Last Updated on September 23, 2021 by Chris and Lindsay
The best RV apps make your RV living and camping experience a whole lot more convenient. From finding affordable places to camp to knowing where there are low clearances or steep grades, mobile apps for camping can be the difference between a good day and a very frustrating one.
Trust us, were it not for a few of the best RV apps that we use on a regular basis we would have literally been lost.
Whether you have an Apple or Android device, most of our favorite apps are compatible with both. And we only recommend apps that have a simple user interface, reliable information and that we find helpful on the road.
Oh, and did we mention that each app is FREE to use? We save money everywhere we can, including on apps. And while some of these offer premium options, we haven’t paid a dollar for them because the free versions work well enough.
That said, let’s get into the most important RV camping apps and RV navigation apps to help you find places to stay during your next RV road trip. Plus we add a few extra apps we find handy for other aspects of RV living.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain links to products we think you’ll like. If you purchase any of the products through the links below we’ll receive a small commission. As full-time RVers, we know our RV products well and only recommend those that we either own or would consider owning ourselves.
The Best RV Apps You Must Have For Your Next Trip
We’ve broken these RV apps down into the most important categories for us as full-time RVers. For us, that means camping and navigation. But we also like to have some ideas for finding activities (particularly hikes) as well as for running our business.
So we’ll include a few of those too.
RV Camping Apps
Having an RV camping app is incredibly important. We don’t plan too far in advance when it comes to camping. As full-timers, if we arrive and like a place, we may want to stay a little longer.
Or, on the contrary, we make pack up and leave a little sooner if the place is not to our taste.
But whether you are planning a short RV trip or plan to RV full time, you always need to begin the day knowing where you are going to end it. Not only is this practical for planning the events of the day.
But also it provides you more peace of mind in knowing that you have a plan for where to spend the night after a long day on the road.
Note that we don’t think a single app is perfect for finding overnight parking. Each claims they have more and more options and may be better than the other. But no one app provides all of the details of any particular place.
And that is why we use a complementary spectrum of the apps listed below.
At the top of the list of must-have apps and by far the most important free app for trip planning is iOverlander.
We prefer to free camp as often as we can. And iOverlander is a wiki network of user-generated places that helps you find typically free overnight parking. RV owners have come to rely on this app, particularly for travel outside of the United States.
You have to be careful with some of the recommendations as they may list places like a particular Wal-Mart that may have changed its overnight camping status. And sometimes overlanders mark places in neighborhoods or businesses that really should not be considered for camping.
But if you look at the most recent date of entry as well as read the latest reviews you will be able to get the best idea of whether or not the camp spot is right for you. iOverlander also offers the ability to add images so you may even be able to see what you are getting into before you commit.
In addition to camping, the app lets you find nearby rest stops and virtually any service you may need on a road trip. And the app will help you find virtually everything you would need when trip planning – from propane to dump stations and even mechanics along your route that have proven helpful to travelers in the past.
Pro Tip: We scout out a general area where we’d like to camp using iOverlander first. Usually, we will find an option or two there that seems decent. If not, we’ll move down the list (in the order below). And when camping using iOverlander we make it a point to never arrive after dark. We like to scout out the area first to ensure it is safe, does not violate the law and is otherwise desirable.
AllStays Camp and RV
AllStays Camp and RV is a great secondary camping app because it may confirm some of the places listed on iOverlander, but it will also include other places you may not have thought about, including around national parks.
It lists virtually every Wal Mart and Cracker Barrel, for instance, if boondocking in these sort of places is your thing. If you’re a member of an organization like the Elk or Moose or need a truck stop or rest areas you’ll find this app valuable.
In addition to showing camping options, AllStays also shows important information like bridge clearance and road grades in “most” places. We’ve navigated several challenging locations using AllStays to avoid covered bridges (can you say “covered bridges in Lancaster County PA”?) and we’ve managed to avoid some steep and windy roads that our RV did not enjoy using this app.
You can also find limited information on places where you can find propane, dump stations, water and the likes. You can filter and sort destinations as you’d like. And if you want more features you can also upgrade to AllStays Pro and several other separate apps for other premium features.
Pro Tip: Use the “filters” feature to only show the kind of places you are searching for. This will allow you to sort the camping options to best suit your desires.
Campendium is another great RV camping app because it fills in a lot of holes you may find between iOverlander and Allstays.
While there are plenty of free camping sites listed on Campendium, there are also a variety of different paysites as well. So the list is quite comprehensive. The app shows cell coverage particularly useful to help you plan if your RV living includes having to work from the road.
Campendium makes it easy to approximate costs you can expect – whether camping in public lands, state parks, national parks or private RV parks. It doesn’t indicate which RV parks are part of any membership you may have. But the app will help you find nearby camping galore.
Like the others, filter and sort the various types of RV camping options and this app will help show limited other essential locations such as any RV dump station nearby. The app also integrates with Android and Google Maps as well as iOS. Make sure to have this app on your next road trip.
Pro Tip: Use Campendium if you’d like to find low-cost camping options in national forests. You can count of iOverlander for free spots. But Campendium is a great bet for finding free or low-cost camping in national forests.
BONUS: Your Camping Membership (Harvest Host, Passport America, GoodSam)
After filtering our way through those three free RV camping apps another great resource is to rely on any of the camping memberships to which you belong.
For less than $200 per year, you can become a member of each of the following clubs, which offer discounted or free camping at thousands of locations across North America.
Each of these clubs listed below has its own free app that is incredibly helpful for finding nightly camping venues. Get each app as soon as you get your membership started.
Pro Tip: We recommend that you join each of the above RV camping memberships as they compliment each other when you need to find camping. The longer you remain on the road the more useful they will be and the more money they will save. Use this link for 15% off your Harvest Host annual membership.
In addition to RV camping apps, the best navigation app can make a big difference in how your day on the road goes.
And while we really don’t have any advice that would overrule your own personal preferences on which app you use primarily for directions – whether Google Maps, Apple Maps or otherwise – we do have some sound advice for other apps that will make navigating your RV from one beautiful place to the next a breeze.
Gas Buddy is a great app to find both the next gas stations as well as the cheapest gas prices to expect. It is particularly helpful when you are traveling long distances and gas stations may be few and far between.
And especially when you may need diesel as it can be less common. The app is easy to use and the app helps to plan your stops in advance.
Note that it is user-generated so there is some variance between the last published prices and what you may see at the pump. But most prices are verified quite frequently so chances are you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. This app also integrates well with both Google Maps and Apple Maps to help you gauge distances and directions.
Pro Tip: Get Gas Buddy to find the cheapest fuel price along the direction you will be heading. Select an option and then use the map feature to determine how far it is. Use your fuel range estimates to determine which upcoming gas station will save you the most money.
Toll Guru is an app that helps you plan and budget for toll roads you may access during your travels. If you like taking the backroads you may not use the app very frequently.
However, if your RV trip planner takes you anywhere in the northeast will result in facing toll roads at some point so being able to find and calculate tolls in advance can be a great way to reduce anxiety while driving.
Pro Tip: Use the “avoid highways and tolls” feature of your navigational app of choice to avoid most highways and tolls. Reference Toll Guru when the time comes to hop on the interstate to get from Point A to Point B.
As mentioned above, AllStays is a superior app for more than just camping. It is also great for showing road grades and low clearance bridges along your path. It’s not always accurate or entirely comprehensive, so keep that in mind.
But it will give you an idea where things may get a little dicey in your RV. AllStays will also show you navigational points of interest such as rest stops and truck stops in the event you need to pull over for a break.
Pro Tip: Most interstates avoid steep grades and all have high clearance. So if you do not want to constantly cross-reference AllStays with your navigation app then staying on the highway is a safe bet. But you can generally count on AllStays to show you the overview of an area you can be traveling to determine if you need to investigate further.
Activities and Other Great RV Apps
Aside from camping and navigation, there are many great apps that can help you find activities and/or assist you while you’re out exploring. These are endless, particularly if you have specific interests.
But here are a few we think you’ll find helpful for most general outdoor activities while RVing.
All Trails has become the leading app for finding nearby hikes. Whether you’re looking for a few-hour waterfall hike or want to disappear into the wilderness for a multi-day trek, use this app to find your best options.
Not only will the app help you search and discover trails wherever you are, but you’ll also get in-depth detailed information about the trails including length, difficulty and whether it is an out-and-back or loop hike. Users can also post images and you can read reviews that will help you know more about the hike.
Get All Trails as a must-have app if you enjoy hiking.
Pro Tip: It is best to search for trails in advance of where you plan to visit. However, there is a feature in the app that uses your location to find the most accessible and popular trails wherever you might be. So you can count on All Trails to have a recommendation for you virtually anywhere you travel.
Gaia GPS is a great app to accompany All Trails, although it is not entirely necessary as some of its features overlap with All Trails. Use Gaia GPS to check out the topography of an area you want to explore (or drive through).
Its topographical maps are incredibly detailed and will give you insight as to whether you’ll be climbing a rock face or meandering through lowlands. You can also track your hike or at least mark your waypoints at the start of a trail so you know where to return.
And if you want to mark the exact GPS coordinates to share with others, or to return to one day, Gaia GPS allows you to save and export these as you see fit. Get this app to keep you safe during hikes.
Pro Tip: When hiking unknown trails we recommend snapping a photo of the trail map prior to leaving the trailhead. Then mark your waypoint on on Gaia GPS and let it track your hike. You can cross-reference the picture of the map with your Gaia GPS map to make sure you are on track on your way out. On your way back you can simply follow your outbound Gaia track if you need to.
WiFi Map will help you find WiFi hot spots virtually anywhere you may travel. Whether you need to hunker down online for work or just want to check in from time to time and don’t want to invest in a robust cellular and/or data plan then this app is great for you.
The locations are crowdsourced by users and include real-time updates as users interact with the app. In 2021 you don’t need to pay for WiFi when you can find free Wi Fi virtually anywhere.
Pro Tip: COVID has changed the way a lot of free WiFi hotspots work. You used to be able to count on venues like Starbucks and McDonalds dining areas for WiFi. Now WiFi Map takes the question out of whether you can or cannot find access somewhere. Get this app if you need to stay connected to the internet.
Roadside America for finding attractions and activities
RV Parky for locating a nearby RV park. It’s not among the best apps for finding campgrounds. But you may find it useful in planning road trips if the other apps come up dry.
Key Ring for digitalizing and keeping track of all of your clubs and membership cards. Key Ring will be a helpful complimentary app for any of your camping memberships.
There are plenty of RV apps that can make your trip spectacular. We’ve introduced you to some of the best free apps out there for RV camping and navigation and think they’ll save you loads of time, frustration and even money.
If you are full-time RVer you definitely need to add these apps to your quiver of resources.
Do you have a favorite RV app we didn’t mention? Let us know!