The Best #Vanlife Apps for Camper Van Road Trips
But no matter how awesome something is, there’s always room for improvement. This is 2021, after all, so did you really think camper van travel was somehow separate from the wide world of tech? In fact, one of the easiest ways you can improve your Sprinter van road trips is to download a few nifty apps.
From helping you to find campsites off the beaten path, to ensuring you don’t spend too much on gas, using these apps can really take your camper van road trip game to the next level.
Best for: Finding campsites and boondocking spots.
iOverlander isn’t the sleekest app on this list, but its functionality is unparalleled when it comes to locating camping spots off the beaten path. The app uses a crowd-sourced method to add campsites and other helpful resources to their map.
Users who find great campsites in areas such as on BLM or National Forest land can add the site’s location to the iOverlander app, and include details and photos. People who visit the site can then add comments and photos to confirm that it is a legal, safe, and awesome place to camp!
In addition to campsites, the iOverlander map also allows users to add helpful locations such as hardware stores, mechanics, public showers, and places to fill a propane or water tank. These features can come in handy when you’re in unfamiliar territory and in need of supplies!
Best for: Private ‘glamping sites’ and other one-of-a-kind paid campsite opportunities.
HipCamp is an awesome app designed with Sprinter van travelers in mind. It’s commonly called the ‘Airbnb of #vanlife’, and it’s easy to see why. The app connects Sprinter camper van owners with a network of people offering unique, private camping opportunities on their land.
There are more than 300,000 listings on the site, so there’s a good chance that you can find a great option wherever you are traveling. Like Airbnb, hosts have a small bio detailing the available campsites on their land, and they receive ratings for their accommodations.
Unlike iOverlander, the HipCamp interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate. This is a great app if you’re looking for a unique, luxury camping experience.
Best for: Finding the best price on gas in your area.
Camper vans have many perks, but great gas mileage isn’t one of them. Although the diesel engine of a Mercedes Sprinter van is highly efficient, you’re still going to be getting mileage that’s in the teens.
There’s nothing more frustrating than stopping for gas on the interstate, only to pass a station five miles later with far lower prices. The Gas Buddy app helps you to avoid this situation and find the cheapest fuel in your area. The app also includes information on amenities offered at the station and allows users to leave reviews.
Make sure to heed the warning that appears when you open the app, and only operate your phone while your van is safely stopped–or have a passenger search for the best gas stations near you as you drive.
Best for: Finding free WiFi hotspots near you.
WiFi Map is a great app for camper van travelers who need access to the internet. With so many people working remotely these days as they travel in their vans, this app is more relevant now than ever.
The functionality of WiFi Map is pretty self-explanatory: A variety of free hotspot locations, from hotels, to restaurants, to cafes, are pinned on an easy-to-navigate map. The app has more than 100 million users worldwide (!), and features around the same number of hotspots.
The app is free, but includes ads. If you opt for the paid version, the app is ad-free and includes a VPN service for better security when using public WiFi.
Best for: Creating journal entries on your phone or tablet.
Journey is a super-cool app which includes many features that #vanlifers are likely to find appealing. The app allows you to journal using a password-protected digital format. If you’re not totally attached to the old-school pen and paper way of doing things, Journey is worth checking out.
The app includes many awesome features that pair well with camper van road trips, such as the ability to add images, audio, and video to your entries. You can also tag the entries to a specific location on a map. If you journal consistently on a road trip, you can paint a beautiful and meaningful portrait of your experience using Journey!
The app boasts an aesthetically-pleasing user interface, and it is easy to navigate. Other features include a ‘mood chart’, where you can log and track your mood and see how it has shifted over the past month.
Best for: Planning a trip and finding cool things to do along the way.
Last, but certainly not least on our list of top #vanlife apps is RoadTrippers. This app is one of the most complex and featured on the list. Once you learn how to use it, you’ll wonder how you ever planned a road trip without it!
The app has two main features: a trip planner and existing trip guides. The trip guides are a fantastic way to find places to go and things to do, and you can even follow the guides exactly if you want a hands-off adventure.
The trip planning feature is where the RoadTrippers app really shines. You can start by adding a destination or two for your route. For example, say you want to visit Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe during a weeklong trip from the SF Bay Area. Once you add destinations to the map, the app gives you loads of helpful information such as how long your trip will take and how much gas should cost. It also shows you accommodations and activities that are easily accessible along your route and near your destinations.
RoadTrippers is free, but there is a paid premium version available that offers additional features such as offline maps, no ads, and live traffic maps. At Muse & Co. Outdoors, this is one app we can’t live without!