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Handy Phone Apps for RVers

Smartphones on the market today offer so much more than just the ability to make phone calls. Aside from texting, taking photographs and making those essential voice calls there are a number of apps that can make traveling and camping in an RV so much easier. The following are some of the most helpful:

Google Maps

Whether you have a GPS unit or not, Google Maps can come in handy. Setting up a GPS with your desired destination requires the driver to be stationary while inputting the address and the desired method of travel i.e. via freeways or surface streets. With voice command capabilities getting directions can be as simple as telling your smartphone where you want to go, and allowing Google Maps to plan your route, providing you with voice directions that do not require the driver to take his / her eyes off the road ahead.

Google Maps is updated regularly but GPS units typically require updating by attaching to a computer and downloading the latest updates to the unit. Google Maps will update automatically provided you have your settings set up to allow. This ensures users always have the latest information regarding road changes, new streets, and any other relevant changes motorists will find useful.

Google Maps, much like GPS units, marks points of interest, restaurants, gas stations, and other useful locations that a traveler may be in need of. Drivers can simply ask where the nearest Starbucks is when they need coffee, or fast food restaurants when they need food they can quickly pick up, eat and keep traveling.

Waze

Relying upon information from other travelers using the same routes, Waze can advise you of traffic congestion, accidents, and suggest alternative routes. While this may not be of much use when traveling back roads, Waze can be extremely helpful to get you through cities and along heavy traffic freeways.

Knowing ahead of time that you are likely to encounter heavy congestion allows you to  make a decision about whether to pull over and wait for traffic to become less congested, continue but know that you will have to exercise patience, or plan an alternative route that will have you bypass that particular area.

If you are the kind of driver with a heavy foot on the gas pedal Waze can be extremely helpful in avoiding a speeding ticket. Waze advises of the speed limit of your current location and if you are driving over the speed limit it will advise you. Just as helpful is Waze’s notification of activity of law enforcement. 

Gas Buddy

One of the biggest expenses RV travelers face is fuel. Gas Buddy can tell you where to buy the cheapest gas in the area you are currently located, and can be set to provide that information based on location throughout your travels, provided your location setting is set to ‘On’. Gas prices vary not only from town to town, city to city, but also from one gas station to another. Great for RVers it is also a handy app to have when you return home and go back to work. Paying just 10 cents a gallon less will add up in savings over time.

This app relies upon motorists to report the current prices charged for gas. This means that members of Gas Buddy will let their fellow motorists know what price they have just paid for a fill up. The app records the prices and shows how recently the prices were updated. 

As well as the current gas prices Gas Buddy can tell you which stations have hot food, clean restrooms, and a convenience store. Members who sign up with Gas Buddy can gain points by reporting latest gas prices and rating gas station amenities, and use those points to enter into a regular gas card giveaway. It is quick to join and just as quick to report prices.

Bring Fido

Dog owners will love this handy app!  Bring Fido is an app designed specifically for those dog lovers who couldn’t and wouldn’t consider leaving their beloved canine family members at home while they travel.

On the app dog owners can find a list of pet-friendly hotels, motels, restaurants (yes, there are restaurants that allow dogs!), dog-friendly beaches, parks and so much more. In addition to providing lists of places you and your dog can go but there are a ton of reviews left by other users of the app, giving you better insight into which places will likely meet the needs of you and your dog. 

While a large percentage of locations do not allow dogs, the bring fido app focuses on those that welcome your four legged buddy (and yourself, of course!), making it easier to find a place to stay if your RV or motorhome suffers a mechanical issue, or when you just feel like sleeping somewhere other than your RV for a night or two. Check it out – chances are you will discover some great places you have never been and can start planning a great vacation for both you and your dog.

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