RV camping around the country isn’t nearly as hard as it was for our grandparents. But by using the best RV GPS systems available today, we can drive our RVs with more confidence and ease.
No longer do you have to only rely on your map skills (though it’s probably good to have a few of those. 😂) But, thankfully if you are woefully inadequate at reading an Atlas, there are some pretty amazing RV GPS out there now.
In fact, today’s navigation systems are so easy you could probably have your kids navigate your routes. Here’s our updated 2023 review of the best RV GPS on the market.
What does an RV GPS do?
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a beginner, having something to guide you along the road is a great help. Every journey is unpredictable. Make sure you equip your RV camper with the best and most accurate RV GPS technology.
GPS, or Global Positioning System, by definition, is a global navigation satellite system that can provide the location, velocity, and time synchronization. A GPS has 3 components that work side by side to provide the most accurate results, they are as follow;
- Space (Satellites) – These are the satellites that are orbiting the earth and transmit signals to users on geographical position along with the time of day.
- Ground control – These are the Earth-based control centers that monitor, control, and track satellite activities and transmissions. They are found on almost every continent in the world, such as North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
- User equipment – These are the GPS receivers and transmitters such as mobile devices.
What’s The Difference Between An RV GPS And A Regular GPS?
While both RV GPS and regular GPS help users navigate, they are tailored for different contexts. An RV GPS is specifically designed for recreational vehicles, considering factors such as the vehicle’s size, weight and height.
They can provide customized routes that avoid obstacles like low bridges or narrow roads which may be unsuitable for an RV. Additionally, they often have RV-friendly features, such as directories for RV service locations, campgrounds, and rest stops.
On the other hand, regular GPS systems are more generalized, providing standard navigation for most vehicles without considering specific vehicle dimensions or RV-specific features.
They are often smaller, less expensive, and offer a simpler interface, making them suitable for everyday use in standard cars.
What to Look for When Buying an RV GPS?
Here’s a list of the features you want to look for in your RV GPS:
- Ease of use– Make sure you are comfortable in using it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with new technology, so choose a GPS that isn’t too complicated for you to use.
- Height & Length input– Make sure the GPS you choose has a feature like height, weight, and length input. SOit can adjust your travel route according to your camper’s size.
- ScreenSize– This is a personal choice, choose a GPS that has a screen size that can provide a route that your eyes can clearly see.
- Dash Cams- In case of accidents, a dash cam can record these unforeseen events and can help with insurance issues or alike.
- Traffic & Campground Features- Not all GPS has these features but if you want to keep away from traffic jams make sure you include this feature when buying an RV GPS. Some GPS systems can also provide information about the different campgrounds near you.
- Speed limit indicator– When driving an RV or any other vehicle, being aware of your speed is very important. The best RV GPS has this feature and can provide you with speed limit changes and warnings.
- Smartphone Compatibility- By connecting the RV GPS to your phone you can receive messages, sync your apps, and update road maps for locating nice campground spots.
- Memory- Memory greatly affects the performance and productivity of a GPS System. A GPS with larger memory can do more than that of a GPS with smaller and much-limited memory capacity.
- Price- Just like anything that you purchase, you always have to consider the price. Oftentimes the price is linked to quality so be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
- Frequency of Travel- If you’re planning to travel more often you should invest in high-end GPS that are sure to work perfectly even when you use it very often.
What are the most trusted RV GPS brands?
The front runners when it comes to the best RV GPS brands are Garmin, TomTom& Rand McNally which you can see in our list of the best RV GPS to buy on the market. These two brands have done such a remarkable job in designing GPS systems that are highly efficient while RV driving.
- Garmin– Is an American multinational technology company founded in 1989 that has remained relevant in many industries like aviation, automotive, marine, outdoor, and fitness. The company is incorporated in Schaffhausen, Switzerland but has several offices located all around the world. Sticking by their beliefs, honesty, and integrity, they have made RV GPS systems that include features to help campers travel with ease
- TomTom– When it comes to mapping, TomTom remains on top. As the world of driving changes, TomTom has continued to improve which is evident with their highly accurate maps, navigation software, and real-time traffic information. For these reasons, TomTom has been the top choice of RV campers for RV GPS systems.
- Rand McNally– Rand McNally has continuously developed and innovated products that can help people on the road. Their mission is to enhance the road travel experience for everyone, and they are exactly doing that through their highly rated GPS systems.
What Are The Benefits Of Having An RV GPS?
GPS is such a powerful tool that can help greatly in so many industries especially when it comes to traveling, here are the benefits of having RV GPS for your next camping adventure.
- They can detect low bridges
- They provide road warnings
- Support route optimization and fuel efficiency
- Some GPS can customize the route based on the weight and size of your rig
- They provide and suggest a list of RV Campgrounds
- Update you with the traffic situation
- Provide audible navigation or offer hand-free options
What Are The Types Of RV GPS?
There are 2 predominant types of RV GPS that you can find on the market
Portable RV GPS Systems– As the name implies, these are types of RV GPS systems that are versatile and compact. They are easy to move around inside an RV. Since it is portable you can easily detach and transfer it to a different rig.
Permanent RV GPS Systems– These are built-in GPS systems that you cannot remove from your campers like the portable ones. Some serious RV Enthusiasts prefer this type mainly because its feature and design is specifically tailored to the RV where it is built-in.
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How to Use an RV GPS?
Each RV GPS system comes with its own specific instructions, but generally speaking, using an RV GPS is not hard. The first thing you have to do is mount or install the GPS unit on your dashboard. Be sure to follow the steps specified in your units’ manual.
After it’s been securely attached to the dashboard, you are ready to start using your new RV GPS.
Make sure you read the manual that came with your GPS unit to do be able to do specific instructions so you can maximize all its features.
Equip your campers with these reliable navigation systems so you can drive confidently on the road. There is no greater price for safety, be wise and so make sure you choose the best RV GPS on the market.
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Looking for more ways to make your RV camping trip a lot safer? If so, you should definitely check out our list of the best RV Security Systems on the market.
To avoid boredom on the road, don’t forget to pack some family-friendly road trip games.