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The Rich's RV in Algarve, Portugal - photos by David Rich
The Rich's RV in Algarve, Portugal - photos by David Rich

Tips on How to RV All Over the World

How to purchase, sell and rent RVs most anywhere in the world, or ship them between continents

By Stephen Hartshorne

RV the World is a new book by David Rich, a hopeless travel addict and GoNOMAD's most intrepid writer, who has braved blizzards, monsoons, desert heat and State Department travel advisories to visit the world's most out-of-the-way places from the Karakoram Mountains in Pakistan to the wilds of Borneo to the Harley-Davidson Rally Week in Sturgis, South Dakota.

He was hooked from age very young by a photo of Vesuvius erupting, burying rich Romans in Pompeii and Herculaneum. This monkey on his back led to a compulsively early retirement and an attempt to sail his trusty vessel Grendel around the world with his wife Mary.

La Problema del Dia

As he says on page 16, the years sailing proved a non-starter: "It quickly became abundantly clear that Dave and Mary sailing around the world was not exactly as it appeared when Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner sailed into the sunset, living his dream, in Romancing the Stone," Rich says.

"No, life on Grendel was more about la problema del dia, the problem of the day, especially for someone who’d flunked grade school shop and was the least mechanically minded in the history of the Montezuma County public school system in Cortez, Colorado."

"To sail around the world, you not only need to know how to sail but also how to fix stuff, all the stuff, including mechanical, electrical, and the amount of baksheesh needed to coax replacement parts through foreign customs."

Recovering From the Law

David retired in his forties to become a full-time international traveler, an occupation he finds preferable to his former professions of law professor and trial lawyer, from which he says he’s now mostly recovered.

A curious fjord pony holds things up in Norway.
A curious fjord pony holds things up in Norway.

He has pursued freelance travel writing and exotic travel for sixteen years, living so far in more than 140 countries. However, with 191 countries in the United Nations (and 202 at the Olympics) he’s barely halfway through the list. He says he has "sold everything" and is "classically homeless."

The upshot, after the blind alley of a year starting to sail around the world, were RVs purchased in Europe (three years RVing Europe, North Africa and the Middle East), Australia (13 months), New Zealand (six months) and South America (two years) plus various sorties through most of Africa and Asia.

Petra to Pernululu

The process ate up 16 years of full-time travel while living in 147 countries. Accompany the author as he checks out overnight places available only to tents or RVs, on page 88 of RV the World:

*The Heights of the Horns of Hittite where the Crusaders met their final demise above Lake Kinneret, aka The Sea of Galilee, Israel, visited by military helicopters,

*Mt. Cook out the 270 degree back windows on South Island, New Zealand,

*Surrounded by kangaroos on a remote beach in New South Wales, Australia,

The Rich's RV at the Atomium in Brussels, built for the 1958 World Fair
The Rich RV at the Atomium in Brussels, built for the 1958 World Fair

*Overlooking the phenomenal ruins of Ancient Petra, and definitely serene in remote Wadi Rum where Larry of Arabia hung out, both in Jordan,

*Watching a full eclipse of the moon atop an RV in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia,

*Many overnights in the wind-hewn canyons of the NegevDesert, Israel,

*Over-nighting next to a FrenchCanal or an ancient French Monastery in a primeval forest,

*On HobartBay and beneath CradleMountain in Tasmania, Australia,

*In the orange and black striped mountains of the Bungle Bungles, Purnululu National Park, and at the confluence of sandstone slot canyons in Karajini National Park, both in Western Australia,

*On the waterfront in Ushuaia, Argentina, southernmost city in the world, watching ships leave for Antarctica, and in Tierra Del Fuego National Park, outside Ushuaia, at the foot of the last of the Andes, on the Beagle Channel,

*Near the top of Vesuvius, overlooking the Bay and lights of Naples, when it fortunately wasn’t erupting,

*Milford Sound in peace and quiet after the tour buses had gone home for the night, South Island, New Zealand,

A friend's postcard sketch of the Rich's RV
A friend's sketch of the Rich's RV

*On the canals of Brugge in Belgium, and Venice in Italy, but unfortunately not by RV for the canals of Suzhou, China,

*Surrounded by reindeer on lakes in Finland,

*On the waterfront in Stockholm, Sweden,

*On Lake Titicaca in Copacabana, Bolivia, and next to hot springs at Mt. Sajam, Bolivia at about 15,000 feet,

*Oh, yes, and hustling to find cash to pay a garage bill in rural Serbia, hitchhiking to Sofia, Bulgaria, and back.

See the World in Depth

Anyone can enjoy such fun while seeing the entire world, all six drivable continents, at least those who buy the only book on the planet that describes how to purchase, sell and rent RVs most anywhere in the world, or ship them between continents, and precisely how much it costs.

See the world in real depth, closer up and more intimately than by any other available means, the truly best way to check out the top 1000 places before you die. The book vividly describes how to get to those 1000 places and more, seeing them closer up than other modes of travel.

One of David Rich's incomparable photos, this one from Bodrum, Turkey
One of David Rich's incomparable photos, this one from Bodrum, Turkey

Compare the superficial cattle runs of tours and cruises, extremely restricted package deals and the achy-breaky backpacking reserved for the very young. RVing without a schedule avoids the hassle of other modes of travel, abruptly dropping the stress level to minus zero.

RV the World illustrates the simplicity of international RVing, taking the reader along on the author’s three year RV expedition through all of Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa and the Middle East, describing the ins and outs of RVing all of South America, Australia and New Zealand plus private vehicular travel through most of Africa and Asia.

The book is richly illustrated with David Rich's extraordinary photographs, which have been delighting GoNOMAD readers for many years.


RVing is the only perfectly lazy means of seeing the entire world, taking the house with you, sleeping in your own bed and eating gourmet foods instead of dealing with hit or miss hotels and restaurants.

RV the World describes how to obtain RV insurance abroad, equip and select a proper RV, sell it once the continent has been explored and move onto the next continent while avoiding sterile campgrounds.

Overnight by exotic rivers, lakes, mountains and archeological sites, easily deal with language difficulties and obtain top notch yet inexpensive healthcare abroad.

The peace and quiet of RV travel abroad allows anyone to escape feckless boring tours, pusillanimous package deals, insipid and fattening cruises and back-breaking backpacking. And, anyone can do it! See how in RV the World.

Order RV the World from Amazon.


Stephen Hartshorne

Stephen Hartshorne
is the associate editor of He writes a blog called ArmchairTravel about books he finds at flea markets and rummage sales.



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