Above: John Steinbeck, author of Travels With Charley, the one book that all RVers — all people with wanderlust — should read.
The editors of RVtravel.com have read and/or used all these books and consider them the best available for RV enthusiasts. There are more than a hundred books these days at Amazon.com about RVing, but most are too general to be of any use, often written by amateurs who don’t know what they’re talking about. Some are downright awful. You can trust that these are among the best.
2020 Rand McNally’s Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
American truckers rely on this. RVs these days are sometimes nearly the height of 18-wheelers, making this atlas just as valuable to them. Just like with truckers, there are roads where RVs do not belong — those with low bridges and tunnels — too low for an RV to fit.
One way to avoid these RV busters is with a specialized GPS. But they’re expensive. Many RVers these days use their smartphones to guide their way. But smartphones don’t show low bridges. That’s where the Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas saves the day. It shows every highway in North America where truckers can pass. And if a trucker can pass, so can an RV. Use this atlas as your guide and you’ll never go bump and grind, and end up with a tow to an RV junkyard. The Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas also includes a highway-by-highway list of all low-clearance locations.
RV Camping in Corps of Engineers Parks
Many RVers consider campgrounds operated by the Corps of Engineers the best. Completely revised and updated for 2019, this is perfect for RVers because all of the hike-in, boat-in and tent-only camping areas are not included, making it very easy to locate campgrounds that can accommodate RVs. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has some of the best parks and campgrounds available and is the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Detailed campground information includes:
- Season of operation • Number and type of sites • Number of sites with hookups • Camping fees • Amenities and Facilities • Directions
The 2019 Next EXIT
This best-selling guide is the most complete and accurate source of U.S. Interstate Highway exit services available. You’ll find a thorough exit-by-exit listing of every service you will need while traveling: gas, food, campgrounds, hospitals, parks, shopping, and much more. This “Exit Bible” will enhance your traveling experience. Now you can know what is ahead before you get there, and you will never take the wrong exit again with the Next EXIT.
Living the RV Life
Marc and Julie Bennett hit a home run with this. Anyone who is planning to take up RVing, or who recently did, will gain a huge amount of excellent advice from this beautifully written and photographed book. It’s aimed at full-time RVers or those who are hoping to travel full-time with an RV. But anyone new to RVing will enjoy this book, and likely be inspired in the process. Well done, Marc and Julie.
Idiot’s Guide to RVing
You can’t go wrong with an Idiot’s Guide. This one covers all the bases that a would-be or newbie RVer wants or needs to know. Author Brent Peterson has been writing about RVing for a long time, and he knows his stuff. If you’re just getting started, this would be a good investment.
RV Electrical Safety
This essential guide for RVers is written by Mike Sokol, the author of the popular No~Shock~Zone blog about electrical safety and the technical editor at RVtravel.com. Mike has taken more than 40 years of experience with AC power and written a book about electricity that nearly anyone can understand. Covers the basics of Voltage, Amperage, Wattage and Grounding, with additional chapters on RV Hot-Skin testing, GFCI operation, portable generator hookups and troubleshooting RV electrical systems. RVtravel.com gives this book a strong thumbs up. You may also want to sign up for Mike’s RV Electricity Facebook Group.
Best RV Tips
The tips in this info-packed book by Steven Fletcher come from fellow RVers, weekenders and full-timers who have “been there, done that.” No matter if you use your RV just a few weekends a year or make it your full-time home, you’ll find tips that will make your RV travels easier, safer and more enjoyable. You’ll learn how to save money, get mail on the road (as well as internet access), how to boondock (no hookups) and earn money as you travel. And much more.
The Wright Guide to Free and Low Cost Campgrounds
This is the only guidebook of its kind — an exhaustive directory of U.S. campgrounds with overnight camping fees of $20 or less, including thousands that are free. This book will pay for itself the first time it’s used. Thousands of campgrounds are listed, including national parks, national forests, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, state parks and forests, wildlife areas, small mom-and-pop campgrounds and thousands of city and county parks with camping. As with any printed directory, some listings may have changed since publication. But the directory still serves as a great guide for RVers who like to spend their money on things other than campgrounds.
Walmart is well known for accommodating RVers in its store parking lots for an overnight stay. This guide lists every Walmart in the USA (about 4,000 of them) and includes which ones have fuel available. Other info: distance from Interstate highway, address, phone number, and overnight RV parking information. The approximately 1,000 stores that do not allow overnight stays are also noted, which can be very helpful.
The 2019 Milepost
For many RVers, a trip to Alaska is high atop their bucket list. And for those travelers, the Milepost is the “quintessential reference.” It offers mile-by-mile descriptions of more than 15,000 miles of road in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta. Its 700-plus pages detail accommodations, camping, sightseeing, attractions and services, as well as fascinating facts on the history and wildlife. Trip planning help and answers to frequently asked questions are addressed in the Travel Planning section, with features on crossing the border, traveling with pets, the Alaska ferry system, driving conditions, railroads, tours and wildlife. Suggested itineraries are mapped out to help travelers plan their trips.
50 States: 5,000 Ideas
This richly illustrated book from National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, Civil War battlefields, out-of-the-way museums, and more. You’ll discover the world’s longest yard sale in Tennessee, swamp tours in Louisiana, dinosaur trails in Colorado, America’s oldest street in NYC, and the best spot to watch for sea otters on the central California coast. Each entry provides detailed travel information as well as fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust.