Books About RV Living
We’re the Russos Book Series
This book series gives readers an insider’s look at full time RV living.
Book 1: Take Risks
Book 2: Tales From the Open Road
Take Risks: One Couple’s Journey to Quit Their Jobs and Hit the Open Road (Book 1)
Publish Date: October 3, 2017
“In this book, written in a very present first-person style, Joe takes the reader on a journey through the decisions, challenges, and triumphs of embracing a minimalist lifestyle, and getting on the road full time. Full of practical insight and wisdom, and told in an almost folksy and very personal tone, Take Risks is a powerful ‘how-we-did-it’ tale that will inspire you and give you a starting place for your own journey. If you’ve ever wanted to move into a full-time RV lifestyle, this book is for you.”
—Kevin Tumlinson, Author & Podcast Host
Order Take Risks on Amazon
Order Take Risks on Walmart
Order Take Risks on iTunes
Order Take Risks on Nook, Kobo, and Other Book Store
Tales From the Open Road: The Adventures and Misadventures of RV Living (Book 2)
Publish Date: September 2, 2019
Many people dream about a life of travel, but what is it really like living on the road full time? As a follow-up to his first book, Take Risks, Joe Russo’s Tales From the Open Road takes you along for the ride as he and his wife Kait turn their dream into reality and navigate their first year as full-time RVers.
The memoir offers a personal account of the mostly good and sometimes challenging adventures (and misadventures) that Joe and Kait face when they trade their house and possessions for life in an RV.
Kait Russo’s Cookbook
Kait is working on a cookbook that she hopes to release in 2021. This book will feature many of the recipes seen in the Van Life video series on YouTube. In the meantime, check out her Instant Pot Recipes post.
More Books About RV Living
Below are more books about the RV lifestyle written by fellow RVers.
A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV by Alyssa Padgett
Living the RV Life by Marc and Julie Bennett
The Ultimate Guide to Living Full-Time in a Van or RV by Robin Barrett
Motorhome and RV Retirement Living by Jerry Minchey
See You at the Campground by Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi
RVing Idiot’s Guide by Brent Peterson and April Maher
Walden On Wheels by Ken Ilgunas
62 thoughts on “Books About RV Living”
Hi Joe and Kait, just finishing up your second book Tales, enjoying them plus enjoyed your earlier Utube presentation. I know you probably left out financial info for obvious reasons, but it would be interesting in your first efforts on getting in to Rv world, just how much money it took, what you left, how you handled expenses, did you pay cash for the Newmar or use house sale proceeds, how much a month did it take to be on the road or in Vanlife, I really like the Travato with the full Volta in a used model, haven’t been able to get one yet. I follow Scott Watson in his Travato closely. Will you be at any event our way, I am in southern Wisconsin.
Thanks much, best of luck in Italy. Will you be back in a Van in US then?
Hey John – thanks for reading the books! We used to track all of our expenses in both the Class A and then in our Class B. We included these figures on this website as well as the income we were making each month. If you search on here for “Expenses” or click this link https://weretherussos.com/?s=expenses you can scroll through all of the articles and resources we have that have covered your questions.
We were going to be in Wisconsin for the Adventure Van Expo, but that was canceled. The closest we’ll be is the Adventure van expo in Chattanooga, TN in October. Thanks!
Enjoy your first book and I am presently reading your 2nd book
We own joes book Take Risks and we love it. We also love your show!
Thank you Mary!
I enjoy your YouTube videos and just finished reading Tales From the Open Road, which I also liked.
We have a Roadtrek, and are not full timers, just gadabouts…..
Thanks Brenda – hope to see you on the road one day!
Can’t wait for the cookbook.
Hey Joe, I just finished reading “Tales from the Open Road” and it was a lovely trip down WTR memory lane. I left a review on Amazon. I counted 78 uses of the word “coffee,” not too bad. As I said in my review, it is a good motif to bring us readers into the story with you. I think you are growing as a writer and I appreciate how respectful you are of Kait as your partner while still making it your story. I’m going to go watch a few YT videos from that era to see you, Kait and sweet Leo. I continue to be inspired by you two. Best wishes, Kathi, Vamos(my van) and Blanco (my Jack Russell Terrier.)
Thank you so much Kathi and I so appreciate the feedback and the review!
Hi Joe and Kait,
Just finished book two after completing book one. Laughed a lot and learned some interesting tidbits. I will be selling my home this June and have been doing my research on motorhomes. I am planning on purchasing a used diesel pusher and installing a motorcycle lift for my Harley full dresser. I have traveled the country on multiple trips on my Harley and now wish to step up to fulltime RVing. With the sale of the house, I will be able to purchase the motorhome outright and have almost $1,400 a month savings I paid out for the mortgage, insurance and taxes. In addition, I will no longer be paying water, sewer, whole house generator maintenance costs, lawn mowing service and a couple other items adding up to another $450 a month. This is before I even hit my discretionary spending funds in my budget. I believe I will be in fairly good shape financially. I have several places (3) around the country where I will be able to set up camp at friends and family at no cost when I am visiting.
I look forward to exploring you videos, infact will be viewing your internet, how to stay connected as soon as I send this. Hope to run into you on the road…
Hey Hal – congrats on your future plans and hope all goes well! Thank you so much for checking my book out. Hope it helped in some way.
To: Joe & Kait,
I just finished both of your books on Kindle in the last 3 weeks and they were fantastic. The stories, the advice, all make this so much more approachable. I’ve never really done RV travel before but it looks perfect. With the COVID restrictions, Class B’s are going fast and we’ve struggled to find much inventory. I’m hoping supply will catch up with demand soon.
We’ve contemplated attempting the rental route but it’s really expensive and very little availability on Class Bs. I’m also concerned a bad experience with the rental might turn us off on the whole idea.
Thanks Dap and if you haven’t already, I’d so appreciate reviews on my two books.
We never rented before we bought and I understand your concern. That said, if you can find some to rent, it may be worth it so you have a better idea of what you’re getting into and what features you like and don’t like.
Joe and Kait
Why are your other books (besides the first one) not available on IBooks? I want to read them but only use IBooks. Thanks for the insight you provide everyone!
Hi Matt – to be honest it’s because I get about 99% of my sales through Amazon and by selling exclusively on their platform you get some benefits. They do have a Kindle iOS app to read on Apple devices if you ever want to do that.
I just finished reading “Take Risks” and I couldn’t put it down. We are in the process of finding our perfect RV, so the timing was perfect. Will be hitting the road full time next year!!! I’ve ordered the second book and can’t wait to get it in!! Thanks so much!!!
Hey Traci! So happy you enjoyed it and found it helpful. If you get a moment, I’d love it if you could leave a review. Thanks!
Hey Kait and Joe, thanks for what you do for us that want to, SOMEDAY, do what you do. Umm……. still waiting for your Cookbook Kait. ?
Thanks again, Steve.
You’re welcome Steve! The cookbook is in the works. A few “life happens” moments have distracted me from it, but I’m back on track and you’re minder is even more motivation 🙂
Thanks Joe and Kait for your time at the Calif RV show a couple of weeks ago. I bought Tales from the Road which Joe was kind enough to autograph. Read it on a business trip to and from Albuquerque last week and made Joe’s roasted cauliflower with garlic and pine nuts tonight for family dinner and it was a huge hit. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs of life on the road, you are an inspiration and big help to those of us who plan to follow in your footsteps someday.
So happy you enjoyed the book and that the recipe worked out for you! If you haven’t already, please consider writing a review. Thanks!
Loved Reading both of your books Joe. It’s fun to read and hear your voices as I follow along in your first two adventures into RV LIFE. Looking forward to the next book all about van life!
P.S. I just Found your link to setting up my own blog. I’ve struggled with that and hope that your link will help me with some insight.
Thank you Susan and good luck getting your site up and running! If you haven’t already, please consider leaving a review. Thanks!
Hi Kait and Joe, I really enjoy your journey. Thank you for writing your blog and YouTube’s you put out there. My husband and I are hoping to travel more. We are retired and semi retired, (I am younger, early 60s and my skills are in demand). My Mother lives with us most of the year so we have been taking short trips when we can. My husband does not like to travel more than a few weeks at a time and he hated pulling our 16′ Scamp, so now I am trying to figure out what will work for both of use. Your research has been a great help to me. If you you come through Kansas City, Missouri or Mound City, Kansas we would love to meet up with you. I really enjoyed Joe’s first book and am now enjoying the second one. Keep on, keeping on.
Thank you Anita and so happy to hear you enjoyed the book! Good luck in your search and hope to see you on the road!
Hi Joe and Kait, my wife and I have been researching and dreaming of what you two are doing. We are on our late 40’s and we already set a date of 6 years from now. I know it’s still ways out, but we are fully committed, We both read your Tales from the Open Road and we can relate to all the challenges that you guys have to go through. Anyway, i just ordered your next book and we are excited to hear and learn from your experiences. We are now more excited about achieving this dream and you can assure we are taking notes.
Be safe out there and please continue to share us your experiences so we can learn from them. Thank you
I meant to write the book that we read was the Take Risk and ordered the Tales From the Open Road. Sorry didn’t mean to confuse you…
Thank you Jake – so happy to hear you enjoyed it. When you have a moment, please consider leaving a review where ever you purchased the book.
I just finished “Tales from the Open Road.” I really loved the book and have already passed it to my wife. We have enjoyed your content for years and daydream about following on our own adventures. Thank you for putting pen to paper. It is a fun read and serves as research for us. We have already learned a lot about how we are going to proceed. Keep it coming!
You’re very welcome David!
Read both books, enjoyed them. Yor are a good writer and have a good partner. Keep up the good work!
Thank you Martin! If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you could leave a review.
I’m very excited to read your next book. I had read you first book I just couldn’t put it down. I had that dream with my exhusband to live in our motor home and travel but you can see it never happened because hes called my ex. But I’m trying to make it happen by myself one day.
Thank you and take care
Just got your book and am about halfway through. What a great read! I love the details and thought process you guys went through. My takeaway (so far) is that, though you are taking a big risk by quitting your jobs and living on the road, you have run the numbers and are minimizing overall risk by addressing little risks along the way. Kind of like executing “pilot projects” at work. 🙂
I’m curious though. Throughout the RV buying process it did not seem like you ever rented or borrowed an RV to go on a short trip to see if it would work. Was that ever part of the equation?
Thank you! We’d thought about renting but never did. I think we were so sold on the idea that we just decided to go for it. RV Rental Companies like this one weren’t around when we shopped for our first RV.
Thank y’all for utube shows.
Hi Kait and Joe,
I love your You Tube videos! You both are a great role model to how other couples should treat one another. SOO Sweet to watch!! Do you know when and where, any or all, super
class B RV shows are in 2019? Will you be attending any RV shows in 2019? I couldn’t make
Most of the shows, especially the larger ones will have a good selection of class Bs. Here is a list of the shows in 2019 https://weretherussos.com/rv-shows/
We don’t know what other shows we’ll be attending this year.
I sat on this email for a while because I don’t want to seem like a creeper or an obsessed fan. I finally thought to myself, “If I wrote a book, I would appreciate this kind of feedback.” So… here it goes: I have read your book at least five times. I’m sure you get this a lot, but your book was the catalyst for setting us off on our own adventure. Reading about how you set a goal to travel for just a year seemed to make the difference for us. I want to thank you for sharing your journey, and I can’t wait for your next book. Our process mirrors so much of your story. We also have an old white dog (although she is spotted and smaller than Leo was). We’re even in the market for a van now! I remember thinking, “They are crazy to live in such a small space.” Never say never. Haha!! Love you guys! Keep on living the dream!
Chanda – thank you so much for this comment. It’s always incredible for us when we hear that we’ve, in some way, inspired or helped someone live the life they want. It’s also great motivation for me to finish book two (which I’m getting closer to having done).
Thank you again for sharing this!
Hi Joe & Kait,
I loved Joe’s book and am looking forward to Kait’s cookbook hopefully soon! I actually bought an Instantpot mini and am looking forward to some of her recipes.
On another topic, I have a couple of questions about your experience with your van; specifically the Dodge Promaster body.
First, I wondered if, when you dry camp, you worry about the lower clearance of the van when bumping over ruts, rocks and rough roads. I know the promaster has a lowered floor and I thought that might limit driving on unpaved, rutted, rough roads. How have your experiences been in that area?
Second, I have read of the Promaster often having mechanical problems or even minor things go wrong more than would be expected. This was true of both gas and diesel driven vans. Has your van been reliable and without mechanical problems? Is yours a gas or diesel? I ask these things because I am trying to decide between a Ford and a Promaster van to have converted. I would love to hear from you about your experience with the van. Thanks to BOTH of you for your wonderful, inspirational videos and blogs! I love seeing them!
Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2019 full of wonderful travel adventures!
Hi Vicki – we’ve had no problems with our ProMaster and haven’t heard from people who have. Ours is gas and we wouldn’t get a diesel unless we needed to tow something. We’ve done quite a bit of dry camping and have had no issues on dirt roads. We’re also aware of our clearance and don’t go places we shouldn’t. We like the Ford van quite a bit as well. Both have their strong suits.
My wife and I recently bought a 2018 Pleasure Way Luxor and have put about 3,000 miles on it. We have been following you guys since you had a class A RV and have some questions about the Ram Promaster chassis.
At what miles do you do your oil changes?
Do you use full synthetic oil?
When your in snow do you put on snow tires or use tire chains?
And finally, do you still use your Garmin RV 760? We have an in dash gps, but is is hard to use.
Jim from San Diego
The ProMaster will tell you when it’s time to change the oil. The computer bases this decision on your driving habits, conditions, etc and you may not have to change it for 7,000 or more miles. Our two previous vehicles had the same engine and set-up as the ProMaster and it worked fine. We take the ProMaster to the dealer and just have them do a standard oil change – they do not use full synthetic. We also have never driven in the snow so I can’t answer that question.
Finally, we sold the Garmin because we don’t need the extra features with the smaller van. We now mount our smartphones with this: https://amzn.to/2LwqJ4F and use Google Maps for navigation.
Just finished your book, really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next. My wife and I are looking at a new class B ourselves and your book was a great resource along with your website and videos.
All the best to you both
(another guy from Canada eh)
I found you two on you tube and have watched all of your videos and have read you book. I am years away from being able to start the RV life but live threw your adventures. I loved the book and it was a great help in my search for a part time RV. I can’t wait for the next book.
Are you going to make the take risks serie to audio?
My hubby and I love watching your videos and are intrigued by the life. I have the book on kindle and love it! We are getting ready to take a trip and I was wanting to get the audio version to listen to on the way, but it seems it isn’t available in that format. We want to get an rv, though it will be more of a vacations and weekend home on wheels unless we get brave about traveling and schooling our young son! Lol. Our top picks are the Winnebago travato 59GL and Winnebago trend 23L. Have to see them in person to see what we would best fit into, though I think I can guess with kiddo and small dog. Lol sorry for the ramble, love watching you guys from Indiana!
An Audio book is something we would love to do but just don’t have the time right now. There is a LOT that goes into recording and publishing it and hopefully I can crank it out at some point.
Joe & Kait,
I just read your book cover to cover while camping this Memorial Day 2018. Even communicated this to my husband after a chapter while driving the north GA area. I love the selection journey you wrote about in story form. It really is that overwhelming at times to select the right rv for your needs. I should have listed all the different things you went through in the process. This can help others make the selection process a little easier.
Now I get to tune into your YouTube’s and blogs. Thanks, Diane
So happy to hear that you enjoyed it and that it has been helpful.
I know you’re busy but any idea how I buy your book through the affiliate link? As I live in the U.K and this this link takes me to the us Amazon site.
Thanks for making these videos they’re amazing only wish I was younger !
Here you go, enjoy! https://amzn.to/2qkZgc2
Just finished reading your book on my kindle and loved it! Very inspiring. We currently live full time in a Class A Fleetwood Fiesta since Dec 2016. Only minor issues so far. Not traveling too much yet though. We are in the beautiful PNW. Have watched a lot of your videos on You Tube as well and I can safely say I am addicted! So sorry for your loss of your fur baby Leo. ?. Best wishes out there.
Just finished your book. I am so excited. We are in process of making this change to our lives . A little different, but long term goal we will be able to travel this beautiful country full time. We follow you on YouTube as well and love to see new and exciting adventures you are both up to. Thank you so much for your sharing in the book and weekly.
You’re welcome and so happy you enjoyed it!
The book is wonderful and so relatable to us who went through the experience of planning and implementing the journey of full time Rving. Safe travels and when you’re back in Texas let Nancy and I know. We’ll take ya boot scootin.
Just finished your book last night. Two questions…when is your next one and when/why did you get a van rather than keep your motorhome?
Hey Deb – Working on book two now (should have been out already) and this post will provide a little insight into the van: https://weretherussos.com/camper-van-hymer-aktiv-class-b-rv/
To Joe and Kait ,
I have been looking at RV C class and I stumbled upon your video’s. I have subscribe to you guys and have been taken notes. I feel like I’m with you guys as you travel.
I am now looking at a van like what you have.
When I saw your video about leo i cried..
I am truly sorry about Leo
Do you think you will be getting another dog and would it be another husky.?
I was thinking of getting a dog to go with me on my travels.
There is a lot to take in with traveling and finance.
I’m taken my time to make sure I do this right.
Hi Kait & Joe!
I have been researching full-timing for several years & you were one of the first couples I followed on U-Tube. I just read your book in 2 days & am looking forward to your next one! I sold my townhouse last April in Charleston, SC, but the deal fell through over a title issue that I’m still trying to clear up. Luckily I work for a law firm & we’’ll have it cleared up soon & I can buy a motorhome. I have a couple more years to work so I can be debt-free, collect SS & have Medicare. Landscape photography is my hobby but can’t live on it so need to hang on to corporate America for 2 more years. My only comfort is that once I can sell my house hopefully this spring, I can buy my motorhome & take some trips. My 10 yr-0ld grandson can’t wait! Still trying to decide between a Class A or C. It’s just me & my cat, Shelby. Hopefully will see you out there one day. If you’re ever near Charleston, give me a shout out. Would love to meet you. Thanks so much for all your valuable information. Will friend you on FB. Thanks again!
Just finished reading your book TAKE RISKS. Joe I really enjoyed it and your path to hitting the road. I too have let go of most worldly possessions, changed career path, and ideals for a future of adventures and new experiences. Thanks for the inspiration. BTW your style of writing is so good I could hear your voice and Kaits through your words. Kudos!