When I first started traveling in an RV, I was a kid and it was my parents’ motorhome.
There were no mobile phones. They didn’t even exist yet.
Certainly there was no GPS. Want to find out where you’re going? You had a big paper atlas with street maps to wade through.
Finding a campground? We carried big thick campground directory books that resembled the yellow pages. We’d keep these things in one of the overhead compartments.
Times have certainly changed. Today, we’re carrying around smartphones which have more computing power (by far) than the space shuttle did. It changed everything. It makes RV travel much easier. It is much more paperless than it used to be. Much more hi-tech.
What I’ve done in this post is literally go through my own iPhone and pull out the apps that I personally have installed for the purposes of RV travel.
Here we go…
This app can be useful for short-term weather forecasts. We’ve used it in campgrounds, for instance, when it looks like it will rain soon and we’re judging whether we have time to go outside to do something before it pours. It isn’t always accurate, but the lower the time estimate, the better it is.
Useful for a variety of information recording tasks. I’ve used it for keeping campground reservation confirmations, travel ideas… even a photo of my license plate to show to campground offices when they ask for my plate number.
For obvious reasons. There are things I wish it could do that it currently cannot. For instance, vehicle-specific routing for RVs to keep you out of places where you really shouldn’t be going. I’ve had a few instances where following the Google route would have been quite stupid considering a vehicle of my size, so you simply need to look ahead and use a little human judgement.
A GPS app specific to driving an RV. Why would you want that? It helps you avoid low overpasses, roads which driving a big rig would be very annoying, or to be aware of RV-specific rules (such as tunnels which prohibit RVs because of the propane tank).
Also has offline maps so it doesn’t depend on your cell signal.
If you don’t have lever indicators in the RV, this is one high-tech way to do it. Open the app and place the phone on a flat surface like a countertop.
An awesome app for seeing the gas stations around you – AND their gas prices. Then you can decide where to go which is the most economical. Can be a real money saver, especially when you’re driving around a motorhome with 60+ gallon tanks.
A digital campground directory. The days of the big thick books are over.
The Good Sams app so that you can find Good Sam’s campgrounds. It isn’t the best app around, however if you’re specifically looking for Good Sams parks so you can get your 10% discount, this is a convenient way to look.
The app for Reserve America, which is used by many campgrounds (including a ton of state parks) for advance reservations.
Obviously, for finding KOAs around you.
If you want to go geocaching around you. Can be a pretty fun thing to do wherever you may be visiting or camping.
Useful for looking at the exits and rest areas coming up and the amenities to be found there. Usually, I use it to find rest stops coming up.
Useful to scope out mobile signal coverage for your cell phone network for the area you’re in. Created by a couple which lives full time in their RV, from TechnoMadia.
Point your phone up to the night sky and get a full map of the heavens. You can find the planets and constellations and learn a little about each one. Very cool way to look at the night sky while lounging outside your RV at night. My kids get a kick out of it. 🙂
Got some apps of your own that you’d like to share? Drop them into the comments below.