RV App Market Research: What features/capabilities do you want?

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What are the killer features or capabilities you would want in your one stop RV app?
 
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I use RVTripWizard...am happy with its features and capabilities. What additional features am I missing?
 
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use RVTripWizard...am happy with its features and capabilities. What additional features am I missing?
I too lean heavily on RVTW for planning. They released a product 1-2 years ago called RV life which includes RV GPS Routing. I like the integration aspects of this which also includes campground reviews. Having one app accessible to the iPhone is way better than having to plan on RVTW and then re-enter on the Garmin. I think the killer feature is advance warning and being able to know what’s ahead with options so you can evaluate is what I look for. I don’t want to know 5 sec before. My issue with rv life is I just don’t know enough about it “under the covers“ to trust it. Inevitably if I had both (Garmin and RV Life) running at the same time and they gave different directions, which one do I choose? The leader in GPS used in airplanes and on boats or a third party app? Once you have been in a near crisis situation, it’s all about trust and dependability going forward. I don’t trust my Garmin 100% either and visually verify everything which takes a lot of time In addition to the data reentry each day From RVTW to Garmin.
 
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I use RVTripWizard...am happy with its features and capabilities. What additional features am I missing?
That’s for you to tell me! Use your imagination. RVTW would definitely be my competition.
 
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Inevitably if I had both (Garmin and RV Life) running at the same time and they gave different directions, which one do I choose? The leader in GPS used in airplanes and on boats or a third party app?
To be clear, I would be using the same data under the hood as Garmin, except my update integration would be faster and automatic with updates happening automagically every few weeks as opposed to months. No data downloads or update installs. You wouldn’t even need to update the app.

For network barriers, such as bridges, overpasses and other things that impact vehicle routing constraints, the updates would be near instantaneous after being reported within the app.
 
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All the obvious navigation things as well as vehicle specifications for over and under bridges. An additional game changer to put you above the others might be to have a weather conditions along the route option. Have the option of modifying the date and time to see timing's impact? Just dreaming

additional edit: I use basecamp to plan all my routes, then dump them into the Garmin. A computer app to do the same instead of trying to do all that on the tiny screen of a crapple phone?
 
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All the obvious navigation things as well as vehicle specifications for over and under bridges. An additional game changer to put you above the others might be to have a weather conditions along the route option. Have the option of modifying the date and time to see timing's impact? Just dreaming

additional edit: I use basecamp to plan all my routes, then dump them into the Garmin. A computer app to do the same instead of trying to do all that on the tiny screen of a crapple phone?
Weather is a good idea and can be done. I’ve done that on other apps before.

as to a desktop app, one is planned for the use case you describe, but only premium users would have access to it. Perhaps some limited features for standard users.
 
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@MapNerd , my main complaint with RVTW is the incomplete display of campgrounds. Maybe I'm missing a setting/parameter...even when I know there is a campground near my desired destination, sometimes it doesn't show up unless I manually enter it by name. Regarding GPS, I start with RVTW, then double check other sources during the planning phase. Once on the road, I use the coach RMcN and double check (if I remember) with RVTW, Google + others.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
963
Location
Prince William, VA
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2020
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Newmar
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Ventana 4326
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43
TOW/TOAD
2020 Ford F-150
@MapNerd , my main complaint with RVTW is the incomplete display of campgrounds. Maybe I'm missing a setting/parameter...even when I know there is a campground near my desired destination, sometimes it doesn't show up unless I manually enter it by name. Regarding GPS, I start with RVTW, then double check other sources during the planning phase. Once on the road, I use the coach RMcN and double check (if I remember) with RVTW, Google + others.
Finding all of the campgrounds is almost certainly the hardest part. There is no single source of truth other than Google and they will sue my face off if I scrape their data. I could use their API but it’s expensive. I have about 600 campgrounds loaded across the US, Canada and Mexico so far but I know there are many others I don’t know of. I am thinking that if there is a campground you know of which the app doesn’t, I will have a way for you to add it. Initially, only the person who reported the campground will see it but once I have verified it, it will be displayed to everyone. You’ll have to have some basic information about the campground in order to report it though. A name, Address or coordinates, and website or phone number. Other attributes will be available but those are the bare minimum.
 
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Lakeside, CA
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Where does RV Parky get their data? Integration with a DB like that would seem good to me. Weather not not so important. Waze yes. A flexible import feature for trip planning would be key (I use excel).

Now for the more far fetched thoughts:
- Could an integration with vehicle data be of value? Take the bluefire data for example and show user selectable real time data, or better yet summarize the data in a way with the GPS data to do something interesting?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V1QBNFI/?tag=rvf01-20

- Would a find friends feature be crazy? You can automate updates to friends and family with your location or a daily trip summary.

- Integration with a dash camera to provide a trip summary including photos?

Ok, I'm getting out there now, but I think unique integrations could make something stand apart. We are a community of hobbyists and DIY'rs and it might have appeal.
 
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I currently use AllStays app for finding campgrounds. With all its filtering capability, it works great for me. It allows me to filter based whether the campground accepts Big Rigs, but it doesn't filter based on vehicle length. A 40' DP is considered a Big Rig, so I still need to see if the campground has any size restrictions listed. It has links to open Google Maps, and also a browser to the CG's reservation page.

The #1 feature that I am missing is a map showing me bridge / road weight limits. I've posted a few times on my trials in getting to my destination without crossing any bridges that I'm overweight for (48K# plus 5K# toad).

For the campground that I'm currently staying at in NC, I followed the directions that the State Park posted on their website. It was great until I was a mile or two away and got to the bridge which had a weight restriction. My RV navs (Garmin & Rand McNally) wanted to route me a different way, but I figured that the park knows bests. Not! The nav systems don't tell me that I cannot go a particular way until I'm nearly there. It doesn't tell me that it routed me a particular way due to a weight limit.

If I could have looked at a map and know that there's a weight restriction, I could have chosen a different route.

If I knew where to get this data, I would have checked it. The nav systems obviously know this data, but there is no way for me to access it.
 
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Messages
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Prince William, VA
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Newmar
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Where does RV Parky get their data? Integration with a DB like that would seem good to me. Weather not not so important. Waze yes. A flexible import feature for trip planning would be key (I use excel).
No idea where RV Parky gets their data and I doubt they would share with me if I told them I was considering building a competing app..

What do you mean by “Waze”? If you would want an app that could design a route for you based on your specific restrictions (height, weight, length, width) then have Waze do the navigating of said route, that’s not really possible at this time. It’s a limitation on the side of Google and Apple (Google owns Waze). Google Maps supports it to a very limited extent by letting me pass it a starting point, ending point and list of waypoints the route must go through which could be used to ensure the route avoids any issues, except that Google Maps only supports 10 waypoints if I am recalling correctly. That’s not nearly enough to ensure that Google follows the route that avoids issues.

- Could an integration with vehicle data be of value? Take the bluefire data for example and show user selectable real time data, or better yet summarize the data in a way with the GPS data to do something interesting?
Amazon.com: BlueFire 9-Pin J1939/J1708 Bluetooth Data Adapter for Heavy Duty Trucks, Fire Trucks, Motorhomes, School Buses, and More. Supports Android and Windows 10 (Not Apple iOS) BlueFire Apps.: Computers & Accessories
This crossed my mind but it would not be something I’d consider for a minimal viable product. Perhaps in a future release.

- Would a find friends feature be crazy? You can automate updates to friends and family with your location or a daily trip summary.
Not at all and if something I have on my idea list. Part of me feels to some extent however, that in these times not too many people would want to share their location, even securely with their friends. People just don’t trust technology with that kind of stuff these days and for good reason (thanks Tech Bros!). So its lower on my list but it is a relatively easy thing to do if folks want it. I am also considering a chat feature. I think that might get used more.

- Integration with a dash camera to provide a trip summary including photos?
Hard without getting into the hardware game myself and developing my own dash cam. Supporting a third-party product is always difficult but dashcams would be particularly difficult because I dont believe there is a universal standard that they would all provide support for in terms of how to connect, how videos, and other things are accessed, etc.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
963
Location
Prince William, VA
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4326
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2020 Ford F-150
I currently use AllStays app for finding campgrounds. With all its filtering capability, it works great for me. It allows me to filter based whether the campground accepts Big Rigs, but it doesn't filter based on vehicle length. A 40' DP is considered a Big Rig, so I still need to see if the campground has any size restrictions listed. It has links to open Google Maps, and also a browser to the CG's reservation page.

The #1 feature that I am missing is a map showing me bridge / road weight limits. I've posted a few times on my trials in getting to my destination without crossing any bridges that I'm overweight for (48K# plus 5K# toad).

For the campground that I'm currently staying at in NC, I followed the directions that the State Park posted on their website. It was great until I was a mile or two away and got to the bridge which had a weight restriction. My RV navs (Garmin & Rand McNally) wanted to route me a different way, but I figured that the park knows bests. Not! The nav systems don't tell me that I cannot go a particular way until I'm nearly there. It doesn't tell me that it routed me a particular way due to a weight limit.

If I could have looked at a map and know that there's a weight restriction, I could have chosen a different route.

If I knew where to get this data, I would have checked it. The nav systems obviously know this data, but there is no way for me to access it.
I would do the something similar to AllStays in terms of linking to campground websites. I probably wouldn’t link out to Waze, Google, Apple Maps or any of the others and that would undermine the business model as well as there is no way I could make those apps follow a route I wanted it to. Typically, you give them a start and endpoint and they take it from there. No way to give them height, weight, length, width restrictions or a list of no-go spots.

I’m confused by your third statement. So, are you getting your getting your route from your Garmin/Rand McNally nav unit and its sending you down bad routes, or are you getting the route elsewhere, exporting it to a file, then importing it to your Garmin and following it there? If the latter, that’s going to be an issue with almost any navigation app. It’s not really a workflow anyone designs their solutions for. There is an assumption that if you are importing a predefined route, you’ve done some due diligence externally to the app and verified the route you are importing meets your needs.

Network barriers such as low clearances, bridges with weight limits, tight turns, etc. will be visible in my app. Maybe even audibly alerted within 1-mile or less to approach.
 
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Mountain Aire
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2015 Jeep GC Overland
I probably wouldn’t link out to Waze, Google, Apple Maps or any of the others and that would undermine the business model as well as there is no way I could make those apps follow a route I wanted it to. Typically, you give them a start and endpoint and they take it from there. No way to give them height, weight, length, width restrictions or a list of no-go spots.
When I use the “Send to Google” link in AllStays, it’s typically not to get directions, but to see a Google satellite view of the place so I can check out the CG. I want to know if the CG is wooded or an open field: whether it’s next to a body of water: nearby a city: etc.
I’m confused by your third statement. So, are you getting your getting your route from your Garmin/Rand McNally nav unit and its sending you down bad routes, or are you getting the route elsewhere, exporting it to a file, then importing it to your Garmin and following it there?
For my current CG, it turns out that the Garmin and RN navigation systems had good directions. But of course, the CG had warnings in the email and on the website warning against following GPS directions. Instead they provided directions to get there. As it turns out the directions they provided included a bridge with weight restrictions (they didn’t mention this). Had I known there were weight restrictions on that route I would have taken the Garmin route instead. It seems that if you follow navigation systems directions sometimes you are damned if you do or damned if you don’t. If I had an app or website to see bridge weight limits I would do my homework ahead of time. Just don’t know where to get the data.
 
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Prince William, VA
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When I use the “Send to Google” link in AllStays, it’s typically not to get directions, but to see a Google satellite view of the place so I can check out the CG. I want to know if the CG is wooded or an open field: whether it’s next to a body of water: nearby a city: etc.
I will have a satellite view available for all users so you’d be able to do that within the app directly.
It seems that if you follow navigation systems directions sometimes you are damned if you do or damned if you don’t. If I had an app or website to see bridge weight limits I would do my homework ahead of time. Just don’t know where to get the data.
Sometimes that is true. It is an almost impossible ask for any information system to keep up with ground truth. The only reason Google can do it is because they literally spend billions on it and have hundreds of thousands of users contributing data and correcting local maps for them.
Having a symbol in the map for bridges and low clearances which you can tap to see information about is an easy thing to do so I will add that to my list.
 
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Having a symbol in the map for bridges and low clearances which you can tap to see information about is an easy thing to do so I will add that to my list.

I look forward to seeing your app.

In the mean time, can you make any recommendation as to where one can access bridge weight limits, either visually on a map or a text based webpage? This has bit me a few times, and it's not fun when it happens.
 
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