Rand McNally Introduces RV Navigation App for iPad

Nearly two years after introducing the first GPS designed specifically for RVers, Rand McNally launched the first RV GPS app for the iPad.

-00rvgps_app_app_icon_smThe RV GPS was shown for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rand McNally’s RV GPS for iPad is the first iOS application offered that is specifically designed for RV navigation. The new application, available on the App Store(sm), provides RV class-specific routing (and with a quick toggle, over to car routing) based on Rand McNally’s proprietary road data and navigation, plus thousands of RV parks and campgrounds, RV-friendly locations, RVer tools, and pre-planned trips.

The app also includes dynamic weather, a map overlay feature that helps drivers anticipate conditions such as high wind and precipitation along the route.

Also included is a bonus feature of the app: An e-book version of America’s #1 Road Atlas.

-000rvgps_app_2_lg“About 20% of RVers have an iPad, and many of them take it on the road,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally.

“Our new app lets those travelers access the same premier RV routing, navigation, and content available on our RVND GPS devices, and load it on their tablet.”

The Rand McNally RV GPS is an on-board app that provides safe and easy routing customized for an RV or car. Unlike off-board navigation, the maps load on an iPad, providing access everywhere — even in remote areas where a cellular or Wi-Fi connection is not available. For real time navigation as the vehicle progresses, a GPS signal is required.

The RV GPS app includes:

  • Safe and easy routing for 11 types of RV in the U.S. and Canada; also includes car mode for cars towed to the destination and used for excursions, or for everyday use
  • Routing based on legal and physical restrictions, such as height, width, weight limits, and propane restrictions, and favors right- or left-hand turns depending on RV class
  • Rand McNally proprietary RV-specific road attributes and Rand McNally exclusive highway construction project information
  • Warnings for speed limit changes, sharp curves, dirt roads, and other potential hazards
  • General and RV-specific points of interest including thousands of RV parks and campgrounds listed by category, RV parking, rest stops, exits, and other locations
  • Rand McNally Editor’s Picks, including Best of the Roadadventures, trips, and getaways
  • Real-time weather information including current and forecasted information for current location, destination, and anywhere along the route

Choose from 10 different map overlays to display important information for RVers, such as wind speed, current and forecasted precipitation, and weather-based traffic impact.

-00rvgps_app_4_lgRV Tools such as RV checklists prepare the user for trip departure, campsite setup, and more. Trails record a “bread crumb” path from the campsite, or a favorite shortcut and Quick Planner calculates time, distance, and cost for trips between major cities.

Fuel logs track fuel purchases, including where purchased, gallons, and total cost; and tools are available to record vehicle maintenance.

Rand McNally also sells an in-vehicle mount for an iPad and an external GPS accessory online at the Rand McNally store.

Details

Rand McNally RV GPS for iPad

Cost: $99.99

Website: randmcnally.com/rvgpsapp

Rand McNally

Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content.

Rand McNally’s products and services include road travel review site (bestoftheroad),  interactive travel referral service (tripology), America’s #1 Road Atlas, TripMaker RVND GPS for RVers, IntelliRoute truck routing software and mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry, and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom.

Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today’s world.

Address: 9855 Woods Drive Skokie, Illinois 60077

Phone: (800) 333-0136

Website: randmcnally.com

Best of RVing website: bestoftheroad.com/rv

Best of the Road website: bestoftheroad.com

Tripology website: tripology.com/

Lifetime Maps program website: randmcnally.com/lifetimemaps

Worth Pondering…

I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.

—Daniel Boone

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BookYourSite.com Releases App

BookYourSite.com releases the new online RV directory and reservation app for the iPhone and iPad.

book_your_siteCamping enthusiasts can search for campgrounds that best match their personal preferences and make a reservation directly through the app.

The app accesses the BookYourSite online website database to provide information about park facilities, amenities, rates, pictures, directions, and other valuable facts.

“The difference between our app and others is that ours allows you to set your own camping preferences and store your profile on the iPhone or iPad,” said Jim Amadio, president of Mission Management Information Systems and the creator of BookYourSite.

“The app will rank the available parks based on your preferences ensuring an ideal camping spot. Once you’ve made your choice, you have the option to securely book your reservation online directly through the app.”

Campgrounds that subscribe to BookYourSite can provide rates, availability, and amenity details to the app in one of two ways.

BookYourSite integrates with Campground Manager, a front desk property management system, pulling data directly from the park’s database. It can also be configured to work in a stand-alone mode, if an alternate front desk system is used. This enables the app to provide up-to-the-minute pricing and availability for any campground selected.

BookYour Site screenshot
BookYour Site screenshot

“We’ll be spreading the word about the BookYourSite app to RVers and campground owners at upcoming RV shows and state association conferences,” said Peter Kearns, vice president of sales for Mission Management.

“We are providing a convenient seamless way for the camping consumer to book anytime, anywhere. We expect this to translate into additional business for our parks.”

The app is free and is available now through the Apple App store.

Future development plans include increasing the content to include videos and online specials from selected parks.

BookYourSite for Android and other mobile app platforms will also be available soon.

App features include:

  • Detailed park descriptions, pictures, and slide shows available
  • Search by City, State or Province, Park Name, Parks Nearby, and Favorites
  • Sort results by Distance, Alphabetically, Match Percentage, and Bookability
  • Pin point the location of each park found on an interactive map view
  • Lists up to 79 park features, amenities, and accommodation details per park
  • Designate four “must have” amenities that will be predominantly displayed in the park listing for easy viewing
  • Indicates percentage match between personal preferences and park features available
  • Up-to-the-minute rate and availability quotes for all bookable parks directly through the app
  • Make a complete reservation without leaving the app
  • Stores your personal data for quick retrieval during the booking process
  • Keeps a history of all reservations made through the app
  • Displays park membership affiliations, clubs, discounts, payment options, and ratings
  • Email or phone the park directly from the app
  • Links to the park website for even more details
  • Lists nearby attractions and points of interest

The App park listing information is available even without a Wi-Fi connection
Choose between park manager’s directions or use online Apple map directions
Detailed app help available including an easy “How To” video
Works with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

For more information, visit bysres.com.

Details

BookYourSite

BookYourSite is an online campsite booking portal that allows you to locate, evaluate, and book your campsite/cabin/trailer reservations online directly through the app.

Most parks included on BookYourSite integrate with powerful front desk campground software. This enables the app to provide up-to-the-minute pricing and availability from the campground of your choice.

Website: bookyoursite.com

Worth Pondering…

People who enjoy what they are doing invariably do it well.

—Joe Gibbs

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New Towing Capacities App Now Available

Are you shopping for a new or used tow vehicle, trailer, camper, boat, or other recreational vehicle?

The new Towing Capacities App from OnlineTowingGuide.com is the most comprehensive searchable mobile application available anywhere efficient way to find the right pickup or SUV for an RVer’s towing needs, the company announced this week.

Developed for Android smart phones, the Towing Capacities App from OnlineTowingGuide.com lets users search for pickups and SUVs by year, make and model, engine, transmission, and axle ratio, and even different trim levels!

Covering model years 2005 through 2012, and including Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Dodge, Nissan, and Toyota, the Towing Capacities App is the most comprehensive searchable app on the market today, and it’s just $1.99.

“Users will love how fast and easily the app works, and how it can help them find the perfect tow vehicle,” said Brett Becker, editor and publisher of OnlineTowingGuide.com. “What’s more, if they’re shopping for a new trailer or RV, the Towing Capacities App is great for finding out how much your current vehicle can tow. It’s an incredibly valuable tool.”

“The app is a great information aid for the consumer, but it also can be a useful sales tool. It’s incredibly valuable for towing safely and responsibly, Becker added.”

Details

Online Towing Guide

Like so many other things, towing a trailer has a learning curve, so it’s critical to learn to tow a trailer safely and successfully, every time, and that’s where OnlineTowingGuide.com comes in.

Resources available on OnlineTowingGuide.com helps provide a solid understanding of the fundamentals of towing and provide tips and information on techniques and products that can help you make the process smoother and safer.

The site offers tow vehicle evaluations to assist buyers in locating a suitable the truck or SUV for your towing needs. After all, the more knowledge you have, the more comfortable you will be once you are on the road—and comfort goes a long way toward enhancing safety.

Address: 255 Eugenia Drive, Ventura, Calif. 93003

Phone: (805) 850-8310

Website: onlinetowingguide.com

Towing Capacities App

Towing Capacities App lets you search for specific towing capacities of every domestic and imported pickup truck and SUV sold in the United States from 2005 to 2012.

Cost: $1.99

To download the app, visit play.google.com.

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Worth Pondering…

Recently I ran across a few lines by Pierre de Ronsard, a 16th-century poet: “Live now, believe me, wait not till tomorrow. Gather the roses of life today.” Maybe it’s time to stop dreaming about that trip you’ve always wanted to make—and just do it!

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Five Things You Need to Know Today: February 10

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Even in Nature, There’s an App for That

Even in nature, “there’s an app for that.”

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced a new mobile app for both iPhones and Androids. The Georgia DNR Pocket RangerMobile Tour Guide uses some of the most advanced GPS smartphone technology to provide outdoor enthusiasts with features to enhance their visits.

Developed by ParksByNature Network, the free app is available by visiting Apple iTunes, Android Market, or StateParkApps.com.

From activity searches and park descriptions, to current weather reports and trail maps, Pocket Ranger has a wide range of benefits. App users can find state parks near them, browse events, apply for boat registration, see campground maps, and more.

Agency leaders also hope that Pocket Ranger will help incite a love of nature in children who typically spend a great deal of time inside with electronics. By using the app, parents can involve the whole family in deciding which state parks to explore during free time.
To learn more about the free app, click here.

2. Determining Proper Tire Pressure

Let's Go RVing to San Antonio. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

To determine the correct tire pressures for your motorhome, neither Michelin nor Goodyear recommends using the inflation pressure (psi) imprinted on the tire sidewall. That psi is correct only for carrying the maximum weight, which is also imprinted on the sidewall.

Instead, motorhome owners should consult the RV tire guides provided by the respective tire manufacturer. You will see that these companies do not have a single recommended tire pressure for each size tire. They provide a chart wherein the correct pressure is based on the actual weight supported by the tire.

3. RV|ID System Assists Highway Patrol to Nab Motorhome Thief

A stolen motorhome worth nearly $100,000 was recovered and the thief who took it apprehended in less than two hours because the vehicle was equipped with an inventory monitoring service that allows dealers to monitor inventory in real time, according to a news release.

Let's Go RVing to Quartzsite. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Pleasure-Way Excel motorhome was taken from the dealership in Irvine, California, by a woman identified as 51-year-old Terri Gibson. The Irvine resident had been on a test drive, but when the salesman briefly left the vehicle, Gibson drove away.

After contacting the police, McMahon’s used the RV|ID monitoring system to pinpoint the RV’s precise location as it traveled north through the Mojave Desert at a high rate of speed. This information was communicated to law enforcement in real time enabling the California Highway Patrol to apprehend the surprised thief and recover the RV within two hours of its theft and less than 20 miles from the Nevada state line.

4. Save with Good Sam Club Pilot Flying J RV Plus Card

Members of the Good Sam Club, the world’s largest RV owner’s organization with over 1.3 million members across North America, now enjoy a new exclusive money-saving benefit with the Good Sam Club Pilot Flying J RV Plus Card.

Good Sam Club members can apply for their Pilot Flying J RV Plus Card which will allow them to save up to $.06 on each gallon of gasoline purchased and $.08 on diesel fuel purchased; 10 cents per gallon on bulk propane purchased, and 50 percent on holding tank dump station charges at all applicable Pilot Flying J locations in the United States.

Member discount is tied to length of time as an active Good Sam Member. The longer the card holder has been active member, the larger the discount.

The RV Plus Card must be used as the method of payment in order to receive the fuel discounts.

To read more, click here.

5. Jasper Park Glacier Walk Approved

Let's Go RVing to Jasper National Park in Canada's Rockies. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A controversial multimillion-dollar interpretive glacier boardwalk will go ahead in Alberta’s Jasper National Park, the environment minister said yesterday (February 8).

The proposal by privately owned Brewster Travel Canada received a vigorous environmental assessment, substantial input during open houses, and consultations with aboriginal groups, Peter Kent said in Ottawa.

“Brewster Canada is a model corporation in Canada’s mountain national parks,” he said.

The company’s “Glacier Discovery Walk” consists of a 1312-foot trail with a glass-floored observation deck extending 98 feet into the Sunwapta Valley near Highway 93.

Once finished, the boardwalk is expected to be a large tourist draw and become an “iconic” destination for visitors, Kent said.

Brewster’s plan was criticized as a step toward the privatization of Canada’s national parks.

Parks Canada will retain ownership of the site, but it will be operated by Brewster.

Pardon me while I rant.

To the purists who are about to have a heart attack because of this walkway, take a look at the one that was built in the Grand Canyon. The canyon has not been destroyed, and the planet has not stopped turning. The opposition is basically driven by xenophobia, international activists, and by green socialism which is trying to take us back to agrarian days in the early 19th Century. Get a life!

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

Got a dream, a long-held wish of traveling to a special place you hope to see—someday? If so, you’re like many of us, waiting for mañana; for tomorrow or next month or next year—always waiting for the right time. Question is, will there ever be a time that’s right?

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Five Things You Need to Know Today: December 16

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Minnesota State Park Reservation System Upgrade

The Minnesota state parks reservation system is being upgraded and will be temporarily unavailable December 27-February 29, according to a recent the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) news release.

“This will create a short-term inconvenience,” explained Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails, “but we know our customers will really enjoy the benefits of our new state-of-the-art reservation system.”

The DNR is encouraging people to plan ahead and, if possible, to make their state park camping reservations for 2012, before the current system temporarily shuts down at 8 p.m. December 26. Reservations can also be made by phone at (866) 85PARKS.

Starting March 1, when the new system from US eDirect is expected to be fully operational, it will be easier to plan overnight outings to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. The new system will feature interactive maps.

Overnight stays at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas totaled 985,374 in 2010, up from 942,381 in 2009 and 863,075 in 2008.

2. Strong Winds Topple Trees in California State Park

Trees knocked down by a windstorm December 1 in the central Sierra Nevada in California will block forest roads and disrupt vacation plans for months to come, according to state and federal forest managers.

At Calaveras Big Trees State Park near Arnold, officials are still assessing how long it will take to reopen the park and how much of the popular North Grove Campground will be back in service by next summer, said Park Superintendent Gary Olson, the Stockton Record-Net reported.

Olson said that 40 to 60 trees fell in the North Grove Campground alone. No one was hurt because it happened when the campground was empty.

The Eldorado National Forest, generally in Amador and El Dorado counties, issued a statement that many forest roads are impassable due to trees toppled by the high wind.

Wind gusts exceeded 130 mph in some high-elevation areas of the Sierra Nevada. Sustained winds were registered near 100 mph.

3. Phone App Available for Pennsylvania State Parks

Apple Inc.’s ubiquitous catchphrase: “There’s an app for that,” can now be applied to Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, reports the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
According to the special report, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recently partnered with the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and ParksByNature Network to offer the Official PA State Parks and Forests Guide—Pocket Ranger, a state parks and forests mobile application for smart phones.
“This mobile app will allow our visitors, while they are on the go, to search for park and forest locations, activities and events, get directions, share photos, and even make a reservation,” DCNR secretary Richard J. Allan said in a prepared statement, quoted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

4. Arizona State Park Reopens

Oracle State Park in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains was closed two years ago because of deep budget cuts to the park system. But a group called Friends of Oracle State Park is providing enough money to re-open the park part-time next year. Oracle State Park will re-open for three months in spring of 2012, and again for three months in the fall. Weekdays will be reserved for field trips for schoolchildren.

The park is scheduled to reopen to the public on February 4, reports Arizona Public Media.

The park encompasses 4,000 acres of oak woodland and desert grassland.

It and several other state parks closed in October of 2009 after state lawmakers slashed the park system’s operating budget. The other parks have since re-opened on abbreviated schedules.

5. Must-read for Snowbirds

The third edition of “Along Florida’s Expressways” is now available for snowbirds heading south this winter.

Visit Florida, the Sunshine State’s official tourism agency, has endorsed the book and uses it for reference at all of its welcome centers.

The handy guide is produced by Dave and Kathy Hunter, who also turn out the annual “Along 1-75” publication, which is a best seller and must for anyone driving to Florida.

Dozens of helpful tips are provided in the “Along Florida’s Expressways” publication including how snowbirds can save up to 20% on Florida’s highway tolls, and the best pirate museum in the world.

For additional information visit i75online.com

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

As Anne Murray sings in the popular song, “Snowbird”:

“Spread your tiny wings and fly away

And take the snow back with you

Where it came from on that day

So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go

To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow…”

Happy travels!

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Thousand Trails Trip Planner App Now Available

Thousand Trails recently announced the debut of its new Thousand Trails RV trip planner app, for Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices.

The free app is available in iTunes and the App Store, and provides outdoor enthusiasts with the freedom to research and plan trips to more than 80 Thousand Trails RV resorts, located in top vacation destinations across North America, from the convenience of their Apple devices.

The Thousand Trails Trip Planner App lets RV travelers and outdoor vacationers search for their favorite Thousand Trails RV resort by location or park name, view each resort’s amenity list, and browse the property specific photo galleries.

App users can also plan their routes using Google maps, and are able to email park information to a friend.

Verde Valley Thousand Trails Preserve, near Sedona, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Our guests are accustomed to using technology in their everyday lives—including when planning their next RV trip,” said ELS’ Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Seth Rosenberg. “We are working to continually provide tools that make it easier for our customers to plan their next trip to one of our many RV resorts across the country.”

The Thousand Trails Trip Planner App also gives the user the ability to create lists of their favorite Thousand Trails resorts and has a “click to call” feature to contact Thousand Trails with questions or to make a reservation over the phone.

The free Thousand Trails Trip Planner App is available through iTunes or the App Store by searching “Thousand Trails.”

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Details

Thousand Trails & Encore

Thousand Trails and Encore feature 172 RV Resorts across North America. Owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., Encore, Thousand Trails, and its affiliates offer RV and outdoor recreation enthusiasts opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in top vacation destinations, complemented with resort style amenities.

St. Clair Thousand Trails Preserve, Michigan. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Information & General Inquiries: (800) 205-0606

Member Services: (800) 388-7788

Website: thousandtrails.com

Worth Pondering…

The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!

Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.

It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!

The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.

It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

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