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Old 05-24-2020, 01:57 PM   #1
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Best CG Guide Book

I know most folks use apps and such to find campgrounds on the road but I still like to carry guide books just in case I don't have signal. I have a State Parks Guide and the Core of Engineers but need to update my Private CG Guidebook as it's over 10 yrs Old. I tend carry Good Sam and Woodall's but wondering if there is a single comprehensive guide book available these days. I prefer State/County parks which is why I have the 2 guides I mentioned but sometimes you need something else when on the road esp now with so many Fultimers displaced. I know it will probably be the size of a phone book but that's fine. I still carry paper maps as my GPS has been wrong more than once!

Thanks for any suggestions!! Oh, on a side note, what apps do ya'll prefer? I have a phone now that should be able to handle apps. I never buy the fancy model of phones but I have a pretty decent basic Galaxy from Cricket that has good memory and processor so am willing to try apps on it. I cant always uninstall them after a trip if they are too much for the phone.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:50 PM   #2
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Hard copy books are difficult to update. Apps can be updated from moment to moment and contain the same information.
I found Woodalls useless. Tiny type and only the most basic information ( I didn't buy it, it was a gift ). It went into the recycling along with the Yellow Pages and phone book.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:34 PM   #3
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What options do you use if you don't have cell signal to use an app?
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:44 PM   #4
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What options do you use if you don't have cell signal to use an app?

Plan ahead. I'll copy info and paste into an email and send it to myself. I often do that for products that I want to buy. Screen grab, paste to email, send to self. I can show the email to a clerk, if I can find one.
You can also start driving and log on when you find a McDonald's or public library.
And, it never hurts to ask fellow campers, wherever you are.
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:52 PM   #5
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Great ideas, thanks!!
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:21 PM   #6
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We pick up printed material from rest stops, visitor information centers, and parks while we are on the road. As a bonus, I've found I really enjoy meeting the folks who volunteer at these places.

These publications generally include all sort of maps, and listings for every pancake house, campground and roadside attraction in the area. We particularly favor the thicker 8-1/2 x 11 "comprehensive" guides. State and regional guides like this abound. We also sprinkle in a few select brochures for specific attractions, especially as they make great page markers. ; )

Paper accumulates rapidly. We have a small cardboard box to manage it at present, though we should probably upgrade to a cheap portfolio or accordion file.

One thing I really like is that it's so easy to quickly flip through paper publications. While files in the computer lend to searching for something specific that you already know about ("find Scotty's Castle"), I find that paper guidebooks and brochures lend better to acquiring an overview of an area very rapidly. They can quickly provide a basic familiarity with just about every attraction that you didn't even know was there, and often include local stores and services.

We travel with a GPS, two smartphones, and generally some sort of small laptop or tablet. But we find the information we accumulate on the road is a big help in getting around.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:58 AM   #7
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What options do you use if you don't have cell signal to use an app?
+10 plan ahead. WiFi at McDonalds or wherever. Know your plan in advance.

How do you if book is accurate? And with Corona right now a lot of places are closed. The web gives you current information.

When we traveled to Alaska, we knew we weren’t going to have cell service for several days. Just planned for it.

Note on printed materials: even the “up to date” gas station list we picked up at the start of the Alcan wasn’t 100% accurate. #1 thing no guide can tell you is if the station is closed, out of gas, or recently went out of business. The “trick” was never pass a gas station, particularly on the northern sections.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:06 AM   #8
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I ran out of gas once almost 60 yrs. ago and never got over it. With a 1/2 tank left I am looking for a gas station.
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the fantastic suggestions and ones I hadn't even thought of!
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:52 PM   #10
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I've making a conscious effort to talk to people locally as we travel. I have been finding it both enjoyable and informative.

We camped at an RV Park some years back located near a highway interchange. We followed the GPS a couple of miles to a "grocery" which turned out to be some rural acreage with a home. It was probably a registered agricultural business of some sort.

We went back to the gro-gas convenience store at the interchange. As my wife was contemplating the selections of chips and chewables, I asked the clerk about local grocery stores. He directed us to a nice little full-service grocery about a half mile on the other side of the freeway.

As far as websites being more up-to-date than printed publications, maybe yes, maybe no. We have many small businesses websites in our area with no mention of corona virus conditions. I suspect they couldn't afford to update their websites.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:04 AM   #11
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Talking Guide??

WE use 2..1 is the app: ParkAdviser version 1.3.7 on my I-phone and

2 is soft back book..: "RV camping in COE parks", 2019 edition has info on 644 CGs

We really like COE campgrounds.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:42 AM   #12
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What options do you use if you don't have cell signal to use an app?
I had a camping sites app that I liked, and it downloaded all the data so you could use it offline. Sorry but offhand I dont recall which one it was, but you can review the apps and see which ones have that capability. Or maybe someone else will know.
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Old 05-30-2020, 02:52 PM   #13
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Hey Melissab,
As far as apps that I have found helpful my favorite is Ultimate campground ( COE, State, National Park, National Forest etc) Allstays is another helpful app.. Both are one-time payments and I feel they are very reasonable, approx. $7.50 and S10.00 respectively.
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:14 PM   #14
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What options do you use if you don't have cell signal to use an app?
Allstays will work without wi-if or cellular. When you do have signal, review the route on allstays and when you don't have signal, it will show the basic info for each campground. I have iPad but no cellular and use this all the time.
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:13 PM   #15
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Apps That Do Not Require A Cell Signal To Work

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What options do you use if you don't have cell signal to use an app?
The GPS in your phone is still active even when you do not have a cell signal.

I often travel backcountry roads and trails with no cell signal but I use two apps that will work in that situation. One is called Sygic, the other is Ultimate PUBLIC Campgrounds.

I use Sygic for my GPS. I have it installed on an older cellphone that does not even have a cell service subscription! Even without a subscription, the phone (an older Galaxy S3) can download and install Sygic (free version is fine) via wifi.

The "Ultimate PUBLIC Campgrounds" app will also show public campgrounds that are near your location even when you do not have a cell signal. (NOTE: it only shows PUBLIC owned campgrounds, not commercial campgrounds. The catch is that if there is no cell signal it will only show the campgrounds but will not show the road map. But that is no problem, I simply copy and paste the GPS coordinates from UPC to Sygic and I can easily navigate to the campground.

Note that both of these apps are free to download and use. They will both work on an older cellphone and do not require a cell signal to use.

The drawbacks are:
1. two apps instead of one (if you do not have a cell signal. If you do have a cell signal, the UPC app works fine alone.
2. UPC only shows PUBLIC campgrounds (COE, Forest Service, BLM, county, municipal, public utility, etc.)
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:30 AM   #16
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I have had good luck with Wikicamps which has a free trial period and only costs a couple dollars to purchase and you can download it to all your devices. There is a version for the USA and Canada. It uses Google maps. It also works without internet access which was great on our trip to Alaska last summer. The built in map function without internet is not so great, but it served us well. You can add camp information you find, such as pull offs boondocking sites, etc. It also shows dump stations plus a bunch of other stuff.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:56 PM   #17
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Excellent info! I will look into these apps. Time to get with the times lol. I always drag my feet into technology. I just got a smart phone about 4 yrs ago.
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