Skip to Content

10 Coffee Table Books for Your RV Picnic Table

| Updated Sep 9, 2022

These coffee table books are perfect for leaving on your campsite’s picnic table while you camp…

Campground picnic tables often become the hub of a camping trip. It’s where we eat, lounge, play games, and have fun.

Most RVers have picnic table caddies they set out, filled with napkins, plates, and silverware. But what about leaving out some entertainment, likes books and games?

It made me think that we should treat our picnic tables like our coffee tables at home. We could leave out a good book filled with interesting trivia, fun facts, or ideas for our next road trip. 

So, I went on the hunt for some coffee table books perfect for your next camping trip. Here’s what I found!

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Best Coffee Picnic Table Books 

I’ve actually created a whole Amazon shopping list for books, movies, and games for RVers. It’s definitely worth checking out in addition to this list. You’ll find lots of great entertainment for your next camping trip.

In this article, however, we’re going to focus on picnic table books that are fun to flip through whenever you’re waiting for your next meal. They'd be a great addition next to your other camping table accessories.

1. Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

This book is actually made to be read outside and used under the stars. This Backyard Guide to the Night Sky is published by National Geographic and teaches you about astronomy with an easy-going approach.

This book is a must-have item in the Stargazing for Campers Kit I created. It has beautiful photographs and neat infographics throughout, which make it a perfect coffee table book for RVers.

2. The Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook

I get a kick out of the Worst-Case Scenario series because they’re both informative and silly. There are 28 books in the series covering everything from surviving middle school to the Amazon. 

The book I’ve linked to focuses mostly on wilderness survival. In fact, it’s on my list of the 10 Best Wilderness Survival Books

If you’re RVing to Florida and want to know how to wrestle free from an alligator, this book is for you. Or, if you’re traveling to Alaska and want to know how to survive an avalanche. Or maybe you just want to know how to survive a snake attack.

Chances are, you’ll never use the advice provided in the book. But you can definitely use this book to entertain yourself and your fellow campers when gathered at the picnic table.

3. 50 States 5000 Ideas

I’ve pulled this book from our list of Best Travel Guides for RVers. It would make a perfect coffee table book to flip through to whatever states you’re thinking of traveling to next. Better yet, it can even inspire you to travel somewhere you haven’t considered before.

It outlines where to go, when to go, what to see, and what to do. Its suggestions include everything from dude ranches to out-of-the-way museums, beaches to national parks, dinosaur trails to the oldest street in NYC, and more.

4. Guide to National Parks of the United States

Another excellent travel guide created by National Geographic! With over 300 photos and 80 colorful maps, it’s a great way to explore the 59 U.S. national parks from wherever you’re parked.

Like the last suggestion, it will help you plan and inspire you for your next camping trip. I consider it a must-have for both new and veteran RVers alike.

This book reminds me of a video we did of our Top 10 National Parks of the West:

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

5. Page-A-Day Artisan Travel Journal

Instead of reading about other adventures, you can write about your own in this travel journal. If you make a habit of leaving it on your picnic table, you and your travel companions can easily jot down your daily adventures.

It’s designed for concise entries, which is ideal for those waiting for dinner to be finished or lunch to be served. It’s also a wonderful thing to settle down to in the evening.

On that same note…

6. Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids

Don’t forget about the kids! You can sit your kids down at the picnic table every night before dinner to complete an entry.

Simply leave the journal (or journals if you have multiple kids) on the picnic table with a cup of pens for the entirety of your trip. It’ll be easily accessible, and you’ll be surprised at how the kids will soon reach for it on their own.

7. Chicken Soup for the Travelers Soul

Do you remember the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series? They were wildly popular in the 90s and still are today with over 232 books in the series!

They make perfect picnic table books since they’re filled with short, inspiring stories. I’ve chosen to link to Chicken Soup for the Travelers Soul for obvious reasons. We RVers are sure to relate to the stories of adventure held within.

8. I Remember That!

This is a fun book for seniors that will bring back memories from our youth. The info and trivia focus on the Baby Boomer years from 1950-1980.

Bill O’Neil has authored many books on trivia and perfectly explained why he dedicated his time for writing a trivia book for seniors. In his opening comments, he writes:

“For many of you reading this, those were your “glory years” when you were attending sock hops, getting groovy, or becoming a wolf on Wall Street. Yes, for many of the Baby Boomer generation, these were the greatest years for many different reasons. You probably remember how scared you felt during the Cuban Missile Crisis, or how you were baffled when you first heard about the Internet. Were you an expert with the hula hoop? What was your favorite sitcom of the 1970s? Did you wait in a long line to see the first installment of the Star Wars franchise in 1977?…Whether you were a kid growing up in the 50s, a college student in the 60s and 70s or trying to take over the financial world in the 80s, there’s something in this book for you.”

I think that says it all!

9. Letters from Camp Mad Libs

Any Mad Libs is a perfect addition to your picnic table, but I particularly like this Letters from Camp edition. Why? Because it’s designed as letters that you can mail to family and friends back home!

I know these are made for children, but I think it’d be a lot of fun for all ages to join in on the fun. Especially grandparents, who can send these letters home to their grandkids whenever they’re traveling.

What a fun alternative to postcards!

10. True Facts That Sound Like Bull$#*t

I’m not a fan of the title of this book, but it is filled with insane-but-true fun facts that are highly entertaining. As the title does suggest, it is written in a comedic tone that’ll get anyone laughing.

As every good picnic table book should, it’ll serve as a great conversation starter for young and old and old and new friends. It can even serve as an excellent icebreaker for making new friends while camping.

Topics cover science, American sports, history, pop culture, and nature. In other words, there’s something for everyone!

Explore Florida's Atlantic Coast with our RV Adventure Guide

10 Coffee Table Books for Your RV Picnic Table 1

From “The Historic Coast” of St. Augustine to “The Space Coast” in Cape Canaveral and “The Treasure Coast” of Port St. Lucie – the Atlantic Coast of Florida has something to offer for everyone.

We cover a variety of areas in this guide, from sugar-sand beaches along the coast, inland to Florida’s magnificent first-magnitude springs, to the largest lake in the state and the subtropical wilderness of the Everglades.

Florida’s Atlantic Coast does not disappoint… we hope you’ll take the time to see for yourselves!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-09-09

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

4 Responses to “10 Coffee Table Books for Your RV Picnic Table”

September 09, 2022at11:13 am, Amy Nichols said:

Great picnic table book lineup! Thanks for these interesting suggestions, Mike and Jen. I would make one addition, which has been a great convo starter for us this season, after traveling The Mother Road: EZ 66 by Jerry McClanahan and Jim Ross.


September 10, 2022at1:41 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for adding to the list, Amy! Will have to check it out — Team RV Lifestyle


September 09, 2022at8:35 am, Nancy Einheuser said:

COMMENT Mike, I love the books you’ve suggested for the camping picnic table! These sound great for that, as well as, a nice bundle idea with a game to gift newbies, or fill family stockings. Thank you for your ideas & inspiration, once again.


September 09, 2022at9:52 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thank you for this kind feedback, Nancy! Team RV Lifestyle


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top