- RV AC Not Blowing Hard Out All Vents: Causes and Fixes - May 18, 2022
- How to Install Laminate Flooring In Your RV (With Slideouts) - May 11, 2022
- How to Fix a Leaky Roof on a Pop Up Camper - May 5, 2022
Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine
When you’re hitting the road in your RV, it’s good to know the answer to, “What is the best RV GPS app?”
Whether you are a full-time RVer or like to hit campgrounds up on the weekend, having the right technology will make your life easier. With the advancements in phone technology provided by 4G and 5G, most of what you’ll need is right at your fingertips. Finding a good GPS app created specifically for your RV is extremely important for navigating from campground to campground.
In this article, we will look at some of the best RV GPS apps, both for free and for a fee. We will also deep-dive into other important apps that will make your RVing experience a whole lot easier. RV map apps, GPS apps, trip planning apps, RV gas station apps, and much more will be covered in the following paragraphs.
Do I Need a GPS App Specifically for RVing?
There are both apps and electrical devices specifically designed for RVs, but how do you decide which one to go with. RV GPS units like Garmin RV GPS are great, but they’re also expensive. GPS devices like the aforementioned Garmin GPS can cost up to $1000 if you like spending that much.
If you don’t feel like spending a chunk of change on GPS devices, apps on your mobile device will be a welcome option. Most of the apps we will discuss in this article cost less than $50, don’t require an annual subscription, and you don’t have to be tech-savvy to manage them.
If you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone with Google maps, you will most likely have a GPS app that came pre-installed on your cell phone. While these standard apps are great for cars, trucks, and other non-towing vehicles, they’re not always the best option if you have a camper or trailer in tow. The best route for a car might differ from the best route for an RV or large travel trailer.
An RV-specific GPS app should alert you to road closures, low bridges that could prove hazardous to your tall vehicle, and alternative routes if a road is too small or narrow. Having a GPS device or app to provide you with RV-safe directions and route preferences that will accommodate your needs. A great navigation app could mean the difference between safe travels or a road trip you’d like to forget.
An RV navigation app should also take your RV’s size and height into account. Low clearance bridges can be common and hazardous on smaller roads that private campgrounds are often located on.
Depending on what type of app you typically use for navigation, these factors will not be accounted for, and you could easily end up in an uncomfortable predicament. RVs often have AC units, TV and radio antennas, and other things on their roofs that add additional height, making low bridges even more hazardous.
While you may be able to get by for a while without a GPS app specifically for RVs, a good RV map app will make your life a whole lot easier and less stressful.
Best Bang for Your Buck RV GPS App
There are a few good GPS apps available for free, but if you’re willing to pay a little bit of money, better options may be available.
Copilot is a great RV GPS app that costs a small fee but won’t break your bank. For $29.99 a year, the Copilot app provides safe and suitable navigation options for cars, trucks, and RVs alike.
The Copilot app will consider things like low clearance bridges, rest areas, and any steep hills and grades that could make driving or pulling an RV hazardous.
Copilot is also great for offline navigation when a good GPS signal is hard to get. Many private, public, and state campgrounds are in reclusive locations, and the ability for offline navigation could prove to be a lifesaver.
Best Free RV GPS App
Although Google Maps was not made with big rigs and RVs in mind, it is a solid option for navigating from point A to point B. If you decide to use free apps like this, however, you may be required to do more homework when planning your next RV trip. Google Maps will help you avoid tolls and add stops along your route, but it doesn’t consider obstacles that may specifically affect RVs.
If you aren’t planning to travel from campground to campground and typically stay in the same RV parks for a period of time, Google Maps will get the job done. As long as you stay on big, well-marked roads that have plenty of gas stations, a special subscription to RV GPS units that cost money shouldn’t be necessary.
The Best RV GPS App for Winding Roads
If you’re traveling through the mountains or in areas with lots of curves, steep grades, and winding roads, good RV GPS apps will be vital. Having one that takes all the twists and turns of the road into account will be even more important. InRoute is a unique navigation tool that does all of the standard RV GPS functions but that also allows you to devise a path around curvy or steep roads.
inRoute is great for trip planning through mountainous terrains and deep valleys alike. This app will save your truck and trailer brakes by keeping you away from steep grades. inRoute only costs $29.99 and will probably pay for itself many times over in brake and gas savings.
The Best RV GPS App for Multiple Destinations
Depending on where you’re traveling and what type of road you’re on, you may have the opportunity to plan the ultimate RV vacation.
Allstays may be the best RV navigation app for overall trip planning. Allstays allows you to pick different stores, rest areas, truck stops, or RV dealers and stores along your route. As you are traveling, different options for stopping spots will pop up on your mobile device if you have the Allstays app, and you can pick and choose which ones you want to stop at.
Allstays is especially useful for cross country travel and longer RV trips where you aren’t in a hurry and want to take in the sights along the way. You won’t break the bank either, as Allstays has a one-time cost of $9.99. Although it’s not currently available on Android mobile devices, you can access Allstays via their website or with an iPhone. Hopefully, Android capabilities will soon follow!
Helpful Video on RV GPS Showdown
What Other RV Navigation Tools Do I Need?
While a great RV GPS is a good start in the trip planning process, you may need more than just that to make for an unforgettable RV trip. For life on the road, you can never be too prepared as life on the go throws a lot of curveballs your way. RV living isn’t meant to be full-throttle all the time, either. If you live on the road, you are most likely someone who wants to relax and take in the sights around you.
Some important apps to keep in mind are ones that will help you find gas stations, hiking trails, and a variety of RV parks to choose from. To make your next RV trip the best RV experience of your life, take a look at some of the apps and ideas listed below.
Gas Station Apps
Not all gas stations that you pass on the interstate will be RV-friendly. If you are driving a motorhome or simply pull a travel trailer, you likely use a lot more gas than other vehicles on the road. As a result, you will need to stop for gas more often than other motorists. A great app to locate gas stations on the go is GasBuddy.
GasBuddy will also allow you to pay less at certain gas stations by using their credit cards. This can be very convenient as long as you remember to treat your GasBuddy card like any other credit card and pay your monthly bill. Handy apps like this will help make life easier for the RV enthusiast inside us all.
Dump Station Apps
Not all RV sites and RV parks will have a dumping station depending on where in the country you’re camping. Additionally, if any part of your RV trip consists of boondocking, you will need to dump your waste at some point.
RV Dump Stations is a great app for those times when you need to dump, but aren’t sure where the best place is to do it.
While apps like RV Dump Station might seem like overkill, they could prove to be your saving grace if you find yourself in a tight squeeze.
Apps to Locate Campgrounds for My RV
If you’re traveling through unfamiliar territory, then a GPS might not be enough to get you where you need to go. A GPS will only take you where you tell it to take you.
You have to know what campgrounds are in the area and if that campground is capable of accommodating your RV needs.
FreeRoam is a free app that tells you all of the RV parks and campgrounds located near you. Another great option is an app called The Dyrt.
Both of these apps are great for finding campgrounds near your destination, but they won’t always specify what type of campgrounds are available.
For example, if you have a large camper or motorhome, you need a campground with electrical and sewage hookups capable of handling your RV needs. You also need to know if the RV sites are large enough to fit your unit. By performing a simple google search, you should be able to find the answer to each of these questions.
Hiking and Trailblazing Apps
RV enthusiasts often have a passion for the great outdoors and seeing all that it has to offer. In the case that you want to do some hiking and sightseeing along the way, you’ll need to know what hiking trails are open to the public. AllTrails is an excellent tool to fulfill this need.
AllTrails will inform you about any and all trails that are near you, how long the trail is, and how difficult it will be to hike. You may not always be in the mood for a 20-mile trail hike, and AllTrails will make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into before you even get started. Apps like this are specifically designed to help you get the most out of your RV journeys.
What is RV Trip Wizard?
RV Trip Wizard is the one app to rule them all. It’s basically an all-in-one app that helps you plan your RV trip from start to finish and removes the need for other apps that are taking up precious phone space.
Using RV Trip Wizard allows you to take all the doubts out of an RV trip and helps you smoothly manage every component. RV Trip Wizard is also not affiliated with any campgrounds or companies, so it will provide you with unbiased information and advice about which campgrounds and RV parks to stay at.
One of the handiest features is also that it helps you plan your budget accordingly. RV Trip Wizard will tell you how much money you will be spending on gas, RV parks, and any other expenses that may occur during your travels. This app will also allow you to find things you enjoy doing along the way like golf courses, rest areas, sight-seeing attractions, and so much more.
While RV Trip Wizard is the best all-around camping app, it’s also the most expensive. An annual RV Trip Wizard subscription will cost you $50, which isn’t going to break the bank by any means, but it’s also a little more than most of your other camping apps.
If you are considering becoming a full-time RVer and plan on traveling from campground to campground, then RV Trip Wizard might be a wise investment for you. This app will allow you to carefully plan your journey from start to finish without breaking the bank.
How Can I Stay Connected With the RV Community?
The RV community is a unique one that shares many joys in common, but also many trials and tribulations. Important life hacks and problem-solving advice must be readily available for when an RVer needs it most, and the best advice typically comes from those who have had similar experiences.
RVillage and similar apps can be a real lifesaver when you run into trouble and need quick advice. Plus, it’s great to be connected with an RV life network that will be there to share in the good times and the bad.
What Is the Best RV GPS App? – Conclusion
Now I’ve given you some good ideas about some of the best RV GPS apps available, along with other handy tools to help you in your journeys.
RVing can be extremely enjoyable and rewarding when it’s done right and things go smoothly. Taking all available steps and making sure you have as many tools at your disposal as possible will go a long way in making your RV experience an enjoyable one.
Want to make your next travel day an easy one? Check out these great ideas for things to do on a long car trip.