We live and travel full-time in our RV and use apps extensively to find places to camp, boondock, shop, eat, dump tanks, map routes – pretty much everything.
As I meet other full-timers one question I ask is “What apps to you use?” – it turns out most world travelers are using iOverlander. And it seems most U.S.-only travelers are using Campendium or something else (from my very informal survey, ymmv).
So which apps do we use? We triangulate between several apps to find our “perfect” next spot. In the U.S. we mostly use Campendium and some iOverlander, triangulated with the Coverage? app to assess cell coverage. In Mexico, we use iOverlander and a Baja travel guide (see below).
Apps on My iPhone
Here’s a list of all the camping / overlanding apps I currently have on my iPhone. The apps listed in bold are those we use the most, but I do use the others occasionally (especially when in the U.S.). Lastly, these are all on the iPhone – apologies in advance to folks with an Android phone. Flip-phone users can skip this part and jump straight to the paper maps and books info below! 🤓
|Campendium||Free (Ads)||U.S. mostly||RV Parks|
– Formal & Informal
– ATT, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
– Subscription required
|Google Maps||Free||Global||I prefer this over Apple Maps.|
|Gaia GPS||Free||Global||Brand new – still playing around with this one.|
|WikiCamps U.S.A.||$1.99||U.S. but|
|AllStays Camp & RV||$9.99||U.S.||Camping|
|Ultimate U.S. Public Campgrounds||$3.99||U.S.||Camping|
Lots of filters
The fact that I don’t use some of the other apps as much is not a knock against them – I’m just lazy and a creature of habit. That said, for me, the cost to have them all available is totally worth it. If you really want to cover all the bases, just get ’em.
Our go-to app in the U.S. is Campendium. Entries are crowd-sourced, meaning only sites entered by users of the app will show up. But it has pretty good coverage and we really like reviewing cell strength. Since this app is free, it’s a no-brainer and you should get it.
Another free app, thus a no-brainer, is iOverlander. This app includes more than just camping. And it’s global. It’s also crowd-sourced but has pretty good coverage. One nice feature of IOverlander is the data is cached on your phone so even if you are out of range of a cell tower, you can still use the app. We find this extremely useful!
One paid app we use extensively in the U.S. is the Coverage? app. This app displays the cell cloud super-imposed on a map. We use this with either Campendium or iOverlander to guesstimate whether a site might have OK cell coverage. Both Campendium and iOverlander allow users to report cell strength but it’s subjective or not even reported. The Coverage? app provides a “second opinion”. Sadly, this app only works in the U.S.
And, of course, we always carry paper maps. We’re currently in Baja California Sur, Mexico and like the National Geographic Baja maps.
In the U.S. I didn’t carry any books for camping but for Baja, we picked up Traveler’s Guide to Camping Mexico’s Baja by Mike and Terri Church. I highly recommend this book if you plan to travel in The Baja.
But traveling Baja is whole ‘nuther post!
What about you?
What apps do you rely on for camping and/or overlanding? Let us know in the comments!