Instead of white picket fences, many people are opting to travel across the country in their own RVs as they embrace a new variation of the American Dream. With the advancement of smartphones, traveling has never been easier. From navigating to finding your campsite for the night, mobile applications are enhancing the RV experience. In addition to our Essential RV Camping Checklist, here are 21 RV travel apps to consider before you hit the road.
This probably goes without saying, but Google Maps is extremely helpful while living on the road. Simply plug in your destination, and follow the directions. Turn the audio on to hear directions out loud. One great perk of Google Maps is the ability to download offline maps. This is especially helpful in areas with poor service or no service at all. Be sure to download the offline map while you still have service.
If Google Maps doesn’t offer enough advanced services, look into GPS CoPilot. Not only is it accessible offline, but it also offers nearby points of interest at no cost. Whether you have service or not, you’ll be able to find ATMs, restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and more. If you really love it, you can opt to pay for more features.
While the previously mentioned navigation apps include searchable gas stations, they do not consider the price of gas or try to save you money. GasBuddy bridges that gap. Not only will it help you find the cheapest gas in the area, but it also offers exclusive offers from retailers.
Looking for a dispersed camping spot? With more than 500,000 sites, this app is a go-to resource for campers across America. In addition to remote, off-the-grid campgrounds, you’ll find paid sites with full amenities, making it even easier to find a spot for your RV.
Similar to Dyrt is Campendium. Browse through reviews and photos of more than 27,000 sites across America. You can even see whether or not the campground has cell service. Compare this app to Dyrt to ensure you see the area’s full scope of potential campgrounds. Hipcamp and FreeRoam are similar apps to download.
Book campsites and manage reservations in one, go-to spot. Reserve America allows you to view tons of state and local government park land where camping is allowed. You can filter by location, dates, and size type. Beware that you cannot use this app to book sites on federal land. To do this, you’ll need to visit recreation.gov.
This app is well worth the cost. It offers more than 900 locations to park your RV for free. But these aren’t your typical campsites: camp at local wineries, breweries, farms, and even golf courses. These options are great if your RV is fully self-contained, as these sites don’t provide amenities.
There are almost 6,000 campgrounds on land managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, and many of them are free. This app helps you find these campgrounds, and lists amenities, if available.
9. Walmart Overnight Parking App (one of the Allstays Apps)
There are times you can’t spend the night at a gorgeous campsite amidst nature. If a wave of exhaustion hits as you drive through a city, Walmart is one of the few locations that will allow you to park overnight (most of the time). This app lists each Walmart on your route, and whether or not they allow overnight parking. Check out the whole collection of Allstays apps – especially Allstays Camp & RV, as it’s one of the widely used & most popular RV travel apps.
This app will not help you find a campsite, but it will ensure your campsite is comfortable. All RVers are familiar with uneven ground, but RV travel apps like this one help solve that issue. When you pull up to your location, take out Bubble Level to make sure your RV is parked on level ground.
Listening to music is a staple of any road trip, but when you drive day-in and day-out, you may tire of the same songs in your library. Spotify Premium is a great app for RV travel because it compiles unique playlists for its users, based on their unique music tastes. These playlists are updated regularly, so you can be sure to discover new music with little effort. There is a free version of the app, but it’s worth the extra bit of money for ad-free, offline listening; curated playlists; and the ability to play any song on command. Other options are Pandora, Google Play Music, and Apple Music.
Reading is a great way to pass the time in an RV, but for obvious reasons, you can’t read while driving.You can tune into engaging stories with Audible. Download this app for the world’s largest selection of audiobooks, audio shows, and more.
Enhance your stargazing experience by using your phone to identify which stars, planets, constellations, and satellites are within your view. All you have to do is hold your camera toward the night sky!
Need a haircut? On the hunt for a tasty meal? From restaurants to gyms to massage parlors to RV repair shops, Yelp is your go-to app for user-generated reviews for local businesses. There are more than 5 million businesses listed worldwide!
Many RVers also enjoy hiking. Hiking Project is a comprehensive, user-generated guide that lists all the best hikes near you. It lists specific coordinates of trailheads, photos, and reviews from fellow outdoor lovers. Are you a climber? Download Mountain Project. Mountain biker? MTB Project is for you.
New to a city? Lonely Planet presents expert guides for a myriad of neighborhoods across America. These recommendations work offline, and if you’re a planner, you can also bookmark activities for future destinations. Another easy-to-use trip planner is Trip Advisor.
While this app doesn’t celebrate the most thrilling part of RV Life, it certainly makes your life more convenient. Dumping your holding tanks can be a hassle, but Sani Dumps provides a complete list of places to do just that. Find the nearest dump location, as well information regarding cost, hours of operation, and contact info.
More than your average weather app, WeatherBug provides up-to-date forecasts, drawing from the largest network of weather stations of any app. You can even stream live weather cams from more than 2,000 locations in the U.S. Note that on Android, it’s called Weather by WeatherBug.
Traveling through the country in an RV can be a life-changing experience. At KÜHL, we encourage an active lifestyle and create outdoor clothing that is made to move. In addition to top-quality outdoor clothing, we aim to provide valuable resources for travelers like you. Follow our Born in the Mountains® blog to find out more!
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Nancy Raven Kirk Nancy is a writer, traveler, and outdoor enthusiast originally from Los Angeles. She's had work published in the L.A. Times, OC Weekly, and various other publications. Check out her website at www.copybykirk.com.
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