13 Tips To Get The Most From Your Campervan Trip

See our simple guide to help you get the most out of your campervan trip

If you're anything like me, you're already excited about that next big camping adventure. I love every moment I get to take my campervan out and enjoy the freedom of the road. After all, that is the reason I invested in a campervan, to begin with. If you're new to the exciting world of campervan trips, then you might feel a little overwhelmed. There are a lot of plans to make and factors to consider before you hit the road for the first time. We've prepared some simple tips you can use to get the most out of your next campervan trip.

But first …

Campervanning and its Benefits

Chances are, you're already familiar with the timeless concept of camping. Maybe you've already ventured into the wilderness yourself or maybe you've been carefully preparing for your first big adventure. Campervanning puts an innovative spin on this classic event. It provides a few additional luxuries, such as extra storage and optional electricity, but it doesn't necessarily take away from the natural experience.

Campervanning allows you to ensure that you always have everything you need to survive the night and you're never forced to sleep outside in bad weather. Other major advantages include the ability to easily transport a stove, water storage, and refrigerator. You can bring all of the standard camping accessories and a few extras without carrying out a heavy backpack.

Now that you've been introduced to the basics of campervanning and its major benefits, it's time to read through these tips and prepare for your big trip.

Tip 1: Be Certain You Can Drive the Campervan

This may come as a surprise, but it's going to be very difficult to enjoy campervanning if you can't actually drive the campervan. Some campervans are larger than others and they can be very difficult to operate. This is especially true if you're only used to driving smaller cars. Be sure to get behind the wheel and test your campervan before committing to the purchase. You don't want to get to the west coast and fine yourself unable to drive on narrow roads. And don't forget to consider whether an automatic or manual transmission is best for your needs.

narrow road campervan

Tip 2: Home is Where the Heart Is

When you're on the road, the campervan is your home. Don't think of it as taking a trip in the family car. A campervan is a home away from home. You can bring some of your favorite amenities from home even if you don't plan on taking them outside when camping. There's nothing wrong with bringing a television, some pajamas, and a packed suitcase. So much can happen on a campervan trip and it's always good to have a few small comforts with you.

Tip 3: But Stick Mostly To Essentials

This may sound counterintuitive after reading the last post, but it's still best to stick with mostly-essential items. A few extra amenities are fine, but a campervan does have limited space and you don't want to feel crowded during the entire trip. Here are a handful of the essential items you should always bring along with you.

- Toiletries: You can't forget essential toiletries like deodorant, toothbrush, soap, and toilet paper. Personally, I like to bring a pack of baby wipes with me on every trip.

- Clothing: Clothing is obviously important if you want to stay warm and comfortable on your trip. With a campervan, you can easily bring a few extra pairs of clothes without taking on extra weight. Now you're free to jump into the lake or slip into the mud without ruining your only outfit. Always take the time to check the weather ahead of time in the area you are campervanning so that you can bring some comfortable outfits.

- Food Items: It's always a good idea to bring some food even if you plan on fishing and cooking over an open fire. One of the best parts of campervanning is getting to enjoy a home-cooked steak while you're relaxing next to a running river. Bring food items that you can easily cook over an open fire or whatever stove your campervan has available. Some people like to bring additional cooking appliances like slow cookers or toaster ovens, but I prefer the simple things when campervanning.

- Extra Essentials: There are a handful of extra items you'll always want to bring for both convenience and safety. A few examples include flashlights, sunscreen, batteries, and an extra charger.

Tip 4: Embrace the Flexibility of the Campervan

Campervanning provides additional flexibility and freedoms that traditional camping methods can't provide. What if you don't like the camping spot you chose? You can simply load up the campervan and drive to a new spot without spending hours hiking through the nighttime forest. You're free to stay in a spot as long as you like and then move to a new spot when you choose. You can spend the evening relaxing inside the campervan or sit outside near a quiet fire. There are endless possibilities when a campervan is involved. Go wherever you want on your Ireland road trip like Killarney National Park or the Wild Atlantic Way. Go to county Kerry and see Ireland's highest mountain.

See our guide here on how to plan your next campervan trip.

Tip 5: Don't Be Afraid to Explore

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Your campervan offers you the chance to explore the furthest reaches of your city, county, state, and country. Don't be afraid to push your trip to its limits and explore further than you've been before. You'll never know what could be around the next corner or over the next hill until you drive there. Go see Ireland's ancient east, hear some Irish history and enjoy some traditional Irish music. Just remember to keep your schedule and budget in mind for your new adventures.

Bring a bicycle with you to make your campervan exploring a little bit easier.

Tip 6: Be Careful When Choosing a Spot for the Night

Traveling is fun, but sooner or later you'll want to settle down for the evening. Hopefully, you were able to research an excellent spot ahead of time and the weather works in your favor. When exploring new areas, you may feel the urge to set up camp wherever you're at that moment, but it may not be the best idea. If you're planning to stay for the night you need to investigate the area carefully before committing.

Is there a place to park the campervan? Is there a nearby water source? Are there potential predators in the area? These are all questions you need to ask before choosing your spot for the night. It could just be easier to go a caravan park for the evening.

Tip 7: Don't Be Afraid to Say "Hello"

Campervanning may feel a little lonely at first if your friends or family aren't coming along. But the good news is that there are thousands of other people out there enjoying the campervan life. Chances are, you'll run into one or two of them during the course of your adventures. Don't be afraid to say, "hello" and meet your other campervan enthusiasts. Over time, you'll realize that the campervanning community is a lot like a family.

Talking with other campervanning enthusiasts is also a great way to learn valuable tips and life lessons. You can learn about new spots in your local area or far-away destinations calling your name, whether your meet them in a camping park, hiking trails or on some other scenic route.

Tip 8: A Little Planning Goes a Long Way

Getting the most out of your campervan trips requires a careful balance of spontaneity and careful planning. You want to be spontaneous and enjoy a new adventure, but you also don't want to get yourself in trouble. You'll be dealing with travel, nature, and staying overnight in isolated areas. You always want to be prepared for certain scenarios and fully understand what you're getting into. Look for well serviced places like the Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland's west coast, Killarney National Park, Northern Ireland and more on your Ireland road trip itinerary.

campervan route planning

Tip 9: Bring a Friend

If you want to avoid that lonely feeling from the very beginning, then you should consider bringing along an adventurous friend for your road trip. This can be a kid, a spouse, a family member, or just a normal friend. Just remember that you'll be sharing some pretty tight spaces during the trip so it has to be someone you can stand being around inside on a stormy day wild camping.

Having someone travel with you isn't only more fun, it can also be safer. Safety should always be a top priority when you're on a campervan trip. Having another set of eyes, hands, and feet can help you avoid some potentially dangerous situations.

Tip 10: Refill the Water Before You Leave

I'm ashamed to admit that I once left on a weekend campervan trip and completely forget to refill my water tank. This is not a surprise you want to encounter when you're on the toilet near a dark forest. A campervan with running water requires a refillable water source. Always take the time to completely refill the tank before you leave on your trip. You may not use all of it on your journey but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Tip 11: Do a Pre-Trip Gear Inspection

The water tank isn't the only piece of equipment you should check before you embark. A campervan is a complex machine with a lot of electrical and mechanical components. You don't want those components to break down while you're in the wilderness. The same goes for any gear you are bringing on the trip, such as flashlights, cameras, lighters, and gas stoves. Take the time to assess all of your appliances, gear, and internal systems before you leave the driveway.

Tip 12: Experiment With New Ideas

If you've been campervanning a few times already, then you might have settled into a specific routine. You may have a certain place you like to visit and you do the same things each time you go. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a routine but you shouldn't be afraid to try new things and look for new views.

If you're feeling really adventurous, you can plan an off-grid camping trip into wild territory. Just make sure you have permission to camp on the property before you venture too far off the grid. Many adventurous campers like to attach solar panels to their campervans so that they can avoid campgrounds entirely. With their rechargeable power source, they are free to explore as much or as little as they please.

Tip 13: The Perfect Trip Starts With the Perfect Campervan

All of the tips in this guide will work so much better if you're in the perfect campervan. That's not to say there is one specific campervan that is better than all of the rest. It means finding a campervan that is perfect for your needs and your dream vacation.

There is a ton of variety when it comes to campervans on the market today. Some are fully electric with running water, refrigerators, toilets, and an oven. Some are more simplistic with only a gas stove and a small water tank. You can find campervans with solar panels already built into the roof and campervans with wood burners to stay warm during the coldest months. Consider what you want to do and where you want to go with your campervan before making a purchase.

Finally, don't forget to investigate all of the different optional accessories when purchasing a campervan. Two campervans can be the same model yet be entirely different on the inside due to the selected features. Look for features that complement your needs and intended activities.

If you are thinking of a campervan hire, then why not go with us here at Rambling Rover?