Since hubby had the brilliant idea of doing a Stock Christmas Wishlist I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and follow-on with an RV Wishlist. In my festive spirit I initially came up with a cool list of ~1,000 items, but in order to give you a sporting chance of actually finishing the read before Christmas Eve I decided to narrow things down a tad and look at books.

Now, as you may know we both moved to the Kindle and e-books earlier this year and absolutely love that as a source of regular books. But, there’s a few items which we still like to have “in the writ” so to speak. I’m going to include the books we’ve found essential to our travel (and have used year-long) as well as a couple that are on my own wishlist. Here we go:

1/ Campground Books – There’s lots of campground books out there. Last year we bought directories from both Woodalls and Trailer Life, but found we never actually use them. Since discovering paw-friendly National Forest, Corp of Engineers and State Parks we rarely stay anywhere else and that’s what I want on my wishlist. Few books cover all the spots, but here’s a few good-uns:

  • Free Campgrounds by Don Wright – guide to cheap campgrounds in the West. It’s not fool-proof and most of the prices listed are for seniors, but it’s as close as you’ll come to a comprehensive guide to alternative spots.
  • Camping with the Corps of Engineers by S.L Hinkle – Great little guide to COE campgrounds. It’s a few years old (2007), but still the best reference.

2/ RV Maintenance & Repair  – As J.R.R Tolkien would likely have written, there’s one book to rule them all and that’s RV Repair and Maintenance Manual by Bob Livingston. ‘Nuff said.

3/ Travel Guides - These are the two core books we use for all our travels:

Our two most-used travel books

  • RV Road Atlas by Trailer Life – For macro-planning. The binding on this book leaves something to be desired (everyone complains about it coming apart), but it’s a great resource. It’s currently next to our beds and we’re already happily plotting next year’s travel as part of our bedtime reading.
  • The Next Exit – Fabulous little book showing everything at every exit. We use this book to find Truck Diesel stops and other exit items and never travel without it.

4/ Photography - Since I just opened this subject on the blog I figured I’d add my all-time favorites in here too. After all, photo books are not really e-friendly and there’s nothing quite like having them on paper:

  • Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson – One of my absolute favorite photo books and great for beginners. I learned everything I’ve ever really needed to know about exposure and manual camera settings from here.
  • Nature Photography by John Shaw – Still one of the best books on nature and landscape photography, in my mind.
  • Mountain Light by Galen Rowell – For oogling and drooling over pictures that you dream of taking one day. This is not your typical photo book, but goes through many of Galen’s fabulous shots and describes how he took them. I learnt a lot from reading about his techniques.
  • The Negative, The Camera, The Print by Ansel Adams – For the enthusiast looking to get into nitty, gritty details. These books are based on old film cameras, but will teach you details about photography that you can’t get anywhere else. Ansel Adams was definitely the master.

8 Responses to RV Christmas Wishlist – For the Bookworm

  1. Brent says:

    Cool! Glad to see you mention John Shaw’s Nature Photography. One of my favorite books for a good solid intro and I very rarely see it recommended.

  2. Lynne says:

    We ordered that RV repair manual. While I love his column on Highways and read it constantly, I didn’t find much in there of use for newer rigs. I will continue to follow him in Highways. The Road Atlas is excellent and thanks for the info about the Corps of Engineers site. I love following Rex Vogel on twitter and RV.net. He tells you all the secret spots.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I do wish he’d write an update on the book, given it’s a few years old, but I still think it’s the best reference on the market.

  3. hobopals says:

    I’ve given this gift many times, and have one of each edition for myself. http://tinyurl.com/bujwlp6
    Love your lists–especially love the water thief–I ran across it when looking for something else and had to have it.

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