Find the map and directions app that’s perfect for you
As an RV enthusiast, you know that one of the biggest joys of RVing is discovering new destinations. Regardless of where you may roam, there’s an RV-friendly app to get you there in style. You could just use Google or Apple Maps, but you’ll probably want something more specific to your type of vehicle. So, let’s jump right in and survey the best RV direction apps.
If you believe that getting there is half the fun, then Roadtrippers is the free app for you. Just enter your starting and ending location, and Roadtrippers offers you the chance to add stops to your route: attractions, accommodations, dining, campgrounds, and more. You can also easily share your trip on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. For a $29.99/year upgrade, you can get offline maps (so you never have to worry about being caught between cellphone towers), live traffic updates, special deals, and no ads.
Oh Ranger! Park Finder
This app is specifically designed for people who like to stay in state and national parks. Just enter the city and state or zip code of the area you’re headed to, and Oh Ranger! Park Finder shows you all the local parks, along with stuff to do during your stay. And yes, it also provides you with maps and directions to each of your destinations.
InRoute provides an interesting twist to trip planning. It lets you chart your route using weather, elevation, curvy roads, and more. You can also plan your route based on the number of hours or miles you want to drive and search for gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and campgrounds along the way. For example, if you don’t want to spend more than 10 hours driving in a day, just set that parameter and InRoute will find the nearest hotels based on 10 hours of drive time. In addition to its free services, InRoute offers upgrade packages on a monthly or annual basis ($3.99/month, $29.99/year), or you can purchase a one-time upgrade (for one trip) that costs $14.99.
While not the easiest app to operate, AAA Mobile is free, and it shows you places to visit and stay along the way. The main complaint about this app is that it constantly guides you to AAA-affiliated companies and pings you about them as you drive by.
Ultimate US Public Campgrounds
In this case, the name pretty much says it all. Want to know about public campgrounds where you’re headed? Well, here they are. The app also provides information like the number of RV sites, electric hookups, showers, and more. Since public campgrounds tend to be less expensive than private campgrounds, this is a great app for the RV bargain hunter. Of the 35,000-plus campgrounds in their database, over 20,000 of them are $10 or less! And the price of the app is a bargain, too. Only $3.99.
Allstays is one of the most robust resources for planning an RV trip. Allstays can show you RV-friendly Walmart locations, RV service stations, and even low-clearance bridges along your route. It also shows you restaurants, accommodations, points of interest, rest areas, and the other options you’ll find in most of the apps. Allstays is fast and reliable—all the information is downloaded to your phone, so you don’t need to rely on having cell phone service. Many apps of this caliber require a monthly or yearly subscription. With Allstays, $9.99 gets you everything with just one purchase.
At $29.99 for a one-year subscription, including traffic updates (the non-traffic version is $26.99/year), CoPilot is one of the more expensive navigation apps. That said, you get what you pay for. As with other apps, you can hunt for places to visit and stay along the way, but this app also gives you advanced navigation based specifically on your RV’s size. It also offers voice-based guidance and route alerts. CoPilot is like having an RV-specific GPS device right on your phone. If you’re unsure about committing to the cost, the first 14 days are free! Why not give it a free test drive for your next trip?
Go old school
On a final note, while these apps are great, you should always have a backup plan. The Rand McNally Road Atlas is the gold standard—and the one your parents probably had tucked under the front seat. State road maps can be found at most gas stations and truck stops. And with paper maps, you never have to worry about bad cell phone service or a dead battery.
Are you new to RV driving? Grab our Driving an RV for the First Time guide, along with your mapping app and atlas. You’ll get all the info you need to calm those travel jitters.