One of the challenges of traveling in an RV is knowing where you can dump and get fresh water. No single app has proven to be excellent, but we have discovered some stores that we can depend on (for the most part) with handy apps. There are also some other apps that have helped us in deciding where to go and when.
Easily one of our most used apps is Waze. We have an entire cell phone dedicated only to waze. Even if we are not using waze for GPS we keep it open at all times while we drive. We are using one of our old iPhones for this purpose and the waze phone is plugged in at all times. Waze uses data from other folks to make its navigation more efficient. It will take you on side streets and down roads you’d possibly never consider if it can save you five minutes. The best part is it will automatically notify you when you are speeding and notifies you when there are hazards on the road, traffic, and tells you where most cops are. Even if the cop has moved on you know there is possibly one in the area.
We’ve discovered that most Flying J truck stops across the country have an amazing amenity - RV Lanes. These lanes allow you to dump, top off on water, and fuel up all in one go. The only friction point we’ve run into is that the water at many of the ones we’ve stopped at has been turned off due to the time of year. Some locations were able to pull strings to turn it on for us, while others were either less willing or less able to. Their app, myPilot, has a feature that lets you plan a route and filter their locations to only show those with the RV Fuel Lanes and dump. Some Pilot locations also have dump, but Flying J (owned by Pilot) is more dependable.
Some of the Love’s truck stops also have RV dump amenities, though they too have the same water restrictions depending on the season. Their app is similar to the myPilot app, in that you can plan a route and apply filters to which locations pop up along the way. While not as many locations have RV amenities as Flying J, they provide more options and are a decent alternative.
I personally have found Pinterest to be rather helpful in looking up things to do throughout the country. It helped me find some worthy destinations in Georgia that I otherwise may not have discovered. Pinterest also highlighted and backed AllTrails in suggesting hikes and attractions in Ozark NP. I have found Pinterest to be really helpful in situations where we are looking for a person’s opinion of where to go and what to do. You’re able to easily bookmark, or “Pin”, an article or blog to come back to later. I tend to skim many, and look for overlaps to see what other people are blogging about as a must see-or-do. I then add it to our map, and as we drive we pick some based on location and others based on how badly we want to go there. How-To from RealSimple.
AllTrails allows you to enter your destination, whether it be state, city, or park, and gives you a list of hikes and trails. It will rank them by popularity, and also gives a breakdown of the trail details. The details include how long the hike is, whether it’s a loop or a there-and-back, the difficulty, and location with directions. For us, this will be rather valuable in planning what to do in various parks and forests around the country. AllTrails has both an app and a website for those searching online.