Camping & Overlanding Apps, Maps and Books

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! 🤓

AppCostCoverageNotes
CampendiumFree (Ads)U.S. mostlyRV Parks
Public Land
Free Camping
Overnight Parking
Dump Stations
iOverlanderFreeGlobalCamping
– Formal & Informal
Wild Camping
Fuel
Hotels
Restaurants
Checkpoints
Shopping
Mechanics
Lots more…
Coverage?$2.99U.S.Cell coverage
– ATT, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
– Subscription required
Google MapsFreeGlobalI prefer this over Apple Maps.
Gaia GPSFreeGlobalBrand new – still playing around with this one.
WikiCamps U.S.A.$1.99U.S. but
Other countries
available
Campgrounds
RV Parks
Hostels
Day use
Dump stations
BoondockingFreeU.S.Boondocking/Free Camping
AllStays Camp & RV$9.99U.S.Camping
Overnight Parking
Lots more
Ultimate U.S. Public Campgrounds$3.99U.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.

Campendium

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.

iOverlander

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!

Coverage?

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.

Maps

I mostly use Google Maps for routing but have also started playing with Gaia GPS recently. Recommended to me is the Copilot RV Navigation app but I haven’t taken the plunge on it yet.

And, of course, we always carry paper maps. We’re currently in Baja California Sur, Mexico and like the National Geographic Baja maps.

Books

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!

2 comments

  1. Man you read my comment , and boom here it is!

    SUPER HELPFUL write up ! Can’t thank you enough for sharing this info with us all. I too love the “paper map” it gives you something to easily talk about over dinner or in a camp chair with a drink at night then you to go the digit resources from there.

    Again, thank you for this write up!

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