vanlife books

15 Best Vanlife Books to Inspire Your Adventures

Looking for the best vanlife books to fuel your campervan adventures?  In this guide, I share 15 books about vanlife that will inspire, educate, and help you prepare for life on the road.

As you embark on your vanlife adventures, what better way to enhance the journey than with the timeless companion of a good book?

There are tons of books about vanlife these days, providing much-needed advice and inspiration for life on the road (just like these vanlife quotes).

Whether you’re seeking practical advice about building your campervan, inspiration for life on the road, or information on the vanlife culture, you’ll find what you need on this list .

books about vanlife
Get inspired with these amazing vanlife books!

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Books for Vanlife Inspiration

We’ve curated a list of 15 must-read books that capture the essence of the vanlife experience.

I consider these books a vanlife essential, and they also make great gifts for campervan owners. Let’s get to it.

1. "Epic Drives of the World" by Lonely Planet

lonely planet epic drives of the world

There’s no better vanlife inspiration than discovering all the incredible road trip possibilities. 

In Lonely Planet’s Epic Drives of the World, you will find 50 of the very best road trip itineraries alongside jaw-dropping photography of the scenery that they take you through.

Organised by continent, this book showcases routes from all over the world, including America, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia. 

It will show you what is possible when you venture into vanlife and all the epic adventures that are waiting for you.

2. "Vanlife Diaries" by Kathleen Morton, Jonny Dustow, and Jared Melrose

vanlife diaries book

If you’re looking for an all-rounder of a vanlife book, this is it. Vanlife Diaries is inspired by the Instagram account of the same name. 

It explores the lifestyles of modern-day vanlifers who’ve ditched conventional living in favour of freedom and adventure.

Alongside beautiful photography, interviews and personal narratives, this book offers practical tips and advice for pursuing life on the road. 

You’ll find suggestions on converting a campervan, how to downsize, and what jobs people do to make money on the road.

3. "Blue Highways" by William Least Heat-Moon

blue highways book about travel

While not strictly a book about vanlife, this classic travelogue inspires the sense of adventure and exploration that’s at the heart of the lifestyle.

Blue Highways: A Journey into America follows the author’s journey through the back roads of America, taking the road less travelled and the places, people and experiences he encounters along the way.

This book is not only about a journey on the open road but also a journey of self-discovery. It’s a must-read for anyone considering a nomadic lifestyle.

4. "The Culture of Vanlife" by Calum Creasey & Lauren Smith

the culture of vanlife book

This next vanlife book is for anybody who needs a little extra encouragement to pursue their dream of life on the road.

Following the author’s own experiences of converting and travelling in a campervan, The Culture of Vanlife explores the freedom of van living and the advantages of living an alternative lifestyle.

Discover creative van conversions, listen to inspiring stories from other vanlifers, and explore the culture that attracts more and more people every single year.

5. "A Beginner's Guide to Living in an RV" by Alyssa Padgett

living in an RV

This practical and inspiring guide will empower you to take the leap into full-time vanlife.

A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV is filled with personal stories and experiences, making it a relatable and motivating read.

Alyssa and her husband have been RVing full-time around America for the past six years, so it’s safe to say they know their stuff. 

They cover things like how to find good internet, the costs of full-time RVing, the best clubs and memberships, and the best vanlife apps.

Vanlife Books for Practical Advice

6. "The Vanlife Companion" by Lonely Planet

The vanlife companion book

Social Media has a way of romanticising vanlife, but what does living on the road actually mean? Let me tell you, there’s more to it than glorious park ups and adventurous road trips.

This guide from a trusted travel expert offers practical advice on living on the road. It covers everything from choosing the right van to navigating life on the road, making it a valuable resource for both vanlife novices and veterans.

The Vanlife Companion even documents 20 iconic road trip routes from all over the world, including Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, and Italy.

7. "Van Life: Your Home on the Road" by Foster Huntington

Your life on the road book

Foster Huntington is the ultimate advocate for off-grid living. His passion for vanlife is evident through his stunning photography and range of vanlife books.

That includes this one “Your Home on the Road”, and “Home is where you park it”. It’s even said that he created the #vanlife hashtag.

In Van Life: Your Home on the Road, you can expect some of Foster’s best crowd-sourced photographs, showcasing some epic builds from VW vans to school buses alongside the beautiful locations they’ve travelled to.

Also included are some practical tips and advice from other vanlifers on how to live a mobile lifestyle. It’s a comprehensive guide that covers the logistics of living full-time in your vehicle.

8. "How to Live in a Van and Travel" by Mike Hudson

how to live in a van book

After three years on the road, Mike shares practical advice from his own experiences of living and travelling in a van.

Topics covered in How to Live in a Van and Travel include choosing your vehicle, where to go, overnight stops, loneliness, money, power supply and other common anxieties making it an essential guide for anyone considering the leap into vanlife.

Packed with incredibly useful and easily digestible information, it’s no wonder this is one of the most well-rated and highly regarded vanlife books on the market.

9. "Mobile Solar Power Made Easy!" by William Errol Prowse IV

solar power vanlife book

One of the most intimidating jobs we had to do when converting our van was our campervan electrics.

I spent weeks studying the topic. And I couldn’t have done it without books and resources like this one.

Mobile Solar Power Made Easy provides valuable guidance on setting up solar power for your van, an essential aspect of self-sufficient vanlife.

Its easy-to-follow instructions make solar energy accessible to everyone, regardless of technical know-how and experience.

10 "The Camper Van Bible" by Martin Dorey

the campervan bible vanlife book

If you’re new to vanlife or at all interested in the lifestyle, ‘The Campervan Bible’ is an excellent addition to your vanlife book collection.

Some of you might be familiar with Martin Dorey, the presenter of BBC2’s ‘One Man and His Campervan’. A self-confessed campervan expert, he knows everything there is to know about this alternative lifestyle.

In this book, he combines his good humour and infinite knowledge to bring you a ton of tips and tricks to living or travelling in a campervan.

From choosing and buying the perfect van to cooking and living in your camper, this book has it all.

11. "The Campervan Cook Book" by Martin Dorey

campervan cookbook

Regardless of whether you’re living in your van or making the occasional road trips, it’s handy to know some quick and easy vanlife recipes. As chances are, you won’t be as well equipped in the kitchen as you would be in a house.

That’s why The Campervan Cook Book is an essential book for any van lifer. It contains over 80 delicious recipes which you can cook on either two rings or a bbq, so you really only need a basic campervan kitchen set up.

12. "The Van Conversion Bible" by Charlie Low and Dale Comley

van conversion bible

If you’re planning to self-convert your campervan, consider this next vanlife book your bible for the foreseeable future.

It’s no easy feat self-building your van, but if you want a bespoke design that reflects your taste and personality, it’s the only way to do it.

There’s also an unmatched sense of achievement when you finish your build. I still can’t believe that we self-converted Ventura (our van).

We had no previous experience; therefore, it wouldn’t have happened without books and resources like The Van Conversion Bible.

This book covers absolutely every aspect of building a van, even things you probably haven’t thought about yet.

I’d even go as far as to say that it’s the most comprehensive van conversion book on the market. A must-have!

Books About Vanlife Culture

13. "Nomadland" by Jessica Bruder

nomadland book

As we know, vanlife is an ever-growing community. It’s considered a ‘trendy’ way of living thanks to aesthetic Instagram posts that glamourise the lifestyle.

But what many of us don’t consider is where the whole vanlife culture came from. Where it started and why. 

That’s what ‘Nomadland’ helps us to understand. It explores an entire vanlife community in the US forced into this lifestyle to survive.

This illuminating book delves into the lives of Americans who’ve had to trade traditional lifestyles for a life on the road. 

It’s a great read to understand the broader sociopolitical context and motivations behind the van movement.

14. "Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts

vagabonding book about vanlife

Of all the incredible resources out there that educate us on travel, there is one thing that nothing can prepare you for. And that’s the trials and tribulations that occur along the way.

Vagabonding is all about the art of long-term travel. It aims to arm you with the tools you need to navigate life on the road while staying true to yourself and living a life of adventure.

For once, this book is less about the practicalities of travel and more about the philosophies of travel. It’s about discovering yourself and walking your own path rather than following in the footsteps of those before you. A must-read!

15. "Hit The Road" by Gestalten

hit the road book

This final campervan book showcases different aspects of road travel culture, whether a weekend trip, a more extended vacation, or a fully nomadic lifestyle.

Featuring engaging stories from weekenders to full-time vanlifers, each offering their unique perspective, Hit The Road provides an insight into how owning a campervan can enrich your life.

Enjoy These Campervan Books!

So there you have it, 15 books about vanlife designed to enrich and enhance your road trip adventures. I hope you enjoy them just as much as we did.

If you have any questions or feel like we’ve missed anything, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach out to us in the comment section below. 

Stay adventurous and Happy travels.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in our other Vanlife Guides to help with inspiration.

Charlotte & Natalie
If you enjoyed our free guide, you could support us by buying us a coffee! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we share more travel advice and inspiration. Charlotte & Natalie x

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Charlotte & Natalie

Hi There!

We’re Charlotte & Natalie, a British lesbian couple with a passion for travel and adventure.
Here you will find everything from LGBTQ+ travel & lifestyle advice, to comprehensive guides and itineraries designed to make your travel planning easier.
We want to inspire you to live the life of your dreams.

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