Although it may not be portrayed as such, the life of an RVer can often be a complete slog. When dreaming of waking up to blue skies and fresh air out in the country, we often forget about the hours upon hours spent screaming in vain at your traditional paper map or useless phone GPS trying to find a campsite for the night. Even worse is the sinking feeling you get when first spotting an unceasing line of traffic up ahead; now you know that getting to your dream destination is going to take ten times longer than anticipated.
Yet not to worry; we’ve complied together the best RV GPS systems out there to solve all of your road trip problems. When choosing your favorite model from the diverse selection exhibited to you today – whether it’s a TomTom, a Rand McNally, or a Magellan – we promise that it will become your favorite road trip partner in no time. If you long to be in complete control of your road trips, read on to find the perfect RV GPS system for you.
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.
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
- Weight12.5 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.
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
- Weight7.7 ounces
Do you struggle with your eyesight and struggle to read maps when trying to navigate your RV? Rand McNally’s ginormous 7-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% 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.
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
- BrandRand McNally
- Weight2.24 pounds
Garmin’s RV 770 LMT-S doesn’t have a catchy product name, but it’s certainly made a reputable name for itself in and about the RV community. This portable dictionary includes information on all the parks and services you’ll ever need to know about. And if you ever need access to the free Lifetime Map service, then the navigator’s built-in Wifi will help you out.
You’ll never have to worry about running into bad weather on the road again as Garmin’s model leaves nothing to chance. Simply use the smartphone link app to take a peek at any traffic or weather that could set your journey back. And for the nosier drivers or passengers out there, the points of interest passed on the drive are flagged up for you. Purchase this model and you’ll have a portable tour guide at your disposal on the road for years to come.
Open 6.95″ display is large enough to simply glance at when navigating the road ahead
Settings can be upgraded to receive alerts concerning upcoming places of interest
Built-in WIFI function allows for state-of-the-art updates when on the road
Bluetooth features include hands-free calling and voice-recognition to activate navigation LiveTrack features lets the driver share their location so friends can know when their approaching
- Weight9.6 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.
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
- Weight1.72 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.
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
- Weight9.9 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.
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
- Weight14.4 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.
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
- BrandRand McNally
- Weight2 pounds
Best RV GPS Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Look for in an RV GPS
Are you a prospective buyer rifling through thousands of RV GPS models with no idea where to start? By asking yourself these three simple questions, you and your state-of-the-art RV GPS will be out on the road together in no time.
Does it have Bluetooth? - Bluetooth is the next big thing on the electronic market. All the best RV GPS systems include the option to call their friends and family hands-free so you can be off the grid as well as connected at the same time. Bluetooth is also useful for when the notorious road trip hunger bug hits. If you decide mid-trip to stop for some grub along the way, dialing the restaurant has never been easier.
Does your prospective GPS customize routes dependent on the size of your vehicle? - As the world of vehicle technology progressed, larger vehicles such as trucks and vans were left in the mud as the industry veered towards making life on the road easier for elite sports car drivers aka. where the money lay. These days, it's fantastic to see product making go back to the ordinary driver. All high-quality RV GPS systems are customized to cater for the exact model, weight, and height of your vehicle. In this sense, the roads that your nifty device recommends won't include any precarious bridges or narrow tunnels.
Does it have a built-in dash cam? - A seasoned RV driver will unfortunately have seen some pretty awful driving in their time. Dash cams have soared in popularity because of their efficiency at capturing pretty horrific crashes and fatal errors performed on the road. Buying a RV GPS with a dash cam won't only benefit other drivers on the road, it will give you the peace of mind after witnessing a crash that you wouldn't have changed your own driving.
Why You Should Use an RV GPS
- Avoiding Traffic is a Huge Plus
It's Friday night, and you've just taken off for a weekend in the mountains in your beloved RV when BAM... a queue of traffic awaits you. Traffic getting out of the city is a major bugbear of any RVer. Yet with your handy GPS in tow, your 'assistant' will warn you of any upcoming traffic and recommend alternative routes to save time.
- Quality Pitstops are Important for the Soul
Who doesn't love an outlandish pitstop? As well as refreshing a driver's mind, we find that some of our most meaningful encounters and best grub have been where we least expect them: on the side of the road. And your RV GPS can increase the chances of your success by segregating the bad diner from the brilliant.
- Finding Your Way Out of the Woods
You're just driving home from a perfect weekend away when the stress of modern life finds you even before you arrive back home. Choosing which windy, twisty path to take when lost in the forest is always a nightmare. That's why all high-quality RV GPS's offer a split-screen junction view, so you'll clearly see where's best to turn.
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?
A: 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?
A: 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.
Q: Do all RV GPS systems have lifetime updates?
A: 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 device. 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?
A: Garmin - How could any RVer not love Garmin? This company have been putting their 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 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 are a company that refuse to place limits on their 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
So, out of all the high-tech RV GPS' reviewed within this trusty buying guide, which one would we trust to accompany us though tough drives? It would have to be Garmin's RV 760LMT Portable GPS Navigator. Equipped with all the latest GPS advances such as Lifetime Maps and traffic updates, it's a product that won't go out of style for a long time. And its impressive directory of America's RV Parks and Services is ordered based on the quality and number of amenities on offer. And if you keep refreshing as you travel, then any upcoming hospitals and fuel stations will be pointed out to you. Hands down, Garmin's model gets five glowing stars from us all.