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There’s something so exciting about exploring the country in your RV, unless you’re lost and trying to navigate your big rig through a crowded construction zone. Gone are the days when you had to rely solely on paper maps that could never be refolded once they were opened. Today’s RV GPS units offer an abundance of features that will get you wherever you want to go with ease. I’ve taken the liberty of selecting the best available, so check these out and purchase your RV GPS unit with confidence.
Garmin Overlander Touchscreen GPS Navigator
- Includes GPS plus must-have accessories
- Offers specialized routing for the specific size and weight of your RV
- Includes directory of RV parks and services
- Small screen
Joganve GPS Navigator
- Tempered glass touch screen
- Free lifetime map updates
- Strong, easy to use suction cup mount
- Some settings can be tricky to learn
Garmin RV 890 Navigator
- Can be used in portrait or landscape mode
- Includes mapping and alerts specifically for campers
- Built-in Wi-Fi for up-to-date maps
- Somewhat lower resolution
- Simplified, not detailed, maps
Best Overall: Garmin Overlander Touchscreen GPS
Best Value: Joganve GPS Navigation
Honorable Mention: Garmin RV 890 Navigator
Best for Traffic: TomTom Go Comfort GPS Navigator
Most Adaptable: Garmin RV GPS Navigator
Best Bluetooth: ViviLink Bluetooth GPS Navigation
Best for Wireless Updates: TomTom Go Comfort GPS Navigator
The RV GPS devices that I’ve highlighted as the best available are those that offer crucial features for those hitting the road to camp. I considered devices that were specifically made for RV use as well as other GPS units that could work for any type of vehicle. Those that offered large, easy-to-read screens with conveniences like touchscreen capability, turn-by-turn navigation, and regular map updates were my top picks. To assess how reliable, trustworthy, and convenient these devices were in real-life settings, I also looked at user reviews.
Best RV GPS Reviews & Recommendations
The Garmin Overlander Touchscreen GPS Navigator is a top choice for any RV owner because it’s both a comprehensive on-road option but also a compact and portable choice that offers off-road directions for hiking and exploring on foot. And the GPS unit itself is a standout, with plenty of handy features. If it’s value you prioritize, then another great alternative is the Joganve GPS Navigation, which is simple yet affordable.
What to Consider When Buying an RV GPS
Wondering if an RV GPS is a must-have device for your road tripping needs? Here’s what you should think about when you’re trying to decide.
Types of RV GPS Devices
Your smartphone is a perfectly fine RV GPS. And it’s one type you’ll absolutely want to consider. You can open the maps app to navigate your RV anywhere. With always-up-to-date maps, easy location pinpointing, and the ability to find your way with turn-by-turn directions, it’s both convenient and incredibly versatile. The only potential downside is that you might not be able to easily find your way if you lose signal.
This is the most popular type of GPS unit. It comes with a plug that you will hook into your RV. These units are nice because you can take them with you from one RV to another or use it in your car. Installing them is easier because you’ll mount them on a base that hooks to your dash or the window. They are the most affordable and come with a range of features. For more functionality, some plug-in models also have a battery backup.
This type of GPS unit requires you to install it into your RV permanently. It will be a screen that looks similar to a modern passenger car infotainment system. These are the systems that are most likely to have an Android-based operating system. They will also have more infotainment features beyond navigation. This is nice if you have the dashboard space for installation and are looking for more than just a GPS.
These are the most portable GPS units. You won’t find many RV GPS units that are solely battery powered. However, there are some, and they are perfect if you plan to take your GPS with you on adventures once you reach the campground. Look for one with a powerful battery that will last several hours. It should also have a quick recharge time, so you aren’t stuck waiting for it to charge.
Most RV GPS devices cost less than $150. For this price, you’ll get basic navigation features. If you want a more advanced unit with extras like voice-command capability, live traffic updates, and Bluetooth connectivity, you’ll spend between $200 and $700.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: What general issues should I expect when using an RV GPS?
A: One common problem you may encounter with high-performance GPS navigation systems is short battery life. Also, some GPS systems have a loose micro SD slot and a poor display. Check if the product has a warranty or purchase a GPS tablet from a reputable source to avoid such inconveniences.
Q: Is an RV GPS reliable at camping sites with overgrown trees?
A: It depends on how good the signal receiver is. Some GPS systems perform poorly in areas with large trees, tall buildings, or tunnels because they are blocked from getting a clear signal. However, if you have a portable GPS system, you could walk around before the battery dies and get to a higher or clear point where the GPS system can get a signal.
Q: Is there an RV setting for Google Maps?
A: If you want to use your phone as your RV GPS, you can download maps from the Google Maps app. This allows you to stash maps so you can access them on your smartphone even when you lose your cell connection. It’s a convenient workaround that doesn’t require physical maps or a separate device.
Q: Which RV GPS apps work with Android Auto?
A: Currently, Waze, Google Maps, and RV Trip Wizard are compatible with Android Auto. Camping Navi and Tom Tom Go are also compatible with Android Auto. For a complete listing, check out www.android.com/auto/.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.Learn more