There are some very intelligent, savvy, organized travelers in this world. Most of the time; I am not one of them. Luckily for me, I have found these geniuses like to share their wealth of knowledge with people like me. At the tap of a screen we have an over abundance of information for our use and at times it can become overwhelming. When I first started RV travel years ago me and my neurodivergent brain would obsess. I would have lists, apps, subscriptions, social media pages and You Tube channels; the list was exhaustive. Now; because I over stimulated my brain and ultimately became confused and bored with all the information I hoarded, I have cleaned things up.
If you are starting out RV’ing I encourage you to prepare the way I did. Learn everything you can from everywhere you can and hit the road feeling confident that you are prepared. BUT! As your new and exciting lifestyle will prove to you; preparation is great but it is literally impossible to know what the future holds. You will be thrown curve balls and you will have to keep your poop together.
With some experience under my belt, I began the process of streamlining my information (deleting the stuff I didn’t use).
Here is what I did keep:
IOverlander: A very simple app that allows you to filter what you are looking for ie; established campgrounds, boon docking, dump stations etc. It is wonderful because users will post updates on the information. Covers the whole continent.
TruckerPath: If you have ever had to navigate a 55 foot set up into a regular gas station and almost lost your mind; get this app. We use it primarily in the United States and it shows all truck stops, rest stations, showers, etc.
Google/Google Earth: Just everything. Mostly zooming to see if we can get into places. Creeping on boondocking spots and campgrounds.
Now that’s a short list but I’ve learned that simpler works better for me. Like I said, I encourage you to do your own research and learn what you need to enjoy this lifestyle. It’s what made me confident enough to convince my husband to do this lifestyle. Those 3 are my non-negotiables, must haves, I will die without them apps. I can map my route on Google, follow it on Trucker Path to ensure I can go that way and have fuel and then use IOverlander to find places to stop etc.
There is another invaluable resource out there that you only get when you start traveling and it is the most important one. People. You will meet the most amazing people and hear the most amazing stories. Let me give an example; we were having a chat with some lovely friends one day about our plans. These plans included a winter stay in a small town in Mexico. Our friends said that they had heard that the campground we were planning on staying was having condos built next to it. We were seriously bummed out and I immediately began trying to confirm this news. I could not. My friends said that they would find out for sure. Sure enough a couple days later they had spoken to their friend who lives in the town and he had confirmed; yes construction was to commence when we were there. Now like I said I had tried to confirm this for myself and could not; but can you really blame the campground for not making it public knowledge, they would for sure lose business. But because of people that we had met on our travels we were able to avoid spending a winter listening to construction! I have a million of these examples but that’s the one that popped into my mind first; so there you go.
So have some fun, gain some confidence, learn some stuff and hit the road with an arsenal of information. Depending on your personality you may keep them all or you may end up like me; a pick up box full of jerry cans, 3 apps and an attitude of “figure it out on the way!” Either way you will learn and hopefully; most importantly, enjoy the ride.