Apps that locate campgrounds, monitor the weather, find shopping, internet connectivity and more.
Have an app that you love but don’t see here? Let us know in the comments at the bottom!
- Digital Nomad Stuff
- Things to See
- Just For Fun
Allstays Camp & RV
Our #1 pick for finding campgrounds and RV parks. The app shows both government owned (state, county and city) parks as well as private RV parks. It's not a free app - but it's worth every penny!
My favorite thing about this app is the $$ indicator that indicates how expensive a campground is. I haven't seen any other app do this ... not like this. Best part - it lets you filter on that too! It doesn't tell you exactly how much it is (probably because prices can change), but the general $, $$, $$$, $$$$, $$$$$, and being able to search on them make this by far, our go-to app.
Open the app, view the map, click on a park and get the name and distance from you. You can click through to the address, number of sites, available hookups, etc.
The “reviews” link just takes you to a Google search, so we will look on other sources like RVParkReviews.com for better insight from other RVers who’ve stayed there.
The app also finds urban boondocking options like Walmarts, Sams Clubs, Cracker Barrels and truck stops. It goes above and beyond just a campground app and shows a selection (with filter options) of fuel stops, covered bridges, low clearance, RV dealers, dump stations, RV rental chains, rest areas, welcome centers, road grade, propane, large chain stores, truck stops, etc. Some of those other features are better represented in other apps, but it's nice to have a one stop shop for most of what you need.
This app only works for iOS (see my iphone vs android commentary) In fact, that is the ONE reason when we started this journey to make sure we had both Android and Iphone ... it was for this app. Apparently (for an Android workaround), you can get a login and use their website instead. Rather than mess with that, we just accept that we have to use my wife's iphone for this app. But if we didn't have an iphone, we would pay to get a login on the website. At some point, I have intentions to install an iphone emulator on my Android and see if I can get that to work. If you've had success doing this, let me know.
Looking for a unique way to rv for a huge discount? Get a Harvest Hosts membership and get access to a map full of locations to pull over for a night at some great locations that you wouldn't think would be somewhere you could camp.
We have so far stayed at farms, museums, wineries, and golf courses. You pay a small amount for the membership login that gets you access to stay at these cool places. Make sure you buy something from the host (one of the terms), and treat yourself to a very unique camping experience.
Download the app with the links below. Get your membership with this link for 20% off discount coupon.
This is not an app but rather a web site, but I still wanted to include it. This membership program gives you access to a network of hosts at map locations all over with property that will let you park there for 1-5 nights (usually for free).
There can be extra costs if you hookup to their utilities, but it is far less than you would spend at a traditional campground.
We've loved our membership and have met some hosts and other RVers using it. We shared a hosts property with a family who traversed the whole country using only boondockers welcome sites for their nightly stays.
The Dyrt is quickly becoming a heavy hitter in the campground app/map world (which is an ever growing world). Much of the content is user curated which we love.
Their pro version offers some great perks which go above and beyond such as discounts codes for gear and at campgrounds (some up to %40), a cool trip planner that even takes into account fuel costs, offline maps, and (my favorite) public land polygon map layers! It's really cool!
Passport America is a discount camping program. RV parks join and list their “unsold inventory” at various discounts. Members join for a reasonable rate (~$40/year) and then enjoy those discounts at the campgrounds.
This app helps you locate participating Passport RV parks.
Many of the state park campgrounds that we camp at require a reservation to be made through Reserve America. Sometimes we cut out the middleman apps and just go directly to this app as it shows what's available.
Like Reserve America, some campgrounds we like use one of these two sites for their booking. Recreation.gov has the Army Corps of Engineers parks and plenty of others that we love. So - you should have both apps.
We recently used RVParky after the AllStays app had some issues. We’re not in love with RVParky, but it’s a decent backup option if Allstays doesn’t work for you.
This is one of those apps that we don’t use often but when we need it, we need it.
We have learned to look for fuel when we reach a 1/2 tank. There have been times where we got a bit closer to empty than we liked, so used Gas Buddy to find the closest source.
When traveling with the fifth wheel attached we are more concerned about accessibility of the gas station than the price, so don’t use the app to shop for the cheapest gas source.
Some RVers recommend a dedicated GPS for navigation, but more than likely you will use your smartphone most times.
One of us has an iPhone, and trying to use Siri and Apple Maps always leads to frustration. Instead we use Google Maps. You can still perform voice searches - just look for the microphone icon to initiate one - and say things like "directions to ___ state park".
Weigh My Truck
It's important to know how much you are towing and if you are overweight for your tow vehicle. The magic number is 70%. You want your tow load to weigh no more than 70% of what your tow vehicle is rated to pull. This app locates, records weights, and allows payment right from the app so you don't have to go into the building.
You'd be surprised how many RVers have NO idea how much they weigh other than just a guess based on the RV manufacturer's details. Most are overweight. You put stuff in an RV, and it gets heavier ... maybe a lot heavier.
This is why I suggest drivers never allow themselves to drive right in front or behind a trailer. For all you know, the driver is towing more than they should and are an accident waiting to happen. Use this app to not be that guy.
When thinking about if my RV can fit in a fuel station, I like to presume, “if the trucks can go there, then an RV can too”. This app is is great for finding fuel locations and truck stops and to plan a route. Also find rest areas, truck stop reviews, a helpful forum and more.
Google Earth is handy for getting a better sense of a campground we are heading towards - especially if you are worried about navigation with a big rig.
I also use it once in campgrounds to find sources of noise, or paths to rivers or lakes, etc.
We use this app on days when we go to town and have several stops to hit. Grocery store, fuel, an attraction, stop to see someone, etc.
It's designed more for delivery use as it has an optimize function that will optimize the best route for the destinations you put in. When we go to town, we don't want to be driving around forever hitting the "need to"s, we want to get our errands done and get back to nature as soon as we can. This helps.
Why on earth would we include Pinterest in the planning apps for RVers? Because, believe it or not, Pinterest is a search engine. For planning sight seeing routes, you can find pertinent content with Pinterest that doesn't appear in a Google search (as per the complexity of Google's search algorithms).
This is my favorite weather app. Unfortunately Dark Sky sold to Apple earlier this year and so now it's only an iphone app. LAME - It used to be on both. Luckily my other half has an iphone so we can still use it. It's the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information. It's down to the minute and it's great.
This and Allstays are the reasons my wife still has an iphone and why I'm looking for a good, simple way (I can't spend tons of time trying to figure it out - I have kids) to emulate one on my Android.
This is not an app, but a website that deserves to be an app - so I'm adding it. It gives you a compile of all the weather sites and therefore gives you probably one of the best outlooks.
Give it your Zip Code (use This App to find what zip code you are in or are interested in), and it will very simply give you the weather data forecast. It's very good! Since it's not an app, bookmark it!
Inclement weather is a big concern for RVers. We like MyRadar because it puts the local radar front and center and defaults to animating it so you can see how a storm front is moving.
Local forecasts are just a click away.
The once-simple app has gotten a bit junked up with unused features - but remains our go-to weather app.
We use this in conjunction with the MyRadar app.
NOAA Radio is a bit clunky - but you can give it a location to get weather alerts (but you have to set it vs. it reading your location).
If this app sounds the alert, we dial up the radar app to see what the situation is.
This app is great for giving us wind speed and direction. Driving through wind with a tall trailer can feel like you are towing a sail - so it's nice to know how white knuckle I am going to be on a moving day.
Also, our kids leave stuff outside that wind could take away so it's nice to know the wind forecast back at the campsite too. Also - if severe wind is in the forecast a few days out, it might be time to move before it gets to us.
But - this app has more than just wind that I like. It has sunrise and sunset and temperature. You can change the location and the app is clean of clutter so it's easy to see what you want to see.
Another app by the nomadic geek developers Chris and Cherie of Technomadia.com, Coverage loads cell-coverage maps from all the different providers.
We use this mostly when venturing into State and National Parks where the cell coverage may not be sufficient to keep our online businesses running.
Fast VPN service that lets you surf the web fast, private, and secure.
Why is it on my RV Apps list? Because you have NO idea who is on the campground or coffee shop network you just connected to and what their intentions are. Internet security is important and using a VPN will protect you from prying eyes when you login to anywhere.
RVers are connecting to all kinds of networks (campgrounds, walmart, coffee shops, churches - basically wherever you can get it). Even if you have an unlimited plan through a cell company, a VPN will give you privacy. We use Nord VPN for all our internet traffic.
Speedtest by Ookla
If you are a digital nomad, then you know how important internet connection and speed are. Use this app to monitor your download and upload speeds. If the speed is just too bad to work, it's nice to know so you can think about relocating.
You will want to find WiFi's if you are a digital nomad. These two apps (Apple and Android) are good ones as they have a map to help you locate where you need to go.
Atlas of the Obscure
We love Atlas Obscura to find cool things in our travels. Their website touts, "Discover 20,092 curious places" and this app links to all those places.
Really, this is a great way to see what's around you that you didn't know was significant. Very cool!
Sorry iphone users, you will just have to go to the website.
ExploreHere - Historical Guide
This app will show places of historical importance that are around you.
We are semi-history buffs and enjoy learning about what happened in the places we go (and how those events relate to other places we have been or are planning to go). This app shows you anything of note close by, and you can also search by map.
Its been handy in finding out more about those historical markers we always drive by but can't often stop for. Great for a co-pilot to read them in the car to the driver (and anyone who's awake).
This lets you search Wikipedia entries by map. I had to go looking for an app as I always used to use latlongwiki.com, but I found that these two apps (one Android and one iphone) are pretty cool.
The Android app (Wiki Explorer) pulls from not only wikipedia, but also from several other wiki sources. It's a great way to find things around you that are significant enough for a wiki entry.
We love seeing the quirky and unusual, so we’ll often load up Roadside America to see what fun stuff is around us.
We have been known to make a day out of just driving to different attractions.
This app is increasing in popularity among RVers as it helps you plan a trip with cool things to see along the way. We've used it a few times and it's pretty cool. Some of the entries are classic tourist stops, but some are more obscure (which we like).
Solar Eclipse Timer
I am putting this here in anticipation for the next Solar Eclipse in the United States which is April 8th, 2024.
Why on earth would I bother? Because you will WANT to be in the totality line on that day! If you are an RVer, you can make that happen! Put it on your calendar. Don't miss it! If, on the last eclipse, you were "close enough" to totality, you have NO idea what you missed. We had family that were within a 30 min drive of totality (but still outside) and they showed us their photos ... not even comparable to what we experienced being in totality. It's an experience - an no photo could capture it.
This app was showcased, and showcased, and showcased by one of our favorite YouTube Channels, SmarterEverDay - and then re-showcased on an Argentina eclipse. Get the app, get some glasses, and don't forget to be where you need to be (preferrably somewhere without trees so you can see the horizon in 360 degrees).
We most often use Yelp when looking for a local place to eat.
Yelp has got us to great burgers in Melbourne, FL, unforgettable pork sandwiches in Brunswick, GA and to-die-for sweet potato casserole in San Antonio, TX.
We’ve also used Yelp to find laundromats, oil change places and other local businesses while traveling.
This app is one of our favorie apps. We check it out whenever we move to a new location to see where the nearby trails are. We love hiking as a family and this is a great way for an RVer to quickly find good places to do that.
One tip, you should always use this in conjunction with a zoomed in satellite map to ensure you can park to go hiking. Also read the reviews, there are hikes listed here that might not have good parking and we ran into a place like that once.
Goecaching is a great way to explore places you (think you) know and places you don’t. The app is excellent, allowing you do download cache locations and log finds all from within its interface.
This iphone only app is great for finding parks and knowing (or filtering) what there is to do at those parks.
It has national parks, state parks, local parks, forests and other federal destinations. It's a great way to find something to do at a park you want to go to.
When you RV, you want to be level. If you aren't going to carry around a level (or if you left it in a locked storage bin and you need a level now), then one of these two levels (iphone and Android) will help you out. Not only is having your RV unlevel a nuisance, it can also be bad for your fridge or your slide outs. Get level.iPhone • Android