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21 Best Van Camping Equipment [Essentials & Gadgets]

21 Best Van Camping Equipment [Essentials & Gadgets]

Camping is fun, but not without the right equipment. If you wish to make your road trip or camping one to remember, here are some van camping equipment that you must have.

While you’re on that road trip, your RV or van might essentially be your only home for the next several days or weeks.

This means that as you pack your staff for that trip, you must consider every crucial van camping equipment that will help make your entire trip memorable.

Whether you’re a first-time camper or an experienced one, life away from the comfort of your home and the city’s essentials is never easy. And although thrilling, you need to plan well for it and ensure that you have all the necessary gear.

No one wants to ruin that quiet, serene, beautiful adventure, just because they forgot some important van life stuff.

That’s why we’ve come up with this van camping equipment list to ensure that you pack everything you need for the next camping trip.

This list is derived both from personal experience as well as in-depth research on the essential camping gear for a van trip.

Best Camper Van Accessories

If you’re planning a trip on your minivan, here are the must-have van camping essentials.

  1. A Comfortable Mattress

best camping mattress

If you want to enjoy your entire camping trip without crankiness, a stiff neck, or an achy back, having the right mattress is a must. A good night’s sleep will ensure that you wake up in a good attitude and that you have enough energy for the day’s activities.

Milliard’s Tri Folding Mattress is an excellent van mattress option that will ensure you get the best night’s rest wherever you are.

Not only is it foldable to fit your camping van’s space constraints, but it’s also known to have some therapeutic qualities and offers maximum comfort.

  1. A Warm Blanket

van camping equipment: insulated blanket

Even on the hottest days, some evenings might turn out to be a bit cool and breezy. And, if you wish to enjoy that stunning sunset, you need something to keep you warm throughout the spectacle.

Kelty Bestie Blanket is an excellent item for this purpose. With its cloud loft insulation, the blanket offers the best nestling option through the cold evening breeze.

Its compact size also allows you to tuck it up and easily store it in minimal space.

Enjoy each moment as you watch the night unfold without having to endure the cold weather.

See Related: Best Sand-Free Beach Blankets

  1. Thermal Insulation Blinds

Car insulation blinds

Weather is not always as you expect it. Some days might be quite hot, while others might turn out considerably cold.

These variations can take a toll on your camping trip if you don’t have the right equipment with you.

Insulation blinds are designed to help control these variations by keeping your van insulated.

During scorching sunny days, the apparatus helps to maintain a cooler environment inside the van, while on cold days, it helps to maintain that much-desired warmth.

You can conveniently regulate the van’s internal temperatures, as you also enjoy the privacy that these insulation blinds offer.

See Related: Best Travel Drones

  1. A Portable Clothesline

ITOWE portable clothesline

Even on a weekend trip, you might still need to do some laundry. A portable clothesline will therefore come in handy to ensure the laundry dries up, eliminating any dumbness in your mobile home.

The clothesline is essential to hang things like your kitchen or bathing towels that might be usable every day.

This means that although you might have enough clothes to avoid major laundry, you still need this item for the minor ones.

  1. Collapsible Food Containers

collapsible food storage containers

Packing food for your entire trip might be challenging without the right equipment. But to make the whole thing easy, food storage containers can become considerably essential. You need somewhere you can store your food without taking much space, and these collapsible containers offer just that.

To ensure that you carry enough food for your camping trip, stored in the right manner, “Vremi Silicone Food Storage Containers” will serve this purpose perfectly. They are both microwave and freezer safe, which makes it easier for you to freeze or warm your food at any time.

  1. Propane Heater

van camping equipment: propane heater

Sometimes the camping destinations you choose can present quite chilly conditions. This means that you must always be armed with a source of heat to make your camp life bearable.

That’s where Mr. Heater’s F232000 MH9BX Buddy Heater comes into play. This portable heater made from steel, Nickel, and plastic, is quite ideal for spaces up to 225 ft2, helping you to keep warm.

All you must ensure is that you never leave the heater on while you sleep.

  1. Cooking Utensils

travel kitchen utensil set

Kitchen utensils are a must-have van camping equipment for any road trip. Otherwise, how do you keep your body nourished without having freshly cooked meals?

Ensure that before you start your journey, you have a complete set of kitchen utensils for all your cooking needs. Camp like a pro!

See Related: Best Camper Accessories

  1. Suitable Backpack

packable travel backpack

During the day, you want to go hiking and see the beauty that nature presents. This means that you’ll be leaving behind your van. So, to enable you to carry everything you need for the day, a backpack will serve you right.

This way, you can comfortably pack your food and devices, such as phones and cameras, as well as any other essential. Outlander’s ultra-lightweight hiking backpack is among the must-have van accessories for any successful van camping.

  1. Flashlight

BORDAN multi-use flashlight

A flashlight is another van life accessory that you should never leave behind. This comes in handy, especially at night, or when you want to look for items in dark places.

With a good flashlight, you can easily walk around the campsite even in pitch-dark nights or during a blackout.

Also, in case you have an emergency, and your car needs repair, the flashlight ensures that you can see even the hidden parts of your vehicle.

The “BORDAN Multi-use COB Flashlight” is an excellent option for you here. It can be used both as a ceiling light and flashlight, and it can last you up to 6 hours, with just a 1.5 hours charge.

See Related: Best Travel Guitars

  1. Portable Butane Campstove

van camping equipment: butane stove

Whether it’s for warming your food or just chasing away the cold in your van, fire is a necessity during your camping. A portable camp stove comes in handy for this, and there’s no better one than the “Coleman Portable Butane Stove.”

The stove has an adjustable burner, which allows you to control the amount of heat you need, and also a wide base for stability, especially when stirring. It also has a matchless insta-start ignition, which is quite convenient.

Best Van Life Emergency Gear

  1. Hydraulic Car Jack

van camping equipment: hydraulic car jack

Some mishaps, like a flat tire, you can’t avoid. However, you can make sure that you are ready for them and that they don’t spoil your trip or schedule.

Having a properly working hydraulic car jack is one way to handle such eventualities. And, what better way to handle this than with Amazon’s best choice – the 4Ton bottle jack, by Pro-Lift Store.

With this hydraulic car jack, you can easily lift your van off the ground and make that tire change seamlessly.

See Related: Best Travel Credit Cards for Perks

  1. Car Emergency Kit

car emergency kit

Although we hope for the best, it’s always wise to plan for the worst in any situation. When an accident happens, even a minor one, you must have the right car emergency kit to handle the damage.

The 90-piece car emergency kit by First Secure is one excellent kit to have in your car at all times. Unlike most other kits, it includes all the essential tools to help you handle any car breakdown or emergency.

Whether you need jumper cables for the dead battery, tow straps, or a seatbelt cutter, this emergency kit contains them all.

See Related: Best Travel Hair Dryers

  1. Car Jump Starter

van camping equipment: jump starter

You can’t afford to start your journey without that jump starter. With cars, some emergencies are almost inevitable. And when they do occur, you need to be ready.

When that battery dies, and your van can’t start, you want to have the right tools to turn the stage around. It might seem like a simple gadget, but it might save you from spending a night in the middle of nowhere.

See Related: Best Travel Backpacks

  1. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

kidde smoke & carbon monoxide detector

This is another van life gear that most van campers will advise you to have. The gadget alerts you depending on the hazard it detects. If it detects smoke, the alarm will announce the word fire, and announce “warning carbon monoxide,” when the hazard is carbon monoxide.

This way, you can easily try to rectify the situation and prevent any consequent danger. Since a gas like carbon monoxide is undetectable with our naked senses, this device will be quite essential.

You can try out Kidde 21026043 combined detector for your next trip.

See Related: Best Travel French Press Kits

  1. Car GPS Tracker

Mini Real time GPS Tracker

Coming back after a long day’s hiking adventure, only to find your minivan gone is the worst nightmare for a van life camper.

This makes it vital to have a security system for your van, which will ensure that even if this happens, you can easily track the van.

Tracki 2020 GPS car tracker is one of the best gadgets in the market that is not only small and easy to mount, but it also offers unlimited distance tracking.

The device is easy to hide, SIM works globally, and has a 15-sec ping feature.

See Related: 8 Best Beach Blankets: What Product Should You Buy?

  1. Fire Extinguisher

Van Fire extinguisher

Although no one wants to be in the situation of having to use it, this is one of the must-have van accessories. It is one of the life-saving gadgets that could literally save your life or that of your travel mates, in case of a fire emergency.

And, you don’t have to spend a fortune on this.

There are numerous reliable and affordable van fire extinguishers that can help guarantee a safe, fire-free camping trip. The EZ Fire Spray Fire Extinguisher is one such product that is safe to use on paper, fabric electric, or grease fires.

Essential Van Life Gadgets

  1. Mobile Wi-Fi

Low cost Travel Hotspot

Whether you are traveling alone, with family, or with friends, reliable internet always comes in handy. Even during that off-the-grid camping trip, you’ll sometimes need to connect with the rest of the world, or even listen to some sweet, cooling music.

With the Huawei E5576-320 (2020)-4G MiFi, you can travel anywhere around the world without worrying about connectivity.

You can easily use this device to provide internet for even up to 10 devices, which makes it ideal, whether you are traveling alone, or as a group.

See Related: Best Camper Accessories 

  1. Mini Projector

mini projector

Leave alone the common motorhome TV – there is something even better. A Vamvo L4200 Portable Mini Projector! Yes, that’s right.

This portable mini projector allows you to watch whatever you want, and whenever you want it, by just connecting it to your phone or any other streaming device.

If you want to make your camping even more exciting, this is of the van life gadgets you must add to your packing list.

  1. Solar Power Bank

Solar power bank

Keeping all your gadgets all charged up during your camping trip will help ensure that your van life doesn’t turn out all too dull. Whether it’s your iPhone or laptop, you need these devices to keep tabs with the rest of the world.

Carrying a solar power bank is an excellent way to ensure that all these devices are always powered.  

And, it doesn’t matter where you are – as long as there is some solar energy to charge the device.

With a device like the FEELLE 24000mAh solar power bank, your power problems are sorted.

  1. 12-Volt Power Inverter

van camping equipment: power inverter

If you want to charge devices like laptops from your camper van, a power inverter is an essential device.

While some devices will not charge directly from that cigarette lighter port, a 12-volt inverter can turn all this around. It helps to convert the 12V DC power to 110V AC power.

An excellent example of such an inverter is the Maxboost 300W Power Inverter. With two 110V AC ports, it means that you can comfortably charge two laptops from your van.

It also contains some USB ports that you can use to charge your phones.

  1. Phone Car Mount

van camping equipment: car phone mount

Phones are a major cause of numerous road accidents around the globe. Trying to grab your phone from the dashboard, or even the car phone’s compartment can easily take your mind away from the road.

But to ensure that you can answer your phone and still maintain focus on the road, a phone mount offers an excellent solution.

When mounted either on the dashboard or the windscreen, these devices give you easy access to your phone while driving.

And, with just $9.99, you can get yourself the AUKEY Car Phone Mount, and make receiving calls while driving, another seamless task.

It’s a small cost that might save even your life.


Planning for the best van camping trip might seem challenging, especially if you don’t know what to pack and what not to. However, this doesn’t have to be the case for you.

With this guide on the necessary van camping equipment, you can start your travel with complete confidence that you have all the basic items that you need.

Related Resources

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