In this day and age, one is rarely caught without a smartphone in hand. We use our phones to pay bills, watch our favorite shows, snap photos, and even check in with friends. Why then, wouldn’t we use RV apps on our smartphones to improve our RV adventures?
That’s right! There is an app for that. In fact, there are a number of awesome apps that can improve your camping experiences. Whether you need a motorhome navigation app or an RV trip planner app, there’s something that’ll fit right in with your RVing style and make life a little easier.
Finding the Best RV Apps in 2023
Of course, the first step to adding helpful RV and travel apps to your phone is finding the best ones. There are a few different ways to go about this.
You could, of course, run some searches and sift through reviews of all the available apps. This is time consuming though, and could be frustrating if you don’t have the extra time to spare.
Another option is to check with RVing friends. Other campers might know of apps you wouldn’t find otherwise, and can provide honest feedback on the spot. This is a great way to go about it, but does limit you to whichever apps your friends know about.
If you’re looking to try, say, an RV GPS app (or any other travel app) besides what your camping buddies use, you’re in the right place. In this article we will explore the best RV, camping, and travel apps out there, so you can put your smartphone to good use during your next big adventure.
What is the Best RV GPS App?
Let’s first discuss the best RV GPS app options. After all, an RV navigation app is sure to be used on nearly every trip, and you have to be able to count on your app to help you reach your destination safely. Therefore, finding the best of the best is a must.
Best Free RV Navigation App
Looking for a free app to help find your way around? Google Maps (Android and Apple) is by far the best free option out there. This app allows you to add stops, avoid tolls, and much more. That said, Google Maps was not made with big rigs in mind. Therefore, you may want to crosscheck any route it gives with a truck atlas or RV-specific route planner.
Best RV Navigation App for a Fee:
If you’re willing to pay for an RV-specific GPS, we recommend CoPilot RV (Android and Apple). This app is pre-loaded with thousands of POIs (points of interest), to help you find nearby places such as ATMs, restaurants, hospitals, vets, hotels, or gas stations with or without a data connection. Within the CoPilot RV app, you can search on Google, Yelp, and Wikipedia to look for RV parks, gas stations, restaurants, etc. (this feature requires a data connection). GPS CoPilot Live stores all the map information directly on the device so you may need additional storage.
RV Trip Planning Apps
Sometimes planning is just as much fun as the actual traveling. This is especially true when you have the right tools to plan your epic adventures.
Here are some of our favorite planning apps. Download some of these to make planning a breeze:
Looking for an app that’ll serve more than one purpose? We love the following options, and each one has a variety of features that will help you plan the perfect trip:
- Allstays (Apple) — Often touted as the best RV trip planner app, this awesome program allows you to search for nearby campsites and book them quickly and easily. Additionally, you can use this app to check for dump stations, rest areas, and even road grades.
- InRoute (Apple) — InRoute is another great route planning app. It gives you the opportunity to add lots of stops, check the weather and road conditions on your route, and even check for elevation and curves in the road.
- TripIt — TripIt is a super easy to use travel planning app that generates a comprehensive itinerary off of your confirmation emails. You handle the booking, they’ll take it from there!
Want to create a checklist on your phone in order to ensure you don’t forget anything? RV Checklist is the perfect option. This app allows you to customize checklists of what to pack and do before each trip, and provides suggestions to help you out.
Apps for Finding Camping
Of course, you’ll need to find places to stay as you wander the country. Some of the apps listed above help with this, but there are a few others you should know about:
- Hipcamp — Discover some of the most amazing, secluded and private campsites through Hipcamp! This platform connects you to camping on private land, offering a unique spin to camping and unlocking new access to incredible places. From blueberry farms to lakeside spots, Hipcamp makes it easy to find the perfect campground.
- BookOutdoors — BookOutdoors is the ultimate destination for booking outdoor travel, where you can access and book the best campgrounds, RV parks, cabins, glamping resorts and more, all with no memberships or booking fees. Plus, get perks like weather protection and unlock amazing rewards with every trip. With a wide selection of accommodations to choose from and a focus on ease-of-use, BookOutdoors has everything you need to book your next outdoor adventure.
- Campendium (Apple) — We love Campendium because it offers user reviews of campsites of all kinds. This includes private campgrounds, public campgrounds, and even boondocking locations, and allows you to narrow your options based on information other campers provide.
- U.S. Public Lands — This app helps you discover government-owned land. Are you interested in boondocking with your RV and want to find BLM or national forest land? Then this app is for you! A color-coded map of the U.S. allows you to search, zoom, and filter for different types of public lands.
- Passport America (Android and Apple) — If you’re a Passport America member, the Passport America app is a great tool for finding campgrounds included in your membership.
- Reserve America (Android and Apple) — Those who tend to stay in state parks will want to download the Reserve America app. This app lets you search and reserve campsites in state parks across the country.
- Camp & RV – Tent & RV Camping — By the creators of the Allstays website, this app is among the handiest RV apps available today. It has the most comprehensive information database around. This handy app lets you filter and find places and services with or without the use of any internet data connection.
- Recreation.gov (Android or Apple) — Unfortunately, Reserve America does not include federally owned campgrounds in its database. This is where the Recreation.gov app comes into play. It allows you to search, research, and reserve government-owned campgrounds.
- The Dyrt (Android or Apple) — In just a few clicks, build a custom trip based on your destination, vehicle type, camping preferences, and how long you want to drive each day. There is a free version, but with the PRO option members save up to 40% at hundreds of campgrounds and up to 30% on camping gear. Plus, PRO members have access to The Dyrt’s offline campground search and downloadable maps.
- RV Parky — I’ve been using this app for several months and love the fact that it blends a map, a directory, RV park info, and reviews. You can use it in both the US and Canada. While the reviews seem spotty at best, the GPS and map settings are a fantastic help when looking for a campground in your location. Oh, and it’s FREE! So that is even better.
Best Apps for Finding Dump Stations
- RV Dump Stations (Apple) — When you gotta dump, you gotta dump. The RV Dump Stations app will help you learn where you can do that.
- Sani Dumps — If you love to boondock or dry camp (or you just happen to need a place to empty the tanks) the Sani Dump app is the answer. This app provides a simple map to help you find the nearest RV dump location along with information about price, hours, and contact info.
More Apps for Travel
Want to expand upon the travel apps listed above? We love the following travel apps as well:
- Roadtrippers (Android or Apple) — Roadtrippers is the world’s #1 road trip planning tool, with more than 25 million trips planned to-date covering more than 16.9 billion miles. RVshare users receive $7 off a Roadtrippers Plus Membership with code RVSHARE.
- GasBuddy (Android or Apple) — Use this app to find the cheapest gas prices in any given area. Considering how much gas an RV can guzzle, this is a very valuable tool to have in your arsenal.
- Roadside America (Apple) — Are you a fan of weird roadside attractions? If so, Roadside America is your best friend. This app shows you exactly where to find all the silliest roadside attractions in the US (and Canada).
- State Lines — As you travel through the US, you are bound to wonder why a triple trailer is legal in one state and not in another. You might ask yourself, can I sleep at a rest stop? Is the gas tax more in one state than another? Can you legally use your cell phone while driving in this state? These and many more questions are answered in this simple and affordable app.
- AllTrails — The AllTrails app is an excellent resource for finding the best hiking, biking, and running trails. Search your area, read reviews, and start exploring.
- Weather Radio — Weather Radio is the ultimate app to keep you up to date on the latest storm alerts. While there are free apps that do the same type of work, Weather Radio offers a fantastic radar map that will keep you feeling safe.
- Key Kind Rewards Card — If you collect shopper cards, frequent flyer cards, gym membership cards, etc., this app helps simplify your card load. It makes a digital copy of all your cards so you can leave the oversized wallet at home. Simply download the free app and scan in the bar codes on your reward or club cards. The app even offers coupons at some of the retailers.
- OpenTable (Android or Apple) — This app helps you make dinner reservations even if you are three states away and stuck in traffic. It allows you to search for available restaurants by location, rating, cuisine, and price. Restaurants that use this service often provide photos, menus, and more to make those dreaded dinner convos a little easier.
Camping and RV Apps for Staying Connected
Connection is important. If you’re looking to connect with other RVers or stay connected to the outside world while on the road, these are the apps you’ll need to do so:
- RVillage (Android or Apple) — The very best social media app for meeting and keeping in touch with fellow RVers, RVillage is a must-have for those social butterflies out there.
- WiFi Map (Android or Apple) — This app helps locate the best free WiFi hotspots in your area. It also provides crowdsourced information on passwords, making staying connected to the internet easier.
- TV Antenna Helper (Android) or TV Towers USA (Apple) — Either of these apps will help you locate the closest TV towers. This helps you aim your TV antenna the correct way for the best TV reception possible.
- Coverage? — This handy app takes all the cell phone company’s data coverage maps and fuses them together as one. No more guessing! Now you can easily discover where you can camp with a great signal. This app is especially helpful if you work online and need to be able to schedule Skype calls or any form of uploading.
- AroundMe — Just passing through and need to find a bank, grocery store, or movie theater? Around Me is a simple app that puts you in touch with the world around you. Search for a category and locate anything you might need with a simple swipe. You can also search by name. Easy to use & winner of the Time Magazine Best App award!
- BatteryGuru (Android) — If your mobile phone has battery-related issues, this app can help. It will take a few days to “learn” how you use a smartphone. This info helps the app create a unique battery optimization plan for you. This will make sure your battery lasts for a longer period of time.
- Postagram (Android or Apple) — Postagram is perfect if you want to keep your loved ones informed about the status of your road trip. This app will send personalized postcards to anyone you wish in the United States for only $2. All you have to do is take a picture, design your card, and write your message. The app will do the rest!
Tool Apps for RV Camping
We all know how important it is to have tools on hand when camping. Why not expand upon your camping tool collection by using your phone as a tool as well?
- Bubble Level — There are a number of bubble level apps out there. Most work perfectly well and are great for helping get the trailer or motorhome level.
- Dish Align — The Dish Align app (the Android version is called Dish Aligner) determines your current position via your phone’s GPS and provides helpful instructions on how to align your dish. The app is specially designed for use in RVs, or for people who need help aligning a second dish.
- Compass — As is the case with the bubble level, there are lots of compass apps out there. (Depending on your phone, you may even have one built in.) One is as good as the next, and any of them are great to have while out hiking.
- My Pilot — Need a truck stop? We drive by them often enough, but where are they when you need one? The My Pilot app helps you find nearby places to gas up or take care of all your other RV travel stop needs. Aside from sorting locations, you can also check fuel prices and/or contact any of the locations from inside the app. Everyone’s favorite feature is the ability to enter your trip’s start and endpoint and have the app show you all the nearby stops or locations on your route. This will save you time and money. *A word of caution: The app sometimes lists stations that are either no longer there or are not yet built. Always double check.
- PeakFinder AR (Android and Apple) — This fun app helps you identify what mountains you might be looking at while out exploring.
- Night Sky (Apple) — Night Sky is a beautiful app that helps you find planets and constellations for stargazing purposes.
- iNaturalist (Android and Apple) — Curious about the plants and critters you find while hiking? iNaturalist will help you identify them quickly and easily.
Whew! That’s a lot of super cool, highly useful RV apps. Now that you know the best roadtrip apps to download, you can go RVing with confidence. Why not start shopping for your perfect rental RV today? Once you have a rig picked out, you can start planning your trip by checking out our top national parks, state parks, and RV campgrounds.
Looking for more tips and tricks for your next RV excursion or purchase? Check out these article on the blog:
Now, we want to hear from you. What are your favorite apps for RV travel? Leave your choices in the comment box below.