Full time travel in the digital age means we have an array of mobile apps at our disposal. With over four years of RV living experience under our belts, these are 11 of our favorite apps for RVing and travel. These mobile apps will help you save money, prepare for emergencies and make new friends on the road.
Best Apps for RVing
With the exception of the first app on the list, these apps are free to download. The one thing you should monitor is the cellular data usage of each app unless you have an unlimited wireless data plan.
1. 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.
GasBuddy is a free mobile app that displays user updated gas prices in the United States and in Canada. When you’re driving an RV, finding cheap fuel is key to saving money. 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 can also filter results which we use quite a bit when looking for Costco gas stations.
Android & iPhone: http://www.gasbuddy.com/App
3. Google Maps
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.
Android & iPhone: https://www.google.com/maps
A good weather app is important when you’re traveling. We’ve used several weather apps and found AccuWeather to be the most reliable. Beyond hourly and daily forecasts, the app has information on air quality and provides severe weather updates. You can customize the app to show the data most relevant to you.
Android, iPhone & Windows: https://downloads.accuweather.com/
When there is severe weather, Twitter can be a very useful tool (check out the video below). 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 in the United States.
Android & iPhone: https://twitter.com/download
6. 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. We’ve used it to listen to the highway patrol to find out about accidents on the road. Like the weather app, this can be used to help keep you safe when traveling. 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.
iPhone & Windows: http://www.smartestapple.com/
7. Speed Test
If you work on the road, having access to good internet speed is important. The Speed Test app will show you the download and upload speed. Our average video file is over 2 gigabytes. A slow upload speed could mean taking hours for a video to upload. 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.
Android & iPhone: http://www.speedtest.net/mobile/
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 or sending a message to see if they want to hang out. We’ve been able to meet some great people this way and look forward to meeting many more. Connect with us on Instagram.
Android & iPhone: https://www.instagram.com/
In addition to meeting locals and asking them for recommendations, we also use Yelp. This mobile app is great for finding everything from a good veterinarian to the best happy hour in town. You can also 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.
Android & iPhone: https://www.yelp.com/mobile
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 a movie for pick up. Somedays it’s nice to make a bowl of popcorn and enjoy a movie.
11. Google Translate
We have met people from all over the world in our travels. This free translation app makes it easier to communicate with each other when we don’t speak the same language.
Bonus. Harvest Hosts
For those of you who have a Harvest Hosts membership, the mobile app is the quickest way to locate hosts nearby, read reviews and access detailed information about each host in the network. Read our full review of Harvest Hosts to learn more about the RV membership program.
Which apps do you use when traveling?