  • Integrated Good Sam Trailer Life Directory
  • 6 Million Points of Interest
  • RV Specific Design and Software
Retail Price
$ 349.99
$ 319.99
$ 299.99
Screen Size
7.0"
7.0"
5.0"
Battery Life
30 minutes
30 minutes
2 Hours
Lifetime Map Updates
Yes
Yes
Yes
Lane Assist
Yes
Yes
No
Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Yes
No
Yes
Multi-Destination Routing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Spoken Street Names
Yes
Yes
Yes
RV/Truck route
Yes
Yes
Yes
Voice-activated navigation
No
No
No
Junction view
No
No
No
Detour
Yes
Yes
Yes
Connect Back Up Camera
Yes
Yes
No
Fuel Log
No
No
No
Points of Interest
6 Millon
6 Millon
6 Millon

Garmin RV GPS Benefits

  • Long Battery Life
  • Customizable Main Menu
  • SmartPhone Link Capable (Select Models)
  • Designed for Truckers (Generally Not RV’ers)
Retail Price
$ 249.99
$ 399.99
$ 399.99
Screen Size
4.3"
7"
7"
Battery life
Up to 4 hours
Up 1.5 hours
Up to 1.5 hours
Lifetime map updates
Yes
Yes
Yes
Lane assist
Yes
Yes
Yes
Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Yes (receiver incl.)
Yes (receiver incl.)
Yes (receiver incl.)
Multi-Destination Routing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Spoken Street Names
Yes
Yes
Yes
RV/Truck route
Yes
Yes
Yes
Voice-activated navigation
No
Yes
Yes
Junction view
No
Yes
Yes
Detour
Yes
Yes
Yes
Connect Back Up Camera
No
Yes
Yes
Fuel Log
No
No
Yes
Points of Interest
6 Million
6 Million (34,000 RV Specific)
6 Million

Rand McNally RV GPS Benefits

  • Most RV Specific Functionality
  • RV Checklists
  • Weather
  • Woodall’s RV Park Info
  • Rand McNally’s Proprietary Information and POI’s
Retail Price
$ 349.99
$ 199.99
$ 299.99
Screen Size
7"
5"
7"
Battery life
Up to 1 Hour
Up to 2 Hours
Up to 1 Hour
Lifetime map updates
Yes
No
Yes
Lane assist
Yes
Yes
Yes
Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Predictive Traffic
Yes
(receiver sold separately)
Yes
(receiver sold separately)
Multi-Destination Routing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Spoken Street Names
Yes
Yes
Yes
RV/Truck route
Yes
Yes
Yes
Voice-activated navigation
No
No
No
Junction view
Yes
Yes
Yes
Detour
Yes
Yes
Yes
Connect Back Up Camera
Yes
No
No
Fuel Log
Yes
No
No
Points of Interest
14 Million
14 Million
14 Million

Definition of RV GPS Terms

Battery life - This refers to the amount of time your RV GPS would last while not connected to a power source.

Lifetime map updates - Refers to the ability to update the map data (New roads, road changes, speed limits, etc) on your RV GPS for the as long as you own it. Updates are necessary every few years typically.

Lane assist - Refers to the RV GPS offering instruction on which lane is appropriate when merging and turning.

Lifetime Traffic Alerts - Refers to the RV GPS function that uses traffic data to help influence your trip plan.

Multi-Destination Routing - Refers to the function of your RV GPS to add multiple destinations or way points along your trip.

Spoken Street Names - The RV GPS has a function to speak aloud through speaker on the device the road names to which to turn.

RV/Truck route - Refers to the RV GPS function that takes input on the weight, height and length of your RV and caters the trip plan accordingly.

Voice-activated navigation - Refers to the RV GPS function that allows the user to input navigation instructions verbally.


Junction view - Refers to the function on your RV GPS that shows the lanes, streets, and layout of intersections for simple navigation.

Detour - Refers to the function that enables the user to choose an alternate route through the use of the detour option.

Connect Back Up Camera - Refers to the RV GPS having hardware that allows for a back up camera to be networked with the RV GPS device screen.

Fuel Log - Refers to a feature on the RV GPS that keeps track of the fuel cost, mileage, and other statistics along those lines.

Points of Interest - Also known as POI’s, these are the different locations that are pre-loaded in the RV GPS for one touch navigation.

Comments

  1. ed says

    I want laptop software for GPS. It needs to be RV specific. It needs to have lane assist and RV Park and public park locators. I have a Garmin GLO receiver which is great. I mistakenly bought CoPilot for $100 that was virtually a waste of money. With it I cannot search for parks or anything else without the name of the town or the coordinates. I entered the name of a state park and found nothing until I entered a town close to it.
    I am now trying to be very careful how I spend my money for GPS. Most of them will not even let you do a seven day trial.

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