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Old 10-17-2014, 09:56 PM   #1
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Trip planning tools?

Hey guys - I'm wondering if there are any applications out there that let you put in a starting location and an ending destination and help you plan your trip by suggesting campgrounds to stay at and places to visit. I'm thinking if there isn't one I might make one myself - but usually when I get these ideas someone has beat me to it. If you use a tool could you share with me?

I did a Google search and found an app called roadtripper but I don't think it has good camping recommendations - I was mapping from St. Louis to Atlanta and it didn't highlight Land Between the Lakes camping at all. I have AAA and they have Triptiks but I'm looking for something that makes suggestions like you guys would - you know I want to be able to say - how much I want to drive a day - the ypes of attractions areas I might like and the time I have and then have the tool tell me - oh you may want to go to Charleston for example.

Thanks in Advance!
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by loislane View Post
Hey guys - I'm wondering if there are any applications out there that let you put in a starting location and an ending destination and help you plan your trip by suggesting campgrounds to stay at and places to visit. I'm thinking if there isn't one I might make one myself - but usually when I get these ideas someone has beat me to it. If you use a tool could you share with me?

I did a Google search and found an app called roadtripper but I don't think it has good camping recommendations - I was mapping from St. Louis to Atlanta and it didn't highlight Land Between the Lakes camping at all. I have AAA and they have Triptiks but I'm looking for something that makes suggestions like you guys would - you know I want to be able to say - how much I want to drive a day - the ypes of attractions areas I might like and the time I have and then have the tool tell me - oh you may want to go to Charleston for example.

Thanks in Advance!
After you decide where you want to go, the next thing to do is check the long term weather forecasts.

That in itself, might encourage you to change your plans.

Andy
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:00 AM   #3
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I haven't found one that does what you want, Loislane - but if you can build it, that would be really super, man! :-)

Apologies for the bad pun, but I'm totally serious...that would be a killer app....I like exactly what you described and the part Andy added about integrating weather info too.
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:23 AM   #4
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For a trip planning guide, I have used Trailer Life for 20k miles worth of trips. For the most part it really doesn't matter which version you have as campgrounds really do not change that much.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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What I do is simply use Google Maps. I type in the start and end destinations as usual, then adjust the route by dragging and dropping the route. Once I have figured out my desired route I grab the end destination node and place it along the route at whatever distance I want to travel in one day, perhaps at 5 hours along the trip route, then I zoom in to that location and type in "campgrounds" and Google Maps will then populate the map in that area with all the campgrounds and you can click on them and get the name then type the name into a separate Google search window and research the campground. This method is quite easy and fun and free but searching the campgrounds can take some time as it also populates some non campground places like mobile home parks so you need to pick the obvious campgrounds to research. After I have completed a trip with campgrounds I take it one step farther and make a spreadsheet to keep it all straight and include on the spreadsheet the daily trip route from/to destinations with the mileage and travel time, campground website address and street address and campground cost per night. At the bottom of the spreadsheet I do a quick budget for the trip, too, by adding estimated costs for fuel based on current gas prices vs. mileage traveled each day and I also estimated food costs.

-Alan
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:08 AM   #6
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Second on Google Maps, which I also use for a GPS (with paper map backup research). And I frequently use the Allstays Camping app (iOS version). I also do a lot of generalized Google research. I've experimented with other tools but none have stuck.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:20 PM   #7
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While it would be nice to have a single phone app that would assist with this type of RV trip planning, we have found that a combination of Google Map (for routing and distance calculation) and RV Park Reviews and Allstays (for campground locations, reviews and selection) works fine for us.

But, if you build it, we will come!

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Old 10-18-2014, 12:54 PM   #8
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Allstays provides campsites, reviews (some) & directions & is our go-to app. Yelp & tripAdvisor for things to do & Google maps as additional reference. Occasionally use Woodalls & Passport America. Freecampsites.net is also helpful. Would LOVE to have one app to do it all.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:58 PM   #9
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Next Exit

I neglected to mention The Next Exit. A very useful directory of services and facilities available at each exit off the US Interstate System.


# 1 USA Interstate Exits - Hotels, Gas, Food - the Next EXIT

http://www.amazon.com/Next-Complete-...=the+next+exit
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:34 PM   #10
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I have used Microsoft Streets and Trips for years. Most campgrounds show up as tiny blue squares on the map. I have used it for short trips as well as trips lasting months and covering thousands of miles. It allows you to insert places which you have found by other means. It allows you to put in the time, from minutes to days, of your stops along the way. It calculates the approximate time of each leg of travel based on the speed you care to travel.

My version is several years old. It is for a PC, not a smart device.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:58 PM   #11
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Good Pun SteveSueMac!
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:02 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Some of you are using Google in ways I haven't before. I've also used NextExit while traveling but not while planning - but if we did build something we'd want it to work for planning and while traveling so NextExit data makes sense. Also including weather is something I do all the time but hadn't thought how useful it would be - looks like some of you are proposing using weather trends? You know what else I will add in if I build this? Cell access - I sure would like to know how many AT&T bars I can get in a campground - not all the time but often I'm working from the road so knowing I'd have connectivity would help.

If I move forward I'll keep you all posted....
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:12 PM   #13
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If it's cell coverage you are after, try this app:

Coverage? for iPhone & iPad | Two Steps Beyond LLC
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:23 PM   #14
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Hi everyone - you know how I said if I moved forward I'd let you know - well I have. I'm at a startup competition trying to pitch the "all in one" app I'm calling Wanders. Question for you all - what is the biggest pain right now in your trip planning - is it time? is it choosing where to stay? Is it figuring out how to get there? Is it making an itinerary or something else? Any pains you could share I'd appreciate!

Thanks, Lois
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