Useful websites and apps for long road trips
When you’re on the road for an extended period of time, you can’t help but count on a mobile app, website or two to make life a little easier. In recent years, there’s been a boom of valuable, and handy, websites and apps designed specifically for the road warriors out there. And of course, many motorhome owners fall squarely into that category. Here are a handful of the most helpful sites or apps we’ve come across.
Get a strong satellite signal
It sure is a luxury to have a satellite dish on your coach. Finding a signal, on the other hand, can prove challenging. Worry not, there’s an app for that, actually several. Just search for apps on your mobile device using “satellite finder” or “dish alignment” to find one that works for you.
Conceived and informed by full-time RVers, this handy app tracks more than 55 pieces of travel-relevant information, everything from what restraints are required for kids to pet leash laws. All data is integrated into the app so you can use it even if you don’t have a cellular or WiFi connection. If you are connected, it can provide you with information on the nearest neighboring states. Learn more here.
Gas prices can vary wildly, especially if you’re trips span different regions. A website (also available in app formats) like GasBuddy will help do your best to stay on budget. Tools within the app like the heat map which shows relative prices across the country and the Trip Cost Calculator are handy planning tools. Visit GasBuddy.com.
Even our homes are “smart” and connected these days. If you’re leaving a brick-and-mortar residence behind for an extended period, you can keep an eye on things with a system like LiveWatch. With it, you can not only respond to alarms or suspicious activity, but also get video streams and control things like lights, locks and thermostats.
Available only for iOS devices, this app takes the guessing out of when and where you’ll have cell phone coverage. If you’re trying to schedule your next few overnight stays, you can plug your options into this useful tool to find out where if you’ll have connectivity.
Planning overnight stays
If you’re considering a night or two in the wilderness, off the grid, give the U.S. Public Lands app a look. It outlines the different types of public lands, who manages them and what kind of access is available. Similarly, apps by developer Allstays provide other overnight RV information about rest stops, Walmarts and truck stops—even dump station locators.
For the bargain hunters
Every now and then you need a new chair for the campsite, a warm coat, or you just want some new décor in the style of a region you’re exploring. Sites like Craigslist or VarageSale are good for finding just about any random thing you may need no matter where you are. These sites are just as handy if you’re are trying to unload some gear too.
The Entegra Coach app
For Entegra Coach owners, this iOS/Android app is indispensable. It puts the manual of your coach in the palm of your hand as well as provides access to useful how-to videos and up-to-date owner event schedules.
Sure, much of the appeal of hitting the road is to disconnect from the screens and digital devices that are now a huge part of our everyday lives, but when it comes to those extra-long trips, apps and sites like these certainly have their time and place.