Useful Campervan Apps for Epic Road Trips

Ahh, the wonders of modern technology.  Gone are the days of heading out on a road trip with nothing but a paper map and a spade for digging a toilet hole.  These days, our phones come with us everywhere, and there are a ton of useful campervan apps to help you plan your trip, find the best wild camping spots and have a great time while you’re there.  So, here are my tips for the best campervan apps out there. 

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Free Overnight Motorhome Parking Apps

I usually stay in campsites so I can get a great night’s sleep and have time to explore the area where I am staying without having to move on first thing in the morning – however, wild camping in a motorhome or campervan can save you a ton of money wherever you are in the world! 

These wild camping apps use recommendations from members to share the best free camping spots and overnight parking places where you can spend the night safely.  I’ve started with free overnight motorhome parking apps in the UK and Europe, but there are plenty that are US-specific too.

Park4Night App

This user-generated app is full of places where you can park your campervan, either during the day or at night, with ratings from other users and useful descriptions for stopovers.  Parking places vary from streetside parking to quiet laybys, car parks and campsites.

The app is completely free to use, although you do need to sign in to get access to all the information. 

Search4Sites

This app is free for the first few days, then charges a subscription fee of £5.99 to access the full list of parking spots.  Similar to Park4Night, it lists hundreds of places to park up, including official campsites and places such as local pubs which allow you to spend the night for free – provided you eat or drink there.

iOverlander

Although it has limited listings in the UK, iOverlander is the app of choice for Latin America when it comes to listing places to park up and spend the night, or several nights.  Some wild camping spots are free, and others suggest cheap or just excellent places to park up for a while.

A hostel where I was volunteering in Guatemala was popular with overlanders – people travelling through the continent in campervans and converted trucks –  so although they were more sturdy than most British campervans the app still comes in handy for all sorts of places. 

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BritStops

OK, this is not an app, which pains me as I would probably use it more if it was!  Instead, BritStops is a good old fashioned book, which lists all sorts of places to spend the night.  You can find nearly wild camping spots at pubs, wineries, farm shops offering a free parking space for your motorhome or campervan.

The book costs £28 plus postage and is published every year in February, with regular email updates.  The overnight stays are usually free as long as you buy something from their business, such as a pub meal.  Bear in mind that once you’ve paid for a meal for a couple or family it might work out as more expensive than a campsite, but at least you’ve eaten well!

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Paying for Parking Apps

After spending a year in my campervan in the UK I have realised that paying for car parks isn’t always as easy as you might expect.  While newer pay machines have options for cash and card, some only have cash and the chance to pay by phone or with a parking app. 

Annoyingly there are several different parking apps I’ve come across in the UK, so I can only imagine how many there are around the world!  Examples include JustPark and RingGo

Bear in mind that to use these you’ll need a wifi signal and a credit card so it is easier to sign up and create an account in advance instead of struggling to do it in the carpark with a dodgy signal! 

Map Apps for Campervans & Motorhomes

Google Maps

I probably have become too dependent on Google maps, as I use it every time I need to find anything, from petrol stations to restaurants, postcodes for campsites and unlisted parking spots using the satellite view.

Usually, it works a treat, but too often have I found without a trace of a mobile signal so maps refuses to bring up anything useful.  While it is possible to download apps to use offline I’ve had limited success figuring how to do it well.

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Maps.Me

In steps maps.me where you can download maps of the area or even an entire country to use offline.  Maps.Me also has a sat-nav function, although it does drain your phone battery quickly it is very useful if you don’t have a proper sat-nav in the campervan!

TomTom GO Navigation

I use a sat-nav in my campervan so I don’t need an app, however, I do get annoyed when the sat-nav tries to send me down tiny narrow streets.  While you can buy campervan and motorhome specific sat navs and GPS where you can input the size and weight of your vehicle, they cost a pretty penny.

This TomTom GO app allows you to do that for just £12.99 a year.  You can also download maps in advance to save your data, get real-time notifications of traffic and blocked roads – even if you are offline, and there is a 30-day free trial so you can give it a try and see what you think.

AllTrails

Once you’ve found your spot to camp, you probably want to explore the area.  AllTrails has detailed maps of thousands of local footpaths and hiking routes, in much more detail than Google Maps. 

It’s like having an Ordnance Survey map on your phone, although it requires data to work properly if you plan in advance you can download specific trail maps and directions before you arrive so you’re ready to go whether there is signal or not.

As well as having all footpaths marked, popular trail routes are highlighted so you can follow specific trails to beauty spots and other places of interest. 

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Security Apps for Campervans

Find My Phone

I don’t usually recommend stalking, but in cases where I’m going on a hike on my own, I like the comfort of knowing my parents can see where I am if I don’t check back in.  However, it only works if the phone is switched on and has wifi or data access.  The app was originally designed to find lost phones, but if I have my phone with me I figure it will help to find me too!

Trackisafe

This app is part of a package that includes a physical tracking device that broadcasts its location to the app.  Hide the tracker somewhere in the van, and Trackisafe will activate if it moves, so if someone steals the campervan and starts driving away, you get an alert.

You will need to charge up the Trackisafe device regularly if you want to leave it on all the time.  It’s also a good idea to hide it somewhere in the van and not leave it on display so if someone does steal your van it will take them a while to find it and disarm it!

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What3Words

While we are talking about locations, I also downloaded this handy app so I could pinpoint the exact location of a Safe Drive.  It is also handy if you end up injured somewhere so you can give the emergency services the 3 words which will pinpoint your location to a space of just three square metres.  Pretty impressive!

Campervan Apps for Entertainment

Kindle App

You don’t actually need a Kindle to get access to thousands of books, you can just read them on your phone or tablet with the Kindle App.  Alternatively, if you prefer to listen to audiobooks then the Audible app might be more your cup of tea. 

Spotify

I listen to my Spotify playlists every day, without fail.  A little obsessive perhaps, but I love it!  I’ve you can listen to it live if you have a wifi connection, but you can also download your favourite playlists to listen offline too.  As well as music you can access hundreds of podcasts to download and enjoy as well.

Other Useful Motorhome & Campervan Apps

Facebook

Facebook is pretty standard for millennials and older, but it’s not just for keeping in touch with friends or posting pictures of your trip.  There are lots of Facebook groups for campervan owners and van life travellers on Facebook which are a goldmine of useful tips and recommendations. 

My favourites are Women with Campervans for other lady campervan owners in the UK (there are also plenty of US-based ones for RV owners) and Safe Drives, which has a listing of women who offer up their driveway to other solo female campervan and motorhome drivers for a safe place to spend the night.

BBC Weather App

Although none of the weather apps ever seem to be accurate, I prefer the Beeb to tell me what the weather might be like.  Knowing the forecast helps me plan what I’m going to do day to day, from sight-seeing and hiking to simply when to schedule a rest day in the van if it’s going to chuck it down!

Photography Apps for Campervan Owners

I love sharing photos and videos of my campervan adventures on social media, and if you want your pics to look professional these apps will help you do just that.

Point Blur

If you love to share photos of your campervan on social media, this app comes in very handy for editing out your number plate.  I personally don’t want to broadcast my number plate to the world, in case people can track my address and other personal details, so a quick edit on Point Blur makes it unreadable – and safe to share wherever I fancy!

Snapseed and Inshot

For general photo editing, I use Snapseed to get my photos ready for Instagram.  If you’re into sharing videos on Instagram or Tik Tok then Inshot is a fabulous free video editor.

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