Smartphones have revolutionised the way we do almost everything and caravanning is no exception. There are a plethora of caravan apps available to caravan enthusiasts that make it easy to for you to know where you’re going, be prepared for the weather and stay safe in bushfire season.
Google Maps– Free. iOS, Android
Google Maps is the quintessential driving app on both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android. Its accuracy, legibility and interactivity are second to none and as long as you’ve a decent signal or wi-fi, it’s the map you can depend upon. iOS users might be tempted to use Apple’s native Maps app for navigation, however, its maps aren’t quite as polished as Google’s and can have trouble pointing out peculiarities of some streets.
GPS Kit– $15.99. iOS
GPS Kit is the next level in mapping. It allows you to cache, or store maps for when you’re out of signal range. You can draw an area or route with your finger to tell GPS Kit which map tiles to cache. If you’re out of 3G/wi-fi range, as long as you have a GPS signal (anywhere not undercover), it’ll continue to show your position. Use its built-in ‘Squawk!’ two-way radio feature to communicate with friends and see them on a map in real time. You can even record your route and save photographs on waypoints. This is a brilliant caravan app for off-the-grid trips.
Pocket Weather Australia – $1.99. iOS
Pocket Weather Australia (Weather Au) stands well above the myriad weather apps in the App Store. It takes its weather feed directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Many other apps use syndicated weather feeds, meaning that the weather may be an hour or so out of date. There are many other apps that present exactly the same information as Weather Australia, however, none do so in such a well-organised and easy-to-use way. Not only does it have the excellent functionality, it’s also the best-looking weather app.
CampAspect– $2.99. iOS, Android
The CampAspect app is as handy as it is unique. It advises you on where to align your caravan so that your awning or outdoor seating area can best take advantage of the sunrise, sunset or the day’s light in general. It’s a remarkably simple app that doesn’t need a 3G or wi-fi signal to operate.
Bushfire alert apps
Recent bushfire tragedies have prompted some state governments and authorities to develop bushfire alert apps. While these apps can’t replace your commonsense, they can alert you to areas where you shouldn’t go and when the situation in your current location changes:
- FireReady(Vic.) – Free. iOS, Android
- Fires Near Me NSW(NSW) – Free. iOS, Android
- South Australian Country Fire Service(SA)– Free. Android
Note: it’s not an app but it’s worth pointing out Google’s Australian crisis map that covers the whole country.
With these apps you’re sure to stay on track and not get lost. You’ll be able to pre-plan your journey with confidence and know that you can stay out of trouble when conditions are extreme.
Find out what else you need to do with our Pre-travel caravan safety checklist.