Having a great RV GPS out on the open road is essential. Relying on your cell phone isnt the best option due to spotty service, batteries, and smaller screen size. Not having good navigation is a huge problem when traveling, to us this is one of the most essential pieces of equipment you can have.
Today’s GPS options are amazing, reliable and the only way to go while driving your RV. They have much larger screens, have the ability to track bridge heights to ensure your RV is safe and let you know where you can stop to hook up for your RV.
Do you want to avoid the interstate and also any dangerous high speed turns? No problem, modern GPS devices can program your rv’s height and weight and sort through roads using an algorithm to find the type of road you’re looking for.
A GPS will even alert you to things such as turning off your propane due to state regulations when crossing over boarders..
Once you have used a good GPS designed for RV’s you’ll never be able to use google maps, wazer or any other mobile GPS applications.. They’re just simply not designed for RV’s and the complexity of driving one.
In this article we list the absolute best GPS options on the market based on user reviews, internal components, warranty, applications, hands free options, software, ease of use and screen size.
You can be assured that the selections below will give you the best travel guidance and safety available.
The Best GPS units for RVs in 2020
The Garmin Drive is a great affordable option to have a stand alone GPS unit which is a must for RVers or fifth wheel guys.
It has a large 6.95” GPS edge to edge display that is super bright and you can zoom in with. I also like that it allows you to see buildings and terrain in 3D which is very helpful.
It also has built in wifi to update when needed without plugging into a computer which is commonly found on models in the same price range as this.
Other cool features include:
- Large fonts which is great for people with poor vision like myself
- Plug and play, no need to hook up to a computer or phone
- Has voice activation and hands free set up
- Has a really neat feature of national landmarks, US parks directory, trip advisor ratings build in and foursquare points of interest
Best Entry level GPS
The Garmin 780 is a great entry to the upper level GPS units for RV’s. It has a beautiful 6.95” edge to edge touch display so screen size should not be an issue. It has all the modern features that are a must for RV’s including custom route design that uses RV size and weight to calculate the best route for your RV and will provide warning ahead for things such as grades, sharp curves and any weight limits.
My hands down favorite part of this GPS is the exact lane images it displays. This doesn’t seem impressive until you see it yourself. When you’re on the interstate in areas with several interchanges it can be very difficult to know what lane you actually need to be in. This GPS will give you a direct path from the view of driving.
Some other great features include
- -Directory of RV parks, pits stops and restaurants with the ability to filter by prices and amenities
- -An excellent hands free setup
- -Wifi for auto updating
- -Bluetooth ready
- -Garmin Drive app to access real time live traffic and impressive weather forecasts
Top Rated GPS
This is the mac daddy of GPS units, it has all the bells and whistles you can find on a modern GPS designed for RVs.
It has all the features of the Garmin RV 780 plus more.. It has a large 7” touch display, a different user interface and a built in dash cam! That might not sound exciting to some but for me it is a huge bonus. It also has built in lane avoidance, lane departure and collision avoidance to make sure you’re being safe after long hours.
Other cool features include:
- Dashcam automatically saves footage incase of a collisoin and records the GPS details and time of accident
- Supports SD card for built in dashcam
- Ultra high resolution screen
- Locates the best campgrounds using utlimate public campgrounds, KOA, iOverlander and PlanRV
- Custom routes designed based off your specific RV size and dimensions
- Discovers routes to avoid traffic and specific requirements you request
What to look for in a GPS
Screen size- When deciding on the best type of GPS unit, the most obvious thing you should keep in mind is the screen size. For me, the bigger the better.
My vision isn’t the best and I don’t like squinting, and taking my eyes off the road for long. I try to get the biggest screen size I can afford. Typically a screen size larger than 5 inches is plenty for most people (including yours truly).
Installation- Most GPS’s we recommend are pretty much plug and play, you have to input a few key selections about your vehicle, but that’s pretty much it otherwise some specific models will require more user input for things such as wifi, voice recognition, and user preferences.
Ease of use- The goal of a GPS is to prevent you from being distracted while driving. So when choosing a GPS device I like to look for either hands free options (voice control) or the ability to type the address and hit GO!
You will want to find a GPS that allows you to program in your settings and have the ability to program home, and any other important stops on the way into your travel planner so it will not require your input on the drive. Most Garmin GPS units have this ability, as ease of use is one of their top priorities.
Reliability-When picking a GPS we highly recommend sticking to the top bands such as Garmin or Roadmate. One of the reasons is their quality control standards will be higher and their software development is updated constantly due to having larger design teams.
Warranty- This is highly dependent on the manufacturer, but most larger brands offer a limited warranty on the product for any defective issues that are not your fault such as buggy software, bleeding screen, or bad battery.
We hope this article has helped you in your decision of purchasing a GPS for your RV. Finding a GPS designed for RV’ing, that is up to date with technology is by far the best option for you when traveling. Any of the devices we reviewed above will be a great choice, however a few of them might have different options that might be more appealing to you depending on your situation.
After using a truck GPS for years, I personally could never go back. Please let us know if you need anymore guidance for selecting your RV GPS.