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For those not in the know, RV Trip Wizard and Roadtrippers are two popular trip navigation and organization apps that make plotting your next vacation a breeze. As with everything in the RV market, RV trip planning apps are highly competitive.
This is especially true when you throw in subscriptions or memberships, free trials, tiered packages, and everything else. When it comes to that level of competition, the differences lie in the subtle details—the kind of details that make or break an app.
These apps aren’t just for the retired RV lifer who spends the majority of their time on the road. They aren’t RV versions of existing navigation apps, either.
While a navigation app plots a path between point A and point B, offering suggestions along the way, these apps are RV-focused, with a lot more hiding under the hood than a traditional navigation app has to offer. However, only one can reign supreme. Or can it?
Read on for our opinion on which is better: RV Trip Wizard or Roadtrippers.
How Many People Use a Trip Planning App for Long Trips?
We polled RVBlogger’s private Facebook Group called RV Camping for Newbies to see how many people use a trip planning tool when planning long trips. The results are close as you can see below.
If you want to jump in on the conversation, just join RV Camping for Newbies, and you are in! And if you provide your email when you join, you will receive weekly Newsletters full of great RV info, tips, and advice, PLUS a FREE subscription to RV Today Magazine!
Are There RV-Specific Navigation Apps?
RV Trip Wizard and Roadtrippers qualify as RV-specific navigation apps. But, they are also so much more. They are two of the most popular RV-specific navigation apps on the market and today, we’re looking at both of them to determine which one is right for you.
Plus, the good thing about apps is that you can have as many as your smartphone will hold. It’s simple enough to give them both a try.
Some traditional navigation apps have RV navigation features or, at the very least, the ability to input RV-specific destinations the app will then pull up along the route.
However, the difference between Siri, Google, Waze, etc., on one end, and RV Trip Wizard or Roadtrippers on the other, is the RV lifestyle nature of the latter two.
Plus, the two RV planners on our comparison today are not the only RV-specific apps out there. They’re just two of the most popular apps for RVers! Apps like RV Trip Wizard and Roadtrippers focus heavily on navigational tools and destinations that apply exclusively to RVers.
These include campgrounds, your RV specs (this matters a lot more than you might think, at first), gas mileage specific to you, driving radius, cost estimators, amenities, campground specs, boondocking, and even user ratings and reviews.
What Is The Best RV Trip Planning App?
Of course, it’s all subjective when it comes to comparing anything. This is especially true if you have a history with one app and not the other. It’s also true if one of these two apps happens to have a specific feature that you just love.
There’s nothing wrong with that. But, we still have to do our homework here and lay out the best of the best that both apps have to offer.
The most glaring difference between the two is the fact that the RV Trip Wizard app is very RV-specific while Roadtrippers is broader. The latter includes hotel listings along your route and also has a more “outdoors exploration” feel to it.
In our comparison, we’ll cover the features of each app, who it applies to most, the price of membership (if applicable), how each app works, and ease of use. By the time this comparison review is done, you’ll know exactly which app is right for you.
Now, there is no such thing as the perfect app, either. An app on a smartphone or tablet is software, after all, and software doesn’t always cooperate when we want it to. Some smartphones run apps better than others as well.
An RVer running RV Trip Wizard on an iPhone 14 Pro will probably have a much better time than someone running Roadtrippers on a 2017 Motorola.
The overarching goal here is to have an app that can help you plan a two-day trip up the West Coast or a three-week journey across the continent (including all the associated stops and costs), without a hitch.
Only the best apps are capable of doing that, whether you’re running it on a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.
What Is RV Trip Wizard?
Imagine condensing an RV maintenance guide, trip destinations, gas mileage, navigational aspects based on the dimensions of your RV, boondocking opportunities, campground reviews, traveler ratings, points of interest, and stops into a single app.
That’s RV Trip Wizard. Of course, there is more to it than that, but getting too specific would take up unnecessary space.
It’s not only a downloadable app on the iOS and Google Play Stores, but it’s also accessible on PC or Mac by going directly to the RV LIFE site. There are a lot of things this app covers, along with plenty of good reasons RVers love the app.
RV Life Trip Wizard Features
- Customizable routing and driver preferences
- Avoids tolls, low-clearance places, unsafe side roads, tunnels, and specific highways
- Create, view, and send routes
- The app is deeply intertwined with other, helpful RV Life apps
- Works with Apple Car Play
- Discover campground-specific amenities, from specific hookup types to average internet speeds (both Wi-Fi and cellular data)
- Compatible with Microsoft Excel, some calendar apps, and other GPS apps
- Save and organize all of your trips in one, accessible place
- Generate total costs for the duration of an entire, round-trip route
- Includes expense tracking
- Maintenance tracking
- Includes campground reviews
That’s a pretty broad overview of everything the RV Trip Wizard app has to offer. The app is clearly an RV-specific app. In fact, the app is specifically for RVers with RVers behind the design and functionality of the app. Who knows more about RVing than RVers?
The maintenance tracker and campground reviews are two features that really stand out. For one, neither of them are navigation-specific. However, keeping track of your maintenance will keep you on the road and not on the side of it or in an RV repair shop.
For two, the inclusion of campground reviews provides invaluable information before you plot out your trip. While looking at it from a navigational standpoint, It’s easy to miss the critical nature of those two feature additions, both of which round out the app.
How Does RV Life Trip Wizard Work?
The nature of an app’s popularity starts and ends with ease of use. It doesn’t matter how information-rich it is or how many tasks it performs. If it’s a complicated mess, people won’t use it.
In RV Trip Wizard’s case, the usability requires a small learning curve, mostly because the app does a lot. However, even the least tech-savvy among us will find it simple and intuitive. The app is accessible on any PC, Mac, iOS, or Android device.
Put simply, once you have your login information in place, you’ll have the option between choosing a new trip to create or pulling up a previously saved one.
If you’re creating a new one, the app allows you to be as complex or simple as you want. It even allows you to manually add in stops or points of interest the app doesn’t automatically generate along your chosen route.
You create your trip and timeframe and you can get as creative as you want—all the way down to checking projected weather patterns on the day of your arrival.
It can get a little complicated throughout, mostly if you stop and input every bit of information imaginable. The app even allows you to enter the average mph that you drive.
What Is Roadtrippers?
On its face, you might assume that Roadtrippers is an RV-specific app. However, where RV Trip Wizard is central to RVing, Roadtrippers is more of a broad look at travel in general.
For instance, Roadtrippers is just as viable for someone taking a road trip in a family car as it is for someone doing the same in an RV.
Roadtrippers has GPS navigation built into the app, which is highly convenient. A lot of outdoor, exploration, camping, and adventure apps include plenty of destinations and locations, but you have to use a separate GPS app to get to them.
Like RV Trip Wizard, Roadtrippers has a lot of features to delve into.
- The app includes hotels and interesting places to stay the night
- Includes fuel and rest stops
- Find your favorite places to shop along the route
- Access popular categories and use “pin drops” along your route to add them
- Also includes places to camp
- The most important aspect of the app focuses on outdoor adventure destinations
- Includes sports and wellness facilities and stops along the way
- Includes alternative transportation means and contacts
- The app’s map is designed with a high degree of interactivity
- Includes a pro and a free version, with the latter including more than enough to satisfy most
- Includes articles associated with points of interest, along with pre-determined itineraries
- Includes route sharing with other accounts, friends, and in general
- Includes photo sharing and reviews of destinations
Browsing through our bullet points, it’s easy to see the fundamental difference between RV Trip Wizard and Roadtrippers. Roadtrippers is clearly designed for a less direct and constrained trip planning experience, along with plenty of customization and fun, random stops along the way. It’s not necessarily RV-specific.
In fact, the app includes hotel stays along your route, as well as other transportation opportunities that have little to do with an RV.
However, alternative transportation is still very useful, especially if you’re in a motorhome and aren’t towing a car to use for trips into surrounding towns and cities.
How Does Roadtrippers Work?
Roadtrippers works similarly to RV Trip Wizard and most GPS navigation apps. You don’t need a membership option to use the app, though you should create your login information before you get started. Login info is required to start plotting out trips.
Fortunately, you don’t need to pay to access the more fun parts of the app. Using it is not too complicated. You simply type in your destination and, before you select the option to plot the route, add in as many categories of pit stops as you want.
Once you start the route, you can always go back in and add pinpoints along the way. The only really noticeable difference between the paid and unpaid versions is the ads. If you pay for a Pro account, you won’t have to worry about ads anymore.
RV Trip Wizard Vs. Roadtrippers Comparison
|Feature||RV Trip Wizard||RoadTrippers|
|Subscription||1-week free trial – $65/year||Free version with ads or|
|Platforms||iOS, Android, PC, and Mac||iOS, Android, PC, and Mac|
|Trip Planning/Route Customization||✅||✅|
|Reviewer Information||Reviewer info is robust and thorough||Reviewer information is available but largely absent or thin for campgrounds|
|Mileage and Travel Time||✅||✅|
With a mix of RV-specific and more generic categories in the above list, the RV Trip Wizard covers more than Roadtrippers. However, Roadtrippers is also busy adding features, such as an RV Safe Driving category.
While Roadtrippers will find campgrounds for you, they lack a robust reviewer feature. In other words, you won’t get much information from other RVers on how good or bad the experience was.
RV Trip Wizard utilizes RV Life Campgrounds to compile lists of reviews under each campground.
On the other hand, RV Trip Wizard lacks the robust, add-and-remove features that make Roadtrippers so compelling. For example, if there’s a point of interest worth stopping at, simply drop a pin on that spot using Roadtrippers. If you change your mind, remove the pin.
It’s not so easy with Trip Wizard, as setting everything up in the beginning is the better and simpler route.
Can You Use Google Maps For Motorhomes?
You can use Google Maps for motorhomes just like you can use a stovetop to heat a 5-gallon turkey fryer. It’s there, but it’s not the best tool for the job by any means.
Google will get you from point A to point B, just like Siri and Waze, or any other GPS navigation tool in your smartphone app arsenal. But these apps do not take into account the weight, height, and width of your RV, so they could take you on a route where your rig won’t fit.
However, RV Trip Wizard and Roadtrippers are far more specific in their layout and applicability. The former is laser-focused on RV campgrounds and stops along the way, while the latter is focused on the overall adventure aspect, without leaning too heavily in the RV and campground category.
One distinct and important feature that Google, along with most other GPS apps, lacks is an RV safety navigational feature. Google won’t do nearly as well navigating you through areas with low-lying bridges and places unfriendly to RV travel.
Are RV Trip Planner Apps Worth It?
RV trip planners are definitely worth it, especially if you spend a lot of time on the road, in your RV. Not only do they provide an in-app GPS experience, but also a host of RV/outdoor/adventure experiences that you can add in.
Avoiding non-RV routes, planning out fuel stops, and saving routes are all highly convenient necessities for RVers and an RV trip planner places those conveniences in the palm of your hand.
Frequent RVers will get the most out of them, but part-time RVers will find plenty to love and use as well.
RV Trip Wizard Vs. Roadtrippers: Final Thoughts
If you approach your trips from a hardcore RV standpoint, there’s no alternative better than RV Trip Wizard. RoadTrippers might be the more fun and spontaneous option for some light RVing and the occasional vacationing.
As you all probably know by now, we at RVBlogger use RV Trip Wizard all the time and highly recommend it to our readers and subscribers. In fact, we know the owner personally, who is kind enough to offer our subscribers a 25% discount with promo code RVBLOGGER25.
The good thing is, since Roadtrippers doesn’t require a paid subscription, it’s a great idea to add it to your app tool bag, right next to Trip Wizard.
You get the best of both worlds with the power of precision, customizable RV navigation, and a splash of simple, intuitive adventuring. Why not get the best from both?
Thomas Godwin – Author and Part Time RVer
Thomas Godwin is a full-time freelance writer with a BFA in Creative Writing, a U.S. Marine, and an avid outdoorsman.
When he’s not writing, he’s raising chickens and Appleyard ducks. Thomas also constructs teardrop campers (attempting to anyway) and kayaks the Blackwater River with his wife, two daughters, and his Dobermans.