When it comes to GPS there are only a few brands that can hold a candle against Garmin. If you are an avid RVer, you can choose from the Garmin 770 and the 780. These are the two top GPS units that are mainly made for large vehicles like trucks and RVs.
These handy gadgets will help you navigate through towns and cities, giving you routes that large vehicles can easily navigate through. However, what’s the difference between the Garmin RV 770 vs. 780 GPS, you may ask? It is also possible to ask which of the two you should get for your RV. All these questions and more will be answered below.
Why Should You Get a Sat-nav?
Are you the type of person who still uses the old-fashioned maps that you can buy at gas stations? It is about time that you upgrade to a reliable GPS device. There are plenty of reasons why you should go digital, especially in this day and age and here are some of them:
You get updated maps – When you buy a map, you should check the date when it was published. If it has been more than a couple of years then it is already outdated. There might have been dozens of roads built between the time the map was drawn and when you bought it.
This is not a problem with GPS devices as you can get updated maps regularly. You just need to connect the device to your Wi-Fi network and check for map updates.
You can get traffic reports – Most GPS devices these days also come with features that allow you to view the road and traffic conditions ahead. This will allow you to recalibrate your route on the fly so you do not waste any precious time.
You get routes that are specifically made for RVs – There are GPS devices that allow you to input your vehicle’s dimensions (in this case, your RV) and they will provide you with custom-made routes that even large vehicles can easily navigate through. How many times have you been led astray by the route you plotted on your map? Say goodbye to times like that.
You do not need a co-pilot in case you need to change routes unexpectedly – When you are using a map, you have to pull over and unfurl your map when you need to check your bearings. This takes a lot of time and energy.
With a GPS, you just need to key in your destination and it will provide you with the fastest route. You will also get voice navigation so you do not have to worry anymore if you need to take the next exit or the next one.
Similarities Between the 770 and 780
Before discussing what makes one of these GPS units better than the other, let us find out what similar features they share.
Active Lane Guidance
Both the Garmin 770 and 780, being GPS navigation designed for trucks, RVs, and other large vehicles, come with the company’s trademark Active Lane Guidance.
This feature guides the driver on routes that are suitable for the size of their vehicle. Aside from taking into consideration the width of the roads, it also warns about the weight and height restrictions of bridges.
You will also get detailed directions, like which lane in the expressway you should position your vehicle in so you can safely get into your exit.
Lifetime Maps and Traffic Updates
Unlike other cheap GPS devices wherein you have to pay a certain price if you want to get map updates, you just need to pay for the GPS unit and you will have access to unlimited maps and traffic information updates with Garmin.
However, since both of these sat-navs do not have any mobile capabilities, you have to connect them to your home’s Wi-Fi so that they can download the updates. However, they both can get real-time traffic information via receivers embedded in the power cable in both devices.
The great thing about the Garmin 770 and 780 is that they both have Bluetooth connectivity and can be used as a control panel for your RV’s media. You can connect these GPS devices to your smartphone so you can use it to accept and make calls. You can even use them to read your messages back to you.
Furthermore, because it can connect to your mobile network via your smartphone, you will have access to more accurate live services, like up-to-date road and traffic conditions, allowing you to change your route whenever necessary.
You can also connect these Garmin devices to your Bluetooth-enabled onboard stereo systems. This means you can control all of your RV’s media using voice commands.
They can both be connected to your RV’s reverse camera
You can connect a wireless reverse camera to your RV so it will be easier for you to back up and park, and instead of connecting an additional screen for the back-up camera, you can configure both your reverse camera and these Garmin sat-navs so that you can use them as the monitor.
Both the Garmin 770 and the 780 have capacitive touchscreens. This means that you can easily access other features of the sat-navs that are not included in the voice controls just by touching the screen. Because they are both touchscreen, you do not have to let go of the wheel too long to access the controls that you need.
Both the 770 and the 780 have built-in, internal batteries and they both have runtimes of about an hour with a full charge. This does not matter much since you will be plugging them into your RV’s power supply when you are on the road. The batteries are usually just used for when you need to take the sat-nav panels inside your home to update the maps.
Differences between the 770 and 780
Now onto the differences. Do keep in mind that just because the 770 is an earlier model, it does have a couple of things that make it better than the 780. It will be up to you whether you choose one above the other.
The most obvious difference between the Garmin 770 and the 780 is the screen size. Both sat-navs have 7” screens, measured at the diagonal, but they have different screen ratios. The 770 has a screen that measures 15.24 x 8.89 cm while the 780 has a 15.24 x 8.64 cm.
The 770 Can Connect to Garmin Smart Watches
If you happen to own a Garmin smartwatch, you can pair it with the Garmin 770 sat-nav so you can get traffic and road condition updates in real-time right on your wrist. Furthermore, you can use your smartwatch as a handy compass to guide back to your parked trailer in case you get lost.
The 780 Can Display 3D Maps
If you are tired of the look and feel of 2D maps, you should get the Garmin 780 because it can display 3D maps, including 3D buildings, terrain, and other details of the surroundings. It can make you feel like you are in a videogame.
You can even see the changes in elevation between roads, so you can somehow estimate if your RV will need a bit of a running start before climbing up the next street. Aside from these small details, the Garmin 770 and 780 are practically identical both in looks and function. Choosing either one of these navigation systems is good.
Which One is More Suitable for you?
The Garmin 780 is a bit more technologically advanced than the 770 but not by much. The 770 can pretty much still do the same things that the 780 can. The important thing is that both GPS devices are quite efficient and effective at helping you navigate your RV towards your camping grounds.
With that said, although the 780 is a newer model, you should just get the Garmin 770, mainly because it is a hundred dollars cheaper and yet it still works the same as the newer model Garmin 780.
It is no question that you should upgrade from using an old-fashioned map to using a cutting-edge GPS navigation system. There are so many advantages to using a GPS and there is no reason not to get one. You can still keep your old-fashioned road map in your glove compartment in case you need to double-check if you are going in the right direction.
One of the best manufacturers of RV GPS devices is Garmin. If you are an avid RVer, you need to check out the Garmin RV 770 and 780. These are the ones that are specifically made for your vehicle.
If you are asking, “Garmin RV 770 vs. 780 GPS: What’s the difference between the two, the answer is that they are practically the same, save for some small features, so anyone will do you good. However, since the Garmin RV 770 is a hundred dollars cheaper, you might want to give a bit more consideration to that particular model.
Hi, I am Dane Heldt, a full-time RVer since 2016. I am always passionate about building and joining an RV community where people share their love for RV lives. This blog is a dream of mine, as I can finally share my experiences to help people who want to start living differently. So, feel free to reach out to me!