If you’re lucky enough to own a campervan, or are planning on hiring one for a road trip, then you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared with all the essential accessories. After all, your van is your home away from home, and you’ll want to be comfortable and safe whilst you’re on the road.
We have been living and travelling full time in our campervan for a while now and feel like we have finally figured out what the must have accessories are that everyone should have to make van life a little easier.
This list is all about the small things that you might have missed or forgotten about, but that make all the difference when living and travelling in a van.
Our Essential Campervan Accessories
Here are some of the must-have campervan accessories that you should consider packing for your next trip:
- Collapsible Items – Space saving is the most important thing when you live or travel in a motorhome or campervan, so collapsible items really are a fantastic way of having everything you need but not taking up too much space. Some of the collapsible items that we have are –
– Breakfast Bowls
– Mixing Bowls
– Sink Drainer
- Projector & Screen – A projector screen can be a great way to watch the TV and movies in your van. TVs can be bulky and take up a lot of weight and also 12v ones can be expensive, so we went for a projector and screen, and we’re so glad we did. It’s one of our favourite things about our van. The screen fits perfectly at the end of our bed and it gives a much bigger picture than the small motorhome TV’s.
- Inflatable Kayak – If you want to explore some lakes or go fishing, an inflatable kayak is a great option and doesn’t take up too much space. We absolutely love ours, we can go exploring and take our dog Lottie with us too (she even has her very own life jacket!) as we have a two seater, check out some of our YouTube videos where we explore lakes and the sea.
- 12v Portable Air Con Unit – This is maybe one of the best purchases you will make on those hot sunny days! We love our air conditioning unit, it really is a lifesaver in the summer when the van can get very hot. We have made a full video on this with more detail which you can check out below.
- Motorhome Levels – Levelling blocks are essential for getting your van level when you are on uneven ground. There is nothing worse than being in the van when it’s uneven, it really throws you off balance, you can have issues with water levels and it can make it very uncomfortable to sleep in! We highly recommend getting some levelling blocks for your campervan or motorhome.
- Fire Extinguishers – It’s always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher in your van, just in case of emergencies. We have two types of fire protection, we have a fire blanket and a small fire extinguisher. This is because they are used to treat different types of fires so we would definitely recommend having both.
- Fairy Lights – Fairy lights are a great way to add some atmosphere to your van. Making our van feel like a home is really important to us and fairy lights helps us do this by giving the van a cosy feel.
- Space Saving Camping Chairs – Travelling in a van means space is everything and you need to save space where you can. These connecting chairs go together like tent poles but they are super strong and are so light and comfy, we take them everywhere!
- Stackable Cooking Pots & Pans – We had these at home before we left to travel in our motorhome but they are so good for cooking in a campervan. They all fit nice and neatly inside each other and have a detachable handle, again, another great way to save space as pots and pans can take up a lot of space.
- Power Inverter – A power inverter is a must if you want to use electrical appliances in your van. Having power for us as we work and live full time in our van is really super important so we need something that we can change all our devices on. An inverter turns your 12v into main 240v.
If you’d like to know more about motorhome inverters, you can check out our more detailed blog post here – Best Campervan & Motorhome Inverters For 2023
- Power Bank – A power bank is a great way to keep your phones and other devices charged whilst on the go. We have two different power banks, one small one for on the go which we use when we are hiking and out all day to charge phones, and then we have our big battery Ecoflow. Both are an absolute must have for us and they both get used on a daily basis.
If you’d like to know more about portable power stations, you can find out everything you need to know in our blog post here – 10 Best Camping Portable Power Stations In 2023
- Hiking Shoes – Hiking shoes are essential to explore the outdoors. If you are anything like us then you will love parking up below a mountain or by the beach and going on some amazing walks, but having the right footwear is highly essential. You want to be comfortable whilst walking and try to protect yourself from injury, take care of your feet and everything else will be ok. We also have Goretex boots, and if you are planning anything in bad weather then Goretex is a must to keep your feet dry.
- Outdoor Rug – An outdoor rug is a great way to add comfort and style when you’re chilling outside. We use ours all the time when sitting outside and on the beach, its very light and easily gets stored away inside the campervan.
- Portable Gas BBQ – A portable gas BBQ is a great way to cook whilst on the go. Carrying a coal BBQ can get a little messy when travelling in a van but we love cooking outside so decided to get a small portable gas BBQ and we love it! Especially when its hot, cooking in the van can make it feel so much hotter so being able to just sit outside and cook something is great. It’s also raised off the floor and doesn’t harm the grass or pitch.
- Windscreen Cover – Another must have that people sometimes forget about is a windscreen cover. This helps to keep the heat in when it’s snowing or keep the heat out when it’s boiling hot and they are great. We have used ours in Slovenia in the snow when the temperatures were at -10 to keep the warmth in and we have also used it when its 30° to keep the sun off of the front of the van.
- Food Blender – A food blender is a great way to make soups, sauces and smoothies whilst on the go. We have a Nutri Bullet and use it every day to make juices to try and be a little healthy and take care of ourselves whilst travelling.
- Backpacks – These really are essential and we believe having a decent one makes a huge difference. We do a lot of big walks and use our backpacks all the time, so having one that is made for hiking that has comfortable straps, holds the weight comfortably but also has a breathable back were essential points that we were looking for when we bought ours.
- Camper Sat Nav – If you have a slightly bigger motorhome or campervan then we would absolutely advise that if you are going to invest in one thing, it’s this. We can put our dimensions and weight into it and it will automatically calculate a route so it doesn’t take you down any small roads or low bridges. At first we were just using our phone maps but the sat nav is a million times better and saves getting stuck down tiny country roads!
If you’d like to know more about camper sat navs, you can find out lots more information in our mor detailed blog post – Why You Need A Motorhome Sat Nav And Our Best 3 Recommendations
- Toasty Maker – I do a lot of fishing so have always cooked outside and one of the best things that I transferred to the campervan is our Ridgemonkey toasty maker. It cooks amazing toasties but it can be used to cook so many other things also, it’s a great multi use piece of equipment for the kitchen.
- WIFI – A portable WIFI router is a great way to stay connected whilst on the go. We work from the motorhome so it’s really important we stay connected to the internet. We have a fixed antenna and router and we have had connection nearly everywhere we have been across Europe and the UK.
Wi-Fi in a motorhome is a pretty big subject, so if you would like more information, you can find out everything you need to know in our blog post – Getting Wi-Fi In Your Motorhome
- Stackable Storage Tubs – We have stackable storage tubs in our cupboards and they help to keep the cupboards tidy and organised. We have them for things like medicine, storing food and electrical items.
- Packing Cubes – Packing cubes are a great way to keep your clothes organised. Space saving is essential in a campervan or motorhome, and clothing can take up a lot of space. With packing cubes, you can keep everything tidy, organised and you can also fit more in.
- Spice Rack – A spice rack is a great way to store your spices for your meals if you enjoy cooking whilst you’re travelling. We chose the one below because it was easy to put up with sticky pads, meaning no need to drill any holes into the walls of the van.
- Safe – A safe is essential for keeping things such as your passports or laptops safe when you’re not in the van. Knowing that if anything did ever happen and someone did get access to your campervan, having a safe secured gives us the piece of mind that our most valuable items like passports and laptops are safe and secure.
- First Aid Kit – A first aid kit is an essential for any journey, you never know when you might need it in an emergency, also in some countries it is a legal requirement to carry a first aid kit.
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You can take a look at some of our other van life posts which include lots and lots of hints and tips on all things van life here – Van Life – Travel Information, Hints, Tips and Advice (threeasabird.com)
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I have always wanted to travel and luckily I always got to travel to some amazing countries while I was growing up with my family and this really encouraged me to continue this and get out into the world on my own when I was older.
My goal growing up was really to see as much of the world as I could, but then I started going to work and really concentrating on my career and travel took a back seat. I still tried to get away a few times a year but I always knew there was an end goal which was to travel as much as possible.
So I got my head down and worked as hard as I could as an e-commerce manager. I have always been techy, I love computers and websites, so that’s where it gave me the idea to start this blog and also have my own web design agency. If you want to check it out or need any help then please take a look rrwebdesign.co.uk (shameless plug there)
But after covid, we both knew this was now the right time to take the leap and go and see the world after being trapped inside our house and working from home for a couple of years. We realised more than ever that you only get one life and you really need to make the most of it and do what you love!