Recently, I completed a 2,000-mile cross-country journey, skillfully skirting around severe springtime weather, low bridges, and traffic jams, while discovering some great sights, nature, and food along the way.
Each year, the logistics for these long trips have gotten a little easier thanks to my ever-improving collection of awesome mobile travel apps. So, if you're preparing to head out for your own big RV road trip this summer, take these apps along with you, and have a great ride!
1. InRouteInRoute (iOS only) is the newest app in my arsenal. It lets you plot out multiple waypoints on a map, and easily share this trip route between your i-devices, or to various GPS navigation systems. Sure, Google My Maps on a desktop/laptop web browser can do a few of the same things, but InRoute has a much deeper feature set for RVers, and is also much easier to use on a tablet or phone while traveling.
For instance, InRoute (Premium or Pro) gives the ability to see an elevation graph of your route (and zoom in to see it in even greater detail). This is a fantastic feature for trying to cross the Rocky Mountains with a loaded-down, slow-chugging Winnie View!
InRoute also can figure out what day/time you'll be traveling through each waypoint and show you graphs of what the wind speed & direction, precipitation, and temperatures will be like when you hit each point along your route.
InRoute also solves the drawback of Google Maps navigation not being able to support multiple waypoints. It pushes each segment of the trip to Google Maps in a "just in time" fashion so you don't need to be constantly fumbling with your phone during a travel day to get directions to your next stop. Pretty cool stuff!
2. Allstays Camp & RV
3. The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel - (iOS & Android). My go-to app for general weather forecasts, storm radar, and sunrise/sunset times.
4. Weather Radio
Weather Radio - (iOS & Android). Traditional weather radios force you to always know what county you're in (a tall task when driving 60 mph across the great plains). This app is smarter. It can push severe weather NWS audio alerts to your phone by just using your phone's current location (you can add more locations as desired too). Leave this app running in the background, and it can wake you up in the middle of the night should a big angry tornado or flash flood be headed your way! The app also has pretty nice "at a glance" hourly or 7-day weather forecasts, but the radar images are not as high-resolution as The Weather Channel's app.
Windy - (iOS & Android). When driving across New Mexico and the Texas panhandle this spring, there were a couple days of dangerous wind storms. Had I just used general weather apps, I may have delayed a travel day for nothing (or found myself in the most-severe part of the storm!). Windy gave me more precise hourly forecast information as well as a live wind map to see what routes were less windy and still passable allowing me to continue my travels eastward with just a slightly different route than originally planned.
GasBuddy - (iOS & Android). This app always quickly finds the lowest priced gas along the way. I like the ability to reposition the map and quickly see prices in a specific area. Very easy to check my daily intended route and plan my fill-up at a location with the cheapest fuel.
Coverage? - (iOS only). I rely on a MiFi cellular data hotspot for my internet needs, so making sure there is decent cell coverage wherever I travel is very important to me. This app helps me quickly find where the best cell coverage will be along my route, and lets me compare carrier coverage maps should I need to swap out a different prepaid SIM card into my unlocked iPhone.
Yelp - (iOS & Android). I like to check out locally-owned restaurants and steer clear of fast-food chains whenever I'm doing a big road trip. Yelp helps me find the tastiest places in town! Since Yelp is still just pretty U.S.-focused, if I'm traveling outside of the U.S. (or just want a secondary source of info if I'm in a big city), I use TripAdvisor (also for Android).
RoadTrippers - (iOS & Android). Fun little phone app, with a great website too, for finding interesting attractions along your travel route.
10. TV Towers USA
TV Towers USA - (iOS only). When I stay for a few days in a new place, this app helps me find where the over-the-air (OTA) TV towers are at in relation to my current location. It also shows each station's coverage map, it's real channel number (helpful when using the Sensar Pro below), and it's available sub-channels. I just point my Winegard rooftop antenna in the direction of the TV antennas, fine tune with my Sensar Pro TV signal amplifier, and I've got the most optimized digital TV signal I can get!
Do you have a favorite RV travel app not on this list? Tell us about it in the comments section below!