RV

The 3 Best RV GPS Reviewed & Compared For 2018

Piloting an RV takes your driving to the next level as it requires a few extra skills and considerations.

The vehicle’s dimensions or the added axle of a trailer affect clearance, ease of passage, turns and maneuvers and should be on your mind while planning your route, before you even hit the road.

Google Maps or a regular GPS routing device just don’t cut it and might get you and your RV stuck along the way.

We have reviewed the best RV GPS navigators with dependable routing options for your larger vehicle and reliable turn-by-turn instructions.

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: RV Solar Panels & Kits, RV Deep Cycle Batteries, RV TV Antennas.

Quick Answer: The 3 Top Rated RV GPS Navigators

  1. Garmin RV 760LMT GPS Navigator
  2. Magellan RoadMate 9600-LM RV GPS Navigator
  3. Garmin RV 660LMT GPS Navigator

First, let’s take a look at a feature comparison of the top RV GPS navigators, below are full reviews and our buyers guide.

Best RV GPS Compared

 Garmin RV 760LMT GPS NavigatorMagellan RoadMate RV9145-LM GPS NavigatorGarmin RV 660LMT GPS Navigator
editors choice
Screen:7” touch-display, 800 x 480 resolution7” dual orientation touch-display, 800 x 480 resolution6.1” dual orientation touch-display, 800 x 600 resolution
Maps:North America & CanadaUS, Canada, Puerto RicoNorth America
Mount:Suction cupSuction-cup mount with device clipFlexible portable friction mount
Rating:4.1 / 5.04.0 / 5.04.0 / 5.0

RV GPS Reviews

#1 Garmin RV 760LMT GPS Navigator

Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS Navigator

Garmin RV 760LMT GPS Navigator at a Glance:

  • Display: 7” touch-display, 800 x 480 resolution
  • GPS: High-sensitivity GPS with integrated antenna (accurate to 3-5m)
  • Mount: Versatile suction cup
  • RV Features: RV routing with custom vehicle profile, America’s RV Parks & Services directory, warnings for rounding, lateral wind, narrow road, sharp curve, steep hill, tree overhand and state borders, RV service stations, POIs
  • Maps: North America & Canada preloaded, lifetime updates
  • Extras: Voice commands, lifetime traffic updates, compatible with backup camera, smartphone link for iOS & Android, lane assist guide, bluetooth connectivity

Garmin knows how to design a GPS navigator for recreational vehicles, so it’s no surprise our first pick is by this manufacturer. The Garmin RV 760LMT is a premium device with full RV features and services.

The 7” display makes maps and instructions easy to read. You set a vehicle profile and can then start routing according to your needs and preferences. Warnings include bridge heights, tight turns, narrow roads, and even wind or state borders.

With America’s RV Parks & Services Directory, you can find 20,000 sites in the US and Canada and filter by amenities, including pet-friendliness, laundry services and electricity hookups. More than 14,000 service locations cover towing, tires, repairs and other stops.

This is a Garmin LMT model, meaning apart from the preloaded maps for the US and Canada, you get lifetime map and traffic updates. Garmin Express allows you to quickly update information on the device.

Traffic warnings are available without a smartphone connection, but you can pair the GPS navigator with an Android or iOS device to receive further live information such as weather conditions.

There are social features such as the option to share your location or entire trip with friends and family via the BaseCamp feature.

Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS Navigator Menu

Hands-free calling is possible with Bluetooth connectivity, and thanks to voice commands, even rerouting is safely possible while driving. For backing up with ease, you can connect a camera.

Driving directions are spoken clearly and maps as well as POIs are displayed with great overview to show what’s up ahead. Active lane guidance gives you confidence for handling exits, interchanges and junctions on the road.

Should you miss or ignore a turn or exit, the Garmin RV 760LMT automatically plots a new course to your specified destination.

Speed limit indications are useful to have and by adding custom POIs, you can extend the database for landmarks or obstacles. The storage can be extended with a Micro SD card.

A reliable suction cup is included for mounting the device, but a very popular option is the beanbag friction mount which enables you to flexibly move the navigator around on your dashboard.

With extensive features for RV owners and accurate maps and traffic updates, the Garmin RV 760LMT is a premium choice you won’t regret and our editor’s choice for best RV GPS.

#2 Magellan RoadMate 9600-LM RV GPS Navigator

Magellan RoadMate 9600-LM RV GPS Navigator at a Glance:

  • Display: 7” dual orientation touch-display with 800 x 480 resolution
  • GPS: High-Sensitivity GPS with multi-directional patch antenna (accurate to 3-5m)
  • Mount: Suction-cup mount with device clip
  • RV Features: RV routing with custom vehicle profile, warnings for elevation, bridges, weight limits, curves etc., route area avoidance, parking finder, junction view
  • Maps: US, Canada, Puerto Rico preloaded, lifetime updates
  • Extras: Traffic camera alerts, speed limits, 3D buildings, landmark guidance, safe driving mode, portrait/landscape operation, multi-destination routing, OneTouch favorites

The Magellan RoadMate 9600-LM offers custom RV GPS navigation at an extremely affordable price. Same as the model above, you can define a profile for your vehicle, based on which you’ll receive routing with warnings, avoiding obstacles for your RV.

What you don’t get compared to the premium version are the travel guide and campground directory as well as Bluetooth and camera connectivity.

You will also have no live traffic updates with this device, but the navigator warns you of traffic cameras and speed limits. The subscription for this service is limited to one year and can be extended.

Map updates are available for the lifetime of the unit. The US and Canada are preloaded already. The 7” touchscreen can be operated in portrait or landscape mode, so you can choose between a peripheral or detailed view.

With 3D buildings, your surroundings are displayed realistically, while spoken guidance also calls out visible landmarks with instructions like “turn left at the gas station.” Junction view is the feature guiding you to the correct line for exits, interchanges and intersections.

A safe driving mode encourages healthy driving habits.

The Magellan RoadMate 9600-LM comes with seven million POIs to help you find nearly anything, including parking. With quickspell and smart features, the search is straightforward.

OneTouch favorites allows you to define custom places for quick and easy access to destinations. The route area feature lets you define parts of the map you want to avoid to avoid congestion, construction or high traffic.

Multi-destination routing is available with automatic sorting to deliver the most efficient route. Automatic rerouting gets you back on track in case of a missed turn.

If you don’t need the full package that the RoadMate RV9145-LM offers and can live without traffic updates, an RV directory and some of the connectivity.

The Magellan RoadMate 9600-LM has you covered at an entry-level price and the best RV GPS for the money!

#3 Garmin RV 660LMT GPS Navigator

Garmin RV 660LMT Automotive GPS

Garmin RV 660LMT GPS Navigator at a Glance:

  • Display: 6.1” dual orientation touch-display with 800 x 600 resolution
  • GPS: High-sensitivity GPS with internal antenna (accurate to 3-5m)
  • Mount: Flexible portable friction mount
  • Maps: North America preloaded, lifetime updates
  • RV Features: RV routing with custom vehicle profile, RV parks & service location directory, warnings for elevation, bridges, weight limits, curves, and more
  • Extras: Wireless backup camera included, smartphone link for iOS & Android, voice commands, free lifetime traffic updates, lane assist guide, make calls through speaker & mic

The Garmin RV 660LMT GPS navigator is a powerhouse of features for your RV trips. Designed for trailer travel and journeys with recreational vehicles, this model allows you to set a custom vehicle profile.

You can then base routing on the specifications of your RV and the planning stage also features an elevation tool. Avoiding tolls or highways is no problem.

The GPS navigator will warn you of low clearance, weight limits, tight turns and elevation. Setting your route is easy with the touchscreen, and the 6.1” dual orientation screen offers plenty of overview with clear definition.

The active lane guidance feature makes difficult interchanges less stressful with several options for viewing junctions to assist you in finding the right lane. The direct access feature simplifies navigating to destinations such as airports and shopping malls.

Upcoming points of interests are displayed ahead with plenty of time for you to make spontaneous decisions, while the device is preloaded with a directory of RV parks and services for your trip planning.

You can filter campgrounds by amenities. The Garmin RV 660LMT indicate speed limits and traffic. LMT stands for lifetime map and traffic updates, so you don’t have to worry about outdated information.

With voice commands and a bluetooth smartphone link, you’ll keep your hands on the wheel both for phone calls or interacting with the device while driving.

You can pair your smartphone with the GPS navigator to receive real-time information as part of the Garmin Live services as well as share your progress on social media.

You can define up to 1,000 personal POIs. With access to Foursquare, you’ll always know what’s around you near and far. The internal storage can be enhanced with a Micro SD card of up to 16 GB.

The navigator automatically collects statistics in a trip log. Another nice extra is the included wireless backup camera which will give you a view of what’s behind your RV.

The Garmin RV 660LMT is a precise navigator with an accurate GPS receiver. Free traffic and map updates, concise graphics on a comfortably-sized screen and excellent lane assist directions make this device our pick for the best RV GPS under $500.

How to Choose the Best RV GPS

rv gps units

Deciding Which Model is Best for You

RV specific GPS navigation units help you get the most out of your journey. They typically feature a larger display which offers more overview and is easier to follow.

By entering your vehicle profile such as dimensions and weight, you can customize routing and avoid low clearance situations, narrow roads or tolls. RV specific points of interest make finding a campground, RV park or other amenities a breeze.

Features like traffic and map updates are also important to consider. After our top selection of RV GPS navigators, we’ll go into more detail about how to make the right choice.

A regular GPS or even a smartphone might seem sufficient for finding your way. Shorter trips with your RV or trailer where you know the route might not be a problem, but damaging your vehicle or getting stuck in a sport where you can’t turn are certainly situations you want to avoid.

The longer you’ll be on the road, the more you have to plan. RV GPS navigators allow you to stay flexible and take the stress out of plotting your course.

In the following, we’ll highlight the most useful RV features and explain which specification to look at to pick the right RV GPS unit for you.

Display

Garmin GPS
RV GPS’s usually have a larger 6-7 inch display

Personal navigators for a car usually range between 4 and 5 inches in screen size, but in the roomier cockpit of an RV vehicle, a bigger screen is definitely an advantage.

All of the models we reviewed feature a 6” or 7” screen with a resolution high enough to offer sufficient detail and overview, even when mounted at a distance on the dash or windshield.

The Garmin RV 660LMT and the Magellan RoadMate 9600-LM have displays which can also be used in portrait mode for a different level of detail.

Mount

A trustworthy mounting option is a must-have feature, and none of the models failed here. The most common variant is a suction cup mount, designed versatile enough for a hanging or standing mount.

Of course, manufacturers want to sell you an upgrade, but none of the devices featured an inferior or unusable mount out of the box.

What you are comfortable with is up to you, of course: some drivers prefer a friction stand they can freely push around on the dash, others rely on the fixed place of suction cup.

GPS

The GPS receivers on all models were sensitive enough to provide sufficient accuracy. Typically, when you first power on the device, it will take longer to establish a satellite connection but will fix your position quicker in the future.

GPS navigators maintain more satellite connections than a smartphone and can therefore offer more reliable service. None of the devices we looked at supported an external antenna, but it wasn’t really necessary.

Maps

Since online maps from Google and other providers are constantly updated, the manufacturers of navigation devices have to keep up in a way.

You can expect lifetime updates for all of them. Some were preloaded not only with US territory, but also with Canada or Mexico. Additional map material is available from the manufacturers (Garmin, Magellan, TomTom).

Storage

The capacity of an RV GPS navigator can range between 2GB and 6GB or even 8GB of internal storage. If you want to be able to access more maps or database material at the same time, you can use an SD Card to expand the memory or store files.

RV Features

Garmin RV GPS Features
Handy search features to look for in an RV GPS

This is where manufacturers and individual GPS navigators distinguish themselves from each other. With the exception of the TomTom model, all units we reviewed allow you to set a custom vehicle profile where you enter the weight and dimensions of your RV for smart routing.

You will typically receive warnings for obstacles and things along the way such as elevation, bridges and overpasses, weight limits, sharp curves, narrow stretches, trees, or even wind and state borders.

The higher-end models also include some sort of directory which helps you find RV parks and services. A database of points of interest can also include specific destinations such as service stations.

Some models also guide you to adequate parking and help you access locations such as malls or airports. There are also social features which enable you to share your location or your trip, geo-tag pictures and compile a travel log.

Connectivity

The top models allow you to connect a backup camera for a better rearview when reversing. Only our editor’s choice already included a wireless backup camera.

Bluetooth functionality allows you to connect your phone and use the navigator’s internal speaker and microphone for making calls.

Some manufacturers offer a smartphone companion app with import and export features and the possibility to receive further real-time updates such as weather and construction information.

Extras

All models that we reviewed have reliable spoken turn-by-turn instructions and lane assistance to help you through difficult interchanges.

The Garmin and Magellan models also feature voice commands for hands-free adjustments to your route as you’re driving. All navigators featured here will reroute you automatically if you’re off-course.

You can get automatic traffic updates as a lifetime service with some of the units. The multi-destination routing of the navigators varies with automatic sorting options in some models.

Conclusion

An RV GPS navigator is not just a matter of convenience. Using one will greatly simplify your route planning with a vehicle profile, but it also lets you avoid costly or damaging situations on the unknown road ahead.

What’s more, you’ll travel more with more flexibility, knowing that you can easily find an RV campsite or service station and that the new route you have chosen is compatible with your vehicle.

In our opinion, a device with a profile feature is a must-have. According to your preferences, you can pay extra for live traffic updates, improved connectivity or an included database of RV sites and POIs.


I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best RV GPS to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a GPS I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Happy travels in your RV and have a safe journey!

Notice: Outside Pursuits is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees sold through by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases via our Amazon affiliate links supports our efforts to bring you the best possible product reviews at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your support here at OutsidePursuits.com

Jakob Straub

Jakob Straub lives in Barcelona, Spain, where he works as a freelance writer and author. He covers topics ranging from travel and outdoor to literature or software and technology. Jakob is addicted to climbing and splits his time between bouldering at the gym and exploring the crags of the Catalan countryside. He also enjoys long hikes in mountains or on the Costa Brava and is a rookie surfer on the Mediterranean shores.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Close