Best RV Trip Planners: Recommended Apps and Tools
RV trip planners can save money, save time and take the stress out of RV trip planning. Campgrounds are crowded, more people are traveling by RV and looking for places to stay and go. Trip planning apps and websites not only help find that elusive campsite, but they can also provide a safe, obstacle-free route, calculate miles, costs, and suggest travel adventures.
RV Trip Planner: What is it?
An RV trip planner can plan the trip and the RV route by plugging in a starting point and the ending point. Good planners will then help determine the distance between those two points, the number of days it will take in an RV using RV driving distances, campsites along the way, and points of interest. Most route planners allow the user to determine comfortable driving distance, put in height, weight, and length of RV and intended travel stops. It takes a lot of the hassle out of deciding the best routes whether a short trip or a three-month epic journey.
Many planners are also available as apps and as websites. The apps are usually available both in the Android and iPhone app stores. They can be free with in-app purchases or a more robust version can be purchased without advertising at a nominal fee.
There are also RV trip planners that locate campsites, points of interest along the way but do not actually plan the route on a map. These RV trip planners provide essential guidance to locate and review campsites in the area you will be traveling.
Qualities of an Effective and Efficient App/Tool for Your RV Road Trip
With the variety of RV trip planners available it is important to choose the ones that best fit your needs. Do you want route information only? Do you want to avoid gravel roads and tollways? Are you using the planner to find campsites too? Want high-end RV resorts or boondocking locations? Just need a spot for one night or somewhere to relax for a week or two? A good RV trip planner will meet your specific RVing needs.
Good Trip planners:
- Robust search function
- Easily readable maps
- Locations by address and GPS coordinates
- Printable or sharable electronically
- Detailed campsite information with reviews
The 6 Best RV Road Trip Planner Apps and Tools
We are full-time RVers and we travel at least 8-10 months of the year. The rest of the time I am planning our next adventure! I use several RV trip planners at once, as each planner has different strengths. These are the best RV trip planners I have found and use often.
RV Trip Wizard
RV Trip Wizard. This is my first choice when starting to plan a new trip or when there is a change in trip plans. RV Trip Wizard is website-based and I access it from my computer, iPad, and phone equally well. It is really an RV road trip planner as it provides specific RV-friendly routes as well as campground information.
After setting up the planner for our specific RV info, our driving preferences, gas mileage, and average cost we spend on campsites I plug in a starting point and ending point. The planner then maps out the best route.
RV Trip Wizard has a number of overlay options, including a new beta National Park and Monument overlay.
It has the option of showing all the campsites with info on the way. I can go directly to campground reviews within the planner to check out reviews and photos before I book. While this is a great feature, not all campsites that are available are within the site, which is why I use several trip planners.
I like that I can add and delete custom stops and search for things like National Parks and add them to the route. Since we travel so much it is sometimes difficult to remember which campgrounds we liked and didn’t. With this, trips are saved and I have begun to take notes on the campsites we have stayed at in the past.
They are also amazingly responsive to questions, replying to a submission form within minutes to hours, and always with helpful information.
RV Trip Wizard is subscription-based at $49 a year with a free trial available.
Campendium App is my second favorite trip planner for finding more campsites. While it does not provide a route feature, it has the advantage of showing many boondocking spots, national forests, overnight parking spots, and dump stations.
Campendium uses technology to determine the current location and then searches in the surrounding area. That is particularly helpful when it is getting late and I need to find a campground soon. We found a beautiful boondocking location on a lake in Wyoming last week when all the other campsites on our route were fully booked. We were the only ones there. It was like having a private beach!
Campendium also provides a search function by city, state, or campground name and filters to define the type of campground, hookups, price, ratings, and reviews.
While the app is free there is premium membership available that provides additional information on area cell data carrier signal, public land overlays, and is ad-free. The premium membership is $23.99 a year.
AllStays.com and AllStays App
AllStays.com is my next stop looking for sites. Actually, it is a toss-up between Campendium and AllStays. Each has a vast array of campsites, although AllStays may have a few more. It does not create a route but shows campsites near the current location or with the search function. It is available as a website or as an app. I usually use the app because of the bigger initial map size. The website provides a list of states to click on and the ability to search on a map. Highways are clearly numbered so it is easy to follow a predetermined route. On the website, campgrounds are searchable by name or clicking on the campground on the map.
AllStays provides full name, address, GPS coordinates, number of sites, average costs, elevation, when open, nearest campgrounds, and reviews when available.
There is an option to look at a much larger map with a satellite view on the website. As AllStays shows a variety of campsites, this is particularly helpful if going off the beaten path and want to see tree cover and type of roads or even if a campground has an open view for satellite. After using AllStays to find a heavily wooded boondocking site, I now always check out the satellite view before making plans.
AllStays has one of the most robust camping location sites, particularly boondocking and national forest locations. The camp and RV app show the distance from where I am to any campground I click on. I can also access the weather, and images, and can even share them. AllStays has a huge variety of apps available: Camp and RV, Camp and Tent, Truck and Travel, Overnight Parking Walmart, Military Camp and RV, Rest Stops Plus, and RV dumps.
The one disadvantage I find is that not every campsite has a review. My workaround has been to type the campground name into a different RV trip planner and see if there are any reviews there.
AllStays is available as a free website and also as an app for purchase at $2.99.
Roadtrippers.com and App
Roadtrippers has both a website and an app. It is widely used to plan RV routes, things to do, places to eat and what to see. It is very versatile and good for both RV and car trips. They have a number of featured pre-planned trips and will even use your location to provide trip guides in the area. They provide navigation and maps. I don’t find it very intuitive but after a hunt-and-peek I can usually find what I want.
While a number of campsites are featured I usually need to access additional sites for more campgrounds. What I really like is being able to see in detail things to do in the area and where we are traveling.
KOA Camping App
The KOA Camping App takes a lot of the guesswork out of searching for a spot to stop for a night or for a week. As campsites are getting harder to book, I can usually find a spot in a KOA along our route. The app has a map feature to find upcoming KOAs near my route. Clicking on the KOA icon provides the specific campground location, amenities, recreation, upcoming events, photos, local attractions, and information. It also shows how many miles from my current location. The app is designed to book directly through the app.
KOAs can all vary as they are owned by individual campground owners. They are now categorized by type of camping – those that are marked “Journey” are mainly for travelers and may be only good for a night or two. Ones marked “Holidays” are destination campgrounds – usually close to destination locations. They may have more amenities and people may stay longer.
Some Holiday KOAs have patio sites that are spacious, hard-surfaced, with a grill, table, chairs, fire pit, and a glider. Although pricey, sometimes the extra space and amenities are so worth it.
KOAs have a reward program that offers a 10 percent discount when becoming a member at $33 a year.
RV Life’s Campground Reviews
RV Life’s Campground Reviews are a great tool to search for campgrounds in locations across the country. The website is easy to use. Simply click on a state to view and the campsites are shown on a map. They are also listed by name and counties or cities can be searched to narrow down results.
The site can also narrow the search with filters for park types, features, hookups, recreation, ratings, price, and connectivity.
A huge advantage of the website is the ability to read actual campers’ reviews and see photos of the different campsites. The campgrounds are rated based on user reviews and can help determine to camp or not camp there.
RV Life’s Campground Reviews is available online for free or through the RV Trip Wizard website subscription.
Utilizing an RV travel planner can make the trip so much more enjoyable and less stressful. No matter what route you take, having the right tools always makes it better. Happy Trails!
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