For those long RV ride, try Audiobooks

 For those long RV ride, try Audiobooks

We had a great response to Jennifer's earlier tip about her top favorite books she thought RVers should read, with lots of people also weighing in with their own suggestions on our Facebook Group.

So here's my tip, only in a slightly different direction: Listen to audiobooks.

They make long drives much easier. Plus you can share the “read” wth your traveling companions.

We started off purchasing them. They are really expensive – $25 – $30 typically.

Then we learned that our local library had a huge library of audiobooks. Free. The only catch was most had to be returned after two weeks. And many of our RV trips are longer than that. But you can't beat free!

audiobooksThen we discovered the audiobook program offered at Cracker Barrel restaurants. You buy the book at full retail. But then, when you have finished, take it to any Cracker Barrel anywhere in the country, show them your receipt, and they'll refund the purchase except for a $3 rental fee. Very reasonable.

Lately, though, we've come up with an additional approach that gives us both a great selection of audiobooks and saves a lot of money over retail. We've joined Audible, which is a part of Amazon. I have an app on our iPhone and iPad and it's easy to browse the 180,000 titles on Audible. Best sellers. Classics. Biographies, Fiction. Non Fiction. The audiobooks download easily to your tablet or smartphone, no matter what carrier you use or whether it is an Apple, Android, Kindle or Windows device.

I play the audiobook through the entertainment system n our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL, using a USB connection from the radio to my iPhone. In our car, it plays through the vehicle's entertainment system by Bluetooth. Sometimes at night, I play it right off my Phone, at home or on the road. I also listen to audioobooks by my headphones when I work out and the gym.

As you can tell, I've gotten pretty hooked on them.

Audible has a great introductory offer. You can get a free audiobook download and 30 day free trial to to check out their service. It's, in essence, a free audiobook. After that, it's $14.95 a month, about half the price of buying one at retail. We have been using the service since early last year. You can cancel anytime, and the books are yours to keep.

These days, we always have an audiobook ready to accompany us as we drive. Sometimes, we listen to it at night, in the Roadtrek or even at home. It's kind of like someone reading us a bedtime story.

Whether you buy, rent or borrow, try an audiobook on your next drive.

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


  • Did anyone mention audio book Lord Grizzly by Frederick Manfred? This is based on the story of Hugh Glass. I’ll probably check this one out on our next trip out west.

  • Find the local used book exchanges wherever you roam…audiobooks for pennies on the dollar! 🙂

  • Just wanted to let you (and others) know that also offers a less expensive option called AudibleListenerLight. It allows you to accumulate monthly credits toward the purchase of an audible book. Cost is under $10 a year!

  • Free audiobooks are available at Librivox titles include authors whose works are in the public domain such as Poe, Twain and hundreds of others.

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