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Old 11-03-2015, 11:51 PM   #1
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My Trip Planning Tools

I see many posters asking about trip planning tools so I thought I would give my thoughts on this subject. I rely on technology and this post is written as such therefore to be upfront I have thrown away all my paper maps as I find them pretty much useless in this day and age, plus they are written in a foreign language, little-ease, I can barely read them.. LOL. Now I do know for some people paper maps are the only way to go so this post is not meant to say you are wrong in your approach or to say I am right or better, it is just what I prefer and anyone who has an iPad or other tablet may find this useful. I don't need to be beat up or warned about my reliance on technology, I am very comfortable with it but I do say everyone should always double check their info. I don't care what GPS you buy, RV related or not, they can take you on some wild rides.

The three main apps I use are Allstays Camp & RV ($9.99) 5* rating, Allstays Truck Stops & Travel Plazas ($9.99) 4.5* rating, and rvtripwizard.com ($9.99). I have an Apple iPad that I use for these apps. All of these packages can be used on a PC or Android product, I just prefer Apple.

Allstays
Now, there is trip planning and there is pre-trip planning. Have you ever thought about going to, say, Mt. Rushmore and have never been there or even know what is close to it for your 40' RV. Just grab your iPad and open your Allstays Camp App, zoom to Mt. Rusmore area and all the campground and their location will pop up on the map ( looks like a google map with icons for campgrounds). You can then select a campground by tapping the icon and a pop up will appear with the particulars for the campground. Also from this pop up you can drill down to review, directions and most times their web site. All this in less than 5 or 10 seconds. Try doing that on a paper map.

Now, your driving down the road and you make an unexpected decision to stop 50 miles ahead because your more tired than you thought. Just bring up your Allstays Camp App and see what is coming up 50 miles ahead. Maybe there is nothing 50 miles but 75 miles or 30 miles, at least you know and you can know this in less than a minute. Now to do this your tablet will need to have a Data package through your carrier or you can use a hotspot from your smart phone to connect to the Internet. (Remember, I'm a tech junky.)

I use Allstays Camp and RV all the time just to explore what is available in any part of the U.S. or Canada. I used it on our tour of eastern Canada. The other nice feature is it has satellite mode so you can look at the camp ground and also see what is around it which is also enlightening, is that an airport, or train track or worse yet a chicken farm right next to the campground?

Allstays is much more than camp sites. Just go their web site and check them out.

Allstays Truck Stops & Travel Plazaz
Same as Allstays Camp and RV but geared to trucker and truck stops. Check their web site or go to the App Store.

I would begin with the Allstays Camp and RV. That is all I used until I bought a 37' 5th wheel and became interested in truck stops for diesel fuel. Most of the truck stop info is on the Camp and RV app.

RVtripwizard.com (TW)
I use TW when i PLAN a trip. TW allows you to enter your trip preferences and RV information such as length and height. Also info about you fuel capacity, mpg, reserve level, etc. You can also enter how far or long you want to travel each day. Then you can enter preferred campgrounds (KOA, Good SAMs, etc).

Now you enter start and end waypoints and it uses Google Maps to calculate your route. From your start point the software will then draw rings to show your desired driving limit for the day (based on your preferences entered). You then use the rings to look at what campgrounds are close to your end of the day limit. Press on the icon and most times a website is selectable, if not I go to my Allstays app. When you find the stop, you add it to your route and it becomes a waypoint.

This post is way to long but as far as I know the main planner apps are TW or Good SAMs. I've tried the Good SAMs but it does not compare to TW. TW takes a little practice to get it down and has good tutorials but once you become familiar with it you will find it very useful.

My DW and I are planning a trip from Florida to California coastal highway via Mt. Rushmore. In about an hour we have roughed in the trip from Florida to S. Dakota and to Oregon, south to Los Angeles. Now I say rough but at least I have waypoints for campgrounds and a general idea of route. I would spend hours doing this from a paper map, actually a paper map would show me what road to take but no other POI's.

I hope this is useful. Also, I have no interest in any of these apps/programs. I just find them invaluable and want to share them with the RV community.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:11 AM   #2
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I use paper maps and the gps to find the campground. I use the gps to find my way around towns when I'm not hooked up to camper, also when I'm looking for diesel. I use the Good Sam campground directory plus a military directory, DW does not like to dry camp much. That leaves out a lot of state parks and National Parks. I'm just a little past 25 and I'll stick to my maps, just to old to change. But it's whatever rocks your boat. The goal is to have fun


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Old 11-04-2015, 01:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by spock123 View Post
I use paper maps and the gps to find the campground. I use the gps to find my way around towns when I'm not hooked up to camper, also when I'm looking for diesel. I use the Good Sam campground directory plus a military directory, DW does not like to dry camp much. That leaves out a lot of state parks and National Parks. I'm just a little past 25 and I'll stick to my maps, just to old to change. But it's whatever rocks your boat. The goal is to have fun


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Spock.. Thanks for serving our country! Yea, I'm a just a little past 25 too but I've been in the technology/electronic field my whole life. Started as a young man maintaining surveillance aircraft in Vietnam for the Army so I'm pretty comfortable with the latest technology.

Now, I know an old dog can learn new tricks and I see from your signature you have an iPhone so I would implore you to spend the $9.99 and download the Allstays Camp & RV app from the Apple Store.

It is very easy to use and I think you will really like it. It has military campgrounds on it along with all other types of campground. You can filter to just military campgrounds. It also has truck stops.

If when your do it and you think it is not worth it then just think of the last $10 you spent at a lousy fast food restaurant. At least with the app you still have something for the $10 but with the food you $10 is gone forever and your glad to get rid of the bellyache..:

If you have an iPad you can have it on both your phone and iPad for the one time payment of $9.99.

Like you said the whole idea is to have fun, so have fun Spock...
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalford View Post
Spock.. Thanks for serving our country! Yea, I'm a just a little past 25 too but I've been in the technology/electronic field my whole life. Started as a young man maintaining surveillance aircraft in Vietnam for the Army so I'm pretty comfortable with the latest technology.



Now, I know an old dog can learn new tricks and I see from your signature you have an iPhone so I would implore you to spend the $9.99 and download the Allstays Camp & RV app from the Apple Store.



It is very easy to use and I think you will really like it. It has military campgrounds on it along with all other types of campground. You can filter to just military campgrounds. It also has truck stops.



If when your do it and you think it is not worth it then just think of the last $10 you spent at a lousy fast food restaurant. At least with the app you still have something for the $10 but with the food you $10 is gone forever and your glad to get rid of the bellyache..:



If you have an iPad you can have it on both your phone and iPad for the one time payment of $9.99.



Like you said the whole idea is to have fun, so have fun Spock...

Hey thanks for your service to this great nation. When I was drafted the Army told me they have me do something that was fun and exciting, they put me in the Infantry. Lucky I didn't stay in the infantry, served two tours in Vietnam. My son is good at all the tech stuff, I have MacBook Pro and a iPhone 6 and a 6 plus. Thanks for the information about the Allstays Camp and RV, I needed some information about that apps. I'll get that tonight.

Thanks


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Old 11-05-2015, 05:57 PM   #5
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Dalford, Thanks for your service. (Retired Navy here). I appreciate all your good travel planning tips. I have a laptop, no smart phone yet, but used to plan/use the Trailer Life Directory program until they quit updating. I'll check these programs out. They sound very useful, and you implied they also include Canada, which is good for the Alaska trips. Thanks again. Hershell
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:23 PM   #6
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I use the Allstays Camp & RV plus the free Allstays Military Campgrounds and RV Parks app. Probably redundant with the payed version but if your military you could get away with the free version. I'm still feeling my way around the app. My problem is reading all the instructions to properly use the app so it takes me a lot longer to master it.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...amprvmil&hl=en
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RailwayRog View Post
I use the Allstays Camp & RV plus the free Allstays Military Campgrounds and RV Parks app. Probably redundant with the payed version but if your military you could get away with the free version. I'm still feeling my way around the app. My problem is reading all the instructions to properly use the app so it takes me a lot longer to master it.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...amprvmil&hl=en
Are you using the app on a laptop or an iPad or other tablet? If a PC, then yes it is not as straightforward as on an iPad. Really no instructions on the tablet. A google map opens with all the campgrounds in N. America on it. Zoom into the area of interest and select the icon and drill down from there....

Good to hear about the free military Allstays app. I can't use that but it would good for all the fine folks who served our country and made a career of it. as you obviously did. Thank you for your service...
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