Written By
Published Sep. 30, 2020
RV life might sound exciting. You spend days exploring new places, driving across the country and discovering new sights, and enjoying different camping spots and adventures. But one of the most important aspects of hitting the road in your RV is driving. And driving can be a serious drag. You can get lost on new roads, wind up stuck in traffic, and even struggle to locate campsites or rest stops. All of these road challenges can make the time you spend behind the wheel of your RV quite frustrating. However, if you have an RV GPS, you can make each drive a whole lot easier. With an RV GPS, you can easily and effortlessly navigate your way to any destination. And with a wide array of different models to choose from, we’ve gathered a selection of the best RV GPS devices right here.  

The Best RV GPS

First up is Garmin’s Portable GPS Navigator. Although you may take one quick look at the price and disappear off into the sun (don’t worry, we don’t blame you), the stunning features that this device offers are more than worth it. The customized RV routing is ideal for cross-country RVers, as your motorhome’s weight, height, and length are all taken into account when pre-organizing the route for your road trip. No need to panic that your RV won’t fit under bridges anymore!

With this wonderful device at your fingertips, it seems almost impossible to get lost thanks to the accessible 7-inch display and extra-loud speakers to direct you over the babble of your noisy family. Included in your purchase is a free Lifetime Map and live traffic updates. Garmin’s GPS Navigator will be sure to do all the hard work, allowing you to sit back, relax, and focus solely on the road ahead.

Key Features
  • High resolution 7" touchscreen is colorful with white backlight
  • Voice-activated GPS facilitates safer driving
  • Delivers weather and road warnings that run the risk of placing you in danger
  • Free lifetime map and traffic updates included
  • Contains an electronic guide of around 20,000 RV Parks and Services in Canada and the United States
Specification
  • Brand Garmin
  • Model 010-01168-00
  • Weight 12.5 ounces

TomTom’s 5-Inch Bluetooth GPS Navigator will always be one step in front of us humans. From the moment one places their trust in this device, they’ll become the passenger on every subsequent trip. Just simply press the microphone button, talk to TomTom, and he’ll get you to where you need to go (with no extra stress attached!). Our favorite feature just has to be the screen split that clearly alerts the driver when it’s time to exit the highway.

What’s more, TomTom places your family’s safety at the heart of its design by displaying the speed limit on-screen at all times. This clever device even knows the mileage you need to get to your destination! If your RV gives up the ghost, this RV GPS’s Roadside Assistance function will alert the breakdown crew immediately – no walking through the rain to get to a roadside phone from now on! And you’ll receive split-second updates on everything from the weather to blocked roads.

Key Features
  • Able to follow spoken commands thanks to voice recognition
  • Hand-free calling allows you to stay connected while safe on the road
  • Roadside Assistance function calls for help whenever you need it
  • Large 5" touchscreen is easy to see to obtain information
  • Includes split-second updates such as blocked roads and new speed limits
Specification
  • Brand TomTom
  • Model 1EV5.019.03
  • Weight 7.7 ounces

Do you struggle with your eyesight and struggle to read maps when trying to navigate your RV? Rand McNally’s ginormous seven-inch touchscreen even allows drivers without hawkeyed vision to enjoy the perks of a GPS touchscreen. Your vision will be further supported by the indestructible magnetic mount which promises to stay intact even on bumpy mountain roads.

Rand McNally’s product is especially ideal for truck drivers due to the IntelliRoute TND 740 offering superior customized lane guidance for larger vehicles when driving through a tricky intersection or windy route. All in all, a grand total of 35 percent more truck routing information is made available by Rand McNally than any other GPS brand. Even the most experienced truck drivers give this impressive RV GPS five stars, so we’re sure you’ll love it too.

Key Features
  • Live updates and speed limit advice read out over the GPS system
  • Free Lifetime Map updates and specific routing advice
  • Magnetic mount will stay attached even when driving on rough roads
  • Touch screen is accurate
  • Includes electronic driver logs
Specification
  • Brand Rand McNally
  • Model TND740
  • Weight 2.24 pounds

If you’re looking for an RV GPS that does just about everything and offers the latest in technological innovation, it’s hard to beat the Garmin RV 785 & Traffic Advanced GPS. This device might be small at just 0.93 x 7.84 x 4.79 inches overall, but its seven-inch display offers a wealth of information that RV drivers will find immensely helpful. It offers custom routing that takes the size and weight of your RV into account, choosing the best route for your unique vehicle. It warns you about upcoming challenges like steep grades, sharp curves, road weight limits, and more. And this RV GPS will help you stay safe with camera-enabled features like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and a backup camera POV. There’s even a built-in dash cam that’ll record your RV drives, saving footage in the event there’s an incident or accident. 

When it’s time to get off the road and find a campsite, you’ll love the handy RV directory that’s included with this GPS. It can direct you to countless RV parks and services, including Ultimate Public Campgrounds, KOAs, PlanRV, and TripAdvisor information. You’ll always know where you’re going and what lies ahead with this hugely helpful device. 

Key Features
  • Built-in dash cam can record while you’re driving
  • Smart camera-enabled features include lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and more
  • Road warnings give drivers advance notice about obstacles or limitations
  • Chooses the fastest route for your RV and its specifications
Specification
  • Brand Garmin
  • Model 010-02228-00
  • Weight 15.4 ounces

Although reviewers criticize the impossibility of setting up Magellan’s RoadMate, when finally installed it’s a RV GPS that’s difficult to beat. The seven-inch screen is an ideal size for most drivers; regardless of the size of their vehicles. And this model will be sure to keep you in check: Magellan’s RoadMate isn’t one to shy away from warning drivers about breaking the speed limit! And you shouldn’t be speeding anyway since the 7-inch screen will always display the speed limit and even warn you of upcoming changes.

As implied in the name, Magellan’s RoadMate will be your buddy through thick and thin – even allowing connection to your cell phone and working amazingly as a hands-free set. We recommend taking some time before hitting the trail to go through the array of features on offer as the large amount of them can be overwhelming. All in all, it’s a progressive update from previous models and one we highly endorse.

Key Features
  • Identifies the cheapest Diesel and Gas prices when driving
  • Dynamic Weather Maps warn the driver of upcoming storms
  • Recommendations based on live reviews when driver needs a pit stop
  • Free Lifetime Traffic Alerts
  • Highway Lane Assistance is simple to operate on large 7-inch HD Glass Touchscreen
Specification
  • Brand Magellan
  • Model RV9490SGLUC
  • Weight 1.72 pounds

TomTom’s back at it again and pulling out all the stops with their fantastic TomTom VIA GPS system. You’ll never have to quickly guess between one turn or the other again! This is thanks to TomTom’s seasonal map updates which even include pertinent details such as road and speed limit changes. And by regularly connecting your device back to your computer, you’ll receive the most advanced updates which will improve your TomTom’s performance even more.

We all secretly (or not so secretly) despise drivers who cut across five lanes in a few seconds flat, so when we’re the culprits ourselves it’s hard not to cringe at our own questionable driving. Thankfully, the TomTom VIA allows its driver to prepare for exits in plenty of time by highlighting the best route with solid blue arrows. Buy this model and prepare for your expectations to be exceeded.

Key Features
  • Split screen junction view facilitated by 6-inch touchscreen to ensure driving is stress-free
  • Free Lifetime Map Updates at no additional cost
  • Can be personalized for its user as device can be communicated with in 30 different languages
  • Traffic updates speculate how much time a delay may take and alternative routes
  • Can choose a voice via the TomTom site for your driving assistant
Specification
  • Brand TomTom
  • Model 1AA6.019.02
  • Weight 9.9 ounces

What we love about Garmin’s Dezl 770 LMTHD is that it’s a model specifically designed for truck drivers – a group who are often left in the mud by manufacturers who would rather make big bucks off of sports car drivers. Yet this product is worth its weight in gold. All you have to do is enter your truck and trailer’s dimensions and off you go into a parallel universe of stress-free driving. Who knew it was possible?

Garmin have thought of absolutely everything. The manufacturers have even programmed their device to report accidents and warn its driver of state borders and steep hills. Although it’s a little pricey, the peace of mind knowing you’ll never be put in a situation where your vehicle height is an issue is worth a pretty penny.

Key Features
  • Foursquare feature allows the driver to search for popular eating spots in the area
  • Ideal for truck drivers thanks to customized routing dependent on size and weight of larger vehicle
  • Large 7-inch glass display makes the free lifetime maps easy to see
  • Issues weather advisories, trucking speed limits, and local sunrise and sunset times
  • Easy Route Shaping feature allows a driver to customize their drive dependent on their personal driving style
Specification
  • Brand Garmin
  • Model 010-01343-00
  • Weight 14.4 ounces

Last but certainly not least, Rand McNally’s ginormous Intelliroute TND Tablet is immense in every way. To start off, it can hold a ginormous amount of onboard storage – 16GB to be precise! And it caters for large vehicles too, priding itself on helping truck drivers to avoid pitfalls on their route.

Yet the greatest feature of all has to be the dash-cam. Although many drivers complain about the quality of the camera itself not being great, the camera is only there to hold drivers to account and not to take pretty pictures of the surrounding landscape. And to afford their users extra coverage on the highway, the internal camera faces out the back window in order to provide drivers with 360-degrees of protection. It’s a quality product worth every penny of the price.

Key Features
  • TND Tablet contains a whopping 16GB on onboard storage
  • Built-in dash cam grants a driver with additional backup if a collision occurs
  • Helps to avoid pitfalls like low clearances and bridge weight violations for truck and lorry drivers
  •  Applications can be preloaded contingent on personal preferences
  • Internal camera is facing out of the back window for extra coverage
Specification
  • Brand Rand McNally
  • Model 528013076
  • Weight 2 pounds

Best RV GPS Buying Guide & FAQ

What to Look for in an RV GPS

Shopping for an RV GPS isn’t easy. Since GPS technology has made leaps and strides in recent years, there’s a vast selection of different devices available. While some are designed just for RV drivers, others aren’t. And the features, benefits, and capabilities of different models can make picking the best of the bunch difficult. Here are a few features you can look for to ensure you’re buying a quality RV GPS.

Customized Routes

While all GPS devices can curate a route to your desired destination that’s convenient and quick, only RV GPS devices take into account the special needs and considerations of RV drivers. RVs are large, heavy vehicles, and sometimes they can’t take the same routes as a passenger car. An RV GPS will create routes that are safe and suitable for RVs, and these more specialized devices can also offer unique suggestions or directions that are tailored for larger vehicles.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth capability is incredibly handy when you’re behind the wheel. A Bluetooth-enabled RV GPS will allow you to use your GPS without having to press buttons, use the touchscreen, or take your eyes off the road. You can use Bluetooth connectivity to make hands-free phone calls and control other features while staying safe behind the wheel.

Built-In Dash Cam

Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular because they not only capture incidents and accidents that might happen on the road, but they also record unexpected events. This can be critical in understanding who’s at fault in accidents both minor and major, and it can also give you peace of mind as the camera captures everything that plays out on the road.

Safety Features

Some GPS devices can actually increase your safety when you’re driving your RV. Many RV GPS devices are equipped with extra features that can offer you better visibility or even notifications of potential dangers or obstacles. For example, an RV GPS device might be able to alert you when you drift out of your lane or spot objects behind you while you’re backing up. These extra features can offer you critical insight that helps you avoid collisions or other incidents while you’re driving such a large vehicle.
RV GPS
GPS

Why You Should Use an RV GPS

Any GPS device is hugely helpful. GPS devices eliminate the need to rely on paper maps, word-of-mouth directions, or visual cues. Your RV GPS can do all of the routing for you, giving you turn-by-turn steps and guiding you to your chosen destination. But this great convenience isn’t the only reason you should use an RV GPS. The following are just some of the reasons you’ll want to have a GPS by your side on your next RV trip.
  • You’ll Save Time and Avoid Traffic
Is there anything more frustrating than hitting the highway only to come to an immediate stop due to traffic? With an RV GPS, you can avoid this common driving woe. A GPS can check for congestion, estimating how much time it’ll take you if you follow different routes. It’ll find the quickest, most efficient option, helping you spend less time sitting in traffic and more time exploring different destinations. Using an RV GPS can save you a lot of time, especially if you’re driving in areas where you aren’t familiar with the peak traffic periods.
  • You Won’t Get Lost
Part of the fun of RV life is driving to new destinations. However, that can come with a pretty big complication: getting lost in unfamiliar areas. An RV GPS can prevent you from getting lost. GPS devices can help you find your way with ease whether you’re traveling around campgrounds, down small-town roads, or along large highways. No matter where you go, your GPS can guide you to ensure you don’t get lost somewhere you’ve never been.
  • You’ll Enjoy Customized Recommendations

Depending on the type of RV GPS you choose, you may also be able to get much more than just directions to a destination. Some devices include real-time information about traffic, road construction, and even the local areas you’re driving through. You may be able to get customized recommendations about different routes or discover campgrounds that offer RV camping spots. Some RV GPS devices even offer suggestions for nearby gas stations, restaurants, and rest stops.

Types of RV GPS

  • Handheld Systems 

The adventurers who love different modes of travel may favor this type of GPS tracking as they can easily switch it from one vehicle to another. Yet be careful; it’s essential to purchase a mount while driving so you aren’t putting yourself in danger when on the road. And we all know that with a passenger holding your GPS, voices are most likely going to be raised!

  • Wrist GPS Tracking

This method of tracking is ideal for those with an active lifestyle. Yet driving could be a stress due to the size of the screen. Any functional RV GPS should possess a screen-size starting from 5-inches so they can analyze their proposed trajectory safely and in detail.

  • Built-In GPS Systems 

A built-in GPS system arguably produces the best results for an RVer – as the system knows the specifications of its vehicle and thereby gives specific instructions at every turn. Yet if you have numerous vehicles, it can often be disconcerting driving without instruction in one without a GPS system.

Best RV GPS FAQ:

Q: What is an RV GPS and how does it work?

Purchasing a GPS for your motorhome is a statement that you’re willing to invest in the RV life. Specifically designed for use in trucks, trailers, and campers, these marvelous devices will have you wishing that you gave into temptation sooner! Some of their many features include; route customization, traffic and road warnings, suggesting alternative routes, and pitstop recommendations. Essentially, an RV GPS is working as it should if its owner is aware of the happenings of the outside world when driving.

Q: Do RV GPS units have a trip planner?

Not all RV GPS units have trip planners: yet the top brands are keen to initiate this modern feature into their devices. If your unit doesn’t include the option to trip plan, then many handy apps such as ‘Road Trip Planner’ for the journey and ‘The Ultimate US Public Campground Project’ when hunting for nearby campsites to stop at will come in handy. Both are compatible with both IPads and IPhones and worth their weight in gold.

Navigation Device
Navigation Device

Q: Do all RV GPS systems have lifetime updates?

The difference between RV GPS systems that don’t have lifetime updates – which inform its user of the traffic and road conditions in real-time – between the ones that do is colossal. In other words, it’s like examining two diverse types of devices. Not all RV GPS systems have lifetime updates and only include lifetime maps. Yet if you have the extra cash to splash, lifetime updates are worthwhile features that won’t lose their worth in the long run.

Q: What are good RV GPS brands?

Garmin – How could any RVer not love Garmin? This company has been putting its competitors to shame since 1989 since they began to supply the US military with GPS systems during the first Gulf War. Likewise, their almost twenty-year experience in aiming to impress consumers has certainly paid off due to how huge the company has grown. However, one restriction for non-US buyers is that Garmin design maps solely for usage around the continental US and Canada. TomTom – This Dutch electronics company founded in 1991 pride themselves on the vast kilometers of global maps they have at their disposal. With 123 million points of interest and 64 million kilometers of global maps, TomTom is a company that refuses to place limits on its success. And they’ve even launched their ‘TomTom Go’ for mobile which can switch between 2D and 3D views and guide its user towards the cheapest petrol and best parking spots available. Rand McNally – Founded in Chicago, Illinois, Rand McNally’s unusual name isn’t the only feature that allows this company to stand out from the crowd. Their iconic ‘road atlas’ models could arguably be considered in the GPS world as an art form. The company have come a long way since publishing their first road map, the New Automobile Road Map of New York City and Vicinity in 1904 and now predominantly focus on the maintenance of their technological lifetime maps.

Our Top Pick

If you’re looking for the best RV GPS, we recommend the Garmin Portable RV GPS. This device offers everything you might need while driving your RV, and it’s our top product pick. It’s ideal for RV owners who want a GPS that’ll be suitable for a long time to come. It offers lifetime maps and traffic updates to ensure you won’t get lost. This RV GPS is also loaded with a vast directory of America’s RV parks and available services, which helps you find the perfect camping spot with the amenities you want. You get on-the-road guidance as well as handy suggestions and helpful identifiers no matter where you drive.

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