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Garmin RV 1090 vs 890: Similarities and Differences

Written by Stephen Ryan / Fact checked by William Turner

garmin rv 1090 vs 890

Would you like to make your RVing adventures safer, more convenient, and more meaningful? Do you find it challenging to decide between a Garmin RV 1090 vs 890? While both navigation devices offer exceptional features, one product has a clear advantage for contemporary RV owners.

Garmin is a leader in GPS technologies for marine, handheld, automotive, dog tracking, Nuvifone, avionics, mobile, fishfinder, and PDA applications. I will not be surprised if you will also want a Garmin for your motorhome. After all, the brand has an impressive GPS navigation product line for RVs.

Shall we find out which between the Garmin RV 890 vs 1090 is best for you?

Table of Contents

What Is the Garmin RV 1090?

The Garmin RV 1090 is the brand’s latest offering that promises better navigation features and a larger screen for a tablet-like experience.

Sporting an impressive 10-inch 1280×800 pixel IPS, on-cell capacitive screen display, looking at various navigation information and live service updates is never a problem. The screen also has a dual-orientation design, allowing users to position it wide (landscape) or tall (portrait).

A recent Garmin RV 1090 review underscored the GPS navigator’s large screen as its ‘biggest asset,’ considering most navigation devices on the market come with smaller screen sizes. The 1280p resolution is also better than the 1080p resolution of other brands.

Not only do you get accurate information from the screen. You also get clear, vivid, and bright images to make your RVing adventures more exciting.

The only thing RV owners will miss is the built-in dashcam found in the Garmin 785 & Traffic. Nevertheless, Garmin offers its Garmin Dash Cam to connect to the RV 1090 if you want.

The Garmin RV 1090 has a custom RV routing system, which considers the motorhome’s weight and size to analyze and recommend the best possible RV route. It also warns you of sharp curves, steep grades, weight limits, and other road warnings. You can avoid these obstacles.

Planning your RVing adventures is also a cinch with the Garmin RV 1090’s pairing with the Garmin Drive app. You can share GPX files and import RV routes to make your weekend trips more enjoyable.

You also get access to motorhome parks and services, courtesy of iOverlander, KOA, PlanRV, and Ultimate Public Campgrounds.

Driving smarter is also a breeze with the Garmin RV 1090. It has a voice assistant, live weather and traffic updates, wireless connectivity, hands-free calling, smart notifications, and live fuel prices. I love the latter feature because it gives me an idea of the cheapest fuel on my route.

You can pair the Garmin RV 1090 with the Garmin PowerSwitch if you want to control the various 12-volt devices in your RV on the GPS console.

You can also connect it with a compatible backup camera, find places by name, learn things from History, check National Parks, and try out TripAdvisor recommendations.

What Is the Garmin RV 890?


The Garmin RV 890 has an 8-inch display, a 1280×800 pixel resolution, and an on-cell capacitive touchscreen with IPS technology. Because of its smaller screen size, we can assume its pixel density is higher than the RV 1090. You can also orient the display in either landscape or portrait.

This GPS navigator already comes preloaded with street maps, including 3D images of terrain and buildings. In addition, it has a built-in 16 GB storage, which you can expand up to 256 GB using a compatible MicroSD card.

The RV 890 shares the same navigation and RV features as the Garmin RV 1090, including compatibility with the Garmin Dash Cam, Garmin PowerSwitch, BC 35 wireless backup camera, and the Garmin Drive app.

However, some RV owners cite some nagging Garmin RV 890 problems, such as inaccurate or faulty route recommendations. For example, the system might recommend an RV route that takes longer to drive than another course or offer an out-of-the-way route to one’s destination.

The device will also avoid routes that allow RV passage while recommending driving on unpaved roads.

Some people say it would be best to get a 10-inch Android tablet and mount it on the dashboard. Its GPS and cellular network coverage should provide more accurate navigation information.

What Are the Principal Differences Between the Garmin RV 890 and RV 1090?

Only a few things differentiate a Garmin RV 890 from an RV 1090. These are as follows.

  • Smaller screen (8 inches vs 10 inches)
  • Lighter (13.7 ounces vs 18.8 ounces)
  • Smaller device dimensions (7.87×4.82×0.79 inches vs 9.65×7.06×0.83 inches) (WxHxD)
  • More affordable by about $200 ($499.99 vs $699.99, based on the Garmin website)

What Are the Similarities Between the Garmin RV 1090 and RV 890?


Only a few things separate a Garmin 890 vs 1090. It would be safe to assume that the RV 890 and RV 1090 provide the same GPS navigation experience to RV owners and their families.

They can enjoy TripAdvisor recommendations, History information, FourSquare points of interest, Garmin landmark guides, RV parks and services, and other relevant information to make RVing adventures worthwhile.

There are also smart features, such as hands-free calling, message and notification management, and voice-activated navigation. You can customize your route, stay abreast of the latest weather and traffic updates, and be watchful of road hazards and obstacles.

If you wish the GPS navigator has a built-in dashcam, you can always purchase the Garmin Dash Cam. If you need effortless control of your motorhome’s 12-volt electrical devices, you can pair the RV 1090 or RV 890 with the Garmin PowerSwitch.

Which Should You Choose?

Choosing between a Garmin RV 890 and RV 1090 is more about whether you like a smaller device or a GPS navigator with a larger screen. While some RV owners might consider an 8-inch screen sufficient for their needs, other motorhome owners might need a 10-inch screen for improved information viewing.

Unfortunately, I cannot say I agree with the $200 price difference for a modest two-inch screen size variance. I will leave that decision to you.


The never-ending Garmin RV 1090 vs 890 debate narrows down to choosing between a small screen and a large screen GPS navigation device. All things equal, the RV 1090 appeals more to RV owners with beginning signs of poor vision. If not, the RV 890 should be an excellent choice.

Either way, you will have a safer, more enjoyable, more convenient, and more meaningful RVing adventure.

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