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As a fan of motorhome travel, a lover of great scenery and an enthusiastic driver, I have often dreamed about travelling around America in an RV. It’s still on my to-do list – partly because of the cost of flying and then renting an RV – but I’m hoping to make a start on it in the next few years.
I know I’m not alone in wanting to see America from behind the wheel of an RV, and where there is demand, you can be pretty sure there will be some guide books published. In this case, Wiley, the publisher of the well-known For Dummies series of how-to guides, recently sent me two books about American RV travel to review:
- RV Vacations For Dummies (5th edition, published 2011)
- Frommer’s Exploring America By RV (6th edition, published 2010)
Both books are by Shirley Slater and Harry Basch and both have a number of similarities. Before I get onto that, however, let me explain what each book contains:
- Information on campsites, RVs and how to use them both successfully
- Advice on choosing and buying an RV
- Suggested routes, campsites and attractions when touring popular areas of America
Each book is about 400 pages long. RV Vacations For Dummies takes a little more time and space to introduce readers to the whole subject of RVs and how to choose and use them. For example, it includes a guide to the different types of travel trailer and motorhome available on the American market.
Frommer’s Exploring America by RV, on the other hand, is a little more of a travel guide. The RV stuff takes up a little less space at the beginning of the book and the nine trip guides are a little more in depth than the 14 shorter trip guides included in the For Dummies guide.
If you are beginning to think the books are quite similar, you are right. As someone who is already familiar with motorhomes, I would certainly choose the Frommer’s guide. Reading it made me want to raid the piggy bank and book an RV rental holiday tomorrow. The Frommer’s guide also has one thing completely missing from the For Dummies guide – photos (albeit black and white).
A few photos go a long way and for me, this is one factor that gives the Frommer’s guide the edge. However, anyone who is not familiar with motorhomes and motorhome travel might do well to consider the For Dummies guide, which does spend a little more time introducing this topic.
Both these books seem informative and useful (and made me want to visit America). However, they are very similar and there is no point in buying both of them. I would choose Frommer’s Exploring America By RV – it has photos and I prefer the more in-depth coverage of each area.
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