Whether you live in your RV full-time or are an occasional weekend warrior, RV trip planning can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. It’s time-consuming and involves a lot of different logistics regarding finances, activities, and stops. Plus, researching an unfamiliar place — while fun — isn’t always straightforward and simple.
That’s where RV and road trip planning tools come in. One of the biggest benefits of the RV lifestyle today is the availability of seemingly infinite apps, websites, and other resources that make the once-tedious task of road trip planning easier and even somewhat enjoyable.
Two of the biggest names in this space are RV LIFE Trip Wizard and Roadtrippers, and it’s common for people to wonder which is best: RV Trip Wizard vs. Roadtrippers. We did the hard work, reviewing each in detail and then putting them through a head-to-head comparison.
RV LIFE Trip Wizard Overview
$19.99 per month or $59.00 annually; 7-day free trial
- Customized information based on your specific RV
- Advanced Driving Radius
- Cost estimator
Commonly referred to as simply Trip Wizard, RV LIFE Trip Wizard bills itself as “the best RV trip planner.” The “RV” in that tagline is important — Trip Wizard isn’t a general road trip planning tool but one explicitly designed with RV campers in mind.
One of the most deservedly popular aspects of Trip Wizard is its level of personalization. Yes, it has all the requisite basic trip planning resources that many similar apps do, but Trip Wizard takes it a huge step forward and asks for specific information about your rig, such as its length, weight, height, fuel type, and even average gas mileage.
Trip Wizard then uses this information to give you hyper-custom recommendations, like the most fuel-efficient routes and campsites to accommodate your vehicle length. The app also tells you where to get gas based on your average fuel economy, and the “RV Safe Routes” feature even allows you to remove low-clearance obstacles and steep grades from your route altogether.
As you plan your trip, you can add stops for everything from gas stations to major points of interest and even quick grocery runs. This comprehensive trip planning gives you a realistic overview of how much time you’ll spend on the road (and off!). Plus, The Wiz cost estimator calculates the approximate total of your stops, factoring in things like fuel and campground fees.
After you finalize your itinerary, you can save or print the complete directions or even send them directly to your device’s GPS app (like Google Maps). One thing to be aware of about Trip Wizard’s routing is that if you add waypoints after you’ve already finalized your itinerary, the app doesn’t always behave well. It sometimes moves the waypoints out of order, suggesting that you stop at one, then backtrack hundreds of miles to another.
The only way to avoid this, it seems, is to delete all waypoints and then re-add them in order. It doesn’t always do this, so it may be a good idea to wait until your itinerary and stops are finalized before actually creating the route within Trip Wizard. Also, always preview the suggested route and pay careful attention to where GPS is taking you!
Another excellent feature of RV LIFE Trip Wizard is its display of campgrounds. Many road trip planners are affiliated with specific membership programs such as Good Sam and Passport America and will show you only their associated campgrounds. This is not the case with Trip Wizard! Here, you’ll see ALL RV parks and other campgrounds. Having said that, you can integrate your memberships into the app, and it will then highlight those affiliated campsites with a special notation.
Trip Wizard also includes free parking areas like state rest areas, casinos, and Walmarts in search results. You can either add these to your route ahead of time or search nearby, which is especially helpful for those times when you just need a place to grab some shut-eye for a few hours but not a full-blown campground.
Pro tip: it’s smart to save some of these free places to your itinerary for those “just-in-case” times when you have a long driving day but aren’t exactly sure where you’ll want to pull over. There’s nothing worse than being exhausted and having no idea how far you are from the closest safe stop!
$29.99 annually; free version with limited features also available
- An extremely robust itinerary planner, with thousands of unique stop ideas and numerous ways to customize them
- The ability to easily toggle destinations on and off as needed
- Offline maps (with the paid version)
At its core, Roadtrippers helps you plan the best route for your trip in terms of both time and cost, plus offers suggestions for unique attractions along the way. Roadtrippers is specifically known for connecting travelers with quirky, off-the-beaten-path sights and activities.
Much like Trip Wizard, Roadtrippers calculates your distance and time between stops, as well as approximate fuel cost. It also allows you to easily add stops, called waypoints also like in Trip Wizard, along your route.
One of the biggest things you’ll notice right off the bat when comparing RV Trip Wizard vs. Roadtrippers is that Roadtrippers has a free version, whereas Trip Wizard does not. The free version of Roadtrippers is so robust that many people appropriately refer to it as “freemium.”
Roadtrippers Paid vs. Free
Of course, there are a handful of differences between Roadtrippers’ free and paid versions. The two main ones, however, are that you get just seven waypoints per trip with the free version, but a whopping 150 in the premium version, and the ability to download offline maps when you have a paid subscription.
Even in areas where you have absolutely no cell service, Roadtrippers premium allows you to download a map with turn-by-turn navigation directions. This is especially helpful in areas like national parks, which are notorious for having spotty cell coverage, but there’s a ton to explore.
Those two features alone are, understandably, enough reason for many people to upgrade. However, if you tend to take shorter trips or keep stops to a minimum when you’re on the road, and you’re not particularly concerned with having access to your maps when you don’t have service, the free version of Roadtrippers will serve you very well.
Let’s take a closer look at Roadtrippers’ itinerary planning capabilities. Whether you have the free or subscription version, one of its best features is the ability to toggle waypoints on and off and get automatic rerouting in live time. Better yet, Roadtrippers doesn’t delete a stop just because you toggled it off.
For example, say the weather looks dicey later in the day, but if it’s clear, there’s a stop you’d like to check out. If an hour before conditions have turned worse, you can quickly toggle that stop off, but keep it in your itinerary so you may be able to hit it on your way home. Without missing a beat, Roadtrippers also reroutes you, calculating a new time and distance, if necessary.
Another amazing thing about the Roadtrippers itinerary planner is its inclusion of unique, quirky, and off-the-beaten path stops. In addition to basics like restaurants, gas stations, and RV parks, Roadtrippers allows you to search for things like abandoned sites, filming locations, “World’s Largest…,” and “Offbeat Attractions.” You can even filter the results to see only those that are free or accommodate big rigs!
It’s also worth mentioning that the company behind Roadtrippers, Togo, also makes a few other wildly popular apps: Togo RV, Campendium, and RVillage. If you’re already a fan of any of them, this may be a selling point for you in the RV Trip Wizard vs Roadtrippers argument because Roadpass Pro bundles all four apps into one package for just $49.99 per year. There is no free version, but there is a 7-day free trial.
RV Trip Wizard vs. Roadtrippers: Which Is Better?
Both of these road trip planners offer robust suites of tools, and you’ll meet just as many people claiming that one is better than the other — and vice-versa. Ultimately, it comes down to deciding which one serves your personal needs better. With that in mind, here are some side-by-side differences when you’re looking at RV Trip Wizard vs Roadtrippers.
- Trip Wizard is $59 annually or $19.99 per month and does not have a free version, whereas Roadtrippers has both free and paid versions
- Both apps include downloadable maps for offline use
- RV Life Trip Wizard includes customized recommendations and routing based on your RV’s exact specifications, while this feature is only available in the paid version of Roadtrippers
- Roadtrippers’ ability to toggle waypoints on and off is a much more intuitive route-planning feature than the way Trip Wizard behaves when adding a waypoint to a finalized itinerary
- Trip Wizard’s Driving Radius feature is perhaps its biggest single selling point over Roadtrippers, as the latter simply doesn’t offer anything comparable
One final thing: Many people think Trip Wizard caters slightly more toward RVers, rather than general road trip planning. To that point, Trip Wizard has far more campground and RV park reviews, and you have to search through two layers of filters to find the “RV parks” option in Roadtrippers. Having said that, if you do a lot of road tripping without your RV, you may find that Roadtrippers is a better fit.
Choosing the Right Road Trip Planning App
You really can’t go wrong with Roadtrippers or RV LIFE Trip Wizard, and both make great companions for a getaway in an RV rental. Choose any of our nearly 130 convenient rental locations and start planning your trip — it really is that easy!