Motorhome Essentials List
Deciding what to take on your motorhome or campervan road trip is hard; it can make or break a holiday. This essential motorhome accessories list has all of the campervan and motorhome must haves, along with a handy motorhome packing list for you to print and lots of travel tips for life on the road. Go on, get packing!
Motorhome Guides & Checklists
Personal Motorhome Kit
- Clothes including cold weather gear if you’re away all year
- Specialist clothes such as hiking or running gear if you’re so inclined!
- Shoes – we live in flip-flops and trainers but you may also need hiking boots and a water-sport shoe.
- Personal toiletries including toothbrush. It is possible to have an electric toothbrush and charge through a pure sine wave inverter if you have one when you’re not hooked up, or use a USB charger like this one (our latest buy!)
- Towels – one for showering and another for swimming, microfibre like these if possible for quick drying.
- Bedding – pillows, duvet and sheets or sleeping bags. You may need specialist sheets to fit your motorhome beds or you could try Duvalay, or even a sleeping bag.
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- Undies and swimmers – van essentials and high on any camping checklist.
- Little things you can’t live without – we all have them!
- First Aid Kit – you have to carry a first aid kit by law in your camper van (in fact, any vehcile) but they are designed to manage RTA trauma. You also need painkillers, plasters, antiseptic cream and wipes, antihistamines, Diaralyte, Deet and suncream as well as any regular medication you take. Think about what you might need depending on where you’re travelling.
Motorhome Garage Kit
- 10L bucket for disposing of waste water, carrying washing up (some people use a large bags for life), and general cleaning jobs – buckets really are true camper essentials! You can buy collapsible buckets like this one below.
- Cleaning Kit – cleaning products and chemicals for your van, both inside and out.
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- Broom/Dustpan & Brush – a telescopic or foldable one combined with a pan is great and easier to store.
- Clothes line – we have a variety for every situation! Lines with ratchets are great as you can tighten them, we also have a small elasticated one with hooks which works well on bushes and is just large enough for towel and swimmers.
- Pegs and peg bag – we kept our begs in plastic bags for ages and then Phil bought me this peg bag for Christmas. I’ll say no more.
- Portable washing machine – the best bit of kit in our view; saves a fortune, gives us purpose and everyone stops for a chat when you’re doing the washing! We have the one pictured below, which is ideal if you’re living in a motorhome full time, but maybe not on the essential accessories list for a two week holiday! There are many smaller washing machines if space or payload is an issue.
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- Tools – a selection of screwdrivers, spanners and pliers, a socket set, hammer plus a variety of fixings. Although if space is tight, you can of course buy anything you need wherever you travel to.
- Tent pegs and camping mallet for your groundsheet, carpet and awning straps.
- Levelling blocks or chocks, unless you are lucky enough to have air suspension and levellers.
- Awning straps – whether you have a drive-away awning that attaches via an awning rail, or a fitted awning, never underestimate the power of the wind, especially if you are wild camping on cliff tops. Even if you’re holidaying in the south of France in August, expect the unexpected and be prepared. Awnings are super expensive to replace so make sure you carry these essential awning accessories.
- Water carriers – one or two 10 litre carrier is ideal. Make sure that the fitting works with your tank opening and you can actually get the water in. This jerry can with a spout does a good job. Some people take a watering can, but whatever you choose, these are essential campervan accessories.
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- Hose pipe and fittings – 20m should be enough, you can buy the fittings as you go, we have amassed a collection of four different screw on ones. We use a flat food grade water hose like the one in the photo, which uses minimal space but takes an age to fill our tank regardless of water pressure. Most places will have hose, but we prefer to use our own, you never know where the provided one has been!
- Waste hose – some motorhomes will take a hose fitted to the waste outlet, which is great if you’re on a fully serviced pitch. The outlet in every motorhome we’ve had has been different, so this probably requires a visit to your DIY shop to find the right parts.
- Electrical cable and blue fittings – we suggest having a 25m extension cable like this one – on some sites you can be quite a way from the nearest point. You will also need a European 2 pin to main site socket plug (or sites where there is no mains three pin site socket), the one is the photo is ideal. Remember not to tightly coil any electrical cables when in use, it could start a fire.
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- Electrical Splitter – a splitter like this is a bit of a motorhome essential for France if you stay on aires a lot, as often there are not always enough sockets for every motorhome or campervan,
- Carpet or groundsheet – we use this Kampa woven plastic one below.
- Doormat – to use if you’re not putting out your carpet or groundsheet and don’t want to track in mud/sand/dust/rain/snow – a bit of a motorhome must have in the UK!
- Water purifying tablets – there are lots of brands on the market, some better than others – we recommend Aqua Mega Tabs, below. Even if you don’t use your tank as a source of drinking water, you should purify your fresh water.
- Fresh water tank cleaner – we use this one.
- Toilet chemicals – toilet cassette chemicals if you use them. We don’t think special toilet paper is necessary, just buy a cheaper non-quilted one.
- Disposable gloves and disinfectant for emptying and cleaning your loo – we also know someone who has a special pair of shorts just for toilet duties!
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- A selection of bungees and straps… I’m not sure why but Phil says they are required camping kit, and I’m sure one day he’ll prove me right.
- Hand-held vacuum – not an essential but high on our campervan packing list!
- Pet accessories – Pet paw cleaners for those muddy days.
- Spare vehicle fuses and bulbs – it would be daft not to!
- Sugru – this is amazing stuff! Sugru is mouldable glue which turns into rubber and one of the best campervan accessories when something breaks!
- Camping chairs – these camping essentials need to work for both lounging and dining. Recliners are good as they’re multi-purpose and some, like the Kampa chairs below, come with optional foot rests.
- Camping table – get the best you can afford if you’re going to be spending a lot of time using them. Outdoor tables ideally need to be lightweight, foldable, adjustable and come with a storage bag, just like the one below.
- Awning lights or candles – campervan essentials for all those Insta images! This Outdoor Revolution Lumi Light doubles up as a mosquito repellent too.
- Windbreak – maybe not essential but lots of people use them for privacy. We like the Kampa Dometic Airbreak shown below for its ease of use and modular lightweight design, and this Vango Family pole model for its value for money.
- Privacy rooms – these effectively create walls for your awning and as well as privacy they provide extra dry space if you’re remaining static for a few weeks. Privacy rooms are heavy and bulky though, so make sure you have enough capacity before purchasing. Also research carefully the make and model – there as many awnings as there are motorhome, campervan and caravan models!
Start your beginners journey to life on the road with exclusive checklists, free downloads, tips & more
Van Life Kitchen Kit
- Kettle – the number one item on our essential motorhome kit list! We use a stove top but 12v kettles are available, if you are intending to be mainly on site or have a large leisure battery capacity and an inverter. You could use a pan if storage is an issue. We also have a teapot, but this is probably an indulgence.
- Saucepans – we use these Kitchen Craft motorhome cooking essentials, they have a removable handle and one size fits all lid, so they stack really well.
- Cadac – our main method of cooking, this is stored in a carry bag in a side bin and used most days – for us it’s one of the best motorhome accessories we’ve ever owned. We love our Carri Chef, but there are lots of other Cadac sizes and options, as well as other alternative methods of motorhome cooking including portable grills and all in one pots and devices.
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- Washing up bowl – a collapsible one is ideal if you need to store it when travelling.
- Cutlery – because we wash up after each meal and do not dump the dirties in a dishwasher, we really only need two sets, but have four just in case we have visitors.
- Tableware – we were using recycled bamboo but read about it releasing toxins so have gone back to melamine. We do use cheap ceramic mugs from Ikea though, I can’t drink my tea out of plastic!
- Glasses – we use these stylish metal ones for everything, they are perfect for van life and make great motorhome gifts if you’re looking for inspiration.
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- Knives, cooking utensils and gadgets – I think we all have preferred utensils and gadgets, we have nothing special, just what we would use at home like a tin opener and scissors. The corkscrew and bottle opener are at the top of our campervan essentials list!
- Folding chopping board – something like this one which is lightweight but durable and easy to store.
- Water Bottles – a flask is a must if you hike and like a sandwich with a cup of tea for lunch! We also carry a water bottle each, handy for when we’re driving, hiking and cycling. The ones with the flip lids are great for driving, and the insulated ones good for active days in hot countries.
Gadgets for Campervan Travel
- GoPro Hero 9 Black – for recording all your adventures when you’re traveling in a campervan or motorhome. Read this informative review for everything you need to know. It’s also a good idea to check that your motorhome insurance covers you for gadgets like this, which are expensive to replace.
- DJI Mini Drone – we just swapped our Mavic Air drone for a Mini 2. Weighing in at under 250g, meaning you can fly it almost anywhere (but check out the rules of the country you’re in), this is the drone of choice for motorhomers. If you don’t want to spend this much, why not check out the best drones for under £300?
- Camera – we’re trying to get away from using iPhones and love this Canon entry level camera which is easy to use and well put together which we use to take snaps on all our incredible road trips. It also gets great reviews on Amazon.
RELATED POST: The Best Motorhome Gadgets (that you’ll actually use!)
- TV accessories – a TV stick or AV adaptor – for streaming tv if you don’t have or want to use satellite tv.
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- Music Streamer – If you enjoy listening to music and want to stream Spotify or Apple Music through your van radio, check out this little bluetooth FM transmitter. Just tune the gadget in to your radio and you can stream all your music apps and receive hands free calls. How clever is that?
- Bluetooth speaker – if you prefer to stream straight from your phone, then a portable mini blue tooth speaker is a great addition to your kit.
- Prevent drain on your leisure batteries when you’re not hooked up with one of these folding solar panels, enough to charge three devices at a time for the power of the sun!
Cool Camping Gear
- We have a Sevylor Colorado inflatable kayak which we use a lot in the summer. Read our review of this fun and versatile kayak here and get tips if your a first time kayaker.
- We also have two inflatable Bluefin SUP boards which are very stable and easy to use but quite bulky. For alternatives, check out other quality and affordable paddle boards on the market.
- Thule G2 Elite bike carrier – we looked at a lot of bike racks before settling on this, the most popular with motorhomers on the market. Read more about bicycles and motorhomes here.
- Burley Flat Bed bike trailer – this collapsed flat and we take it everywhere; with the kayak, kite surfing gear and even inflated SUPs. It’s an awesome bit of kit and deserving of its place on our van life essentials list.
- Thule bike cover – we use this one, it fits really well but we have found that all covers deteriorate within a year if used constantly.
- Fiamma bike signage – this is a legal requirement for your bike rack in most EU countries. This one fits into the pocket on the Thule bike cover and is plastic; technically you need a metal one for Italy but we have spent months there using a plastic one without issue.
Get Road Legal in Your Motorhome Kit
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- UK sticker on your van like this one (required from 28th September 2021 to replace the old-style GB sticker, unless you have a new style UK numberplate).
- Head-light adaptors if you’re heading to Europe.
- French stickers – Angles Morts stickers if you’re driving a motorhome over 3,500kg in France.
RELATED POST: The Complete Guide to Motorhome Touring in France
- Fire extinguisher and a fire blanket like the ones below.
- CO2 alarm – we highly recommend that you have a carbon monoxide alarm to monitor for any issues with your gas powered equipment, especially in such a confined space. This one is combined with a heat alarm and has a ten year battery life.
- Smoke and heat alarms – essential motorhome and campervan equipment to keep you safe in your home on wheels.
- Warning triangle – in Spain you need two.
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- Yellow vests – one for the driver and each passenger. Ideally you’ll also have breakdown cover and won’t need to use these too much!
- Torch – of course!
- Pepper spray – you can buy pepper spray on Ebay, we carry two small cans for when we’re motorhome wild camping.
- Safe – we have a campervan safe fitted, there are places in all vans where you can fit one, ideally on an inner wall.
Psst – we’ve got a free document checklist which you’ll get when you grab the motorhome gear packing checklist. Just click here to subscribe!
Other Things You Need for a Camper or Motorhome
- Storage boxes – felt storage boxes are perfect for campervan travel, they don’t rattle or scratch and can be lifted from high cupboards easily.
- Organisation – packing cubes are perfect for van life. Ideal for small clothing items or bits and pieces, and can be stacked in overhead storage areas easily. Look out for ones with protected or rubber zips if you’re worried about the insides of your cupboards being scratched.
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- We carry a small selection of stationery which gets used all the time!
- Command Tape – this is one of our best camper accessories and will not mark the interior of your van, great for hooks, pics and so on.
- Maps and guide books (if you can spare the weight).
- Games and cards – UNO is a must!! Check out these other games like Uno for a bit of variety.
- Picnic blanket, sun shade and cool bag for those days at the beach.
- Sewing kit – this one is the perfect size for motorhome travel.
- Chargers and cables for phones and devices…a multi-way charging plug is one of the best accessories for campervans as typically, they do not have many plug sockets.
- If you work on the road, use a surge protector 240v plug when you’re charging your laptop. European campsite electrics are generally good, but it’s worth being safe from any issues with supply.
- Shower gadget – this nifty shower attachment stops you having to continually press the pesky button on campsite showers, we wouldn’t be without one each.