Choosing the Best GPS For Your RV

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February 4, 2016

IMG_3977Wondering which is the best GPS to buy for your RV travels? Whether it will be your only navigational guide or your secondary unit, there are many makes to choose from.

The first thing you probably want to look at is which units are designed to be customized to the specifications and configuration of your specific RV rig. This will guide you on routes that have bridge clearances and roads that will handle the weight and dimensions of your RV, including any towed equipment.

Well, that narrows the field somewhat. Next let’s look at what the top motor coach builders are supplying with their coaches.  Well, it is probably no surprise that the Rand McNally in-dash GPS is the chosen unit. Many new motor homes from entry level right up to million dollar rolling palaces offer the Rand McNally GPS as an option, or as standard equipment.

Next, let’s look at what other features would be beneficial to the RVer. Ideally, it’s an already built-in unit with a constantly updated database of thousands of campgrounds throughout North America. It warns you of steep grades ahead, tight turns and much more.  It displays the actual posted speed limit on most highways and the vehicle’s speed, warning you if you exceed a pre-set value. Yes, again, the Rand McNally GPS fills the bill.

So, if your RV does not have a Rand McNally GPS in-dash, you need to look at getting a separate standalone RM set. If you do have an in-dash RM GPS, you may benefit from having a separate portable Good Sam Rand McNally GPS.  A spare standalone GPS can provide a backup navigation tool should the main unit fail.  It can be used for on-route stops without disrupting the main unit’s destination tracking.  It also serves as your portable GPS for your towed vehicle, rental car or like ground travel.

Oddly enough, I just experienced an in-dash GPS failure on a 10,000 plus mile journey. Fortunately, I had a portable standalone Rand McNally GPS.  While there is no question that you can live without such an electronic navigational aid, it is nice to have.   However, the Rand McNally’s ability to specifically customize the route for an RV’s, size, weight and dimensions is a value-add. This can save time and also add an additional layer of on-the-road safety while traveling.

It makes you wonder how we navigated decades ago. Maps, stopping in a gas station to ask directions, and just plain guesswork, were some of our methods, and they worked fine!  Well, fine for automobiles, but not necessarily for the large, tall RV configurations on the roads today. Welcome to the future!

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1 comment

  1. Anonymous

    11 months into the warrantee, my Rand-McNally had a screen failure, which you graciously replaced the entire unit. Prior to the failure, I experienced some of the following glitches with the unit. Curve warnings that were not there. Warning of pavement ending coming off of a turnpike. (It has been paved for the 25 years that I have lived here.) Voice command telling me to turn right and the map showing a left turn. (the correct turn.) Trip plotting a route many miles out of the most direct way.
    I have only used the replacement unit once locally since you returned it, and the guidance is close, but not dead on accurate………..I will be looking for another GPS before I start my summer travels. I don’t like yours.