RVing with Kids Made Simple

Choose the Perfect Campground or RV Park

Not every RV park, resort or campground is created with kids in mind. When RVing with the entire family it is vital that you find a place that will accommodate your family’s needs and camping style. Before hitting the open road, make sure that you do your research on the different parks in the area you are traveling to. You can use apps and websites such as KOA to look up RV parks and read reviews. If you are a ROUTE 66/RV Care Promises member or a member of the RV Club, you can receive 10% off each night.* The best place for your entire family is going to have lots of space for your kids to run around and get their energy out. Plus being in a close proximity to fun activities or sites is a bonus!

Be Prepared for Rain

No matter how perfectly you plan your RV adventure, you can’t control the weather and unexpected rain can occur. Luckily you can plan for the unexpected! Packing card and board games, such as UNO or Monopoly, is always a great idea for entertaining your kids when stuck inside. Many people put a multiplayer game console in their RV which adds to the level of family fun during times like these.

Map Out Stops

RVs are big, especially in small parking lots. Before your trip, do some research on places that are easy to eat at when traveling in an RV. Truck stop gas stations are a great stop for when you are needing a quick pit stop to stock up on snacks. Many McDonald’s have RV parking and play areas for the kiddos which helps release their energy on longer travel days. Rest areas are another great spot to stop when traveling with your whole family since several have small walking trails.

Shorter Travel Days

You might love the excitement of road trips and cruising long open roads, but they can be hard for young adventurers. Long travel days can be extremely boring and uncomfortable for kids. To help keep your kids excited about the destination consider traveling in shorter periods of time such as 3-5 hours a day. Shorter travel days also allow for the driver to rest, and allows the passenger to provide everyone with snacks. Also make sure to add 10-15 minutes to each hour of travel for bathroom breaks.

Buckle Up

Don’t forget to buckle up! When traveling in a motorhome, your kids might have the urge to roam the cabin freely when traveling – this can be very dangerous. When the RV is moving, everyone should be seated and buckled up. Learn more about safety while traveling in an RV!

Have Fun!

Just like when you’re at home, sometimes things don’t go as planned. There might be more rainy days than sunny ones making your kids restless and no longer entertained by games like Uno or iSpy. Always remember that you are adventuring with your family! Make the most of every moment with keeping spirits light and happy and omitting the need for perfection. Remember to be patient and flexible with your time and always appreciate the time you are getting to spend surrounded by the people you love. RVing is about having fun and seeing nature in a whole new way!

50 Best Apps When Camping

As camping season arrives, the outdoors call your name. Preparing for camping trips never gets easier, especially when you and your family or friends are traveling to a new location. Trying to find a campground? Try out a campground or RV park locator app. Some people are looking to keep it simple while others want all the luxurious and homelike amenities possible. Others focus their vacations around places with great hiking trails and scenic views. If that is you, then you’ll find some awesome hiking and trail guide apps below.

We have compiled the 50 best RV camping apps for every adventurer, no matter your camping style or how you like to roll in the great outdoors. These digital camping tools can help you through a variety of situations or needs that you may come across while out on the open road. Make your camping trip easier by utilizing a RV travel app easily accessed by your iPhone or Android cell phone. Camping with your crew just became easier through iOS and android apps alike!

1. Route 66 RV Club

Route66Club_AppAs an RV Club member you have access to the Route 66 RV Club app providing all your membership benefits and information at the palm of your hand. You can easily locate a Route 66 RV Network Dealership for parts, accessories or to inquire about servicing your vehicle. As a non-member, you can still download the app for access to the dealership locator and information regarding the club programs and services. 

2. KOA

You can easily plan your perfect adventure and search through all of KOA’s campgrounds to find the one that meets your needs. Each campground has a detailed description, and you can get driving directions to those campsites. You can also find a list of local attractions and activities that you and the family will love. As a partner of the Route 66 RV Network, RV Club members get discounts at KOA campsites!

3. Roadtrippers

This app is perfect for planning any kind of trip from a traditional roadtrip or a camping excursion through National Parks. One of the best features of this app is the ability to easily download maps to use while offline, which comes in handy when you are navigating through areas that have little to no signal. When traveling through places such as Yellowstone, cell service is limited and you don’t want to miss the scenery because you’re staring down at a map, so an app like this is a great thing to download.

4. Hip Camp

This app is an absolutely fantastic tool for finding a campsite. HipCamp has several unique camping destinations and allows users to sort by specific features you want, such as campfires being allowed. Some of the unique sites they list include a llama farm, ranches and even secluded corners of people’s private property. It’s time to download this app and camp at a memorable campsite today.

5. Free Roam

If you are a detail-oriented person then you will love the camping app, FreeRoam. This app aids you in planning every aspect of your camping trip, like helping map out travel times to know what time is best to hit the road and planning where to stop along the way. Although you can’t book through the app, you can search for campgrounds in the area you are traveling to. This app is great for RVers because it includes mapping tools such as vehicle height.

6. Reserve America

If you are looking to find a campsite in a state park, a private campground or an RV park then the Reserve America app is perfect for you. When using their search feature, you can choose to add various filters such as Federal, County, State and Private camping sites.

7. The Dyrt

The Dyrt helps people like you find a campsite that fits how you like to camp. You can find options like cabins to tent sites to RV sites, all on this app. If you get the Pro version of the app you will also have access to discounts on gear, camping and features like downloadable maps.

8. Recreation.Gov

This is the app you will want to download if you are looking to book a campsite on federal land, like National Forests and National Parks. One tip when it comes to booking these sites is to check the app early. Several of these campsites book three to six months in advance depending on the popularity of the area you wish to stay in.

9. Campspot

This app makes camping so much easier! As a camper, Campspot does not charge any booking fees which is a great feature. They also guarantee the lowest pricing out there. When browsing availability on the app, you can filter by amenities, distance and park features. You might even be able to find some last minute openings for campsites near you.

10. PackPoint

What should you pack for your next camping trip or RV vacation? This app offers extensive categories for packing lists, which lets users customize their planning options based on things such as daily structure to location.

11. Tentrr

If bringing more household amenities to your camping experience is ideal, then Tentrr is the perfect app for you. This service provides pre-made glamping tents on more than 800 different private and public campsites. Users also have access to booking services such as saunas, massages and others that would be typically spotted at a luxury hotel. 

12. Boondocking

This app is specialized for people looking for free campsites without all the extra bells and whistles. It is perfect for fans of dispersed camping and users can search for hundreds of campsites with user-generated information to help guide you. Most of Boondocking’s campsite options don’t have electrical or sewage hookups for tents or RVs so make sure that you want a place that is more off-the-grid.

13. Campendium

This website and app allows you to search for free or paid campsites. Some of these campsites are pull-offs perfect for RVs, some are true campgrounds and some can be dispersed. You can utilize their search filters to narrow down what you are looking for and even read reports and reviews from other campers who have personally camped there. You can use most of the app’s essential features for free, but if you choose to upgrade you can get ad-free searching, map layers and cell service filtering as well.

14. Avenza Maps

This app allows you to easily access and download maps from official sites and sources. Some maps are free, like the majority of road use maps from the BLM and forest service, while other maps are considered premium and you have to pay to access them. However, the great thing about Avenza Maps is that it works in conjunction with your phone’s GPS tracking system to assist you in navigating your current location and also helps you find available dispersed camping.

15. Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS gives you the most accurate GPS and topographical information. There might be a little more digging involved in finding your perfect spot, but this is the most accurate and user-friendly app when it comes to land-use maps. If you choose to upgrade to the premium membership, you can access all maps offline and have access to layered premium maps. You can even access satellite view to get a better idea of what it looks like from above!

16. Harvest Hosts

This app is pretty cool! When you pay the reasonable yearly membership fee, you get unlimited free overnight stays at tons of sites across the U.S. These sites include everything from farms to golf courses to wineries. Depending on what level of membership you invest in, your vacations end up paying for the app itself in just a few nights.

17. iOverlander

This app is another great tool for searching for campsites. Once you are in the app, you can use the search through the map and add in the necessary filters for the type of site you are looking for. A great ease of use as little displays icons provide descriptions of the site when you click on them. You can also get real advice from people who have visited and utilized these sites, and sometimes you can even find reviews with images which aids you in finding the best spot.

18. AllStays

This app and website is an indispensable tool for RV owners. It allows you to sort through a large database of campground sites and other pieces of crucial information. If you are using the free version you can sort by filters like public lands, hookups, showers and more. If you choose to upgrade to AllStays Pro, you get access to additional features such as full-screen maps on the website, RV washes, additional dump locations and propane locations. 

19. WikiCamps

This is the best completely user-generated tool that is available to campers. This app takes information about campgrounds, dump stations, water taps and more all across the U.S., Canada, U.K and Australia and makes it accessible to consumers. There is also the option to download and access maps without an internet connection which is extremely valuable for off-grid adventures. 

20. All Trails

This app is perfect for those who love adventure. This app lets users discover over 200,000 hiking, mountain biking and backpacking trails all around the world. It also has detailed maps and descriptions of each trail which helps even seasoned outdoors people new places to explore.

21. NPS.Gov

The official National Parks Service app gives users easy access to all National Parks that have spaces for camping and holds a wide variety of information that is specific to each park that is under federal purview. This app doesn’t let you book sites directly through the app, but it does link directly to each park’s official website.

22. Sanidumps

Find an RV dump station near you quick and simple. This app shows dump stations located at campgrounds, state parks, national parks, provincial parks and military campgrounds. The dump stations listed are constantly updated so that you don’t have to worry about going to one that is out of service.

23. SAS Survival Guide

Even if it’s just a short weekend camping trip, it can come in handy to know some survival skills. This app gives you multiple different categories to choose from such as environments, food in the wild and first aid. You can find valuable information for almost anything you are wanting to learn about the basics of survival.

24. Spotify

Music is absolutely essential for road trips, hiking and camping. Spotify is one of the best apps for streaming music. You can create your own playlist or browse through playlists that have been curated by other users or by Spotify with music similar to what you usually listen to. Next time you break out the bluetooth speaker at a campfire, you won’t have to worry about boring music with Spotify!

25. State Lines

This app is perfect if you are needing answers to questions that involve specific states. There are over 50 pieces of travel information for each of the 50 states such as specific laws regarding RVs, open container laws and more.

26. Travel Altimeter Lite

Knowing what altitude you are at can be very important for your health and safety. You can easily get a quick and accurate measurement of your elevation with the Travel Altimeter Lite app.

27. Waze

The days of paper maps are nearly gone, so it is important to have a digital navigation app that you can trust and rely on. You can simply tell Waze where you are and where you want to go and you will receive real time navigation information including traffic levels and estimated time of arrival.

28. Weber Grill App

Planning recipes for your camping can be a stressful task at times. The Weber Grill App features over 70 recipes that you and your family or friends will love. Each week you will get new recipes and there are also plenty of grilling tips and ideas to help you get the most out of your grilling experience. The app also has a feature that allows you to create a grocery list and to tag all your family and friends.

29. Localeur

If you are a foodie then this app is definitely for you. This app helps you find the best local restaurants and places to visit that have been recommended by people that live in that specific city. You can easily tailor the trip to match your food taste and it’s a fun way to explore a new city.

30. InRoute

This app differs from Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps as additional route information is provided such as the weather, elevation, curviness and places along the route. It has a ton of additional features and information that don’t usually come with a traditional navigation app.

31. Audible

Sometimes listening to music during the entirety of a long road trip can get monotonous. Audible gives you access to hundreds of online audio books that are perfect for you and your families adventure. They have different genres and authors so you will definitely find something that peaks your interest.

32. Skyview Lite

If you love the night sky and the constellations, then this app is perfect for you. SkyView Lite brings stargazing to everyone wherever you are. Use your camera to accurately spot and identify various celestial objects in the night sky. Easily scan across the sky and discover distant galaxies, satellite fly-bys and find all your favorite constellations. 

33. First Aid American Red Cross

Sometimes unexpected injuries occur when you and your family are out camping. The American Red cross app gives you access to expert advice right in the palm of your hand. You can find information that you need to know about most common first aid emergencies. There are also videos, quizzes and pieces of step-by-step advice. Even if you don’t have an internet connection, you can access all of these features instantly.

34. RV Parky

RV Parky is a directory that was built by a full time RVer to help others on the road. Users can find over 25,000 listings of campgrounds, RV parks, rest stops, Walmarts, truck stops and more all across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

35. REI Co-op Shop Outdoor Gear

This app is your go-to on-the-go companion for all things involving outdoor gear shopping. Browse inventory, check in-store availability and buy top-rated products for your adventures. You can also find classes and events to build on your outdoors skills.

36. Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab

What kind of bird is this? Identify the birds you discover in nature with this mobile app. Answer five questions, upload a photo or record a sound and easily identify what kind of bird it is. There is also a digital field guide with over 800,000 photos and sounds, and you can choose from different regions from around the world.

37. Pacific Northwest Forests

You can find recreational opportunities in the Pacific Northwest Region’s 17 U.S. Forest Service Forests. Easily find hiking trails, picnic areas, campgrounds and more. There are also other useful pieces of information including road conditions, local weather updates, fire information and more.

38. CampUSA

With CampUSA you can search over 1,200 highly rated campgrounds throughout the U.S. and explore a wide variety of RV sites, tent sites, and rental options like cabins and cottages.

39. iExit Interstate Exit Guide

This app is a must-have on your next road trip as it easily establishes where you are on the interstate and shows you what you are coming up to. It also helps you find the cheapest gas prices for unleaded, mid grad, premium and diesel. When looking for food nearby, iExit incorporates Yelp reviews which makes the process easier. 

40. Current Altitude

This is your perfect companion for hiking, climbing, camping and more. It is powered by your mobile device’s GPS and displays your location in various GPS formats. Users can also easily share their locations for future reference, as well as share your location and altitude with friends. 

41. Seek by iNaturalist

Have you ever seen a flower, bug or plant and not been sure what it is? Open up this app’s camera and find out! Seek by iNaturalist uses the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you while you and your family are out camping.

42. Natural Geographic

This new Nat Geo mobile app provides you with online and offline access to different stories that give you insights into cultures and discoveries. You can personalize your story lists for easy access to read again later. 

43. PictureThis - Plant Identifier

Did you find a beautiful plant on a hike or a walk around the campsite? Take a picture of the plant and PictureThis will do a plant identification exam to answer all your questions about it. You now can simply identify and discover plants and flowers around you while deepening your appreciation for the nature around you.

44. Komoot: Route Planner GPS

With Komoot you can turn your next bike ride, run or hike into an adventure. You can easily enter a community with shared knowledge and recommendations. Bring your adventures to life with the easy route planner. The time to go on an adventure is now!

45. Cairn: Hiking & Outdoor Trails

This app helps you stay safe when you are out on a hike, run or any other outdoor adventure. You can easily share your plans and routes with friends and family, find spots with cell coverage, download maps offline, and record your hiking trail.

46. Trailforks

This app contains a trail database of over 400,000 trails for mountain biking. You easily have access to offline trail maps and information, along with region updates that come incrementally. You can also view local routes that other users have previously created.

47. Strava

Tracking your fitness activity has never been easier now that there is Strava. Easily record your run, map a cycling route and analyze your training with statistics. You can join monthly challenges and compete with other users which adds a fun competitive level to a fitness tracking app. 

48. Geocaching

Join the world’s largest treasure hunt with Geocaching! Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity allowing mobile device users all over the world to follow clues and hunt for a geocache hidden by another player. Download this app today to hide and seek containers with use of your GPS.

49. UVLens

Knowing how intense the UV rays are while being outdoors is essential. The app, UVLens, uses the UV index to identify what times it is safe to enjoy the sun and when to avoid it and to use countermeasures such as cover ups. It also includes a personalized skin type customization tool allowing for personal success. 

50. WU Storm

This mobile app keeps watch on possible bad weather. It is used specifically for storm tracking and receiving severe weather alerts so that you can stay aware of when to head away from danger and where a safe location to be is. 

Finding the perfect campsite, hiking trail or fireside activity are things that can make a good trip a great one! Hopefully these apps for RVers and campers help you enjoy your next trip and bring you closer to nature, family and friends!

A Guide to RVing With Your Dog

Want to know the secret to making your next RV vacation even better? Bringing your dog along with you! When you have an RV with all the comforts of home, traveling without your furry four-legged friend just doesn’t seem right. Before you load up the family dog and hit the road, there are some precautions and travel tips that you should follow to ensure that you and Fido have the best camping experience possible. Here are our top tips for RVing with your dog!

Pack for Your Pup

Just like packing for yourself, you will want to make sure that you bring all the necessary items to ensure that your pet has a comfortable vacation with you. What you need to pack for your dog can vary depending on your dog’s favorite things and their unique care needs, but here is a look at some important things to pack:
– Leash and Collar
– Favorite Toys
– Bed
– Food
– No-spill food bowl
– Any necessary medications
– Proof of vaccination

Designate Your Dogs Travel Spot

When bringing your RV from one adventure spot to the next, it is essential that you choose a spot for your dog to ride. If you are towing a fifth wheel or trailer, you will need to have your dog ride in the truck with you because it is not safe for anyone to ride in the trailer when it’s being towed. If your RV is a motorhome, then your dog may have some initial anxiety when riding since the feeling of being inside a motorhome is much different from a car. Try considering putting their bed close to you or try to have them rest on the couch. It’s important to travel safely in your RV with your pet!

Be a Good Neighbor

It is essential to be a good neighbor when bringing your dog with you so that you can ensure that you will always have the privilege of having them accompany you. To do this make sure you keep your dogs barking to a minimum and that you clean up after them.

Start Slow

It is a huge adjustment for your dog to go from being home the majority of the time to being on the road in your RV. Having their first excursion be an extended RV stay might not be the best idea. It’s smart to start out with small trips so that your pup can gain comfortability while traveling in an RV. During these short trips, you can also establish a permanent spot for their food and water as well as where they will be sleeping to establish a routine.

Stay at a Dog-Friendly Campground

Pet policies exist at nearly every campground across the U.S. and they are something you must follow. Some National Parks don’t allow any pets and some just require that they be on a leash while outdoors. Check out some dog-friendly national parks! To make things simple and easy, call the campgrounds ahead of time to make sure that they allow dogs. At KOA Campgrounds you will find Kamp K9 where your dogs are given a fenced area to be free from their leash and left to run around. They also include clean-up stations which make things even simpler for you.

Locate a Local Vet

Even if your furry friend is up to date on all their shots and seems to be in perfect health, unexpected things can happen while out on the road. Although you can search for a vet easily from your phone, it’s smart to do some research before you embark on your adventure so that you can find the best vet for you. You will also want to be mindful of your RV route so that it isn’t too far away from towns if you need to quickly get to a vet in instances of an emergency.

Exercise Daily

Dogs are active animals and need daily exercise. Having them sit in the car for hours without the chance to run around and exert energy can be unhealthy. If your furry friend can’t comfortably run around the RV, head outside and play fetch with them! You can also find dog-friendly parks along your route so that your dog can get out and stretch their four legs. You might even meet other
pet parents and their pups!

Be Prepared to Run Into Wildlife

It is a given that you will run into wildlife when traveling. No matter the size of the animal you encounter, make sure that you know how to keep control over your pet. This includes being careful about what they are sniffing out because you don’t want to have a run-in with a mountain lion or bear! You will also want to make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and that you have the medications necessary to keep from flea and tick problems.

Decide Where to Leave Your Pet

When you are engaging in activities that aren’t pet friendly, such as dining at a local restaurant, it is important to plan where you are going to leave Fido. RV’s tend to have plenty of space for your dog to wander, and the majority of dogs will be okay if you leave for a little while. To help your dog stay calm and comfortable, consider closing the blinds and playing some soothing music to drown out any extra noises or light. This will also help encourage them to spend more time sleeping than barking.

For more tips and tricks for traveling with your pet, the ROUTE 66 RV Network was proud to contribute to RVing With Pets: What You Need to Know-Tips from the Experts.