The Best Campervan Packing List

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If you're taking a campervan or motorhome away for the first time, either your own one or one that you have rented for the occasion, you might be stumped when it comes to actually a complete packing list of the things that you need for the trip.

What do you need for cooking? Is there a bed in your campervan already? What are the best campervan accessories to take along? The answers to these questions will make all the difference to your trip

Read through our guide for the travel tips and a campervan essentials list to keep you right whether it's your first trip away or you're a seasoned camper looking for a refresher.

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Your campervan will have some kind of base for the sleeping area but you might find that it's not overly supportive or just a bit too hard to get really comfortable on. For this reason you might want to consider a mattress topper or camping pad to throw on top of it to make the little space for sleeping for campervan owners more comfortable.

You'll then obviously need your bedding to sleep in. You might be trying to figure out which is better in the duvet vs sleeping bag argument and the truth is it will really depend on your own preferences and the weather conditions. Some travellers prefer a duvet for ventilation and for comfort whilst others prefer sleeping bags for a cocoon of warmth and to save space when packing.

You'll also want a windscreen cover and blinds for the side windows to stop the sunlight from glaring in at you in the morning and to provide you with a bit of privacy and security for your items. These covers will also insulate the windows to keep a bit more of your heat in the space.

Additionally, a pop top cover is a great idea if your camper van has the pop out sleeping space in the roof. It's fitted especially for a pop top roof and has the same benefits as covering the windows below, including insulation and privacy.

Don't forget the other essentials such as pillows, additional blankets for cold weather, and your favourite stuffed friend (especially crucial for small travellers)!

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Cooking and Eating

Most campervans will come with a set up for cooking and eating but it's always best to check before you go out or hire one so that you know what additional items you need.

For example the VW California comes with a gas hob with a single burner as well as a camping table and two camping chairs for you to sit at and enjoy your food whilst the Caddy California has a pull out kitchenette at the rear of the vehicle.

A camping kettle is another essential for your trip as you'll use the hot water for lots of uses; washing dishes, making a cup of tea, and for cooking. Alongside this you'll also need to take the right amount of plates, bowls, and cutlery for those you're travelling with. Collapsible bowls are great for space saving, especially a collapsible washing up bowl. If you're looking at wild camping or going off the beaten track you'll also need to take a water tank to keep you going.

Don't forget a basic set of kitchen utensils and pans so that you can cook whatever you fancy, including things like a tin opener and a bottle opener, and some tea towels for once you've washed everything up afterwards.

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Campsite Setup

Although you're taking a campervan or motorhome with you, you'll still need to bring some camping gear and camping essentials with you for wherever you set your van up and road trip.

A drive away awning is a great addition to your camping kit as it allows you to leave things where you've set up so that you can leave some of your equipment and keep your space reserved whilst you take the campervan out for the day to explore.

For securing the awning it's always helpful to have a couple of additional tent pegs and an awning rail as spares, as well as a camping mallet for securing the awning and other general use around your chosen site.

For the appliances in your campervan you'll need one of two things; a leisure battery or an electric hook up kit, with the latter being used at a commercial campsite.

A leisure battery is the power source for the 12V appliances and equipment in your campervan or motorhome and is different from a car battery as it provides a constant low level of electricity as opposed to a short burst to start an engine. An electric hook up is a cable that you connect to an electric point in the campsite which then runs into your campervan or tent to allow you to switch on your small appliances as you need them.

It's useful to take a set of ramps/chocks with you too, especially if you're planning to be wild camping, as it will allow you to level out your campervan if you park on a bit of a slope. You won't notice it as much when you're sitting around but when you try to sleep even the smallest slope can make a big difference to your overall comfort.

Finally, you'll probably also want to take a couple of torches or lamps that run on their own battery power and don't need to be plugged in to function. As well as using them inside your campervan you might also need them in an emergency or in the area around your campsite.

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It's important that you have a first aid kit to hand for any minor injuries, especially things like painkillers, antiseptic wipes, and bug bite relief depending on where you're visiting. Also make sure to take the correct amount of any medicines that you take regularly to save being caught out in the middle of no where!

You'll also want to pack essentials such as sun cream and deodorant but consider taking a supply of wipes and hand sanitiser too for cleaning when you don't have access to lots of water or for when you're on the go.

Other items handy to have with you include bin bags, a picnic blanket, chargers for you phone and any other electricals, towels, board games and similar activities, a couple of extra camping chairs, a lighter, and a supply of your own toilet paper.

If you're taking things like washing up liquid or any cleaning products make sure that they aren't harmful to animals or the environment, especially for wild camping, as you don't want to leave a negative impact on the area that you stay in.

The list of additional items that you could take with is essentially endless but we've tried to cover the most important things with some considerations for packing and where you stay.

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Make sure that you have any necessary documents to hand in case you need them. This includes your driving licence (which might seem obvious) and a copy of your insurance documents, especially important if you're hiring a camper van.

If you're leaving the country and heading into European countries you'll also need your passport to be checked at borders and any heath insurance documents in case of emergency. It's also a good idea to take print outs of booking confirmations for campsites, just in case there's not a good connection and you need information from it.

It's also a great idea to take a physical map book of the area with you, again in case your phone connection is weak, so that you can find your way when the internet fails you or your phone runs out of charge on longer trips.


The more you travel with camper vans and motorhomes the easier it will be for you to pack and you'll find that you'll develop your own campervan and motorhome essentials list. General guidance for van life is that less is more and that if you don't really need it it's better to leave it at home so that you don't overwhelm the small space you'll also be inhabiting.

You'll also find great travel tips for your campervan essentials on social media so it's definitely worth looking there for camping hacks and must have travel accessories to make your trips even easier!