Full time travel in the digital age means we have an array of mobile apps at our disposal. In the first year, we found ourselves using these 10 apps for RVing on a regular basis. Some mobile apps have helped us save money, prepare for emergencies and even make new friends. With the exception of the first app on the list, these are all free to download. The only thing you have to monitor is the cellular data usage of each app (unless you have an unlimited wireless data plan).
Top 10 Apps for RVing
Allstays Camp & RV
One of the must have apps for RVing, Allstays Camp & RV is great for planning your next trip and for when you’re on the road. We paid $9.99 and the app has more than paid for itself. Allstays Camp & RV has helped us find truck stops, rest areas, free RV dump stations, free camping options and so much more. Instead of having separate apps for finding a Walmart or a Pilot, we only need this one. Read our full review of the Allstays app to find out if it’s worth it.
When you’re traveling around in a gas guzzling vehicle, finding cheap fuel is key to saving money. GasBuddy is a free mobile app that displays user updated gas prices around the United States and Canada. There have been many instances where we saved over $.30/gallon on fuel thanks to this app. The best part is, we can look up gas prices in other cities to compare prices.
You may be surprised to learn that we’re not recommending Google Maps for navigation purposes. We use the app to save all the great places we discover and new places we want to explore. Being able to save a location on the map helps us remember where we’ve been and figure out where we want to head next. When a fellow traveler offers a recommendation, all we do is pull up the app and save the location on the map. In order to save, you need to be logged into your Google account. This will allow you to pull up saved locations on any device you’re logged into.
A good weather app is important when you’re traveling. We’ve used several weather apps and found Weather Underground to be the most reliable. Beyond the normal forecast, the app has information on hurricane and tropical cyclones, air quality and UV index. You can also customize the app to show the data most relevant to you. Knowing about and being able to follow severe weather is key to being safe in an RV.
When there is severe weather, we’ve found Twitter to be a great tool in addition to the Wunderground app. Follow @NWS for NOAA’s National Weather Service tweets. There are also separate accounts for sever thunderstorms (@NWSSevereTstorm ), tornados (@NWStornado) and specific regions and cities around the United States.
5-0 Radio Police Scanner
Ever wonder what’s going on when you hear sirens in an area? Turn on the 5-0 Radio Police Scanner app and search for scanner feeds by country/state/county. Feeds aren’t limited to the USA, so you can listen to feeds from foreign police agencies. We’ve used it to listen to the highway patrol to find out about accidents on the road. Like the Wunderground app, this can be used to help keep you safe. If you’re in an area and there is civil unrest, you can get live detailed updates on what’s happening and the areas to avoid.
If you work on the road, having access to good internet speed is important. We use the Speed Test app when we arrive in a new area to test upload and download speeds. Our average YouTube video is over 1 gigabyte. A slow upload speed could mean hours to upload a video. This app can also help save money if you frequent coffee shops for their complimentary wifi. Before paying for that cup of coffee, test their wifi speed to make sure it’s usable for your needs.
We love Instagram when it comes to connecting with people and making new friends. Many travelers we follow geo tag their location on Instagram. If we see they’re nearby, it’s as easy as leaving a comment to see if they want to meet up. We’ve been able to meet some great people this way and look forward to meeting many more. If you’d like to meet up, we share our current location on our website or find us on Instagram.
In addition to meeting locals and asking them for recommendations on things to do, we also use Yelp. This mobile app is great for finding almost everything from a good veterinarian to the best happy hour in town. We also use this app to save money by looking for check-in offers. Some businesses offer discounts to Yelp users and we’ve saved quite a bit of money on coffee thanks to the Yelp app. It’s not just coffee discounts either, we’ve saved money at restaurants and on services.
A popular question that comes up is, “what do you do for entertainment?” Many people ask if we have a satellite dish to watch television shows. The truth is, we watch less than an hour of television per week. When we do feel like watching something, we rent a movie from RedBox. The app makes it easy to find a RedBox location and reserve the movie for pick up. They also offer specials such as rent one get one free or $.50/off a rental. Somedays t’s nice to make a bowl of popcorn and enjoy a movie.
Which apps do you use for RVing? Share your favorites by leaving a comment below.
More About RV Life
If you’re interested in full time RV life, here are a few posts we wrote to get you started.