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GPS Navigators - My top 5 Choices | RV Safety Tips and Tricks
GPS Navigators – My top 5 Choices

GPS Navigators – My top 5 Choices

Magellan RoadMate 9400-LM 7-Inch GPS Navigator

Whether you are a car owner, a truck owner or into RV’ing, having a good GPS device in your vehicle will go a long way to pointing you in the right direction when on those long commutes or vacations around the country. So… I thought I would offer up my thoughts on GPS devices and give you my top 5 choices.

GPS devices have come along way since the U.S. Department of Defense launched the system way back in 1973 for the use of the military. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the public was allowed to use it. The first Cell Phone to use GPS was built in 1999 and was a simple addition.  They weren’t all that accurate and many found themselves lost or somewhere else they didn’t want to be.

Twenty years have seen a lot of changes and they now come with a wide range of features. Because of all these features, some are more versatile than others and it’s hard to make a decision on the right Navigation system for you.

Hopefully, what you read from here on will help you make an informed decision.  Everyone has different needs and preferences so, here goes…

Features to Consider

  • Is It Easy To Use – The more user-friendly a GPS device is, the fewer distractions there will be when you are driving. I Can’t really say more than that. We all know that driving distracted can have some very serious consequences.
  • Does it have Extra Alerts? – Some GPS devices come with extra alerts that help drivers get where they are going easier, things like traffic patterns and warnings for speed, where the next street lights are and, school zones.  Do the warnings give ample time?
  • Maps and Directions – Are the maps easy to read and understand. Are the voice directions that you hear, accurate and clear.
  • Updates – These are important from time to time. It’s the only way that one can trust the reliability of the information the device is providing.

Am I On The Right Street?

Are GPS Navigators Better Than Phone Apps?

Anyone who was using their phones with a navigation app a few years ago would have said yes. The phone processors were much slower in those days and couldn’t keep up with the info they were receiving so people were turning to the more accurate GPS Navigators for their reliability.

Phones have improved greatly now and are pretty much even in capability when compared to Navigation devices.

Here are some other reasons that I found during my research that make using a dedicated Navigation device a practical solution:

  • Your phone battery will last longer. Of course, you could plug it in but who remembers to do that all the time. When you have a GPS device you don’t have to worry about that anymore.
  • And, what about data $$$? Most phone contracts have a data limit and when one goes over that limit it can start to get expensive. Has that ever happened to you? A GPS device will, for sure help those who are using up their data too fast because they are using an app for navigation.
  • No interruptions – If you are using your cell phone with a GPS App, the app will probably be interrupted when you get a phone call or text and this may cause you to miss an important turnoff which could mean you may have to drive a fair distance to get yourself back on the right road. With a dedicated GPS Navigation device this will not be an issue.

For me, any of these would be excellent reasons for having a dedicated GPS device.

Which Way Do I Go???


Disclaimer:  Before I go on I should let you know that this post contains links to these products and, If you choose to purchase through one of these links I will receive a commission which WILL NOT add anything extra to the cost of whatever it is that you purchase.

Other Qualities to Consider When Purchasing a Navigation Device

  • Does the system receive regular updates about the traffic situation around you? Things like: traffic issues, speed zones, traffic lights, school zones. If you have the right information, you will be able to get to your destination more carefully and safer.
  • How about Points of interest and landmarks. These will help with your navigation in unfamiliar territory.
  • And, of course, the maps and the voice directions are probably the most important aspect, especially when navigating in unfamiliar territory. As I said earlier, no one wants to miss a turn and end up driving who knows how far to get back on track.
  • Do you want a small or large screen? The thing to remember here is that the bigger your screen, the bigger the blind spot will be if you mount it on your dash.
  • Extra Storage Capacity. This could be very important if you want to travel to other countries, especially ones that allow the use of these devices. Most devices sold in your country will already have those maps downloaded onto the device but, some navigation units have extra capacity so that one can download maps for other countries like for your trip to England or France.

I might have missed something but, I think you get the idea and I have said a lot here without telling you which ones are best. So, I hope you have stuck around and have gotten to this point and realized that, in order to choose an item like this, we need to have as much information as possible. I also want to say at the onset that these devices are some of the best on the market and are available on Amazon, however, after reading through some of the reviews I think one has to make up their own mind as to the product they want.

In almost all cases, over 50% of all reviews were very positive while others ( a small minority) were quite negative. Nothing in this world is perfect and I’m sure that the companies that make these instruments are doing everything in their power to improve their products. One thing is for sure, these instruments are way better than they were when they first appeared on the market.

So… without further a due and in no particular order

Let’s Get To It

Magellon Roadmaster 9400-L7

Magellan Roadmaster 9400-LM 7 inch GPS Navigator

Price – $158.95 U.S.  $27.85 Shipping & Import Fees Deposit to Canada

  • Extra-large 7-inch touchscreen display. It has daytime and night display to make visibility easy. Perfect for all vehicles
  • Traffic Camera Alerts from Phantom ALERT. Audible and onscreen visual warnings for red lights as well as other warnings for school zones, railway crossings, dangerous curves etc.
  • Lifetime Map Updates at no extra cost. Your maps will never be out-of-date and you can download the latest information for the life of your device up to 4 times a year.
  • Warnings for Speed Limits. Has optional settings for audible and visual alerts.
  • Landmarks. Get directions using landmarks like gas stations and grocery stores, (versus street names), which can help with easier navigation in those places you are less familiar with.

Follow this link for further information

Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S Advanced Navigation GPS w/Smart Features Mount Bundle

Garmin DriveSmart 61 Advanced Navigation GPS with Smart Features Mount Bundle

Price – $179.00 + $31.50 Shipping & Import Fees Deposit to Canada

This device comes with lifetime maps/traffic included, live parking, Bluetooth, WiFi, smart notifications, voice activation, driver alerts and more.

  • 7-inch diagonal screen size
  • detailed maps of North America with free lifetime upgrades
  • real-time services like live traffic and live parking
  • Bluetooth calling, smart notifications and voice-activated navigation for hands-free driving.
  • Outsmart traffic jams with time-saving alternate routes or you can avoid them altogether. Great to have during those long commutes.
  • Parking – viewing pricing and availability trends for on-street public parking. You get live information that will help with spending less time driving around the block
  • Hook up with your friends and other drivers with the Smartphone Link app that lets you share your location with others
  • Other great features are available when you hook up your smartphone via Bluetooth to the Garmin DriveSmart. These features let you stay connected without taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi helps you keep the maps and software all up to date.

There are 509 customer reviews and 54% of them are 5-star reviews.

Rand McNally TND 740 IntelliRoute Truck Navigation GPS

Rand McNally TND 740 IntelliRoute Truck Navigation GPS

Price – $329.99 + $51.45 Shipping & Import Fees Deposit to Canada

Rand McNally (for me) is best known for their map books that are available all over North America and now are growing in the GPS arena. This particular Navigation device has:

  • Vibrant High Definition 7″ screen
  • Advanced lane guidance and lane assist
  • Over the air map updates with truck-specific routing and FREE lifetime map updates
  • Lane assist as well as advanced lane guidance

Over the air map updates. I presume this means through a satellite hookup.

Click this link for more information

Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator SystemGarmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator System

Price – $114.94 + $22.40 Shipping & Import Fees Deposit to Canada

This navigator is Amazon’s choice and has many of the same options as the others which include:

  • Driver Alerts for sharp curves, school zones, upcoming red lights, sharp turns/curves as well as changes in speed and speed cameras.
  • uses recognizable landmarks such as buildings and traffic lights as well as direct access to millions of popular and new stores as well as restaurants all pre-loaded from FOURSQUARE
  • Shows current street, speed and speed limits as well as estimated arrival time.

Follow this link for further information:

Garmin DriveLuxe 50 NA LMTHD GPS Navigator SystemGarmin DriveLuxe 50 NA LMTHD GPS Navigator System

Price – $249.99 US + shipping and duties to Canada

Currently Unavailable

This device has all the options as the previous device as well as:

  • Hands-Free Navigation which Includes Bluetooth calling and voice-activated navigation which allows your hands to remain on the steering wheel as you navigate and make or receive calls
  • Lifetime maps of North America (Canada and the U.S.) and HD traffic

Click here for more information

Final Thoughts

GPS devices have come such a long way since the early days and even using cell phone GPS apps has gotten a lot better.

That said, GPS devices offer many advantages over cell phones as I have listed above. In fact, the newer GPS devices now allow for our cell phones to connect via Bluetooth for a totally hands-free experience thus keeping us and our families safer on the road because we, as drivers, are less distracted and can be more aware of what is going on around us.

Have you had any experiences with GPS devices?  Good or bad, I would like to hear about them. I hope that this post has been helpful and if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you and you can leave them below.

Until then, as always, I hope you have many great memories as you RV with your families and furry friends and please remember to always DRIVE SAFE.


Owner and writer for this website

52 thoughts on “GPS Navigators – My top 5 Choices

  1. Excellent selection of top-notch GPS devices, thank you! I usually use my phone, but it can get a little slow sometimes plus phone calls will interrupt it which is seriously annoying when you’re actively using the GPS to find something. If you hang around town, a phone GPS is the best choice especially if you don’t need it often.  But I believe anyone who often travels via car should have a quality GPS as it makes it so much easier! Thanks for the post!

    1. HI, Selenity and thank you for your comment.

      I have used my Cell Phone in that way as well and I agree that GPS Navigators would be of better use on long trips.  That is why I have written this for RV’ers.

      My wife and I are retired now and are planning to do some long trips with our truck and trailer. We will definitely be utilizing a GPS Navigator for them.

      We are firm believers in driving hands free so we will be upgrading to a device that is Bluetooth compatible.  That way we can link our phone with the device and there will be no interruptions.

      Thanks again and safe driving,


  2. Thanks a lot for the very thorough review and a detailed explanation on your top 5 choices of GPS navigators. 

    You did an excellent job by highlighting the best features in them. 

    I’m planning to replace my old GPS device since it always has problems with positioning accuracy. 

    I will definitely come back here for reference. Thank you for this comprehensive post.



    1. Hello, Sam and thanks for your comments.  I’m glad they were a help to you.

      I also want you to know that there are many other excellent options out there and that these are what I consider to be the top picks.  There is something for every budget and need.

      If you come back, you can click through and look at the whole list Amazon has to offer.  I’m sure you can find something there.  Whether it’s here or a brick and mortar store, it makes no difference as long as you are happy with the product and if I was able to help in that process, it’s been my pleasure.

      All the best and safe driving,


  3. Excellent site with a lot of useful information. I still own a Garmin but rarely use it anymore. It is a bit out of date and the phone app has replaced it almost completely.

    You list a few points why a GPS Navigator is still a good device to have. It is especially useful on longer journeys when you might have to use the phone or someone else wants to play with it.

    Just one last remark. Before you go into the reviews you write “without further a due”. Although everybody knows what you are trying to say the correct phrase would be “without further ado”. It is an old, now obsolete verb best known from the Shakespeare play “Much ado about nothing”. You tend to notice these things when you get older…

    1. Hi, Martin and thanks for your comment.  I also want to thank you for the grammar/spelling lesson as well.  From now on it will be, “Without dragging this out any longer, let’s get to it, eh?) 🙂

      As I have said in previous comments, with the laws being what they are these days, (in my country and in the U.S. and other countries around the world), having a designated GPS might be the better option not to mention the fact that some of them can now be hooked together with cell phones through Bluetooth with no interruptions when a call comes in.

      They are getting so good that you can even answer a call with voice activation.  That is pretty good in my books.

      All the best and safe driving,


  4. I’m now using mobile apps for navigation towards any unknown places. But your article is very helpful to knowing about a new GPS devices. I want to find best GPS device for my car with lower price. Can you recommend any low cost best quality GPS device for me ?

    1. Thank you for your comments, Kiran and, in answer to your question I would suggest you click one of the links and check out the other possibilities.  There are many to choose from and many are below $100 U.S. and are good quality.  It depends on your budget and what you are looking for.

      Based on that, I don’t want to make any recommendations.  Just remember, you get what you pay for.  If you are willing to pay a little extra, you will get a better product.  If I make a recommendation and it doesn’t pan out for you, well… I’m sure you understand. 

      My job is to give what I think are the best recommendations.  The reader can choose something else if they so choose.

      Perhaps I could write another post detailing some less expensive Navigators. That would be an option for a future post.

      Safe driving and all the best,


  5. What’s interesting to me are the price differences between the GPS devices. Some of them are like what $150, whereas others are like $450, that’s a huge difference, though the pricier one has constant updates, so obviously, you get what you pay for. 

    Personally, I’m not 100% sold on the issue of using a GPS device over a phone but, I can understand why others might prefer it due to more handsfree-ness (if that’s a word), though to be honest, I’m sure there are ways to work around that, even when you are being called on a phone. 

    I also think there is one point you forgot to mention. These GPS devices usually are limited to cars, whereas Cell phone GPS can be used on foot or even on a bicycle. On the other hand, you’ll always have your GPS with you in your car.

    1. Hey, Faheem and thanks so much for your comments.

      You’re right, the prices differ quite a bit and you DO get what you pay for.  Some have more attributes than others and some have larger screens or better construction (more rugged for truck drivers).  In my research, I think I even saw some for less than $100.  That’s pretty much the same across the board no matter what you purchase.

      So, as I mentioned, the chief problem when using a Cell Phone GPS App is the receiving of calls while using the GPS app.  The call tends to override the GPS and you have to start over.

      The other problem is, and I don’t know if it’s the same for you, that in my country we are not allowed to use our cell phones when we are driving.  In some places in the U.S. drivers are not even allowed to have them in the front seat so… having a designated GPS device would be the only way around that kind of thing.  You program it before you hit the road and you don’t need to touch it again till you’re there.

      Technology is getting better though.  I have noticed that there are some GPS Navigators that actually can interact with cell phones through Bluetooth so, I guess that would be an option.

      The other thing you mentioned was that they were only usually available for motor vehicles.  That’s not entirely true.  Some are actually made to be portable which is pretty handy if you are doing a small walkabout.  These are not to be confused with GPS devices that are used by those who venture out into the backcountry. 

      I hope that has put your concerns to rest.  If you have any other concerns just drop me another comment and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

      Until then, Drive safe,


  6. My GPS unit is close to 10-years-old, and your article gave me a good overview of what’s available today. I plan to use your review as a starting point to shop for a new GPS unit. Thanks for your work in sorting out the different units.

    1. Hello, David and thanks for your comment. Glad I could be of assistance in helping with your search. If you decide on one of the ones I have mentioned here feel free to click on the links provided and let me know how it all turns out.

      Happy hunting,

  7. Hi, Wayne.
    Thanks for the exhaustive review of GPS Navigators – your 05 choices.  Dashboard Navigators are surely better options than hand-held mobile phones.

    Please tell me how they are sourced for powered for operation? Do they use inbuilt batteries or do they need to be plugged in with car supply? Also, do they give good results during bad weather like rain and storm?

    Do we have Solar Operated GPS Navigators?

    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    1. Hello, Gaurav and thanks for your comments and questions.

      I’d like to start with the last question first.  As far as there being solar powered GPS navigators the answer is no.  But, there are a couple of ways around that.

      All of these devices have internal batteries that can be charged.  They also have a charging cable that can be plugged into a receptacle in your car/truck or at home.  Several years ago manufacturers started adding extra plug receptacles that allow other devices to be plugged in as well.  And, of course, still newer vehicles have GPS screen already incorporated into the design.

      Another important factor is that many of these devices are portable and because they have an internal battery, they can be used to find your way around a specific area if you’re walking.

      On the solar side of things, I did some research and discovered that there are some small solar charging units that can be plugged into these devices.  They fold up into a small bundle and when needed can be unfolded and laid on a table or wall, or dashboard of a vehicle, and in some cases can be hung on the back side of a backpack and plugged into your device.

      As to how well they would work in rainy or stormy weather?  I haven’t had any issues when I’ve used GPS in the rain and I don’t have any experience with thunderstorms although it would seem possible to me that lightning could affect them?  It is a static electric power source and it charges the air around it.

      That about covers it, I think.  I hope I have answered your questions to your satisfaction and if you think of something else just drop me another note and I will get back to you.  In the meantime,

      Safe driving,


  8. I have basically lived out of my car for work before and so have been met with the complications of phone vs GPS many times over. These past few years I have used my phone since it’s easier to mount and updates my maps more frequently than the older model GPS systems.

    However, now that I’m dealing with 2 jobs, it’s have 2 phones or buy a GPS again. My main 2 concerns would be mounting ability as some are difficult to find compatible parts and the frequency of updates to the map as all of America stays under construction on the roads. Recommendation?

    1. Hi, Charity and thanks for your comment.  I appreciate your insight.

      I don’t know how fast road construction changes take place in your beautiful country but if it’s anything like here in Canada, I can definitely sympathize.  Construction seems to be going on everywhere.

      However, with that said, I truly believe that with the advancements in technology,  Modern GPS devices are much more accurate than the early days and now some even offer free lifetime updates.  As to how often that happens… I don’t think anyone really knows that. I still think they are very reliable though.

      I did a little more research and it looks like they have come up with a couple of mounting ideas.  One is the use of a suction cup to mount to the windshield and another is a weighted sort of beanbag affair that they say is supposed to be stationary.  As with anything, some of the reviews on these mounting devices are great and, of course, some are not.  Human ingenuity.

      I hope that helps with your concerns and if you chose to go GPS let me know how you like it but, please 🙂 don’t go the two phone route?

      Just sayin,


  9. Wow, that’s an awesome post. You have listed some amazing GPS devices with sufficient details. Currently, I use GPS device in my car, it’s old now. It’s a great idea to choose a new device from the list presented in your post. 

    I like your analysis about each device. I agree, Garmin is a king of electronic equipment manufacturer worldwide. It’s equipments are used even in military airplanes, it is so trustworthy.

     I’m picking up the last product from the list for my car, do you think it would be the best choice or do you suggest the other one? 

    Thanks a lot for sharing this useful post. 

    1. Hello, Akshay and thanks for your comment.

      I think any one of these would be a good choice but you have to pick the one that best suits your purposes.  Some have a little more, some a little less.  It all comes down to what you need and can afford.

      If I had to pick one, I think I would like a bigger screen which means a little more expensive but whatever you decide, it has to be right for you.  Personal preferences. 

      That probably doesn’t help very much but I think you understand,


  10. I appreciate coming across this article!  Here in Oregon, we have the no phone in the front seat law now (by the driver), which was upgraded from no phone use by the driver a few years ago.  

    I had been using my phone navigation, and still do down on the seat, but it’s definitely not handy and the issues you mentioned like receiving texts and calls (or pop-ups from Youtube or any other subscriptions) just really interfere and then you have to handle the phone to get it back to the navigator which is a big distraction on the road, not to mention again, illegal here in my state.   

    The prices do seem reasonable for what you get.  We practically live in our cars these days, so having the right tools to get even to soccer games, new restaurants, or local places is really handy as I’m using my cell phone GPS almost daily.  Thanks for the reviews, I’m going to check some of them out!

    1. Hey, Stacy, thanks for your comments and I’m glad you found me.

      My wife and I have just retired and would like to plan a trip south to see some of you HUGE country so thanks for the heads up about your new law.  

      It’s too bad that it has to come to that.  You would think that drivers would be getting the message by not that it’s just not safe to be using your phone when your driving but I guess there will always be a few who think it doesn’t affect their driving or doesn’t include them.  Our focus should be on the road, not our phones.

      Just out of curiosity, what are the fines associated with that, if you don’t mind my asking?

      Some of us pay a $1000 or more for our phones and with the problems that arise when using GPS apps well, why not spend a couple of hundred on a designated device that’s less of a distraction and helps you focus on the job at hand.  For me, I think it’s a no-brainer in terms of safety and getting where you want to go and the prices are reasonable.

      I hope you do check them out and, if you purchase one, come on back and let me know how you like it.


      P.S.   🙂 And your Cell Phone is where? 🙂

  11. I agree with you when you said that GPS is much more reliable than phones especially when it comes to interruptions like notification or phone calls. This has happened to a lot of my friends. Sometimes the phone would hang up. 

    With phones, you’ll be surprised that an app will lead you to a wrong entry. Ask any police officers about these typical problems.  

    Logically, it is always better to use GPS because of reliability purpose. It helps you get notified with traffic and navigate places especially if it has no cell service, I mean how can you use your phone app?

    Thanks for your suggestions. I’m sure those are all greatly modified for present demand. More power!

    1. Hello, Missus and thank you for your comments.

      Yes, for sure those kinds of things do happen and maybe the most frustrating of all would be arriving at the wrong place.

      They are getting better at it though but I still think a designated GPS device is a better way to go.  This helps us to keep our hands off our phones and keep ourselves and anyone else who might be in our vehicle safer.  In certain countries, the laws for distracted driving are becoming more restrictive.  

      One of my readers said that where she lives they are talking about a law that bans cell phone from even being in the front seat.

      Traffic problems, traffic light notification, off-ramps, landmarks, etc., these are all great benefits.  No “CellPhone” service?  I never thought of that so thanks for bringing it up although, it the app works off of GPS satellites they should still work unless they are working off of data as well  Good point.

      Thanks again, for your comments and drive safe,


  12. I always thought it was old fashioned to use a GPS navigator when we all have smartphones. That was until I used up all my data after one road trip. 

    My car has an inbuilt GPS which is useful but unfortunately very outdated and cannot be updated.  Thanks for the good recommendations.

    1. Hi, Holly and thanks for your comments.  

      There may have been a time when Designated GPS devices became less popular but I think with the new laws that are in place, in some countries, banning the use of cell phones while driving, I think they may be making a comeback.  

      And, of course, there is the data issue.  Unless one has an unlimited data plan, if you’re on the road a lot and using your GPS app all day long, you’re going to go through a lot of data and that can be very expensive.  Maybe even more so if you’re roaming.

      With regards to your inbuilt GPS, I sorry it can’t be updated.  I would offer up this advice.  Depending on the year/ model of your vehicle there might be a replacement that could be installed in its place. There are YouTube videos that show you how to DIY.  Here is one in particular.  It’s actually an upgrade to an existing installed screen.

      Here’s the link:

      It may not be for your vehicle but it will give you an idea.  I hope you find it helpful,


  13. Thanks for this most interesting review. I was almost under the impression that GPS devices had become null and void with the use of phones nowadays, and also, a lot of new models of cars come fitted with Sat Nav which doesn’t use data at all.

    These GPS navigators are actually better than using a phone if you don’t have sat nav, and probably safer as well, as the screens are nice and big and you don’t have to fiddle as much as you do with a phone, thus endangering your driving.

    I also like the lane assist feature that some of these devices have, as sometimes you end up in the wrong lane and have to reroute.

    Tell me, do you still need to pay the subscription each year to update these devices, or has that fallen away?

    1. Hello, Michel and thanks, so much for your comments.

      whether or not these devices are becoming less popular I couldn’t really don’t the answer to that.  What I do know is that they are becoming more sophisticated as time goes by. 

       I do believe that GPS Navigators help us to be safer drivers.  Safety should be paramount when we are behind the wheel and our phones should be secondary.  Turn them off or ignore them until it’s safe to pull over.   

      You are right however that more new vehicles are being equipped with these devices as standard equipment.  All these devices get their info from satellites that orbit the earth so the actual GPS devices you purchase to mount in a vehicle are great additions for older vehicles that are not equipped.  I think that will keep their popularity strong for some time.

      Subscription fees may be on their way out as some devices include free lifetime map upgrades like the Magellan Roadmaster 9400-LM 7 inch GPS Navigator.

      When I was researching these, I didn’t see anything that suggested the others has subscriptions.

      I hope this answers your question and if there is anything else I can help you with, let me know.

      Safe Driving,


  14. GPS has undergone several evolutions. Although phone GPS is mobile compared to the navigation app inside motor, I still prefer the motor navigation app. 

    The phone might not be a good recommendation because of the battery draining and quitting after calls.  Those products are eye-catching and I enjoy using the Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S  Mount Bundle

    1. Thanks for your comments, Stella and you are right, GPS technology has come a long way over the years since it first became available.  there have been many plusses along the way.

      I’m not really sure what you meant by using the term “inside motor” but I think you might mean the use of GPS tech being implemented/installed into newer vehicles.  Am I correct in this?  

      Most, if not all of the devices I’m reviewing here have a self-contained battery and a charger that can be plugged into any vehicle plug.  Because of the internal battery, these devices are fully portable and not just designed for use in a car or other vehicle.

      You are also right when you say they are a better option than using a cell phone for GPS because of the additional drainage of the battery.  GPS Navigators have larger batteries so they stay useful longer and there is no risk of losing a signal if the phone rings because there is no phone. 🙂

      That also brings to mind the use of portable battery packs.  These are a relatively new technology in the last few years and (as you probably know) allow recharging of devices when there is no other power source available thus making GPS Navigators and other devices even more portable.

      I hope I have helped you understand, a little bit better, some of the issues you put forth and If you have any further comments or questions… I am here,


  15. Great, thoroughly detailed article! I think you have compiled a comprehensive amount of information that really helped me to understand what you were teaching. Your article is well done and easy to read which is a great thing for a topic that some people can find confusing. 

    I found your writing to come from a genuine and authentic place which I really appreciated. 

    I am an avid user of GPS because I spend my life on the roads.  All of the points you listed are accurate as to why a GPS is a worthy product to have. Thanks!

    1. Hello, Jade and thanks for your positive remarks.  It sounds like you have had, for the most part, a positive experience using your GPS Navigator.

      Would you mind telling me which brand you chose?  Has it ever led you to the wrong place?


  16. Hey there. Thank you for sharing your top 5 GPS navigators. I had a bad experience with Google Maps and some telephone GPS and navigation. For some reason, my telephone GPS vas never precise enough and navigation apps were outdated and did not have enough data.

    That is why I am buying new GPS Navigator and from your list, I think my favorite one is Garmin DriveSmart 61. I think I might check it on Amazon.

    Thank you. You really helped me.


    1. Thank you for your comments, Strahinja.

      Sorry to hear that you had so much trouble with your Cell Phone GPS.  Seems to be an issue for some apps although I do believe they are getting better.  

      That said, GPS uses a lot of power and cell phone batteries are not made for that kind of use whereas the batteries in GPS devices are bigger and hold more power so they do last longer.

      Their mapping tech is better as well and most deliver map updates on a regular basis so you are always up to date.

      No matter which one you choose, I’m sure it will be much better than your phone and less distracting as well which will aid your concentration while on the road.

      Click the link on the one our like and let me know how you like it.


  17. Hi Wayne – Great post! I have been asking myself the question on which is better…iPhone or GPS devices so thank you for pointing out the differences. 

    I also enjoyed learning about the historical background, did not know that it all started out with the Dept. of Defense for the military. 

    I really appreciate knowing that not all GPS devices are created equal, some have features that I think would be very helpful for me like the landmarks notification…I could definitely use that because I still get lost sometimes using a GPS. 

    I also have a data limit issue with my iPhone so I think I will certainly check out some of these options and convince my wife that we should consider getting a GPS device vs. using our cell phones. Thanks for the info!

    1. Hi, Jeff and thanks for your nice comments and I’m glad I was able to help you understand the differences. 

      I don’t want to say anything bad about I-phone or any other, they are what they are but, GPS on a phone uses way more battery and then there are the data overage charges.  Unless you have an unlimited data plan, you could be met with a big surprise bill after a long trip.

      The military thing was new to me too when I first read it.  After thinking about it though, it makes sense.  Gotta keep track of your military forces.  Technology is amazing, isn’t it?

      I like that landmark feature as well as the school zone and red light alerts.  I’m pretty good at finding my way around familiar territory but, if I’m traveling to a new destination, I want to have one of these handy.  I have paper maps and a good navigator (my wife) but a GPS device just adds that extra bit of security.  You know what I mean?

      If you can convince your wife, 🙂 come on back and click the link and let me know what you think.


  18. What a fantastic and clearly explained article. Thank you for taking the time to gather and prepare the facts about GPS’s. I personally get lost all the time and always have a fear that my phone will go flat before I get home safely, so I will definitely be considering one of your recommended products. 

    I liked the points you raised, I was unaware that GPS actually alerts you’re going into school zones and gives traffic camera advice (features not available on phone apps). Thanks once again for sharing all this important information!


    1. Hello, Jess and, thanks so much for your comments.

      Getting lost is never fun unless you don’t mind seeing some new sites.  Personally though, if I’m going home, that’s where I want to end up and even though a phone will do the job with the modern apps that are available,  they use a lot of battery and data so having a GPS device will take the load of the phone for sure.

      Yes, GPS devices are getting better all the time.  School zones, traffic light alerts, heavy traffic areas that you can avoid, point of interest, restaurants and ??? all make these devices better.  The apps are good as well and have many of these features but, the Cell phone offers an extra distraction and, as you say, can run flat if you don’t have a car charger.

      If you decide on one of these, click the link and let me know how it helps you out.


  19. Thanks for the great info on GPS units.  I agree with your points on why you want one.  We have one that my husband had as a truck driver.  We like the big screen but we mount it below the edge of the dash so it doesn’t interfere with our line of site.  

    It is also great that your phone doesn’t interrupt your driving directions on a separate unit.  We are avid campers, and I will be watching your site for other stuff about RV tricks.  Thanks again for the great info.  RhondaLeigh

    1. Hi, Roxy and thanks for your comments. 

      I really like your tip about mounting it below the edge of the dash.  Keeps it were you can still see it and it also eliminates a blind spot.

      Road safety is what it’s all about, isn’t it?  The less distracted we are the better and, as an RV’er traveling to places where we have never been before a GPS device, I would say, is a “must-have”.  

      Being able to track where you are going is getting better all the time and will only get better in the future.  I think I read somewhere that someone is planning to launch a net of GPS dedicated satellites in the not too distant future.

      By all means, Roxy.  Check out other posts here and if there is anything you would like to ask, well, you know what to do.

      Happy camping and drive safe,


  20. Hey Wayne,

    Thank you for this informative and useful article. We can not think of our vehicles without GPS navigators. The GPS I was using in my car recently started to not work properly. So I was thinking about to get a new GPS tracker for myself as I don’t have proper knowledge about the roads of my city. 

    I liked that you have given a list of top quality GPS navigators. I liked the Magellan Roadmaster 9400-LM as it’s a little cheaper and has a lot of good qualities in it. Moreover, it’s 7-inch touchscreen display is perfect for my car. So I will buy that one for me.

    Thank you, again, for writing such a helpful article.

    1. Hello, Mahin and thank you for your comments.  I’m also glad that you found this post helpful and I agree, whether one has a knowledge of their city or not, having a good GPS Navigator would be a big help in getting around.  

      The tracking systems have come a long way over the years and there are more GPS satellites circling our planet now than in the past which makes them even more accurate.

      The Magellan Roadmaster 9400-LM would be a great choice and even though it’s less expensive, it still has a lot of the components needed for good navigation and I also like the bigger screen.

      If you stick with that choice come on back and click the link. It will take you right to it.  Let me know if you like it.


  21. Hi Wayne Shufelt,

    First of all, thank you for the helpful article on GPS Navigators. A designated GPS Navigator device is definitely more helpful than a mobile phone’s GPS Apps because sometimes a mobile phone distracts the drivers and it causes may an accident. 

    Basically, it’s very helpful for UBER Drivers also. I am not a driver but, I will share this post with my friends who drive a car and tell them how useful it is.

    1. Hello, Mona and thanks for your comments. 

      Yes, Cell Phones and driving distracted are a big issue here in North America and many other places throughout the world and having a dedicated GPS device would, I think, help to reduce the amount of accident caused by this issue.

      When I wrote this article I didn’t even think of the benefits these devices would have for Uber and Lift drivers so you’re absolutely right, GPS Navigators would be a tremendous help to them.  Not everyone the best knowledge of their cities.  I’ve been living in my area for many years and still would benefit from having one of these especially when traveling on the road.  So, thanks for sharing this post with your friends.  It’s very much appreciated.


  22. Hello Wayne,

    This a great post about GPS NAVIGATORS. Some days ago I felt that I needed a GPS navigator for my car. In your post, I get 5 choices and of all of these, I like Rand McNally TND 740 IntelliRoute Truck Navigation GPS. It has all the features that I need. And it also has a free lifetime map update. It is really so cool.

    Thanks for such a nice and helpful post. This post is really helping me a lot. Thank you so much again.

    1. Good Day, Khobayer and thanks for your comments.  Glad you found my post helpful and, yeah, there are times when even someone who knows their way around well could still use the benefits of a good GPS device, don’t you think?

      And I agree, the Rand McNally TND 740 is a good choice and the 7-inch screen and lifetime maps updates make it even better.  The 7=inch screen makes it easier to read as well.

      If it’s the one you like, come on back and click through.


  23. I really liked reading about the GPS Navigators.  Maybe I missed this part but can those be installed in a vehicle as well?  I have a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and I think that it would be useful for me to have a GPS Navigator.  My Jeep does not have one installed.

    It is so distracting to be looking at a phone or anything that is not mounted when driving.  What do you suggest for me?

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Alisha.  Cell Phones are a HUGE distraction to drivers these days.  And really, would something drastic happen in our lives if we didn’t answer the phone when driving.  At least pull over (if possible) and not put you or others in jeopardy of injury or worse, death.  Either turn it off or put it in driving mode.  We really do need to have a different attitude about our driving habits.

      In answer to your question… Most, if not all of these devices are meant to be mounted ON the dash or to the windshield much the same way as a dash-cam.  They come with a suction cup or some other way to mount them.  Installation is pretty simple that way.

      I hope that answers your question.  


  24. Hi Wayne

    Thank you for this educative article about GPS navigators. I’m very happy I found this and, after reading your article, I’ve learned a lot about GPS Navigators that I didn’t know before. 

    These devices are great for helping drivers reach their destination, especially when driving to a place we have never been to before. They really can be very important for safety as we travel on our way to help us stay focused on our driving.

    Thank you very much for giving us detailed information about GPS Navigators.

    1. Hello, Rana and thanks for your comments.

      I’m very glad that I was able to increase your knowledge about these devices.  They are just so much better now than they were when they were first produced.  

      I believe they are much more practical for use than a Cell Phone and can actually be connected to a phone with Bluetooth now thus doing away with the interruptions that are experienced when using a GPS phone app. 

      RV’ers touring our countries and semi-truck drivers spend an enormous amount of time on the road.  Have one of these can save them a lot of time by keeping them from getting lost.  This problem could be especially costly for the truck drivers who need to find the quickest route to get where they are going.

      Thanks again for your comments and remember to always drive safe,


  25. As a driver, I would always prefer a device that is not handheld, so I would choose, the dashboard GPS to a cell phone.

    Price wise I would choose Garmin products, as I have a little knowledge of them, and the Garmin drive 50 USA, is a good bargain, at the price and has all the features needed,

    I see that it is also recommended by Amazon, which is something I put great store in,

    The Rand McNally TND 740 must be the most rugged, and comprehensive instrument, as it is for professional truck drivers, but the price puts it out of my reach, also I do not need a lot of the features it has.

    It is amazing that you not only get all the traffic information, also restaurants and stores, on your way.

    1. Hello Robert, and, thanks so much for your comment.

      I would agree, the less distracted we are the better.  Driving on our roads and highways have become sooo stressful these days, anything we can do to create a better driving environment is a good thing.

      All of these devices are, for the most part, budget-friendly and would, for sure create less distraction not to mention the savings on data overage charges, (which I mentioned in a previous comment).

      They really have come a long way since their inception and having restaurants, accommodations and, points of interest are great additions and, yes, the TND 740 is more expensive and rugged but, I like the idea of having a bigger screen.

      There are so many good things about having one of these GPS devices, it makes it worth having one just for the added safety factor of not having to use a phone.

      Here’s to driving safer,


  26. Very interesting discourse here and surely one that is very helpful. 

    I am a big fan of phone app GPS and that’s what’s I’ve been using for the better part of the last decade. It is true that one can easily get distracted while using their phones because of various notifications and alerts. And owing to the fact that most are phone addicts, we tend to get easily drifted off what’s required of us. 

    I think I like the developments made by this GPS companies. I personally prefer the Garmin DriveLuxe 50 NA LMTHD GPS Navigator System. It should be worth giving a try.

    1. Hey, Ro, and thank you so much for your comments. 

      I have depended on my phone or tablet as well when trying to find my way around from time to time.  But, as another commenter reminded me,  depending on the data plan, one could use it up pretty fast if they are relying on their phone.  As we all know, data overage charges can be quite expensive.  Have you experienced this happening to you? 

      The other thing you mention is our ability to be easily distracted.  With the changing laws around “Distracted driving”, it becomes, I think, even more important for us to take the responsibility and, if possible, if it is in our budget, to have a dedicated device so we are not so distracted and the Garmin DriveLuxe 50 NA LMTHD GPS  is a great choice. 

      With that said, we still need to put our phones down or shut them off when we are driving.  There is just too much at stake.

      If you decide to take the leap, stop by, click the link and let me know how it turns out.


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