Best Van Life Apps for Campgrounds and So Much More

Male vanlifer sat in door of campervan using van life apps on phone

Best Van Life Apps for Campgrounds and So Much More

Buy or Sell Campers

Buy or Sell Campers

20 July 2023

We’re putting pedal to the metal on a one-way mission to ignite wanderlust and connect you with your ultimate roving home. Subscribe to get a weekly dose of vanlife inspo and expert hacks straight to your inbox.

Embarking on a van life adventure allows you to embrace a nomadic lifestyle, exploring the open road and immersing yourself in nature.

To make your journey even more enjoyable and convenient, the world of mobile applications has come to the rescue. In this article, we will delve into the realm of van life apps, uncovering a treasure trove of digital tools designed to enhance every aspect of your van-dwelling experience.

From finding the perfect campsite to staying connected on the road, we’ve got you covered. So, buckle up and let’s dive into the world of van life apps!

Woman using van life apps on her phone in a campervan

Table of Contents


Best Van Life Apps for Finding Campsites 🏕️


When it comes to finding the ideal campsite for your van life escapades, a few apps stand out from the crowd, offering comprehensive information and user-friendly interfaces. Let’s take a look at some of the best options available:


Best of the Van Life Apps: iOverlander

iOverlander is a popular choice among van lifers seeking hidden gems off the beaten path. This community-driven app provides a wealth of information on campsites, parking spots, and other valuable resources.

With user-generated reviews and detailed descriptions, iOverlander helps you discover secluded locations that may not be listed on traditional platforms.


Sekr (The VanLife App)

Sekr, also known as The VanLife App, is an all-in-one solution catering specifically to van dwellers. It offers an extensive database of campsites, parking areas, and amenities tailored to van life needs.

The app allows you to filter search results based on specific criteria, such as pet-friendliness or access to hiking trails, ensuring you find the perfect spot to park your home-on-wheels.


Boondockers Welcome & Harvest Hosts

For those seeking unique camping experiences, Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts are invaluable resources. Boondockers Welcome connects van lifers with hosts who provide free overnight parking on private properties.

On the other hand, Harvest Hosts offers access to a network of wineries, farms, and breweries where you can park your van for a night, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and unique experiences.


Best Van Life Apps for Weather Updates and Forecasts 🌦️


Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and staying informed about weather conditions is crucial for planning your van life adventures. These apps will ensure you stay ahead of the elements:


Weather Underground

Weather Underground is a reliable app that provides hyper-local forecasts, allowing you to track weather conditions in real-time. It offers detailed information on temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and more, helping you make informed decisions about when and where to travel.


Dark Sky

Dark Sky is another popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts. This app provides minute-by-minute weather updates, giving you precise details on approaching storms, rain, or snow. With its user-friendly interface and accurate forecasts, Dark Sky is a must-have companion for any van lifer venturing into the great outdoors.


Vanlifer stood on road with van life apps map open, autumnal trees either side of the road


Navigation Van Life Apps for Van Travel 🗺️


Navigation apps are essential tools for van dwellers, ensuring you reach your destinations smoothly and efficiently. Let’s explore a few navigation apps tailored to the needs of van life:


Google Maps

Google Maps has become the go-to navigation app for many travelers, and van lifers are no exception. With its extensive database, reliable directions, and real-time traffic updates, Google Maps helps you navigate unfamiliar roads and find alternative routes to avoid congestion. is a popular offline mapping app that allows you to download detailed maps of specific regions or countries. This feature is particularly useful for van lifers exploring remote areas with limited internet connectivity.

Simply download the maps beforehand, and you’ll have access to navigation even when you’re off the grid.


Communication Van Life Apps for Staying Connected on the Road 📶


Staying connected while on the road is essential, whether it’s for work, keeping in touch with loved ones, or accessing vital information. Here are a couple of communication apps that will keep you connected wherever your van life takes you:



Skype is a well-known app that enables video calls, voice calls, and instant messaging. It allows you to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues, no matter where you are on your van life journey.

With its user-friendly interface and cross-platform compatibility, Skype ensures you never miss an important conversation.



WhatsApp is a versatile messaging app that allows you to send text messages, make voice and video calls, and share multimedia content. It’s a popular choice among van lifers for its reliability and global reach.

As long as you have an internet connection, you can easily stay connected with your fellow van-dwelling friends and share your latest adventures.


Best Van Life Apps for Finding Gas ⛽


One of the essentials for any van life journey is finding reliable gas stations along your route. These apps will help you locate the nearest gas stations and even find the best prices:



GasBuddy is a widely trusted app that provides real-time information on gas prices in your vicinity. With its extensive user base, GasBuddy relies on crowdsourced data to deliver accurate fuel prices, allowing you to save money on your travels.

You can also filter results based on fuel types and amenities, ensuring a seamless refueling experience.



Upside takes a unique approach by offering cash-back rewards on gas purchases. This app provides a list of participating gas stations that offer cash back or gift cards for using their services.

By using Upside, you can save money and earn rewards while fueling up your van for your next adventure.


Google Maps

While primarily known as a navigation app, Google Maps also includes a feature that allows you to search for nearby gas stations.

By simply inputting your location, you can view a list of gas stations in the area, along with their ratings and reviews. This feature ensures that you’ll never be stranded without a refueling option.


Mobile phone with Telegram app open


Entertainment Van Life Apps for Long Drives and Downtime 🎵


Long drives can be made more enjoyable with the help of entertainment apps that keep you engaged and entertained. Here are a couple of recommendations:



Spotify is a popular music streaming app that gives you access to an extensive library of songs, podcasts, and audio content. Create playlists that suit your van life vibe, discover new artists, or tune in to your favorite podcasts to keep you entertained during those long stretches on the road.



For book lovers, Audible offers a vast collection of audiobooks, making it the perfect companion for long drives. Dive into captivating stories, learn something new with educational content, or listen to inspiring memoirs as you embark on your van life adventures.

Audible ensures that your drive is not only scenic but intellectually stimulating as well.


Best Van Life Apps for Finding Cell Service 📡


Staying connected with reliable cell service is crucial for van lifers who rely on their smartphones for navigation, communication, and online work. Here are a couple of van life apps to help you find areas with good cell coverage:



FreeRoam is an app specifically designed to help van dwellers find areas with reliable cell service. It provides coverage maps and user-generated reports on cell reception across different carriers.

By using FreeRoam, you can identify areas with the best chances of a strong cell signal, ensuring you stay connected even in remote locations.


Open Signal

Open Signal is another app that helps you locate areas with strong cell service. It provides detailed maps of cell towers and coverage, allowing you to plan your travels accordingly. Open Signal also includes speed test features, enabling you to check the quality of your connection in real-time.


Other Handy Van Life Apps 🛠️


In addition to the essential apps mentioned earlier, there are numerous other applications that can enhance your van life experience. Here are a few more recommendations:



For outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, AllTrails is a must-have app. It provides a vast collection of trail maps, hiking routes, and detailed information about various outdoor activities.

Whether you’re looking for a scenic hike, a mountain biking trail, or a peaceful spot for birdwatching, AllTrails will guide you to the perfect destination.

If you enjoy camping in national parks or other public lands, is an invaluable resource. This app allows you to browse and reserve campsites in federally managed areas acros0s the United States.

You can explore different parks, check availability, and make reservations, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free camping experience.



Allstays is a comprehensive app that provides a wealth of information for van lifers. It includes details about campgrounds, RV parks, overnight parking spots, and even rest areas.

The app also offers filters to narrow down your search based on amenities, such as Wi-Fi availability, pet-friendliness, and dump stations.


Budgeting and Expense Tracking Van Life Apps 💰


Managing finances is essential for a successful van life journey. Here are a couple of van life apps to help you track your expenses and stay within your budget:



Mint is a popular personal finance app that allows you to track your spending, create budgets, and monitor your financial goals. By connecting your bank accounts and credit cards, Mint provides a comprehensive overview of your income and expenses, helping you make informed decisions and keep your van life finances in check.


Expense Tracker

Expense Tracker is a simple yet powerful app specifically designed for expense tracking. It enables you to record your expenditures, categorize them, and generate reports for better financial management. With Expense Tracker, you can easily track how much you’re spending on gas, food, camping fees, and other van life essentials.


Steering wheel of campervan with mobile phone showing a map in a van life app


Safety and Security Van Life Apps 🔒


Ensuring your safety and security while on the road is paramount. Here are a couple of van life apps that can provide peace of mind during your van life adventures:


Roadside Assistance Apps

Many roadside assistance providers, such as AAA, offer dedicated mobile apps that allow you to request help, track your service provider’s location, and receive updates on your assistance request. Having a roadside assistance app on your phone ensures that help is just a few taps away in case of breakdowns or emergencies.


Personal Safety Apps

There are numerous personal safety apps available that offer features such as emergency SOS alerts, real-time location sharing with trusted contacts, and even built-in alarm systems. Examples of such apps include bSafe, Life360, and Noonlight.

These apps can provide an extra layer of security and peace of mind during your van life journey.


What exactly IS boondocking? ❓


Boondocking refers to the act of camping or parking your van in remote and undeveloped areas without the amenities typically found in designated campgrounds. It often involves camping off-grid, away from established campsites, and can offer a more adventurous and secluded experience.

Boondocking allows you to immerse yourself in nature, disconnect from the hustle and bustle of civilization, and enjoy the freedom of the open road.


How do you prep for boondocking? 🛠️


Preparation is key when it comes to boondocking. Here are a few essential steps to take before embarking on a boondocking adventure:


1. Research 

Identify suitable boondocking locations in your desired area. Look for public lands, national forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas, or dispersed camping sites that allow overnight stays.


2. Water and Supplies 

Ensure you have an ample supply of freshwater, as boondocking sites often lack access to water sources. Consider carrying extra containers or invest in a portable water filtration system. Stock up on food, supplies, and any necessary equipment for self-sufficiency during your stay.


3. Power and Energy

Evaluate your power needs and consider investing in solar panels, a generator, or a combination of both. These power sources will help keep your van’s batteries charged and ensure you have electricity for essential devices.


4. Waste Disposal

Plan for waste management by carrying portable toilets, waste containers, and biodegradable waste bags. Follow Leave No Trace principles and properly dispose of waste at designated locations.


5. Safety and Security 

Be mindful of safety precautions, especially when camping in remote areas. Let someone know about your boondocking plans and expected duration. Stay aware of your surroundings and have emergency communication devices, such as a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon.


Male on a hike with rucksack and black dog, with snow-topped mountains


Summary 📝


Van life apps offer a plethora of options to make your journey more convenient, enjoyable, and secure. From finding campsites and gas stations to tracking expenses and ensuring personal safety, these apps are essential tools for modern-day van dwellers.

With the right van life apps in hand, you can navigate the roads, discover hidden gems, and embrace the freedom of van life to the fullest.


Key Takeaways 🌟


– Van life apps provide valuable resources for finding campsites, gas stations, and other essential amenities on the road.

– Weather and navigation van life apps help you plan your travels and stay informed about changing conditions.

– Communication apps enable you to stay connected with loved ones and access important information while on the road.

– Other handy van life apps cater to specific needs, such as outdoor activities, budgeting, and personal safety.

– Boondocking offers a unique camping experience in remote and undeveloped areas, allowing van lifers to disconnect and enjoy the serenity of nature.

– Preparing for boondocking involves research, water and supply management, power considerations, waste disposal, and prioritizing safety and security.


FAQs About Van Life Apps❓


Yes, most van life apps mentioned in this article are available for both Android and iOS platforms. However, it’s always a good idea to check the respective app stores to ensure availability for your specific device.

Many of the van life apps mentioned in this article offer free versions with limited features, while some may have premium or subscription-based options for enhanced functionality.

It’s recommended to review the app details and in-app purchases before downloading.

The usability of these van life apps may vary depending on your location and internet connectivity. While some apps have global coverage, others may be more region-specific.

It’s advisable to check the app descriptions and user reviews for information on international usage.

Read this next


Register to receive our newsletter, bringing you exclusive offers and the latest news.

Sell your Van in 7 days

Built by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, Buy or Sell Campers is the ultimate place to browse hundreds of camper vans for sale nationwide. Drill down into van-specific features that make all the difference in finding your perfect camper van. 

Selling your camper van? We can help with that too. Instantly gain exposure to thousands of van buyers across the Country!

Why Buy or Sell Campers?

With over 200k followers, tapping into our social media guarantees mass exposure for your rig.