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Best RV GPSes: Control Your Routing Preferences

Plan your route and make sure you never miss a turn with one of these top RV GPS devices.

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BY/ LAST UPDATED ON April 21, 2022

Due to their weight and size, RVs need to navigate more carefully than regular cars and trucks. For that reason, standard GPS units may not efficient in selecting routes. That’s why you need a GPS unit designed specifically for RVs. To help you maneuver through sharp curves, narrow roads, lateral winds, and more, here’s our buying guide for the best RV GPS units.


If you’re tired of relying on physical maps to get where you’re headed in your RV, it’s time for an upgrade. And no, we’re not talking about just any regular GPS device. You need one that’s made for the needs of a camper and RV owner, with maps that cover campsites, national parks, and other camping-specific details. With an RV GPS on the dashboard of your vehicle, you’ll be able to navigate easily on every one of your road trips. Plus, these devices are versatile; you can use them in other vehicles, outside of your vehicle, and even update them easily without connecting to your computer. Which RV GPS units make the most worthwhile investment? Here are some of our top picks.

Garmin RV 780 GPS Navigator with RV/Camping Adventurer’s Bundle

Summary
An RV GPS that comes with a wealth of extras, both in its accessories and its navigation features so you’re always road-ready.
Pros
  • GPS plus travel-ready extras like a spare charger
  • Pairs with smartphone for hands-free calls and notifications
  • Includes directory of RV parks and services
Cons
  • Smaller screen

Joganve GPS Navigation

Summary
Affordably priced with solid basic features, this RV GPS is a reliable choice for RVs as well as other vehicles in need of easy-to-use navigation.
Pros
  • 7-inch tempered glass touch screen
  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Strong, easy to use suction cup mount
Cons
  • Some settings can be tricky to learn

Garmin RV 890 RV Navigator

Summary
This RV GPS includes all of the best features you need when road tripping, from Wi-Fi to voice assist to an adjustable screen.
Pros
  • Can be used in portrait or landscape mode
  • Includes mapping and alerts specifically for campers
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for up-to-date maps
Cons
  • Somewhat lower resolution
  • Simplified, not detailed, maps
Best RV GPSes: Control Your Routing Preferences

Our Methodology

The RV GPS devices that we’ve highlighted as the best available as those that offer crucial features for those hitting the road to camp. We 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 our top picks. To assess how reliable, trustworthy, and convenient these devices were in real-life settings, we looked at users’ reviews. 

Why Trust Us

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.

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Best RV GPS Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Mount Style: Suction cup
  • Screen Size: 6.95 inches
  • Hands-Free Capability: Voice-activated navigation

Pros

  • Includes GPS plus must-have accessories
  • Road warnings for grades, curves, weight limits, and more
  • Includes directory of RV parks and services
  • Smartphone pairing allows for calls and notifications

Cons

  • Small screen

The Garmin RV 780 GPS Navigator with RV/Camping Adventurer’s Bundle is more than just a basic GPS device and its necessary accessories. It’s a comprehensive kit that’ll keep you navigating with ease, with protective extras like a spare charger, a storage case, and a stylus for use on the small touchscreen. But it’s not just these extras that make this GPS unit a top choice for RV owners. It’s also feature-filled. With a high-resolution 6.95-inch edge-to-edge touch screen, you’ll enjoy custom routing that takes your RV’s size and weight into account while plotting. And you’ll also get road warnings that alert you to steep grades, sharp curves, and weight limits. Plus, you’ll love the ability to pair your phone with the GPS unit for hands-free calling, smart notifications, and voice-activated navigation.

The only downside? This RV GPS does have a smaller screen than some other products.

Specs

  • Mount Style: Suction cup
  • Screen Size: 7 inches
  • Hands-Free Capability: No

Pros

  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Sensitive tempered glass touch screen
  • Offers four route style choices

Cons

  • Figuring out details like changing states can be tricky

If you don’t want to invest a lot in your RV GPS but still want essential, easy-to-use features, you’ll want to consider Joganve GPS Navigation. Suitable for use in RVs as well as cars, trucks, and all types of vehicles, this device offers a 7-inch tempered glass touch screen with great resolution at a price that fits into almost any budget. Loaded with North and South American maps, you’ll enjoy free lifetime map updates – and you can even reach out to customer service if you need international maps for free. There are four route choices to choose when planning your route, including fast, green, and easy. And you’ll have up to 32 GB of extended memory to store all of the maps you need.

However, it can be a little tricky to get the hang of all of the settings and modes on this RV GPS. You’ll want to play around with it before you hit the road to avoid potential delays (or frustrations).

Specs

  • Mount Style: Screw down or suction cup
  • Screen Size: 8 inches
  • Hands-Free Capability: Voice assistant

Pros

  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Supports multiple languages
  • Sensitive tempered glass touch screen
  • Offers four route style choices

Cons

  • Figuring out details like changing states can be tricky

Enjoy the journey with this Garmin GPS on your dash. It features a large eight-inch screen that can display your map in landscape or portrait mode. The routes provided are custom-created for your motorhome and pull-behind. You’ll appreciate the road warnings that help you prepare for sharp curves and changing road conditions. It also comes preloaded with the best spots for staying a few nights in the RV or admiring the view. The built-in Wi-Fi is nice for keeping your maps up to date. The built-in voice assistant makes operating your GPS easy and safer.

Unfortunately, the screen resolution for this navigator isn’t as sharp as other units on this list. This can result in maps that look slightly blurry or not as crisp as other units. The maps are also simplified, which can leave you feeling like they lack information or details.

Specs

  • Mount Style: Reversible suction cup
  • Screen Size: 5 inches
  • Hands-Free Capability: No

Pros

  • Includes free U.S. maps
  • Delivers real-time traffic updates and adjusts routes
  • Advanced lane guidance for key junctions
  • Split-screen junction view

Cons

  • Very small screen
  • Must use the touch screen to set routes

The TomTom 1525SE GPS Navigation Device is a great RV addition if you’re hoping to beat or avoid traffic on your road trips. You never know what kinds of delays traffic can cause when you’re in an unfamiliar city, so this GPS will give you the guidance you need to avoid stalls, stops, and slow roads. Its touchscreen display and free lifetime US map updates keep you informed, and drivers will particularly appreciate the advanced lane guidance. At key interchanges and junctions, you’ll get a split-screen view so you know exactly which lanes you should guide your RV into. It’s a helpful less-stress feature that ensures you won’t miss a key exit or turn.

However, you’ll want to note that this RV GPS has just a 5-inch screen. That’s pretty small for an RV’s expansive windshield and dash, and it may make your navigation tricky to see. You will get spoken turn-by-turn directions, which should be suitable, but glancing at the screen may be tough.

Specs

  • Mount Style: Suction cup
  • Screen Size: 10 inches
  • Hands-Free Capability: Yes

Pros

  • High-definition touchscreen
  • Creates custom routes based on RV size and weight
  • Includes RV parks and services on maps
  • Hands-free voice commands

Cons

  • Suction cup mount is weak
  • Bit of a learning curve to master

Have more fun on your next RV adventure with this advanced GPS navigator. It features a large, 10-inch high-definition touch screen. It stands out because it creates custom routes that take into account the size and weight of your rig. This ensures you have the best route for your motorhome or pull-behind. It will also issue warnings for sharp curves, weight limits, and steep grades. That way, you are never caught unprepared. Your GPS will come preprogrammed with a directory of RV parks and services. The Wi-Fi connectivity makes updating easy. The voice command feature makes using your navigator while driving safer.

Unfortunately, you may find the user interface to be confusing to navigate at first. However, it gets easier as you use it. The suction cup may also struggle to hold the oversized screen in your windshield.

Specs

  • Mount Style: Suction cup
  • Screen Size: 7 inches
  • Hands-Free Capability: Yes

Pros

  • Voice guidance shares alerts for curves, speed changes, and more
  • Bluetooth connects smartphones to the GPS
  • Free lifetime North America map updates
  • 2D and 3D map views

Cons

  • Suction cup mount is weak
  • Must be wired to vehicle to work

If you don’t want to worry about keeping your eyes on the road while dealing with a GPS and a smartphone, the ViviLink Bluetooth GPS Navigation device can help. Thanks to its Bluetooth capability, this RV GPS can sync to your phone, allowing you to get all of your alerts (and answer calls and notifications) via your GPS. You can see everything from turn-by-turn directions to smart notifications for calls, text messages, and even calendar reminders, while keeping your hands on the wheel. Plus, this touchscreen GPS device allows you to set customized routes based on your vehicle type, driving usage, and even RV height so you get the right route with no restrictions.

There is one small detail that can be a drawback for RV drivers. Though this GPS device does have a built-in battery, it’s merely meant to be a backup power source. You’re meant to wire the GPS to your RV in order to keep it powered up and running while you’re on the road.

Specs

  • Mount Style: Suction cup
  • Screen Size: 6 inches
  • Hands-Free Capability: No

Pros

  • Includes free lifetime maps for North America
  • Delivers accurate, updated traffic information for intelligent route mapping
  • Alerts for speed cameras, road changes, and more
  • Connects to smartphones via Bluetooth

Cons

  • No voice-activated control
  • Updates can be frustrating

If you need a GPS that’s always updating and staying in tune with local road traffic or changes, the TomTom Go Comfort GPS Navigation Device might be the right fit. Designed for road tripping with smart routing, this RV-friendly GPS device updates via Wi-Fi so you have real-time data on traffic and the time expected to reach your destination. In addition to intelligent planning, this GPS also alerts you to speed cameras, road updates or changes, and more to ensure you’re prepared. The wireless connectivity ensures maps and software are updated, too. Plus, if you’d like, you can sync your smartphone via Bluetooth so you get messages read out loud right on your GPS.

Just keep in mind that this device doesn’t offer voice-activated control, so you do have to physically use the touchscreen. Additionally, the updates can take quite a while and lag, which leads to some frustration when you’re on the go.

Our Verdict on RV GPS Devices

The Garmin RV 780 GPS Navigator with RV/Camping Adventurer’s Bundle is a top choice for any RV owner because it’s both a GPS and a bundle of camping-ready accessories in one. 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. 

Use Your Phone as a GPS

First things first: You probably don’t need an RV GPS device. You’re already carrying one with you everywhere you go, and it’s both convenient and pocket-sized. It’s your smartphone.

Just about everyone uses a smartphone nowadays, and as a result you’ve always got a GPS device on you. And although your phone’s maps app or navigation might not be specifically fine-tuned for RV use, it’s still a perfectly great solution — one you’ve already paid for. With a cheap phone mount installed inside your RV, you can easily rely on your phone’s turn-by-turn navigation to guide you anywhere. Plus, as an added bonus, you never have to worry about map updates. Your phone handles this automatically, whether you’re looking for a campground, a particular destination, or just getting the lay of the land around you.

Types of RV GPS Devices

Smartphone

Like we mentioned above, your smartphone is a perfectly fine RV GPS. And it’s one type you’ll absolutely want to consider. You already own your phone, and 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 (and, of course, it’s reliable too). The only potential downside? You might not be able to easily find your way if you lose signal.

Plug-In 

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. 

Hardwired 

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. 

Battery-Operated 

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.

RV GPS Key Features

Screen Size

The size of the screen you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the amount of space you have available. GPS devices range in size from 3.5 to 10 inches. Generally, the larger the screen, the more expensive the GPS unit will be. Also, consider the screen resolution. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image will be on the screen. Most people like a larger screen because it shows more information and is easier to read. However, a small screen will be less distracting and fit in the cockpit area easier.

Traffic Data 

Don’t get stuck in unexpected delays from accidents, rush hour traffic, or another traffic-related incident. A GPS unit that gives you live traffic updating will help you avoid the gridlock and keep you on the move. The unit should be able to tell you the current road conditions and give you alternative routes that have less traffic. Advanced units will have features that help you to drive better, such as speed limit changes and traffic camera presence.

RV-Specific Features

While nothing is stopping you from using any automotive GPS unit, some come with RV-specific features. These are nice to have because they make driving your RV easier and more enjoyable. Some units customize your route to suit the weight and size of your rig. Others provide you with RV points of interest, such as parking, fuel, and campgrounds.

RV GPS Pricing 

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 $150 and $300.

FAQs 

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, as 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 easily 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.

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