Keeping the RV Lifestyle carefree means having easy access to helpful RV Living resources. That's why we're publishing this RV Travel master list.
Jennifer and I have spent years collecting them. So bookmark this post. We know it will come in handy sometime.
RV Living 101: Road and Weather RV Resources:
Nothing can worry an Rv trip faster than getting stuck in traffic. Or being detoured because of construction or road delay. These RV resources will help you choose your best route to avoid such hassles.
Waze – This app is at the top of our favorite RV resources these days. It's an app and website offers detailed turn-by-turn route guidance and directions, plus constantly updated group-sourced alerts to traffic James, police and speed traps debris n the road and hazardous conditions
National Traffic and Road Closure Information – Kept by the US. Department of Transportation's National Highway Administration, it searches state by state and has updates on construction zones, live freeway traffic conditions and much more
iExit – This app is a great RV 101 resource for finding out what’s at the next exit from the interstate, or exit miles down the way. It locates fuel stops, tells you the average cost per gallon, notes what restaurants and businesses are at that exit. They call it your Roadtrip pit stop finder and it helps save time and figure out where to pull off and find the services you need.
Road and traffic conditions across the nation – Looking for a weather report for the route you plan to drive? Check this before heading out and on route. It also has links to live traffic webcams in many spots. We really like the map it displays showing wind speeds in each state.
Weather alerts from the National Weather Service – From weather forecasts, flood warnings to rainfall alerts, this has state by state information for every region of the nation.
Current Wildfire alerts – Wildfires are frequent problems RV drivers need to know about. This updated wildfire incident website shows current wildfires being fought across the nation.
Yelp – We love Yelp and use it all the time to find great restaurants. Pick a location and see what’s near you. Here’s a hint: We always look for places with the best reviews, four or five stars and we’ve never been disappointed and, in fact have found some awesome local restaurants that we would have passed right by.
Roadtrippers – This app helps you find fun and interesting things to see along your travel route. You can filter it however you want but the app covers just about every region in the country and makes some great suggestions for off the beaten path exploration. Read the reviews from others who have been there and we guarantee you’ll find some fun places to stop.
We have on the RV Lifestyle blog an article that will help avoid getting stuck in traffic.
RV Living 101: Safety RV Resources
Latest RV Recalls – No one keeps better track of Rv models being recalled for various safety issues than our friends at RV Travel. Usually, your manufacturer will alert you to issues. But sometimes, those notification letters slip through the system, Get in the habit of checking these notices at least monthly to see if your RV has an issue that should be resolved.
RV parks that have shelters – When bad weather hits an area, you want to have a safer place to retreat to than your RV. Here's a list maintained by RV Travel of parks and campground with shelters you can take refuge in.
Seatbelt laws in every state – Some states only require those in the front seat of a motorhome to wear seatbelts, while others may require all passengers to be buckled up. To avoid getting issues with the law and a costly tcket, check out tthe motorhome seatbelt laws for every state you'll be traveling in.
RV Service Reviews – This very helpful RV resource rates and reviews RV repair facilities across the country. This site is particularly helpful when you are in a new area and don't know what best place to call for help.The site contains actual reviews of RV service facilities made by RV owners themselves. You can research where to take your RV for service and what establishments you may want to avoid.
RV Living 101: RV Resources on where to overnight for free
Rest areas where you can overnight – Camping is not allowed in any interstate highway rest area. But some do allow. This link lists the rules for each state. Check the states you'll be traveling through but, to make it easier, let me just list the states that do allow you to stop and rest, ranging from a couple of hours to overnight.
- Illinois (only on Illinois Toll Road)
- Indiana (only on Indiana Toll Road)
- New Mexico
- New York (emergencies only)
- Ohio (only on Ohio Turnpike)
- Oregon (14-hour limit)
Want more RV resources and information on free camping, boondocking on federal and state land?
There are lots more RV resources we want to share. Here's a video we did on the topic:
RV Living 101: Membership sites where RVers can stay for free
Harvest Hosts – A network of 1m400 farms, wineries, breweries, tourist attractions and golf clubs where RVers can stay free overnight. Here's a video of how Jenifer and I use it:
Boondockers Welcome – This site connects RVers to more than 2,000 private property owners from all over North America who make overnight camping spots available for RVers who are passing through their area. Some spots are in their driveway, some out back. Some are small businesses. Your RV must be self-contained. Hosts charge nothing. Membership fee is $50 a year.
Overnight RV Parking – Overnight RV Parking is a subscription service, providing details for over 14,000 FREE or nearly free parking locations that can be searched by location, listing places that allow and prohibit overnight RV parking. Plug in a city and you’ll get a map listing where you can or where you can’t overnight free or for a very low fee. It costs $29 a year.
We did a video on the various places where RVers can stay for free or at low costs.
RV Living 101: RV Clubs worth joining
These are great RV communities. They offer rallies, special member perks, road service and insurance deals, mail forwarding services, and much more. Here are the top three clubs we recommend as RV resources:
Escapees – This just might be the most active RV club out there today. If you are looking for community, help with RV issues, Rv product discounts and more, check out these guys
FMCA – This is the granddaddy of RV clubs. Originally the group was only for motor coach owners (the MC in the name) but for the last could of years they have opened to all RVers. They have lots of rallies and lots of members-only RV discounts.
Good Sam – A part of Camping World, the Good Sam Club is an international organization of recreational vehicle owners and the largest organization of RV owners in the world. It is focused upon making RVing safer and more enjoyable, and to save members money through club-endorsed benefits and services. It states that it has over 2.185 million members.
RV Living 101: RV Resources for planning an RV trip
RV Trip Wizard – This is a very handy tool for planning your RV routes. You can use the wizard to map out a trip, find campgrounds along the way (and their review/ratings), track your fuel and travel costs, and locate points of interest in the area you’re visiting.
Mile By Mile Road Trip – This site has been around a long time It's not fancy but it is helpful. Click on a state and you get a map of the major roads in the state and links to route suggestions you can use to plan your trip.
Travellers Point – This site lets you plan a route, free, online, and draw your route out on your own customized map. You can also start your own travel blog.
We wrote on the RV Lifestyle travel blog a very helpful article and video on the exact tools Jennifer and I use when we plan our travel.
Here's the accompanying video:
RV Living 101: RV resources for finding private and government campgrounds
Dyrt – This is a fast-growing campground directory app that boasts over 500,000 listings, with honest, crowd-sourced reviews, tips and contact information that makes it very easy to book a campsite. They also publish a great camping magazine and they run frequent contests. The basic site is free, but the $29 a year pro version has even more info. We use this on our tablets and smartphone. They have iOS and Android apps available
Campendium – Campendium has done the best job of any app we’ve found on reporting what is open and what is closed during the COVID-19 shutdown. They have state-by-state listings, directories of commercial campgrounds, national forest camping areas, state parks, National Parks and free campsites. The app is a very fast and helpful RV respource. To get the list of updated open and closed campgrounds, go to https://www.campendium.com/camping/covid-19-state-by-state-campground-closures-responses/
Campground Reviews – There are listings and reviews here on over 20,000 campgrounds. The reviews are usually spot on, submitted by real campers. Very helpful site.
Campground Views – It sounds similar to the above RV Living 101 resource but Campground Views is very different. It offers actual views, photos, and videos – often 360-degree videos – of RV parks and campgrounds across the U.S. It has 3,130 videos, 37.475 photos, and info on over 16,000 parks.
Allstays -This has been our main go-to app for years. It lists campgrounds, boondocking spots, BLM land, parks, attractions and more, and it shows them all on a map. You can search near you or along a route or by state and you can have the map show you everything from campgrounds to interstate rest areas to Walmarts, rv dump sites, pretty much anything an RVer needs to find. It’s only for iOS devices.
The KOA App – KOA is our go-to campground of choice when it’s time to overnight on the road when we need a commercial campground to get some laundry done and empty the tanks. The app lets you see photos of the campground, get an idea of what amenities are available, and read reviews from other RVers who have stayed there. You can also reserve a spot from the app.
RV Living 101: More RV resources you'll need
Dump Stations – This is a very helpful crowd-sourced RV resource list that lets you see RV sanitation surrounding the area of your choice. Click in the state you are in and it opens up a map that will quickly let you see what is near you. with just the click of a mouse.
Go Pet Friendly – We travel with Bo, a 65-pound Norwegian Elkhound. And this app is the main RV resource we use to make sure we give him a good time, too. It helps us find pet-friendly hotels and campgrounds, beaches, off-leash parks where Bo can run, veterinarians, pet supply stores and even restaurants and wineries where pets are welcome to join you.
Traveling in an RV with Pets – We have a free RV Living 101 guide to traveling with your dog. Jennifer and I wrote this free, downloadable eBook from our own experience and lots of interviews with experts over the years,
Buying an RV – We created a 70+-page downloadable digital guide that serves as a very helpful RV Living 101 RV resource tat will help you understand the nuances that come with purchasing an RV, where you can save thousands of dollars in the buying process, what the right questions are to ask dealers, what things to look out for, how to select the right unit, amenities, warranties, and so much more.
Financing an RV – This links to Jeff McLeod of Newcoast Financial Services who specializes in RV loans and the refinancing of existing loans. He'll offer up free quotes that let you find the best places to finance that purchase.
Insurance for an RV – We recommend RIS (Recreation Insurance Specialists), formerly Blue Sky RV Insurance. They have many years of experience with RV specialty coverage. They'll give you a free quote on insurance solutions to meet your specific needs.
Extended Warranties – Recreational vehicles are complex machines with many parts, and you owe it to your rig and your wallet to keep those parts covered. An extended warranty is a wise decision. Wholesale Warranties is the company we recommend to find the right RV Extended Warranty coverage for your vehicle. Simply fill out their online quote form below with your rig’s information, and one of their knowledgeable Warranty Specialists will reach out to you in no time with your extended warranty quote
Getting an RV inspected – Next to our house, buying an RV is probably the most expensive purchase you will make in a lifetime. When buying a house, it’s normal to have it checked out by a home inspector. Do you realize you can do the same thing with an RV? In this week’s RV interview of the week, we’ll introduce you to the National RV Inspectors Association of America and tell you what needs to be checked out by a pro before you sign on the dotted line.
CLICK HERE to listen to our RV Podcast for detailed information on how important these RV inspections are
RV Travel Guides – We have written a series of regional RV travel guides covering the most popular destinations for RVers. Each guide is just $7 and in each location, we provide a suggested route and itinerary (7 stops in each guide, one for each day of a week trip!) as well as links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking spots, local tips, and interesting things to do at each location.
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Do you want to save money by avoiding RV parks and campgrounds?
Our Beginner's Guide to Boondocking eBook gives you a detailed look into our preferred way of RVing and traveling.
Boondocking is camping totally self-contained with no commercial power, water, sewer, or any other on-the-grid service.
We get questions every day from other RVers wondering “How do you do that?” In this step-by-step guide, we show you exactly how to boondock in your RV!
CLICK HERE for information.
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