“Oh, I wish I lived in a caravan!’ said Jimmy longingly. ‘How lovely it must be to live in a house that has wheels and can go away down the lanes and through the towns, and stand still in fields at night!”
Enid Blyton, Mr Galliano’s Circus

Caravan Books

Popular Caravan Books & Novels

Caravan Books

For caravan enthusiasts across the UK, there are a surprisingly high volume of books that focus on the various themes of caravanning. Alongside conventional works on the mechanics of various caravan models, there are plenty of guides highlighting the location of caravan sites across the UK and Europe. This article will look at these as well as alternative takes on the industry and fictional works also.

Classic Caravanning Guides in the UK

Our first port of call lies with the author John Wickersham, a prolific writer of caravan guides over the years. Via four reprints, his Caravan Manual book has sold over 75,000 copies since its first publication in 1993. Each edition includes information on vintage as well as brand new caravan models, detailing important maintenance advice and technical instructions. Further notable books by Wickersham include Build Your Own Motorcaravan, and Motorcaravanning Handbook: Buying, Owning, Enjoying, amongst many others.

Another popular title is Make the Most of Your Caravan (Teach Yourself) by Rob McCabe, which comes with a recommendation tagline from Jeremy Clarkson (who “heartily recommends it to all caravanists”). There is practical advice throughout, presented in a simple yet effective manner and easy to understand for readers.

There are also many titles which concentrate on the travel aspect of caravanning, specifically around the UK. These include The Best Campsites in Britain & Ireland 2016 by the Alan Rogers publishing group, and Cool Camping, England. Jonathan Knight … [Et Al.] by Jonathan Knight.

A trusted source of information for over 50 years has been guides published by the AA. Released annually, they detail important information regarding caravanning sites all over the British Isles. Check out the AA Caravan & Camping Britain 2016 which is the latest volume in the series.

Classic Caravanning Guides in Europe

For the more adventurous of caravanners out there, taking a trip further afield into European camping parks provides the perfect getaway. There are plenty of books highlighting directions to continental parks, with useful on-site facility reviews also. The AA have produced numerous guides in their Caravan & Camping Europe series for example, as well as editions focussing solely on designated French caravan sites.

Touring Europe 2015 evaluates over 3000 campsites from Italy to Scandinavia, comprised of reviews by members of the notable Caravan Club. Related books in this series, edited by Kate Walters, focus solely on the Iberian countries and France, providing real life first-hand accounts of campsites of often unfamiliar territories.

As well as their British Isles guides, Alan Rogers have released numerous books regarding European caravan sites also. They concentrate on the continent as a whole, such as the 2008 release Europe: Quality Camping and Caravanning Sites, as well as specific regions such as the Benelux, Iberian and southern European nations. The books are perfect for experienced caravanners looking for a concise and trustworthy catalogue of parks to explore.

Alternative Caravanning Experiences

There are many other works that showcase an alternative take on the caravan theme. Examples include Richard Hammond’s A Short History of Caravans in the UK which outlines the presenter’s love/hate relationship with the motor home, and Vintage Caravan Style by Lisa Mora, providing various design tips for the more artsy of caravan owners out there.

My Cool Caravan, co-written by Jane Field-Lewis and Chris Haddon, is another unorthodox book to check out. It concentrates on how to produce a retro lifestyle as an “antidote to 21st century living” by decorating your caravan in one of the many styles touched upon throughout.

Cooking and caravanning go hand in hand, and because of this, there are plenty of food-themed titles to get your juices flowing. Caravan Cookbook (Monica Rivron) is a simple and easy collection of recipes perfect for a family outing, and Caravan Cooking: The Versatile Vegetarian (Faith Hancock) demonstrates how vegetarians can conjure up dishes from scratch and make the most of leftovers as well.

Caravan Novels

The charm of the caravan hasn’t gone unnoticed by fiction writers either, spawning numerous novels based around caravans and the adventures they can bring. Two Caravans conveys the account of foreign strawberry pickers living in segregated caravans in southern England, a love story which looks at the lives of migrant workers from a dark yet often humorous perspective.

In a heart-warming succession of stories, the Village by the Ford Book 1 (Valley of Dreams) (Gordon Channer) series is based upon the true venture of a family relocating to a Cornish valley, caravan in tow. The complete change in lifestyle, free from the provisions of 21st century life, lead to some interesting escapades but also growing pains for an expanding family.

Another interesting tale comes with Archie’s Caravan by Clive Murray. It tells the story from the viewpoint of a young boy, whose father runs a caravan park, and the adventure that ensues when he befriends an elderly resident on the site.