Best RV Apps for Finding New Sites, Campgrounds, and More!

woman using one of the best RV apps today
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You’re going road-tripping in your recreational vehicle, and the thing you need the most is information. Successful RV travel depends on the best forward-intelligence you can acquire. In the connected age, that often comes from mobile phone apps. But what are the best RV apps to guide your journey?

Like so many aspects of our daily lives, the RV experience is being transformed by the app economy. Chances are if you’ve thought about it on one of your trips, there’s an app for it.

driver using a navigation app
Image from Pixabay

Need the least expensive gas? Are you wondering about the threatening clouds overhead? Are you looking to empty your tanks? Need directions? Today, the app knows all.

The once-complicated task of planning a successful RV trip has gotten more manageable through the app evolution. Spend time learning about the best RV apps for you and your family, and you’re sure to create fond memories.

Is There an App for Everything?

First, though, a few definitions. What is an “app” anyway?

App is shorthand for application. They are mainly smaller versions of software programs created to achieve a specific single purpose.

The term entered our lexicon in the context of the mobile phone revolution. Apps commonly trace their origins to Steve Jobs, Apple, and the introduction of the iPhone. You might remember the company’s famous 2009 commercial, featured around a phrase that eventually became trademarked:

Though created for mobile phones, apps are now also common on our desktop and tablet devices. Apps will do more or less depending on the hardware platform, according to LifeWire, A Beginner’s Guide to Apps.

Many apps are free, though some require a single or recurring payment.

The first app store held 500 apps. Suffice it to say that app creation and usage has increased at a steep rate since that time.

In 2018, the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store offered an estimated 5 million apps, according to Business of Apps. Those apps triggered more than 200 billion downloads.

Through sheer numbers alone, it’s safe to conclude that apps have changed how we live our daily lives — and especially how we organize our RV journeys. The best RV apps make those journeys more affordable, predictable, and efficient.

How We Reviewed the Best RV Apps

Travel can be both a blessing and a curse. You get to see a different part of the world, meet new people, eat different foods, hear different kinds of music.


Yet it also has its headaches — crowds, costs, confusion, and more.

The travel industry has embraced apps both as a way of easing those headaches as well as making more money.


In general, travel-related apps help make it easier to plan your trip, purchase what you need at a discount, get to your destination safely, and create beloved memories.


As it applies specifically to the recreational vehicle, the best RV apps help you get organized and pack, plan out your route, guide you to gas stations, campgrounds, and other attractions, maintain your complicated vehicle, communicate with loved ones, experience nature, and so much more.


With the growing popularity of RV travel, we consulted numerous sources and found plenty of suggestions for the best RV apps.


Some of these came from individuals who have lived the lifestyle, such as the couple behind the RV Family Travel Atlas, a site maintained by the authors of “The Idiots Guide to RV Vacations.”


Other RV, travel, or camping-specific sites we consulted include RV MilesCampandaThe Points Guy, and TripSavvy. We also cross-checked our selections with more general interest media sources such as Curbed.

The 9 Best RV Apps

As our research unfolded, certain choices kept popping up, pointing us in the clear direction of the best RV apps. These are in no particular order, but you should just download them all.

If we’re going to be honest about it, the best RV apps are the ones that apply most specifically to your situation. Given that one app seemed to show up on every list we consulted, though, we feel safe in suggesting that this Roadtrippers might be the best of the best.

The Roadtrippers app gets rave reviews. This app is a combination route planner complete with maps and trip guides for your adventure. You’ll be able to plan out your route and research interesting stops at the same time.

Roadtrippers is available for both iOS and Android devices such as phones and tablets.

Roadtrippers brags that it has facilitated the planning of more than 25 million trips covering almost 8 billion miles.

The app is focused on discovery and community, allowing you to both map out your journey and share your findings along the way with others. Start a trip, and it will recommend a route, tell you the distance, show you attractions along the way and even estimate how much gas it will cost.

Right behind Roadtrippers is the RV Checklist app, which was developed by a fellow RV traveler. Bless those of us in this world who are list makers, because that’s what RV Checklist is all about.

Also available on both the App Store and Google Play, RV Checklist puts you in the driver’s seat as someone who is getting ready to pilot your RV to the open road.

Before you do, what do you need to do? What do you need to bring? What elements of the maintenance of the RV need to be checked and double-checked to avoid untimely breakdowns?

You’ll find both trip-specific and more general lists to apply to your specific situation.

The app is free on Google Play but requires a small fee on the Apple store.

The next choice on our list of the best RV apps focuses on one of the main challenges facing drivers: Where to park.

No matter which class of RV you own, you’re driving a boat. And it’s not a boat that you can park anywhere.

To help pinpoint parking areas and other services that you most need in an RV, consider the RV Parks & Campgrounds app, once voted the top camping app.

Available for both iOS and Android devices, RV Parks and Campgrounds does what its name promises — help people find RV Parks in North America.

The app promises listings for some 40,000 such parks, both privately owned and public, such as national parks or U.S. Military and Army Corps of Engineers parks.

You can also get directions to RV-friendly locations such as Walmart, Costco, TA Travel Centers, Petro Centers, and more.

The App is free on both the Apple and Google Play app stores.

If you’ve ever watched the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” then you know that finding an RV-friendly parking spot is only part of the challenge. (Cue Cousin Eddie.)

Once your waste tanks are full, it’s time to empty them or suffer the consequences. And it’s not like you can just look up RV dumps in the book formerly known as the Yellow Pages.

Two apps — one for iOS and one for Android — can help lead you places for that allow safe and legal disposal of your waste.

The first is RV Dump Stations on the iOS Apple App Store, available for a small fee. The app says it will lead you to any of more than 5,900 dumps across the country.

For Android, one of the RV dump apps that gets lots of mention is Sani Dumps. The Sani Dumps developer indicates the app is synced to produce turn-by-turn directions via Google Maps.

The app has been installed more than 10 million times by Android phone users. It’s free to users on both the iOS and Google Play stores.

Sometimes you have to unload while on the open road — by visiting an RV dump. Other times you have to re-load, and fill up the gas tank.

Gas Buddy is widely recognized as one of the best apps designed to lead drivers to the best gas prices. And sometimes it can help you earn the most coveted kind of gas — free gas.

Available for both types of device operating systems, Gas Buddy lets you map your way to the gas stations with the lowest prices in your area. You can earn free gas by participating in the Gas Buddy loyalty program, shopping with name brands.

One of the big pluses for Gas Buddy is the addition of community. You can read reviews written by and for users.

You can’t help but like an app with this slogan: “Find the perfect pit stop.”

One neat feature is that the app is location-smart so it will automatically display information about nearby states. The app will work even when you have no cell or WiFi service.

Your journey will inherently take you across state lines. And in doing so, you’ll need to know more than just where to find the cheapest gas. It’s good to have an idea about the differing regulations you might face, both affecting your RV and travel activities and in general, as you go from one state to the next.

The State Lines app was compiled by an RV driver based on more than a decade of traveling across our great nation. The app includes information impacting travel laws for each of the 50 states.

It’s a long list — everything from cellphone and texting bans to seat belt and child safety seats, to gas taxes, bottle deposits, towing, speed limits, and more.

State Lines is available for a small fee on both the Apple App and Google Play stores.

7. Free WiFi

Besides RV dumps, gas stations, attractions, and directions, what else might you find yourself looking for out on the road?

Given that your travels might take you far afield, we’re guessing that connectivity may become an issue from time to time. After all, cell phone towers are many places, but not every place.

The fallback, of course, is signing onto free WiFi networks in your vicinity. For this, we have WiFi Finder, an app available for use on both Android and iOS devices. It’s free on the Apple store but requires a small fee to access on the Google Play store.

WiFi Finder locates hotspots and passwords across the world. Type in an address and the app will deliver hotspot locations and relevant passwords. The app works in more than 50,000 cities globally.

Even if you access to cell networks, you still may want to use the WiFi finder to save money on roaming fees.

To this point, our search for the best RV apps has focused on the business elements of RV driving. But what about some apps that will help enhance the enjoyment of your travel experience?

One of the best examples to consider downloading is the Star-Chart app, available on both the Apple App and Google Play stores for iOS and Android devices, respectively.

Star Chart helps you absorb the amazing vastness of our universe. Chances are, your travels might lead you to remote areas with views of the sky unpolluted by distracting lights. Take advantage of the moment with this app.

Point your device to the sky, and the app will highlight the stars, constellations, planets, and other celestial bodies in your sight. All this requires is an AR-enabled phone or tablet.

One neat aspect of the app is the Time Shift function. Tap the time button, and the view you’re seeing will shift up to 10,000 years into the future or the past.

Star Watch has been downloaded and used by 30 million people on Android and 20 million on iOS, according to the respective stores.

9. Utility apps

Some of the best RV apps are not necessarily geared only toward the recreational vehicle lifestyle. They’re all-around utility apps with functions can make use of often in your daily life. We thought we’d mention a few of these quickly, as their value will be instantly apparent.

For example, no matter where you are in the world, you’ll always wonder what surprises the weather will bring. Some of the best weather-related apps include choices from The Weather Channel (including an app that will give your live radar tracking of approaching storms); Accuweather, and Carrot Weather.

Being on the road will bring you to many special moments. It’s easier than ever to capture those moments on our cellphone enabled cameras. But with that ease comes the likelihood of filling up storage space or losing track of what you’ve seen.

For this, we point you toward apps such as Google Photos, Microsoft OneDrive, and Flickr, all available on both iOS and Android devices.

Lastly, don’t forget about the need to stay in communication with your loved ones. We live in a mobile society, so whether you’re on the road or not, you likely have friends and family to contact. Consider using Skype for Mobile or What’s App.

Hit the Road, Jack

The RV lifestyle has always been popular. Recently, though more and more people are hitting the road in search of the thrills and freedom of seeing America by highway.

But RV living also has its challenges. Thankfully, in the connected world, apps for mobile phones and tablets take the sting out of some of those challenges.

The best RV apps, we believe, are ones that will help make your journey go more smoothly, from the first mile to the last. But don’t overlook apps that also play a role in your daily lives as well.

Find the right mix of RV-specific and utility apps, and the miles will roll by with ease. Don’t hit the road without them.

What’s your favorite travel app? Tell us in the comments!

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