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Finding your way through life is hard enough, so why struggle with finding your way around the country, too? Just get yourself a GPS system for your RV and you'll never be lost on the road again.
The following article will discuss the various features you should be looking for when buying your next RV GPS. We'll also take an in-depth look into what we think are some of the best GPS units on the market.
Comparison Chart of the Best RV GPS Units
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Are All GPS Units The Same?
GPS units all provide the same basic function of keeping you on track when trying to find your way to a destination. However, not all GPS units are the same as there are a few variations that can be bought.
Some units can be used on your RV and might even come with a backup camera for easy reversing, along with Bluetooth and voice recognition abilities. Other units can even be used while doing some fishing on the boat. You'll also find GPS watches that come with plenty of safety features that can be used in an emergency.
With some purchases, you'll also find a full maintenance kit is provided, as well as a mount to have on your dashboard. You'll notice there are a few manufacturers that provide all of this with the product and you'll not need to go through the hassle of buying them all separately.
Types of RV GPS
The different types of GPS aren't very different in terms of functionality, as they all provide the same service. However, the differences are mainly in the screen size and the features they can offer like Bluetooth or even voice recognition commands.
Most GPS systems have either a six-inch or eight-inch screen and the bigger, the better, as you'll be able to view more information on it.
You'll also have variations with hands-free features or a backup camera. As you can see, there are many unique types of GPS systems. However, there are a plethora of features that they can offer.
Review of the Best RV GPS Systems
This section is one of the more important parts of the article. This is when we'll highlight all the products we think are the best on the market and then detail their main features and pros and cons.
Best Overall & Best From Garmin:
Garmin RV 770 NA LMT-S
This Garmin GPS unit is currently the best on the market and there are a number of reasons why we believe this. To start, it has plenty of added accessories that come as part of the kit. These accessories include a 12V car charger, cleaning cloth, bamboo stylus, protective hard shell case, and three LCD screen protectors.
The main attraction to this GPS system is that the screen size is seven inches, which will be able to offer a lot of space to view information available to you. The GPS will be able to direct you to all the nearest RV campsites and service stations as well as being hands-free and providing live traffic updates.
This GPS unit is currently the best on the market for your RV for some great reasons, such as having a large LCD display that can show plenty of information all at once. The full kit will equip you with everything you need to take care of the GPS properly.
The features included with this GPS are also unique to more modern GPS units such as Bluetooth and hands-free technology, which are great benefits for your own convenience. The only downside with such technologically advanced GPS systems is that it'll take you a while to get used to everything.
Garmin RV 760LMT
This GPS is similar to the last as it's another seven-inch touchscreen display. What's special about this GPS is that it will direct you to routes that are RV-friendly by taking into account different variables such as height, weight, width, and length of your RV.
The large display also helps monitor your surroundings by showing you any risks such as grounding, wind direction, narrow roads, or sharp turns in the road. Other features of this product include the voice-activation which will respond to your commands even while driving.
The runner-up was a strong contender for the top spot. However, it only just missed out for a couple of reasons. There are many benefits to this product such as the seven-inch touchscreen display, which allows you to monitor plenty of information at once, including outside risks while also taking you along RV-friendly routes and taking into consideration plenty of RV variables like height and width.
These features are a huge advantage to any RV owner as they take out the fear factor when traveling. Other benefits include voice recognition which allows you to say commands while still driving.
Now, onto the downsides, the first being that because it's so advanced, it'll probably take you a while to get used to. Another disadvantage is that it doesn't offer you the same number of features and extras as the previous product.
Best for the Money:
TomTom VIA 1625M
Navigating has never been as easy with this GPS unit. You'll have full control over where you're going as this system uses advanced lane guidance, which means you'll never be confused again when driving in between busy lanes.
The touchscreen display is a six-inch monitor that allows for a decent amount of information to be on screen at once. You'll also have a split screen junction view. One of the best qualities of this product is that you'll have free lifetime map updates for anywhere in the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico, which is a serious amount of ground to cover.
This product is great for those on a budget and will provide you with all of the basic functions you need to get you from point A to point B. The touchscreen display is mainly for convenience and bragging rights. You'll also benefit from a lifetime's worth of free map upgrades for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
The six-inch display will also be able to offer a decent amount of information at once. However, the display isn't as big as others that we've mentioned, so it won't be as clear. Another disadvantage would be that it's not RV-friendly, which means it won't work out routes that are best suited to RVs.
Best With Backup Camera:
Garmin nüvi 2798LMT
This seven-inch display will be able to show you some of the best high-resolution pictures possible when reversing or simply just reading a detailed map. The map is constantly updated so it can offer the best routes possible by avoiding any closed roads or by using new roads. The landmarks and notable buildings will all be used by the real voice guide to give you more detailed directions.
You'll notice that the GPS will provide detailed images of junctions to decrease the stress of merging on/off a busy roadway, as well as notifying you of any nearby service stations and other businesses that might seem useful. With your GPS, you'll also receive a backup camera with a mounting bracket and wireless transmitter.
This GPS system is currently the best on the market that offers a backup camera. The system itself has plenty of space on its seven-inch display to help monitor your surroundings without having to switch between screens. The map updates will ensure that you're taking the best routes possible while avoiding any closed roads and using new and open ones.
A helpful feature of this GPS is the voice guide which uses local landmarks that stand out as markers to help direct you to your destination more effectively. This kit also comes with a backup camera which comes with its full installation kit. The only downside to this product is that because it has so many features and accessories, it'll take a while to set up,
Best From TomTom:
TomTom GO 520
This is one of the most impressive GPS systems currently on the market and comes from TomTom. You'll have free lifetime map updates for any country around the world, as well as lifetime TomTom traffic updates that'll direct you to the least congested route. These updates will all be done via WIFI, which means they'll be almost instantaneous.
You can use the Siri or Google Now to talk and command your TomTom device, making it a lot easier to operate. The smart technology used in your GPS will be able to predict where you're planning on going by analyzing your historical data. As expected, this device is hands-free and can be controlled by voice control. The display is five-inches. However, you can buy a six-inch model, too.
This GPS is currently the best in the TomTom range and should also be highly regarded as the most convenient currently on offer. The technology built into this device is amazing and screams convenience. Another huge benefit of this product is that you're not restricted to any country as it has access to any map on the planet and can be updated for free whenever you need it.
The only major downside to this product is that the screen is so small compared to other GPS units we've reviewed, which really makes the GPS look bad. You can buy a six-inch display, however, it doesn't offer nearly the number of features as the five-inch display.
Best From Rand McNally:
Rand McNally TND 740
This seven-inch display will be able to offer plenty of space to show any relevant information the driver might need. This limits any accidents as you'll not be flicking through different apps or tabs when driving.
An attractive feature of this device is that all the routes will be found by accommodating your vehicle’s weight, length, width, and height to find the easiest route. You'll also have lifetime map updates for free.
If you need to know about any sharp corners because of weight and speed you might be traveling at, these warnings can be customized in the settings section, you'll also be able to get speed limit warnings too.
This GPS system is the best of the Rand McNally line, as it has plenty of useful qualities and features, such as the seven-inch display that will offer plenty of space for multiple tabs to be open showing different pieces of information.
The larger the screen, the better as you'll not need to mess around with the GPS system. The custom warnings are also a huge favorite as these will warn you of road speed limits and even if you're coming up for a sharp corner.
The RV-friendly routes are also a huge benefit to a driver, as this will save you from some unnecessary hassle of getting yourself stuck on a road that isn't wide enough or under a low hanging bridge. The only downside with this GPS unit is that there isn't any Bluetooth or even live traffic updates, which can be a huge problem for anyone.
Best From Magellan:
Magellan RoadMate RV9145-LM
Another seven-inch GPS display, this system will offer you enough space to view any important information by using only one tab. One attraction of this GPS unit is that you can tell it the exact dimensions of your RV and it'll find all RV-friendly routes so you don't end up in any accidents or awkward situations.
The quality of the free lifetime map updates is another huge feature that should be included in all GPS systems. It will also have a long list of known RV campsites, services, coffee shops, and more or less anything you'll ever need, built into the GPS.
This product has some great features that will really benefit any RV owner who buys this system. The seven-inch display is what allows drivers to view all of the most important information without having to switch between tabs or apps on the GPS device, meaning it's a lot safer and much more convenient. You'll also have the opportunity to put in your RV dimensions, and the system will find you the best routes to use.
You'll also benefit from the long list of pre-installed destinations included in your system, such as RV campsites, emergency services, and coffee shops. This saves a lot of hassle trying to find these places manually.
The downsides to this model are that you don't receive any traffic alerts and there's no Bluetooth installed. However, you'll find it on other models within the same range.
Aspects to Consider Before Buying
There are plenty of aspects to think about when researching your next GPS system. The following section will discuss these considerations in greater detail.
The display size is an important factor in finding the best GPS for your RV. In most cars, the built-in GPS display would be around four inches. However, in an RV GPS, you should be looking for screens six inches or larger. The larger displays are around eight inches, although you'll be able to get displays even larger than that if you look hard enough.
Most modern and best performing GPS systems will have plenty of extra features for you to play around with. Features such as Bluetooth, voice recognition, and hands-free are all features available from some of the best GPS units currently on offer. Other cool features include directions to the nearest camping site, car park, or service station.
When buying your new GPS unit, you'll most likely get all the maps you need from the country you're based in. However, if a few years pass and you need some serious map updates because so much has changed, you should get it for free, although some manufacturers will charge an upgrade fee. So, finding a product that includes free map upgrades is also something to look for in your GPS system.
The main lesson to take away from this article is that sometimes, even the smallest of products are the hardest to research and uncover the best for your purposes. However, if you follow our guide, you'll easily be on your way to your destination.