Using Google Maps for RV Travel

by | Sep 1, 2018

google maps for rv travel

This video shows how we use Google maps for RV travel planning and driving directions. We also share other helpful apps that make our RV travel more enjoyable.

The subject of which GPS to use can be as controversial as the politics one chooses. I’m not looking for a debate. My objective is to share an alternative that we found works great for our RV travels. Something you may want to explore and try as well.

GPS Challenges

I’ve used GPS devices for a number of years. Starting with my corporate travel, I found a GPS invaluable as I traveled from city to city, not being familiar with an area. While any GPS is a useful tool, it can create problems by sending the driver on routes that may not be favorable. In a car or even a small RV, this isn’t a big problem. Usually you can find somewhere to turn around and locate a more suitable route.

This is not the case for those of us who travel in large RVs, be it a large Class A or C or in my and Joan’s RV travels, a 40 foot fifth wheel and 1 ton F-350 dually pick-up. Making a wrong turn in one of these big rigs can be disastrous placing your rig at the mercy of low bridges or poor roads. Even if the directions are of a lower risk, you may be placed in a very difficult position where there are few if any options to turn around or placed in traffic not suitable for your RV.

We like GPS devices such as the Garmin or Tom Tom. The problem arises when you want to alter a route other than what the device suggests is the best route to follow. The easiest way to make the GPS follow a desired route is to set waypoints along the roads that are part of your RV travel plan. The GPS then plots the route based on your preferences. As an example, Garmin offers a free PC software called BaseCamp. Being very computer and software proficient, I found BaseCamp to be difficult and frustrating to use. I wish that was not the case. I like these GPS products, but trying to use BaseCamp is just too time consuming for minimal results.

Using Google maps for RV travel

Over the last couple of years, we’ve only used Google Maps for RV travel and trip planning. It too has its issues, but we have found ways to make it work for our RV travel needs that is simple with the results of our planned route running on a smart phone or tablet.

Below are links if you’re interested in purchasing the products discussed in this video. Please note: Prices and availability of the products mentioned in this video are subject to change.

Products used in this video:

Rand McNally 2021 Motor Carriers' Road AtlasRand McNally 2021 Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas


Universal Windshield Cell Phone HolderUniversal Windshield Cell Phone Holder


Windshield Dashboard Car Mount for Midsize TabletsWindshield Dashboard Car Mount for Midsize Tablets


Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8″ Wifi Tablet


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Music by: [No Copyright Music] ON AND ON – Nicolai Heidlas Music –


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