The Best Weather App for RV Travel in 2021

 The Best Weather App for RV Travel in 2021

We have found the best weather app for RV travel. It takes the National Weather Service's weather forecast showing RVers the weather along their route at the time they reach each point.

It allows comparison of different routes, creating stops, interactively changing departure time, and other features that help RVers plan trips around the weather.

You can easily switch between routes, adjust your leave time, add stops – all so you can find the safest way with the best weather to get to your destination.

Drive Weather is all about decision-making in regards to the weather. Like a pilot before taking off in an airplane and checking the expected weather en route, the app takes just a few seconds to get “briefed” on the safest route and safest time to leave.

We interviewed the developer of this awesome app on Episode 350 of the RV Podcast.

You can listen to the entire RV Podcast episode in the player below. Or keep scrolling down for an edited transcript of our interview.

Best weather app for Rv travel? Here is the interview with Paxton Calvanese, the developer of the Drive Weather app:

Mike Wendland:          
Well, the developer of road trip weather, Paxton Calvanese joins us right now on the RV podcast phone line. And Paxton, you have a really neat app. I'm very impressed.

Paxton Calvanese:        Thank you. Thank you.

Mike Wendland:          
Let's tell everybody a little bit about what it does and how it is different than the standard weather apps out there. Give us the 10th, you are a pilot, so this is an easy one for you. Give us the 10,000-foot overview of how it came to be and what this app does and why it's of particular interest to RVers.

Paxton Calvanese:       
Okay. I'll be happy to. So I'll tell you what it does right off the bat. It essentially shows you all the weather at each point of your routes when you would get there. And so, and that's kind of the heart of what it does. It presents the weather very clearly in a way that you can make a quick decision.

And so going back to, I developed a pilot app a few years prior to this one where, and I'm a private pilot. And I'm in Chicago and I would fly up to the Rocky Mountains and in a small airplane, you're very susceptible to the weather. And actually, a lot of pilots end up in a lot of trouble and end up in fatal accidents because of the weather.

And I didn't want to be one of those guys. So I would spend a lot of time evaluating the weather as it relates to flights. And with aviation weather, there's a lot to look at. And it would take me about 15 to 20 minutes to do a full weather planning before I would fly.

And that's a lot of time. And it wasn't particularly difficult, but it was very tedious and time-consuming, and a lot of mathematics and a lot of opportunities for errors.

And so I was a software developer for way too many years consulting in Chicago. And then I finally kind of got out of that and I was learning how to fly. And I kind of saw this opportunity where nobody had made this, put these, really put all the weather together in one app or one presentation. And so I did that and it worked pretty good. It basically took that 15-minute process down to like literally seconds, because I could just look at everything at once. And the app would calculate when I would be at each point in my trip. So, go ahead.

Mike Wendland:          
Yeah, so I'm leaving for a trip. And let's say, actually, I'm going to use this on a trip I'm doing myself. But let's say we, so we enter in where we are now, our current city where we want to go.

Paxton Calvanese:        Yes.

Mike Wendland:          
And as I look at this app and then but we should tell everybody this app is for both Google and or for both Android and the iOS platforms.

Paxton Calvanese:        Right.

Mike Wendland:          
And I look at it and then I plug in where I want to go.

Paxton Calvanese:        Right.

Mike Wendland:           And then tell me what I see and what I can learn from that.

Paxton Calvanese:       
Okay. So then, then you'll hit, get the weather button. And it will show you the route and then all these dots along the route. And so you will see if there's any rain. And so actually let me back up. At the bottom, you have a time slider, which shows, which allows you to set your departure time, or the time that you would leave. And so you could scroll back and forth on that time slider, and it will interactively update the weather.

Mike Wendland:          
Important for someone who wants to know, say there's a line of thunderstorms going through. Or in the winter, it's a blizzard-

Paxton Calvanese:        Right. Right.

Mike Wendland:          
So you can adjust that schedule to see, am I going to beat the snow ahead of it? Or can I come in after it or the rain?

Paxton Calvanese:       
Exactly. Exactly. Like in the morning, if you know you're traveling that day, the full version will allow you to go for seven days and the free version gives you up to two days of weather.

So you could, if you know you're leaving in a day or two, you have a quick scan of what you can expect. And as you get closer and closer to that time they update the forecast. The forecast is being updated every hour. And so you get more and more accurate the closer you are.

But essentially you could decide, if you know thunderstorms coming, you want to wait a few hours before you leave. Or if you know you have to leave at a certain time, it will tell you that. The mist, a storm or high winds, or something like that.

Mike Wendland:           Now where does this weather information come from?

Paxton Calvanese:       
It's courtesy of your tax dollars. The national weather service is the provider that I use. So it's funded by the U.S Government.

We don't generate our own forecast. We just take what the government uses, the National Weather Service, and just illustrate it.

Mike Wendland:          
And it will tell us the weather that we're going to experience on our route. It shows some bright icons for different. It's very easy to tell what it's going to be, overcast. 

Paxton Calvanese:       
So I have gray dots for overcast and the blue for clear blue skies. So you can kind of see that. And then if there's going to be any weather, it would show you that icon. For rain or snow or freezing rain. Or fog.

Mike Wendland:          
When I first tried this, I was amazed. It also allows me to see a couple of different routes to my destination and to choose the one that has the best weather.

Paxton Calvanese:       
Yes, you could. You could easily switch between different routes and see which one you want to, which is the best one.

Mike Wendland:          
Yeah. I know there are other apps that have sort of done that and they basically tell you what the forecast is for one area. But yours also is updated, right? So if I take off at 9:30 and my destination is at two in the afternoon by 11 o'clock, that information is different than what it was at 9:30. So I can see much more current forecasts. Is that, am I reading this correctly?

Paxton Calvanese:       
I think I understand what you're saying. Yeah. So essentially the app will update every time it's open with the latest forecast. But it calculates as you, based on the departure time, it will calculate when you'll be at each point.

Mike Wendland:          
And then you see the weather at each point.

Paxton Calvanese:       
Yes. You see at each location and it's as every single like you can see how many dots are on the route. There's a ton of them. And so, it's one thing to know, like if I'm in Chicago, if I go to, let's say Houston. And I'm checking, you can check the big cities like St. Louis, all the other Memphis, but this shows really every like five, ten miles. So you have a much higher resolution of information to look at.

And it helps fill the picture, right? I mean, if it's raining in St. Louis, I mean, what does it really is the rain before it, or after it. Is it, there's a lot of other questions it's, so this is much easier than using a standard weather app and checking a few locations. It kind of does all that for you.

The Best Weather App for RV Travel in 2021 3

Mike Wendland:          
Very handy app. And it's very simple to use. I love to play around with that slider. Now we should tell me about it. This app is free. 

Paxton Calvanese:       Yeah. Right.

Mike Wendland:          
And you do have a premium version available, but the free app is what, what does the free app give you?

Paxton Calvanese:     
So the free app will let you do like a 900-mile trip, which is probably good for a day. Days journey. In addition to up to two days of weather. And then on the paid version. And it has ads. The free version also has ads. The paid version then will let you do seven days weather unlimited trip plan.

You could also see the wind on the paid version, which is pretty helpful for our viewers. And then you could add stop points and waypoints. So if you are planning a long trip, or a multi-day trip, you could add in a stop for overnight for up to two days, and it will tell you, it will hold the weather at that point and show you what the, with that stop, what it will look like after you continue the journey. If that makes sense.

Mike Wendland:          
It does. And then there's also a radar app. You can pull out-

Paxton Calvanese:       Radar yeah.

It's always good to check the current conditions. So, so the weather that shows you is the forecast, right? That's the predictive, the computers generate this forecast, then the forecast is sometimes wrong. And then, so I always recommend checking the radar too, because you never know what's going on. Radar is historical, which means it's what has just happened. And you want to see where that intersects with your route.

Mike Wendland:          
So one of the ways that I see this really handy is a, I'm doing a 350-mile trip today on a longer route. I want to find a place to stop. And I see that rain is coming into the forecast. I can speed up or stop somewhere else and avoid that. And it just gives me a really nice graphical interface.

Paxton Calvanese:      Yeah.

Mike Wendland:          
The pro version is, you said, it's for seven days. I used this for five minutes and then I bought the pro.

Paxton Calvanes:        Oh! That's good. 

Mike Wendland:          
And I do see something about the roads that it covers. I was worried that it just took interstates, but actually, I'm traveling, I'm doing a trip to some of the southern states off the interstates. And it shows me that too. Describe what the difference between road trip and interstate. You've got that interstate category.

Paxton Calvanese:       
Sure. So basically I get the weather on the paid version. So craft the direction uses Google's mapping software. And it's kind of it's whatever they return to you. So they're going to find  – they'll give you a few options usually.

What you could do is in the settings, you could turn like exclude interstates. So then it would force you to use the other routes. You could also set. If you have a specific route that you want to follow, you could set, what's called a waypoint in the search. And this is again for the pro or paid version. So you can force it. You can force the routing to take a specific path.

The Best Weather App for RV Travel in 2021 4

 

Mike Wendland:          
Well, it's a very handy app for RVers. And of course, we're doing a podcast interview, but they can go to the site, driveweatherapp.com. We'll put a link in the show notes for the podcast, driveweatherapp.com. And we will be using it ourselves. And I'm sure in the future videos that we do on our YouTube channel and elsewhere, we'll be talking more about it.

Our guest has been Paxton Calvanese. He is the founder and the creator of Drive Weather App for both the Android platform and the iOS platform.

Paxton, thank you for being our guest on the podcast. You've got a great app there, and I think a lot of our listeners are going to be very happy with that.

Paxton Calvanese:       Thank you. Thanks for having me.

If you want to read more about which apps are best for RVers – check these out: 

Looking for Expert RV Trip ideas and RV Travel suggestions?

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The Best Weather App for RV Travel in 2021

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

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