While using motorhome sat nav systems are common to find routers from one destination to another, you can also use a smartphone app for the same purpose.
Most smartphone navigation apps come with advanced features and offer all types of trip info that you need to plan a safe route for your trip.
In this article, we’ll discuss the 5 best motorhome navigation apps that you can use on your smartphone. Read the features and pros and cons of each app to choose the one that meets all your unique needs.
|Apps||Platform||Price Structure||Ratings||Voice Navigation Assistance||Offline Maps|
|inRoute GPS||iOS||Paid (monthly or annual subscription)||4.6||Yes||Yes|
|RV Life GPS||Android and iOS||Free + paid (monthly or annual subscription)||4.6||Yes||Yes|
|CoPilot GPS||Android and iOS||Paid (annual subscription)||3.5||Yes||Yes|
|AllStays Camp and RV||iOS||Paid (one-time payment)||4.6||Yes||Yes|
|Google Maps||Android and iOS||Free||4.1||Yes||Yes|
There are tons of navigation apps out there that you can use on your smartphone but we have selected only the best ones listed down below.
1. inRoute GPS
inRoute GPS offers all the features that you need from a motorhome navigation smartphone app. But unlike most nav apps, it allows you to devise your own route depending on different options such as elevation and curviness of the road.
This feature comes in handy when you are in a mountainous region with your RV and want to avoid harsh drives. Another great feature of this app is that it provides weather forecasts, informing you ahead of time about harsh weather conditions.
Just like most popular navigation apps, inRoute GPS has a voice assistant that offers turn-by-turn directions. It also provides information about nearby restaurants, campgrounds, hotels, and gas stations. You can share your live location and routes with your friends and family and it also works offline.
- One-week free trial is available
- Allows you to export your selected routes to other popular navigation apps
- Helps you devise a route based on the elevation and curviness of the road
- Offers weather forecast
- Can search for nearby restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, and gas stations
- Paid app
- Some advanced features also require in-app purchasing
- The interface could be better
- Available only for iOS users
2. RV Life GPS
RV Life GPS, as the name implies, is specially designed for RV users. It’s a community-driven navigation app that’s available on both iOS and Android. The application flaunts the RV Trip Wizard integration, which allows you to search campgrounds and RV parks and plant your RV trips.
You can also find recommended routes for your RV to explore the best campgrounds located across the globe. There’s also a voice assistant that offers lane guidance and turn-by-turn navigation.
This application also offers thousands of informative articles crafted especially for RV users. Additionally, it covers more than a million towns and cities around the world.
- Specially designed for RV users
- Available on both iOS and Android
- Offers tons of informative articles for RV users
- Allows you to customize your route
- Voice assistant for lane guidance and turn-by-turn navigation
- Covers a vast array of towns and cities
- Offers information about campgrounds with real-time reviews
- Allows you to export your trip into an excel sheet, calendar, or compatible GPS
- Information about your trip can be shared with other people
- Runs offline
- The free version offers limited features
- You need to download offline maps so that they can work without the internet access
3. CoPilot GPS
CoPilot GPS is another smartphone application that’s specially designed for RV users. It allows you to enter the information about your rig to find the best route to your destination. It suggests routes depending on the information you entered about your motorhome.
Another great feature of this app is that it provides maps in both 2D and 3D. It offers detailed information about turn lanes, road signs, and speed limit indicators to make the driving process safe and easy.
Another great feature of CoPilot GPS is that it covers more than 150 countries around the world and offers information about rest areas, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and campsites. The audio navigation of the application is also impressive and guides you throughout your selected route
Other notable features of this app include trip planning, multi-stop optimization, alternative route suggestions, and online reviews of different destinations.
- Easy to use and intuitive user interface
- Allows you to customize your route based on your motorhome size
- Once downloaded, the offline maps run with full capability
- Offers real-time traffic alerts
- Voice assistant for audio navigation
- Covers more than 150 countries
- Suggest alternative routes
- Offer information about the speed limit and road signs
- A 14-day free trial is available
- Available for both iOS and Android
- Paid application
- Doesn’t always select the best route
4. AllStays Camp and RV
AllStays Camp and RV are great and one of the oldest smartphone navigation apps for RV users. It offers data about more than 30,000 campgrounds and allows you to search for RV stores, rest areas, gas stations with fuel prices, parking lots, and big box stores.
You can select different filters while setting your route. The application will show you data based on your selected filters. There are also weather forecasts and driving condition features that help you choose the safest route.
The voice assistant of AllStays Camp and RV guides you throughout your journey by providing turn-by-turn audio navigation. Additionally, the app offers built-in features to find and book a campsite of your choice.
You’ll also find detailed information about campgrounds based on different factors, such as pet-friendly, propane availability, toilet services, shore power supply, price, elevation, reviews, contact details, booking, and website.
- A one-time payment gives lifetime access
- Offers detailed information about more than 30,000 campgrounds
- Shows tourist activities at campgrounds
- Allows you to book a campsite of your choice
- Works offline
- Offers detailed routing including the cost of the trip and available stops
- Paid application
- Not available for Android users
- User-interface could be friendlier
5. Google Maps
Google Maps is probably the most popular navigation app that you might already have used. It’s a feature-rich and reliable application that doesn’t charge you a penny to use its services. It offers aerial and satellite images that you can view using the app on your smartphone.
The app also allows you to switch the main aerial view to the street view for a more immersive experience. Additionally, voice assistance guides you throughout your journey to take the right turns.
It’s a free application that you can download on your smartphone running the Android or iOS operating system. Additionally, it also works offline, which means you won’t need internet access to use the maps. However, you’ll need internet access if you need to search for a new place.
- Easy to use, intuitive, and clean user interface
- Covers almost the entire world
- Free application with lifetime updates
- No ads
- Offers live traffic updates
- Offline maps don’t offer live traffic updates
- You need an internet connection to search and start the route
- Can suggest a route that’s not fit for your motorhome
The biggest benefit of using a motorhome navigation smartphone app is cost. You don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars to start using an app, unlike a motorhome sat nav system and there are free applications available as well. Additionally, some other reasons why you should use a motorhome navigation smartphone app include ease of use, automatic updates, and advanced features.
The best motorhome navigation smartphone app will be the one that fulfills all your needs. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend money, Google Maps can be the best option. But if budget is not the issue and you want an app that is specially designed for RVs with advanced features, you can go with CoPilot GPS, RV Life GPS, AllStays Camp, and RV, or inRoute GPS.
Does Google Maps App Offer Features for RV Users?
No, Google Maps is a general navigation app that doesn’t offer features that are specially designed for RV users. However, it allows you to plan your trip using the feature it has. Additionally, it’s one of the most accurate apps that you can use on your smartphone without paying any fee.
If you don’t mind spending some bucks monthly/annually, you can choose inRoute GPS, RV Life GPS, CoPilot GPS, or AllStays Camp and RV. But if you’re on a tight budget and don’t afford to spend money on a paid app, you can go with Google Maps.
However, you won’t have any specialized features to use, with Google Maps, that other specialized apps offer. Read the features and pros and cons of each app carefully to make sure that you choose the one that suits you the best.
Here are some of my favorite van life essentials:
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you’re experiencing your life on the road. Here are some tools and gadgets I use on a daily basis that made my van life a lot easier. I hope you’ll also find them as useful as me. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to purchase any of them, I’ll earn a commission.
But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my closest friends and family.
Kitchen: I’m cooking a lot and I’ve finally found my perfect cookware set: The Magma Cookware 10 Pcs that you can nests and store in less than 1/2 cubic foot of cabinet space is really handy. Since I’m also spending a lot of time working at my desk, I use my favorite coffee mug from Yeti. For more, check my list of kitchen accessories I can’t live without.
Outdoor: Even though I’m spending a lot of time in my van working, I do enjoy getting out and explore my ever-changing neighborhood. This sometimes requires me to take my portable solar battery with me. And when I just want to chill outside and take a nap, I use the Winner Outfitters Hammock.
Clean/Tidy: Space is precious and therefore I used these heavy-duty storage bins from Homs to store my material. They’re robust and you can stack them together. Regarding showering, I like to use this portable solar shower from Advanced Elements when it’s hot outside.
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations about van life, check out this resource that I made for you!