Campings or boondocking? Nature or Cities?
Replenishing water or gasoline?
In this article, you will find
the 15 Best Appsfor planning, saving money,
7 RVtravel and enjoy roadtrips with your Van / RV!
TECHNOLOGY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: EVEN IN THE VAN!
With each passing year, technological progress is increasingly helping us to simplify our lives and change the way we live.
Compared to 20, but also 10 or 5 years ago, the way we socialize has changed, the way we buy things has changed, the way we inform ourselves has changed, and, of course, the way we travel is also changing!
In a previous article, I discussed the 15 Essential Apps to travel smart, that every traveler/backpacker should know.
After having Converted a van during the pandemic (you can learn how I did it step-by-step here!), my travel style changed quite a bit (I got a van now yuhuu! :D). So, I this time I want to share with you what I have found to be the 15 Best Apps for enjoying road trips with a Van.
In this article, you will then find the best 15 Apps for traveling smart and getting the most out of your RV/Vanlife trips: free places to park, the best campgrounds, where to refuel, where to download, hotspots to visit, trails, anti-theft apps, parking accessories, how to save money, and much more!
The 15 Best Apps for Roadtrips and Vanlife
If I had to choose just ONE App to download, that would be Caramaps.
Caramaps is in fact an app that allows you to search with one click all the points of interest around you: RV areas (with prices and services), rest stops, campgrounds, natural hotspots (etc…), and to plan and save your itinerary in a few clicks.
Caramaps contains over 90,000 places in its database, all reviewed by its active community. Leaving reviews through Caramaps is in fact very simple: you take a picture, leave a message and in a few seconds it is available to everyone 🙂
In addition to the free version (which is already very complete!) there is a Premium version for 9.99Euro/year that also gives access to various thematic circuits, allows offline use of the app and removes advertising (which is already little and non-invasive anyway). Personally, I find the free version already sufficient and very complete!
More Information on the Site: Caramaps.com
The best app for vanlifers (like us!) who love wild camping and free parkings.
With 600W solar panels mounted on top of our Arancino Van, we have never truly needed to attach ourselves to the grid (not even in winter!), so we have often preferred to save money and opt for free parking.
Park4Night is an amazing app for finding scenic and free rest stops: we have traveled and enjoyed road trips halfway across Europe, and using Park4Night we have never slept in a dangerous or bad place: quite the contrary! Often with Park4Night, we have found parking lots with spectacular views that were quiet, convenient, and picturesque.
With more than 220,000 places around the world (free parking lots, but also campgrounds, service areas, parks, hotspots, etc.) reviewed by an incredible international community, and over 6 million downloads, Park4Night is a must-have for enjoying smart road trip travels with your van!
More Information on the Site: Park4Night.com
Campercontact is the ideal app for those looking for organized campsites or staging areas.
In fact, this app offers a database with more than 37,000 RV/van parkings/campings throughout Europe and over 550,000 reviews.
Campercontact makes it easy to check the parking areas around you and compare them with each other. Among other things, Campercontact helps you check opening status, price, installations, services, and additional costs .
In addition, and here is the best part, the app provides phone number , email and website of all facilities, so contacting them for information and reservations is quick and easy.
The app also offers a premium version for 9.99Euro/year for offline use, direct calling, and other minor features (convenient extras, but nothing essential). Definitely a must-have app for your road trips across Europe.
More Information on the Site: CamperContact.com
4. COPILOT GPS NAVIGATION
We all use Google Maps to navigate, and in fact 95% of the time it is more than enough.
But who hasn’t had Google Maps take him or her down a road too narrow for a bulky vehicle like an RV, or under an overpass that is too low for a tall van?
Copilot is a GPS application designed exactly for RVs and larger vehicles: you enter the dimensions of your vehicle, and the app draws the fastest and safest route taking into account its size.
No bridges too low, no narrow alleys, no impossible inversions. With this app you can be sure your roadtrips will be smooth and free of dangerous surprises. The Copilot App, after a trial period, costs 29.99Euro/year; making it a good investment for those who frequently travel with their RV or live the van life fulltime. Once the database is downloaded, the app can be used offline without an internet signal.
More Information on the Site: CopilotGPS.com
COPILOT – SCREENSHOTS
If a Copilot subscription is not for you, you might consider Waze.
Waze is a free GPS app alternative to Google Maps, however developed and maintained by google.
It is based on Google Maps, but has much nicer graphics and offers options not found in GMaps.
Among these are the ability to live share your location with other people, gasoline stations and gas prices on the road are reported live, the highway rates are easily calculated (even abroad!), police blocks, speed cameras and any accidents are better signaled compared to GMaps through integration of social live data.
More Information on the Site: Waze.com
WAZE – SCREENSHOTS
CamperOnline is the largest Italian community of RV enthusiasts, and the site has now become an industry institution.
The app is an extension of their website, and like the website it makes it easy to find RV accessories, highly detailed reviews, route ideas, events, hangouts, campgrounds, cottages, rest stops, helpful tips, checklists, workshops, fairs, etc. etc. etc. You name it!
Camperonline is a giant app to browse and re-browse, certainly useful for traveling by RV and also for planning road trips, vacations, itineraries, and the maintenance of your vehicle. An all-in-one app for campers and vanlifers 😉 Launched only in Italian, in 2022 came out the first English version.
More Information on the Site: CamperOnline.com.au
CAMPERONLINE – SCREENSHOTS
Tripadvisor is not just a site or an app, but an institution: with over a billion reviews worldwide, Tripadvisor is every traveler’s bible.
Whether you’re planning a backpacker trip, by plane, or, as most likely if you’re reading this article, a roadtrip by van, Tripadvisor certainly has the information you’re looking for!
Tripadvisor’s new app is free and features a minimal style, but the information inside is truly endless: places of interest, museums, natural landscapes, routes, experiences, restaurants, excursions–all reviewed by thousands of travelers!
If you need inspiration, or are simply curious about the hottest experiences and places around you, you can have it all at the tip of your fingers on the Tripadvisor App.
More Information on the Site: Tripadvisor.com
TRIPADVISOR – SCREENSHOTS
8. VICTRON CONNECT
Perhaps not essential for factory campers (however convenient), but certainly a revolutionary app for those of us who have converted a DIY van and want to keep an eye on everything related to batteries and electrics.
If you have already read my DIY Electrical System for Van Conversion, you will already have realized that Victron is currently the pinnacle of quality for products such as B2B chargers, solar charge controllers, inverters, and LifePo4 lithium battery chargers.
The Victron Connect App,is an application that can be used to monitor the status of batteries via Bluetooth (it requires the installation of a Victron Smartshunt) and any other Victron equipment connected to them.
Among other data, the Victron Connect app provides: battery charge percentage, live current of consumption/charge, instantaneous consumed power, time remaining with current consumption, battery charge and discharge history, and many other useful statistics and graphs to maximize the longevity of the electrical system and quickly diagnose any faults.
More Information on the Site: VictronEnergy.co.uk
VICTRON CONNECT – SCREENSHOTS
9. MOOX TRACK (ANTI-THEFT GPS)
Moox Track is a Made in Italy professional GPS tracker, and one of the best RV satellite anti-theft devices on the market.
To use the app, you must have installed an anti-theft system Moox Track GPS (I personally did and can highly recommend it!).
The Moox Track app allows constant h24 monitoring of the vehicle’s location directly from the smartphone, and can send notifications whenever the vehicle turns on, moves, if an accident is detected etc.
In addition, the Moox Track app maintains a GPS history of all trips made (vehicle speed, start time, routes, departure, arrival etc.).
The annual subscription costs 49.90Euro, which for such an anti-theft device is a very good price indeed. With Moox, you can enjoy your road trips while being sure to know where your van is at any time (also, you’ll never forget where you parked it too never again! 😉 )
More Information on the Site: Moox.co.uk
MOOX TRACK SCREENSHOTS
10. OUTDOOR ACTIVE
Traveling by Van is an incredible experience in itself, and wild camping is a way to relax and be in touch with nature.
That said, to discover the most beautiful places around us, especially natural ones, getting there by RV is often impossible.
The OutdoorActive app is an app that shows all the various trails around us (hiking, climbing, biking, mountain trails, etc.) and adventures to do outdoors .
In addition to all the useful data on the routes (length, elevation, travel time etc.), we also find here reviews, photos and suggestions from those who have done these routes before us.
Last but not least, OutdoorActive’s database is immense: with over a million routes, you’ll always find something to do every time you get out of your RV! Great app for hiking enthusiasts to enrich their road trip with awesome exploration experiences!
More Information on the Site: OutdoorActive.com
11. ALL TRAILS.
AllTrails is an outdooractive-like app designed to offer everyone the“right” experience for their athletic level .
In the AllTrails app, in fact, in addition to the activity (walking, running, biking, hike etc.) it is possible to choose the difficulty of the trails (easy, medium and difficult), as well as filter the results according to various labels (e.g. Child-friendly, dog-friendly, wheelchair-friendly, stroller-friendly etc.). Weather, temperature, and sunrise and sunset times are good extras.
Personally, I have both Outdooractive and All Trails installed on my phone (what’s on one is sometimes not on the other and vice versa), and I can safely say that we always have something to see and visit.
If vanlife trips are just the beginning of many outdoor adventures for you too, All Trails is an app you’re sure to love!
More Information on the Site: AllTrails.com
ALL TRAILS – SCREENSHOTS
12. CAMPER LEVELER
An app that is both graphically, and useful in real situations.
If you have ever experienced living in a van before, you already know how important it is for a parking space to be level: with even a slightly slanted parking space, in fact, water will not flow properly down the drain, sleeping may be uncomfortable, a pot may slip, etc…
The Camper Leveler app, despite its hideous design reminiscent of DOS video games from the 1990s, is free and incredibly useful for parking your RV on level ground.
Operation is very simple: just place it on a flat surface (e.g., the floor, or a piece of furniture) and she will sound the moment the RV is perfectly horizontal (either on the vertical or horizontal axis). Absurdly ugly graphics, but hey…it works too well and so makes the list of the best apps for road trips and vanlife!
CAMPER LEVELER – SCREENSHOTS
Where is it convenient to get gas? Fuelio tells you!
Fuelio is a free app for RVs and all kinds of motor vehicles that tells you the fuel prices of all the gas stations near you, updated daily.
With this app you can, within seconds, find the most convenient gas stations on your road trip journey.
Fuelio also, once you enter your vehicle data and its average consumption, has a function that automatically calculates how much a trip will cost us with today’s fuel prices.
More Information on the Site: Fuel.io
14. XE CURRENCY CONVERTER
Those who travel abroad a lot, and perhaps change countries frequently, know how important it is to keep in mind exchange rates to save money (and also not to “get ripped off”).
Personally, what I did for a long time was to mentalize an exchange rate and roughly estimate a price in euros. I do not deny, however, that in doing so it is easy to lose track of how much you are actually spending!
Then I discovered XE Converter, a free app that is very easy to use: you enter the value in local currency, and it converts it to euros.
Or, even better, you enter a value in euros and she converts it to all the currencies you need. Easy, fast, and efficient, XE Converter also offers free charts to see currency trends and understand when it is best to change.
We used it on our Balkan and Eastern European roadtrip and it made the constant currency changes much easier and stress-free.
More Information on the Site: Xe.com
XE CURRENCY CONVERTER – SCREENSHOTS
15. GOOGLE TRANSLATE (TRANSLATOR)
If you plan to travel far and wide abroad, especially off the beaten path, you should know that no language can take you everywhere (and not even 6, as in my case!).
In places where for one reason or another you cannot communicate with your language skills, living in the future we can now take advantage of the great translation capability of Google Translate.
In fact, after many years of break-in, the google app has become almost infallible and has evolved to levels unthinkable just a few years ago.
In fact, nowadays, Google Translate can translate 109 languages, and not just writing!
With the new features, you simply point your phone’s camera at a foreign-language text to see it translated in real time on your screen! In addition, there is also the function to translate in real time with voice what you say in one language, to another of a different language.
In short, not knowing a language doesn’t have to scare you anymore, and with Google Translate no itinerary or road trip you plan with your van will be impossible 😉
More Information on the Site: Translate.Google.com
Mapquest is a revolutionary navigation app that has been seen a dramatic increase in popularity in recent years.
Compared to our old dear Google Maps, that often leads campervans in the most crazy tiny roads on Earth passing in the middle of nowhere (to who didn’t happen? 😉 ), Mapquest seems a new smart alternative.
This innovative app is thought for simplicity: once you insert your starting location and arrival location, you get the fastest route, the most gasoline-effective route, the cost of all tolls, the possibility to avoid seasonal roads, as well as live traffic information.
In addition to that, the app can shuffle your points of interest to generate the most efficient route for your trip and also accurately calculate your gas consumption for the trip (ideal for itinerary planning!). In few words, MapQuest is Google Maps on steroids 😉
Conclusion: the 15 Best Apps for Road Trips and Vanlife
These were what I consider to be the 15 best apps for traveling on the road and enjoying vanlife that I wanted to share with you to make your search easier 🙂
What about you, do you know of any others you would like to recommend that would make this list?
Let me know in the comments below! 😀
Thanks for reading, and as always, see you in the next article!!! 🙂
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