Though some still prefer physical maps, their era is coming to a close. Nowadays, most people use the maps on their smartphones. When driving in an ordinary car, your smartphone navigation app may do just fine.
Driving an RV, however, typically requires a special RV GPS. Regular GPS units aren’t designed to avoid roads that are too steep or narrow for your RV. This can damage your RV and cause you to get stuck.
RVing trips already come with enough unexpected surprises. Having a dependable RV GPS that automatically avoids tricky routes makes planning your travels more pleasurable and convenient. The less you have to worry about getting to your destination, the more you can enjoy the journey.
Getting the Best Deal on your RV GPS Unit
Smartphone GPS Apps
Waze and Google Maps are the best free GPS out there, but they’re not designed with the RVer in mind. They don’t have ways to filter out narrow roads and create RV-friendly routers. Still, these two are the best options if you refuse to pay for a tailor-made RV GPS.
CoPilot RV GPS is our favorite paid app out there. It’s more affordable than a physical, mounted RV GPS and comes with features no free apps on the market have.
First, you can enter in the dimensions and weight of your RV, and the app will automatically guide you through roads suitable for your vehicle’s size. You can also add stops along your route if you know which points of interest you’ll be visiting along the way. Lastly, if you lose service during your journey, as is often the case with RVing, CoPilot stores the map offline on your phone.
RV GPS Navigation Units
The following RV GPS units all come with customizable routes based on your unique RV profile. They all tend to be faster at calculating and updating routes than GPS apps on your phone. Find out what differentiates each below.
Garmin RV 770 LMT-S ($349.99)
Physical RV GPS units come with a heftier price tag. But with their added expense come more advanced, RV-dedicated features. This RV GPS, in particular, is preloaded with TripAdvisor data on points of interest specifically for camping enthusiasts. It’s also equipped with a directory of RV parks that you can easily search based on the criteria you enter.
Magellan Roadmate RV9490T-LMB ($379.99)
Magellan Roadmate RV GPS units come in varieties ranging from $349.99-$429.99. We’ve chosen a mid-range option that we especially like because of it’s practical touchscreen. All Roadmate units come with live traffic updates, nearby fuel prices, and advanced weather notifications. Like the Garmin model above, they also have a directory of RV parks and POIs for RV enthusiasts.
Rand McNally OverDryve™ 7 RV ($449.99)
This onboard RV GPS comes with RV-specific navigation to keep you prepared for the road ahead. Features like Advanced Lane Guidance, Junction View, and Exits Ahead Quick View make navigating complex intersections, staying in the correct lane, and preparing to take the taking the right exit a cinch.
Rand McNally is known for devices with screens that adjust well to any lighting, meaning they’re always easy to see. This device also comes with safety features like voice-enabled texting and phone calls, to keep your focus on the road. A feature unique to Rand McNally devices is its RV checklist for pre-departure and campground set-up. They help to prevent you from forgetting anything important and make setting up shop at each RV park a breeze.
Traveling in an RV can be complicated. It’s common to have setbacks when navigating from one RV park to the next. These frustrations can lead to arguments and even ruin an otherwise fun trip. With RV GPS units, getting from one campground to another is a matter of entering your destination and pressing “start”. No more worrying, and no more quarrels.
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