RVing is a great way to travel. You have the flexibility to go wherever you want, whenever you want. But planning an RV trip can be daunting. There are so many things to consider: where to go, what to see and do, what kind of rig to take, how much food and water to pack… the list goes on and on.
But there’s no need to stress. There are a number of great apps out there that can help you plan the perfect RV trip. In this article, we’ll share 15 of the best RV trip planner apps to help you save money, time and stress.
1- RV Trip Wizard Review
The RV Trip Wizard is one of the most popular RV trip planning software available today.
RV Trip Wizard doesn’t appear to be the attractive sibling of the Good Sam Trip Planner, and it certainly isn’t as elegant or simple to use.
However, if you hang in there, you’ll see how powerful and feature-rich the tools are that will be at your disposal.
It’s one of the more pricey programs, with a yearly cost of roughly $39, but given its capabilities, I’m more than willing to pay this little extra.
At its core is Google Maps, which has been enhanced with almost every tool available from an RV planning program.
RV Trip Wizard, unlike Good Sams Trip Planner, goes far beyond calculating the anticipated cost of gas for your journey. In addition to estimating fuel expenses, it incorporates the cost of campsites, meals for all passengers, and various little unavoidable expenditures that can rapidly add up.
It also implies it’s far easier to compute and predict your everyday costs, which makes budgeting significantly simpler. I’ve never seen another program with as many budgeting tools like this. Please leave a comment below if you know of one.
The ability to use a ‘bounding radii’ is another fantastic function. This capability allows you to set a maximum driving distance for each day of your journey in seconds, which helps you avoid wasting too much time behind the wheel on any one day. It should be kept in mind that the maximum distance is measured as if flying directly, and does not account for windy routes. However, it serves as a starting point.
The ability to view campgrounds along your route was one of our favourites about the Good Sam Trip planner. The good news is that RV Trip Wizard also includes this feature, which is even better than Good Sams.
Good Sam’s divided RV resorts into three categories, while RV Trip Wizard has over thirty categories, including National Parks, Monuments, and Seashores among them. RV parks are listed by location in this comprehensive database. It has over 8,000 RV parks in its knowledge base, with more being added all the time. It’s possible that it is the most thorough RV park database available.
When I’m planning an RV journey, I usually use RV Trip Wizard. Anything else feels like a step backwards and is often anticlimactic. It’s, without doubt, the best trip-planning software that I’ve ever used.
2- CoPilot Truck GPS Review
There are several Truck and RV GPS apps for mobile devices on the market, and we believe CoPilot Truck GPS is one of the finest.
There are numerous smartphone GPS apps if you don’t want to spend money on a Garmin or TomTom. There are several options for free smartphone GPS applications. Many of them do an excellent job of avoiding low clearance bridges and difficult-to-navigate roads.
One of the most popular truck GPS applications is CoPilot Truck GPS.
Although it is primarily designed for tractor drivers, it may also be used for any large vehicle, including motor homes.
The RV e-Navigator will plan your path to avoid low clearances, sharp turns, and roads that are not suitable for your RV’s size.
It does, however, have a few issues. It has been reported to crash unexpectedly, which is more of an annoyance than anything else.
I must confess that I have no personal experience with this program; if you do, please let us know what you think of it, whether good or bad.
3- Mountain Directory
The lack of awareness about the gradients of roads is one of the most common problems I’ve come across with most RV planning tools. This is where Mountain Directory shines, and it’s well worth your time to check it out.
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One of the major benefits of digital alternatives is that they are always accessible, even if you don’t have access to the internet.
The interface is clumsy, but they’re far easier and faster to use than peering at a topographical map and guessing whether a certain stretch of road might be difficult.
Both Good Sam and RV Trip Wizard have attempted to construct a road with significant gradients and sharp turns, which are especially difficult in a car but considerably easier in an RV. We appreciated the help of Mountain Directory in locating these problems before they became an issue. We were able to avoid what may have been a very memorable trip for all the wrong reasons thanks to Mountain Directory.
Not finding the information you want? RV Trip Wizard and most RV GPS systems, according to our research, only have a directory of 1,500 low clearance bridges. However, it’s been estimated that there are between 4,000 and 6,000 low-clearance bridges in the United States alone.
This implies that you may be missing out on thousands of low clearance bridges.
Any of these bridges might simply remove a satellite dish or, worse, create a deadly accident.
The most complete database of low clearance bridges we’ve come across belongs to Lowclearances.com. For the price of a little upfront payment of $75, you’ll have lifetime access to the Canadian and US databases, which is a small value for peace of mind.
You may simply install the database on your GPS unit to ensure you aren’t caught off guard and don’t become another statistic on the road.
5- Allstays LLC
One of the newest applications to hit the market is Allstays LLC. I’m not particularly familiar with it, but it has excellent comments and a slew of fans. On paper, it looks very promising.
It’s capable of doing everything you could ever ask for.
The app also enables you to discover near campsites, including excellent boondocking locations and Walmart parking lots that allow overnight stays. It also gives warnings about low-clearance bridges as well as advice on RV-friendly petrol stations.
We’ll put this program to the test as soon as we get the chance and add our thoughts to this article. In the meantime, if you’ve already got some expertise, please let us know in the comments below.
If you don’t want to be caught by a storm or stuck in traffic due to an accident, InRoute might be the answer.
It provides real-time weather conditions, traffic situations, and any delays you may encounter due to collisions on your route.
There’s nothing better than this app if you need to stay up to date on what lies ahead in your journey.
7- Ultimate U.S. Public Campground Project
I adore saving money whenever I can, and the Ultimate U.S. Public Campground Project is software that allows me to do so.
For a small investment of $4, you get an outstanding collection of public and low-cost camping options.
There are several alternatives available to you, regardless of where you’re going in the country.
If you’re searching for a certain category of the campsite, like Wi-Fi or food service, just switch to Advanced Filtering and you’ll be able to find exactly what you need.
8- Passport America
If you aren’t a member of Passport America, it’s well worth considering joining up to use one of the greatest RV campground apps available.
The app will not only provide you with a wealth of information about campsites, but it’ll also save you money on many RV parks. Given the discount available, you should be able to earn your Passport America membership fee in no time at all using the app.
9. U.S. Public Lands
If you’re looking for a Boondocking app to help you travel around the country, this is a must-have.
This handy program allows you to quickly and simply determine whether a piece of ground you’re considering boondocking on is in fact BLM-owned public property that’s legal to boondock on. It’s considerably safer and more secure to know your boondocking is within the law before settling down for the night.
10- Google Earth
If you’re about to dismiss my first option and move on, bear with me for a second.
Google Maps, on the other hand, has certain drawbacks. It may be used in conjunction with Google Earth to create a powerful visualization tool. If you’d like to see a route before setting out, consider paying attention to areas of interest such as possible low bridges, steep slopes, or narrow roads.
You may export a Google Earth KML file from Google Maps, which you can then import into Google Earth.
Once you’ve downloaded it, you can use the rest of Google Earth’s features, including viewing Panoramio photos with your route.
Using Google Earth and Maps as a primary RV planning tool is not recommended, but it’s an excellent addition to have in your arsenal to compliment whatever you’re already doing.
In the video below, you’ll learn how to export Google Map files to KMP and then import them into Google Earth.
11- Garmin BaseCamp
Garmin is still relevant today, despite what you may believe. It’s especially important if you’re towing or driving an oversize vehicle.
Garmin BaseCampe development was halted a few years ago, but it may still be downloaded and used, and in my opinion, it’s quite useful.
The largest feature of the Garmin Basecamp is its ability to organize and share road excursions. The most significant benefit of BaseCamp was the inclusion of RV and truck modes.
The Park mode and Tow Lock position help you stay off the highways where RV travel may be challenging, such as avoiding low bridges, steep inclines, and narrow inner-city streets.
This is an excellent place to start, but its database is incomplete, requiring you to supplement the data it provides with additional study, which is a little inconvenient.
If you already have a Garmin GPS unit, there’s no need not to give BaseCamp a try and see what it can do.
I’m not sure you could completely rely on BaseCamp to manage your RV journey planning.
The flexibility of an RV travel planning software is one aspect I would want to see improved in future versions. The program’s journey planning capabilities are based on dates and money spent at each location, which goes against my expectations for an RV trip planning software.
The amount of time I spend at each location might fluctuate considerably depending on how much I enjoy a certain area. If that sounds like you, then BaseCamp may be somewhat difficult to use.
12- Good Sam’s Trip Planner Review
Even if you don’t have a Good Sam membership, you should at least investigate joining up. It’s something you should consider even if it’s solely for access to the Good Sam’s Trip Planner.
The fee for a single year is $29, but if you purchase more than a year’s membership, you may get a discount. It costs $75 for three years plus some freebies at the time of writing this post.
In 2014, I made my first RV journey and utilized physical maps and whatever information I could gather from the internet. It was no wonder it was difficult to work.
In late 2014, I discovered the Good Sam Trip Planner, which made what was formerly time-consuming and mentally draining simple.
It’s certainly one of the most useful RV trip planning tools available, and it looks nice, is simple to use, and does a decent job of avoiding things like low bridges or roads that may be tough to negotiate.
It’s easy to create a trip on the Good Sam Trip Planner and just takes two clicks. After you’ve entered some information, you’ll be able to add further details and get more detailed planning within the planning window.
The project planner has five separate tabs:
- Things to Do
- Trip Manager
- My Trips
When it came to generating a route, I found that the Trip Manager was where I spent the majority of my time. However, once you get going, you’ll probably end up utilizing each part.
However, the campgrounds tab does not contain only Good Sam RV parks; it also includes many private campgrounds as well as public campsites from other companies.
The capacity to compute the mileage, time and cost for gasoline is really useful from a financial standpoint. I enjoy travelling, but I try to minimize the amount of time I’m on the road. So that we may decide whether to split up into two trips, we can see that a certain leg of the journey might take 8 hours.
Being able to see the cost of each leg is quite useful in terms of keeping track of our expenses.
The Good Sam Trip Planner, as we’ve previously pointed out, will attempt to identify and avoid any roads that may cause difficulties for an RV, such as low bridges or steep slopes.
While the company claims that its remote-controlled drones are completely precise, in reality, it isn’t. We discovered that it would occasionally attempt to fly us up the side of a mountain on a slope we wouldn’t be comfortable with. You’ll have to keep it in mind and may probably need to supplement their route planning skills with another source of data.
Given the low cost of the Good Sam Trip Planner, it’s hard to resist recommending it. This is especially true when you consider the other advantages of a Good Sam Club Membership. Keep in mind that any planned routes will need to be double-checked for RV roadblocks.
It goes without saying that RVing is a costly pastime, especially when it comes to filling up the tank. That’s why we adore GasBuddy.
Although you may believe that saving a few pennies per gallon won’t amount to much when considering how much gas you’ll use during a lengthy journey, these small savings can add up over time.
When it’s time to fill up your car, use GasBuddy to find the cheapest local gas prices. It’s also free to use, so there’s no excuse not to utilize it.
The GasBuddy app is a great RV trip planner app because it helps you find the cheapest gas prices in your area. This is a valuable tool when you’re on the road and trying to stick to a budget.
There’s no way to avoid nature’s call. As a result, knowing where to go for a local dump and fill stations is critical.
SaniDump provides a comprehensive database of dumps, so you’ll never be caught short again. It’s another free program to download, so there’s no excuse not to use it.
15- RV Checklist
It’s critical to prepare for an RV road trip. Even with the best of intentions, it’s quite simple to overlook something essential to your journey, which might quickly destroy a holiday if you’re not prepared.
The RV Checklist lets you create a digital checklist to follow so that your RV excursion is as smooth as it can be.
I’ve used it and more than once it’s given me that lightbulb moment when I’ve realized I missed something vital. It’s free, so go ahead and utilize it to save yourself the aggravation of missing out on something.
And If you’re looking for an all-in-one app that can help you plan your route, track your expenses, and find campgrounds and gas prices, then the Roadtrippers RV trip planner app is another great option.
Finally, the Campendium app is a great resource for finding campgrounds across the United States. It also provides user-generated reviews and photos of each location, so you can get a better idea of what to expect before you go.
The Art Of RV Road Trip Preparation
We’re incredibly fortunate on this little blue planet of ours, with no scarcity of fascinating and incredible places to visit. We may not be able to see everything we want over a lifetime, but an RV might allow us to see a lot.
It’s also unfortunate that there is so much potential for locations to make RV planning so difficult and stressful, despite the fact that it has a lot of advantages.
- How can you narrow down your options to just a few locations?
- What criteria do you use to determine if your selection was correct?
- How can you ensure that you’ve covered all the high points on your route without hitting any of the low ones?
If that describes you, you not only need to evaluate all of the RV trip planning applications we’ve discussed above, but you also need to study the craft of RV planning.
A customized trip planner may assist you.
If you’re the organized type or have been labelled as the RV Road Trip Planner, we’ve compiled some tools and advice to make your next RV road trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
There’s always something going on in the country at any one time of year. We promise you’ll discover something that catches your interest if you look hard enough, whether it’s a music festival, a chilli carnival, or a fishing competition.
Why not plan an RV road trip around any event you like?
It’s also a good idea to schedule your vacation around the dates of an event. It’s much simpler to plan a trip based on a certain objective and time frame than simply knowing you want to go somewhere.
We find that knowing you must be in a particular location on a specific date makes planning much easier, and the logistics of arranging things just fall into place naturally.
After that, you may go sightseeing or take the scenic route to get to your final destination.
What is on your bucket list?
There’s almost always a route to get you where you want to go, no matter how distant off the beaten track your bucket list locations are. So why not make a vacation around ticking these things off your wish list?
Even if your final destination is inaccessible by RV, look at how you might get there by RV to discover a plethora of intriguing locations that are well worth a visit.
If you’re not sure where you want to go, there are books on the topic. For a start, try the lonely planet’s guide to America.
Don’t be in a hurry.
This “skill” might be tough to master if you need to plan every minute aspect of your life.
The freedom of RVing is one of Its major delights. If you discover something fascinating when travelling, you’re free to stop and check it out. Alternatively, if you want to linger at a certain place for a couple of days (or even weeks), nothing is stopping you from doing so.
The primary barrier for most individuals is money.
If you make reservations and agree to be in a certain place at a specific time every day, you risk losing much of your freedom and missing out on something special.
We also recognize that during high-travel seasons, RV parks can get crowded, so you’ll need to use your judgment and make well-reasoned decisions. Use your instincts and consider going for a balance between the two choices.
RV Travel Ideas That Will Inspire You
Whether you want to see every nook and cranny of your nation, or just learn more about your local RV parks, the art of RV trip planning is about finding the right balance between flexibility and purpose.
The good news is that a bad trip is virtually unheard of. Even if you don’t get where you planned to, you’ll almost certainly remember the experience with pleasure.
Without music, it’s too corny, truly spectacular RVing is about the trip and is rarely only about the finish.
Like a Pro, Use an RV Trip Planner
We hope that this information has helped you gain a better understanding of the various RV trip planner applications available to us, as well as what you can do to make your journey spectacular.
We understand that there is no perfect RV trip planner software, and most should be used in conjunction with another. Some are excellent at what they do and just lack one important detail, while others fill a very niche and are fantastic at it.
If I had to choose one RV trip planner software for the rest of my life, it would be without a doubt RV Trip Wizard. It has an array of functionality that other tools lack and is highly accurate in so many areas.
However, I recommend employing a set of tools if you’re planning a long RV journey. Not only will it save you time and money in the long term, but it may also make your trip much safer than it would be otherwise.
RVing Trip Safety Tips
When RVing, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your safety on the road. First, make sure you have a comprehensive insurance policy that covers both your RV and your personal belongings. Secondly, take the time to familiarize yourself with the area you’ll be travelling in and plan your route accordingly. Finally, be sure to pack all of the necessary safety gear, including first-aid supplies and a flashlight. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your next RVing trip is safe and enjoyable.
Other Important Saftey Tips:
When you go on a road trip in your RV, it’s important to stay safe. Here are a few tips to help you out:
1. Make sure your RV is in good condition before you hit the road. This means checking the tires, brakes, and fluid levels.
2. Drive at a safe speed, and obey all traffic laws.
3. Keep an eye out for dangerous drivers and situations.
4. If you’re travelling with pets, make sure they’re secure in the RV.
5. Be prepared for emergencies by packing a first-aid kit and some essential supplies.
6. Drink plenty of water and take breaks regularly while driving.
7. Once you reach your destination, do some research on the area and familiarize yourself with the lay of the land.
8. When hiking or exploring, stick to well-travelled trails and areas.
9. And finally, trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your next RVing trip is safe and enjoyable.
We hope you found our post useful, and that it provided you with something to consider when planning your next RV journey.
As always, please let us know in the comments below if you have any concerns or disagree with anything we’ve said, and we’ll do our best to reply or correct it.