Essential Campervan Accessories

Make your next campervan trip even better with these accessories

Have you ever dreamed about travelling and living out of a van? Maybe you are already living your dream. Campervan living has exploded in popularity over the recent years. Recreational vehicles sell on an average of 4,000 a year, and the market shows no sign of slowing down.

There is also an increasing number of travel bloggers praising the campervan lifestyle. They showcase their conversion projects, provide advice on campervan travelling, and talk about the changing attitudes and growing enthusiasm toward this way of life.

For the past 10 years, UK sales of recreational vehicles increased by 83 percent. Resale has only grown about 10% over the same period of time. This goes to show that people are keeping their purchases.

This is not a fad because statistics show that the market is stable. People like travelling across the UK and beyond in some type of recreational vehicle including motorhomes, campervans, or caravans.

If you own a campervan, then you probably appreciate the simplicity of it all. Whenever you feel like going off somewhere at the last minute, you just pack a few essential things and drive off. There is no need pack a lot of things.

With that said, however, there are things that are essential to campervan living that you should always have before you go. These camping accessories make your campervan lifestyle more comfortable, no matter where you go for your adventures. Here is a list of these essential items.

Portable Solar Panels

Solar panels are a must-have. Ideally, these panels should be a permanent addition built into your vehicle. Solar energy will allow you to go off-grid without any problems. Many seasoned campervan travellers can vouch on the convenience of it. There is a guide available to you that will help you learn more about how to set up your own solar-based, off-grid electrical system.

campervan solar panel

If your vehicle is not designed to have permanent solar panels built in, then you can opt for a portable system. This is the next best option. When shopping for this, find a set that is not too heavy, that is simple to set up when you need it, and that will store away nicely when you don't need it. You want a system that is simple, yet robust.

Portable Outdoor Shower

As you are enjoying the great outdoors with your van, you will also want a convenient way to wash up. Unfortunately, campervans are often too small to accommodate a shower, unlike the larger motorhomes. The limited space in the van is devoted to kitchen functions and storage. So there is often no room for a shower.

You might come across larger campervans or van conversions and customised with a shower. This is definitely a luxury item and is not that common.

Some camping sites provide access to their shower facilities as part of the site fee, or they may charge an extra fee for showers that you can operate by coins. However, not all camping sites will have this amenity. If you are staying on any free camping areas in Europe, do not count on seeing any shower facilities.

Your option is to get a portable shower. This does not take up a lot of space, and it will allow you to take a shower when no other facilities are available. You just need to be able to hang or attach the portable shower to a high place so gravity can allow the water to flow through the shower system.

This will let you to take a cold shower. However, what if you cannot tolerate taking cold showers in the morning? If that is the case, then you can get a system that uses solar power or 12V that can warm up the water. This will allow you to take a comfortable shower when you travel in the cold winter months.

Portable showers are also wonderful if you intend to spend time on the beach frequently. After a fun day on the beach, just rinse off under your portable shower.

You can find portable showers in many stores that sell outdoor and camping gear. You can also find sellers online for these.

Thermal Insulation Blinds

These blinds are designed to block out light coming from your van at night. Sometimes you might want to read, watch a video on your TV or device, cook, or do something else, and you wish to have some privacy. These blinds are placed on your windows and windshield and prevent prying eyes from the outside from seeing your activities inside.

In addition, they help keep the temperature in your van constant. Therefore, even when you do not need them for privacy, they are great for times when the weather is not very good. The blinds are available in many sizes, so make sure that you get the appropriate size for your van.

Caravan Awnings

Some people might consider a campervan awning a luxury item and non-essential. However, when the sun is high or the weather is rainy, the awning allows you to be outside and still be protected from the weather elements. It can extend your living space.

Think about the additional enjoyment it will bring. You can use it during the day as well as in the evening. You can sit outside and enjoy the fresh evening air with a refreshing beverage in your hand and your favourite songs playing in the background. A awning can certainly improve the quality of your motorhome life.

Portable Lighting

This is important especially if you plan to camp at free sites or places where there is no electrical power because you will not have any lighting outside. Even though you have lighting inside your vehicle, you would still need lighting outside if you want to spend any time outdoors in the evening.

portable lighting campervan

A good option is lighting that use batteries. They are easier to operate than lamps that use gas or fuel. Portable LED lights are available in a full range of styles and reasonable prices. They use standard batteries or rechargeable batteries, depending on your preference.

A headlamp or torch is also useful when you want to go beyond your campsite at night or fix something after the sun has gone down.

Portable lighting takes up little space and you can find different styles in any outdoor gear store or even large supermarkets.

A Picnic Set or Fold-out Furniture

A campervan has the least space among recreational vehicles. It is a wonderful vehicle for travelling, but it is not a great space if you want to stretch out and enjoy a meal.

This is where investing in a nice set of fold-out furniture is a smart idea. When you travel during the summer months, the days are long and the weather is beautiful. It is the perfect environment to enjoy your meals outdoors.

Fold-out furniture is designed to be compact, so they take up little space when stored away. The set usually has enough seats for yourself and a couple of impromptu camping guests, if so desired.

Portable Barbecue

Along with the camping furniture, a portable barbecue will really raise the bar on your outdoor dining experience.

A lot of campervans don't have any cooktops or a very small cooking area. So, if you want to cook more than just beans and instant noodles, getting a portable barbecue is sure to expand your meal options in a very affordable way.

Many campsites have areas where campers can share the the cooking facilities. However, nothing compares to having your own portable barbecue that you can use whenever you please. The convenience is worth the investment. You can get a model that uses coals or gas, both practical options for campers. Before you use it, just remember to check the rules of the campsite to make sure it is okay.

You can find portable barbecues from a store that sells hardware, home goods, or even in a supermarket during the summer season.

Wireless Speakers

Music is an essential part of your road trip. Campervans are equipped with a stereo system, and you can play music while you are driving. However, you need a way to enjoy your music when you are not driving, like when you are settling on your campsite.

One of the best solutions for this is wireless speakers. You can use these without powering up your vehicle and draining your batteries. You can have your music on while you are relaxing, preparing and enjoying your meal, or just hanging out outside.

Levelling Ramps

If the ground is not levelled, you will have to sleep on an incline. Not only is that uncomfortable, but the incline can affect drainage, and your campervan hire Ireland appliances might not function the way you expect.

The most effective way to address this is to use levelling ramps. Keep these in your van at all times so they are available when you need them.

Club campsites usually have fairly levelled ground, so you you would only need small ramps. However, for camping areas that are not as well-maintained, the ground might be quite even. If you plan to stay in areas like this, investing in a big set of ramps would be a good idea.

In choosing the right set, you will need to look at the size, weight, and type of van you have. This information will help determine which ramps are the most appropriate and not likely to crack under the weight.

The hardness of the ground will also determine if the ramps are suitable. There is a difference between setting up camp on grass versus setting up on concrete. So, do some research before you buy your ramps.

A Hammock

If you like to lie back and relax, read, or nap under the sun, there is no better place to do it than in a hammock. If you like the idea of rocking side to side and feeling the breeze blow across you, a hammock is the place to be, and it is an essential investment.

campervan hammock

A hammock is great because you can easily set one up practically anywhere where you have two trees or poles. It can be in the woods, on the beach, or any place where you enjoy the scenery. When you are not using it, the hammock can be packed neatly away. It is compact and does not take up much room to store.

A hammock is the ultimate symbol of relaxation. If your campervan has the space, you can even set it up inside your van.

Pocket WiFi or WiFi Booster

You have taken lots of great photos and video recordings of your travels, and you want to share them online with your friends and family. Or, you need to make reservations at your destination, plan your route, etc. For these things, you will need a strong and reliable wifi signal.

Many camp grounds provide WIFI, but the strength of the signal is often not consistent. Your connection can drop unexpectedly.

A WIFI booster can amplify the signal and extend WIFI coverage between the router and the pockets of dead zone.

For places that do not even have WIFI, a pocket WIFI would be your answer. This is a small wireless modem that allows you to connect to the Internet through the cellular network of a mobile device that has WIFI enabled.

Even though it is great to take a break and go offline when you are on the road, having this option to get connected is good insurance.

Thermal Blinds

Campervans usually come with some level of insulation. However, it is usually not enough to maintain a consistent climate inside the van. It can get very hot during the summer and freezing during winter.

To address this problem, thermal blinds can regulate the internal temperature and make the environment more comfortable.

Thermal blinds are typically attached to the driver's side, the passenger windows, and the windscreen with suction cups. They can make a big difference in interior environment of the van.

During the summer, multiple layers can reflect the sun and keep the inside of the van cool. During winter, a lot of heat is lost through the windows, but the blinds can reduce this loss significantly. Thermal blinds can also reduce internal condensation and keep the interior dry and free of mould.

Campervan Satellite Navigation (Sat Nav)

Also known as a GPS, this is one of the essential campervan accessories.

Even though you might be content with using a printed map, having a sat nav might be handy in finding the best route from point A to point B. This is particularly helpful when you are driving through an unfamiliar area.

Your smartphone may have an app with a map, but a separate GPS device would allow you to save your phone battery.

Maybe you find it exciting to lose your way because that might lead you to find some interesting places that you do not expect.

However, when your goal is to get to your destination in the shortest time possible, the GPS can tell you the best route to take.

Kitchen Essentials

No one needs to tell you that if you want more that just cold cereal to eat, you will need to get a few basic kitchen tools. There are many options at reasonable prices for your camping accessories.

These essentials include a toaster, kettle, and a set of basic pots and pans that will allow you to cook simple but delicious meals. These are great complements to your portable barbecue.

Reversing Camera For the Campervan

Even a skillful driver will tell you that reversing a van is a hard thing to do. To help you do that, a reversing camera is an essential van accessory that will make your drive easier. Without it, you won't be able to see what is behind you when you need to reverse your van. Most shops will carry a full range of these.

Installing this camera does require some skill and technical knowledge. If you don't have those skills, you should have it installed by a motor electrician.

A Safe

You probably have some valuables with you on your road trip, like your wallet, electronic devices, keys, and other small but expensive or important items. Owners of motorhomes often worry that if they leave the van, someone might break into the vehicle and steal their valuables. So, investing in a campervan safe would allay those worries and is a great addition to your camping accessories. Get a solid, high-quality safe and lock away your valuables if you have to leave your van unattended. It will give you peace of mind when you go off to explore the area without the van.