Starting off on your RV adventure can be somewhat daunting, especially if it’s your first time. There are a lot of ins and outs to be aware of, but once you get your first trip out of the way, you’ll be RVing like a pro in no time! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite go-to resources to make your life easier on the road.
RV Park Reviews – Before booking any campsite, always check RV Park Reviews to see what others had to say about their experience staying at the park you’re interested in. Their best feature is the ability to see all the parks in a region in a very convenient map. That way you can pick your ideal location and start looking at parks nearby. Be advised that people have differing opinions about what constitutes a “good” or “bad” experience. Someone might rate a campground lower just because of a rude person at the front desk, instead of the actual campground. People also want different things when it comes to a park, like lots of amenities or complete solitude. Do a little research and don’t be afraid to give the parks with lower ratings a shot. They might just be exactly what you’re looking for.
Campendium – One of our favorite features about this site is the additional information about the level of cell service for AT&T, Verizon, & T-Mobile. It’s one of the first things we look for before booking a campground, since we cannot camp without cell service. Also, if you join their mailing list, every week they send a newsletter with 5 star reviews from the past week and many of the locations that are featured look like the most amazing campsites you could ever find, so get ready to start adding to your “must-visit” list!
Vegan Voyagers – We also review all the campgrounds that we stay at on our website and have made it easy for people to search a specific area or region with our map view. We provide technical information about our cell connections and the park’s wifi, how much we paid for our time including discounts, and whether or not we would return or recommend them.
Freecampsites.net – Displays BLM (Bureau of Land Management), Forest Service lands, and WMA’s (Wildlife Management Areas). These are public lands that YOU, as a citizen, own. Take advantage of them by spending a week in the many gorgeous landscapes. Boondocking means you must be self-contained, so don’t expect to find any hookups out there.
Harvest Hosts – Who wouldn’t want to camp overnight in a vineyard or at a local farm? For a small annual fee, you can spend the night for free in an amazing location that you would never expect to camp in. Mostly, that’s because the “sites” don’t have any hookups and you can only stay for one night. Make sure to stop in to buy a bottle of wine or something from the shop at the farm. Doing so helps support the host for letting you stay the night.
All Stays – Picture this: you have a long drive in between destinations and you simply cannot drive any further. You’re driving a large motorhome, so you can’t just pull over anywhere. The All Stays app is the best resource to help you find a place to pull over for the night, whether it’s in a Walmart parking lot, rest area, Cabela’s parking lot, etc. The best part about the app is that people add their reviews and let you know if you can or cannot stay, where the best place to park is, etc. Even though the app says you can stay there, make sure you call ahead and get permission from the manager on duty. Even though the app says it’s OK, sometimes there are signs that state no overnight parking. Some places, like casinos, ask you to come in and register with security and get a parking pass.
One of the most basic questions that comes from boondocking is “where do I dump my tanks?” The websites Sanidumps and RV dumps will give you a list of all the nearby dump stations and what kind of fee (if any) you’ll find at each.
RVing with pets
Bring Fido – This will help you find all the local dog-friendly locations like dog parks and beaches. You can also find out which restaurants are pet friendly and if there are any events in the nearby area.
If you’re RVing with your pets, make sure to read our article Keeping Your Pets Safe in the RV When You are Away to get tips about how to keep your pets safe while on the road.
Gasbuddy – This app will show you the least expensive gas along your route in both Canada and the USA, which will help you to save money while on the road. It will also locate diesel fuel and propane. It’s a great resource to see where the upcoming gas stations are and also how much they are charging.
Technomadia – Their website is a treasure trove of information about all your RV tech needs, especially the highly coveted unlimited internet connection. Their best resources are behind a member’s only gateway, but even their free information is absolutely a must-read.
Roadside America – This app will show you weird and fun attractions along your route. You might not know that you’re driving right by the largest ball of yarn in the country! Having these random stops helps to break up the monotony of driving long distances. It also adds some unique destinations and memories to your trip.
Know before you go
If you’re brand new to RVing, we highly recommend Alyssa Padgett’s book – A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV: Everything I Wish I Knew Before Full-Time RVing Across America. It is geared more towards the full-time RVer, but there are invaluable tips in there for everyone.
Now that you’re ready to RV like a pro, go find your dream RV today!
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