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How to Use the iOverlander App to Find Great Campsites

How to Use the iOverlander App to Find Great Campsites

If you’ve noticed that campgrounds feel a bit more crowded than previous years, it’s because they are. The popular camping network KOA released research that indicates the number of households that own RVs has risen by more than 2.5 million. This phenomenon is causing many outdoor enthusiasts to use mobile apps like iOverlander to help them quickly and easily find camping options. 

Some of our favorite campsites we have found on iOverlander, so if you’re tired of battling noisy neighbors, worrying about booking windows, and paying expensive camping fees, this article is for you! Let’s get started!

epic i overlander site
Some of our favorite campsites (like this one) we found on i-overlander!

What Is iOverlander?

There are mobile apps for just about everything, including finding great campsites. That’s exactly why the creators of iOverlander created it. The iOverlander interface is a mapping project started by overlanders, Sam Christiansen and Jessica Mans. What started as a spreadsheet with a library of information quickly morphed into an iPhone/Android mobile app and website. The entire ecosystem is almost entirely run by volunteers too.

The database allows camping enthusiasts to find common resources, including campsites, used by others in the community. Users can leave reviews for established locations to provide future users with the necessary information. They can also submit new locations they discover while traveling. 

Who Is iOverlander For?

iOverlander is for practically anyone who enjoys an adventurous lifestyle. Whether you’re traveling full-time or enjoy short-term adventures, the iOverlander database can be a treasure trove of helpful information. Typical users enjoy overlanding, camping, boondocking, stealth camping, and car camping.

In general this app is best suited to smaller RVs or tent campers, but sometimes you can find larger spots as well.

Pro Tip: iOverlander isn’t the only amazing app on the market for RVing! Check out these Best Boondocking Apps and Websites for Amazing Free Camping.

How to Use the iOverlander App

The beauty of an app like iOverlander is its simplicity and ease of use. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to start benefiting from it. It has a website, but it’s a good idea to install the app on your phone to help find resources while on the go. Here’s how you can start using the iOverlander app to boost your adventures.

Boost your adventures with the iOverlander app.

Finding Places to Park Overnight

The iOverlander database has many typical campgrounds and informal camping options. Sometimes travel days don’t go according to plan, and you might not reach your destination. The iOverlander makes finding a spot to park for the night incredibly easy.

By opening up the app on your phone, all you have to do is click “map.” You can easily find spots near you to park for the night. It’s important to make sure you read the reviews left by other users, especially if you’re in a larger rig. You don’t want to find yourself in a sticky situation or damage your RV or someone’s personal property.

map on ioverlander
Getting used to the map function is the most useful way to find great spots.

If you’re staying at a retail establishment, it’s a good idea to get permission to park overnight. It doesn’t matter what previous users say. If you don’t get explicit consent from the establishment, you could get asked to leave in the middle of the night. Make sure you’re a good guest and leave the spot cleaner than you found it.

Use Filters to Find Other Useful Places

Currently, 29 different filters allow you to narrow down the search results depending on the resources you need. The iOverlander app can help you if you’re looking for a place to fill up on propane, fill your freshwater tank, or find a place for a bite to eat. 

No matter what you’re looking to find, you need to research your route. Just because another user could access the location in their rig doesn’t necessarily mean you can too. Many travelers in larger vehicles will use a GPS that considers their vehicle’s dimensions and weight to avoid any potential dicey situations.

Mortons on the Move truck and fifth wheel parked in isolated camping spot by mountains.
Find the perfect camping spot on the iOverlander app.

Check-In, Add Places, and Write Reviews

The iOverlander database is a crowd-sourced library. That means it relies on users to add places, update information, and provide accurate details. The more users use the app, the more extensive and accurate the information. Because it’s a crowd-sourced library, it’s important for all users benefiting from the app to update and add information when possible.

Many times, when dumping tanks or navigating an unfamiliar area, you would do it differently the next time. By sharing necessary information with future users, you can help others have a smoother experience. Maybe it’s using a different entrance, avoiding a certain road, or how to navigate a rough forestry road. The more information you have when preparing, the better.

Details on ioverlander
Campsites usually have user-provided details available. Who knows you might even read some from us!

Browse by Map or List

If you give the iOverlander permission to use your phone’s GPS, it will populate the map and create a list of resources near you. It can help you find camping locations and other resources that you may not have considered an option. This is especially helpful when you’re in a bind and need to quickly find a place to stay, dump your tanks, or fill up on potable water.

Mortons on the Move team and friends camping at isolated campsite.
Learn from other RVers (like us!) who have adventured to different spots before you on the iOverlander app.

Off-Line Browsing Option

Sometimes your adventures may take you into some remote portions of the country. When this occurs, it doesn’t matter what your cell phone provider tells you about how great their coverage is; there will likely not be service. The iOverlander app contains all the information within the app and doesn’t require cell service to use it. 

While it may take up more storage space on your device, you’ll appreciate it when you’re in a location that’s out of range of a cell tower. If you enjoy overlanding or spending time in remote locations, sacrificing a bit of space on your phone is a minor inconvenience.

International Campsites and Lodging

iOverlander is great because you never know where your adventures will take you. If you decide to expand your travels outside the borders of the United States, iOverlander can help you connect with the international overlanding community.

The iOverlander library includes campsites and lodging options all around the world. You’ll have access to locations and information on all seven continents. So no matter where you’re traveling worldwide, iOverlander can help ease the burdens and stresses of traveling to unfamiliar places.

Things We Love About iOverlander

There’s so much that we love about iOverlander. The simple and easy-to-use interface just makes sense. When you’re in a pinch and need to find a specific resource, you don’t want to deal with a clunky or difficult-to-maneuver interface. The filters allow you to narrow down the results to ensure you only get the information you need for your specific situation. As we said, it just makes sense.

We love that the app brings together knowledge from various traveling styles. No matter the traveling style, knowledge is power. Being able to learn from others is essential to traveling safely and comfortably. Users’ reviews and other knowledge are a tremendous benefit, whether the information makes it easier to find campsites, a dump station, or a spot to fill up on potable water.

Pro Tip: Are you new to RVing? In addition to downloading the app iOverlander, use these 7 Key Tips For Every New RVer.

Mortons on the Move truck and RV parked at sunset campsite.
Find campsites, a place to eat, and even spots to fill up on propane on the iOverlander app.

Is iOverlander a Free App?

iOverlander is 100% free but does encourage donations. Volunteers primarily run the app, but many expenses go into creating and maintaining the app and website. Development is an ongoing process, especially as more users use the app and add to the library. Users who benefit from the app are encouraged to make a monetary donation to support the platform’s continued growth.

Is iOverlander a Good App?

The longer you travel, the easier it is to discover the tools and resources that effectively get the job done. The iOverlander app is one of the best tools you can have on your phone when it comes to helping you safely and comfortably travel. It doesn’t matter your preferred style of traveling or adventuring; the app will likely be one you frequently find yourself using. 

What other apps do you rely on when it comes to traveling? Tell us your go to apps in the comments!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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