Truck Camper Magazine readers report their favorite smartphone apps for truck camping. And the most popular truck camping apps for 2016 are…
Based on reader responses, the top 12 apps for truck camping in 2016 are AllStays Camp & RV, GasBuddy, GasGuru, Google Earth, Google Maps, iExit, MyRadar, RV Parks, RV Parky, Sanidumps, Waze, and Weather Underground.
But don’t stop there. Readers reveal some extremely interesting and useful apps. I for one will be checking out the History Here, Untappd, and Ultimate Public Campground Project apps. More history, beer, and free camping? Yes please!
“I use the Garmin Base Camp and Google Earth. Garmin Base Camp gives me a route, and Google Earth me the terrain.
I’m also a big user of state and province campground, park, and tourism sources from Explore Minnesota and Parks Canada. These resources served me well going from our previous home in North Dakota to the desert parks in southwest United States, and from western Minnesota to Alaska, twice. Next year they will be called on to handle shorter trips east of us.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050
“I use the Sanidumps app.” – Eric Christie, Ford F250, 1983 Okanagan
“I use RV Parks and RV Parky from Google Play on our three Android devices.
My personal favorite is RV Parks because it shows lots of options, including Walmarts and large fuel stops. The more you zoom in the more places RV Parks shows. It has good descriptions, phone numbers and websites, if they have one. You can navigate via Google Maps directly from the app. It doesn’t display prices as such, just dollar signs.
RV Parky doesn’t seem to have the number of places available, but gives prices and you can add missing places.” – Cheryl Nelson, 2004 Chevy 3500, 1989 Shadow Cruiser 9.5
“I use Mobile Hotspots to find internet service near me and Compass to find my way back to the camper when I’m lost – Ha!
I also use MapQuest, GasBuddy, Google Earth, RV Dump Stations Locator, The Weather Channel, Maps, Overnight Parking, Allstays Big Trucks, Allstays Camp & RV, Zomato (a restaurant finder), and Travel Alaska to plan an Alaska trip.
WhatsApp is an international email system. Pandora is for music. My Base Guide or GuideOn for military base camping spots. Murphy USA for discount gas using a Walmart card. And Shazam to determine who is singing on the radio.
The only app that I actually pay for is AllStays Camp & RV for $9.99. All the others were free.” – Donald Fox, 2015 Ford F450, 2016 Lance 1172
“For finding campgrounds, RV Parky is my favorite app. Integrated with the phone’s GPS, it will map out all rest areas, campgrounds, military campgrounds, state and national parks, as well as Walmart, Cracker Barrels, Cabelas, and more. It’s awesome!
For mapping, I like Waze. Waze is a Google app that, along with the Google map engine, allows users to report accidents, traffic jams, speed traps, etc. It works great.
For weather, hands down the best app is PYKL3 Radar. This is a weather radar app that also plots your current location on the map. You can see a storms intensity and movement. It allows me to make a decision to proceed or to pull over and wait a storm out. I am a weather buff and to me this app is indispensable.
Another great weather app is Storm Shield Weather Radio App. It automatically alerts you when there is severe weather at your location. It uses the built in GPS on your phone and automatically sends an alert and the NWS alert message. It works well.
The third app for routine weather conditions and forecast is Weather Underground.
I use an Android phone, Samsung S6 Active.” – Thomas Rybarski, 2014 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2006 Lance 1181
“Sanidumps and Maps, which has a satellite option if we are on logging roads and have cell service. Roads are often not on the maps.” – Marian Muir, 2011 Dodge Ram 3500, 2004 Snowbird
“I use Myradar and Google Maps.” – Bill Pittman, 2008 Nissan Titan, tent
“The Weather Underground iPhone app includes what is happening and predicted in the back country. A Wilson Trucker antenna boosts the signal enough to get reception most places.” – Laurel Wilson, 2013 Ford F350, 2016 Four Wheel Grandby Shell, customized
“Trucker Path, which is excellent for parking areas, fuel stops etc. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a tablet app, so it only works mobile phones.” – Robert Bouvier, 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, 2010 Adventurer 80GS
“We do not have the most up to date apps, but here is what we currently use in our Android phones and tablets. For navigation we use Google maps. For weather information, we use Storm Eye, RadarNow!, Intellicast, and NOAA Weather Free. For finding stars and planets, we use Skyview Free and for camping places, we use Allstays.” – Buzz and Sherri Merchlewitz, 1998 Dodge Ram 2500, 2015 Hallmark Ute
“Google Maps is the most important to check before you travel to see your destination before you get there. You can also check the parking lot to see if you can get in and out. It has street view for height obstacles. I also use Yelp, Gas Cubby, and iHandy level.” – Jim McNamara, 1994 Lance
“While Waze isn’t exclusively for truck camping, it’s a great get to GPS app for any destination. Waze actually improves with age showing current road conditions and gas stops. Also, Waze does inputs of other users reporting accidents and police up ahead. And it’s free.” – Jerry LaCouture, 2013 GMC Sierra 3500, 2013 Lance 1191
“AllStays.” – John Bull, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2015 Arctic Fox 990
“Gas Buddy.” – Tim DePuydt, 2002 Chevy 2500, Four Wheel Camper
“MyRadar gives you a heads up display of any weather event before it gets to you.” – Chris Geuder
“Raindar is a weather app that has live radar. It shows the storms and their direction of travel as well as the severity. While traveling through Kansas and Oklahoma we used it to track storms and would use it to determine the direction to travel for dodging storms. In South Dakota, we missed a hail storm by watching Raindar and moved out of the storm’s path!” – Ellen Wilson
“Too many of them, but I use RV Trip Wizard for trip planning, Free Camping, Free Campsites, BLM/FED/USDA Forest, and Allstays. There are several more but I just keep searching until I hit on something, then let it go.
Sigh, so many ‘Apps’, so little time eh? All of them mute if you don’t have internet connection as I’ve discovered several times.” – Frank Poole, 2016 Ram 5500HD, 2016 Arctic Fox 990
“The apps that we use to get ready for our trips and also while on the road are
Allstays, The Weather Channel, Altimeter, KOA, National Parks, USA Today, FindNearMe, Google Maps, and NightStand.” – Bill Gahafer, 2008 Ford F450, 2013 Lance 1181
“Waze is the best GPS app that I have found.” – Will Beyer, 1999 Ford F350, 1999 Real-Lite
“My bible is rvparkreviews.com. I consult it all the time when searching an area for places to stay and I file a review for every park we go to as well. I much prefer it to All Stays.
I also regularly use Google Maps, Gasguru, Sanidumps.com, Accuweather, and I have an altimeter app that I use quite a bit. Rarely a day goes by on the road that there isn’t something I want to find out about using Google. Also, although it isn’t strictly travel related, we like the ability to stay in touch with family and friends on Facebook.” – Joanne Hall, 2014 Chevy Silverado 3500HD, 2014 Lance 1172
“In no particular order I use My Radar (to check if storms are near us), Gas Buddy, Good Sam (helps with finding truck stops), Trip Advisor, Roadtrippers, and Groupon (great for finding local deals).” – Cindi Delo, 2002 Chevy K2500, 2004 Adventurer 90RDS
“I don’t have a smartphone, but we travel with my iPad. On the iPad I use All Stays for camp sites and Yelp to find diesel fuel at good price!” – Paul C., 2004 Ford F250, 2004 Lance 835
“Gas Buddy, All Stays Camp & RV, and Good Sam Camping.” – Woody Flickinger, 2003 Dodge 3500, 2012 Arctic Fox 1140
“I’m afraid my phone is the smart one in our relationship. I have no truck camper specific apps. The closest I have that matches your question is DeLorme’s Earthmate app, which allows my iPhone SE to talk to my InReach personal locater device.
I use Tapatalk to view forums I follow such as Wander the West, Expedition Portal and ADVRider. I also use my credit union’s app to manage funds within my accounts there. Of course I use Twitter so I can follow @TruckCamperMag!” – Mark Obert, 1999 Ford F250SD, 1999 Lance 920
“The one we won’t be without is NOAA Weather radar. It shows radar in motion where ever you are located.” – Audrey Ruccio, 2008 Ford F-450, 2008 Host Everest
“Untappd is a listing of nearby brew pubs and the favorite venues and brews while traveling.” – Dale Dunbar, 2014 Ford F-350, 2014, Arctic Fox 990
“GasBuddy and Google Earth.” – Bruce Moses, 2006 Chevy 3500, 2009 Lance 1191
“GS Camping for Good Sam Camping and My Pilot for Pilot Travel Centers.” – Linda Clark, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2008 SnowRiver 10-2 RK
“Allstays, Booking.com, and Google maps.” – Fred Lewis, 2013 Silverado, 2014 homemade camper
“I use Allstays Camp & RV, Google Maps, Weatherbug, Ran McNally Atlas Maps, and Chimani National Parks.” – Ken Pastorius, 2015 GMC 3500, 2012 Arctic Fox 1150
“AllStays, EarthMate, Pinterest, Yelp, REI National Parks, Oh Ranger-Park Finderl/RecGovCamp, Goggle Earth and Google Maps.” – John Kayartz, 2014 Ford F350, 2016 Hallmark Ute LX
“I use Allstays, Gas Buddy, and Sanidumps.” – Wanda Myers, 1999 Dodge 2500, 2003 Hallmark Cuchara
“Google Maps, TripAdvisor, RV Park Reviews, MapQuest, and Google.” – Charlie Cherry, 2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 2008 Bigfoot 15C9.5FS
“DishForMyRV.” – Michael Girard, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 2015 Adventurer 86FB
“GasBuddy, Google Maps, Accuweather, RV Parky, Sanidumps, USFS and BLM Campgrounds, and Trucker Path.” – Alan Bryant, 2002 Ford F250, 1996 Shadow Cruiser
“Gas Guru! It was suggested by a good friend and it has saved me hundreds of dollars. It lists best, mid-range, and worst gas and/or diesel prices near your location as well as brands, distance to each, plus directions. The fuel dollars saved pays for extra fun!” – Randy Wiese, 2004.5 Chevy, 2005 Lance 820
“I like to use the crowd sourced app iOverlander. There are many places in the west and in Mexico listed for off the grid camping. In the eastern half of the country there are an increasing number being added as the app becomes more widely known.” – Eddie Fort, 2006 Ford F-350, 2016 Hallmark Everest
“I use the Ultimate Public Campground Project all the time! It has every public campground in the country, including ones I’d never think of like Tennessee Valley Authority, military, municipal, and all the federal agencies.
It also lists dispersed camping areas. It interfaces with the reservation platforms, so once you find your perfect spot, you can go to the reservation site. They have an app and web site, so trip planning is easy.
National Park Tours is great! It has driving tours of many of the major National Parks, and gives much more info than the brochure you get at the entry gate.
Roadside America is just plain fun. It will take you to all the roadside attractions like the World’s Biggest Ball of String, the World’s Largest Cowboy Boots, or crazy museums – like the World’s Only Ouija Board Museum, or Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art museum. Silly, fun goodness. And yes, there are also serious things. For example, the app will direct you to veterans memorials, dinosaur bones, and obscure historical points of interest.
History Here is sponsored by The History Channel, and gives info about historical locations and events in the area you’re traveling in. Alt Fuel is the app I use for finding propane on the road. It will generally take me to a U-Haul location, but there’s plenty more listed.
Just as a reminder, if you can leave feedback info on an app, or update info (like on Gas Buddy) please do. That helps all of us!” – Karen House, 2005 Ram 2500, 2005 Lance 811
“iExit.” – Connie Wolff, 2012 Ford F150, Northstar Freedom
“We mainly use Google Maps for getting to some of the hard-way-out state parks. We also use it when we’re out on the jet ski and we’re trying to get our bearings. And we’ll use Siri to find marinas and restaurants! My husband also uses Dark Sky for the weather.” – Melissa Johnson, Ford F150, Sunlite Hideaway 1990 – I think
“We use All Stays, GasBuddy, and Google Maps, but our favorite one is the Sanidump app. We camp off-the-grid a lot, so being able to find a place to dump when we are on the road is important. The app works great, gives you info on where the dump is located, fees, and even has a comments section from other users.” – Ken and Jenn Burton, 2012 GMC Sierra 3500, 2012 Arctic Fox 992
“For driving, we use Google Maps. For weather, we use Wunderground. For hiking, we use Motion X GPS. Both Google and Motion X allow you to preload maps which is essential in Alaska.” – John Hood, 2012 Ford F350, 2008 Arctic Fox 1140
“Google Maps and Weather Bug.” – Jerry Oakley from Lander, Wyoming, 2007 Chevy 2500 HD, 2016 Northstar TC650
“All Stays Camp and RV, All Stays Camp and Tent, PDF Maps, City Papers, Weather Channel, Tide App, Nook App, Scary Campfire Story App, and Google Maps. Note that PDF maps is used to download maps for purchase or free and are much easier for me to read than Google maps. Also, the blue dot shows where I am!” – Michael Given, 1999 Ford F250, 1997 Shadow Cruiser
“AllStays, iMaps, InRoute, nextEXIT, and Pure Gas.” – Alan Hubbard, 2004 Silverado 2500HD, 1992 Sunline C951
“iExit is great for finding food and gas while driving along major roadways. WEX Connect and Gas Buddy find the best prices on fuel. Waze is useful for finding traffic issues along your route. Rest Areas is self explanatory.
Travel WI has things to do in Wisconsin. Recreation.Gov shares campsites in the Recreation.gov database (I may use AllStays from now on). Geocaching requires a membership to access most features.” – Steve Williams, 2010 Ram 2500, 2016 Lance 650
“Waze for on road maps, traffic and accident alerts. The app also will suggest a bypass if there is major congestion ahead. It will also find restaurants and fuel stations. I put up with the occasional ads (I ignore them).
I use Hulu and Amazon Video for television and movies, as long as there is wireless or I can create a hotspot with my iPhone.” – Steven Cilenti, 1999 Ford F350, 2012 Arctic Fox
“My go to app is CoPilot, a GPS routing application. The free version is good, but the paid version is definitely worth it. On my smartphone or tablet, I can use it for driving. When walking downtown and needing to find a building, I simply switch it to walking mode. Maps are downloaded on your device, so it works well out in the boonies. The paid version gives turn-by-turn speech directions, along with updates for the distance to your next two turns.” – Bill Peters, 2013 Chevy Silverado 1500, 2013 Four Wheel Campers Hawk
“I use RA Camping (Reserve America) for finding State/National Park Reservations, GasBuddy for gas or diesel, Sanidumps for RV dump stations, Apple Weather, and Amazon for getting RV stuff.” – Ron Richardson, 2014 Ram 3500, 2012 Wolf Creek 850