During your RV trip, you will probably travel to a lot of different places that you don’t know. You won’t be able to learn all the information needed to live comfortably. This is the reason why we can find more and more mobile apps created for the vanlifers. They will help you to know where to park, how to find water but also which places to visit.
iOverlander may be the number 1 app downloaded by the vanlifers. It has been created by travelers to help you find all the information you need on the road. Based on your localization, you will be able to see on the app all different places. For example, it will show you the campsites, the dump stations or spots with free Wi-Fi.
This mobile app is based on the collaboration of the road trippers community. In fact, anybody can add a spot with a description and reviews on the website. The main advantage of this is that you can benefit from updated information. For example, you can check if a place is still open and if it is free.
When it was created, the iOverlander app was mainly used in South America. Nowadays, you can find useful information on it whether you are traveling in North America, Latin America or Europe. It is totally free and very appreciated by a lot of vanlifers.
When you will be on the road, it will happen sometimes that you get distracted and forget to think of a place to sleep at night. You can trust us: you don’t want to be destitute at 6 pm in the middle of nowhere. To avoid this situation, you will need an app to tell you where to park nearby.
Park4night can indicate where are the closest motorhome areas around you. It will also tell you if it is free or if you have to pay but also if it’s a private or public place. You will find places to park during the day and the night, rest and picnic areas. Just like iOverlander, this app is collaborative. It gives you the reviews, photos and comments of previous users.
The best part of this mobile app is that it is accessible offline and is, for the most part, totally free. You can also choose the paying version for 9,99€ a year or 1,99€ per month. On the app, you will have access to the itinerary and the telephone number for the places you want to go to.
During your trip, the road will be your second home. But, to be honest, it will not be the best part of your trip. Spending time on the road is just a way to get to extraordinary places. Of course, it gives character to this kind of trip. However, you don’t want to miss a great experience because you have spent too much time on the road.
To optimize your driving experience, you will need an app like Waze. More than a navigation mobile app, Waze is able to give you the traffic conditions in real time. Since it is a collaborative application, the app users can share information like accidents, traffic jams or police radars.
Waze is totally free and will make your driving experience much more appreciable. You can also use Google Maps which is improving its real-time information.
Your gasoil consumption will represent a major part of your budget. If you want to save money, you need to be smart about the places you go to refill. For example, gasoil will probably be more expensive in big cities. You may want to fill up before going to these urban areas.
In order to know where to go, you can use the mobile app Gasoil Now. First of all, it will tell you where the gasoline pumps are near you. If you need to refill asap, it will help you a lot. But most importantly, the app will tell you how expensive it is. Thanks to a color code, you will know where to go to pay less. You can also enter the model of your vehicle and the size of your tank directly into the app. By doing that, you will be able to know the cost of your refill in a particular station.
Please note that this mobile application is mostly used in France and Europe. However, you will probably be able to find an alternative in the country you are traveling to.
When you are on the road, the small things can become very important. Like going to the toilet, for example. It may seem trivial but it might become your main concern at some point. If you choose to have a RV with no toilet in it, you will need to find some. Of course, you can go to a cafe or a restaurant but you will have to pay for something.
By using the mobile app Flush, you will be able to know where the toilets are near you. This app can indicate simply, quickly and for free approximately 200 000 toilets in the world. The application works mostly in big cities and can lack information when you are in more rural areas. Therefore, even if this application can be very useful, it will never be as quick as finding a tree or a bush and go back to our natural instinct!
If you want to become a vanlifer, you will need to accept that you will be disconnected from the digital world most of the time. However, you might need to have access to wifi from time to time. It will help you stay in touch with your family and friends. It can also be useful if you are still working during your trip (as a digital nomad for example).
To find a Wifi spot, you can use the mobile application Wifi Map. It is the “world’s largest wifi community”. You will be able to connect yourself to multiple Wifi spots around you thanks to their VPN. You can also add new spots and help other travelers.
Wifi Map is working all over the world and can be downloaded for free. You also have a paid plan called Wifi Map Pro which gives you access to additional features.
Imagine : you are traveling from point A to point B. When you arrive at point B, someone asks you : “how have you seen this amazing place on the road to come here?”. It turns out you drove nearby a fantastic place without knowing and didn’t stop by. What a pity!
Roadtrippers is a mobile app that can help you not to be in this situation. The application gives you access to a map that indicates the different points of interest along your itinerary. When you are planning your road trip, you won’t be able to list all the areas you need to visit. With Roadtrippers, it will be easier to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
By using Roadtrippers, you can also check if a particular place is along your itinerary. Rather than checking on Google Maps where it is and then comparing it to your itinerary, you can just use the app. It is a real time-saver.
It may seem foolish to talk about Facebook in this blog post. Let us explain ourselves. When you are on the road, whether you are traveling alone or not, you will want to meet other vanlifers. It is one of the main advantages of this kind of trip : you create a bunch of relationships.
Facebook can help you create amazing friendships. Depending on where you are traveling, you can have access to different public or private groups. For example, you can find a group dedicated to van life in Australia. It will help you meet new people but also share tips.
To find this social aspect, you can basically go on any social network. Facebook is, for us, the best one thanks to these groups. You can also download specific apps for vanlife like The Vanlife App which is a social community of roadtrippers.
Even if digital tools like mobile apps can be very helpful while you are doing a RV trip, you have to remember to disconnect from time to time. If you are always looking at a screen, you will probably miss all the interest of vanlife. Enjoy the road, meet people and discover new places. Offline.
All of these applications can save you a lot of time. But most of them can be replaced by a simple conversation with locals. Need to find toilets, parking spots or Wifi? Just ask! You will be surprised and amazed by the kindness of people when you seem genuine, respectful and benevolent.
Don’t forget to tell us in the comments what are your favorite apps for traveling and road trips. We are sure that you have lots of advice to share with our community.