The best campervan accessories for a comfy van life

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With so much stuff available for campervans it can be hard to know what you really need.

Some campervan accessories will make your van life easier. Others will help make it more comfortable. And a few will add a dose of luxury to an otherwise simple way of living.

You can find some fun accessories in our campervan gifts list. This guide is focussed more on the essentials. 

If you’re buying a campervan, the accessories you want and need can help inform your decision.

We’ve been living in a van full-time for a few years now so have a good idea of what must-have campervan accessories you need.

If you’re planning a short road trip or grand campervan travels, the gear you need in your van is much the same.

For loads of tips for your life on the road, take a look at these van life hacks too.

Here’s our list to help you fit out your build with everything you need and make packing a breeze.

best campervan accessories for van life


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Campervan appliances

When planning your campervan conversion, keep in mind the appliances you need and want to install.

Small vans may only have space for a small sink and stove. Larger vans can accommodate fridges, toilets and hot water heaters.

Choose the best van to live in for you and you’ll have space for the appliances you need. 

Do your research to find the most suitable appliances so you know how they’ll work and fit into your van.

Solar panels

Free power in your campervan – one of the main ingredients to an independent, sustainable van life.

Camper solar panels will help you live off-grid for much longer than you could if your campervan electrical design depends on driving and hook-ups.

You can buy solar panel kits for easy installation. Or if you’re more technical and understand exactly what you want, you can buy each component individually to suit your bespoke design.

Campervan cooker

Living in a van doesn’t mean you have to cook on a camping stove or eat food out of mess tins.

Install a campervan cooker and even an oven so you can cook up a feast anywhere.

So if you’re a would-be chef or just enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, a cooker is one of the few must have camper van accessories.

We have a Webasto diesel cooker and no oven in our campervan. 

But there’s loads of models on the market from basic gas stoves to fully functioning oven and hob combos.

Campervan fridge

As campervan accessories go, a fridge is as much a luxury item as it is a necessity.

If you want to keep a few beers chilled on occasional weekend trips, a cool box is cheaper, uses none of your precious electricity and less space too.

But if you want to live off-grid for days on end and can’t manage without fresh meat and dairy a good portable fridge is essential.

Portable 12v fridges aren’t cheap but they certainly bring some convenience and comfort to your home on wheels.

Campervan toilet

We all need to go but we don’t all have the space in our vans for a fully fitted bathroom. 

Fortunately, there’s enough campervan toilet options on the market from emergency portable bucket loos to fully functioning flush toilets and much in between.

We have a composting toilet in our Sprinter camper van conversion and (a strange thing to say about a toilet) we love it!

But it comes with a hefty price tag. Portable camping toilets are a more affordable option.

Campervan heaters

Chances are, you’ll spend at least some time on your campervan travels in a cooler climate. 

Even when chasing the sun, there’ll be times you wish you could turn on the heating and get cosy.

Fit the best campervan heater for your van size and for where you’ll travel so you’ll always be comfy.

Our heater runs off our diesel tank but you can get gas heaters or even portable electric heaters.

Hot water heater

Who doesn’t want the luxury of hot water in their campervan? 

With an appropriate set up you can enjoy hot showers on tap no matter where you are.

There’s different ways to heat water in your camper including propane heaters, electric immersion heaters and coalescers.

Adding a way to get a hot shower from your campervan water system is something you won’t regret installing.

There’s loads of showers for campervans to choose from from basic gravity fed devices to full blown luxury bathrooms.

If you don’t want to fit a water heater to your camper, invest in this cheap and cheerful outdoor shower contraption.

Camper van lighting

Camper van lighting for the interior and exterior of your van can make home feel warm and cosy.

Choosing 12 volt LED lights will help minimise demand on your campervan batteries and keep the van from getting too warm as well.

Take a look at our post on camper van lighting for loads of ideas.


Cooking in a camper

The ability to cook in a campervan makes living in a van something we can do full-time. 

We can’t afford to eat out all the time and weather conditions don’t always support cooking outdoors. 

We have a full campervan kitchen with everything we need. Here’s the best campervan kitchen accessories for van lifers who want practicality and a little bit of luxury too.

Portable campervan cooker

If your van is too small for a fitted cooker, a portable campervan cooker is an ideal compromise.

Most options don’t take up much storage space and some even come with dual fuel options.

Even if you have a fully equipped kitchen, these are useful accessories if you have the storage space.

The portable stoves come in handy for cooking aromatic meals outdoors, like curries or fish so you don’t fill your van with cooking odours for days on end.

Coffee maker

Perhaps the best part of living in a van is the first coffee of the morning. 

Sitting outside the van with a steaming cup of fresh coffee to wake up with is the best thing! 

So having a good coffee maker is essential! 

Our camper isn’t permanently hooked up to shore line electricity so we rely on our campervan electrics and battery set up

It’s not strong enough to power electric coffee makers. In all honesty, we don’t have the space for one even if we could power it.

But we love coffee. A French press is so messy and not easy to clean so this little gadget is perfect.

The Aeropress is a clean, compact and inexpensive coffee maker. 

Make sure to buy a reusable filter too.

The Aeropress comes with paper filters but we bought the reusable filter after finding it almost impossible to find refills in South America.

Pressure cooker

If we only had space for one saucepan, we’d pack a pressure cooker.

We initially bought our pressure cooker for the campervan because we knew we’d be travelling to high altitudes in Bolivia & Peru. 

Food takes longer to cook at higher altitudes so we’d save money on fuel by cooking with a pressure cooker. 

We not only save on our van life costs but we can knock up a stew with falling apart beef chunks in around 20 minutes. It’d take hours to get the meat to fall apart like that without the pressure cooker.

Rice takes 3 minutes of actual cooking time and soaked dry beans cook in around 10 minutes. 

A pressure cooker is ultra convenient as well as one of our top money saving campervan accessories.

Corelle kitchenware

We may live in a campervan but that’s no excuse to eat out of mess tins or off plastic picnic plates with a ridiculous looking spork!

These dining sets will add a touch of class to any van. 

Made from a durable compressed glass material, they’re robust, chip resistant and much lighter than normal ceramics.

They’re not as cheap as normal ceramics or plastic alternatives but they’re more practical and luxurious for van life.

Flexible chopping boards

Every campervan kitchen needs a few chopping boards. These flexible, lightweight boards are ideal.

They’re great for tipping chopped produce into saucepans without bits falling off the side of the chopping board.

They’re really cheap and so long as you buy a set that aren’t ultra thin, they’ll last a long time.


Campervan bed accessories for a great night’s sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential for good health so having comfortable sleeping arrangements in your camper is important.

We’ve lived in our van since 2018 and slept in it almost every night since. 

No matter whether your have a fixed, permanent bed or a couch bed you make up each night, these accessories will help you sleep peacefully.

Mattress

Of course every bed needs a mattress. We recommend you spend as much as you can afford on the best quality mattress you can find.

Our bed is a sofa bed and we have our cushions/mattress made and covered by Regal Furnishings, a specialist motorhome upholstery firm in the UK. 

They advised on the best firmness for a good night’s sleep and comfortable in the sofa position too. 2 years in, they’re still as good as new and exceptionally comfortable.

If you’re making your own bed and want to get a mattress on a budget, invest in the best quality gel memory foam you can find.

Mattress topper

It’s important to protect the mattress, especially if your bed becomes a sofa during the day. 

More than this though, the natural fibres of this merino wool under blanket help to keep you warm during cold nights and cool when it’s hot and humid.

Serving us well in the sticky heat of the Brazilian wetlands and the chilly nights in Patagonia, we wouldn’t want to be without ours now. 

It’s one of our favourite campervan accessories.

Good quality bedding, pillows & linen

While some van dwellers love their sleeping bags, we prefer a decent set of a “normal” bedding.

We have a 10.5 tog goose down quilt, 4 plump feather pillows, a few extra blankets just in case of an especially cold night and good quality cotton linen.

The bedding doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be comfortable. 

When choosing your bed linen, look for something easy to wash and quick drying.

If you have a fixed bed, try to find something to compliment your campervan colour scheme because you’ll see it all the time.

And if you use sleeping bags, don’t forget your pillows to support your back and neck.


Best campervan accessories for outdoor living

No matter how big or small your van, outdoor living is inevitable.

Why wouldn’t we want to enjoy our huge garden right from our own backyard? 

A few accessories for campervans will make outdoor living more comfortable and let you live your van life a little bit closer to nature.

Get extra shelter & protection with an awning

An awning can provide shelter from rain and shade from the glare of the sun.

If your awning has sides it will provide some protection from chilly winds. Better still, it provides extra living space.

If you’re considering an awning fixed to the side or roof, try to fit it before your campervan insulation because you may need to drill holes into the body work.

If you’re in the UK, remember the DVLA campervan conversion requirements now insist on fitted awnings if you wish to re-register your body type.

Camping chair

Is any campervan accessories list complete without a camping chair?

It’s worth investing in a good quality chair. It’ll be more expensive but will last much longer, making it far better value for money in the long run.

When buying your chair, make sure you have an intended storage place for it too. Do you need a camping chair that folds up like an umbrella, or one that collapses flat?

Camping table

When you want to cook, dine or work outdoors, a camping table is an essential campervan accessory.

And they don’t need to take up much space in the van either.

Ours comes in 2 parts. The legs fold up to a small package the same width as the table.

The aluminium top is rolled up and it all gets stored in a handy bag. 

It’s sturdy enough for us to both put laptops on and work outside, or an outdoor camping stove if we’re cooking fish.

Hammock

For lazy, summer days, there’s nothing better than a hammock to while away a few hours.

Grab your Kindle, a cold beer from your fridge and lie back to gently sway in your own little corner of paradise.

With a built in mosquito net, this hammock is built for 2, is lightweight and packs away to a tiny little bundle.

It’s the perfect sleep anywhere bed and the mozzie net makes sure to keep away those pesky bugs.

BBQ & grill

One of the wonderful things about van life is spending so much time outdoors. 

We cook and eat outside as much as we can too. BBQs are a great way of socialising or just cooking a big, juicy steak for 2.

Most BBQs are bulky in size so not ideal to store in a camper van already limited on space.

But this clever product folds up to the size of briefcase. At a little over 1 inch thick, it can be stored almost anywhere in your van.

Alternatively, pack a grill rack and balance it on a couple of rocks. It works just as well.

If you want to see a complete list of everything we carry with us, head on over to our post on van life essentials packing list. You can print our free checklist there too.


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