25 Apps to Optimize Your RV Trip
We get it, many people jump in their RVs so they DON’T have to be chained to technology. If you’re committed to leaving the phone at home, that’s understandable. But nowadays there are just so many apps that do so many things. If you like to travel with your phone at the ready, consider loading up a few of the following, designed to maximize your road trip.
Unless otherwise stated, all apps are available for iOS and Android users, and are free.
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Finding a Campsite or RV Parking Space
They say life’s a trip, not a destination, but you’re still going to want to have an RV campground or parking spot in mind before hitting the road.
Reserve America is the website for reserving campsites in most state and local government park lands in North America. Recreation.gov does the same for national parks. The latter has an app, free for iOS. Both allow you to filter by campsite, availability, etc.
RV Parky is built by RVers and lets you search RV parks, campgrounds and other amenities.
AllStays allows you to browse and book campgrounds and RV-welcoming parking lots. It’s $9.99 and available on iOS only, but has functionality that many find worth the price.
Navigating and Route Planning
Now that you know where you’re going, you’ve got to get there. There are a host of applications aimed at helping you plan your route, and ensure that you don’t miss anything along the way.
Google Maps is the go-to navigational tool, providing real time information on routes, traffic, transit and more. Google Trips stores reservations and other information in one location, helping you plan and organize your day-to-day activities.
CoPilot RV is more specific to RVs. It allows you to plan your route, taking into account your vehicle’s size and class. This helps you avoid low bridges and other places RVs can’t go.
Roadtrippers helps you find amenities and highlights along your path, allowing you to create a travel diary in the process, while Roadside America ($2.99, iOS) specializes in helping you locate quirky roadside attractions and points of interest.
Waze utilizes user generated content to help you avoid traffic jams, accidents and even speed traps.
Tollsmart ($2.99/month) helps you minimize toll charges, while GasBuddy will point you toward the nearest and cheapest fill-up station.
Getting in Touch with Nature
Oh Ranger (free on iOS) lists, sorts and profiles every national, state and local park in the great US of A, with information on activities, such as hiking, water fun and horseback riding.
REI Co-Op National Parks Guide profiles America’s most popular National Parks, with GPS maps to help you navigate. Parks Canada covers parks north of the border.
While you’re out in the great wide open, you’re going to want some help making sense of it all. iNaturalist boasts a 400,000 item catalogue of plants and animals and allows you to share finds with other users. If you prefer to focus your attention upwards, Star Chart identifies stars and other heavenly bodies, using your phone’s camera.
Soundtrack for Adventure
What’s a road trip without tunes?
Spotify and Apple Music are rival music subscription services vying for your music dollar. They will, of course, come at a price, but they place the vast majority of history’s recorded music at your fingertips. We recommend the ‘Class Road Trip Songs’ playlist on Spotify.
If audio books are more your jam try Audible, while a host of podcast players are available as well.
There’s really no end to the apps you may find useful:
AccuWeather is a reliable forecast app.
First Aid by American Red Cross gives safety and emergency advice in the form of instructions, videos, animations and safety tips.
Packpoint is just one app aimed at helping you organize and follow your pre-trip preparations.
Urgent.ly connects you with local emergency services, such as towing.
Bubble Level will tell you whether or not your camper is sitting level, but it won’t level it for you.
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