Camp Westfalia

Archive for Mobile Device

Essential Apps for Van-Travel

Navigation and travel apps for your mobile device help you find campsites, points of interest, and the routes to get there, or even to make reservations while you’re still en route.

Here are some of the Camp Westfalia crew’s favorites …



Among all the other great features of VanAlert is a directory of user-submitted favorite camping spots to help you find a place to call home for the night. You can even find other VW Vanagon/Bus owners who have volunteered the temporary use of their driveway for short stays while traveling.


Kampnik is built on the venerable database of more than 13,000 campgrounds in the United States and Canada with a focus on public car-accessible campgrounds whose existence and location has been verified by a human. With Kampnik, you can find public campgrounds in National Parks, National Forests, Provincial Parks, State Parks, City and County Parks, and more on federal, state, provincial, and local lands. From beaches to mountains and rivers to deserts, Kampnik will help you find campgrounds for the places you want to go.


iOverlander is a free site (and phone apps) created to help overlanders on the road find their next destination. Please help us make this site great by updating our information and adding places you have been.


The number one camping app for iPhone, iPads and iPods. From resorts to hike-in spots. Amenities, maps, truck stops, rest areas, Wal-mart and casino parking, RV dealers, sporting goods stores and much more. Two modes: one uses GPS and maps that you can filter. One is an offline manual lookup mode for when you don’t have service.


Plan your next adventure using the WikiCamps Trip Planner. Create unlimited trips, add multiple locations, notes, and custom map pins. The ultimate camping companion for your smart phone, tablet and Windows 10 PC. USA’s largest database of campgrounds, RV parks, backpacker hostels, points of interest, dump stations, visitor information centers, water taps, toilets, showers, and more.

KOA (Kampgrounds of America)

Search KOA’s huge selection of campgrounds to find your perfect fit. Search by city, state or attractions. Or find a nearby KOA campground based on your current location. Get detailed campground descriptions, hot deals, driving directions, as well as descriptions of local attractions and local and campground activities.


Enter where you want to start and finish your road trip, and then discover the coolest “off the beaten path” places along the way. Our database includes millions of the world’s most fascinating places, making planning the unexpected easier than you thought. Road trip planning can be tedious… and what do you get from it? Most of what you find online will funnel you into the same places, filled with other travelers. It can feel like you need a local guide to get an authentic experience on your trip, but Roadtrippers helps you escape the tourist bubble and find the coolest stops.

Ultimate Campgrounds

Thousands and thousands of public camping sites across the US and Canada – free, dispersed and formal campsites

Freecampsites is the primary source for information on free campgrounds and boondocking locations. We believe that free camping sites are often the most beautiful and peaceful camp sites. There are many free camp sites, but they can be difficult to locate. Here, we provide a simple, map-based search engine for free and cheap camping locations. It is also a platform for sharing locations you have discovered with others.


Book unique camping experiences on over 300,000 campsites, cabins, RV parks, public parks and more. Hipcamp is everywhere you want to camp. Search, discover and book ranches, farms, vineyards, nature preserves & public sites for camping across the U.S.
From public parks to private land, we’re the most comprehensive guide to camping in the nation.


Perhaps the most wide ranging of all the camping apps, Park4Night helps you find camping and parking spots from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

Search user-submitted parking & camping spots on your smartphone or car GPS unit, enjoy your camp, then leave your new comments or updates for future travelers.

One intrepid Camp Westfalia reader reports having wild camped all over Europe using this app.



Waze helps riders and drivers get where they’re going—faster, smoother, safer, and happier—while working to beat traffic. Traffic starts with us, but it can end with us, too. Waze develops practical solutions that empower people to make better choices, from taking the fastest route, to leaving at the right time, to sharing daily commutes.


Over the last 15 years, GasBuddy has saved users over $2.9 billion dollars. Download our easy-to-use app to start saving at the pump, complete fun challenges and win free gas today


Chimani is the leading national park mobile app. Our intuitive app draws on the power of GPS-enabled interactive mapping technology to guide your national park adventures. Chimani’s national park guides include descriptions of points of interest, trails, amenities, and more. “No service” when you’re out in the wilderness? No problem. Chimani’s app works with or without WiFi or data signal. Chimani’s app is free to download from the Apple Appstore and Google Play.

Dark Sky

Dark Sky is the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information. With down-to-the-minute forecasts, you’ll know exactly when the rain will start or stop, right where you’re standing. It’s almost like magic.
Powered by our own homegrown weather service, Dark Sky is the best source of accurate weather forecasts to help you plan your life.

Star Walk

Star Walk 2 is an exquisite stargazing tool that combines astronomical data with premium technology to deliver an effortless journey through thousands of stars, comets, and constellations. All you have to do is point your phone or tablet at the sky.

Product Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 4G LTE Tablet, 12.2-Inch 32GB

A versatile tablet well suited to travel: compact, durable, lightweight, with an elegant flip-hinge design.


  • 12.2-inch 2560×1600 WQXGA Display
  • Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS, 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor
  • 32 GB Flash Memory, 3 GB RAM
  • MicroSD slot which allows up to 64GB of additional storage
  • Includes Hancom Office, Multi Window (up to 4), Magazine UX, Remote PC, Sidesync

Get the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 4G LTE 12.2″ Tablet here

If you need to mix pleasure with work while you travel, this is the tablet for you. The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2″ is designed with business people in mind, and it comes with a lot of productivity software; Samsung Meeting, Samsung Know, and Samsung E-Meeting software installed. Because this is the Note Pro version of the tablet, it comes with a decent S-Pen stylus and software. That said, it is great for pleasure viewing and gaming during down time.

First Impressions

This a large tablet, eliminating the need for a bulky and heavy laptop while van-camping and travelling. The performance is outstanding with all kinds of use. The 12.2 inch screen is just gorgeous, with a very high 2560 x 1600 resolution, it’s beautiful. Watching streaming video like Netflix, HULU or HBOGO on the Note Pro is a truly pleasurable experience.

The display is easily viewed from almost any angle, so more than one person can watch and still enjoy the view. It has dual stereo speakers, which have good sound quality. It also comes with Android OS Kit Kat 4.4. This is a great tablet, powerful and well-built, with a ton of power, and with the Samsung Touch Wiz, you have a lot of options with this device.

Offering brilliant color on the crystal-clear 12.2″ HD display with over 4 million pixels packed inside, it’s also astonishingly lightweight at just 1.7 pounds, yet delivers an unrivaled reading, editing and viewing experience and incredible responsiveness—all powered by the 1.9 Ghz Samsung Exynos Octa processor. Intuitive S Pen and enhanced multitasking, which allows you to use up to four different applications side-by-side.

On The Road or In Camp

When I purchase any tablet, I want to make sure I can just put my SIM card in it for connectivity. Since this is a GSM LTE tablet, I can easily take my SIM card from my phone and get connected to the web. This is a huge money saver in the long run, as there’s no need to pay for tethering or an extra data plan. Use the one you have.

This is a big tablet, but if you are looking for something as powerful as a PC, that allows for multitasking, video and gaming capability, this is a great option.

The battery life for a tablet this size is excellent, so no need to keep it charging all the time during use. It also comes with a non-removable 9,500mAh battery. I get about 12 hours of steady usage out of it, about 8 hours with video viewing. It can take a long time to charge because of the battery size. I suggest purchasing a matching USB 3.0 car charger, for road trips and charging while driving to new destinations.

You can also use a Bluetooth mouse with the tablet, which is great if you want to get some work done and are not a big fan of touchpads. You can use it pretty much like any mouse on a conventional PC.  I’m using a Bluetooth optical mini wireless mouse for Android tablets.

You can also pair a keyboard with the device. The Logitech Pro protective case with keyboard for Samsung Galaxy Note Pro works well, is very compact and protects the tablet when stored or charging.

In the Long Run

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro is a fantastic tablet for van travel and camping, and provides me the flexibility to work on the road and to enjoy media in my down time. It can take photos, but is a bit large to use for photos regularly. It allows for multitasking, email and social media.

The large bright colorful crisp screen is great for watching movies, and it has dual speakers for superior sound. I would highly recommend this tablet.

If you’re unsure which device to bring along on your trip, this tablet strikes a good balance between a heavy, bulky laptop and a too-small phone, and does everything you need it to do and then some!

Hits: huge 12.2 screen, Micro SD slot for extra storage, long battery life, front and rear cameras, easy multi-tasking

Misses: charging is fairly slow, a bit pricey

Get the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 4G LTE 12.2″ Tablet here

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