RVTripWizard To The Rescue – Review and Demonstration
After using several trip planning tools, we selected a subscription to RVTripWizard, and listed a high level overview here. At $39 a year we consider this a bargain. Let’s do a hands-on demonstration of creating a trip.
First off, define your Trip Preferences On The Road
First enter information that will tell the wizard about your rig by clicking on Trip Preferences.
Trip Preferences Include:
- Refueling information
- Miles Per Gallon (MPG)
- Average cost per gallon of the fuel you use
- How much remaining fuel (reserve) should you have for the wizard to warn you to refuel
- Tank capacity to determine the estimated refuel stops and fuel trip for each leg of the trip
- Height for clearance warnings in feet and inches
- Personal Expenses used to calculate total trip costs
- Routing Preferences
- Avoid major highways
- Avoid toll roads
- Driving Preferences
- What’s your average speed
- How many hours per day or miles per day do you want to drive (or no preference)
- Whether you want to automatically load the last trip you were editing
I have not found any other software that uses this amount of detailed information for RV trip planning. But wait… there’s more.
Second, define your Trip Preferences on where to stay
Select and prioritize your preferred places to camp.
You can either show all campsites known to the system or just your preferred sites. That way if you only want to show the campgrounds that you are a member of, BLM and state parks for example – you can.
Third, create a new trip
Click on the New Trip button, give it a trip name and start date. Optionally tell the wizard to use your current location as the start point.
Fourth, sent the beginning and end points of the trip
- If you did not use your current location in step 3 to set the Start Point, type in the start address for the trip. You can enter a specific address, or a city. Click set start.
- Using a specific address or city, enter the end point of the trip as stop #2, click Find and click Add to Trip End.
If you know each stop along the way, you can also set the Start Point, then enter each stop one after the other. Adding the actual start and end points help define the route. I’ll just add Tampa Florida as our ending point. You can also select a specific camp site from the map or type in an address.
Fifth, select the Start and decide where to camp and/or refuel
From the left navigation area click on the starting point. The map will zoom in to that location. Zoom out until you see the red circle.
This gives you the radius for you to set your next stop. In this case, it’s 4 hours of driving at 55 MPH. This will be closer to 5 hours total time for us. If we leave around 9 a.m. this will put us in to the next stop around 2 p.m.
Click and drag the map so the edge of the red circle is aligned with the next stop is suggested, and zoom in.
Based on your preferences, a listing of parks will show up on the map. Click on an icon to get information on that site including the web site, reservation phone number and a basic description. The icon will show the type of park based on your preferences.
You can continue to move the map around and click on the icons to decide where to stay. Once you make your decision, enter the number of nights to stay, and where to add the trip – either after an existing stop number of add to the end of the trip.
You can always modify the route and stops later. So if you can’t make a reservation at one spot, delete that point and add a different point. You can also enter a specific address – so if you are visiting a friend or relative just add the specific address.
Now, here’s where things get really cool. Don’t see anyplace you want to stay, or do you want to search for a Walmart that allows parking? Just click on the POI link.
Need to stop and shop? Select Costco, Sam’s club, Camping World etc. Not just cool, but WAY COOL. You can add stops with a zero Nights defined and include that in your route.
Sixth – select next layover and/or refuel spot
Our current route now has us going on Interstate 40, but we want to visit friends in Palm Desert. Let’s add Palm Desert to the map and see what happens. Type in Palm Desert and insert after our stop in Bakersfield and add that.
Our route now shifts to Interstate 10. Also note the refuel spot. Looks like we need to get diesel! Let’s go back to the POI panel and click on the Fuel selector. That will give us truck stops and other ‘default’ fuel spots. But if we select our layover point (if it’s a campground) or just click on a campground on the map, then click on the Fuel Price icon, RVTripWizard will do a Bing Maps Gas Station search in a separate window. You can select the type of fuel.
Then copy the address from the Gas Station search page and paste it into RVTripWizard and add it after the right stop #
Click on the Edit button beside your fuel stop. Add the number of gallons (estimated) and enter a comment like Refuel at Sam’s.
Click on our current stop (Palm Desert) and zoom the map out. You can now see the red circle of where our next layover is recommended, and note that the next refuel stop is before El Paso Texas.
Nifty! RVTripWizard to the Rescue
Continue on selecting the next layover & refuel spots until the you finish the trip.
There are two options to print the trip. Paper (or PDF) and Excel. Select the Print icon to see the print choices.
The Print selection gives you the normal choices (Printer, PDF, XLS etc.)
And the Excel option creates an Excel file
Along the way you can enter comments for each stop and record the reservation number.
Send to GPS
Last, you can select Send to GPS to get the trip uploaded to your GPS. We had to download a little utility from Garmin to move the trip points to our RV GPS. RVTripWizard has instructions on how to do this when you select the option.
RVTripWizard meets all our needs for trip planning, and then some! Trippin’ Engles recommends this product. We purchased this product ourselves and have received no compensation from RVTripWizard.
There are more options and features available! Check it out at RVTripWizard.
So, where are we going? We’re heading to Florida this spring to establish our domicile! We used RVTripWizard to plan our trip for both camping spots and refueling.