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RV GPS Comparison And Review – What Are The Best Options For RVers?

Updated February 29, 2016

An 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 a stressful situation to say the least.

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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 creating 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 manufacturers and the most 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, et cetera)
  • 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

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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
  • smart phone link capable (select models)
  • Designed for truckers (generally not RV’ers)
Retail Price
$ 399.99
Screen Size
7"
Battery life
Up 1.5 hours
Lifetime map updates
Yes
Lane assist
Yes
Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Yes (receiver incl.)
Multi-Destination Routing
Yes
Spoken Street Names
Yes
RV/Truck route
Yes
Voice-activated navigation
Yes
Junction view
Yes
Detour
Yes
Connect Back Up Camera
Yes
Fuel Log
No
Points of Interest
6 Million (34,000 RV Specific)

Rand McNally RV GPS Benefits

  • most RV specific functionality
  • RV checklists
  • weather
  • Woodall’s RV park information
  • Rand McNally’s proprietary information
Retail Price
$ 199.99
Screen Size
5"
Battery life
Up to 2 Hours
Lifetime map updates
No
Lane assist
Yes
Lifetime Traffic Alerts
Yes
(receiver sold separately)
Multi-Destination Routing
Yes
Spoken Street Names
Yes
RV/Truck route
Yes
Voice-activated navigation
No
Junction view
Yes
Detour
Yes
Connect Back Up Camera
No
Fuel Log
No
Points of Interest
14 Million


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31 thoughts on “RV GPS Comparison And Review – What Are The Best Options For RVers?”

  1. I purchased a Tom Tom GPS which also has an RV setting and after 3 years it has worked fine. Has anyone else used a Tom Tom?

  2. I meant for the 760LMT model, not the truck model. For RV model, bridge height is a POI, not a factor in routing.

  3. No it won’t. Garmin will route you onto low bridge roads. The height you enter for your RV has no effect on route planning.

  4. You should always check the many detailed user reviews on Amazon.com. It was on Amazon that I learned the R-M model shown in this article has been discontinued, and the one that replaced it is a disaster. The Garmin is still very highly rated. One recommendation that emerges from the review – update the maps frequently and check for firmware updates as well because they contain bug fixes and you can save yourself problems and frustration by doing so. One last thought: when providing an article like this one it would be very useful for people to know the date it was published.

  5. Garmin does not give height at gas stations but does list truck stops which takes care of that issue. Gas Buddy app on your smart phone is the best for fuel prices and location

  6. Ed I use Base Camp from Garmin. It is not perfect but between Google Earth and Base Camp I have had no issues finding things or planning my trips. I’m real anal about planning a trip. I often change my plans once on the road and I just go into Base Camp an make the changes.

  7. Hope you are having fun in your new RV. Also hope you choose Garmin. I have 4 Garmin’s one for each car and one for the RV. Used them to navigate in Europe, USA and Japan only issue I had was Japan. Garmin does not provide maps for Japan but I found a company that did provide Garmin maps for Japan. They were a life saver but sometimes they were not up-to-date. New bridges available or old bridges taken down but never the less gave me the freedom to travel knowing I could always get back.

  8. Years and Years and if the battery goes bad it still should run off of a computer USB port. The current draw should be low enough.

  9. The Garmin will also keep you off of road that you should not go on. Except if they are to narrow but do not have published weight restrictions. With my 40 footer I have a rule if it does not have a center line I do not go down it.

  10. I have used the Garmin 760 for three years now it shows gas stops truck stop and is worth every penny spend. The back up camera was not availabe when I pruchased it but I would get that even with my RV that has one. I drive a 40 foot diesel American Dream for three years have put on 15,000 mile of vacations.

  11. joe you hit the nail on the head.I have had one for about 4 or 5 years. Had problem and sent to factory and worked good for a while then when I updated maps from their site and it tells me to turn after i have already passed the road.I will buy a garmin or magellan first

  12. HAVE A RAND 7725 FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS AND LOVE IT. WHEN PROPER INFO IS PUT IN IT KEEPS YOU OFF ROADS YOU CAN’T TRAVEL DUE TO WEIGHT HEIGHT ETC. IT IS BEST TO INPUT DESTINATION COORDINATES IF POSSIBLE. TRAVEL FROM EASTERN CANADA TO SOUTH WESTERN USA EVERY WINTER AND IT IS THE BEST ONE I HAVE OWNED.

  13. Microsoft no longer supports “Streets & Trips”. That’s too bad because it was the most versatile.

  14. Bought mine from Camping World a few years ago and used it on and off since then. Not too happy with it since the whole concept of using this unit in an RV does nothing to stop you from getting on a Cars Only Roadway or on to a road with a Low Bridge. Anyway… Went to update the map on it the other day and noticed the battery needed to be charged. Charged the battery overnight, but it would not hold a charge. The unit would only work while plugged in to the 110 charger. It would not work on the 12 volt charger or when plugged in to the computer. So unable to update the map or use it in my RV. Magellan will not do anything for me since it is out of warranty. My question to Magellan was… How long is the battery suppose to last? I have never had a dead battery with any other GPS that I have owned. I would buy another brand if I were you!

  15. I just bought the Garmin RV760LMT, and we are about to take a trip from Dallas to San Diego. I will give an update after our trip to let you guys know how well it worked. I have have Garmin in the past and enjoyed them.

  16. Interesting article, but you missed a category: Performance (quality of routing, adherence to RV profile, quality of POI’s, route planning options and destinations, etc)

    Seeing that you based your article solely on specifications, it’s not surprising that you skipped that profile, but I think the article would have been an order of magnitude more helpful if it included comments on performance, based on actual usage.

    I can only assume that you did not have any units to test personally, so I cannot fault the article because of that, however, I am about to pull the trigger on a purchase that is more than many people spend on a house, and it is VERY important to me to know that the unit I choose will RELIABLY route us SAFELY, EASILY and QUICKLY.

    Thank you for pulling this together though, it was still very informative.

  17. STAY AWAY from the Rand equipment!
    It is the most convoluted gear on the market and reqires wifi enroute for updates.
    Trash!

  18. Nice list. Any information on how well they acquire satellites, what with the limited sky view of the average RV?

    Thanks

  19. 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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