Are we Captivated By and Dependent on Technology? Imagine RVing without it.

Karla Locke
7 min readNov 17, 2021


Do you remember RVing without technology? Would you want to go back?

Can you imagine Rving now without the technology of today? The gadgets? The apps? Many of you did do just that; RV without all the technology. The question is, though, would you want to do that today?

Trying to imagine what life would be like without technology is practically impossible. We are so dependent on technology that it’s become an integral part of our lives. Technology has made life easier, more convenient, safer, and more enjoyable. Almost everything we do involves technology in one way or another, which begs the question — are we as a society too dependent on technology?

I am of an age, like so many other RVers, who remember what life was like before the technology of gadgets and apps. It is hard now to imagine life, especially RVing, without all the technology, websites, and apps available to us. How did RVers do it before?

I was around five when I got my first TV (television for you RVers). I would spend part of the summers with my grandparents. My grandfather owned/operated a Chevron gas station, and I went to work with him each day. To keep me somewhat amused and occupied (and probably to keep me out of the bubble gum), he bought me a small b/w TV. Immediately, I was entranced. We got our first b/w TV at home when I was around six. I remember this vividly as this was when President Kennedy had been assassinated. I was around thirteen when my parents finally bought a color TV. My first exposure to a computer was my first office job in my early thirties.

My grown children are even of the age before computers. I had to remind my husband that our sons learned to drive long before Google Maps.

Of the 15 signs in this article of being technology-dependent, I could say most of us are guilty of at least four (especially when it comes to RVing);

  • Nothing Can Be Done Without the Internet
  • You Are Not Living in The Moment
  • You Record It
  • You Are Addicted to Your Mobile Phone
  • You Obsess Over The Latest Gadgets.

I know most of you can admit to at least those four. LOL!


How did we do this before? I was trying to remember, way back (the 90s), when I would use a Thomas Guide to find our way around the Seattle area. For the life of me, and so long ago, I could not fathom doing that today. Paper maps cannot give us half of the information that is available online, apps, etc. But, nothing is 100% correct or dependable. Just the other day, our Garmin RV GPS told us to take a left on Hwy 19 North, only left took us on Hwy 19 South, to go north, we would have needed to turn right. Luckily, this time, I knew we needed to go south. When we plan our routes, we use three different technologies; websites, apps, gadgets.

When we plan our routes we have three different technologies we use — websites, apps, gadgets.

Technology/Gadgets/Apps we depend on
1. Google Maps — because it is the only one that at least is somewhat current. Yet, it doesn’t know that we are almost 50’ in length, that we are towing a trailer, we are almost 10’ high, and approximately 8’5” wide. Not to mention how much we weigh.
2. We plan our route in RV Trip Wizard, but I find it cumbersome to use when it comes to the “actual” details of the route.
3. We rely mostly on our Garmin RV GPS 890, but it is not always updated and sometimes provides incorrect information — as noted above.
4. I use all three and verify them against each other. If I am still not sure, I go to my Facebook groups and ask the experts and more experienced RVers for their opinions or suggestions.
5. I also handwrite the directions. Technology breaks down at the most inopportune times and can leave you stranded, even your cell phone. The GPS is more reliable in areas where cell phones do not work, but there have been moments when it froze or decided it was a good time to do an update.

Finding A Place to Stay

There are so many options (APPS) available today when it comes to finding a place to camp, but none of them are complete. How did RVers do this before? They must have relied on word-of-mouth, advertising and guides, and road signs.

Technology we depend on
1. I use RV Trip Wizard and the most.
2. Harvest Host when I am looking for something for a night and in-between stops. (FYI — if you click on the link and purchase you get15% off and we get a little cash back.)
3. Other options: Campendium, Allstays, RVParky, Hipcamp.
4. Facebook groups.

It all depends on how you like to RV.


My first experience with dangerous weather was the summer I told you about with my grandpa. My grandparents lived in Sterling, CO, just northeast of Denver (where my family lived.) That summer the Platte River had a major flood, flooding much of the state. It was hard for my young mind to comprehend the devastation. As I aged, I relied on a weather person to keep me up-to-date.

Today, we have the added responsibility of travel and towing Betty Jo (the Airstream) so I am learning to become a weather sleuth (an amateur meteorologist.) Our first experience with Betty Jo was the heat dome that hit the PNW, then a tornado watch in South Dakota. Toss in a few thunderstorms, a few hail storms that thankfully only lasted a few minutes with small hail. All were lessons on how important weather is while RVing.

Technology we depend on
Now when we travel, I plan our route by watching the weather at least ten days out. I rely on a few APPS for storm tracking. I have become a fanatic about checking the weather daily, sometimes quite often in a day, depending on the weather.
1. Storm Tracker (App)
2. Radar Now (App)
6. National Weather Service
7. A battery-operated marine weather radio — we invested in the one thing that is not reliant on the internet and cell — sometimes you have to go old school, at least older school than today’s technology.

Jack (the Ford F-250)

Remember when you were younger you bought a car, you learned to drive, you put the vehicle in drive, and off you went. Today, you almost have to be a pilot or engineer to learn how to use a vehicle. The bells and whistles (and gadgets) on a vehicle require a large manual just to learn how it all works.

Every time we tow there is a series of steps to set up on the truck, you just don’t hitch and go. The dash is now a computer monitor with a series of tabs and pages to step through to find the information you need. We now rely on Jack to tell us what he needs, like when to change the oil, how the tires are doing, etc. The truck also comes with 360° cameras all the way around. And a/c power plug-ins and USB plug-ins (front and back.) And, bonus — seats with heating and cooling.

Dashboard Gadgets to navigate and capture
As if the truck didn’t have enough gadgets, we added more
1. Garmin GPS
2. a dashcam (just in case,)
3. Go-Pro to capture the moments
4. cell phones. etc.

Other technology/Gadgets/Apps we depend on
1. Tire Minder — a monitor of tire pressure and temperature for the Airstream tires. It also warns of a fast/slow leak.
2. Apps to help locate fuel.
3. Apps/GPS for finding Rest Stops.
4. Yelp, Tripadvisor for finding places to eat or things to do.
5. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube to educate ourselves.
6. We monitor the status of our AGM batteries, which includes; how much power is being consumed and how much power is coming from the solar panels to recharge the batteries with a Victron App. The device that monitors is a Victron BMV-712 Smart with Bluetooth.
7. MIFI — A T-Mobile Hotspot to access the Internet.
8. ClearSource 3-filter water filter system
9. Progressive Industries 50 Amp Portable RV Electrical Management System Surge Protector (1 MIN), EMS-PT50X to monitor the electricity coming into the Airstream.
10. Breville Espresso Machine — need coffee to keep up with all of this technology.

Staying Connected

1. Facebook and Instagram to share our adventures.
2. Website/Blog
3. Enewsletters
4. Our cell phones

We spend a great deal of time using technology. What would we ever do without it? Because of technology, our lives can be simpler, more convenient, safer, and more enjoyable, but it can also complicate our lives more. In the world today, we are most definitely captivated by technology but also find ourselves dependent on it. We almost have to be.

What are some of your favorite gadgets, Apps, and technology that you use?



Karla Locke

My creative self needs an outlet, I do this with writing and photography and the occasional thought and opinion.