Caravan GPS Review – Garmin RV 770 with POI’s Hema GPS Maps
Why do I need this?
If you broke into a cold sweat at the sight of this photo, then that’s why.
What is the Garmin RV 770 LMT-S
The Garmin RV 770 LMT-S is the perfect companion for any caravan, campervan or Motorhome. For lengthy road trips across Australia or internationally having a dedicated GPS will be a huge benefit. The most significant advantage is the ability to put in your vehicles size and weight so that your route will be planned to take into account these factors.
Give me the skinny
- Drive with customised routing for ‘your’ vehicle (based on size, weight restrictions, avoid U-turns and a plethora of custom route features)
- Searching for things to do while on the road trip (you can add in special POI’s, download custom routes from
- Large, high-resolution display
- Smartphone-linked (for smartphone notifications and incoming calls)
- Voice activation commands (‘Maccas’ didn’t work, but coffee did show me to a nice nearby cafe. As an aside I feel that every product released in Australia should at least handle this colloquialism pick up your Game Garmin.)
- Easily connected to a Garmin Reverse Camera.
How it works
This GPS is designed to help guide you in safer travels but will also help you select the perfect route stops along the way. The RV 770 comes with a comprehensive listing for caravan, campervan or motorhome parks and campgrounds sites for Australia and New Zealand. Garmin uses their database along with Hema Maps.
The Hema Maps database will include searchable: rest areas, caravan parks, petrol stations, camping ground, general convenience stores, parks, historical points, hospitals, lookouts, man-made attractions, mechanics, and more.
There is also additional information available for most categories (campsites) like whether the site is powered, accessible parking, camp fee and convenient facilities.
I’ve included some pictures below to show the difference in details on a standard Car GPS compared to the RV 770.
Garmin RV 770 vs Hema HX-1 vs Garmin Dezl 770
We’ll also have a look at the closest market competitors the Hema Hx-1, the Dezl 770 Truck GPS against the RV 770. The main difference that the Hema unit suffers from is the lack of custom functionality for your vehicle. You cannot enter your vehicle dimensions or weight so you won't get any safety warning or be able to avoid specific routing factors like U-Turns, shared lanes and so on. Other than that the Hema Navigator HX-1, in particular, has quick routing and mapping software and the Hema POI’s database is so good even Garmin decided to use it.
Going into the differences between the Dezl 770 (Truck GPS) and the RV 770 there isn't anything significant both units are priced quite similarly because of this, Dezl 770LMT has a recommended retail price of $579, and the RV 770 has a RRP of $599. The other differences are the Hema maps included on the RV 770 and the ability to specifically account for a campervan, RV or a caravan vehicle types. Personally, the slightly more custom features and the Hema maps are worth $20 to me but I'll leave you to be the final judge on that particular matter.
Garmin has also released a packaged deal for the RV 770 with the BC30 reversing camera; the reversing camera is great for guiding you out of tight spots and links smoothly to your GPS display.
Overall this unit does exactly what it says it will do. It will try to create the best route based on your specifications and help to make sure you get there safely with plenty of customisable driver alerts (It can be a bit bullheaded about changing the route though). One of the problems I have with the unit is what differentiates itself explicitly from the Dezl 770 truck GPS. They are almost the same unit, though the Dezl 770 is $20 cheaper on RRP, the RV 770 does come with a couple of extra features that I mentioned earlier (Hema POI map) but nothing too significant. Regarding whether you should or shouldn’t purchase this GPS I think it’s a reliable GPS that allows you a bit of extra safety when caravanning then your typical car GPS or google maps would offer.
How to set up my device?
- Make sure you update the unit first and foremost through Garmin Express or just connect the unit to your home WiFi (As a side note the USB doesn’t have enough juice actually to charge this device)
- That’s it.
How to search an area for Hema POI?
- Open “Where To”
- Open ‘Hema’
- You can search any specific categories or all categories, and you can also change your search location if your (click ‘Searching Near’ in the top right) if you’re looking to find specific activities at destinations