Best Apps for RVers - ROAM

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Best Apps for RVers

There are days on the road where I’ll wake up in the Adirondack Mountains and make it to Lake Michigan in time for dinner without ever breaking a sweat. A journey at that speed would have been unthinkable 100 years ago. Now, I don’t think twice about driving from New Orleans to Los Angeles over a 3-day weekend. I’m honestly a little ashamed to admit that sometimes I don’t even look up directions for a 2,000 mile journey until I’m in the car punching a campground address into my phone. As someone who was educated by the Missouri public school system, I learned a lot about the expedition of Lewis & Clark. These men spent years studying medicinal cures, mineralogy, botany, zoology, celestial navigation and the geography of North America just to get from St. Louis to the Washington coast. A journey that took the most educated travelers over 18 months to complete back in 1805, can now be done in 4 days by anyone with an iPhone and a working vehicle. 

Travel technology has come a long way. I am super grateful that most days I can order a huge cheeseburger to my campsite after a long day of traveling instead of relying on my ability to hunt and kill an elk I find in the woods for survival. There’s a bunch of apps out there that make traveling significantly easier than it used to be. I’ve narrowed down the best apps on the market right now that are must-haves for any camping enthusiasts or RVers. 

Apps for planning ahead

RoadTrippers: This camping app is a great “first step” in road trip planning. You can punch in all the parks, cities and roadside attractions you want to visit and RoadTrippers will show you the most efficient way of hitting every stop on your wishlist. It’s a great way to nail down a logical route and find other fun roadside attractions along the way. This app should be used more as a visual planning aid and less of an actual GPS or roadmap system. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: Free for basic version

PackPoint: I always forget to pack at least one crucial item for my road trip. Or, I’ll think of a genius addition to my camping supplies stash then forget about it when it comes time to pack up for the next excursion. This app is a great tool for making sure you’re packing smart for your trip. PackPoint will build a custom packing list for you based on the forecast of where you’re going, the length of your trip and the activities you have planned. You can add your own items and categories to the list so that it’s catered to your specific traveling style. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: $2.99

Apps for when you’re on the road

Waze: This app is great for both long road trips and daily commutes. Waze has built a community of drivers, riders and map editors to contribute to the real-time traffic updates that alert you while you’re driving. This app will alert you when there’s a hazard in the road, construction ahead or a cop car on the highway looking for speedsters. It will tell you the best time of day to start your drive by calculating rush hour traffic and construction slow downs on your route. You can also search for gas stations, food options and drug stores that are on the way to your destination. I know many people out there have strong opinions about which GPS navigation app is best, but I stand by Waze as my first choice. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: Free

CoPilot RV: Copilot was originally created to help truck drivers determine which route is safest for a heavy load. After gaining popularity, they created a specific RV Navigation app that caters your driving route to your vehicle’s size and class. This allows you to avoid low clearance overpasses and bridges with strict weight restrictions. The app tells you when to change lanes so that you have time to safely merge before exiting the highway or getting on a ramp. If you’re driving a Class A or big fifth wheel, I definitely recommend downloading Copilot for your next trip. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: $29.99/year

GasBuddy: This is a great money-saving app that provides drivers with tons of useful information on fuel costs. It can help you find the cheapest gas near you, and show you a map of gas price trends on your route. The trip cost calculator feature is great for anyone planning their next big trip. Anyone who has driven over the California state border knows that gas prices can change quickly and drastically when you’re on the road. If you plan ahead with GasBuddy, you can hit the lower prices and save your money for the fun stuff. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: Free

Apps for finding a place to stay

Allstays Camp & RV: This is one of the highest rated camping apps in the Apple Store, and for good reason. Their massive database can help you find places to stay in any location. Whether you’re looking to boondock in a Wal-Mart parking lot or rent a pad at a high-end RV park for the night, this app will show you all the options in your area. AllStays has an advanced filtering system that lets you search for exactly what you need (electrical hookups, pull through sites, tents allowed, etc.) You can also save campground info to your account so that it’s available even if you lose cell service. The Allstays brand has over 8 different travel-related apps, you should also check out their RV Dumps and Rest Stops Plus apps for strategic planning while on the road. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: $9.99

Campendium: This is another great app for finding all possible stays in the area when you’re on the road. The Campendium app lets you filter available campgrounds by cost per night, access based on RV length, pet policy, boat ramp access and other key determinants that factor into finding a good campground for your needs. If you get the paid version of this app, it can tell you the strength of the cell service at each campground, based on your cell service provider. This app is great at engaging their users, the collection of reviews on each campground provides a ton of useful information to those browsing. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: Free for basic version, $20/year for enhanced features 

Apps for when you’re there

AllTrails: The AllTrails app is a favorite of mine for discovering new hikes and planning out my days at camp. Finding trailheads is a huge struggle that AllTrails fixes by providing exact GPS coordinates for most hikes listed on their site. Each trail has several reviews from fellow hikers that explain in detail where the hike gets tricky, or point out cool spots to look out for on the trail. AllTrails provides detailed, topographic maps as well as the elevation gain and exact length of each trail. This app is a great way to get an idea for what kind of hike you’re getting into before you even leave camp.

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: Free

Yelp: This massive beast of an app can be incredibly useful when visiting new destinations. If you’re looking for a camping supply store, an auto repair shop or a good restaurant to get some takeout – Yelp’s app can be better than just a google search because of the user reviews and user-friendly interface. Don’t underestimate this oldie-but-goodie. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: Free

MeetUp: This app is a great networking tool for finding like-minded people in new places. They’ve got location-based groups on the app which are categorized by common interests. Groups for nature-lovers, kayak fishing enthusiasts, solo female travelers, full time RV families and millions more. Most groups are open for anyone to join after an admin gives your profile access. Group admins will schedule regular events for members in that area to get to know each other and enjoy a group outing. The more active groups are closer to highly-populated areas, so it could be hard to find a meetup if you’re visiting a rural town. 

Available for Android and iOS

Cost: Free

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