10 Must-Have Accessories for Van Camping

10 Must-Have Accessories for Van Camping

A van camper’s life involves using various tools and equipment. Every camper van needs certain accessories to help the camper thrive and survive out in the world, from a steering wheel lock to a bug screen. Read about some of the necessary gear below.

Steering Wheel Lock

Your camper van is your home; like any home, you want to keep it safe from intruders and thieves. Car theft is a crime that may occur anywhere with any vehicle. If you want to prevent someone from driving off with your van, a steering wheel lock will provide security and convenience.

The lock will attach to the vehicle and prevent the wheel from moving, making it impossible to relocate the van. Using a steering wheel lock made of stainless steel will make breaking the lock difficult and give you plenty of time to catch someone in the act if they attempt to steal your van.

Emergency Kit

Accidents always happen, especially as you travel and spend time outdoors. This makes an emergency kit an effective accessory for van camping to help you manage accidents. You can stock your emergency kits with various items depending on the situations you expect to find yourself in while camping.

General first aid items, such as bandages, ointments, and sanitation applications, are must-haves. However, if you expect to be in a cold place with a lot of snow, emergency blankets and heat packs will be important for preventing hypothermia.

Spare items, such as extra batteries for flashlights, granola bars, or a water bottle, will also be useful in your emergency kit. Another great aid is an item for signaling for help, such as road flares or a flare gun. A case for these emergency items or a durable bag will help you easily store and transport these items in case you need to travel to someone who needs assistance.

Roof Rack

You may have more items that you want to take on your travels than can fit in your van; fortunately, a roof rack will help you store them. Attaching a roof rack to your van will create more opportunities for you to configure your camper how you want and still have room to store any excess gear.

Your roof rack allows you to strap and tie down the items you place on it. Roof racks also have various attachments, such as flood lights for nighttime driving or a rooftop tent if you need more camping space.

Bug Screen

Given the thousands of insects in the wild, a bug screen is an essential accessory for van camping. Bug screens will prevent insects, spiders, and small flying creatures from entering your van. Luckily, you can find various bug screens that will work with the dimensions and designs of your camper van. A Sprinter magnetic bug screen wouldn’t work for a Ford Transit; instead, a Ford Transit mosquito net would be the best choice. The bug screen will ensure you have a peaceful night’s sleep, and you can enjoy the day with the van doors open without worrying about pests biting you.

Fire Safety Gear

Fire safety is essential in any camping setting. Using various equipment to snuff out an uncontrolled fire will prevent dangerous situations for you or your van and protect the environment from irreversible damage. A fire extinguisher is the most convenient and effective method in putting out a fire, and you should always have one in your van that you can easily access. A fire blanket will be effective in fire control if an extinguisher isn’t available, and you can easily store it until you need to use it.

Solar Panels

Attaching solar panels on various parts of your van creates an efficient power source since you will constantly be outside, surrounded by the sun. This is a useful accessory for van campers who need a power source for electronics, and there’s no power source stronger than the sun.

You can either have the panels installed on the top of the van or keep them portable. That way, you can bring them out when camping, then store them when you don’t need them. However, ensure you keep them covered so that nothing accidentally scratches or damages them during transport.


If it’s a cloudy day and the solar panels won’t charge much of anything, a generator will be a great accessory for camping. With a charged generator, you can plug in DC appliances, such as a toaster, blender, or heater, for prolonged use.

Generators are especially helpful in more remote areas where there isn’t a building around for miles, and you need a power source. Portable generators come in various shapes and sizes with different features, but you should try and find one that won’t burn fuel quickly and doesn’t make a lot of noise that could disturb your campground neighbors.

Retractable Awning

An awning will allow you to perform activities outside with some extra protection. For example, you may need to go outside in the rain. Luckily, the awning will keep you covered and dry as you perform whatever camping activities you need to do outside the van. The awning will also help on sunny days when you need to relax in the shade to keep cool and enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors.

Portable Toilet

You won’t always have access to a bathroom when you’re on the road, so a portable toilet will be your friend. The portable toilet will hold a certain amount of waste, and you can toss it out at rest stops and campgrounds.

You can use the toilet anywhere, making bathroom emergencies feel less stressful. However, ensure you isolate the toilet in a case and spray it down often to prevent odors from forming.

Leveling Blocks

In nature, the ground isn’t always even, making camping difficult when you need level ground for cooking or getting comfortable. A ground leveler will help create a balance on uneven ground. Place the levelers underneath the wheels in spots where the ground slopes to raise or level out the van. These leveling blocks come in various sizes, so you’ll have options for how much leveling you need.

Van camping is a great time for people who indulge in this lifestyle. These accessories will help your van camping experience and make your time out in the open world enjoyable so that you can make great memories.

10 Must-Have Accessories for Van Camping
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