Here are the answers to this week’s Question of the Week, “Do you use and recommend smartphone apps for truck camping?” Thank you Anne Brown for suggesting this smart question.
“I have an iPhone and there are several apps I use a lot. I particularly like The Weather Channel’s app. You can watch a thunderstorm and track it on their Doppler Radar map.
Trip Journal is a great little way to track where you went, how many miles you covered, and save notes on your trip. I do a lot of long distance driving with just my dog and the AntiSleepPilot app won’t guarantee you won’t doze off while driving, but it sure does help. There are a number of nature guides and star guides I like with the Audubon series and Star Walk being among the best.
The best overall camping app I’ve found is AllStays Camp and RV. It can show you were commercial campgrounds, state and local campgrounds, and public lands are. It also gives bridge heights, will let you find RV related businesses, highway rest areas, stores like Costco and REI, and truck stops. I hope this proves of use.” – Al Stebbins
“Looking forward to the responses! Having a Dodge 3500 dually with our 90FWS Adventurer attached, the Gas Buddy app is frequently used on the road in unfamiliar places.” – Bob Holland, Oregon
“Hi Angela. The wife and I didn’t get our first smart phones until this past Christmas when we got two iPhone 4S’s. We love the phones so much that we now have a new iPad that we take it with us whenever we go camping.
A very nice app that we use when hiking or Jeeping is Gaia GPS. This app allows you to download all types of map/satellite data. Gaia pinpoints and tracks your location on the map. Some of the topographic maps have a lot of data on them when you zoom in. This includes campground maps, food service, and fuel stations. There is a lot more to it than that, but it is a great app.
For leveling the camper, I use a free inclinometer/level app from Smittybilt. This one was designed with Jeeps in mind, but it works just as well for leveling the camper. There are a number of other good leveling apps to choose from. Just search on the word “level”.
A third app that we use is Weather+. This app allows us to pre-program our various destinations and then get detailed forecasts for each location. It will also use the internal GPS and automatically give you the forecast for your current location. Once again, there are a lot of weather apps to choose from, but Weather+ works well for us. It also has beautiful graphics.
There are many, many more apps that would be useful and fun for truck camping, but these three would be a good place to start. Best regards.” – Rex Carroll
“Vermont has a great app called Oh, Ranger Vermont State Parks. It’s a good place to find out about the state parks. I wish there were apps like this for other states.” – James Shinn
“There’s an app for Walmart locator. For those on the way to an important destination for a rest stop and cheap fuel can use Murphy locator. It also identifies if the station has diesel and its prices.” – Dave Heath
“Hi Angela. Another iPhone App similar to AllStays Camp and RV App is Camp Where by Big Nerd Ranch. Both apps have their advantages and disadvantages. AllStays gives more info, but Camp Where is more responsive.
Another favorite I use is Gas Buddy for finding the least expensive gas or diesel fuel at your current location. Otherwise, Google Maps is indispensable, not only for navigation, but for searching for something such as propane. I was once in a small town low on propane, wondering where I could purchase some. I stopped and asked a few people and got blank stares. So I typed ‘propane’ in the Google map search field and found an outlet on the other side of town, complete with phone number and instructions on how to get to the outlet. Within minutes I was getting my tank filled!
By the way, I’m an iPhone / iPad app developer, so if someone has an idea for a truck camper related iPhone app that doesn’t exist, let me know. Thanks.” – Bill Modesitt
“I use Google maps to figure out where we are and what’s around us. I use DocsToGo so that I can have all the manuals for my truck and camper with me. It sure beats hauling around all that paper. If something breaks while underway, I pull out the iPad and start troubleshooting.
AllStays Camp and RV is good to find places to spend the night and RV service. Galileo is for offline maps. The problem with this one is that you need to plan ahead of time when you’ll be offline and have the maps pre-loaded.
Gas Buddy is good because I hate buying gas and then finding it for ten cents a gallon less a few miles down the road. Weatherbug is for weather forecasts and storm tracking.
RP, also known as RadioParadise is for having music while traveling. TuneIn Radio is for access to a variety of radio stations and Redbox is to find/reserve a movie for the night.” – Greg Hollingsworth
“Just saw your post on Facebook regarding Smartphone apps while on the road. I think my favorite these days is Gas Buddy. I’ve been reporting fuel prices for years on Gasbuddy. This new app makes it much easier to not only report fuel prices but find best price or your favorite brand in an unfamiliar area, sorted by price or distance.” – Steve Singhose
“Hi Angela. My wife and I use several apps while traveling with our Northstar Laredo. The first is MPG With Ads. We use it to track our MPG, price of gas, location of purchase, and service on our truck.
We also use Road Ninja, which is free. We saw this app being advertised on billboards as we came through Atlanta. It lists what is at the upcoming exits. We have found it to be pretty accurate.
The Pilot app shows the location of the nearest Pilot and Flying J Truck Stops. Besides getting fuel, we like their coffee and fountain drink selections.
Finally, if we are looking for a campground, we use the Woodall’s app. It will list both private and public camping areas. We use these apps on our iPhone and they all were free or 99 cents.
We love reading Truck Camper Magazine. Since my wife and I work full time as nurses and still have one son in college, reading about other campers trips lets us travel vicariously through them! Keep up the good work.” – Reggie and Debbie Jones, Indie and Elmo (our two miniature dachshunds), Tennessee
I use this RV dump station finding app. AllStays has numerous other apps, like for finding fuel, Costco, etc., but I haven’t used them.” – Tim Kirk
I also highly recommend the AllStays Camp and RV App. The $5.99 App that helps you find campgrounds, RV parks, and other camping related services. Anne said, “It’s one of the few pay apps I have on my phone. We used it everyday on our last five week trip. It takes a bit of playing to figure out all its bells and whistles, but it’s very worthwhile.” – Anne Brown