If you own a campervan or motorhome, you know there’s always something new to discover. The market for campervan and motorhome-related products is constantly expanding from campervan essentials to gadgets and fun accessories. In this blog post, we’ve collected over 25 must-have campervan and motorhome essentials on the market today. Even if you don’t consider these essentials, we guarantee all of them will make your next campervan or motorhome road trip more enjoyable!
So without further ado, let’s get started on our pick of the best campervan and motorhome essentials.
Practical Vehicle Essentials (9)
Motorhome or Truck Sat Nav
A reliable Sat Nav is a must-have gadget for any campervan or motorhome owner. Apart from the obvious benefit of finding locations easier, the not-so-obvious use involves vehicle weights and dimensions. Specific campervan or motorhome navigation systems allow you to enter your vehicle dimensions and weight, ensuring to create navigation routes on roads that are suitable for your vehicle.
A reversing camera is ideal for any campervan or motorhome, especially if it is a large vehicle. It will help you avoid any blind spots when reversing and avoid backing into a post or even a person! Some reversing cameras can also double up as a good rear view mirror, providing peace of mind while driving.
If you are new to campervan or motorhome travel, then your going to find out very quickly that not all ground is level! Most motorhomes are naturally lower on the front, but the problems are made worse by unlevel pitches at campsites. Owning a good set of levelling ramps is one of the first practical purchases you can make. You will need these a lot more than you may have hoped.
You will, at some point, need to drive onto the grass and park or pitch up on a grass pitch. Hardstanding pitches might not always be available, and this is where mud mats will save you the embarrassment of needing to be towed out when you sink because you will, rain or shine. For the price, it’s not worth the aggro.
Electrical Hook-Up Cable
Depending on your electrical setup in your campervan or motorhome, this might be essential or not at all. For the price point, however, it’s a no-brainer. You’ll need a hook-up cable if you want a 240v electric supply from campsites. It will supply you with electricity to power things like a fridge, gadgets and a hair-dryer and charge up your leisure and vehicle batteries.
Most factory-built campervans and motorhomes will have onboard fresh water tanks; to keep them topped up, you need a hose. Using a hose is the fastest and most efficient way to top up your water tanks, especially if they are over 100 litres. We recommend either a collapsable hose or one that rolls up tightly, and if you intend to drink the water from your water tanks, a food-grade hose will be the best option.
Watering Can or Container
We’ve been caught out with not having one of these before and had to do a last-minute dash to Argos for a 10l watering can. Why, you might ask? We ended up on a campsite where our hose could not reach their freshwater tap, and therefore we had no choice but to fill up with a watering can. We’ve since found we’ve had to use a lot; having a long enough hose might never be enough to overcome the distance you might be from a water tap.
Waste Carrier or Bucket
Whether you have an underslung waste water tank on your campervan or motorhome or not, you might find a waste water bucket to be an absolute necessity. Every campsite you visit will require you to dispose of your wastewater at a designated location. If you don’t have a waste water tank or yours becomes full on a more extended trip, this will save you a lot of hassle in moving the vehicle.
Spare Fuses and Bulbs
It would be silly not to carry spare bulbs for the negligible size and weight. Not only is it a legal requirement to have working lights, but I know we would not be able to cope driving at night if our headlight bulbs were to pop. Buy some now before you forget, and familiarise yourself with how to change them.
Chemicals & Cleaning (4)
Water Purifying Tablets
Whilst you might not consider these campervan essentials, we think water purifying tablets are a must-have for anyone wanting to drink water from their onboard fresh water tank. You won’t realise how grimy water tanks get when left unused so just for your health, make sure you have some; they’re pretty cheap.
Probably the worst job in campervans and motorhomes is emptying the toilet waste, but what can be more unpleasant is smelling toilet waste every time you need to go to the toilet. Using toilet chemicals will make things smell a little nicer and do a good job breaking down toilet matter and paper, making it easier to empty.
Disposable Gloves & Disinfectant
Whether you think these are motorhome essentials or not, it’s something we take for granted living in a house but overlook when out in your campervan or motorhome. Take protective gloves and disinfectant for those unpleasant dirty jobs like emptying the toilet.
Hand-held Vaccum or Dust Pan & Brush
Travelling or living in tiny spaces means mess can quickly become a problem, especially if you have kids or pets. Whilst this might not be high on your campervan essentials kit, a hand-held vacuum, dustpan, and brush will make for a more pleasurable campervan and motorhome living experience.
Outdoor Equipment (4)
You can’t go camping without a good set of camping chairs! This is like the first campervan and motorhome essentials you buy, right? 😀. Whether sitting around the campfire or just relaxing outside your campervan or motorhome in the sun, a comfortable chair for outdoor living is a must. Getting some portable, lightweight chairs is advisable if you’re tight on space and are conscious about weight.
Travelling in a campervan or motorhome is all about outdoor living, and a camping table is a great way to have a place to eat, play games, or just put that glass of wine on while outdoors. Don’t buy multiple tables for different uses; consider saving space and find one fold-out table that can do it all or consider a portable lightweight one if you are looking to save space and weight.
Awning or Shelter
Awnings and shelters will not only provide you with that much-needed shade and respite from the sun, but they will also keep off the rain. Roll-out permanently fixed awnings are popular on campervans and motorhomes but you could also consider an air awning. Whatever the weather, you might find yourself outdoors more than you think.
A windbreak, for most, might not be considered a campervan essential; however, not only will they make for a more pleasurable outdoors experience when it’s windy, but they can also provide the much-needed privacy on a campsite. Air windbreaks are excellent for making assembly quick and easy, but traditional pole-based awnings pack up smaller and are usually much cheaper.
Kitchen Essentials (7)
Kettle – Whistle or Electric
If you take a 240v kettle typically used in a house, you might find you’ll start tripping campsite electrics. We know with first-hand experience that purchasing a low-voltage camping kettle is wise, or using a good old traditional whistle kettle on your gas hob might be even more versatile if you don’t plan on being on electric hook-up much.
Plastic Cups and Glasses
Why plastic? You’ll soon find things can move around quite a bit when driving a campervan or motorhome on the roads today. Potholes make for a rather unpleasant experience in a motorhome, and having plastic cups and glasses will make for a quieter driving experience and save a lot of broken glass.
Cooking in a campervan or motorhome can be, well, let’s say, pretty challenging. Kitchens in motorhomes are very tight on space, so you have to devise genius ways to cook meals without requiring lots of pots and pans. The ridge monkey (other brands available) is one of the most popular and versatile ways of cooking in a van, and we think it should be part of anyone’s campervan essentials kit. For reference they are basically toasted sandwich makers but you can use them for cooking all sorts, like meats and even chips!
Unless you plan on eating with your fingers or chopsticks, I’m pretty sure you’ll need some cutlery. We would recommend only taking what you need and don’t carry excess. Also, we found storing cutlery in a draw tends to rattle about a lot on journeys, so perhaps keeping them in a handy case might be beneficial.
Plates & Mugs
We recommend not going for the traditional china plates here. We’ve already advised motorhome driving can be a bumpy ride, and so broken china all over the cupboards is not a good idea. We recommend two things; Go for melamine plates and mugs; they’ll feel more familiar than plastic but won’t break easily and will rattle a little less when driving.
Washing Up Bowl
You’ll need to clean those dirty Ridge Monkeys, plates and cutlery somehow, so a collapsable washing-up bowl is our choice here. The benefits of the collapsible bowls allow for easy storage but also make it a little easier to do your washing up outside if you fancy taking in the outdoor views.
A chopping board is a must for any camper who likes to cook. Whether making a sandwich or preparing a meal, a chopping board will make your life much easier. We recommend a thin plastic one over the wooden ones as they’re much lighter, and your payload will thank you for it.
Tech Gadgets (4)
This is an absolute must if you’ve yet to experience sleeping in your campervan or motorhome in the summer. We use lithium rechargeable fans with clamps. Lithium because they last longer and ones with clamps because it makes it easy to clamp in any position in the motorhome. These also come in handy for expelling cooking steam when preparing hot food.
Having a security camera provides peace of mind when leaving our motorhome on a campsite or in a car park. Honestly, you’ll feel worried about leaving your campervan or motorhome for the first, everyone does, but this will make that experience a little easier and is also great if you need to leave your dog or pet inside. We personally use the Neos Smart Cam which is great.
12v Cables and Chargers
You can never have enough of these. For some reason, we seem to lose, forget them, or don’t have the right ones for our gadgets. Take some spares and consider the ones with multiple different connectors for various device charging needs like USBC, USB, Thunderbolt, Lightning connectors etc. If you have kids with iPads, these are campervan and motorhome essentials 🙈
Wait until you start travelling and sleeping in the campervan or motorhome during winter. You’ll find that your front windscreen gets steamed up, and cleaning with rags and clothes is time-consuming. The window vac like the ones from Karcher should be part of your campervan essentials but possibly only for winter; if you value a clean windscreen and your time, buy one.
This rounds up the campervan and motorhome essentials we think you’ll need based on our experience to ensure your travels are comfortable and successful. Happy travelling!