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How To Have A Safe RV Trip With Apple CarPlay

Published on October 13th, 2023 by Patrick Buchanan
This post was updated on November 7th, 2023

truck head unit displaying apple carplay screen using a navigation tool for a safe rv trip
Apple CarPlay is a game change for taking a safe RV trip. (Photo via RVPlus3)
In partnership with TireMinder

These Apps Designed for CarPlay Can Help Ensure A Safe RV Trip

Apple CarPlay is now available in the most popular ½-ton, ¾-ton, and 1-ton tow vehicles, as well as chassis suitable for Class B, B+, and smaller C RVs. Now more than ever, RV aftermarket providers need to make sure their products are Apple CarPlay compatible to ensure RVers can have a safe RV trip.

Pushing Apple CarPlay to the head of the class is the slow, fragmented adoption of Android Auto.

Due to various hardware devices, along with Android security concerns, Android Auto has not taken off like Apple CarPlay has.

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“Android Automotive was announced in March 2017, but it’s not a secret that its adoption has made little progress in the last few years.”

Autoevolution.com – May 12, 2023

Apple CarPlay in motorhomes

While eventually, we expect that all other motorized RVs will have an Apple CarPlay option at some point, this is a slower process. Not as many of these units are sold. In addition, some functionality may or may not be built into the chassis itself. Still, even this unique market has seen an increase in CarPlay adoption, fueled by customer demand.

Newmar’s entry-level Baystar Class A motorhome and the Entegra Odyssey Class C RV both offer Apple CarPlay on their 2024 models. We expect to see more of the same through product lines and price points. Suffice to say, customers have spoken and now expect to have this amenity on every vehicle.

From a manufacturer’s standpoint, it’s a win for them. They don’t have to install expensive navigation systems into these coaches or worry about proprietary functionality that could change or disappear.

Benefits of Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay provides drivers with a more convenient and safer way to access their iPhone’s features while driving. Here are some points that highlight how using Apple CarPlay can contribute to a safer RV trip:

Hands-free operation

CarPlay supports voice commands via Siri. Drivers can easily make calls, send messages, set reminders, and more without taking their hands off the steering wheel.

Simplified interface

Apple CarPlay offers a streamlined user interface that is optimized for in-vehicle displays. This minimizes distractions and makes it easier for drivers to glance quickly and understand the information.

Smart navigation

With CarPlay, drivers can access third-party navigation apps such as RV LIFE Pro for RV-safe navigation. Turn-by-turn directions are read aloud, reducing the need to look at the screen frequently.

Reduced phone temptation

By integrating many of the phone’s essential features into the vehicle’s infotainment system, drivers are less tempted to pick up and interact with their phones directly, reducing a significant source of distraction. This is critical to having a safe RV trip.

Seamless integration with car controls

Apple CarPlay is designed to work with the vehicle’s existing controls, whether that’s buttons, knobs, touchscreens, or voice control. This means drivers can use familiar controls without needing to adapt to a new system.

Prioritization of important apps

CarPlay prioritizes apps that are relevant and safe for driving, such as navigation or tire pressure monitoring. Apps that could be more distracting, like games or social media, are not available in the CarPlay environment.

Consistent experience

For drivers who use multiple vehicles, the CarPlay interface remains consistent, reducing the learning curve and distractions that can come with unfamiliar systems.

Other Apple CarPlay features that lend themselves to safe RV trips are Readable Texts, Safe Music and Podcast Controls, and Do Not Disturb Mode. By integrating these features, Apple CarPlay aims to minimize distractions and allow drivers to focus more on the road.

These CarPlay apps ensure a safe RV trip

When it comes to RVing, Apple CarPlay is even more advantageous since driving or pulling an RV generally takes more concentration and attention to the road. Drivers can’t afford the distraction of multiple screens or trying to manipulate the phone in some way. Navigation and other RV safety features, such as a real-time TPMS system, can be presented cleanly in the dash using CarPlay.

TireMinder app shown on Apple CarPlay screen
TireMinder can track your RV and truck tires (Photo via RVPlus3)

TireMinder for Apple CarPlay

RVers that don’t travel with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) for their RV are playing with fire. Perhaps some RVers simply don’t know that proper inflation and management of their RV tires is an important part of ensuring a safe RV trip. Others may not have room on the dashboard or available power ports to support an external unit. Either way, a TPMS designed for RVers is a crucial accessory. TireMinder is a popular TPMS solution provider that has offered great products for RVers for over 10 years.

With the recent announcement that they added Apple CarPlay integration, TireMinder has suddenly drawn even more interest in their TPMS products. Already a popular leader in the RV TPMS market, the Apple CarPlay integration takes that popularity a step further by decluttering an RVer’s already busy dashboard by eliminating another screen and power cable.

This is accomplished with the TireMinder Lite mobile app and its integration with Apple CarPlay. RVers can see real-time tire pressure and temperature of their RV tires from within any head unit equipped with Apple CarPlay. TireMinder does this without collecting any user data, which is a nice security touch. USA-based support for their products is another welcome feature.

Using TireMinder sensors on your truck

Popular content creators RV Plus 3 shared one of their own special hacks to the TireMinder concept. Rather than relying on their OEM in-vehicle TPMS system when towing, they had TireMinder sensors to their truck tires, in addition to their RV tires.

Doing this gives them a more upfront monitoring experience, and it adds temperature sensing to their tires. This gives them complete front to back tire pressure and temperature monitoring, right in their dash head unit using Apple CarPlay and the TireMinder app.

RV LIFE Pro: Trip planning and navigation

RV LIFE Pro, which is a suite of tools RVers can use for RV trip planning, navigation, maintenance, and education, offers an Apple CarPlay component for RVers. The RV LIFE mobile app will navigate, using RV-safe navigation, and present it in the Apple CarPlay interface. 

With RV LIFE Pro, you can navigate ad-hoc RV trips using the built-in RV-safe GPS, or plan your trips in advance in great detail using RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Planned trips are accessed through the mobile interface where you can follow the route exactly as you planned it using Apple CarPlay.

Start planning your next trip today

RVers who use TireMinder and RV LIFE Pro have their bases covered when it comes to a safe RV trip. With TireMinder, you can monitor your tire pressure and temperatures directly or choose to be alerted when one of those goes out of range. The warning will pop up on your navigation screen.

For navigation and trip planning, RV LIFE Pro takes care of finding campgrounds, fuel stops, rest areas…anything along your route you wish to plan for. This one-two punch helps ensure that your once-in-a-lifetime vacation isn’t ruined.

“The combination of RV LIFE Pro and TireMinder are essential tools that make travel and camping easier and safer”.

Content Creators RV Plus 3

TireMinder 

RV LIFE Pro

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