Best Apps For VanLifers

Some of the best apps to help with getting the most out of life on the road.

I have listed apps I have found then most useful, and ones recommended by other travelers, along with a tutorial or review video and a link to the product page. I tried to stick with mostly apps for smartphones, but if requested I will be happy to list a few of the better “Web-Based” versions for folks that do not have a smartphone, or just prefer a nice big screen when planning trips. Some of the apps listed, also have web-based versions that can be used.

It gets a little crazy when paying for subscriptions, so I have tried myself to limit the “Subscription Based” versions of apps. They are still being listed here for those interested in those, it was just not my own personal preference.

I plan on adding a rating system of some sort, so you can help recommend the apps you have found most helpful to your fellow travelers.

IOverlander
GasBuddy
Route Planning/Mapping Apps Specific to Road Trips and VanLife

Get This App

I am trying to focus on apps you can run on your mobile device and use while you are going down the road. Most also have desktop versions useful for planning your trip on a nice big screen desktop, and there are many more.

Driving Directions, Traffic Reports & Carpool Rideshares by Waze

Google Maps

Apple Maps

Multi-Stop Route Planning and Optimization Tools – MapQuest

Before the internet, I used to plan trips using software on my desktop, and had the ability to plan a route, and the put in things like, show me points of interest along my route within 5 miles, as an example. This was really cool because I could tell the software that I am not willing to drive more than 5 miles, in this case, from my planned route. There are now hundreds of different ways of doing this and I am trying to find something similiar in an app, since that is how we all travel.

Rand McNally – TripMaker – This one looks to be able to find points of interest along the way. I have not personally tried this one yet.

Packing List Apps

There are some really great packing list apps to help you not forget anything, for any kind of trip. They are made so you can customize for your own needs, Like #VanLife. I will include more details on these later, but for now, here are a couple.

‎Packr Travel Packing List on the App Store (apple.com)

‎Packing Pro on the App Store (apple.com)

Of course, most GPS units have good route planning capabilities too.

 

National Parks Apps
State Parks

App Description here.

You will need to do your own search for these because each park probably has its own app. Search Sample

 

Safety Apps

There are really great apps that can provide a new level of safety that you should really consider using. I will cover those here.

I have researched this extensively and personally decided on an app called Parachute for many reasons I won’t try to cover here. You can search for safety apps on your own platform and decide if this, or something else would be better for you.

Most of our devices have an emergency feature already built-in and I am always surprised at how many folks don’t know it is there, and if they do, have never tried it.

Basically, the apps go above and beyond simply calling 911 and emergency contacts and can do things like record audio and video, upload it to the cloud, and many other very cool features!

I have linked the website for the Parachute app here if you are interested in learning more about it.

AllStays

AllStays makes a bunch of different apps for different needs

RV Parky

InRoute

Other apps on my smartphone that I use for VanLife. Each has a link to their website for you to check out yourself!

There are a bunch!

I may have a problem and I belong to AA

(Apps Anonymous)

Campendium

Created by campers for campers, Campendium has tens of thousands of places to camp, from swanky RV parks to free remote destinations, vetted by our team of full-time travelers and reviewed by our 350,000 plus members. Campendium features map overlays for cell coverage as well as public lands so you can always find the perfect campsite. Campendium is free to use and will change the way you find a place to call home for the night.

Where am I at?

Where Am I for iOS is your new navigational assistant that instantly details your address, coordinates and helps you discover interesting locations around you. Where Am I is the perfect tool for road trips, navigating and travel.

Google Street View

KOA

Plan the perfect trip from home or on the road with the new, official KOA app.

Boondocking

Boondocking usually refers to free camping in remote areas. This app shows over 1,520 boondocking locations (and growing), most within the US. The number of locations continues to increase as more users submit boondocking locations.

AllStays WalMart App

Want to know where every Wal mart is located and which ones have been reported to allow and don’t allow overnight parking?

Park Advisor App

This website was developed to help people find great RV Parks in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico). Completely FREE with NO ADS. Commercial RV parks are sorted by rating and can be viewed in list mode. If you zoom in far enough, you will see gas station, rest areas, stores, etc. Compared to similar applications, this app uses local database, so it works much faster and less dependent on internet, however internet is required to view reviews, maps and pictures.

RV Parky

RV Parky is an RV Park directory built by a full-time RV’er with the help of the RV community to help fellow RV’ers on the road. Here you can find information, images, and reviews for the most complete collection of RV Parks and campgrounds in the United States and Canada.

RV Life

Turn your phone into an RV Safe GPS. No more worrying about steep mountain passes, low clearances, bridge weight limits, or propane-restricted tunnels.

Get RV Safe GPS directions custom-tailored to the height & weight of your RV. Turn-by-turn navigation, including voice- and lane guidance, works even when you’re offline.*

AllStays Camp and RV

The ultimate camping app that lets you find Campgrounds, RV Parks, and related services with or without internet. Extensive map filters let you view only what you want to see.

Google Maps

Navigate your world faster and easier with Google Maps. Over 220 countries and territories mapped and hundreds of millions of businesses and places on the map. Get real-time GPS navigation, traffic, and transit info, and find what you need by getting the latest information on businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies and other important places.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps is a web mapping service developed by Apple Inc. It is the default map system of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS. It provides directions and estimated times of arrival for driving, walking, cycling, and public transportation navigation.

Waze

Get driving directions and live traffic info before you leave, and then save straight from here to your app.

Harvest Hosts

RV Camping At 2677+ Wineries, Breweries, Farms and More!
A membership program that invites self-contained RVers to have unique overnight stays.

Free Roam

FreeRoam – Boondocking & More 12+
Free BLM & public land camping

StayFree

StayFree – the green vanlife app created by the most responsible Community.

Van Alert

VanAlert is an app specifically made for VW Vanagon & Bus owners.

Rove

The mission of Rove is to give the van life community a home in a social setting. Rove is full of all walks of life in the vanlife community and provides members the ability to connect and share content and information in a spaced dedicated to their values.

Visitor Map

Explore the great outdoors by visiting America’s backyard — 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. Find your perfect spot on these expansive lands that include more than 4,300 campgrounds and 158,000 miles of trails, including 31,900 miles on pristine wilderness areas.

Pocket Ranger

The Pocket Ranger® App series offers complete mobile tour guides for hunters, anglers, and all outdoor enthusiasts! http://www.PocketRanger.com

RoadTrippers

Turn your road trip into an adventure.
Build your route in Roadtrippers and then use our turn-by-turn navigation to lead the way.

Park Quest

ParkQuest National Park Guide 12+
Trail Maps, Camping & More

NPS Parks

One app, every park at your fingertips. The NPS App is the new official app for the National Park Service with tools to explore more than 400 national parks nationwide. Find interactive maps, tours of park places, on-the-ground accessibility information, and much more to plan your national park adventures before and during your trip.

The free app is currently available for iOS and Android devices.

HipCamp

Find yourself outside.
Discover and book tent camping, RV parks, cabins, treehouses, and glamping.

VanCamper

There are few people who have not heard the call of the open road at one time or another. Time spent traveling, living a nomadic life, spending more time outdoors. And with all the issues we face today, who doesn’t want their own safe haven that they can take with them as desired? It’s a lifestyle that more people are embracing. Well, those are the things that a van camper can bring you. And there are few better ways than the new Vancamper app by Yaxo LLC to locate your dream camper.

VanLife Radio

Van Life Internet Radio is a community radio station targeting the caravan, campervan and motorhome community. Whether you live or holiday in a campervan, a motorhome, a caravan an RV or if even you are a campsite owner with RV facilities, or a campervan/RV/motorhome dealership, this is the radio station for you! 

VanUnity

Traveling in your van requires that you will always need to find a place to camp for the night. We often spend a lot of time looking at various resources including phone, atlas and search engines to try to find a place to call home for the night. VanUnity will now replace all of the methods we previously used. All State Parks that allow camping will be populated in our database as well as other user submitted Camp Sites such as BLM Land camping and other locations. Our family loves to travel so we also include featured campsites which are full articles with photos of places we have camped in our van.

Cruise America

Cruise America offers the best boondocking app designed specifically for RVers. The app’s trip-planning resources are excellent, including interactive maps for finding RV parks and dump stations nearby and along your route.

BoonDockers Welcome

Free Overnight RV Parking on Private Property
Make new friends and sleep soundly
Locals invite travelers to spend the night, share their stories, and save their money for the real adventure.

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