Popular RV and Van Apps
Many RVers and especially truckers don’t trust GPSs. They have even told stories about how they had to back up on highways to keep from going under bridges that they couldn’t fit even after posting it in GPSs.
So your best bet is to use one of the other two apps below by putting in your height and length:
- Trucker’s App by Rand Mcnally
- Copilot GPS
- GPS 770
Websites Not Apps
- Google Maps (Google maps might send you to low clearance bridges so be careful).
- Allstays (They have a page listing Walmarts you can stay at).
- Park Advisor (RV parks and campgrounds)
- TollGuru (Trip & Toll Calculator – car, truck, etc.)
- Ultimate U.S. Military FAMCAMPS (For active duty military, military retirees and 100 disabled vets only)
- Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds (These campgrounds are for everyone).
- Free Roam (Boondocking campground locator)
- KOA (Kampgrounds of America, Inc. – Search for campgrounds)
- The Dyrt (Find campgrounds and reviews by states)
- iOverlander (Browse places on maps and update your travel history)
- RV Dump Sites (Free campsites with dump stations)
- Pilot Flying J
- Love’s Truck Stop
- USA Rest Stop Locator
- iExit (Your roadtrip pitstop finder)
- Good Sam Camping Club (They have camping discounts and tow services)
- RV Checklist (A checklist of steps to check upon arrival and leaving parks or campgrounds)
- FindFriends (An app to help you can keep up with friends in RVs).
- RVillage.com (To find other RVers in your area).
- RVTravel.com (RV magazine with recalled RVs)
- RVLife.com (RV magazine and campground reviews)
- RVTrader.com (To find used and new RVs)
Apps That Cost
- US Public Lands (Worth the $2.99 cost).
- Ultimate Public Campgrounds (Over 40,300 in U.S. & CA) (Cost $3.99).
- OvernightRVParking.com (Subscription is $24.95).
- AllTrails (To find hiking trails. Subscription is $29.99 a year).
- Windy.com (gives you 3-hour updates, wind speed, wind directions, wind gust, and Hurricanes forecasts)
- The Weather Channel
- My Radar
- Weather Bug
Apps To Monitor Gas
You will save gas as long as you stay in one location so if you stay weekly or monthly, you will save gas.
Apps to help you monitor your gas include:
- Gas Buddy
- Gas Guru
- Gas Cubby
Just some of the Memberships and Apps for RV and Van Dwellers include:
- Escapees/Xscapers: Escapees is the popular mail forwarding services for RVers. They have several big events a year so subscribe to their e-newsletter and join their group. Membership fees are around $39 a year and they have a $10 sign up fee. Escapees is more about community than it is about savings. This RV club offers get-togethers to help RVers connect. It also offers ongoing education courses, a job board for finding work on the road, and, of course, discounts at about 1,000 parks nationwide. This membership is best for retired and full-time RVers. You need to be staying at RV parks for a good chunk of the year to get the most out of its benefits, as the majority of what you’re paying for are community-based activities and not discounts.
- Good Sam: $27 a year with $10 off. They have 26 campgrounds. Good Sam is the biggest name in the RV industry, with over one million members in The Good Sam Club. It includes a 10% discount on over 2,000 Good Sam parks. In addition to its RV club, Good Sam offers roadside assurance and insurance programs (sold separately). Like many larger organizations, however, its reputation is a bit tainted. The reason mostly concerns the legitimacy of its famous “Good Sam Rating” it gives each of its parks.
- Passport America: $44 a year. You get 50% off 1600 campgrounds in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and they have a referral program. Passport America partners with campgrounds willing to sell campsites at half price during non-peak seasons in order to maintain capacity year-round. With most RV sites in the US costing over $30 a night, it only takes a couple of stays a year using this pass for it to pay for itself. The downside to this discount camping club is that most of the parks willing to sell sites half off aren’t exactly the best kept. This is exacerbated by the fact that Passport America has no user reviews for listings, so choosing a park through them can be a leap of faith.
- Happy Camper Half Price Camping Club: $39.99 a year and you get 50% off 1200 camping grounds in the U.S. and Canada.
- Explore RV Club: $60 a year and you get a discount on your insurance and roadside assistance.
- Recreational USA: $44 a year and 10% off camp grounds.
- RV Golf Club: They have over 400 locations so you pay $99 bucks a year.
- Thousand Trails: Thousand Trails membership is $575 a year. It takes a fresh approach on how RV clubs operate. Instead of requiring a small annual fee for discounted rates, it asks for a significant investment of nearly $600 in exchange for free camping at their parks all year. Similar to the KOA Value Kard, this membership is only really worth it if you love Thousand Trails campgrounds, which tend to be more luxurious (good for glampers). With just 86 parks across the country and reviews being hard to comprehend, however, staying at a Thousand Trails campground can be hit or miss. This group can bring down the cost of campsites.
- HarvestHosts.com:These are winery, farms, breweries, etc. Memberships are $50 a year. (Owner name is Joel). They only take up to 5 RVers a night so you need to make reservations. You need to buy wine, cheese, and other products, while you are there.
- Unique RV Camping: Membership is $49.00 a year. You sign up one time for a year. Then you get another list and app for wineries, organic farms, and museums where you can stay overnight for FREE. Some take two to four RVs a night and this place is great. It will help you see more places and see more people.
Army Corps of Engineer Camp Grounds: You get 84 to 100 ft long camps at Army Corps of Engineers. There is a one to 2 weeks max in each park so stay there and move on. It gives 50% off for Seniors and is opened to everyone.
- KOA Value Kard Rewards: They are $40 a year. As the oldest campground network in the industry, KOA is known for its family-focused parks available near basically every metropolitan area. KOA parks generally have more amenities than the average campground. Though its campgrounds are normally expensive, their discount card allows you to stay at upscale parks for more affordable rates. However, with a discount of only 10% off, it can take a while to pay this card off unless you’re staying at KOA campgrounds exclusively or are RVing full-time.
- Specialty RV Clubs: These RV clubs differ from the traditional models above, offering alternative ways to save money.
- –Boondockers Welcome – ($30/year). This membership, as the name entails, is built for RVers who prefer to boondock, or camp without hookups. By paying the annual fee or hosting yourself, you can request to stay at private residences across the country for free. Local hosts that share their properties also tend to know the top attractions in the area. Spots are generally in the driveway of homes, although some are even larger.
- –RoverPass Unlimited – ($50/year, $30/month). The newest membership for RVers, Rover Pass Unlimited is the perfect pass for RV renters and full-time RVers alike. The pass earns you free bookings through our reservation software with over 6,000 campgrounds across the US. RoverPass was made particularly for RV renters who aren’t necessarily as familiar with the process of reserving RV sites. Our software was made to alleviate a lot of the frustrations they commonly experience, like playing phone tag with front desk employees and, in the worst case scenario, never hearing back at all.
- Disability Pass: Get an “Access Pass” from “America The Beautiful” website. Cost is $12 a night. You need a disability rating. So show proof especially if you are a Veteran. You can save 50% at National Parks, State Parks and Army Corps of Engineers Parks.
- Senior Pass: You can get an “America The Beautiful” pass. It is no longer FREE. You must pay $80 for a lifetime membership. If you can’t afford lump payment, just pay $20 a year.
Cathy Harris is a #VanDweller living ‘The Good Life.’ Her blog website is www.SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books cover topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops, and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.