As the RV lifestyle grows in popularity and millennials become an emerging demographic amongst RVers, technology has enhanced the RVing experience in many ways.
If you’re heading out on a winter road trip or are looking ahead for spring travels, having the right tools can be a great planning aid. Check out these 15 apps that all RVers should have on their phone.
1: Any Map Application (Google, Apple, Waze, etc.)
Since all smartphones come standard with a map application, you may be wondering why this is on the list. If your RV does not come standard with a GPS, your phone is a great alternative (hands-free of course). Off the road, applications like Google Maps provide an incredible range of information about your destination, nearby restaurants, reviews, menus, times where locations are busiest and much more.
One thing all RVers can appreciate is saving money on gas. Whether you drive a Class A or tow a pop-up camper, gas is usually a good portion of your trip budget. GasBuddy is a community-driven app that shows the lowest gas prices in your area. It offers robust search features based on brand, city, state and type of gas, along with other helpful tools like trip cost calculators. The community aspect of the app means user rewards, cashback options, and other incentives are available.
3: Roadside America
If you’re a fan of off-the-radar attractions, Roadside America is the app for you. This quirky app locates museums, roadside oddities, statues and other places of interest. It features over 13,000 attractions, each with a user field report. Search and planning tools are available to help add some offbeat fun to your next RV road trip.
A road trip must, Spotify offers RVers access to millions of songs and podcasts to listen to on your next adventure. Unlike other music streaming apps, Spotify offers a free version that features commercials. With the paid version, you have the option to download songs and podcasts, which comes in handy when driving through areas with poor cell service. Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music and other services are great options as well.
If your music listening preferences lie somewhere in-between the radio and streaming, Pandora is the perfect middle ground. Pick an artist, genre, decade or playlist and let the app do the work. You can give songs a thumbs up or down to influence the playlist and cater to things more to your liking. While Pandora doesn’t offer the same freedom of choice as other streaming apps, it’s hands-free and ideal for long drives.
Perfect for boondockers, FreeRoam offers a comprehensive guide to free RV camping and overnight parking, as well as nearby RV campgrounds. Each campground features user-generated reviews and ratings on how crowded they are, cell reception, safety and ease of access. Make sure to give this app a look if you’re looking for a great off-the-grid RV trip.
7: Antenna Point
Handy when all may seem lost, Antenna Point is a useful free help that helps you pinpoint where you need to position your RV’s antenna to receive a signal. After entering your location, the app gives you directional guidance and an estimate on how many channels you’ll be able to watch. Pair this with a high-powered antenna from Lazydays and your entertainment options are covered!
Keeping track of your RV’s maintenance needs can be a time consuming and difficult process. Autoist stores your RV's maintenance records, including documents and receipts. RVers can set up custom inspection checklists, reminders for important service needs, track fuel and more. The full version of the app handles multiple-vehicle fleets, but the free version gives users access to all of its features for a single-vehicle.
9: Oh, Ranger! Park Finder
If you’re planning on visiting several national parks on your next RV road trip, the Oh, Ranger! Park Finder app should be your next download. This directory allows users to search for local, federal and state parks around your area or destination. Each listing features a brief description, the distance from your destination, available recreation activities and information on available campgrounds.
10: RV Checklist
RV Checklist is a great app to consolidate your pre-road trip preparation and packing into a single, easy-to-manage list. The app comes preloaded with master and standard checklists, which is great for first-time RVers. Create custom checklists for each trip you take during the year, along with ones for buying, renting or service needs for your RV.
11: State Lines
One thing that many RVers must be aware of but can easily overlook is law changes during a drive across multiple states. The State Lines app is a one-stop-shop for all information RVers need including RV-specific and towing laws, sales and gas taxes, traffic laws and more. The app comes preloaded with over 55 different pieces of information relevant to RVers, making it especially useful when crossing a state border with little to no cell reception.
12: Free Zone Wi-Fi
The struggle for finding free Wi-Fi can feel endless. Free Zone Wi-Fi provides three key features that make the search for free Wi-Fi much easier:
- Access to 5 million+ hotspots all over the US.
- A user-friendly map to quickly identify the nearest source of free Wi-Fi
- Automatic notifications when you’re in range of a signal.
13: Key Ring
Key Ring shrinks your wallet by converting membership and rewards cards to digital records. Key Ring stores your rewards and membership information in a secure database, leaving you free to toss those excess cards. Simply scan the barcode into the app and use it during your next gym visit or shopping trip.
Just like searching for Wi-Fi , finding cell service on the open road can be an odyssey unto itself. “Coverage?” helps point you in the right direction with a complete cellular coverage map for popular carriers across the United States. The built-in maps provide a regional view of cellular coverage and can be custom filtered to overlay maps from different carriers in your family or group.
With so many weather apps on the market and built into our smartphones, finding accurate weather data can be difficult. If your next RV road trip takes you to an area where bad weather can significantly impact your safety, having the best possible forecast data is crucial. Accuweather is one of the most consistently accurate forecasting apps and provides an incredible array of data. From minute-by-minute forecasts to severe weather warnings, Accuweather is a must-have app for all RVers.