RV GPS Comparison: Rand McNally vs. Garmin

RV GPS Comparison: Rand McNally vs. Garmin
RV GPS Comparison: Rand McNally vs. Garmin

Rand McNally vs. Garmin RV GPS

Before leaving on an RV trip, it is important to organize our route: find out about the state of the roads to avoid traffic jams, take a look at the motorhome areas that you will encounter during the journey, plan tolls and nearby gas stations. The best solution to save time and get out in complete peace of mind is to use a good GPS navigator during trips.

If you are not familiar with this device, we will explain in detail how they work. GPS geolocation systems were created for various purposes, among the main and most prominent is the objective finding locations. It is worth mentioning that this process is carried out by means of a system of digitalized coordinates.

The global positioning system is made up of 24 satellites orbiting 2200 kilometers from the Earth’s surface. These satellites form an interlaced communication network, thus maintaining complete coverage of the entire earth. The GPS operating process is based on bilateral communication between GPS and satellites. All GPS has a signal receiver so that the satellite will send immediate signals to these receivers and they automatically respond with a signal of their geographic location at that precise moment. All GPS is programmed under a terrestrial coordinate system, based on minutes, degrees and seconds, which makes systematic location easier.

There is a great variety of GPS navigators and brands but this time we will focus on 2 particular popular brands: Rand McNally and Garmin, and we will compare some of their best-selling RV GPS systems.


Firsts things first, we will analyze the prices their products have. Even though both brands offer cheaper GPS systems they are no specific RV systems, but just have regular GPS for cars, so they will lack a lot of important features for your RV trips. So, just like with everything else, everything that is RV exclusive will always be on the higher end when it comes to cost. The most popular Rand McNally RV GPS goes from $249-$449 while the best-selling Garmin RV GPS range from $300-$349.


When it comes to screen resolution and sizes most of them have a 7” screen and a resolution of 1024 x 600/800 pixels, except for the RV 660LMT by Garmin, which has a 6.1” and also a lower resolution of 800 x 400 pixels. Another GPS that has lower screen resolution is the RVND 7 by Rand McNally, with 800 x 480 pixels. What do all these numbers mean? Basically, you want the highest resolution so the quality of the image is better and clear. Same thing if you have a bigger screen, it means it will be easier to read directions when you are traveling especially if you are just by yourself.


Cameras are an important feature for RVs, especially for their size it’s sometimes difficult to maneuver and see through some blind spots, that’s why cameras can come in handy many times just to be 100% sure your path is clear, especially when you are driving in reverse. All Garmin GPS systems are compatible with a camera but sadly it is sold separately so it’s an extra cost you will have to pay if you want a camera. On the other hand, most Rand McNally has it attached. Some of their popular models like the OverDryve 7 RV has a 2MP in the frontal camera and 8MP in the rear camera, the cheaper model the RV Tablet 70 has a 0.3 MP frontal camera and 5MP rear camera. It’s not the highest resolution for a camera for it does the work and it’s completely free so that is a plus.


In probably the most important feature, both brands offer basic GPS needs for RV trips, life-time updates about maps and traffic, wide national directories for RV parks and campgrounds, customized routes in case you want to drive through a certain place in particular road warnings adapted to the size and weight of your RV, such as bridge height and weight limits, abrupt curves, descents or ascents on the road head, estimated toll costs, special crossings such as animal and railroads. Although let’s be clear some models have wider option selection than others but so far, the models that offer all these characteristics are Garmin models RV 660LMT and RV 760 LMT.

Trip planning

An innovative feature Randy McNally offers is the option to prepare your trip from the comfort of your house days or even weeks before it happens. Instead of doing it right before you leave your home. With their TripMaker tool you can build and manage an itinerary for a whole day, and also find nice things to do nearby such as festivals, art or science museums, parks, and many more options that the tool will suggest. Once you are done you simply transfer it to your Randy McNally GPS as a multi-stop route, and it will give you the best route to go through all your planned locations.

There is no doubt both brands offer good options to choose from when it comes to RV GPS devices. But what you need to consider now is to see which one adjusts better to your needs like everything else, as well as your budget. Most importantly read reviews of previous owners and see what the experiences they had with each model you are interested in. But don’t forget that GPS is almost essential if you are planning a trip! It will make your adventure way less stressful and will save you a lot of time some people usually waste because they don’t know where to go and get lost.


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1 thought on “RV GPS Comparison: Rand McNally vs. Garmin”

  1. Rand McNally and Garmin are both the leading brands when it comes to the production of RV GPS. Thank you for the comparison.


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