Making Vanlife Easier: Must-Have Apps for the Ultimate Adventure

Making Vanlife Easier: Must-Have Apps for the Ultimate Adventure

The nomadic lifestyle can get a bit exhausting with constantly having to search for basic amenities, but thankfully, there are plenty of apps out there that make finding these resources a little easier. In this article, we will go over a few of our favorite apps and explain how we can use technology to make vanlife more convenient, enjoyable, and safe. 

1. Campendium:

Campendium is a one-stop shop for almost everything you need. It has a large database of What sets Campendium apart from the others is the pro version that allows you to see what cell coverage is like in the area, the type of public land, elevation, and air quality. The free version provides a list or map of RV parks, public land, campgrounds, and dump stations, complete with reviews from other campers and photos. You can even pick to arrange spots by the number of reviews, so you are only looking at reliable sites that others have been to. Campendium is great because it has a ton of features all in one place, but its database is not as large as some of the other apps out there. 

2. iOverlander:
This is our number-one go-to as far as apps go. We use this for pretty much everything from the basics, like water, showers, and dump stations, to checkpoints, picturesque spots, and vet clinics. It’s great for finding places off the beaten path as well as established campgrounds. Each place includes details like GPS coordinates, photos, reviews and tips from previous travelers, and the date it was last visited. iOverlander is a user-generated, free app that works off of the power of the community, and the best part is it doesn’t require a cell signal to use. 

3. GasBuddy:
When traveling all around the country, your budget will quickly be eaten up by gas fills. GasBuddy is helpful in finding all the gas stations in the area and listing their prices so you are able to find the cheapest fuel along your route. That way, you’re saving money to go towards more adventures! 

4. is especially helpful in finding campsites in state and national parks. It also helps you reserve tours, enter lottery systems for parks that have limited access, and get permits for those that require them. is a great app to keep on your phone so you are at the ready when those popular campsites become available for reservations. 


As you can tell by the name, is a website that focuses on the free and beautiful campsites offered around us, such as BLM Land (Bureau of Land Management) or Forest Service Land. This is another one of our go-to apps and typically one we use to compare campsites to on iOverlander. Their database is limited to campsites only, but it allows you to filter and find campsites with specific amenities or activities offered. You are also able to narrow sites down to the type of road they are on. So, say you do not own a 4×4 vehicle, or you don’t want to mess with going down a rough road late at night; you can filter to find campsites located only on gravel or paved roads. 

Outly is simple, and it is one we use often for its many helpful features, namely the cell signal feature where it shows a map of what coverage is like in different areas. Campendium offers this with their pro version, but it is free within Outly. Outly has a ton of features and filters, and their database is huge. There are a few things that set this app apart from the others, like map downloading for offline use, color-coded maps to differentiate the types of trails and land, and the different bodies of water nearby. 

7. Sekr:
Sekr is a similar app to the others in the fact that it allows you to search for established and dispersed campsites in the area. What we love about this app, though, is its feature to help you find other vanlifers and events nearby. It does not share your exact location, but does give you a list of people within a certain radius around you and allows you to message and connect with them. 

8. Harvest Hosts & Boondockers Welcome
Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome both require memberships at around $80-$100 a year. Harvest Hosts offers campsites at some of the most amazing places, like wineries, breweries, and farms. And, with a membership to Boondockers Welcome, you have access to thousands of driveways located all over the country, providing you with a safe place to park when passing through the area. This is an great way to experience different locations and attractions and meet new people from all over. 

We recommend downloading and using multiple apps when searching for places or resources, as some may have listings that others don’t. We especially like to check different apps when a spot hasn’t been updated for a while or to double-check road conditions (whether or not 4×4 is necessary).

Finding the right resources is crucial to making your adventures as seamless as they can be so you are able to spend more time exploring and less time researching. With the right apps in your pocket, you can do just that! Vanlife opens up so many possibilities for exploring places that you may never have even imagined and apps help make your journey smoother, safer and more enjoyable. So, download some apps and play around to see which ones fit you the best and get familiar before you hit the road on your next adventure! 

Reading next

Storyteller Overland VS. Winnebago Revel: Which van is right for you?

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.