Setting up camp is always a bit more work than my family would like. This is especially true after a long day of travel, and it’s definitely something we get through as quickly as possible in order to start enjoying all the fun of exploring a new campground.
In order to make setting up easier, we’ve slowly cut back on the number of things we put out at each stop. This does make setup simpler, but there are some jobs that can’t be cut out of the process.
Obviously, we have to make sure to park with space to pull out the awning, we need to put down our jacks, and getting outdoor furniture out of the rig and into the campsite is a must. Fortunately, we’ve found ways to make many of these tasks easier as well. Having the whole family pitch in is enormously helpful, and sticking to our well-laid plan means setup goes smoothly and quickly.
Of course, these are just a couple of the tricks we’ve found. Another great way to speed up the setup process is through the use of the correct smartphone apps. That’s right, your phone can even help you set up your campsite!
When setting up your RV for a stay, it’s important to ensure the rig is level. Not only will this make living more comfortable, it’ll also help keep your fridge—which can be damaged over time by running while unlevel—in good working order. Besides, baking cakes and muffins in an oven that isn’t level will most certainly result in lopsided baked goods.
A straightforward app, LevelMatePRO is just what you’d expect it to be. We chose it for its accuracy and would recommend it to friends and family any day. The free app is used with their vehicle leveling system to easily level trailers, fifth wheels, motorhomes, or even horse trailers.
Perfect for ensuring your site is big enough and making sure your slides will be able to come out, smart measuring apps are a simple way to measure anything. RVers love these apps when large trees surround them, as they can measure to see if they will fit under a particular branch rather than simply take their chances.
Of course, you could pull out a traditional measuring tape, but those are cumbersome, space consuming, and often not as long as needed. The smart measuring apps below are far better for most RV campers.
Android: Smart Measure
A super easy-to-use app, Smart Measure is an Android-only download that quickly and accurately measures the height and width of larger items, as well as short distances.
Very similar to the Smart Measure app above, the Apple-friendly EasyMeasure is an excellent way to grab those important measurements quickly before backing into a site.
Arriving at a campground after sundown is always an interesting experience. If you’re lucky enough to check-in so late in the day, you then must make your way through unfamiliar—and sometimes tight—territory in order to find a site. Of course, this is nothing compared to backing into a site, putting down the jacks, and bringing out the slides in the pitch black of night.
Fortunately, we have flashlights, but they have a tendency to disappear into the backs of cabinets. If you’re anything like my family, even if you can find one, the battery is likely to be dead, rendering it completely unusable. This is where these awesome flashlight apps step in.
Android: Tiny Flashlight + LED
Tiny Flashlight + LED is an Android app that allows the user to add color to their flashlight or take advantage of the warning light option. That said, the best thing about this app is its battery saving feature.
We like the relatively simple Flashlight for iPhone because it includes an SOS light that could come in handy in emergency situations. The built-in compass and altitude tracker could also be helpful if you’re a hiker.
Internet speed test
If you need internet for work, finding a site with a decent connection is likely pretty high on your list of priorities. However, without a proper way to check the connectivity at any given site, choosing a place to park is more of a gamble than anything. This is where an internet speed test app steps in.
A speed test app will allow you to quickly determine the speed of the park Wi-Fi, your phone service, and your hotspot service before you begin unloading and setting up. Clearly, this is beyond helpful if decent internet is a must for you.
By far the best internet speed test app is Speedcheck. This app allows both Android and iOS users to test their phone connection speed as well as the speed of any Wi-Fi connection (including mobile hotspots). This app is easy to use and works quickly, so you won’t waste time sitting at the wrong campsite for your needs.
Setting up camp includes a large number of tasks. Most are impossible to forget, and some won’t matter even if they are forgotten. However, there are a few tasks that could easily go forgotten, but really shouldn’t be. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that all RVers keep a camp setup checklist.
Setting up a checklist in a handy and easy-to-use app is the best way to go about this. Keeping the list on your phone ensures it won’t be lost or left behind, and finding an app you enjoy using will make it less of a chore to pull the list up and add to it as needed.
Enter Wunderlist. This app is available on both Android and iOS and has a simple, user-friendly interface that we love. We also appreciate that list items can be grouped however you choose and that lists can be shared with other users, meaning your spouse or friend can have the exact same list on hand.
RV LIFE App
Get RV-friendly directions, locate campgrounds along your route and read their reviews, or upgrade to the premium version and you can access offline maps and more without needing an internet connection. You also browse through Do It Yourself RV and RV LIFE articles, rate and review RV parks that you’ve visited, and favorite ones that you’d like to visit again. Download it from the App Store here.
These are our favorite apps for setting up camp. Do you have anything to add? Please share it in the comments below!