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Author Topic: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?  (Read 1592 times)


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Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« on: July 13, 2016, 03:26:35 PM »
Hi guys, I'm about to start on my first RV journey to Colorado and I'm so excited. But i've done a lot of research and because this is going to be a long journey, I'm rly worried that I will lose touch with my family  :'(

Any recommendations on free apps to use to stay in touch?  :o I do not want to invest in a CB and obvly texting on the road will not work... any help will be appreciated!


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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 03:53:34 PM »
CB has a very limited range anyway. Use your cell phone to call, text, and email them during stops for fuel, lunch, sleep...
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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2016, 04:37:08 PM »
Agree that a CB is useless for your needs because it has very limited range (a few miles at most).  Cell phones are best but you need to know that there may be some areas that have no cell towers or you may drive through a canyon that blocks the cell tower signal.  It's not uncommon to have the call drop when that happens.  Also as you're traveling along the highway your cell phone signal switches from one cell tower to the next strongest signal and you can lose calls when the signal fades too much.  The most reliable way to communicate with family is to send a text message because it will probably go through even when the signal is weak, whereas a voice call might be lost.  You also might find that some campgrounds don't have very good cell coverage.  For all of these reasons I tend to send email messages and/or text messages to family.

Most states now have laws forbidding texting or using cell phones that are not hands free.  I tend to do my communicating at night when stopped or when my husband is driving.  Also you'll undoubtedly be making pit stops and most interstate rest areas have nearby cell towers so that's another good time to call or text.  Don't forget that you'll also be changing time zones as you move west and you have to pay more attention to the time of your call recipient when using voice calls.


:D :D

John From Detroit

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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2016, 05:27:09 PM »
Actually texting while in a parking space works very well.. And in fact that is what I'd recommend.

Or Facebook (Also when in a parking space)

Or the Cell phone VOICE chat

I use facebook and texting, but if I'm driving and get a text I need to respond to.. I find parking first.

If it is a long text (more than 2 lines) likewise  2 lines I can read at a gage scan.  Phone is also a few missing dash gauges so that's not a problem.
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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 05:41:05 PM »
How far away are the people you want to talk to?
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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 06:49:13 AM »
Cell phone.
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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 04:04:19 PM »
You didn't say which cell phone you use.

Check out Glympse. Here is the link to the Android version. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glympse.android.glympse&hl=en
Don & Peg
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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2016, 11:04:01 PM »
Are the family members you want to stay in touch with at home while you're traveling...or are they in a different vehicle?

If the first...call or text...or, (gawd-forbid) stay in touch with Facebook. (I can't believe I actually recommended that)  :o

If they're traveling with you in a separate vehicle...cell phone. (use a hands-free device, please)
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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2016, 08:57:58 PM »
Set up a free dropbox account and give the password to your family/friends.  You can post pictures, post your itinerary, keep a running diary/logbook of your trip, and download brochures and PDFs of your adventures.  They can access it at will, and they can post back news from home you can access when convenient. 
There are a lot of cell phone holes in the West, not just CO.  Trying to reach someone by cell when you are going in and out of coverage is like playing roulette.  With dropbox each of you can access it when convenient.
I never get lost.  I just have unplanned adventures.


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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2016, 09:11:29 PM »
My family has almost given up chastising me for not staying in touch :)
I only check in if I find a place with Wifi so emails and texting or face timing can be done for free.
Life goes on for friends and family whether you are part of it or not. When you finally do connect there will be lots of interesting stories to catch up on and you will have adventures of your own to share.
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Re: Apps to communicate with family when on the road?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2016, 02:35:03 PM »
Unless you're headed way off the beaten path - I think it's pretty rare to be without cell signals for extended periods of time.  On the rare occasions we can't get a signal at our campsite - we do enough roaming around in the toad that we find ourselves somewhere with signal on a near daily basis.   

However, I suspect your question about "losing touch" probably goes beyond the specifics of "how will I make a phone call" sort of answer.   We "keep in touch" with family and friends in a variety of ways when we're travelling. 

Obvious - the quickest and easiest thing is a "real voice" telephone call.   We talk to our kids, wife's sister, close friends, etc. via cell phone every day or two.   A close second for us is text messages.   We text our adult kids (one of whom still lives at home) almost daily - just a short "All good?" / "Yeah, OK here at home" sequence is enough to keep everybody from getting excited.   For this (and the fact that I'm still working and need my cell phone for work related stuff) - our cell phone plans included "unlimited talk and text" - it's factored into our budget, so neither of us thinks twice about grabbing the phone and talking to whoever we feel like as often or for as long as we feel like. 

We use Facebook a lot as well - primarily for staying in touch with our circle of friends and more distance family.  We do avoid posting much in terms of specifics about our travels on Facebook.  We may post a single picture and/or a brief comment about someplace we just visited.  We avoid posting anything that shares specifics about where we are at the moment and/or even more important, where we're headed.  Most of our FB posting are us "joining the discussion" on with friends and family as if we were sitting at home in our "sticks and bricks".   If I'm on FB in the evening ... it's rare I don't get pinged by friends via FB chat.  It's rare that I don't get asked "where are you today?" when I'm chatting with friends. Our friends know we travel a lot so it virtually always comes up in conversation.

Obviously our travels are a big part of our lives these days - and something we like to share with friends and family.  As stated we don't want to be constantly pumping pictures and "travelogue" posts out on Facebook.   So to avoid doing that - I slapped together a website that I try to maintain when we're travelling.   I keep a simple blog, add pictures, etc. regarding what we're up to on our trip.  Our friends and family know to check the website  and can even add comments (similar to FB) to our blog entries and/or our general "message board".   Futzing with the web site is one of my hobbies when we're on the road ... and gives me something to do when I've got a little down time.  My wife likes it because she can easily share pictures with her GFs back home with a test message and a hotlink.   

The technology today makes it easy to stay "in touch" with friends when you're on the road.  You just have to be willing be a little creative and to put a little effort into it. 
The Spacenorman
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