As RV owners, trip planning is more than just plotting our course on a road map, and as big-rig RV owners, we truly appreciate the importance of having the best tools to help us navigate our Nation's roadways safely. Those of us who pull large fifth-wheels or travel trailers need to be aware of low clearances, narrow, windy roads and road obstacles. Any one of those, or a combination of a few, could spell disaster if we take the wrong route or roadways. This is why we recently tested the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS.
The Big Oops
When we bought our first RV, a 44' Cyclone Toy Hauler in 2014, we failed to follow very sound advice from other big-rig RV owners; buying an RV Global Positioning System (GPS). We learned that Google Maps does not have big-rig driver’s best interest in mind – and sometimes it also proves to be inaccurate for even a tiny smart car.
If you pull a large towable, you'd know what huge mistake not a RV-specific GPS is or can be. Luckily, we escaped disaster and didn’t lose our sanity. We tucked in our tails and admit we learned a valuable lesson 'almost' the hard way. By us sharing our experience though, we will hopefully save you from a potential accident or damage to your RV.
We visited Camping World and noticed there were quite few different models on display. Researching the differences in features of each model, we settled on the Rand McNally RVND 7735LM. It was an affordable RV-specific GPS that had all the basic functions we were looking for. Keep in mind, this was five years ago.
Did Someone Say "Upgrade?"
We were provided the opportunity to work with the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV through TechnoRV. This particular RV GPS is stated to be the latest and greatest today. And, let me tell you, this one is a huge improvement!
After testing it for approximately two months and approximately 2000 miles, we've put together enough data to give our product review. We've broken down our review into pros and cons of our new Rand McNally OverDryve 7RW.
- The Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV is lightning fast to lock onto a satellite and has an amazing rich color display. There is a suction cup that mounts to the windshield and then the GPS head mounts magnetically to the suction cup for quick dismounting and remounting.
- This GPS can be blue-toothed to your cell phone allowing you to check traffic and weather conditions on your route. You can also use it to find fuel and rest stops. You can play music through it and connect via an internet search function just like a cell phone or tablet. You do have to use blue tooth to enable this function.
- There is a built-in dash camera - eliminating the need for an external camera. It also has a built-in compass and altimeter which are both very handy and accurate and can be programed for the specifications of your specific RV. You can track and log your route of choice and determine fuel costs and consumption. Additionally, you can track your RV maintenance. It also has ability program favorite types of routes and points of interest.
There are several other features that give this RV GPS a thumbs up, but choosing to be transparent in our review, we have also included a couple features that were not as positive.
- The OverDryve unit did not come with a written Operator’s manual. There is a basic setup card that lacks detail in explaining all the functionality of the unit. We had to conduct some of our own research to learn about the GPS in order to become comfortable using it
- The print size is small and the details for the summary of turns on the route makes it difficult to read without putting on reading glasses - which we don’t wear while driving.
- The unit creates a challenge when programming your route, so knowing the specific street name is a must. We found plugging in the latitude and longitude coordinates is the best way to load some of our destinations.
Even with the cons of the unit, we love the much-improved Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS. We are learning the more we use it the more we love it. The added features make it a great tool - not only for navigation but also for other tablet options.
We are confident in its ability to safely navigate us on our desired route. As seasoned RV travelers, we still choose to follow-up use of the Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS by verifying our routes in our Trucker's Atlas.