I've been asked a few times, "How in the hell do you know where to go and how do you plan it"..
Close the eyes and throw some darts... heheh, not too far from the truth.
Basically, it's What/Where/When to you want to do something. Need cooler, trees, ocean, warmth etc. so it's really what you want to do.
- Paper Map Atlas. I usually start with the individual states are nice but a nationwide one is helpful for X-country planning
- Online maps with campsites and RV'er friendly.
- I use RV Trip Wizard ($39yr) that is now linked to RV Park Reviews
- There are many others, Good Sam apparently has a good one for members.
- Google maps for the basic routing.
- Truck Nav
- I use Garmin, my "Arch Nemeses" (older model), there's a 770 unit that's been around that allows you to put in the Rig's dimension, LxWxH, etc which helps when planning more so in the EAST coast area with lower bridges etc.
- I also use on a tablet, a back up, google maps as "Ms Garmin" can and will drop you at some point. Also, unless you like dirt roads, there should be an option "no dirt roads" in the preferences for Garmin. 'Fastest Routing' is probably the best and you can, in Trip-wiz, stay off of main Hwy.
- Importing/transferring routes. You supposedly can down/upload routes in various formats, I've never had much luck. My Garmin says there are "Too Many" way points but would be kewl if you could.
- Destination - So once I have a final or intermediate location in mind, I'll break out the paper atlas/map and just see what's there and around in the area. On the paper Atlas, I'll highlight the location and then look at the possible routeing to and from.
- Roads - I like to travel the back roads and avoid the main Hwy if possible. Know your rig's limitations, either size or power or whatever might keep you off certain roads and adjust the Nav and online app accordingly. Ex: Height, 12.6 or 14' high as bridges might be lower.
- Camping - Once I have a general routing, subject to change on a whim, I'll go to the online apps, put the routing in and then check out the camping spots. You can set preferences for various campground 'Types', KOA or BLM and everything in-between.
- RV Trip Wizard - Route mapping for Laptops
- Google Map How2s. (Courtesy of Truck Camper Magazine)
- Best Maps, Apps, and GPS. (Courtesy of Truck Camper Magazine)
- Top 12 Apps for Truck camping. (Courtesy of Truck Camper Magazine)
- Truck Camper Magazine. Free great resource in general but especially for Truck Campers.
- RVillage. Good general camping forums with many topics, meets, and social stuff.
- Compendium - Good recourse for BLM or close to free camping
- Free Camping - Good resource for various cheap, free camping
There are many ways to trip plan, these are just a few which I seem to keep coming back to. If you want to Blog/Journalize the trips, good idea for those that like to keep track, there are many ways of doing it. Here's a reference of what others find helpful
As noted, I use the paper atlas to highlight the various routes, put a To/From like Moab/Ely with a date. I also do a Blog (Google Blogspot - it's free) and there are many other ways of doing that, Word Press is a popular one.