7 Books to Inspire Your Next RV Road Trip

Jun 1, 2020 | Travel & Destinations

7 Books to Inspire Your Next RV Road Trip

Full of local reviews, classic road trip stories, and good eats, we’ve rounded up the seven best travel books to help inspire your next RV adventure.

By Sarah Hubbart

Illustration: Amanda Coomer

You’ve done the research, found the perfect RV, and packed your rig with all the essentials. Now only one question remains: where to first? No matter if you are new to the world of RVing or have been full-timing for years, sometimes it can be hard to narrow down your travel bucket list. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up a list of seven books that will help inspire your next RV road trip.


THE 10 BEST OF EVERYTHING NATIONAL PARKS

If you love national parks, then this book is sure to inspire—and possibly spark some lively debate. It includes hundreds of top 10 lists for all your favorite parks. Each list is organized by theme, so you can easily find the 10 best lodges, hikes, or picnic spots. It even includes specific lists for Civil War sites, sunrise views, and places to say “I do.” And while this book may not contain an immense amount of detail, it does an excellent job of highlighting unique activities and places. Check it out to see if your favorite hike or campground made the cut.


50 GREAT AMERICAN PLACES

Written by Brent D. Glass, the former director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, this book digs into the stories behind some of the most important cultural and historic sites in the United States. While you are bound to recognize some of the spots included in the book (like the Hoover Dam), others are more under-the-radar (like where the Wright Brothers first learned to fly). The places mentioned span the entire country, and offer a nice mix of major cities and rural small towns. There’s also an audiobook version available if you prefer to listen—and get inspired—while on the road.


UNDER THE STARS: HOW AMERICA FELL IN LOVE WITH CAMPING

If you’re even remotely interested in camping, then Dan White’s Under the Stars is for you. By combining lots of historical research with incredible first-person stories, White shares why humans have an innate draw to the outdoors and what being in nature can do for the human spirit. This book not only covers 200 years of camping history, but also touches on things like the formation of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the philosophy behind “leave no trace.” Under the Stars might make you laugh, it might even make you cry, but it will absolutely make you want to plan a camping trip.


ATLAS OBSCURA 2ND EDITION

The mission of Atlas Obscura is to inspire wonder and curiosity about the world, and this book does exactly that—it takes readers to unusual destinations around the globe, with more than 100 pages dedicated to under-the-radar spots in North America. Destinations range from Death Valley’s Amargosa Opera House to Great Basin National Park’s ancient bristlecone pines to Nebraska’s Carhenge. Each destination features stunning pictures and well-written descriptions, in addition to information on when to visit, how to get there, and insider tips.


LONELY PLANET USA’S BEST ROAD TRIPS

This practical guide details 65 iconic road trips across the United States, and they’re all divided by region to make planning even easier. Everything is mapped and color coded, with suggestions on where to eat, stay, and park. Not every route listed is exclusively for cars—there are some options to park and take a walking trip, which is beneficial for larger RVs that may not fit through tight spaces. Keep this in your glove compartment and pull it out if you need some ideas on where to stop along your drive. 


LIVING THE RV LIFE: YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIFE ON THE ROAD

Written by a husband and wife duo, Living the RV Life is not only a great introduction to the world of RVing, but is also super helpful for those considering the jump to full-time. Don’t let the glossy finish or large pictures fool you—this book is extremely comprehensive, offering advice and suggestions for everything from choosing the right RV, to picking the best insurance plan, to emotionally preparing yourself for life on the road. Even if you aren’t a full-time RVer, or even want to become one, this book is still extremely valuable for anyone who plans to take a lot of RV trips or even travel for extended periods of time.


ROADFOOD 10TH EDITION

If you believe good food is a destination in itself, Roadfood should be on your bookshelf. Think of it as your road map to foodie-friendly excursions across the U.S. The Roadfood Honor Roll features 100 can’t-miss restaurants, from classic Texas BBQ to the West Coast’s oldest seafood markets. Roadfood will help you find 1,000 of the best local restaurants so you can experience the true, authentic flavor.


Whether it’s to check out the best sunrise views in a national park or tour the country in search of the best fish tacos, hopefully the books on this list inspire you to pack up your rig and hit the open road. Each one serves as a reminder that there are amazing things to explore, no matter which direction you choose to steer your RV.

BooksCampgroundsCampingRoad Trips

Sarah Hubbart

Sarah is a writer and full-time RV traveler exploring small towns and public lands across the U.S. in a Thor Chateau with her husband and French Bulldog. She shares practical tips and itineraries for your next road trip at wanderingroadblog.com.

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