Now you’ve got all of your campervan essentials sorted out, now is the time to think about those little things that make your life easier and make your van really feel like home. I’ve picked out my favourite campervan accessories that make me feel happy in Mabel the Motorhome!
The Big Accessories for your Campervan
Portaloo and Shower
I’m lucky that Mabel has everything I need on board, including a toilet and a shower. If you have a different campervan model you may not have those built-in, but camping this year is much harder without your own facilities as a lot of sites have closed their shared washrooms.
A porta potti with a privacy tent is a very useful campervan accessory. Thetford are one of the top brands for campervan toilets and have a range to choose from. You could also look at getting a portable shower if a washing-up bowl and jug won’t cut the mustard.
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I have a Fiamma awning sun shade which unrolls from the side of my van, and works fine just for me. However, if you have a partner, kids or pets, extra space outdoors is very useful indeed, especially if the weather is poor. Awnings or little pup tents pitched up next to the van give you more room for manoeuvre and don’t take up too much space inside the van when you are on the road.
Bike Rack & Bikes
One of the downsides of having a campervan or motorhome is that they’re not the best things to drive and park up in a touristy little town. That’s why I prefer to take my bicycle. The bike has come in really handy for popping to the shops and for going on sightseeing trips, and I am very glad I have it with me!
As well as the bike, you’ll also need the accessories that come along with it – a sturdy bike lock, helmet and bike pump, as well as a bike rack to attach it to the campervan. I also have a bag which clips onto the front of the bike where I can have easy access to water and my phone, and when I’m exploring the town it clips off to carry with me.
The Water to Go action water bottle also works really well to keep you hydrated, it is specially designed to fit in and you can fill up from any fresh water source and safely drink the water.
I have partnered with Water-to-Go to offer all Tales of a Backpacker readers a 15% discount on the purchase of a Water-to-Go bottle! If you are based in the US or Canada, click here to order your bottle now, or if you are in Europe or Australia, click here. Simply choose the water bottle you want to buy, and add in the code BYORB for a 15% discount on your purchase.
Really Useful Campervan Accessories
One thing that is lacking in Mabel is drawer space. At home, I’d use tons of drawers for putting away things that didn’t really have a home but needed to be out of sight while being easily accessible. In the van, I’ve found that hanging pockets have been really useful; I have one over the back of my passenger seat and another hanging from a hook in the back of the van.
I also have a storage bag for my bedding which fits nicely in the space above the front seats and keeps my duvet, sheet and pillow tidy. It’s not essential but it definitely keeps things neater!
READ MORE: 5 Essential Campervan Tips for Beginners
Storage space comes at a premium in most campervans, so I love these collapsible containers. When I’m not using them they don’t take up much space in the cupboard, and when I use them it helps me to use less plastic bags!
There isn’t much better than dining alfresco, and a picnic blanket sets you up to do just that – whether you are next to your campervan or heading off into the hills. I have a mini picnic-blanket which I take hiking and a fancy soft blanket for the van. I also love to lie down on it after a hard day’s hiking and biking, no picnic food required!
Of all the campervan accessories, packing cubes are probably the most useful but also most underrated. Why would you need packing cubes when you aren’t using a suitcase? Well, without drawers I have only allocated 2 shelves for all of my clothes, so keeping them in some kind of order really is essential!
I bought a set of 4 medium-sized packing cubes which fit conveniently into my cupboard space. Measure up what space you have, and choose the set which fits best. You can even get personalised ones with your family’s names on or label them so you know which is which.
Scrubba Wash Bag
One of the difficulties I’ve had on this campervan trip is finding somewhere to wash my clothes. A lot of the Camping and Caravanning sites I’ve been using usually have laundry facilities, but thanks to the pesky virus they are all closed. By their nature, campsites are usually in the countryside, so popping to the local launderette isn’t as simple as I’d hoped.
So, I’ve been handwashing as much as I could, but things don’t seem to get that clean just swishing them around the sink. I’m looking at getting one of these wash-bags which seem to save water and give your clothes a better hand-wash. If you have one of them, please let me know if you like it!
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My camping chair really isn’t very comfortable, and now I understand why many motorhome owners have some really fancy ones! Mine only cost me 8 quid so I can’t really complain, but if I upgrade I’m definitely getting one with more cushioning!
Either way, having something to sit on outside to watch the world go by is an absolute must and a very useful campervan accessory. Bear in mind that you’ll need to store it when you’re not using it, so it will need to fit inside the available space in the van.
Electronic Campervan Accessories
If you love to read, you might find that packing several books for your campervan trip just isn’t practical. In steps the Kindle! Or any kind of e-reader for that matter. Storing hundreds of books in one tiny space means you’ll never be without your favourite book, no matter where you go.
If your already have a Kindle, then a Kindle Unlimited subscription could be really useful for you, as it includes unlimited access to over 1 million eBooks. You can also use the subscription on any device with the free Kindle app, you don’t even need to own a Kindle.
Alternatively, if you prefer to listen, then get an Audible subscription to listen to audio-books. I find that works really nicely in the evening before I go to bed, or while I’m having lunch.
This is also on my campervan essentials list as I could not do without it when I am off grid or don’t have an electric hook up. I have a relatively large Anker power bank that will charge up my phone three or four times which is definitely needed!
I love listening to music when I cook, and although I’m conscious not to have it loud enough to disturb my neighbours, I use a mini portable speaker to play my favourite tunes. They’re easy to charge up with a portable power bank.
External Hard Drive
I love watching films and TV shows in the campervan, but I don’t have a TV so rely on watching everything through my laptop. Having a bunch of films on an external hard drive means I can watch to my heart’s content without worrying about downloading data. Hard drives are also very useful for backing up photos and other data from my laptop.
I have a built-in oven and gas hob in my motorhome Mabel, but when I have a hook-up an electric hob means I can save my gas bottle and cook up a storm without it costing me a penny. I just got a single hob but you could consider a double one if you like to cook a lot or have a family to feed.
If you don’t have a built-in cooker in your campervan, you’ll need a decent camping stove – gas is best if you prefer to be off grid most of the time.
Decorations and Cute Motorhome Accessories
Oh yes it may be a cliché butfairy lights really are a must-have campervan accessory. They make everything look magical, and can help save your battery if you are off grid.
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Who doesn’t love cushions?? OK they aren’t the cheesy or chintzy décor you might imagine, but they are also useful too. Campervan seats are not the most comfortable, so having some cute cushions will make you comfier and your camper feel more like home. There are lots of gorgeous cushion designs to choose from on Etsy like this cute campervan cushion – just remember that if you are buying the cushion covers and fillers separately, make sure they are the right size!
For me, plants really make a house feel like home. As Mabel is my home on wheels, I bought a little spider plant and made a hanging pot for it from an old plastic bottle and a piece of string. If you prefer a neater finish then you could buy a ceramic hanging planter to suit your tastes, such as this little cat plant pot!
I love the little bit of greenery, and having another living thing in the van with me makes me feel more comfortable somehow!
Eco-Friendly Campervan Accessories
Filter Water Bottle
It’s generally not recommended to drink the water from your campervan tank, as you never know what is lurking in there! I usually fill up an empty milk container with drinking water to keep in the van, but my Water-to-Go bottle with a built-in filter is really useful for days out and if I run out of drinking water.
I’ve used it in all sorts of places where you’re not supposed to drink the water, so I have no worries using it for my campervan water tank! You can read my full review of the Water-to-Go filter bottle for more information, or head over to the website to buy one straight away, using the discount below for 15% off!
I have partnered with Water-to-Go to offer all Tales of a Backpacker readers a 15% discount on the purchase of a Water-to-Go bottle. If you are based in the US or Canada, click here to order your bottle now, or if you are in Europe or Australia, click here. Simply choose the water bottle you want to buy, and add in the code BYORB for a 15% discount on your purchase.
Although driving around in a diesel guzzling van might not seem like the most eco-friendly choice, I do try to be as green as possible when I’m on the road. As well as planting trees to offset my carbon use, I also have various plastic-free and reusable kitchen and bathroom items to help.
Beeswax wraps, recyclable toothbrush heads, toothpaste tabs and shampoo bars are all easy swaps everyone can make to reduce their plastic use. Check out this article on our sister site for more easy ways to reduce plastic use while travelling.
Although I am careful to not leave anything behind, unfortunately not everyone is that conscientious. So, I decided to bring a litter picker with me so if I spot some rubbish where I am camping I can pick it up and dispose of it in the proper manner. I didn’t even have to buy one especially as mine used to belong to my granddad – I think he’d be pleased with its new lease of life!
Personal & Self-Care Campervan Accessories
Hot Water Bottle
It is amazing how cold it can get in the van, even when it is a relatively warm day! As well as my usual bedding and a couple of blankets, a hot water bottle helps to keep me snug and warm in cold weather. You don’t have to get a fancy cover for it, but I love my sloth hot water bottle cover, he is just so cute and cuddly!
Hanging Toiletry bags come in handy for storage on a hook in the bathroom, and if you are using shared bathroom facilities you need to keep everything together in one place. They’re really easy to get from all over the place, but I managed to find one with flamingos on! I also love these lemon designs.
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As much as I love big fluffy towels, they aren’t the most practical for camping – even in a van! Instead, lightweight microfibre towels take up much less space and dry much more quickly. Mine are also light enough to hang from the sunshades above the front seats, which keeps them out of the way and often in full sun so they dry in double-quick time!
Wireless Hair Straighteners
Ladies, camping is no longer about roughing it. With so much technology these days, there is no need to have a bad hair day! When I’m plugged into an electric hook up, my mini-straighteners keep my hair in check, but it was a revelation when I found these wireless straighteners which charge up with a USB socket.
How better to entertain you and your family on a rainy day than with some board games? A pack of cards goes a long way, but throw in a monopoly set and Boggle and you’re all set! Of course, there are hundreds of games to choose from, so pick your favourite!
For days when the wifi isn’t working or you just want a break from a phone screen, writing in a travel journal is a great way to relax and to clear your head, as well as keep track of your adventures! This year my sister-in-law made me a notebook to take away with me, I can’t wait to get back on the road and use it!
I hope you found this list of campervan accessories useful – and inspiring! If I have missed anything that you think should be included please do let me know, I’d love to know what you travel with!
If you’re looking for travel insurance for your trip to Ireland, get a quote now from World Nomads.
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Just to let you know, this post may contain paid or affiliate links, which help to maintain Tales of a Backpacker and give me the chance to keep travelling, and to keep creating awesome content for you! I only recommend goods and services I believe are useful and reliable.Last updated: February 20, 2021