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List of Campervan Essentials

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

Campervan Essentials List

Below you will find some campervan essentials as well as must-have campervan accessories:

In the “Kitchen”

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.

All the Kitchen Basics

Even though you’re in a camper, you’ll still need all the kitchen basics you use at home. From glasses, plates, mugs, cutlery, to other utensils. Let's say pots, pans, a cutting board, etc. You might just want to opt for the plastic kind, since they are lighter and don’t break easily.

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

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.

In the Bathroom

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.

In the Cleaning Closet

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.

In the Bedroom


This can come in various forms depending on the campervan you’re using. If you have a built-in bed, you’ll need the usual sheets, blankets, duvets, pillows, etc. But if you’re in a camper that requires camping in a tent, you’ll need to pack your sleeping bags (with pillows if you prefer).

essential campervan accessories

Other Campervan Essentials

A Toolbox

This should consist of the tools one uses most such as a screwdriver, nails, a hammer, a wrench, pliers, a star, etc.

A Fire Extinguisher

This is a basic safety precaution in a campervan. Just remember to also double-check the legislation. In certain countries, having a fire extinguisher in your camper is required by law.

A Connection Cable

You will need to connect to the mains whenever you’re at a campsite. So you’ll need a cable to do so. If you forget, some campsites also sell or rent these.

A Flashlight

You will need at least one along with spare batteries in your camper. In Iceland, these flashlights are essential. Especially during the dead of winter, when we only have about 4 hours of daylight.

A Hose & Adaptors

You will need to load water into the van and for that, you will need a hose and adaptors for the various faucets. You can encounter different outputs depending on where you are.

campervan essentials list

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!

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.

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

The “Big Ticket” Items

  • Portable fridge (if your camper doesn’t come with one included)

  • Cooking stove (if your camper doesn’t come with one included)

  • Coffee maker (or is this just what we consider to be one of the essential campervan accessories?)

  • Portable barbecue

  • Portable toilet & blue liquid to put inside (if your camper doesn’t have one built-in)

  • Toilet brush

  • Portable shower (if your camper doesn’t have one built-in)

  • Welcome mat or rug to put at the door to wipe your feet before entering the camper

  • Mattress (if your camper has a built-in bed)

  • Bike rack (if you’re into driving bicycles, of course)

Campervan Essentials; Time to Start Packing!

For those campervanners who always end up forgetting something, we hope that this campervan essentials list will help. And for those who are planning their first campervan trip, we hope that this list cuts out any confusion.

If you still feel like you need some extra help, you can read our article with other campervan tips. And now that you have this easy-to-use campervan essentials checklist, there’s no reason to delay your next trip any longer. So, start packing, the road and adventure are calling!


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