As the weather continues to warm up across North America, there are more and more RVs hitting the road. Some RVers are part-time, only choosing to travel a few times throughout the year, while others are full-time, and some are in-between. No matter how often you use your RV, chances are you most likely take your RV out farther than your immediate local area. When traveling into regions that are unknown or unfamiliar, even experienced travelers tend to use a map or a GPS to help get them there.
Unfortunately, just looking at maps alone cannot prevent RVers from traveling down roads or across bridges with weight restrictions or from coming across a short underpass. A regular GPS alone cannot help with these specific, size-related conundrums. Thankfully, specific RV GPS systems have been developed, and these allow you to input your vehicle’s specifications and will put you on the safest, quickest route suitable for your RV, bypassing those hazards.
With more technology that is released each year, choosing a GPS can be a difficult decision- and typically a pricey one, too. Harvest Hosts has your back. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top-rated RV GPS systems that have been reviewed by RVers just like you. Let’s dive in!
Our Top Picks
Across the board, the Garmin RV 785 has some of the highest reviews amongst users. Garmin GPS navigation systems are household names, and for good reason. Their GPS systems are durable, reliable, and relevant.
The 785 model is the newest-to-date with a high-resolution seven-inch touchscreen display and loads of features. This particular model includes a built-in dash camera, which can be handy in the event of a car accident. Some owners also use their dash cam to safely capture scenic landscapes for them. If a car accident occurs, the GPS can detect it and automatically save your trip footage, even grabbing the exact, current coordinates at the site of the event. Speaking of safety, this GPS model has built-in voice assistance to help users stay focused on the road.
Similar to older Garmin models, the 785 also detects traffic delays, road warnings and hazards, steep grades, sharp curves, and more. There is even integrated campground, national park, shopping, and restaurant data built-in, as well. With this GPS, there’s no need to even grab your phone or computer to do research or make a selection ahead of time. For these reasons (and more), this Garmin GPS is one of the top-rated amongst RVers.
The Rand McNally name has been around since the mid 1800s and has always specialized in maps and guides. Throughout history, the company has adapted to deliver award-winning products to their consumers, from basic car maps to entire fleet management solutions for trucking companies. In 2011, Rand McNally becomes the first company to launch a GPS device designed specifically for RV use.
Their most modern navigation system, the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS, is not only simple to use, but also allows room for customization. This GPS, at its core, allows for simple navigation without any bells and whistles. RV owners input their vehicle’s specifications, and the GPS then navigates them to their destination safely, while also providing Advanced Lane Guidance, Exits Ahead Quick View, and Junction View features for an overall safer trip.
Similar to the Garmin above, this device also boasts a seven-inch touchscreen display with a built-in dash camera to capture accidents or the view. A big standout feature is the fact that this GPS has many tablet-like features. Travelers can stream their favorite music and podcasts while driving, and the GPS is Bluetooth-compatible, which means that the sound can be played through your RV’s speakers if you choose to do so. The GPS can also connect to your phone and read your text messages aloud for you, or even assist with making hands-free phone calls. Because of these features, this GPS is considered to be one of the best and safest overall models.
The most budget-friendly, yet highly-rated GPS is this NAVRUF RV GPS. This GPS has a seven-inch touchscreen display for easy viewing. One advantage with this particular system is the ability to toggle or switch between modes. Travelers can choose between modes such as car, truck, taxi, bus, pedestrian (walking), bicycle, and ambulance mode. While most folks will never need taxi, truck, or ambulance mode, the ability to simply switching modes, without needing to create new vehicle profiles, can be a massive timesaver , allowing people to use this GPS no matter how they’re traveling.
This GPS also includes lifetime map updates, along with a few built-in games and apps. We understand that purchasing a no-name product from the internet can be a risky decision, but thankfully sellers like Amazon give buyers peace-of-mind with their flexible returns. The seller also includes a 90-day money back guarantee on this device.
RV GPS Phone Apps
Some RVers prefer to avoid the costly prices of special GPS systems, while others may not see the value if they are not used often. With increasing technology comes other navigation solutions, such as smart phone apps. There are a few GPS apps that can accommodate RV’s road requirements without breaking the bank. Pro Tip: are you tired of small screens? Try out one of these apps using a tablet or iPad for a larger view! Be sure to safely mount it to prevent breaks and to ensure the driver can see at all times.
Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, Etc.
Unfortunately, most typical navigation systems and apps are not usable for larger RVs. Luckily, smaller Class C’s and B’s may not have this problem and can therefore use free or lower-cost solutions. On the other hand, larger towables or tall motorhomes require special settings to avoid low-clearance underpasses and roads or bridges with weight restrictions. For these reasons, apps like Waze or Google Maps are not suitable for larger RVs. However, if you still wish to use these apps, you can take the time to research your route ahead of time and hope you do not run into any obstacles.
RV LIFE – RV GPS & Campgrounds
The RV Life app is available for both Android and Apple and allows travelers to safely navigate to their destination at an affordable cost. To further assist RVers, the app has a built-in campground locator, as well. The entire app also works offline in the event of loss of signal. The best part is that RVers can try this app for free for seven days before making the full purchase.
CoPilot GPS Navigation & Traffic
The CoPilot app works for cars, trucks, or RVs on Android or Apple. They advertise reliable offline maps and customizable routes based on vehicle size. This app offers a fourteen-day free trial before needing to make any commitment.
Choosing a GPS for your RV is a serious decision that should be well thought-out. Even with all of this information, it can be tough to choose a GPS. The most important factor would be ensuring the GPS is reliable and easy to use and view for the driver. Be sure to research what GPS will work best for you and your passengers before making any choices or commitments.
What type of GPS do you use in your RV? Do you have any experience with the ones on this list? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
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