Sometimes technology is an RVer’s best friend. Especially if leaving everything to chance means having an adventure of the frustrating kind. Today’s new smart phone apps can help us make a campground reservation, tell us what’s off the next exit, locate the closest gas station, or point us in the direction of a great biking or hiking trail. Which leaves more time to enjoy our experiences and savor our precious “free” time.
If you search the web, you’ll unearth dozens of road-trip-related apps, but below is a short list to consider before you set off on your summer-in-the-Northwest travels. (Note that some of these are for iPhone only, and others for a broader range of smart phones. Some are free, others you pay for.)
AllStays Camp & RV. This seems to be the across-the-board favorite RVers app. You’ll find every national, state, public, military and private campground in the area you’re traveling; information on boondocking; find rest areas, truck stops, supply stores, and even dump stations.
Audubon Nature Pacific Northwest. The definitive Northwest wildlife and nature guide – to animals, fish, insects, trees, flowers -- is now an app for your referencing pleasure.
Oh, Ranger! Not only will you find the nearest park with this app, but it will also show you where in that park you can pursue your favorite seasonal activities, from winter sport to swimming, and from caving and fishing to bird and wildlife viewing and horseback riding.
Google Sky Map. Looking up at a dark night sky is one of the great pleasures of camping. Google offers a free app that tells you what you’re look up at, from wherever you are.
RoadAhead. Find out what the next highway exit offers, from cafes and restaurants, to grocery stores, gas stations (even compare prices!), ATMs, and even pharmacies.