Best Vanlife Apps Cover Photo

20 Best Vanlife Apps to Assist Life on the Road

Having the best vanlife apps can make life on the road much easier to navigate. In this guide, I’ve compiled a list of the best and most convenient campervan apps to assist you with your adventures.

The lure of vanlife lies in its promise of a simpler lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave all modern conveniences behind.

In fact, the use of technology, especially mobile apps, can greatly enhance your life on the road, making certain aspects of vanlife more manageable and enjoyable. I consider these a vanlife essential!

From navigation to locating campsites and everything in between, there’s a multitude of vanlife apps designed to support your campervan lifestyle.

These digital tools can streamline your adventures, provide crucial information at your fingertips, and help you stay connected, no matter where the road takes you.

In this article, we’ll explore 20 essential apps for vanlife, each designed to simplify a specific aspect of your journey. So let’s get to it.

campervan by a lake in France

Jump to...

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a product through these links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. And we can continue bringing you free tips and advice. If you found the content helpful and are kind enough to use our affiliates – you are awesome, and we thank you! 

Vanlife Apps for Navigation and Travel Planning

1: Google Maps

phone with google maps app for vanlife
  • Great for: Navigation, Route Planning, Offline Maps, Locating Amenities
  • Price: Free
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

A staple vanlife app for any traveller, Google Maps provides reliable navigation, real-time traffic updates, and information on points of interest.

Its offline maps feature is especially useful for areas with limited connectivity. But remember, you have to download the map of the area in advance if you want to use it for navigation. You also won’t get real-time traffic updates on the offline version.

We also use Google Maps to find local amenities such as laundrettes, supermarkets, restaurants, or campsites. We love how quickly you can check the reviews of a place and work out how far it is from your current destination.

Another helpful feature is that you can pin locations on the app. So when you hear about something cool, you can mark it on the app to return to later.

2: Roadtrippers

Phone with Roadtrippers - best app for vanlife
  • Great for: Route Planning, Locating Campsites, Locating Attractions
  • Price: Free
  • Where: USA & Canada
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was an app that allowed you to plan out your route and then tell you of any cool places you might want to check out along the way?

Well, this is it. This app is every travel planner’s dream. You can plot your route, discover unique and exciting stops along the way, and even share your itinerary with fellow vanlifers.

For now, Roadtrippers only works in the USA and Canada, but I hope it broadens its horizons to Europe sometime soon.

3: Waze

waze traffic app for vanlife
  • Great for: Navigation, Live Traffic Updates
  • Price: Free
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

A community-driven navigation app, Waze provides real-time traffic and road information. It’s particularly useful for avoiding traffic jams or road closures as it’s real people on the road reporting the latest updates.

Waze uses crowd-sourcing for it to be effective. Users’ contribution by adding information about traffic, road closures, speed cameras police patrols means it’s unique to other mobile mapping software.

But like most things, it has its cons. Waze relies on having a fair few users in an area before it can produce reliable and helpful information. But with so many users worldwide, approximately 140 million, this should rarely be a concern.

4: Maps.me

maps.me app for vanlifers
  • Great for: Offline Maps
  • Price: Free
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Maps.me offers detailed offline maps and navigation for those venturing off the beaten path. It’s a must-have for remote areas where internet connectivity is sparse.

We’ve had to rely on Maps.me on various occasions, and until now, it’s never let us down. I would only warn you that the estimated arrival time is usually way off, so don’t rely on that too much.

Also important to remember is that you need to pre-download the map of the area that you’re travelling in whilst you still have signal or wifi. 

Update Your Van Insurance!

Have you chosen the right van insurance? We could have saved nearly £400 if we had told our insurers our van was no longer a working van and, in fact, being converted! Make sure you compare online using the button below.

Compare Quotes Now

Vanlife Parking Apps

5: Park4Night

Park4Night Vanlife Parking App
  • Great for: Wild Camping Spots, Campsites, Services
  • Price: Free
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

We love to wild camp in our campervan, but we aren’t that confident yet in locating random spots. Especially these days, with the increase in motorhome restrictions, it’s just not worth the hassle of rocking up to a place only to find that overnight parking is prohibited.

That’s why we swear by vanlife overnight parking apps like Park4Night. Ideal for vanlifers, Park4Night provides a database of parking and camping spots, complete with user reviews and photos.

It’s not just wild camping spots, either. It lets you know of local campsites, car parks, motorhome stopovers, and services like water and showers. It also worked great in Europe, for example, when we campervanned in Portugal.

6: iOverlander

iOverlanders vanlife overnight parking app
  • Great for: Wild Camping Spots, Campsites, Services
  • Price: Free
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

The iOverlander vanlife app offers a comprehensive database of campsites, wild camping spots, and other motorhome stopovers. Its mission is “to support overland exploration of the world while respecting local cultures, people and environment”.

It’s crowd-sourced, so its online community continually updates the information. We haven’t used it as much as Park4Night, but it’s one that we are slowly getting into.

As well as campsites and parking spots, iOverlander also helps you to locate services such as freshwater, petrol stations, LPG, and local mechanics.

7. RingGo 

RingGo Vanlife Parking App
  • Great for: Paying Parking Charges in the UK
  • Price: Free
  • Where: UK
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

If you’re living the vanlife in the UK, there will inevitably be times when you need to pay for parking. Most car parks near beaches or local attractions will come with a fee and are often quite expensive – especially for motorhomes and campervans.

While there is little you can do to avoid the charges, unless there is a free parking spot nearby, RingGo does make it more convenient. It allows you to pay for parking online rather than scraping around for change for the machines.

In some places, a discount is added if you pay for parking using the RingGo app. And you can extend your parking session on the app without returning to your car.

Vanlife Apps for Campsites and Services

8: Search for Sites

search for sites vanlife overnight parking app
  • Great for: Wild Camping Spots, Campsites, Services, Works Offline
  • Price: £5.99 for one year
  • Where: Europe
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Another regular campervan parking app we use is Search for Sites. It works quite similarly to Park4Night and iOverlander, only it doesn’t have as many wild camping spots.

Search for Sites is better for locating campsites and other official motorhome stopovers. We love that it tells us what services each stopover has, as well as the price and previous reviews.

It’s also great for using offline. But again, remember to download the map in advance whilst you have signal or wifi.

9: Campendium

phone displaying Campendium vanlife overnight parking app
  • Great for: Free Parking Spots, Campsites, Services 
  • Price: Free
  • Where: US, Canada, Mexico
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Created for vanlifers by vanlifers, Campendium provides detailed reviews and photos of nearly 30,000 campsites across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including National and State Parks.

It works similarly to other vanlife parking apps on this list. You search in the area you want to stay in, and it will list all of your options in the area. From free overnight parking spots to paid campgrounds and other motorhome and RV services, it’s all marked on the map.

Another thing that many users love the app for is that it pushes people to review the mobile signal for each parking spot, which is great for digital nomads or people who rely on having the internet.

10: Hipcamp

phone showing hipcamp vanlife app for camping
  • Great for: Unique Camping Spots, Campsites
  • Price: Free
  • Where: Australia, Canada, France, UK, USA
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Hipcamp is one of the most exciting vanlife apps on this list. It provides access to unique camping experiences, often on private lands where traditional campsites aren’t available. It’s a bit like Airbnb for campers.

Whether it’s spots to park your campervan or pitch up your tent or a unique glamping or outdoor getaway, Hipcamp has got you covered. They work closely with landowners to give you a truly extraordinary camping experience.

Vanlife Apps for Safety and Vehicle Maintenance

11: GasBuddy

  • Great for: Compare Fuel Prices
  • Price: Free
  • Where: USA, Canada, Australia
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

One of the biggest expenses to consider with vanlife is fuel. When you travel often, the money you spend on fuel starts to add up. So it can make a difference if you can save some money here and there.

That’s why GasBuddy is a must-have vanlife app. GasBuddy helps you to locate the nearest and cheapest gas stations. It can be a lifesaver when fuel is low and you urgently need a station, but it can also help you save a few quid by comparing fuel prices in the area.

Another way you can save money through GasBuddy is by joining their ‘Pay with GasBuddy’ programme. It’s free to join and unlocks special discounts and promotions when you use it to purchase fuel.

12: Petrol Prices

petrol comparison app for vanlifers
  • Great for: Compare Fuel Prices
  • Price: Free
  • Where: UK
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Petrol Prices works the same way as GasBuddy, and it’s what we use when campervanning in the UK. I reckon we save a couple of hundred quid a year by comparing fuel prices on the app.

I also like the app’s ‘rant and rave’ feature, where users can review the services available at each fuel station. That way, I also know where to stop for the best food and coffee.

13: The Weather Channel

phone displaying weather app for vanlife
  • Great for: Compare Fuel Prices
  • Price: Free
  • Where: UK
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Safety on the road is paramount, and knowing the weather ahead is crucial for your vanlife adventures. The Weather Channel app provides reliable forecasts, severe weather alerts, and radar maps.

One thing we are pretty obsessed with checking is the local wind speeds. We’ve parked up a couple of times, usually on the seafront, only to be woken up by colossal winds in the middle of the night and having to move.

14: Simply Auto

Campervan Essentials
  • Great for: Vehicle Management
  • Price: Free – Premium versions also available.
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

This next handy vanlife app serves as your vehicle maintenance log. Simply Auto is designed to help manage your vehicle’s fuel consumption, maintenance, and expenses.

It can help you keep on top of things in many ways. For example, you can record fuel-fill-ups and monitor your vehicle’s efficiency, keep a log of MOT and service due dates, and record expenses to help you with budgeting.

For those travelling for business, it also helps keep track of your mileage for when you are looking for tax deductions or reimbursements.

15: Open Signal

phone showing best vanlife app for cell signal
  • Great for: Test mobile speed connections.
  • Price: Free.
  • Where: Mostly Everywhere.
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Anybody relying on the internet while on the road will most definitely benefit from downloading the Open Signal app. 

We all know how frustrating it is to locate a park-up or campsite, only to get there and realise that you can’t get online. Well, that might be a thing of the past.

With the Open Signal app, you can run a speed and coverage test for the area you plan on travelling to. It uses actual user experiences to run reports and give you stats on download speeds, upload speeds and responsiveness.

It’s not always entirely accurate; however, as their network grows, it will become more and more efficient in generating reliable information.

Vanlife Apps for Budgeting and Expense Tracking

16: Mint

phone with budgeting app for vanlife
  • Great for: Budgeting, Expense Tracking.
  • Price: Free.
  • Where: Worldwide.
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

It’s easy to lose track of spending while on the road. Fuel, food, maintenance, and experiences all add up quicker than you might think. That’s why we’ve started using the Mint budgeting app to keep up with our finances.

This personal finance app helps you track your spending, create budgets, and manage your money on the go, making it easier to maintain a healthy financial life on the road.

Mint connects directly to our bank accounts and categorises our spending so we can see exactly where our money is going and where we need to cut back. It also alerts us of any increases in subscriptions and when bills are due so we can prepare. 

17: Splitwise

  • Great for: Budgeting, Expense Tracking.
  • Price: Free.
  • Where: Mostly Everywhere.
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Are you travelling with others? Splitwise simplifies sharing expenses. It tracks shared costs, balances debts, and ensures everyone pays their fair share without any awkwardness.

Vanlife Apps for Entertainment and Staying Connected

18: Spotify

phone displaying spotify as best vanlife app for music
  • Great for: Listening to music.
  • Price: Free. Premium option also available.
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

Spotify provides the soundtrack to your adventures. There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road with your favourite road trip anthems and driving off into the sunset.

With Spotify, you can make your own playlists, listen to other tailor-made playlists, and discover new music curated based on your tastes. 

With Spotify Premium, you will lose the ads between songs, have more flexibility with your playlists, and can download your favourite music for offline listening. 

19: Skype

  • Great for: Staying in touch.
  • Price: Free. 
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

I don’t know about you, but one of our favourite things about the nomadic lifestyle is escaping the expectation of always being available. Being on the road is the perfect excuse for avoiding the social gatherings that otherwise flood your calendar.

We still love to stay connected with our family and friends back home, though. And Skype is the perfect vanlife app for allowing us to do just that.

With Skype, we can make video calls, instant messages, and international calls, making it easier to share our experiences and keep in touch no matter where we are.

20: All Trails

Phone displays All Trails walking app best for vanlife
  • Great for: Outdoor Adventures.
  • Price: Free. Premium version also available.
  • Where: Worldwide
  • Download: iOS and Google Play
 

The final vanlife app that we couldn’t live without is All Trails. As passionate hikers and lovers of the outdoors, it’s the perfect tool to fuel our adventures.

All Trails is excellent for finding the best walks, hikes, and cycling or running routes in the local area. You can filter the hikes by difficulty, views, elevation, and whether or not the trail is dog-friendly.

You can also use it to curate your own walking routes using the detailed map that displays hidden trails that you wouldn’t find on your standard map.

vanlife couple

Enjoy these Vanlife Apps!

So there you have it, 20 vanlife apps available today that can significantly simplify and enrich your vanlife experience.

What do you think? Are there any we’ve missed that need to be on this list? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stay adventurous and Happy travels.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in our other Vanlife Guides to help with inspiration.

Charlotte & Natalie
If you enjoyed our free guide, you could support us by buying us a coffee! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we share more travel advice and inspiration. Charlotte & Natalie x

PIN IT FOR LATER

vanlife apps

Sharing is caring ♥

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Charlotte & Natalie

Hi There!

We’re Charlotte & Natalie, a British lesbian couple with a passion for travel and adventure.
Here you will find everything from LGBTQ+ travel & lifestyle advice, to comprehensive guides and itineraries designed to make your travel planning easier.
We want to inspire you to live the life of your dreams.

subscribe

💌 Get discounts & updates in our monthly newsletter

Find Hotels
Via Booking.com

Book Tours & Activities
Via GetYourGuide

Get Travel Insurance
Via Heymondo