Safe Travels With The Best RV GPS In 2021

Too busy to read this review? After a lot of research, I came to the conclusion that the Garmin RV 785 is the best RV GPS available.

Going on vacation with your RV is great. You get to spend some time with your family without all the daily stress factors.

However, if you’ve traveled without an RV GPS before, you know what kind of problems may arise. Low bridges, small passages and weight restrictions can be a pain in the butt.

When I went on vacation with my dad and RV GPSes weren’t popular yet, my dad knew he could expect problems because of low bridges or terrible U-turns.

Really, an RV GPS is such a handy tool and can save you a lot of time and frustration.

So here in this article, I bring you the 3 best RV GPSes that you can also use for trucks, trailers, cars and any other vehicle that can supply power.

 

Table of Contents

The top 3 RV GPS

Garmin RV 785 – Best GPS With Dash Cam

What is it about dash cameras that I love so much? Well, you can record everything in front of your vehicle, and they come in handy in case of accidents. Let’s hope you don’t end up in an incident, but there are plenty of people who drive like lunatics.

With a dash cam, you don’t have to worry about convincing the police that it wasn’t your fault. The Garmin RV 785 may be expensive, but it has a disableable built-in dash cam and has just about all the features you can think of.

 

Restriction routes

So let’s begin with the most important features: the different types of restrictions. You can input the length, width, height and weight of your vehicle so that the GPS can calculate the most suitable route.

Not only that, but you can also input many more limitations like no propane allowed, no trailers allowed, no campers allowed and much more. You can find the entire list here.

 

Avoidances

The option to have your device avoid different types of roads and zones is in my opinion a great feature. It can save you a lot of time and even money.

You can configure the Garmin RV 785 so that you can avoid some kind of roads or areas, for example, toll roads, which can save you a lot of money. Other examples are avoiding ferries, unpaved roads, U-turns or highways. You can also make your GPS dodge a specific road or area that you don’t want to drive on.

And most importantly, you can command your device to avoid traffic jams. For this to work, you need to receive live traffic updates by using the traffic cable that comes with the GPS.

 

Road warnings

Road warnings are handy in case you miss a road sign, accidentally exceed a speed limit or in many other situations. They ensure safety and certainty. Here’s a list of all the road warnings that the Garmin RV 785 features. The GPS warns you by playing a tone or displaying it on its screen. All these features are disableable since it may become annoying.

  • red light and speed camera
  • Risk of grounding
  • Narrow road
  • Sharp curve
  • Steep hill
  • Speed limit exceeded
  • Speed limit change
  • Slower traffic: the GPS warns you when you approach slower traffic at a higher speed.
  • Animal crossing
  • Railroad crossing
  • State and country borders
  • Risk of lateral wind
  • Schools
  • Shut off propane: the GPS warns you when you approach an area where propane should be turned off.
  • Forward collision warning: It warns you when you’re not keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Lane departure warning: When you’re driving faster than 64 km/h (40mph), the GPS warns you when you cross, for example, solid painted lane boundaries. Imagine if you fall asleep while driving on the highway and cross the fixed lines. This GPS can wake you up in time and save your life.

 

Points of interest

Imagine arriving at a campsite only to find out that your dog isn’t welcome there, or that there’s no electric hookup available. Well, you don’t have to worry about that with this GPS. With the Garmin RV 785 you can find the most suitable amenities based on:

  • Full hookups, which means that water, electricity and sewer service is available.
  • Electric hookups
  • Pull through hookups. This is a site where you drive in via the front entrance and easily continue in the same direction through the exit.
  • 50-amp hookups, which is a site that features a 50-amp connection.
  • Big rig accessible. This is a site that has spots for large RVs, typically for those over 35 or 36 feet.
  • Handicap accessible. These sites are wheelchair friendly.
  • Internet acces
  • Pet-friendly
  • Tents allowed
  • Dump station. You can dump raw sewage at this site.
  • Onsite laundry
  •  Onsite water
  • Onsite cable TV
  • Pool
  • Near water
  • Boating/fishing
  • Rv sites
  • Propane
  • Lodging

Apart from that, you can also quickly find:

  • truck stops
  • RV repair and service locations
  • tow service
  • tire shops
  • mobile repair and service locations.

And like that wasn’t enough, this GPS also features many RV Parks and Services in the U.S. and Canada provincial parks, state preserves, national forests, state recreation areas, Corps of Army Engineers and regional parks.

 

Weather information

If you connect your GPS to the GarminDrive™ app, you’re able to view the weather radar and forecast. You can also receive weather alerts at your location or near a different city. This is especially useful to see whether you’ll be able to continue your journey or need to stop at a motorhome.

You can also view weather-related road conditions for the roads in your area, on your route, or in another city.

 

Integrated content

Your device is featured with a lot of integrated content that helps you find:

  • RV parks (ratings)
  • campgrounds or campsites
  • points of interest
  • repair services & shops
  • lodging
  • towing and other services for RVs.

These apps can save you a lot of time, effort and research. It’s worth mentioning that you need to connect your GPS to the Garmin Drive ™  app for all this to work.

Your device contains content from apps like TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Ultimate Public Campgrounds, KOA, iOverlander and PlanRV.

Pros

  • Input your vehicle’s weight, length, width and height to find routes most suitable for your vehicle
  • Smartphone compatibility via Bluetooth
  • Big screen (7 inches diagonally) makes it easy to notice details from a fair distance
  • Built-in dash cam ensures proof when something goes wrong
  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Live traffic updates when using the traffic cable
  • Red light and speed camera warnings
  • Voice is available so you don’t have to look at your device all the time
  • Voice-activated navigation makes it able to give your GPS instructions while driving
  • You’re able to insert headphones or earpieces in case there’s a lot of noise around you
  • Can be paired with a wireless headset
  • 2 hours of battery life allows you to not constantly depend on power supply
  • Integrated content available to quickly find campsites (ratings), RV parks and much more
  • You can easily input avoidances like toll roads, highways, unpaved roads and much more
  • You can configure your device so that it takes the fastest, shortest or an off-road route
  • A very big archive of points of interest like repair shops, amenities, and much more
  • Amenities can be filtered by, for example, onsite laundry, full hookups, internet access and much more
  • Input restrictions like no propane, no campers allowed and more to find the most suitable route
  • Receive weather information by using the Garmin Drive™ app
  • The disableable road warnings ensure safety and certainty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • To use all of the features, you must connect your device to the Garmin Drive™ app

 

Questions You Might Have

What kind of sd card is used for the dash cam?

Up to 64 microSD.

How to save and view recorded footage by the dash cam?

By using the built-in WiFi and the Garmin Drive app, you can save recorded footage on your smartphone. More info can be found at these pages: doing this with an Android device or doing this with an iPhone device.

How does the Garmin RV 785 differ from the Garmin 785 for trucking?

The Garmin RV 785 has RV specific vehicle profiles and RV-related points of interest. The Garmin dezlCam 785 LMT-S is designed for trucking. It doesn’t have the same restrictions and has truck-related points of interest.

What countries does this GPS support?

You get the map of North America for free, other ones you have to buy. More information can be found here.

Is a windshield suction cup mount and power cable included?

Yes, you receive a strong mount and a 12V power cord & a USB cable.

Is a magnetic mount included? 

Yes, more information can be found here.

How to power supply this GPS?

Plug it into the cigarette lighter port in your vehicle or by using a USB cable.

Does this device work with BaseCamp? 

Yes, more information about that can be found here.

Does this device have a touch screen display?

Yes, it does.

Does this GPS have an address book?

Yes, you can save up to 1000 locations on this device. More information can be found here.

 

Specifications

  • Products dimensions: 0.93 X 7.84 X 4.79 inches
  • Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Included components: RV 785, traffic receiver/vehicle power cable, MicroSD card for dash cam, vehicle suction cup with powered magnetic mount, USB cable
  • Release date: June 16, 2019

 

Garmin RV 780 – Best GPS Without Dash Cam

If you don’t need a dash cam or already have one, you’re better off with the Garmin RV 780. In terms of features, it’s pretty much the same as the RV 785 but doesn’t have a built-in dash cam. That also means that this GPS is less expensive.

So what other differences are there between the Garmin RV 780 and the RV 785? Well, the 780 doesn’t have any type of audio output and can’t pair with a wireless headset. This may be annoying when there’s a lot of noise around you. It’s up to you to decide whether this is a dealbreaker or not.

The 780 has only 1 hour of battery life, while the 785 has 2 hours. So you’ll have to rely more on the power supply.

Then there’s also one feature that the 780 doesn’t have: the forward collision warning. This is a warning if you get too close to the vehicle in front of you.

Pros

  • Input your vehicle’s weight, length, width and height to find routes most suitable for your vehicle
  • Smartphone compatibility via Bluetooth
  • Big screen (7 inches diagonally) makes it easy to notice details from a fair distance
  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Live traffic updates when using the traffic cable
  • Red light and speed camera warnings
  • Speech is available so you don’t have to look at your device all the time
  • Voice-activated navigation makes it able to give your GPS instructions while driving
  • 1 hour of battery life allows you to not constantly depend on power supply
  • Integrated content available to quickly find campsites (ratings), RV parks and much more
  • You can easily input avoidances like toll roads, highways, unpaved roads and much more
  • You can configure your device so that it takes the fastest, shortest or an off-road route
  • A very big archive of points of interest like repair shops, amenities, and much more
  • Amenities can be filtered by, for example, onsite laundry, full hookups, internet access and much more
  • Input restrictions like no propane, no campers allowed and more to find the most suitable route
  • Receive weather information by using the Garmin Drive™ app
  • The disableable road warnings ensure safety and certainty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No built-in dash cam
  • Can not be used with earpieces, headsets or wireless headphones
  • No forward-collision warning
  • To use all of the features, you must connect your device to the Garmin Drive™ app.

 

Questions You Might Have

How to update maps and software 

This is done with WiFi, you can find more information about this on this page.

How to expand your device’s memory?

By making use of a microSD card (max 32GB). More information can be found here.

Does this GPS come with a microSD card?

No, you’ll have to buy one.

Does this device show you what lane you need to be in?

Yes, this GPS has both Lane Assist and Active Lane Guidance features.

Is this device touchscreen?

Yes, it is.

Can you plan your trip on a computer?

Yes, by using the Garmin BaseCamp software on a computer, you can plan trips and send them to the RV 780. More information can be found here.

Is this device compatible with a backup camera?

Yes, it’s compatible with the Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera

How many devices can be connected with Bluetooth?

Only one at a time, either a Smartphone or a Camper/RV device. More information can be found here.

Where to find the owner’s manual?

There isn’t one in the box. It’s built into the GPS and you can find it by navigating to the Apps menu and select “Owner’s Manual”. You can also find it on this page.

Can you upload your phone contacts?

Yes, by connecting your phone to your GPS via Bluetooth.

Can you stream music and receive traffic updates at the same time?

Yes, you can.

 

Specifications 

  • Products dimensions: 6.8 x 0.7 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery (included)
  • Included components: RV 780, vehicle suction cup mount, traffic receiver/vehicle power cable, USB cable, documentation
  • Release date: April 10, 2019

 

OHREX Navigation System – Best Budget GPS

You might not want or be able to spend a few hundred dollars on a great GPS like the 2 above, and I understand that. However, you may want to reconsider as this GPS is not nearly as good as the Garmin ones. It has far fewer features, but most importantly, it contains more bugs, is less accurate and feels cheap. Just know what you’re getting into.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Detects traffic light cameras
  • Big screen (7 inches diagonally) makes it easy to notice details from a fair distance
  • Input your vehicle’s weight, length, width and height to find routes most suitable for your vehicle
  • You can use earpieces or a headset
  • You can make your device avoid toll roads, highways, parkways and specific roads/areas
  • It has several points of interest like shops, restaurants, campgrounds and campsites
  • You can choose between the fastest and shortest route
  • Speech is available so you don’t have to look at your device all the time.
  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Receive warnings like active speed cameras, active lane guidance assist, speed limits and different driver alerts
  • You can choose between a 2D or 3D map

Cons

  • Not compatible with smartphone
  • Not compatible with a wireless headset (no Bluetooth available)
  • No traffic updates
  • No built-in dash cam
  • No weather information
  • 0 hours of battery life – constant power supply is necessary

 

Questions You Might Have

Does this GPS show you the time of arrival, current speed and miles left to travel? 

Yes, it does.

Does this GPS warn you when you need to make a turn?

Yes, the voice will tell you when to turn.

What countries does this GPS cover?

North America (USA, Mexico and Canada) and Europe: UK, Ireland, French, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,  Gibraltar, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.

How many locations can this GPS store?

Slightly more than 50.

How to update your map or receive maps?

By sending an email to the seller, they will then send you a map link.

Does this device have off-road trail maps?

Yes, it does.

Can you plan your trip on the computer and transfer it to your GPS?

No, you can only plan your route on your GPS.

Does this GPS have a built-in antenna?

Yes, it does.

Does it display the elevation during your journey?

No, it doesn’t.

Is this GPS compatible with backup cameras? 

Unfortunately not.

 

Specifications

  • Products dimensions: 6.77 x 4.37 x 0.63 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer battery (included)
  • Included components: the GPS, charger and mount
  • Release date: April 10, 2019

 

Conclusion

So the best RV GPS for you depends on a few things: whether you need a dash camera or not and your budget. If you’re willing to spend a few hundred dollars for the best RV GPS with a dash camera, then the Garmin RV 785 is perfect for you. It has all the features you can think of and is a GPS you can trust.

If you don’t need a dash cam , you definitely want to take a look at the Garmin RV 780. It’s almost the same in terms of features as the RV 785, but just doesn’t have a dash cam and is therefore much cheaper. Besides the lack of a dash cam, it can also not be used with earpieces, headsets or wireless headphones.

If you’re looking for the best budget RV GPS, the OHREX might be something for you. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, which means it’s not a great GPS at all compared to the Garmin ones.

 

That’s it for this review guys! I hope that I’ve been able to help you make a choice and that you have found answers to your questions. If there’s anything I can do to improve, please let me know in the comments. If you have any questions, please contact me on this page or post them in the comments.

Stay safe and keep exploring!

 

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