When you're on the road traveling to new adventures, why would you trust your valuable time, safety, and gas with anything less than the best RV GPS?
Experienced RV travelers can tell you the value of having accurate directions in the form of precise maps. But technology has grown by leaps and bounds since the days of foldable maps that were often outdated.
Now travelers enjoy electronic maps that can keep them up-to-date on new roads, traffic conditions, weather, and more.
We live in a new and exciting age for RV travel where folks can use the best RV GPS to make life much more comfortable.
Not to mention, road travel much more enjoyable.
HOW DOES THE BEST RV GPS WORK?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which is a radio navigation system that uses satellites. The U.S. government owns the system and the U.S. Air Force operates it.
What we see in our phones and vehicles are GPS receivers, or GPS navigation devices which we often refer to as GPS.
As it turns out:
GPS is made up of three parts: satellites, ground stations, and receivers.
The satellites assist in helping you determine your exact locations at a specific time. The current GPS has 31 active satellites.
Ground stations use radar to accurately ensure you are at the place where you think you are.
The receiver continuously listens for and receives the signal from the GPS satellites. It uses the signal to determine the required distance in reaching them.
Next, the receiver then determines your location by calculating its distance from four satellites. If it can only get signals from three satellites, it can still locate your position (albeit less accurately).
These three components of the GPS working in tandem can ensure that the best RV GPS has incredible precision in determining your exact location.
Furthermore, the GPS can figure out other locations that are a few yards from your exact location.
In fact, some receivers are so high-tech that they can do it within a couple or more inches. This type of system can quickly pinpoint your exact location wherever you are on the planet.
Watching live GPS can be a kick because it is like watching live animation. It follows your every move. If you are driving, you can pick a car to represent your RV's avatar.
Plus, many have choices for a voice that gives you directions using hands-free navigation.
HOW IS THE BEST RV GPS DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR GPS SYSTEMS?
Unlike GPS systems found on your phone or other non-RV tailored GPS stand-alone units, the best RV GPS will have unique features only for RVs.
For example, your smart phone's GPS is unlikely to tell you if an overpass is too low or a road too narrow.
Whereas, the best RV GPS will calculate all of the information about your RV to determine the fastest and safest route to take.
Imagine being able to avoid hassles such as crowded urban streets, U-turns, low bridges, and other RV-hating hazards.
There's nothing worse than coming up to a low bridge and having no way to go around or go back.
With the best RV GPS, you can safely follow a course that will allow you to think more about the cool stuff to see and do, not low bridges.
Another feature of the best RV GPS is the ability to find resources such as RV parks and propane refill stations.
You can also get information on service stations and after-hours towing for your RV.
They designed the best RV GPS with your needs as an RVer in mind.
WEATHER AND TRAFFIC
Also, you can get weather and traffic alerts that can help you adjust your trip from hundreds of miles away.
This function can be a potentially life-saving feature that can guide you away from dangerous weather conditions.
Hate getting stuck in traffic?
While the live traffic feature isn't exclusive to the best RV GPS units, it is still a handy addition, especially in larger cities.
Now you can breeze around traffic jams and wave to all the frustrated locals running late for work.
FIND ROADS IN REMOTE AREAS
Many RVers who visit national parks know how difficult it can be finding routes. Unfortunately, most GPS systems don't pass muster when it comes to navigation in remote areas such as parks.
But, with the best RV GPS, you can find those small off-the-map roads with relative ease. The best RV GPS unit will get the most recent updates for any new park geographical information, such as new roads.
If you have ever been lost in the woods, then you know that it is no picnic (unless you decided to have a picnic that is).
With this in mind, the benefit of a GPS that can guide your RV out of the middle of nowhere cannot be overstated.
One of the dangers of using a cell phone or small screen device for navigation is that you have to look away from the road longer to see what it says.
Thankfully, this isn't the case with the best RV GPS because you'll have between five and seven-inches of eyeball real-estate to glance at.
The best RV GPS units will also have high-definition displays for bright, crisp images. This feature is especially useful when reading street signs or identifying landmarks.
LIFETIME MAP AND TRAFFIC UPDATES
You'll never have to worry about staying up-to-date when it comes to maps and live traffic with the best RV GPS.
That's because it will have built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to connect to the latest update for the lifetime of your product.
With the best RV GPS, you will also get up-to-date information on the newest hotels, restaurants, attractions and more.
Some systems even make suggestions on places you may want to visit.
How We Mapped out Our Course to the Best RV GPS
As you may have discovered, finding the best RV GPS isn't easy. There are dozens of GPS systems out there. Some offer RV-specific features and services. However, there are very few that garner the level of critical acclaim other devices get.
To find the best RV GPS, we searched numerous internet forums, websites, videos, and articles and compiled a list of suggestions. We then eliminated most of the products due to poor user reviews and kept only the best-reviewed products.
Please Guide Your Attention to the Best RV GPS Systems
Out of dozens of GPS systems, we found six that represent the best RV GPS models on the market. These systems all feature things like live traffic, mobile app support, large screens, and voice navigation. Some offer lifetime map and traffic updates, as well as a rear-vehicle camera support.
The prices of these units range between $100 and $500. Also, they all come with a one-year limited warranty.
1. TOMTOM GO 620
TomTom GO 620 features lifetime updates for maps all over the world with lifetime TomTom Traffic via your smart device. Also, the unit has an upgraded processor which allows for faster route calculations, searches, destinations, and start-up along with a sizeable 6-inch screen.
Plus, it features voice control, Advanced Lane Guidance, live traffic, the MyDrive Cloud App for your smart device, and free Wi-Fi upgrades.
Additionally, this system is compatible with both Google Now and Siri and allows for hands-free calling. On top of that, you can also check your smartphone messages, and it comes with an active magnetic mount.
But there's more, with TomTom Destination Prediction, your unit learns your driving habits and predicts when you're most likely to drive to regular destinations that you save in My Places. Thanks to smart learning, the more you drive, the more accurate its predictions become.
Coupled with TomTom's lifetime safety camera support, your unit will let you know if you are approaching mobile, fixed, or average speed camera, while it reminds you of the speed limit. You will also receive safety camera locations free of charge for the lifetime of your device.
Amazon customers rated this product 3.7 out of 5 stars.
One customer complimented the product's six-inch screen, accurate directions, and advanced traffic features.
However, other customers complained that the unit has trouble updating, has issues paring with their phones, and the phone app eats up battery life.
The average retail price for this product is between $$ and $$$. Plus, the TomTom Go 60 comes with a one-year limited warranty.
2. GARMIN NUVI 2789LMT 7" GPS W/ FREE LIFETIME MAPS & TRAFFIC
The Garmin Nuvi 2789LMT 7" GPS w/ FREE Lifetime Maps & Traffic features a 7-inch pinch to zoom touchscreen display with dual-orientation. Additionally, it features FOURSQUARE, which allows you to search millions of shops, restaurants and more.
Furthermore, it comes with Direct Access, which simplifies navigating to complicated destinations. Likewise, Garmin Real Directions guides like a friend, using things like landmarks and traffic lights.
You also get lifetime map updates that feature information such as new business hours, new roads, and more as well as lifetime traffic avoidance.
With the Bird's Eye Junction View you can get a detailed overhead view of overpasses and junctions before you get there.
Similarly, it shows realistic displays of interchanges and junction signs along your route as well as the surrounding landscape.
Best of all, there are never any subscription fees or ads. Plus, it has Bluetooth with voice-activated navigation and Smartphone link compatibility.
This Garmin model received 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
One reviewer said he loved the GPS unit's voice-activated navigation as well as both the photoReal and Bird's Eye Junction View features.
That said, another reviewer complained that the live traffic feature wasn't accurate and the unit was a bit too heavy for the mount.
The model sells for between $$$ and $$$$. It also comes with a one-year warranty.
3. GARMIN RV 770 LMT-S
The Garmin RV 770 LMT-S features a large, high-resolution 6.95-inch edge-to-edge display that is easy to see while driving on the open road. Additionally, it includes access to free live traffic, essential weather, and more with the free Garmin Smartphone Link app.
This best RV GPS model also suggests attractions along your route and offers Custom RV routing based on the weight and size of your RV or towable trailer. It also features hands-free Bluetooth calling, smart notifications, and voice-activated navigation.
Finally, this Garmin model has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity which makes getting map and software updates easier when you are on the road.
Best of all, it has pre-loaded detailed maps that also include RV-related restrictions such as weight limits, bridge heights, speed limits, and other useful information for most roads and highways.
The unit will even audibly warn you about upcoming ascents, descents, and more.
This product scored a 3.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
An Amazon customer said it was perfect for RV travel, stating that it was pretty easy to use once he read the instructions. He also liked that it warned him of speed limits and displayed RV parks and fuel stops.
Meanwhile, another customer said it was too difficult to use for navigation, and the Bluetooth feature was buggy.
This best RV GPS model can retail between $$ and $$$. It also comes with a one-year limited warranty.
4. GARMIN RV 760LMT RV GPS & TRAVEL PLANNER
The Garmin RV 760LMT RV GPS & Travel Planner features a large seven-inch high-resolution touchscreen display which shows 800 x 480 pixels using WVGA TFT color display with white backlight.
This model features free lifetime map and traffic updates that provide RV-specific services such as repair shops, vendors, truck stops as well as a comprehensive list of nationwide tow and repair facilities (including those that offer after-hours service).
Additionally, you get specialized RV routes that tailor your route based on customizable restrictions such as weight, height, width, and length. Also, you'll receive advisories and cautions of risks such as lateral wind, grounding, narrow road, steep hill, sharp curve, tree overhead, and state borders.
Not to mention, it has voice-activating navigation which allows you to just talk to it, and it is compatible with the Garmin BC 20 wireless backup camera.
This Garmin model rated 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, which is just a hair below our standard of at least four stars.
However, the same product did receive 4.3 out of 5 stars on Walmart and 4.6 out of 5 stars on eBay.
A satisfied customer remarked on how much he enjoyed the unit's special RV programming functions such as being able to enter the weight, height, and overall size of your RV.
He also liked the product's huge screen and excellent navigation features.
On the other hand, another customer complained that his map was not up-to-date even after getting an update.
This Garmin model can cost between $$ and $$$. Plus, it includes a one-year limited warranty.
5. GARMIN DRIVE 50LMT (UNITED STATES) 5" GPS W/ FREE LIFETIME MAPS AND TRAFFIC
The Garmin Drive 50LMT (United States) 5" GPS w/ FREE Lifetime Maps features free lifetime map and traffic updates on a five-inch color LCD touchscreen display.
The unit also features driver alerts, warns you about upcoming speed changes, sharp curves, school zones, fatigue, red lights, speed cameras and more.
Plus, the system is easy to use with dedicated GPS navigation that displays current street, speed, speed limit, and arrival time. Similarly, Garmin's real-time directions guide you like a friend using recognizable landmarks such as buildings and traffic lights.
With FOURSQUARE you get preloaded data that adds millions of new and favorite restaurants, stores, and more to your GPS database. Additionally, it has Access Direct, which simplifies navigation to even the most complex destinations such as airports and malls.
Not to mention, this unit offers USB mass storage that's compatible with Windows and Mac OS X. Plus, it is compatible with Garmin babyCam which allows you to keep an eye on other areas inside your RV.
Amazon customers gave this GPS 3.7 out of 5 stars.
One review described the system as "life changing." She said the unit helped her navigate strange cities after her husband suffered a stroke and needed medical treatment in different areas.
That said, one very annoyed customer didn't like that the unit reportedly told him Alaska was a part of Canada. Meanwhile, another customer claimed that it had trouble finding an address or location.
This system can retail for between $ and $$. Additionally, it comes with a one-year limited warranty.
6. GARMIN DRIVESMART 61LMT-S (NORTH AMERICA) 6.95" GPS W/ FREE LIFETIME MAPS & TRAFFIC
The Garmin DriveSmart 61LMT-S (North America) 6.95" GPS w/ FREE Lifetime Maps & Traffic features a 6.95-inch high-resolution touchscreen display. Furthermore, the display features 1024 x 600-pixel resolution.
Additionally, you get free lifetime map updates of North America. Also, it has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for one full hour on a full charge.
Plus, the unit provides real-time services such as select live parking and live traffic when using a free smartphone link app on your compatible smart device.
Not only that, but it also has Bluetooth calling, smart notifications, and voice-activated navigation. Likewise, it features free Wi-Fi for easy map updates and is a USB mass storage device compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.
Customers on Amazon awarded this product 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Then again, customers on Walmart gave it 4.0 out of 5 stars, they gave it 4.6 out of 5 stars on Best Buy, and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Bhphotovideo.
One customer said he loved the large capacitive touch screen and size. He also said the unit stayed cool with no overheating issues and liked the USB storage space feature.
However, the same customer noted that voice command is "hit or miss" when it comes to street addresses.
This product retails between $$ and $$$. It also includes a one-year limited warranty.
The Best RV GPS: You've Reached Your Destination!
After intensive research and a bit of debate, we've finally taken the off-ramp leading us to the best RV GPS.
We chose the Garmin Nuvi 2789LMT 7" GPS w/ FREE Lifetime Maps & Traffic. Several features make this product the best RV GPS.
Its large seven-inch high-definition touchscreen, free live traffic, and map updates, Bird's Eye Junction View, and other great features set this GPS apart from the pack.
While it is one of the most pricey systems out there, you truly get what you pay for in this RV GPS.
We hope this guide to the best RV GPS systems proved helpful in your search.
Safe travels and may your road take you somewhere that makes you smile.
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