Roadside America App Makes Frugal Detours Fun

Full-time RVers and part-time road trippers have tons of great apps to improve travel experiences. Truthfully, we’ve been a little slow to embrace these apps, only because we’d rather be soaking up the scenery than staring into our device as we travel along.

Would you rather look at this . . . or your phone?

San Juan Mountains, Colorado
San Juan Mountains, Colorado

When we travel, we abide by the “All Who Wander Are Not Lost” mantra. Sure, we have a destination mind, but along the way we avoid rigid routes with defined reservations.

What’s your travel mantra?

Full-time RVer, license plate, wander
Full-time RVer license plate.

For us, planning every mile takes the mystique and adventure out of traveling. But one thing we’ve learned is there’s been one big problem with this attitude: you tend to miss a lot of cool stuff.  Thankfully, the Roadside America iPad app now comes to the rescue!

How did we ever go full-time RVing without the Roadside America app?

Roadside America iPad App

Find Creepy, Offbeat and Quirky Attractions with Roadside America

What a pleasant surprise to fall in love with this app. I love it so much, I’m not even getting paid to review it. But I just love it that much!

When you’re full-timing, you can’t escape the occasional long, boring stretch of road. But now you don’t have to dread those routes; the Roadside America iPad app can help you find an adventure in the most boring parts of the country. Use it to fill your brain with fun, useless information and make better connections with communities.

Best of all, using this app gives you an excuse to check out the nation’s weirdest attractions that hardly cost anything, like the Genoa Wonder Tower.

Look what you missed in Genoa, Colorado!

Two-headed goat, Genoa Wonder Tower, Colorado
Two-headed goat, Genoa Wonder Tower, Colorado

Since we are quintessential RV cheapskates, we don’t like to pay for apps, but this one is worth the price. You can download a region of North America for just $2.99 but if you’re a full-timer like us, just break open your squeaky wallet and pay the $5.99 to have directions to every oddball attraction in the U.S. and Canada.

The app will:

  • find local attractions wherever you are, or plan to roam
  • create worthwhile backroads detours that don’t add much more time to your journey but conjure up a whole lot more adventure.
  • You can even use a special search feature that lets you plan theme-based road trips.

Map your obsession with a theme-based road trip.

Plan theme road trips with Roadside America app
Plan theme road trips with Roadside America app

We had a blast discovering things like:

The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama

We found so many funky things at this giant thrift store in the heart of Dixie. Stay tuned for a full review. You can’t miss this place if you’re in the South!

Now I’m ready for the fourth!

Unclaimed Baggage Center, Alabama, hat, road trip, tourist trap,
Unclaimed Baggage Center find.

The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis

I’m a metalworker and can’t believe I would have missed the nation’s only museum dedicated to the fine craft of metal work. This was one of our favorite stops in Memphis and we even found a Groupon deal on admission.

This is a great wedding cake topper, don’t you think?

Metal Museum, Memphis, Tennessee, Roadside America, app, tourist, attractions
Metal Museum, Memphis

The Bridges of Madison County, Winterset, Iowa

Jim can’t stand the movie and I’ve never sat through the whole thing (or read the book), but it was cool to see these ancient Hollywood icons in real life.

Don’t drive your RV through this bridge.

Hogback Covered Bridge, Winterset Iowa
Hogback Covered Bridge, Winterset Iowa

Like anything, the Roadside America app does have some quirks:

  • The information is only as good as community participation. Most times you’ll find current information about an attraction but we did run into outdated destination info a couple of times on this trip. It was such a bummer to drive two hours out of our way for Grampa Jerry’s Clown Museum, only to find that Gramma wasn’t home. My best advice is to call ahead and verify hours of operation.
  • You’ll find so many great attractions that if you choose too many to check out, you’ll never get to your destination.
  • The app doesn’t have “geo-locating” map that highlights where the attractions are in relation to where you’re currently driving. Hopefully that will come soon.

Overall though, building this app into our full-timing repertoire was one of the best decisions we made since we hit the road. It’s got so many cool things for us to see, the party’s never gonna end on this road trip!

Do you have a favorite app for full-time RV travel? Tell us about it below!

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