With all the GPS options out there, you might be asking yourself, "Why spend the extra money on a GPS made specifically for RVs when I can use the GPS on my phone or tablet?" RV GPS units provide many things for RVers that regular GPS units simply do not. There are many things we absolutely love about our Rand McNally RV GPS, and I have several reasons why I am glad we now use an RV GPS while traveling.
Driving down the road in a vehicle that can be over 12 feet tall and weigh tens of thousands of pounds puts you in a different category than a regular car or SUV. With that being the case, using a GPS system like Google maps or a non-RV GPS that is designed for the average vehicle less than 6 feet tall and not even close to 8,000 pounds didn't give me much comfort. They aren’t going to take that tunnel that might only have a 12 foot clearance into consideration when choosing your route. An RV GPS allows you to enter your height, weight, width, length, bottles of propane, number of trailers, and more. This information will be used by the GPS when calculating your route in order to ensure the safest route for your particular RV. It will not choose a route that will put you or your rig in a dangerous situation. I feel much safer knowing we aren't going to be placed in situations where we either have to quickly find a place to turn around, or worse, accidentally remodel our RV roof.
Our RV is our home, and if you are like me, you like your home to have the best ride possible from one location to another. Even with the best roads, we already have to do damage control at times with loose screws from all the movement. With an RV GPS, you can set route preferences that allow you to select or avoid certain roads on which you don't want to travel. You can also get warnings for hills, narrow roads, construction and most importantly, speed. (I love to hear "Samantha" correct Eric's speed when he gets a little heavy on the foot instead of me having to do it.) In addition, you can choose to avoid toll roads, tunnels, freeways, and more. You can even choose to avoid an entire road, area, or state! With the warnings and preferences tab, you can really have a lot of control over what type of route the GPS gives you.
When you travel, locations are always new to you and you never know what an area might have to see or do. That’s definitely the fun part of visiting a new place - especially the food - and part of the reason we travel, but sometimes it would be nice to have a concierge service like you have at a hotel. The Rand McNally RV GPS has so many points of interest in it, I feel like I have one with me all the time. Whether it is while we are driving to our destination and we need to find a Love’s on our route or we are looking for a campground in a city we are traveling to, the Rand has it - and it's all in one easy-to-use place. It even has the Walmart and Sam’s Club locations that allow overnight parking listed in the Rest Area category.
Once we arrive at our destination, it has everything we could possibly want to do in one place from historical sites, festivals, shopping, fishing spots, museums, and even gator swamp tours! I used to use my data and search Google endlessly to find things like this, but now I save my valuable data and use my GPS where I can quickly save the locations to my GPS address book with one button and have them ready to enter when we jump in the vehicle. No more searching for addresses online to enter in the phone while sitting in the car because we don’t even know if we should turn left or right out of the campground!
When we visit a restaurant we love or a campground that was exceptional, we have a way to store it that is convenient. All of the places, from that awesome sushi place in Destin to that convenient Whole Foods in Houston are saved in our address book. If you travel to a location regularly, you should have a group for your favorite places in that area. The Rand McNally allows you to make groups so you can store your favorite locations any way you want to – by state, category, or whatever. Then you have every RV related address in one location, and in a place where you can hit one button and be routed back when you visit the area in the future. Because let’s admit it, some of these roads all start to look the same after a while! I may think I’ll never forget where that fabulous Thai Restaurant is, but 2 weeks later, I’m on to the next destination and that memory has been replaced with yet another fabulous place to eat.
Saves Phone Space and Battery Life
Using an RV GPS for routing and points of interest instead of my phone saves so much space and battery life on my phone. When you use GPS, you are using the Global Positioning Satellite system and not your data, but when you use Google maps on your phone, in addition to draining your battery quicker, you also have to use a bit of data occasionally to continue downloading the maps as you drive. You can avoid this by downloading the maps to your phone beforehand, but that is usually a large download (which takes data and space). There are RV GPS apps available for purchase as well (RandMcNally has one for $99 and CoPilot is $149), but the reviews for both are mixed, and they consume storage space on your phone (The Rand app initial download is 3.5 GB). Also, if you are using your phone for your GPS, it can limit your ability to use it for other things since the driver often wants the screen available to view.
So there you have it – 5 reasons I am glad we have an RV GPS, and why we think you should consider an RV GPS as well if you own an RV. We are fulltimers and exclusively use and sell the RandMcNally GPS units. For those who want a stand-alone unit, RandMcNally has the TripMaker 7730 which comes with free lifetime maps and has a 7 inch screen.
Rand McNally also released their new RV Tablet 4 months ago which has an 8 inch screen, free lifetime maps and traffic, and includes a built-in dash cam and Rand McNally Road Atlas. The GPS is also a fully-functional Android tablet and can be removed from the magnetic mount easily.
Check them out today! If you have any additional questions about them after looking at the website, feel free to call us at 866-324-7915 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently making a video Learning Series on both Rand McNally GPS units and they will be available on our YouTube channel's playlist: Rand McNally GPS If you subscribe to our channel, you can choose to receive notifications when new videos are added.