101+ Motorhome Essentials You Need + Packing Checklist

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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 Essentials You Need for a Road Trip

Motorhome Guides & Checklists

First Motorhome Trip Essentials

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. You don’t need lots of special ‘motorhome’ kit, especially if you’re a motorhome beginner heading out on your first few trips.

This essential motorhome equipment list is what we recommend as a starting point. If you don’t use these motorhome accessories on your first trip you definitely will at some point in the future. Everything else you can take from home until you work out what you need to make life on the road comfortable.

first motorhome trip

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 your 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 toothbrush charger (our latest buy!)
  • Towels – one for showering and another for swimming, microfibre towel 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 a Duvalay or even a sleeping bag. If you make up your bed from cushions every night, you may also like a mattress topper to help you get a good night’s sleep. We like this Silentnight extra thick topper.
  • 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 aso need a range of painkillers, plasters, antiseptic cream and wipes, antihistaminesDiaralyteDeet style insect repellent and suncream as well as any regular medication you take. Think about what you might need depending on where you’re travelling.

RELATED POST: The Best Bedding for Motorhomes & Campervans

The Complete Guide for Motorhome Beginners

If you want all our beginner resources (and a few extras just for you) in one place, take a look at our ebook. With 100+ pages of tips, advice and practical information, this book brings all our learning into one easy-to-read, downloadable volume which you can take with you wherever you go.

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 Kitmotorhome cleaning products and chemicals for your van, both inside and out.
  • Broom/Dustpan & Brush – a telescopic or foldable one combined with a pan is great and easier to store.
  • Clothes line – an essential item and 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 weather resistant peg bag for Christmas. I’ll say no more.

RELATED POST: Motorhome Cleaning – The Best Methods & Products

  • Portable washing machine – we love this! It 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 or planning longer trips, but maybe not on the essential accessories list for a two week holiday! There are many smaller washing machines if you don’t have much space or payload is an issue. 
  • Tools & spare parts – a selection of screwdrivers, spanners and pliers, a socket set, hammer plus a variety of fixings and spare parts. Although if space is tight, you can of course buy anything you need wherever you travel.
  • Tent pegs and camping mallet for your groundsheet, carpet and awning straps.
  • Levelling ramps 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! Awnings are super expensive (50x the price of the straps!) to replace so make sure you carry these essential awning accessories for peace of mind.

RELATED POST: Motorhome Washing Machines – Which Is Best for You?

  • Water carriers – a 10 litre carrier is the ideal size. 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, or a collapsible water container, but whatever you choose, these are essential campervan accessories.
  • Hose pipe and fittings – 20m should be enough and you can buy the fittings as you go, we have amassed a collection of a dozen 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 sewer hose fitted to the waste outlet, which is great if you’re on a fully serviced pitch. There are many different types of grey waste outlet so this probably requires a visit to your DIY shop to find the right parts.
  • 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 your drinking water supply, you should purify your fresh water.
  • Water filter – if you decide not to drink bottled water, a water filter is a small investment, but very worthwhile. We recommend the Seagull IV Microfilter system which takes water from your existing supply and purifies it before delivering through an additional tap. Alternatively, there are some good on-tap models coming onto the market.
  • Fresh water tank cleaner – we use Pro-Kleen Fresh Water Tank Cleaner.

RELATED POST: An Easy Guide to Motorhome Water Systems

  • Electric cable and blue fittings – we suggest having a 25m extension cable – 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 (for sites where there is no mains three pin site socket), the one is the photo is ideal. Remember not to tightly coil your electrical cable when in use, it could start a fire.
  • Electrical Splitter – a power splitter is a bit of a motorhome essential for France, Germany or Spain if you stay on aires a lot, as often there are not always enough sockets for every motorhome or campervan using the facility.
  • If you don’t have solar capacity, consider a portable power station like an Ecoflow Solar Generator. Brilliant for charging all your gadgets and using small appliances, and chargeable from a portable solar panel, car charger or wall plug, this is just like having a second leisure battery in your boot!
  • Portable solar panel – if you’re just looking for an extra boost, this 14 watt panel is an efficient way to charge devices. 

RELATED POST: An Easy Guide to Motorhome Electrics

  • Carpet or groundsheet – we use this Kampa breathable woven plastic one below – it’s been going strong for nearly five years!
  • 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!
  • Toilet chemicals – portable toilet and toilet cassette chemicals if you use them to keep your cassette or black tank in good order. 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 and waste tank – we also know someone who has a special pair of shorts just for toilet duties!
  • 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 cleaner – 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!

RELATED POST: An Easy Guide to Motorhome Toilets

  • Sugru – this is amazing stuff and has hundreds of different uses. Sugru is mouldable glue which turns into rubber and one of the best campervan accessories when something breaks!
  • Camping chairs – these outdoor living 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 outdoor table you can afford if you’re going to be spending a lot of time using it. 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 good quality Kampa Dometic Airbreak shown below for its ease of use and modular lightweight design, and this Vango Family 4 pole windbreak 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!

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 with electric hook up, 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 MasterClass 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 many other Cadac sizes and options, as well as other alternative methods of motorhome cooking including portable grills, portable barbecues, a simple camping stove and all-in-one pots and devices. For the last year, we’ve been using the Cadac 2 Cook 2 Pro Delux because it fits our space better than the round style. Both are great options but the latter does give slightly more versatility.

RELATED POST: Motorhome & Campervan Cooking Tips, Tricks & Equipment

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Herb and Spice Storage Bags – we love these small bags for our kitchen supplies and they are so much lighter than glass containers.
  • Suction Cups – things that once bought, become invaluable. We use these suction cups with hooks for hanging tea towels, cups and utensils, and have a couple in the shower too.
  • 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.

RELATED POST: All the Best Motorhome Kitchen Accessories

Gadgets for Campervan Travel

  • GoPro Hero 11 Black – for recording all your campervan trip adventures! 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. We’ve been using an Amazon Firestick for a couple of years now and it’s pretty bulletproof, and you can tether or hotspot from your cell phone.
  • Music Streamer – If you enjoy listening to music and want to stream Spotify or Apple Music through your van radio, the best thing is a 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 the best option.
  • 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!

RELATED POST: Motorhome TV – Five Ways to Watch in Your Van

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 stand up paddle 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.
  • Flat Bed bike trailer – this collapses 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 of 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.

Motorhome Touring Guides

  • First Aid Kit – required to be carried in vehicles by law in all European countries.
  • Camper vans and motorhomes need a UK sticker 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 stickersAngles Morts stickers if you’re driving a motorhome over 3,500kg in France.
  • Fire extinguisher and a fire blanket like the ones below. We carry two fire extinguishers, one in the cab area and one in the hab area, but one is plenty for a smaller van.
  • CO 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 carbon monoxide detector 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 – from 2024, you’ll be required by law to carry an emergency warning light in Spain, instead of a warning triangle.
  • Hi vis 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. You only need a small space and there are places in all vans where you can fit one, ideally on an inner wall.

RELATED POST: Staying Safe & Legal in Your Motorhome

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!

Helpful Motorhome Beginner Resources

Other Motorhome & Camper Van Essentials

  • Storage boxes – felt storage boxes are a great way to store all your little bits and pieces and they don’t rattle or scratch and can be lifted from high cupboards easily. 
  • Organisationpacking 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.
  • Command Tape – this is one of our best camper accessories and one of the best ways to secure hooks and pictures – in fact anything you want to fix to a wall – and will not mark the interior surface of your van.
  • We carry a small selection of stationery which gets used all the time!
  • Vanlife books to inspire you on the road! Check out our top vanlife and motorhome books for inspiration and information.
  • 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 to charge your mobile phone 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 230v 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 – a great find, this nifty shower attachment stops you having to continually press the pesky button on campsite showers, we wouldn’t be without one each.

RELATED POST: 20 Amazingly Simple Camper Hacks

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An Easy Guide to Motorhome WiFi & Internet (2024 Update)

WiFi and internet access has become essential for everyday life. Living in a motorhome is no different – researching, blogging, social media, keeping in touch and even smart motorhome equipment means wifi and internet is critical. If you’re wondering how to get internet in a motorhome, this easy and definitive guide to getting internet and wifi in your motorhome is for you.
Read More An Easy Guide to Motorhome WiFi & Internet (2024 Update)

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