A SHOCKING Unbiased Review of the Garmin 890 RV GPS
Welcome back everyone. If this is your first time here were sure glad you found us, my names, patrick – and this is your channel all about rving and living life to the fullest were applying our 16 years of experience. Rving trying to share with you some of the frustrations weve had along the way and give you tips, tricks and techniques so that you have a much more enjoyable experience when youre out rving. Now, in this episode, what i want to do is talk about a product that we purchased this summer, and i get a lot of questions about it, so we decided it was time to actually go ahead and purchase the garmin rv890. Now this is a gps specifically designed for rvers and were going to go through in this video kind of what you get in the box and then im going to tell you the pros and then im going to tell you the cons stay to the end of This video and ill – let you know whether im actually recommending this to my friends and family or not so lets, go ahead and dive right on into this product. Let me give you a little back story. This summer we were on a 9 000 mile rv trip and about two thirds of the way through. I was really unhappy with the routing system that we were using and we were actually using the built in routing system in my toyota tundra, along with trying to utilize our cell phones with apps, like google maps apple maps, things like that, we had been getting requests For us to actually review this product from many of you, and so we just decided to go ahead and make the purchase.
So we ordered this on amazon and had it shipped to us up in connecticut, and we used it on the last third of our actual rv trip this summer. When you first open it up, what youre gon na find is youre going to find the actual gps. Now think of this really is like a tablet. I mean thats, really what it is, and so the sizing on this is really nice im going to show you here with my hand, so you can get a much better idea of just how big this is. So you get the actual gps unit. In addition, though, youre also going to get a couple of mounts now we were using this mount, which is the suction cup mount all right. This one, you can just literally open up, attach it to the windshield, lock it into place and thats how that one works, but they also give you a mount that you could put like on a dashboard um using like 3m sticky tape, or you could actually screw It right in to uh, you know, wherever you want so thats included in the box and, in addition, obviously youre going to get your charging cables now in for the actual in vehicle unit. They give you this 12 volt plug its going to plug into what we typically refer to as a cigarette lighter plug, and then this will then plug into this mounting base. Now this mounting base – i really like – and this is what i really this – is one of the things i really like about this unit.
Is you dont, plug into the actual tablet, youre actually plugging into this mounting base and then plugging into your vehicle? Now you might say why do i like that so much when i want to remove the gps from the tow vehicles, then i dont have to unplug anything all right. I can actually just go ahead and pull that off and its still plugged in here. They also give you a cable so that you can charge it using a usb plug inside the house, so if you want to take it into your rv or your home or wherever you also get that cable now speaking of this mounting bracket, i actually really like This this to me, was one of the real pluses on this unit, its a magnetic mounting bracket, and you can see it literally just falls into place and it holds it there tight. But then, in the evening lets say when youre not driving or you make stops. You dont necessarily want this big unit up in your windshield, because obviously it could become a target of theft. So its real easy. You just pull it away from the magnet and then you can stick this in your glove box or take it again into your rv. Wherever and so i really like the functionality of that as far as the mounting so from a mounting standpoint from a size standpoint and the way that they plug into the actual magnetic bracket, those were all big pluses for me.
So now lets go ahead and im going to turn the unit on and just show you a few of the features now, if youre looking for a tutorial on this particular unit, that is not this video and theres some great tutorials out there, and so you can Check out some of those videos again, what i want to do is just show you some of the highlights of things we really like and then also i want to show you some of the negatives before i give you my final opinion on this unit, so im Gon na go ahead and get this turned on, and so this is very much like the smaller auto sized uh garmin gpss. In fact, we own one of those as well the big difference here. There were really two reasons for making this purchase number one was screen size, the one that we had before was a fraction of the size, so it gives you a much bigger viewing area, but then the real selling point for me beyond. That was the fact that we could actually program this for the rv that we were either driving in the case of a motorhome or towing in the case of a travel, trailer or fifth wheel. When you basically look at it, though its a very similar configuration to the garmin we already had, this thing has really good clarity, its crystal clear um. It has the voice function but, like i said what i really liked was the fact that we could come up here and we could go ahead and put in the information about our rv and again, if you were in a motor home, you would set it up For a motorhome, if youre towing, you set it up for that, and so you can see this one is set up for ours.
It has you put in your vehicle information, it has you put in your trailer information and then the combined, including even weight. So, theoretically, it should keep you off of bridges or roads that have a weight designation now. The other good thing about this is lets say: youre, not towing your trailer or youre, not in your motor home, but you want to use this just in your car. You can easily switch to car mode. Okay and its warning me that were going back into car mode and then that will change the routing of the particular unit. The other thing is, you can connect this bluetooth to your phone and you can do all kinds of things. You can literally look for things like campgrounds. We can open up the apps because again i really liken this to a tablet, um and so theres apps. You can get things like that, but we can search for campgrounds now. How much do we pay for this? Well, we purchased this in july of 2021 off amazon at a purchase price of around 500 plus tax, so, depending on when youre watching this video prices go up and down, but that lease gives you a price point of what we actually paid for the particular unit. Now what id like to do is transition from the things that i told you that i really like about the unit to sharing with you our experience with it. So when we headed out from connecticut the first thing we did, is we unboxed this? I had it all set up in a very short time, its fairly easy to set up and use.
I mean they dont, give you a lot of instructions, but its very user friendly in terms of getting it set up and ready to use. I decided that i wanted to trust the gps because we bought it because its an rv, specific gps, and so even though a lot of times, we will double check routes. In this case, we really wanted to put it to the test and see what will it do so we left connecticut and unfortunately, it ended up routing us down and across the george washington bridge, which means it literally took us down through the bronx and across on The gw now we had been warned by friends that live in that area, that you do not want to go across the george washington bridge. You want to go way north or whatever, and go out and around. In fact, when we came from the south um utilizing the the toyota, along with google maps, that was the route that that took us. But we were believing that, because we put in all the information for rv, it would not take us on a route like that and unfortunately that ended up being the absolute worst towing experience i have ever had in my 16 years of hauling rvs. So that was like the first sign that i wasnt real happy with it, but i thought you know what maybe thats my fault, maybe even though its still an rv specific gps. You really need to go in and double check the route, but as we continued on south, it continued to do some odd things.
For instance, it took us on the inner loop in dc, as opposed to taking us on the outer loop and what made that? Even worse was the fact that there was heavy construction on the inner loop, and so even though it wasnt as bad as going through new york city with and the george washington bridge, it still was not necessarily a pleasant towing experience. I felt like it should have been able to route us out and around that when we headed north from florida back to indiana, it did something really peculiar, and that was it wanted me to get on the express lanes coming through atlanta. Now there are big signs up on. I 75 that clearly state no rvs are allowed in those express lanes, and yet the gps in the trailer mode was saying get over in the express lane. So obviously we disregarded that and didnt do it. But you know when youre spending that kind of money youre thinking it should know not to do that. It also then wanted us to do a. U turn in tennessee. Now later everybody told me like hey, you got to go in and tell it you dont want to do. U turns heres my problem with that im. Okay, with the fact that i need to go in and shut. U turns off, but when you buy an rv specific gps, how many people really are wanting to do? U turns with motorhomes fifth wheels and travel trailers to me that should almost be set in the default of off and then, if youre, one of those people are like hey, i dont mind doing a: u turn with the big old trailer behind me.
You could go in and turn it on, and so just doesnt make a lot of sense when youre spending that kind of money for a unit thats supposed to make your rv hauling driving towing experience, um less frustrating, but then the final straw for us with this Particular unit was once we got home. We were on a local camping trip over in ohio at a state park and when we left the state park we had pulled out. We were following the directions because again i was trying to try this on all kinds of scenarios highways long, trips, short trips country, roads, that type of thing to see how it would do – and we were maybe a mile down the road and it had us doing. A right turn now a right turn is not a big deal, except when it wants you to turn into a cornfield. Now, in all fairness to the gps, there actually was a road there. There was an access road into the field for the farmer to get his equipment in and out um, but it went nowhere. It actually dead ended at somebodys property. Where there was a house now we did not turn down that. I just kept going because i knew i was not going to turn into a cornfield plus. I was familiar with the route, so i knew where i was going. But to me that was the final straw, where i said a gps should never have you.
Turning in to a corn field, especially when youre in rv mode, so overall we were not happy for 500. We really felt like it did not do the things it should do and like they say what i can tell you is ive talked to some other owners of this particular gps or former owners who had the same experiences that we did so i know it wasnt Unique necessarily to our unit, because i have talked to like i said others who have had that same experience and confirmed the things that we were getting out of it. So, ultimately, what is our overall feeling on it? This has been sitting in a box in our closet since september. We no longer use this unit. I just dont have faith in it. I cant trust it because, honestly for 500, i had high expectations and for the price difference. If youre thinking, you still want to go with a garmin gps – and i again, i like garmin, gpss weve owned one for the car for years, but i would not invest the money unless you just want this bigger screen. From my experience, it doesnt do anything miraculous in terms of the actual rv towing experience. Would i recommend this absolutely not, i feel like we have used it enough, um well, over 3000 miles of hauling, our rv and again on various types of trips that we just felt like. This was not the right unit for us.
We ended up then making another purchase and were using a system that were very happy with and ill be putting out a video on that explaining exactly what were using and why. I think its a much better system make sure you keep those notifications on if youre subscribed to the channel, if youre not subscribed, wed appreciate if youd hit that subscribe button and that way, when the video comes out on our new navigation system, you can find out Exactly what were using and how its working and id love to hear from some other garmin owners, if you own this particular model because again, im just sharing my experience with you till next time.