Toss the guidebook, get a camping app

 Toss the guidebook, get a camping app

Like a lot of RVers, one of the first purchases I made for my new traveling lifetyle was one of those huge, Yellow Pages-sized camping guides.

It took one trip to realize that was one purchase I could have avoided.

For those with smartphones and tablets, apps are much more effective, efficient and up-to-date that those three pound printed directories;

I did my PC Mike NBC-TV report this week on camping apps.

Here are a few I have enjoyed.

For Droid and iPhone users, try the We Camp Here app. It displays a map of nearby campgrounds. Click and you get detailed campground information. You can read and write reviews, call for reservations, view the campground website or even get turn by turn driving directions to get you to the campground.

Looking for a free place to spend the night in your RV? Try  Walmart parking lot camping. This free app for the iPhone and Droids shows you which Walmarts in your area let you spend the night. It also lists which amenities are nearby.

What would a camping trip be without some great food? The Coleman Camping Cookbook is a great free app that features a meal planner, detailed menus and pictures for cooking everything you can possibly imagine.

One other cool app from Coleman: The Creepy Campfire Tales iPhone book. Gather the kids around the fire and scare the bejeebers out of them as you read from a collection of spooky stories, complete with sound effects.

There’s more. Many states have their own amp for their state campgrounds. There are state and federal forest maps and guides and apps that show dumping stations. Just do a search for camping apps and you’ll find plenty of others.

If you have some you use, post them under comments.

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 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.


  • I ‘ve found these links very useful

    I’ve instaled Microsoft Streets & Trips 2011 with GPS
    I like it !!

  • Gary … here is a great web site for RVers looking for a safe and convenient place to stay for a day or two while travelling to your destination. I’ve used it myself and had a wonderful visit with a fellow and his wife in Maryland.

    It is called Boondockers Welcome. The premise is that you offer a fellow RVer a place to stay for a night or two on your property and in return receive the same from other members. There are several hundred locations in Canada and US now and growing every day.

    Be sure to check it out. It is FREE to join at the moment. You can check out my page under username of: Karsty


    Karsten (Karsty)

  • We have a problem with the apps on the iphone. When looking at the maps, we have to zoom in to read the street names and then we need to zoom out to tell where we are. we have Sprint and can turn on a hotspot. We tried using the hotspot to use a Mac but would lose our connection.
    Is there a way to use the Mac or a PC with the hotspot and be able to be connected while driving or is there some other solution. I heard about a usb cellular modem and a cellular wifi router. Are those something different. Would they work?
    Is an ipad of a Nook a better option or an option at all?
    Thanks. Bought our used Roadtrek in Arizona in April and are up to 21 states to date.

  • I use my iPad and the Verizon Wireless network to setup a hotspot for my MacBookPro. Have used it tat way numerous times and in numerous places with no problem, as long as there was a strong cellular signal.
    I have not used my Mac via hotspot while driving (with Jennifer driving) but I suspect, depending where we are as signals go from tower to tower and 4g to 3g that it reception would hiccup.
    I have used the iPad and Verizon 4g quite often while on the move and have had great coverage, with minimal disruptions. Even Verizon 3g has been fine for uninterrupted iPad coverage.
    Sprint’s 4g is good, just not as extensive across the country network as Verizons.

  • I second using http://www.rvparkreviews. We used Trailer Life for years, but the park reviews are more helpful.
    To great alternatives for overnights (both are membership sites) are:

    Harvest Hosts (, join are you can stay at wineries all over US/Canada/Baja.

    Overnight RV Parking (; great site info of free or inexpensive camping. Gives you locations and amenities available. We’ve used it for years.

    Overnight RV parking

  • We have used the Allstays camp and rv app.. Found it very helpful and we used it numerous times last year on a 5 week trip. It give ample info on directions, amenities, phone. And web info. Will continue using it

    Judy & Jim Wetherington. FMCA 428894
    2011 210 Popular Roadtrek

  • Here are our favorites for apps and programs: All Stays Camp and RV, (app) Passport America (app), Road Ahead (app for traveling), Mobile Rving (app), My Pilot (for diesel fuel stops),, All Stays Rest Stops (app)

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