We all live and breathe caravans, and a great way to immerse yourself in our fantastic pastime is to pick up a good book – whether it’s hardback, paperback or downloadable to your digital advice, you can certainly learn a lot about caravanning. A book on caravans can help you master the basics, decide on the caravan essentials to take on tour, and more. There are a whole host of caravanning books to choose from out there, so here we’ve taken a close look and shared our pick of the best caravan books available now.

They can be well worth considering if you’re looking for gifts for caravan owners too.

Things to consider when looking for the best caravan book

It really depends on your interest – are you looking for a technical manual to help you the most from your van? Perhaps you’d prefer a travel guide to the best places to go in your caravan, or would like to find one that gives you great recipes to cook in a caravan.

No matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered – here’s our round-up of some of the best books on caravans for you.

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Our pick of the best books on caravanning:

Cool Caravanning by Caroline Mills
The Caravan Handbook by Sammy Faircloth
Teach Yourself Make The Most Of Your Caravan by Rob McCabe
The Touring Caravan Story: Over a Century of Towing by Andrew Jenkinson
The Caravan Manual by John Wickersham
Caravanning in the 1970s by Andrew Jenkinson
Philip’s Navigator Camping and Caravanning Atlas of Britain by Philip’s Road Atlases
Van Life Cookbook by Danny Jack and Hailee Kukura

Cool Caravanning
Image: Amazon

Cool Caravanning by Caroline Mills

  • Format: Paperback, digital
  • Number of pages: 216
  • Publication date: May 2017
  • ISBN: 978-1504800716

Caroline Mills is a highly experienced tourer and travel writer, and in this caravanning book she’s pulled together 50 brilliant places to stay in England when you’re away in your caravan. It’s easy to use because the sites are divided into region, and you can even browse by site style – so, if you’re looking for somewhere suitable for children, walking, beautiful landscapes, beaches or more, you’ll find what you need here.

There are also open-all-year sites, and parks that are perfect for food lovers. Each listing features numerous colourful photographs, a good-length write-up, and full information on opening times, contact details, facilities, nearby attractions, nearby alternatives if your chosen site is fully booked, and much more.

The Caravan Handbook
Image: Amazon

The Caravan Handbook by Sammy Faircloth

  • Format: Paperback
  • Number of pages: N/A
  • Publication date: June 2021
  • ISBN: 978-1838404307

If you’re looking for a handy all-in-one guide to the whole experience of buying and owning a caravan, then you should definitely take a look at The Caravan Handbook by Sammy Faircloth. Sammy – who contributes expert technical and travel articles to Practical Caravan – has caravanning in her blood: she’s been touring since childhood after being born into a caravanning family.

This book on caravanning is packed with information that should prove handy whether you’re a newbie to the world of touring, or are more of an old hand. It features 15 chapters on how to prepare your caravan for a tour, finding a suitable campsite for your needs, advice on choosing a caravan, maintaining it and more, all illustrated with colour photographs.

Make the Most of Your Caravan
Image: Amazon

Make The Most Of Your Caravan by Rob McCabe

  • Format: Paperback, digital, CD-ROM
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Publication date: April 2014
  • ISBN: 978-1473600003

Writer Rob McCabe is a former editor of Practical Caravan, so you can expect this book to be packed with expert information – and that’s exactly what you’ll find. It covers a wealth of information across a wide variety of topics, neatly arranged into easy-to-navigate sections – so, whether you want to find out how to choose the right caravan layout, buy an awning, choose a towbar, how to reverse a caravan, fit security products, meet up with fellow caravanners on site or more, you should find the answer here.

There’s a handy glossary towards the back to help explain all those tricky (yet important) caravanning terms, and ‘Key points’ dotted throughout bring the most important issues to the fore. It’s not the most colourful of books – it’s quite text heavy – but for a handy go-to guide to keep in your caravan or on the shelf at home, this is well worth a look.

The Touring Caravan Story
Image: Waterstones

The Touring Caravan Story: Over a Century of Towing

  • Format: Paperback
  • Number of pages: 160
  • Publication date: March 2022
  • ISBN: 978-0750994910

Andrew Jenkinson has been a Practical Caravan contributor for many years, and we love his fond look back at the history of the tourer, published here as a paperback. No matter whether you caravanned as a child or not, it’s impossible to look at the many photographs contained in this book and not feel a twinge of nostalgia.

The 160-page book is packed with a treasure trove of colourful images, mostly from Andy’s own archive. It details how caravanning evolved, from it being ‘a rich man’s pastime’ in 1919, through the war years and into the 1950s, when it underwent a huge boom, both in popularity and in manufacturing techniques. It continues through the decades to the present day, and also features a wealth of memories from those who continue to caravan.

The Caravan Manual
Image: Halfords

The Caravan Manual, John Wickersham

  • Format: Hardback
  • Number of pages: 212
  • Publication date: January 2009
  • ISBN: 978-1844256785

Considered something of a bible among caravan owners, this brilliant book – written by the late, great caravan expert John Wickersham – is a must-have for your shelf or van locker. It was originally published in 1993 and is now in its fourth edition. It covers a vast range of topics, from choosing your caravan to preparing your tow car, but it’s most impressive due to its hugely comprehensive technical information.

Every subject is explained in easy-to-follow language, and step-by-step guides walk you through topics such as fridge operation, coupling up your electrics, disconnecting your gas cylinder and much more besides. It’s ideal for the first-time caravanner, but even seasoned old-hands should find something of interest here.

Caravanning in the 1970s
Image: Waterstones

Caravanning in the 1970s, Andrew Jenkinson

  • Format: Paperback, digital
  • Number of pages: 96
  • Publication date: December 2022
  • ISBN: 978-1398112094

Like his Touring Caravan Story book (see above), Andrew Jenkinson’s Caravanning in the 1970s is a fond, nostalgic look back at one of the most popular decades of our pastime. Andrew takes a close look at the typical caravan holiday of the 1970s – including a section on all of those accessories that the modern, discerning caravanner should be sure to pack. He also features the cars that towed our beloved vans to their destination, and even looks at how oil crises and the introduction of the three-day week affected our holidays.

Throughout you’ll find a raft of colour photos which truly reflect the caravanning life in the 1970s and are sure to raise a smile – there are also plenty of caravan adverts from magazines of the era, including Practical Caravan.

Philip's Navigator Camping and Caravanning Atlas of Britain
Image: Amazon

Philip’s Navigator Camping and Caravanning Atlas of Britain, Philip’s Road Atlases

  • Format: Spiral-bound
  • Number of pages: 416
  • Publication date: April 2023
  • ISBN: 978-1849076289

It’s easy to think that you don’t need a paper map these days and solely rely on your caravan sat nav, but we’ve found that using a combination of the two is a great way to plan your tours. Doing so allows you to find the best route via sat-nav, then check it carefully via your road map, ensuring that there are no small roads or tricky junctions that you should be aware of.

A dedicated camping/caravanning map is a great one to go for, and this example from Philip’s is ideal. As well as featuring a handy, easy-to-read scale of 1.5 miles to 1 inch, it also pinpoints more than 1880 campsites, helping you find one that’s perfect for your needs. Even better, it also includes details of height restrictions on 6000 bridges, useful advice from the Camping & Caravanning Club, and more.

Note that the latest version of the Atlas is currently available for pre-order.

Van Life Cookbook
Image: Waterstones

Van Life Cookbook, Danny Jack and Hailee Kukura

  • Format: Hardcover, digital
  • Number of pages: 160
  • Publication date: May 2022
  • ISBN: 978-1911682189

Cooking in a caravan (or in fact any small space) is, of course, different to cooking in a domestic setting – you’re always limited by the number of pots and pans you can use, and sometimes by the amount of ingredients you can carry too. Which is why cookbooks such as this one by Danny Jack and Hailee Kukura are so handy to keep in one of your lockers to refer to whenever you feel like whipping up a tasty meal.

All of the recipes can be cooked on a two-ring hob: most are vegetarian, but all are quick, simple and very tasty. They’re divided into sections by meal type (brunch/lunch, breakfast and dinner) and also includes drinks and condiments. The recipes range from the pleasingly simple (Chunky tomato soup with cheddar and pickle sandwich) to the more exotic (Cinnamon rosewater pilaf with raisins and almonds).

There are also handy hints on tips on preparing and eating food in a small space, and even a section on (safely) foraging for mushrooms, samphire, horseradish and more.

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