This collection of great RV books is brought to you by Oofos, whose recovery sandals are the ideal slip-on for hopping in and out of the RV while on the road.
There is nothing like starting up your RV and embarking road trip not knowing where you will sleep that night or what scenic places you will happen upon. RV living allows for a lack of structure and an increase in spontaneity, forget your watch and let the sun and gas tank guide your day.
RV life isn’t all sunsets and scenic pull-offs, however. Every road trip, from the weekend jaunt to the full-time campervan lifestyle, come with unique challenges. But that’s what keeps things interesting.
The following RV books highlight the joys and the challenges of life on the road. They offer lessons, recipes, and skills to make the trip smoother. And if you’re still at home, just thinking about the day when you might set off, these books might inspire you to get moving.
15 RV Books That Will Inspire You to Hit The Road
1. Van Life: Your Home on the Road by Foster Huntington
Foster Huntington, the creator of the “vanlife” hashtag, documents three years of life on the road, highlighting unique rigs and their builders. Van Life: Your Home on the Road covers the early trends of vanlife, back when it was a “dirtbag” lifestyle for those who couldn’t afford a home and their hobbies simultaneously. Cue break downs, scrappy meals, thrifty setups, and risky off-roading. The best part? The majority of this book is shot on film!
2. The Great Outdoors: 120 Recipes for Adventure Cooking by Sämmer Markus
Those who are living on the road full-timecan’t survive off of dehydrated meals or mac and cheese forever. This RV cookbook will have you itching to get on the road, even if it’s to justify making cheese fondue over the fire. Get inspired by these gourmet recipes that are tested in the kitchens of RVs and the grills of car campers.
3. Rolling Homes: Handmade Houses on Wheels by Jane Lidz
A DIY book from the 1970s, Rolling Homes is a visual journal of some of the most unique handmade structures from buses with shingles to trailers with stained glass windows. This RV book is vintage eye candy for the whimsical dreamers. Less of a real-life inspiration book and more of an artistic feat, Rolly Homes is full of rigs that will make you wonder, how did these vehicles possibly drive?
4. Everything that Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn
This minimalist bible is not exactly a road trip or RV book but will make you begin to seriously question your basement filled with old paperwork or your garage stuffed to the brim with your kid’s old toys. It might even inspire you to downsize enough to fit all of your belongings into an RV. Wouldn’t that be nice?
5. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
In this gripping nonfiction classic, Krakauer reports on the story of Christopher Mccandless who left the comforts of his home and life with his newly earned college degree to head to Alaska in search of a life beyond the structures of society. It delves into the life of a radical thinker and his ambitions to walk until he hit the Bering Sea. The tragic ending is well-known, but regardless, the story might inspire you to think differently about your own life and how you function within the expectations of traditional society . It is a great conversation starter for those long days of driving!
6. Vanlife Diaries: Finding Freedom on the Open Road by Kathleen Morton
Vanlife Diaries is a gallery of a book, showcasing the everyday lives of individuals, couples, and families who live on the road. In this RV book, Kathleen Morton focuses on the details of these vans, the possessions individuals choose to bring along, and the details that transform these vehicles into homes.
7. Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains by Jon Krakauer
In this collection of scrappy adventure accounts, Jon Krakauer gives you the nitty-gritty on a multitude of adventures from weathering a storm in Denali to becoming a risk-taking pilot in Alaska. These stories each present passionate and somewhat crazy risk-takers and their relationship with the mountains they dream of summiting. This book doesn’t glaze over hardships or romanticize grueling slogs, it makes you both feel for these people and inspires you to get out and find a mountain worth sacrificing your own comforts for. Maybe a road trip is your mountain!
8. The Culture of Vanlife By The Rolling Home
This collection of essays and vivid photos from the road stokes the desire for a life of freedom and mobility. The Culture of Vanlife explores how an alternative lifestyle like “van life” allows you to rethink the value of time and physical belongings. We love the authentic illustrations interspersed throughout this exquisite coffee table book that really bring the ideas to life.
9. Travels with Charley in Search of America By John Steinbeck
Follow John Steinbeck as he re-acquaints himself with America by circling the country counter-clockwise with his French poodle, Charley. This is not a generic story of self-discovery but more a reflection on the passing of time in the U.S. from the perspective of 56-year-old Steinbeck in his pickup truck.
10. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
While not a book about the road, Wild captures the beauty of leaving home and the majority of your possessions behind to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes. In this New York Times bestseller, an amateur hiker embarks on an emotionally and physically arduous trip on the Pacific Crest Trail. Along the way, she discovers a love for hiking, nature, solo adventures, and the kindness of strangers.
11. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
This classic story documents a group of famous radicals including Ken Kesey as they take LSD and attempt to travel cross country in a bus. Queue driving off the road, running out of gas, and a whole handful of hippie shenanigans in one of the most surprisingly astute RV books on this list.
12. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Few books will make you want to unplug and take a walk in the woods like Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Get inspired to minimize your possessions and maximize your thinking with this collection of transcendentalist essays organized by the four seasons.
As national parks tend to top the lists of road trip destinations, this book will excite and prepare you for all there is to explore in parks across the country. From information about wildlife to the best viewpoints, National Geographic’s Guide to National Parks of the United States will enhance your national park planning and experiences. Already seen every national park? Check out National Geographic’s guide to Secrets of the National Parks!
This is one of the most dense RV books on this list, encompassing all types of RVers ands methods of RVing, from boondocking to staying in resort-style RV Parks. This book is great for those just beginning to think about buying an RV. It breaks down a lot of myths about RVing and offers tips and tricks for optimizing your time on the road.
15. Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
In this autobiography, William Least Heat-Moon drives cross-country avoiding freeways and cities. By only following “blue highways,” he finds himself in lesser-known parts of America where he delves into local culture from the people he meets to the quaint towns he stops in.
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