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55 Van Life Essentials for your perfect trip

Updated: Feb 15

We believe that a road trip is the best way to properly explore the island, and a campervan is always a good option when doing so. Not only does it take care of both transport and accommodation, but it’s also one of the most unique and fun experiences you can have when traveling. But there are a few campervan essentials and accessories that are non-negotiable when taking on a trip such as this.

In this article, we will give you the lowdown on all these van camping essentials. A sort of campervan must-haves checklist, if you will. This way, you can ensure that nothing important gets left behind! You can simply look forward to the trip of a lifetime and being a part of the global vanlife movement.

Campervan essentials

Security & Safety Products

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Alerts you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, ensuring you're not at risk from this odorless, colorless gas.

RV Blocks

This really is a campervan essential. They are very useful whenever you have to park on an uphill or downhill. And they are extremely helpful when you’ve parked on your campsite only to find that it’s not a flat-level surface, and you’re rolling off your bed in slo-mo.

Fire Extinguisher

A compact device to combat small fires, ensuring safety in case of accidental fires.

First Aid Kit

A collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid, including bandages, antiseptics, and pain relievers.

Emergency Roadside Kit

Contains essential tools and items like jumper cables, a flashlight, and basic tools to handle minor road emergencies.

Window Covers

Provides privacy inside the van and also helps in insulating against cold or heat.

Door Locks

Additional security measures to ensure your van remains safe from potential break-ins.

Solar-Powered Motion Sensor Lights

Lights that activate upon detecting movement, deterring potential intruders.

Helpful Van Life Gadgets

Solar Panels

Convert sunlight into electricity, providing a sustainable power source for your van's needs.

Portable WiFi Hotspot

A device that allows you to connect to the internet on the go, ensuring you remain connected in remote locations.

GPS Navigation System

Helps in route planning and ensures you never get lost, even in unfamiliar territories.

Backup Camera

Assists in reversing and parking, providing a clear view of the area behind your van.

Portable Power Bank

A device to store electrical energy, ensuring your gadgets remain charged.

Weather Radio

Provides real-time weather updates, ensuring you're prepared for any sudden weather changes.

Kitchen Essentials

Portable Gas Stove

A compact stove that uses gas, allowing you to cook meals on the go.

Collapsible Bowls & Cups

Space-saving kitchenware that can be folded down when not in use.

Multi-use Utensils

Tools like sporks that combine the function of a spoon and fork, saving space and adding convenience.

Portable Coffee Maker

Allows you to brew fresh coffee wherever you are.

Cooler or Mini Fridge

Keeps food and beverages cool, preserving their freshness.

Reusable Water Bottles

Environmentally friendly bottles to keep you hydrated.

Biodegradable Soap

Soap that breaks down naturally, ensuring you leave no trace behind.

Collapsible Sink

A foldable sink that's useful for washing dishes or clothes without taking up much space.

Containers for Your Food

A campervan doesn’t have a lot of space, so it can quickly become crowded. And as you can imagine, leaving a box of cereal on a counter, for example, whilst driving is not going to end well. That’s why you’ll need plastic food containers. This will keep your camper tidy as well as keep out the bugs.

Kitchen Rags

This includes the usual; dishcloths, cloths to wipe the surfaces with, scouring pads, etc.

Just always remember to keep these properly sorted as well as wiping surfaces with the cloth you do the dishes with is extremely unhygienic.

Water Disinfectant

If you want to ensure that you always have fresh water to cook with and to drink, you’ll need to disinfect the water tank of the campervan. This type of disinfectant comes in liquid or in a pill form that you simply pop in and voila!

A Folding Trash Can & Trash Bags

Using a folding trash can is once again because of the space issues you have inside a motorhome. And don’t forget the trash bags that go inside it.

Broom & Dustpan

You can use a small broom and dustpan to sweep with, or you can use a portable vacuum cleaner. But whatever you decide on, we recommend that you use it every day, especially after having a meal. You don't want unwanted house guests.

All the Cleaning Basics

Just like in any regular home, you’ll need basic cleaning supplies. From multipurpose cleaner, sponges, cloths, scourers to dishwashing liquid, disinfectant, etc.

All the Food Staples

There are certain foods that you always need in your campervan (obviously when in use, it’ll just go bad in storage or the carport). These items are:

  • Butter/margarine

  • Salt, pepper, spices

  • Vinegar

  • Oil

  • Sauces such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard

  • Cereals

  • Eggs

  • Sugar & sweetener (if used)

  • Pasta

  • Bread

  • Jam & honey

  • Canned food such as tuna

  • Something to drink; juice, sodas, beer, wine, etc.

You can get these items at the cheapest supermarkets in Iceland: Bónus or Krónan.

Something to Make Fire With

This is one of the most obvious things, yet we cannot tell you how often it is the thing left behind. You will need a lighter or matches to make fire with – whether for a barbecue, vanlife cooking, or making a cozy campfire.

camper van must haves

Other Valuable Must-Haves

Portable Shower

A shower system that can be set up anywhere, ensuring you can freshen up even in remote locations.

Inflatable Pillow

Provides neck and head support and can be deflated for easy storage.

Camping Chairs

Lightweight and foldable chairs for relaxation outside the van.


Provides hands-free lighting, essential for nighttime activities or emergencies.

Quick Dry Towels

Towels made of materials that dry rapidly, ensuring you don't have damp towels hanging around.

Portable Toilet

A compact toilet solution for those remote spots without facilities.

Air Freshener

A campervan is a small-enclosed space… that’s all we have to say here *wink, wink, nudge, nudge.


Or what we refer to as “white gold” on campervan trips. There are two types of toilets: built-in or portable. So, you’ll either need normal toilet paper or toilet paper specially made for chemical baths.

Quick-drying Towels

You can’t drive around in a small space such as a camper with a bunch of wet towels. Not only will they begin to stink, but you might also end up with a bit of a mold problem. Always ensure that they are quick-drying microfiber towels - for both the towels you use when showering as well as the hand towels.

van camping essentials

All the Bathroom Basics

You’ll still need all the toiletry and bathroom essentials. The most common ones are toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and hairbrush. But don't forget moisturizing cream, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, etc.

Useful Storage Systems

Roof Storage Box

Provides additional storage space on the van's roof, ideal for bulky ite


Hanging Shoe Organizer

A space-saving solution to store shoes or other items vertically.

Collapsible Fabric Bins

Lightweight bins that can be folded down when not in use, ideal for organizing items.

A Rope & Clothing Pegs

You’ll need the rope and clothing pegs to create your own makeshift washing line. You might need to quickly dry bathing suits and towels after soaking in a hot spring, or you need to dry a load of washing on a longer trip!

Camping Gear

This is whether you have a built-in bed or not. Even if you won’t be sleeping in a tent, you’ll still need things such as a camping table and chairs.

Sun Protection on Your “Patio”

To create some shade on your campervan “patio” you can use an awning or a camping pergola or an umbrella.

Electronic Devices

These include a 12V mobile charger, they are a lifesaver when it comes to the GPS. Other mobile chargers you’ll need, a power bank, a Wi-Fi signal amplifier, and whichever other devices you’ll need such as a laptop, tablet, Kindle, etc.

campervan essentials list

Under-bed Storage

Utilizes the space beneath the bed to store items, maximizing the use of available space.

Magnetic Spice Jars

Compact jars with magnetic bases, allowing them to stick to metal surfaces, saving counter space.

Hanging Mesh Storage

Useful for storing fruits, veggies, or other light items, ensuring they're easily accessible.

Not-So-Essential Essentials


Allows for movie or video watching on a larger screen, perfect for relaxed evenings.

essential campervan accessories

Board Games or Cards

Provides entertainment during downtime or rainy days.


A place to document your travels, experiences, and memories.

Portable Blender

Enables you to make smoothies or blend foods on the go.

Decorative Lights

Adds ambiance an

d a cozy feel to your campervan's interior.

Campervan Essentials; Time to Start Packing!

For avid campervanners and Iceland explorers who inevitably forget an item or two, we trust that this list of campervan essentials will come to your rescue. And for those embarking on their inaugural campervan adventure in the Land of Fire and Ice, we hope that our comprehensive guide eliminates any uncertainties.

If you're seeking additional guidance, feel free to delve into our article featuring more campervan tips, including how to choose the best campervan in Iceland. Armed with this easy-to-follow campervan essentials checklist, there's no need to postpone your Icelandic journey any longer. So, start packing—extraordinary landscapes and unforgettable experiences await you on the open road!


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