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Recommended reading

There are scores, maybe hundreds of RVing books in print, with new ones coming out every week. Each one has something to offer... but if you tried to read them all, you'd have no time left for traveling! I certainly can't claim to have read them all, but here are some titles that I keep coming back to.

RV Traveling Tales: Women's Journeys on the Open Road

From what I've seen, there are more women than men living the solo RVing life. This book is by and for them... but I learned a lot from it as well! Fifty-two women describe their experiences, their ups and downs, and how they've dealt with everything from driving a big rig to breast cancer and divorce. The overall tone is warmhearted, lively and upbeat. It's an inspiring book, and well worthwhile for any solo traveler—male or female!

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"RV Traveling Tales"

RV Repair and Maintenance Manual

Bob Livingston's indispensable book covers all the systems and appliances in your RV, from awnings to diesel servicing to water heaters. You may not plan to do all the repair and maintenance procedures Bob describes, but this book will help you understand what your RV service tech is talking about. It's not just generalities, either: the book includes specific troubleshooting procedures for common models of RV appliances, complete with parts lists, exploded diagrams—the works.

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"RV Repair and Maintenance Manual"

Mountain Directories (East and West)

Driving in the mountains can be exhilarating, as new vistas unfold with each curve in the road. It can also be a "white-knuckle" experience, and potentially a fatal one. These two books have a simple purpose: to get you through safely. To that end, each one contains detailed descriptions of hundreds of mountain passes and steep grades. The Mountain Directories will help you plan a route that avoids the steepest up- and downgrades... and they'll prepare you for the ones you do encounter, so you won't be taken by surprise.

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"Mountain Directory East" and "Mountain Directory West"

Ten Minute Tech (Vols. 1, 2 and 3)

Compiled by the editors of Trailer Life magazine, each of these books offers hundreds of clever and useful tips for enhancements and repairs, sent in by TL readers. Bill Tipton's excellent illustrations make the descriptions easy to understand. You're sure to find plenty of practical suggestions that you can use in each of these idea-packed books.

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"Ten Minute Tech 1", "Ten Minute Tech 2" and "Ten Minute Tech 3"

Sorting It Out

Living in a small space means you pretty much have to be well-organized... but that doesn't come easily to most of us. Rae Crothers has written an inspiring chronicle of her journey from packrat to full-time traveler. Her e-book is full of valuable ideas on how to declutter and get organized, along with insights such as "Organization is not neatness." Also included is a companion volume, "Sort It Out," that lists detailed hints and tips for making the most of storage space in a small RV. I learned a lot from these books!

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"Sorting It Out"

Over the Next Hill

Dorothy and David Counts are field anthropologists, with years of research experience in Papua New Guinea. When they decided to study full-time RVers, the result could have been dry and academic—but it wasn't! That's due in large part to the fact that the Counts spent years living the life they were writing about. Their hundreds of interviews and survey questionnaires—done with the enthusiastic cooperation of the Escapees RV Club—are brought together in this fascinating book that takes a good look at all aspects of the RVing culture.

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"Over the Next Hill"

Travels with Charley

One of the most interesting travel books ever written, and one whose name inspired my own "Travels with Gertie" website. In 1960, at age 58, John Steinbeck set out in a truck camper to reacquaint himself with the United States and its people. Accompanied by his French poodle Charley, he rambled for nearly 10,000 miles across the continent, recording his encounters with potato pickers in Maine, blacks and whites in racially divided New Orleans, and bears in Yellowstone. A real "page turner," this is a book you can enjoy again and again.

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"Travels with Charley"

The Joy of Cooking

OK, this isn't an RVing book—but it is one that I couldn't live without! With "The Joy of Cooking" in hand, you can cook anything. You won't find favorites from movie stars, or mouth-watering color photos—just well-tested recipes and good advice in a simple, no-nonsense format that allows the authors to include 4,500 recipes—four times as many as any other major cookbook—as well as informative sections on nutrition, cooking methods, and foods in general. Every kitchen needs a copy of this book.

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"The Joy of Cooking"

Rubies of the Viper

No RVs in this book, since it's set in first-century Rome... but it was written by my friend and fellow RVer Martha Marks. "Rubies of the Viper" is a gripping murder mystery/romance, and it's a real page-turner—I could hardly bear to put it down. It's Martha's first novel, but the plotting, characters and dialog are spot-on. "Rubies" is available as a paperback or Kindle ebook from Amazon (see link at right), or in other ebook formats from SmashWords. If you go to Martha's homepage, you can even download a free 160-page sample from the book. I can pretty much guarantee that if you do, you'll be hooked!

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"Rubies of the Viper"

...and a few by yours truly

I can't resist mentioning a couple of my own titles that you might find interesting: "From Camping to Full Time," my account of making the difficult transition from a 9 to 5 job to full-time RVing and "Quiet Waters," my photo book. You can find them on my Shameless Commerce page.

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