So you’ve got RVshare.com bookmarked, you installed the Outdoorsy app on your smart phone, and you have hours-long playlists saved to your Spotify library. Being the savvy RVer you are, you checked and double-checked your gear with Camping List Pro.
You planned your route on Google Maps and went analog with a nice Rand McNally trucker’s atlas, and learned to use it, just in case you can’t log in to the dedicated app store for your OverDryve RV GPS tablet. Still, you want your money’s worth out of that family phone plan, so you went to LowClearances.com, downloaded the data before installing it on your GPS, Android or IOS, and you read every post in the Tall RV thread of the Trucking, Electronics, Gadgets and Software forum on The Truckers Report.
RV Travel Apps for the Open Road
Even though your data plan is unlimited, you enabled WiFi-Finder Free on your lock screen and saved the passwords to the WiFi Hotspots at the hottest spots to visit along your route. Dang, you’re so smart you even filtered out the hotels on its list because you’re driving around your own hotel room.
While you’re cruising to the next stop, you brush up on your history reading the historical markers along the way. Because you might as well learn something, and because it provides the research the kids need for their “What I Did on Summer Vacation” essays, you splurged and got the $1.99 Historical Markers App on your iPad, but the kids have Android devices, so you also got Next Exit History. Those are 2 RV travel apps that will keep yourself occupied on the road.
So you’re covered on the open road, with places to go and plenty to see. But what about when you arrive at camp? There’s free WiFi there, but you don’t want to waste it on YouTube algorithms and want the kids to talk to you instead of their gamer friends on Discord.
Apps Angling for Attention
Luring the kids away from social media may be difficult or even impossible, so you compromise and install the Fishbrain app. I’m not saying you’re too old to understand contemporary tech, but you can, and get the kids involved. Ask them what the local kids are catching fish with. It will add depth to any discussion on fish locations.
You don’t want to rely solely on hearsay, especially since you’re fishing fresh water, so on your phone you installed BassForecast. “Powered by AccuWeather,” it gives you more than just the forecast for local weather conditions, it’s compiled from real scientific data from biologists and hydrologists. The app’s rating system analyzes time of day, moon phase, water temperatures, and more to help you increase your catches and keep the kids interested.
Apps for Amateur Astronomers
Speaking of moon phases, when you’re not fishing and the campfire has burned low, you can switch from ghost stories to mythology as you teach the youngins about the constellations. Stellarium has 600,000 stars on its zoomable map that lets you use you phone’s view finder to identify them, or even satellites passing by.
Sound like an astronomy professor as you rattle off constellations from different cultures. Or be in the audience along with the kiddos while you all listen to the constellation tours on SkySafari, which also has a cool Night Vision mode that won’t wreck your eyes right before your turn on the telescope.
Didn’t bring one? Not to worry—other astronomy apps like SkyWiki turn your phone into a telescope with GPS-assisted star maps. Night Sky uses augmented reality, or AR, features to turn your phone into an outdoor planetarium. Most stargazing apps have offline features for when you have roamed far from the city lights and Internet access.
Knapsack Apps for Your Utilities Belt
Once the sun has come up, it’ll be time to reKindle the campfire and cook breakfast using one of the hundreds of recipes available in free ebooks with your Unlimited account on Amazon. The Trail Chef app helps you plan meals as well as learn recipes. Or if you arrived late and haven’t made a campfire yet, and you forgot to bring anything to light one as well as how, break out the SAS Survival Guide app.
Work off those breakfast calories with a nice long hike using apps such as AllTrails. With “hand-curated” maps and social media sharing features, you can plan your trail adventure and share it with its 10 million users, or read reviews and ratings. Or if you really need all trails, try Backcountry Navigator, with its maps for other outdoor activities like whitewater kayaking and horseback riding trails.
While you’re out on the trail you may spot something you want to know more about, or maybe you’re a Trekkie like me and want to play Away Team. Don the uniform from the franchise series of your choice and turn your phone into a tricorder with apps like iNaturalist or Leafsnap so you don’t pull a Captain Archer and pee on the wrong tree.
Bird Guide App
And if while standing under said tree a bird Captain Archers you, identify the culprit with the Audubon Bird Guide. Or if you ducked when that happened, use SongSleuth instead, and then you can be the mocking birder on eBird, if you’re not tweeting on Twitter feeds like #birdwatching.
While you’re finding out what sounds those hills are living with, learn their names, too with AR apps such as PeakFinder AR or Horizon Explorer. Figure out how far away those Twin Peaks are using GeoGoggle and get a slice of real pi before you visit the Log Lady to buy more firewood back at camp.
Wow, you had a fantastic day playing with your phone outside, but you have unwanted company back at the RV. Run the Anti Mosquito Repellant Sound app and drive them batty. See just how batty they get using the Echo Meter Touch Bat Detector app and you can be the dark night detective.
I’m Not a Bot to Finish this Article Without Mentioning Some Fun & Games
Puns are mostly for sci-fi nerds such as myself, social media trolls, and testing artificial intelligence programs. While hanging around your touring machine try the Turing Machine app and see if you pass the test. It’s a bit of a puzzle, if you take my double-meaning.
Crazy Camping Day-Messy Road may hit too close to home while you’re away from home, but it’ll make you appreciate how things could have been worse. Sure, your outing is outstanding, but a Trivial Pursuit Master Edition app will be fun for the whole family without driving a wedge between you.
When it’s time to get back on the road try the Pokemon Go app. The AR game to rule them all, it runs rings around geocaching, so give it a go. Go all the way with the game’s many themed summer camps—if you want to cache them all.
So now you’re back from vacay and it’s time to deal with all the photos of camp dinner and interesting wildlife. Flickr sold to new owners and sold you down the river, slashing your storage capacity and charging a monthly fee. Switch to Amazon Photos, which is free, and Prime subscribers get unlimited storage as well.
Slidebox has been recommended for its ease of creating photo albums, organizing your photos into albums and swiping through them. Trevi organizes your photos with geotagged location info and offers some mapmaking functions.
Of course, Instagram wouldn’t be the same without all those pictures of your dinner you couldn’t upload out there on the road. If those won’t do, this post has a list with even more apps to try.
Trip Journal will make a travel blogger out of you yet, as long you installed it before you left. Bonjournal combines functions mentioned above and links to your website URL for added convenience and minimal data consumption while out and about.
Oh, and don’t forget to visit my other articles – Best RV Shows, in case you need something to read at the dump station or while waiting for your RV travel apps to be downloaded!