Apps for RVers
Not too long ago, trip planning would have required paper maps, cumbersome, heavy campground directories, and lots of phone calls. These days we can get the job done with a few reliable smartphone apps for RVers. We get asked about this frequently, so I’ve compiled a list of the apps we use and why we use them. You’ll notice that not all of them are exclusively for the RVer, but all of them make the cut because we find them particularly useful in our full-time RV lifestyle.
Trip Planning Apps for RVers
Allstays is THE BEST RV park finder we’ve come across. I have it on my tablet and Android smartphone, and it’s the first app I use to find our overnight stops along the road. Just open it up and touch the screen to see what’s nearest to you, or use the search bar to find what’s nearest to any city. View RV Park reviews and the park website right from within the app. You can also use it to find rest areas, dump stations, the nearest Walmart, Camping World or a number of other national brand stores. The app is $9.99 on the Google Play Store, and if you prefer to research travel plans on your computer, their companion website has even more bells and whistles, if you go pro and pay $23.95 for a year’s subscription.
This app gives the most up-to-date info on Passport America parks. It’s my second go-to app after I’ve narrowed down a list of potential parks with Allstays. Passport America regularly adds and removes parks from their system, and we take advantage of their savings as often as possible when on the road. It helps to have the most up-to-date info at my fingertips.
Love it or hate it, Google Maps can be useful for the RV traveler. I prefer to use it on my tablet as the screen is large enough to see what’s next on the path it chooses for us. Honestly, it’s most useful when we’ve already checked our route ahead of time because it can lead you to a simple destination via a very strange path. We’ve had it take us all the way around a long loop instead of one simple turn that would have taken us direct to the driveway of the park. Most recently, it showed we could go around a block instead of make a U-turn, but once we were committed to going around that block, we discovered it was through a gated community and no way was that going to work. That said, I wouldn’t be without it. Just know its limitations and if you have doubts, place a phone call to the park to ask for directions.
State DOT Apps
Most states provide an app through their Department of Transportation that will give you road conditions, weather conditions, driving tips, and other traveler information. You can get them through the state DOT websites or the Google Playstore.
Get the best route, every day, with real–time help from other drivers. This is like Google Maps, but with user-generated information. You’ll find updates on accidents, road construction and other things that stop or slow down traffic, where the police are running radar, and you can see where your friends are if they’re also registered. This one has been in the news lately – as great for commuters, but bad for neighborhoods. Use it to alert you to road conditions ahead, but we don’t recommend it for navigating city streets with a large RV.
When traveling, diesel is by far our largest expense. Gas Buddy helps us identify the best prices along our route. Get to know the app and you’ll find there’s a filter for diesel at truck stops. With a 38′ motorhome and towing a small car, we can’t fit into most city gas stations. The truck stop filter is a huge help. If you create an account on gasbuddy.com, not only can you find the best prices, but you’ll also be able to report prices as you go. This will earn you reward points that can be redeemed for daily drawings for free gas.
More Apps for RVers – Recommended by Our Readers
RV Parky is an RV Park directory built by a full time RV’er with the help of the RV community to help fellow RV’ers on the road. Here you can find information, images, and reviews for over 25,000 RV Parks and campgrounds in the United States and Canada. ~ Recommended by Michelle from Dirtpatch and Boo
The US Federal Governments owns nearly 650 million acres of land – almost 30 percent of the land area of the United States. This app offers a quick and easy way to retrieve the boundaries of these lands without carrying physical maps, books or digging deep online. ~ Created by RVers Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia
Directly overlay and compare cellular carrier coverage maps! Perfect for travelers – research where you’re covered across the USA! ~ Created by RVers Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia
Compiled after over 8+ years of full time RV road-tripping across the USA, State Lines is an indispensable traveler’s guide to highly variable state laws and regulations. ~ Created by RVers Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia
Apps that Make Full-time RV Life Easier
When we broke down in Fredericksburg, VA a couple of months ago, CoachNet was a huge help. We called on them on two separate occasions – once to get the assistance of an RV tech who met us at a Rest Area to diagnose a problem. And then again, when our coach had to be towed from the campground to a truck repair facility. Their handy app enables you to request roadside assistance at the touch of a button.
You’re probably already familiar with Weatherbug, so I won’t go into detail. Suffice it to say, it’s our personal weather forecast and alerts us to inclement weather heading our way.
Evernote helps me remember everything. Snap a picture, create a voice note, write a memo, and keep everything easily categorized so you can find it again. I use it to keep track of recipes I want to try, then annotate with substitution ideas; as well as to keep track of places we want to stop in our travels, gift ideas for the kiddos, and notes for the things I want to write about. I’m happy with the free version, but Evernote premium version offers additional features.
These two apps are definitely not exclusive to RVers, but they sure do make life easier on the road. We can shop from anywhere using the Amazon app, as well as check on the status of orders. We sprung for an Amazon Prime membership last month to save on shipping costs and time, and we’ve used the Amazon app a lot since then.
The free Amazon Kindle reader app takes the place of the bookshelves full of books we had in our sticks & bricks home. We have the free app on both of our Android phones, as well as on the tablet. Because we have the Prime membership, we can also check out books for free using an actual Kindle (not the app) for a month at a time. Yes, we’re heavy readers!
This app works on all smartphones, tablets, and on your computer. Read your bible in almost any version, highlight and bookmark what you want to remember, and subscribe to bible study aids and devotionals, all within this app. A social feature allows you to connect with other YouVersion users to share/comment on what you read. It’s handy. I always have my bible with me this way – and without the need to store a paper version on the bus.
Our son, Christopher, turned us on to this app. It’s the easiest shopping list creator I’ve ever found. You can add to multiple shopping lists by capturing a UPC code, by voice, or by typing it in. When you’re in the store, just click on each item as you add it to your cart to cross items off your list. Easy, quick, convenient and free. What’s not to love?
That rounds out our list of must-have apps for RVers. What apps would you add to the list?