The 10 Best RV Road Trip Apps
Technology has made it easier than ever to plan the perfect RV road trip. In fact, there are so many RV road trip planning websites and apps available now. It can be difficult to select the best ones. In this article, we will take a look at why it’s important to plan ahead. Plus share the 11 best websites and apps for planning your next RV road trip.
Value of Using Road Trip Planning Websites and Apps
Planning ahead can sometimes be tedious. But, it will make your trip much safer, easier, and smoother in the long run. Planning can also help you choose the most efficient route and the safest roads to take with a large RV. For instance, you can be sure to avoid low clearances and unnecessarily steep mountain passes. As well as find the best price on fuel and search out the perfect campground or RV park.
All of these road trip planning websites and apps were made to facilitate safe and easy road tripping. Many of them are specifically for RVs. By using these apps, you won’t miss out on an amazing campground. The websites and apps are updated regularly, full of unbiased crowdsourced information, and optimized for travelers.
The Best RV Road Trip Planning Apps and Websites
Whether it’s planning the road trip, navigating, finding places to stay, or getting gas, this list will help you out. Take the guessing and stress out of your travels.
Google Maps is extremely helpful for general planning. You can view the entire region that you plan to travel to, pick out destination cities or attractions, and determine your mileage and travel time. You can also find tons of reviews anywhere that you might want to go.
However, Google Maps isn’t specifically optimized for RV travel. Be careful not to be led down any routes that are only suitable for cars. You can check anything in advance by looking at the satellite image. Then you can determine road quality and width. You can ascertain the elevation gained and lost by switching over to the bike travel option within your route.
Make sure to save your favorite stops and destinations in a GUIDE. Google maps now has guides that are essentially just a list of your favorite places. Then from there, you can plan out your route.
Maps.me is a free app that allows you to download maps for offline use. You can choose to download the entire United States or just the states that you will be traveling in. Having offline maps can be a major lifesaver. Especially if you are driving through rural or remote areas and lose your navigation signal. Map.me’s navigation will begin and keep going even when you don’t have cell service. Which can even be lifesaving if an emergency arises and you need to find the nearest medical services.
Maps.me is also an amazing resource for hiking. It has almost any trail that you might hike in its database of offline maps. If you get lost while hiking during your trip, you can use it to orient yourself and determine how long it will take to get back to your RV.
The user interface of freecampsites.net leaves something to be desired, but the content of the website is gold. There is no app available, so it’s easiest to access on a computer (although it’s possible on a smartphone). You can zoom in on your destination area and view color-coded sites on the maps. The different colors indicate whether the site is free, requires a permit, or has a nightly fee.
Each site listing tells you the maximum number of nights you can stay and the maximum RV length allowed. Plus, available amenities, if there is cell service, permits required, and how far the site is from a paved road. There are also reviews on the postings that will give you an idea of how accurate the initial listing is. They’ll also tell you if anything has changed since the campsite has been posted.
Campendium is a similar concept to freecampsites.net, but with a better interface and a mobile app. You can also filter your search for nearby RV parks, public lands, free campsites, overnight parking, or dump stations. Although the interface is nicer, there are not quite as many sites listed as on freecampsites.net (depending on the area). Many sites have few or no reviews, which makes it hard to trust their quality. It is nice, however, to be able to filter results to exactly what you need at the time.
iOverlander is another free app that’s similar to freecampsites.net and Campendium. This interface is better than freecampsites.net but not quite as intuitive as Campendium. The main advantage of iOverlander is that you can search for almost anything using different filters. Like established/informal/wild camping, hotels and hostels, fuel stations and propane vendors, mechanics, water and dump locations, restaurants and attractions, medical services, showers, and laundromats. There are even filters like customs and immigration information, consulates, and vehicle shipping and storage facilities.
These additional features are extremely useful. Especially for long trips where you need more services and if you are traveling outside of your home country.
Harvest Hosts is a membership-based website and app that requires a $79 annual fee. But then allows members to stay at various host locations overnight for no additional cost. Although a $20 purchase of the host’s goods and services is suggested. There might be a free trial though. Host locations include breweries, wineries, farms, animal sanctuaries, museums, golf courses, and much more. Members are allowed to dry camp for 24 hours at a host location. They must be in a fully self-contained RV with an indoor toilet, indoor cooking facilities, and a wastewater containment system.
Harvest Hosts can be an amazing way to experience businesses in ways that you never would be able to otherwise. There are many host locations throughout North America so you can effectively travel almost anywhere you want to.
Hipcamp is a newer one that is perfect for those traveling in RVs. Hundreds of homeowners or land owners offer up spots to park your RVs or even tent camp. Some offer hookups, and some just offer the space. Run similar to Airbnb, you find your preferred spot, book, and pay using the app.
Attractions and More
The Roadtrippers website and app is a free platform. It allows you to enter your desired start and end locations for your trip. It will not only show you the best route to take but also recommend “off the beaten path” places and attractions to stop along the way. These recommendations can be personalized to your preferences and will help you avoid tourist traps and busy destinations. Great to get a more “locals only” feel during your trip.
Roadtrippers Plus is also available, which is a $29.99 per year paid version of the app. It allows you to build longer itineraries, share your plans with friends, and use the app without ads.
RV Trip Wizard offers a free seven-day trial but the full web-based service costs $39 per year. Definitely well worth it if you RV frequently. The app allows you to input your specific RV’s weight and height, and then it will choose your route helping you to avoid low clearances, steep grades, and other potential hazards and roadblocks.
It has over 20,000 campgrounds that are reviewed by other RVers. There are more than 10,000,000 data points to bring you the most accurate information about each destination and campground. This tool provides a visual plan of your trip, drive time and distance information, and cost estimates for your entire trip. Including fuel and campground costs.
Gas and Fuel
Last on our list is GasBuddy. It is a free app that can help you find the cheapest fuel near you. You can also use it to plan out your fuel stops in advance. Using the route feature will help save as much money as possible throughout your trip. RVs are notorious gas guzzlers, so every penny saved on fuel is a penny towards more adventures.
Another great one is the UpSide app. Good for gas and diesel and can be used at hundreds of stations across the USA. Using this app can also help you earn cashback on spending inside gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
A few other RV travel apps and my RV Road Trip favorites that didn’t make the list:
I had these saved on my phone during our RV road trip at some point. Apps like onX Hunt, RV Trip Diary, Good Sam Camping, Road Tripper, Overnight RV Parking, FreeRoam, inRoute, KOA, iExit Interstate Exit Guide, and The Dyrt to name such a few. RV Parky is also a very popular RV app. It’s a great app and brings up every campground or stop that you set the filters to find. Its trip feature is great for planning and tracking your progress.
So let’s review our best RV apps and summarize the article above.
Our top 10 RV Road Trip Apps are:
- Google Maps
- Harvest Hosts
- RV Trip Wizard
- Gas Buddy
With this list of recommended RV trip planning websites and apps, you can be more prepared for your next RV adventure.
Do you know of any other helpful apps and websites for trip planning? Comment below.
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