5 Best RV GPS Reviewed

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Best RV GPS

Hey there, nomad! You must be looking for the best RV GPS systems money can buy.

I can’t say I blame ya. A nomad without mapping is a disaster waiting to happen. Sure, we romanticize the lifestyle of a tech-free plastic bag in the wind. But I’ve done it extensively, so let me tell you some of the things that can go wrong…

You waste money on fuel and supplies going the totally wrong way. Or have to turn around and double back when you realize the backroad you chose isn’t RV-friendly. Worst case scenario, you break down or bog yourself hundreds of miles from any sign of life.

No, you NEED a top-quality GPS for your RVing adventures. And if you want the best of the best, the choice is clear. Buy the Garmin RV 795. It offers the complete package of value and features loaded into one whizz-bang piece of gadgetry from the best brand in the GPS space.

However, the GPS space is positively saturated! And when you’re dropping a few hundred dollars on a piece of tech that’s supposed to make your travels safer and simpler, you want to know you’ve chosen the right tech.

I’ve done the research, and I’ve done the miles. So I’ve gathered a collection of the five best RV GPS units for you to scour through and select the one right that’s for you. Whether you want the best package, the luxury choice, or something smaller and simpler, it’s all in here.

So let’s get to it! Map up nomad. Not all who wander are lost.

But all who wander without a map sure are!

Our Top 5 Picks

  1. Garmin RV 795 [Best Overall]
  2. Garmin RV 1090 [Best Splurge]
  3. Rand McNally OverDryve 7 Pro [Best Budget]
  4. Garmin RV 785 [Best Dash Cam]
  5. TomTom VIA 1535TM Bluetooth GPS Navigator [Best Small Screen]

What is an RV GPS?

A GPS is a global positioning system. It’s a satellite-based form of mapping that provides real-time navigation support.

But an RV GPS, my fellow road warriors, is not just any ordinary GPS. It’s a dedicated GPS device designed specifically for the vast and varied dimensions of the proverbial smorgas board of RVs we all drive. While a standard car GPS gets you from Point A to Point B, it doesn’t consider the size, weight, or other quirks of your beloved home-on-wheels.

For example, have you ever tried taking a route designed for compact cars when you’re driving a massive RV? Perhaps you were even led astray by a regular GPS?  I personally have, and let’s just say, it wasn’t my brightest moment. There’s nothing like popping a 40-point turn on a rural backroad with the cows laughing at you from the pasture!

An RV GPS considers all these factors of your rig as well as the roads ahead. It ensures you’re on a path suitable for your vehicle. Additionally, they usually have heaps of killer info on points of interest, dump stations, park-ups, holiday parks, and other crucial essential info for your RV road trip.

So when you’re in the market for a top-notch RV GPS unit, you’re not just looking for a device to tell you where to go. You’re looking for a companion that knows the difference between a smooth, RV-friendly route and a potential road disaster. While the general idea is similar to a regular GPS, an RV GPS is a whole different beast designed with the RVer in mind.

What does an RV GPS do?

As mentioned, an RV GPS provides specialized navigation for those wanderlusting to explore from the comfort of an RV. Unlike regular car GPS units, these devices account for the unique challenges RV drivers face. And unlike a standard GPS, an RV GPS isn’t going to lead you down a road with a low-hanging bridge or through a narrow tunnel.

Moreover, if you switch between your RV and another mode of transport – perhaps a bike on a trail or even just unhooking your 4X4 from your fifth-wheeler – the GPS adjusts. It recognizes when you’re not in your big rig and thus provides more fitting routes.

But an RV GPS also optimizes your journey. Maybe you want to know the most scenic route. Or are you keen to check out all the top-rated RV campsites? An RV GPS generally comes loaded with this info along with a myriad of other nuggets and pearls for RVlife.

In essence, an RV GPS does the critical thinking. It takes the heavy lifting out of road trip planning. That way, you can sit back and enjoy the drive!

But that’s not all. There are heaps of other features that make an RV GPS your best companion on the road (except maybe your sound system). Let’s dive into all the best parts of an RV GPS as well as some of the things you may want to consider for your purchase.

Portability

An RV GPS is also super portable meaning you can take it anywhere! All those adventures to unknown frontiers sometimes call for getting out of the RV. Foot trails, hiking, biking, kayaking, small-town explorations… An RV GPS can map these wanderings the same as the drives!

And your GPS won’t just be stuck on your dashboard. It’s lightweight and easy to take roaming with you. I’ve often popped mine into my backpack for a cheeky hike, and I ain’t got lost yet! (Mostly.)

Screen Size

The GPS screen’s real estate is key. Nobody wants to squint at a map or guess where they’re going while driving a bulky RV. So consider this (as well as your own eyesight) when buying a GPS for your RV.

Balance is essential: you neither want it too big to obstruct nor too tiny to decipher. In my experience, I’ve noted that the screens on most RV GPS units tend to range between 5 to 10 inches. But seven inches seems to be about the perfect spot to ensure clarity without being obtrusive.

Type of RV GPS

There are also multiple types of GPS systems, each tailored to suit different RV lifestyles.

Street Navigation Systems

Tailored for urban explorers, this system is the go-to pick for city-hoppers. It offers real-time traffic insights and highlights nearby attractions, making city navigation easy-breezy.

Sports Systems

But for the wild at heart, a sports system might be better suited to you. It points to off-beat tracks, ideal fishing spots, rugged trails, and even potential hideaway camps. It’s perfect for when you’re in the mood for a touch of wilderness.

Handheld GPS Systems

Handheld systems are easy to unplug and take on the go. They’re generally compact and incredibly handy as a result, especially when hiking or biking. I’m a big fan of having some mapping available whenever I scoot away from my camper for an adventure. Sometimes a phone just won’t do!

Bluetooth Connectivity

But on that note, many RV GPS systems will allow you to pair the two with Bluetooth. This hands-free capability loads up your device with even more features and safety!

From receiving real-time weather alerts to just taking calls, it’s the perfect blend of tech and travel that adds the last layer of usability to your GPS device. Navigation be damned! Now you’re straight-up cruising.

Pros and Cons of an RV GPS

No product breakdown was ever complete without a handy pros and cons list. Every rose has its thorns, and as much as I sing praises for the RV GPS, there are a couple of hitches to consider (alongside all the glorious upsides).

Let’s weigh up!

Pros:

Pro-tip: get yourself an RV GPS!

Ease of Navigation

Picture this: the whole road trip you’ve got planned goes smoothly and without drama. You’re behind the wheel, window down, breeze in your hair, not a care in the world. Just enjoying the drive.

With an RV GPS system, that’s no fantasy! Gone are the days of fumbling with paper maps or deciphering cryptic road signs. With an intuitive interface, clear directions, and a wealth of options to customize your travel style, you’ll be cruising effortlessly. When soloing, this is a game-changer.

But even if you’ve done plenty of driving, with a passenger princess who’s perhaps a bit (*ahem*)… navigation-challenged… then this is still equally a massive game-changer!

Custom Routing

Every RV has its quirks and place on the road. Your GPS will know that. Feed in your vehicle’s dimensions, weight, and even what you’re towing, and voila! Out pops a route that’s tailor-made for you. 

There will be no more wincing as you approach low overpasses or end up on roads better suited for overlanding. Drive confident in the knowledge that your RV GPS will always have a backup option rather than reversing two-and-a-half miles. It’s like having a personal tour guide who knows your RV as well as you do.

Offline Mapping

Getting off the beaten path sometimes means losing reception. But that’s no stress for an RV GPS! 

With offline maps, you remain in the driver’s seat, even when you’re far out in the boonies. While our phones do get us a lot further than they used to these days, I can tell you from personal experience (and plenty of horror stories) that they aren’t a silver bullet. Sometimes you need MORE. It’s a big country with a lot of space, after all.

Cons:

As for cons… there’s only one!

Cost

But it is one worth considering: the cost. The unfortunate truth is that RV GPS devices aren’t cheap. Sure, they’re packed with features and a plethora of winning reasons to buy one, but they will leave your wallet feeling lighter. 

While there are budget options, the top-tier models with all the bells and whistles are an investment. And it really is in your best interests to not skimp out and get the absolute cheapest GPS gadget. At that point, you may as well use your phone. Remember that in the vast landscape of RVing with all its ups, downs, and middle-of-the-road, it’s always better to pay for peace of mind.

The 5 Best RV GPS

Ok! Well now you’ve learned all the ins and outs of RV GPS units and no doubt decided that buying one is the right choice for you. The only question left is which one to buy!

Ahead you shall find the five best RV GPS devices you can splash your hard-earned cash on. Let there be no more wrong ways and incredibly unwieldy U-turns. The ultimate passenger princess has arrived.


Best Overall

1. Garmin RV 795

  • Screen Size: 7” Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 1 hr
  • Mount Type: Heavy-Duty Suction Cup 
  • Hands-Free Capability: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Taking the top spot for the best overall GPS for RVing adventures is Garmin’s 795 Navigator. As a beloved brand in the space, Garmin is a global name that sets the standard for GPS technology. They’re so good you can expect to see them on this list multiple times! Truly, you can’t go wrong with Garmin RV GPS units.

Garmin’s RV 795 model delivers the most all-around bang for your buck. It brings features, a pleasant user experience, and a digestible price of entry together in one seven-inch package.

Specifically, that seven-inch package features a high-resolution touchscreen display that is easy to read and navigate while road-tripping. It’s also got voice assist functionality to make the mid-trip user experience that much breezier. (You can even connect it to your smartphone to receive calls!)

But what really separates the Garmin RV 795 from its competitors as well as standard non-RV GPS units is the level of thought and care they’ve put into the product for RV travelers. The features are simply divine:

  • Custom routing that accommodates your rig’s size and weight…
  • Information about road quality and steepness…
  • Live traffic, weather, and fuel updates…
  • And even a preloaded database of all the best RV parks and services!

There’s no better companion you can take on the roads ahead. The product isn’t perfect – the mounting suction cup could be hardier, the live updating lets you down sometimes, and I HATE the proprietary charger. But these are very small downsides in an otherwise premier product.

Whether you’re a full-time or casual RVer, you can’t go wrong with this Garmin RV GPS. And I’d say that’s especially true for newbie RVers. Having all the custom routing and other RV-specific features is going to make learning the ropes of the lifestyle both simpler and way less stressful. Truthfully, no matter how you like to RV, this product is the best RV GPS navigator of the bunch.

Well, unless you wanted to splurge a little bit more for the BEST of the best Garmin products. 😉


Best Splurge

2. Garmin RV 1090

  • Screen Size: 10” Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 2 hrs
  • Mount Type: Multiple Types
  • Hands-Free Capability: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Look, sometimes you want the absolute splurge option. So when it comes to your one-stop shop for mapping and navigation, why not shell out for the best? Though Garmin makes its mark multiple times on this list, the Garmin RV 1090 is the deluxe pick for those who fancy a little more.

To start, the whopping 10-inch edge-to-edge display on this beast is truly the belle of the ball. It’s so spacious you can toggle between portrait and landscape modes and never miss a detail! That extra real estate opens up some options in your navigation too. You can use the lower 30% of the screen for crucial auxiliary info like a live weather radar, upcoming amenities (e.g. gas), or even a real-time snapshot of the upcoming miles of terrain.

Mounting isn’t a concern either. With multiple methods on offer – a heavy-duty suction cup, a firm screw-down, or the ball adapter – Garmin’s got you covered. There’s even third-party RAM mounting compatibility!

Otherwise, it comes with all the premium features of the Garmin RV 795! Custom routing, a generous database of essential info, and a revamped voice assistant for hands-free operation are all on offer here. Just with an upped battery life.

However, even a masterpiece has its quirks. The healthy sizing of this Garmin RV GPS is something of a double-edged sword. The 10-inch size of the unit can be a tad dominating so you need to ensure there’s an appropriate place to mount it inside your RV’s cockpit. But then, considering the sheer visual luxury it offers as well as extra utility, it’s akin to complaining that your diamond is too shiny.

Sure, the Garmin RV 795 is amazing. It will no doubt cover you for all the roads ahead. But if you have the extra pennies to spare and reckon you’ll make use of the extra screen size and functionality, why not upgrade to the Garmin 1090?

Go big or go home, right?


Best Budget

3. Rand McNally OverDryve 7 Pro

  • Screen Size: 7” Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 hrs
  • Mount Type: Magnetic (supports tethering)
  • Hands-Free Capability: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year

But maybe splurging for a bigger screen that you won’t make use of isn’t the right call. In that case, when it comes to getting value for your dollars, the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 Pro comes in clutch! Though Rand McNally might not be quite the globally renowned name that Garmin is, they have been in the mapping game since before GPS was a twinkle in tech bros’ eyes.

Built for truck navigation, this GPS packs a punch into its compact 7-inch screen. Despite the more budget leanings, the OverDryve still has all the features you’d want and expect.

Voice assistance? Check. Custom big rig routing tailored to your vehicle? Check and check. Real-time updates on weather, traffic, and where to get the cheapest fuel? Triple check! 

This nifty device even lets you make hands-free calls and texts, ensuring you stay connected and safe. I mean, heck,  there’s even built-in SiriusXM® radio to serenade you on long stretches. PLUS a 32 GB onboard storage with a slot for an additional 16 GB micro SD card so you can go ahead and load up your whole music library!

But it’s time for the but. And maybe it’s the cheaper price or the older model, but the Rand McNally just doesn’t perform as consistently as its Garmin counterparts. While its features are many and premium, the connectivity with the GPS and its live mapping is prone to lapses. It just doesn’t hold up compared to the top-shelf Garmin products I’ve used.

Still, you’re paying less for an older model of the product. Rand McNally has since upgraded the OverDryve to newer models so you could consider those instead. But then you’ll be paying about the same as you would for a Garmin. 

If you want a unit that’s a bit cheaper than the competition, try the OverDryve 7 Pro. But considering that the difference in price between most RV GPS systems is pretty negligible, I’d really recommend the Garmin 795.


Best Dash Cam

4. Garmin RV 785

  • Screen Size: 7” Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 2 hrs
  • Mount Type: Magnetic
  • Hands-Free Capability: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Or this Garmin GPS unit instead! It’s honestly pretty darn similar to the Garmin 795 but just with a built-in dashcam to capture your journey. More than just a guide, the ultimate multitasker for your RVing journey has entered the chat! 

Hosting a built-in dashcam with automatic incident detection, the 785 ups the safety of your trip that much more. The camera features forward collision warnings, lane departure alerts, and “Go” alerts too. Plus it’s got compatibility with Garmin’s BC wireless backup camera so you can get an extra set of eyes on the front AND back. This, of course, covers you in the worst-case scenario of an incident, however, it even makes things as simple as backing up in a busy and kid-crawling campsite infinitely safer.

But beyond that, as mentioned, it’s very similar to the Garmin RV 785. The differences include its magnetic mount (which I prefer to the suction cup variant) and the doubled battery life. Otherwise, it’s the same custom routing, hands-free capabilities, and epic database of goodies for you to explore.

For that reason, you might say that it’s an upgrade over the 795. I would say not necessarily.

While a dashcam is a fantastic feature, it’s certainly not an essential for all RV types, particularly Class B drivers such as myself. In fact, drivers who prefer things au naturale (like myself), might find the extra screens with all their beeping alerts somewhat overstimulating when attempting tricky maneuvers. So there’s not much point paying the premium for an extra feature if you’re not going to properly utilize it.

But, if you’re on the lookout for an RV GPS navigator that also watches the road with you, this is it. Or even if you just want to keep an archive of all the adventures you’ve had. Safe, smart, and stylish, the Garmin RV 785 is the unsung hero every RV explorer needs on board. 

Drive on with confidence!


Best Small Screen

5. TomTom VIA 1535TM Bluetooth GPS Navigator

  • Screen Size: 5” Display
  • Battery Life: Up to 3 hrs
  • Mount Type: Integrated EasyPort Mount
  • Hands-Free Capability: Yes 
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Now let’s wrap up with something a little smaller. As the lightest unit on our list, this is a great choice of GPS for anybody who values portability. Or just found the seven to ten-inch range over the top for their navigation needs.

Now, don’t let the 5-inch screen fool you, it’s more than enough to guide you on the highways and byways with its crispy display. Moreover, its solid 2-3 hours battery life on a full charge actually edges out the Garmin products on this list. TomTom proves good things do come in small packages!

Compared to those Garmin units, the TomTom VIA offers a lot of the same features:

  • Hands-free operation
  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
  • Heaps of local info
  • And live mapping updates

Plus, the TomTom is determined to be your final stop for all your driving support needs. That’s why it offers free lifetime traffic and map updates AND has a thrown-in roadside assistance feature to connect you with a specialist in times of strife.

But here comes the downside: this is a GPS likely better suited to very casual RVers and weekend warriors. Firstly, the interface isn’t my favorite with two separate mapping systems. You have the more or less non-interactive live mapping for when driving as well as the browsable map in a separate section of the system. This is confusing; you’ll get the hang of it, but brace for an initial learning curve.

And secondly, it’s not really an RV GPS. It’s lacking in custom routing features for different rig setups. So it’s really not giving you the RV-tailored joy of the other units on this list.

That will work for some people. I’d say if you are a weekend warrior and spend a lot of time in your regular vehicle otherwise or simply want a smaller, cheaper GPS for all-around use, the TomTom VIA is actually a great pick! But if what you wanted was the fully bespoke RV mapping experience for a cross-country expedition, then the Garmin 795 or 1090 stands as the superior product.


FAQs

Now to wrap up, I will answer all your burning questions about RV GPS units! Let no query go unresolved.

Is there an RV setting for Google Maps?

Currently, Google Maps doesn’t offer a specific setting for RVs or motorhomes. While you can select vehicle types like bicycles, cars, and public transport, Google Maps won’t account for the unique challenges of RV driving. Similarly, you can’t log in your dimensions for things like height restrictions or narrow roads. 

However, Google Maps is an evolving tool, so maybe one day! Instead, for RV-specific routes, you’ll need a specialized RV GPS or app that offers custom routing.

Is an RV GPS Worth It?

Absolutely! While standard GPS systems or apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps can guide you to your destination, an RV-specific GPS caters to the unique needs of RV travelers. 

Maybe it’s an experience thing, but I’ve done a lot of RVing. I’ve truly learned the hard way how standard GPS units can lead you astray. Plus unifying all the road-trip planning into one device, such as gas stops, camps, places to visit, and more, just takes the headache out of the admin. For full-time RVers, a specialized GPS is a no-brainer. And even if RVing is just an occasional activity for you, investing in an RV-specific GPS is still going to make a newbie’s life so much easier.

What are some alternatives to an RV GPS unit?

There are several apps and tools that have been developed with RV travelers in mind. They provide some of the features of a high-quality RV GPS. And they generally offer a whole lot more than something unspecialized like Google Maps.

Good choices include…

RV Life Pro: This app goes beyond just navigation! It includes campground reviews, a trip planner, a maintenance tracker, and even a masterclass library to upskill your RVlife. Plus, it’s got an RV-friendly GPS system. With RV-specific routes and turn-by-turn directions, it makes navigating in your rig a breeze.

CoPilot: Designed for drivers who need detailed truck or RV-specific navigation, CoPilot provides route planning support and offline maps. It accounts for the length, width, height, and weight of your RV or truck to find the most suitable route. 

It’s basically like a lighter app-based version of an RV GPS. And conveniently, CoPilot separates the pricing and subscription models for RVs and trucks so it’s also very cheap for us nomads!

These are just two of the better ones on the market. There are a few others, such as RV Trip Wizard and even Waze, but I find those two to be the best.

Our Verdict

The ULTIMATE passenger princess: that is how I would define an RV GPS. It always has your back, never gets you lost, and never needs to stop for a pee break ten minutes into the road trip!

If you’re still on the fence as to whether you need an RV GPS, I can only assure you that you do. Once you’re out there on all those skinny rural roads not designed for our hulking homes on wheels, you’ll see why. Lived experience has taught me the importance of preparation.

And so if you’re preparing for the ULTIMATE road trip, then you do need the ultimate passenger princess. And for that purpose, there is only the Garmin RV 795. It blends the ultimate package of features, value, and user experience into one product that will serve you for years to come.

The only exception to this pick that I would suggest is the Garmin RV 785. With its built-in dashcam, it offers basically all the functionality and incredible usability of the 795 but with extra eyes on board for drivers who want that.

But again… as long as you get some sort of mapping while out there, you’ll be fine. The world’s a big place! And with a lot of roads to take and a lot of space between.

So whether it’s a passenger princess, a copilot, or just a companion, someone has to have your back! Go get lost out there knowing you’re taken care of – it’s always good to get lost.

No matter what, with your RV GPS, there will always be a road back home.

P.S. In case you’re lacking any RV gear or need any RV services, here are our carefully compiled recommendations.

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AUTHOR

A professional dirtbag by trade, Ziggy Samuels owns a beloved RV, aptly named Stardust, which allowed him to wait out the pandemic in the mountainous wilds of Tasmania, the island at the bottom of the planet. These days, you can find him on-again-off-again riding solo in his home of the Blue Mountains, still appreciating the sky from the comfort of his portable home.