By Chris Guld GeeksOnTour.com
There is no perfect Trip-Planning system, but that doesn’t stop us from continuing to look for one! Here’s a list of systems we have used:
- Streets & Trips (we even have a full set of tutorial videos on using this one)
- RoadTrippers – see article Roadtrippers for Trip Planning
- RVTripWizard – see article RV Trip Wizard for Planning your RV Travels
- Google Maps – not really a trip-planner, but everything else! Google’s My Maps and Custom POI Files, Mapping and Sharing Your Travels with Google My Maps
The latest system we are checking out is Furkot.com. It is a free website. There is no mobile app, but the mobile website works fine on either iPhone or Android. Furkot is not specific to RVs. It is generally for cars and motorcycles who need to book motels/hotels along the way. But campgrounds are in there as well and it is based on Google Maps so all the data in Google is available.
Yes, you need an Internet connection to plan your trip, but then it can be available offline for reference.
Planning a Trip with Furkot
It works a lot like Streets & Trips – that’s a good thing since we were so accustomed to S&T:
- Start a Trip by entering your beginning and your end destination. One additional feature that I haven’t seen in any other system is a checkbox to make it a “Round Trip.”
- Furkot automatically enters tentative night stops based on your settings for when you start and stop your day and how far you want to go. When you enter your own stops, the tentative ones will disappear. I LOVE this feature for showing us exactly where we need to be looking for our overnight stops.
- Dates: a feature that was always sorely missing in S&T was any kind of calendaring. With Furkot, it not only shows the date you will arrive/leave any given stop – you can also point to any place along your route and see what time of day you’ll be there! Here is what the “Plan” drawer looks like. Notice the Days and dates for each stop. And, if you change the start date, or the number of nights at any stop – the dates recalculate for every other stop. There is even a feature to “Lock” a date. So, for example, if you need to arrive in time to attend a wedding, you can lock that stop’s date and it will not let you recalculate other items in a way that gets you there late!
Navigating a Trip that was Planned with Furkot
Furkot is not a navigation system, it is a planning system. That makes a lot of sense to me. I see them as very different things. We use a Rand McNally RVND7720 to navigate with the RV. It is always on the dashboard, and it has only one job to do. Each day as we set off on the road, we’ll look at our plan and enter just today’s destination into the Rand McNally. Then, we trust it to avoid low bridges, and propane restricted tunnels etc. We also use Google Maps on our phones. With Furkot, I can see our plan on the phone, tap on one destination and tap on Navigate. That takes me to Google Maps and it starts navigating to that destination. Good enough for me!
If you are the type of traveler that wants your entire route imported from your plan to your dashboard GPS, they’ve got you covered!
We’ll try it out
We leave for a 3 month journey at the end of the week. We will use Furkot and write more about it in future articles, and on our Facebook Page. Let us know if you give it a try by using the comments below. If you’re looking for a trip-planning system, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Furkot. They have an extensive help system that explains everything you need to know.
Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983 and owned a Computer Training Center called Computer Savvy from 1983-1996. She has been a Fulltime RVer, popular seminar presenter at RV Rallies, and regular contributor to RVTravel, for many years.