Skip to Content

27 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 adventure one to remember, here are some camper van accessories you must have.

While on that road trip, your RV or van might essentially be your only home for the next several days or weeks. So, as you pack your stuff for the trip, you must consider all the crucial van camping accessories that will help make your entire trip memorable.

Whether you’re a first-time camper or experienced, 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 camping chairs or even a simple coffee maker. That’s why we’ve come up with this minivan camping accessories list to ensure that you pack everything you need for the next camping trip.

The list is derived from personal experience and in-depth research on the essential camping gear for a van trip.

Best Minivan Camping 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

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

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

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. Put one on your camper van accessories list, and thank me later.

See Related: Cell Phones That Can be Used in Canada

2. A Warm Blanket

van camping equipment: insulated blanket

Some evenings might become a bit cool and breezy, even on the hottest days. And, if you wish to enjoy a stunning sunset, you need something to keep you warm throughout the spectacle.

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

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

Enjoy each moment as you watch the night unfold without enduring the cold weather.

See Related: Best Sand-Free Beach Blankets

3. 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. And 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. As such, it should always be among the essential campervan accessories to take with you. No debating about it!

See Related: Best Travel Drones

4. 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 your laundry dries completely, eliminating any wet clothes in your mobile home.

The clothesline is essential to hang things like your kitchen or bathing towels that might be used every day. This means that although you might have enough clothes to avoid major laundry, you still need this item for minor laundry loads. Looks simple, right? However, its use is quite substantial.

5. Collapsible Food Containers

collapsible food storage containers

Packing food for your entire trip might be challenging without the right equipment. To make the whole thing easy, food storage containers can become considerably essential. You need somewhere you can store your food without taking up 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.

6. Propane Heater

van camping equipment: propane heater

This one couldn’t miss our list of the best camper van accessories. And this is why:

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 square feet, helping you to keep warm.

All you must ensure is that you never leave the heater on while you sleep. It might cause more harm than the intended good.

7. Cooking Utensils

Travel kitchen utensil set

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

Make sure that before you start your journey, you have a complete set of kitchen utensils for all your cooking needs. Camp like a pro! You don’t want to come out of your camping trip malnourished.

See Related: Best Camper Accessories

8. 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.

With the right backpack, you can comfortably pack your food and devices, such as phones and cameras, as well as any other essentials. Outlander’s ultra-lightweight hiking backpack is among the best camper van accessories for any successful van camping.

However, ensure that you choose one that will accommodate all that you might want to carry. This way, you are not forced to leave any important items in the van, which would have made your hiking experience better.

9. Flashlight

BORDAN multi-use flashlight

A flashlight is another van life accessory that you should never leave behind. Whether you are going camping for a day or an entire week, a flashlight is a must-have item. It comes in handy, especially at night or when you want to look for things in dark places.

With a good flashlight, you can easily walk around the campsite, even on 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-hour charge, making it quite efficient and reliable.

See RelatedBest Travel Guitars

10. 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 camping 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

11. Hydraulic Car Jack

van camping equipment: hydraulic car jack

This one is more than obvious. You need a car jack any time, everywhere!

Some mishaps, like a flat tire, you can’t avoid. However, you can make sure that you are ready for this emergency and that it doesn’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

12. 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.

This 90-piece car emergency kit by First Secure is one excellent emergency 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

13. 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. Remember, you might be too deep into the wood where not many cars pass by every too often.

See Related: Best Travel Backpacks

14. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Kidde smoke & carbon monoxide detector

Safety is always a priority, even during your camping tour. A smoke and carbon monoxide detector is one van life gear that most van campers 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.

Remember, any of these hazards can lead to irreparable damage or even death. 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.

I recommend trying out Kidde 21026043 combined detector for your next trip.

See Related: Best Travel French Press Kits

15. 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.

As such, it’s vital to have a security system for your van, which will ensure that you can easily track it even if this happens.

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

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

See RelatedBest Beach Blankets: What Product Should You Buy?

16. 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 the best news is you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.

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

This fire spray is portable and can discharge four times longer than most fire extinguishers. Also, it’s easy to grasp and spray with, and it’s both non-toxic and biodegradable. The 3-year limited warranty is also an added advantage.

Essential Van Life Gadgets

17. 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 4G LTE router, 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 RelatedBest Camper Accessories 

18. Mini Projector

mini projector

Leave the common motorhome TV alone – 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 must-have camper accessories you should add to your packing list.

19. 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 on the rest of the world.

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

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 solved.

The device has three foldable solar panels, allowing you to charge and store power whenever the sun is up. It has an impressive 24000mAh capacity and can charge three times faster than most portable solar panels. This way, your power needs are covered.

20. 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 most camper vans will have a cigarette lighter port, some devices will not charge directly from it. But, 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.

See related: 2 Days Hiking the Heart of Wales Line Trail

21. 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.

To ensure that you can answer your phone and still maintain focus on the road, a cell phone car 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, at just a small cost, you can get yourself the AUKEY Car Phone Mount.

This will make receiving calls while driving another seamless task. It’s a small cost that might save even your life.

22. Campervan Awning

Campervan accessories; Van awning

If you want to expand your living space or get some fresh air, a camper van awning is one of those must-have van camping accessories. It not only allows you to achieve a larger living space, but it also offers excellent shelter from the sun or rain when you want to relax outside the van.

You don’t need to spend a lot looking for something big or complex. This CAREFREE 701009ACD Black Drop RV Awning is enough.

It’s made of sturdy polyester material and is able to block out around 85 percent of direct sunlight. This way, you can remain cool outside your camper van, even on the hottest day. With some camping chairs and a foldable camping table, you’ll feel like you are enjoying some breeze in your backyard.

In addition, it’s easy to mount without requiring any tools. A campervan awning will undoubtedly add more juice to your incredible trip.

See related: Savage River Loop Trail: Hiking Denali National Park

23. A Portable Toilet

SereneLife Portable Toilet

Now, when it comes to nature’s calling, this is serious business. And while most RVs or camper vans will have a built-in toilet, a portable one can make the experience even better, especially when you are camping as a group.

Also, you never know when the van’s toilet can block or have some issues. When this happens, you need to be well-armed. Try this SereneLife Portable Toilet for camping, boating, or hiking, and you’ll not regret it.

A portable toilet is among the few camper accessories that every camper should have but which most forget or ignore. It’s strong, has a wide capacity, and allows you to do your business any time, anywhere. But of course, during your expeditions!

24. First Aid Kit

First Aid Only Emergency Kit

Next up on this list is a first aid kit. It should be among your top priorities when going camping. Have you ever thought you could easily get injured on those camping trips? The hard fact is this can happen. And when it does, this first aid kit will certainly come in handy.

Have this 298 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit by First Aid Only in your van at all times, and stay safe.

Note: Without an emergency kit, even the smallest injury can prove hard to handle. And with a first aid kit, you can tackle even a major injury as you await to reach the nearest health center.

More Campervan Essentials You Might Need

25. Camping Shower

Campervan accessories: summer camping shower

A van camping trip is not complete without a good shower. And although you can always use the public facilities, it’s still best to have your own, especially if you’re planning to stay in one spot for a while.

This will also ensure that you have privacy when you need to freshen up and that you can get hot water when you need it.

Luckily, there are different types of camping showers available in the market, from solar-powered to battery-operated ones. You only need to choose one that will fit your needs and budget.

Try Amazon’s best Advanced Elements Summer Shower for your next trip and get the best out of your camping adventure. It is a sturdy solar camping shower that guarantees you a hot bath in less than three hours.

You don’t have to stay tired and exhausted while you can freshen up with a hot shower during your outdoor expeditions.

See related: Essential Tips for Hiking with Kids

26. A Sleeping Bag and a Pillow

Sleeping bags

You will need a comfortable place to sleep during your trip. And that means bringing a sleeping bag and pillow, especially when you are going tent camping or the camper van can’t accommodate all of you.

If you don’t have one yet, consider buying a mummy bag, as it is relatively cheaper and more comfortable. This simple Sleeping Bag for Adults Backpacking is Amazon’s best choice, and it can serve you well. It’s high-quality, durable, warm, and offers plenty of room.

However, don’t forget to bring an extra blanket, too, just in case the temperature drops at night. It will make all the difference.

27. Laundry Bag

Travel laundry bags

No one wants to see their dirty clothes scattered all over, even when camping. So, what better way to handle this than with a laundry bag?  This will help keep your things organized, especially when you need to do some laundry while on the road.

HOMEST 2 Pack XL Wash Me Laundry Bag fits this task perfectly. It’s extra tough, has a large capacity, and helps to keep the van clean and fresh. It might not seem like one of the essential accessories for your camping trip, but keeping that van fresh and clean is undoubtedly crucial.

Key Take Away

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


What are some of the must-haves for a van camping trip?

Sleeping bag, pillow, laundry bag, and a camp shower.

What should I consider when buying a camp shower?

Size, type (solar-powered or battery-operated), and portability.

How can I keep my things organized while on a van camping trip?

Bring a laundry bag to help you keep your things in one place. You can also use storage bins or containers.

Related Resources

Lock In Your Travel Now

Find Cheap Flights
Use Skyscanner to find flight deals. As my personal favorite flight search engine, Skyscanner scours websites and airlines across the globe, leaving no stone unturned to help you find the best deal possible. And if you really want to take your savings to new heights, pair Skyscanner with Going (Formerly Scott's Cheap Flights). With access to exclusive mistake fares delivered straight to your inbox, you'll be packing your bags and jetting off on your next adventure before you know it.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Cover yourself against illness, injury and theft, and protect the arrangements you've made with our flexible travel cancellation insurance. My favorite options for travel insurance are:

Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.

Want More Destination Ideas Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure to join the ViaTravelers Newsletter for expert tips, tricks and inspiration for your next travel journey!

Discover the Best Travel Tools
Be sure to visit our page on our favorite travel resources to learn how you too can visit over 10 countries in year.