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Top 15 Campervan Accessories
If you’re about to embark on a campervan holiday, you’ll want your van to be a real home-from-home, a way to get away from it all while keeping a few creature comforts intact. And while your campervan will come with most of the kit you need to survive in the wild, you might want to consider some additional extra motorhome accessories, to make your road trip even more memorable.
What motorhome essentials are included as part of your campervan hire?
If you’re hiring a campervan, it should come with a range of motorhome essentials, such as:
- A full, refillable tank of LPG
- A full tank of fresh water
- Cooking accessories, utensils, cutlery and crockery
- Stereo system
- TV/DVD/Digital status aerial
- Electric hook-up cable
- Dustpan and brush
It should also come complete with the following safety essentials:
- Warning triangle
- Smoke alarm
- Fire extinguisher
So far so good, but what if you want to get online and there’s no wifi available? Or your gadgets run out of juice while you’re on the road? These top 15 motorhome gadgets and accessories will make sure you’re covered for these eventualities and more.
What are the top 15 essential campervan accessories?
1. Solar panels
If you’re going to be running a whole host of gadgets while on the road, such as satnavs, phones, tablets and even TVs, you’ll need extra power to keep them all fully charged. So, instead of running off the power of your motorhome, why not harness the power of the sun to keep your gadgets juiced?
Any type of solar panel will do when driving through more sun-kissed countries, but try to opt for systems that tilt or follow the sun, as they’re more efficient than ones that simply lie flat on the roof.
2. Spare leisure battery and inverter
Although solar panels are ideal when driving through places like Spain and the South of France, if your motorhome holiday takes you through Scandinavia or northern Europe, your system might not be quite as effective – in which case, it makes sense to pack a spare leisure battery, along with an inverter.
Of course, you can keep things charged when parked and hooked up to the mains, but once you go off-hook up, it usually means switching to gas or diesel heating and switching off the electrics. Adding a second battery and using it in parallel gives the option of having power to last most of the week, or to use devices that drain power like TVs and charge your mobile devices.
You’ll also need an inverter to allow mains appliances to be run from a leisure battery or Caravan 12 volt supply.
3. Mobile internet
Even though you might want to use your campervan holiday to get away from it all, there may be others travelling with you who can’t quite cut the cord when it comes to an internet connection. Or you might simply need to get online to plan the next part of your trip.
Whatever the reason, investing in a pay-as-you-go mobile internet dongle will make sure everyone can get online without having to worry about roaming charges and their own personal data allowances. If you’re getting right off the beaten track, you might have to upgrade and have a satellite internet system fitted to your roof – although this is a more expensive option, it may be the only way you can get online.
If you’re planning on using the wifi provided at the campsites you stop off at, it’s worth investing in a wifi booster, in case you’re parked out of range of the site’s router.
4. Spare gas cylinder
Although your campervan should come complete with a refillable gas cylinder, you should always pack a spare one in case you run out before you’ve had a chance to fill it back up. And make sure you pick the right type of gas for your travels – butane, which comes in blue cylinders, is suitable for most trips, but if you’re going to be travelling through any colder countries, you’ll need to pack propane, which comes in red cylinders. This is because butane does not vaporise in sub-zero temperatures.
No matter the size of your motorhome, living space can always be a problem, but a quality awning can instantly double the amount of room you have to play with, and even offer much more than a shaded area for a table and chair. A good-sized awning can be used as extra storage space, or even sleeping quarters if the cabin beds are feeling a bit cramped.
While you should always pack up-to-date maps of all the places you’ll be travelling through, and pre-plan all your routes and stop-off points, a satnav can still prove to be an essential piece of kit, especially if you’re travelling in a larger motorhome and need to avoid low-bridges or narrow roads.
Your campervan might have a system fitted to the dashboard, or you could simply use your smartphone, utilising its mapping app or downloading an app such as Co-Pilot, which enables you to enter the dimensions of your motorhome to plan a route that avoids roads that will be too narrow or not load-bearing enough for you to drive down.
7. Outdoor furniture and barbecue
Experiencing the great outdoors is one of the main draws of a campervan holiday, and what better way to experience it than with some al fresco dining. Pack some lightweight collapsible furniture that you can use to sit out in the sun, as well as a barbecue so you can step out of the kitchen and enjoy some flamed-grilled food.
8. Outdoor lights
When the nights are warm, you won’t want to retreat back into your van when it starts to get dark, and a quality set of outdoor lights will help you while away the evening hours without having to use the lights in your motorhome. Opt for battery operated lights, so there’s no need to drain power from your van, or solar-powered ones that you can leave out to charge up during the day.
9. Air conditioning system
While we all enjoy getting out in the sun on hot summer days, if your resort doesn’t cool down at night you can find getting a good night’s sleep is all but impossible. And air condition system, such as Cool My Camper offers a cost-effective and non-intrusive way to keep your campervan cool when the outside temperature refuses to drop.
10. Towing mirrors
If towing mirrors aren’t included as part of your standard campervan accessories pack, it’s vital that you invest in a set to help improve the road visibility from the cabin, particularly if you’re driving a larger motorhome. The law states that states that drivers must be able to see for a distance of 20 metres to the rear, and four metres either side of their outfit, which means towing mirrors are essential if you’re towing a caravan with your car, and will also be useful if you’re towing anything behind your campervan.
11. Portable TV and satellite system
Motorhome holidays are at their best when you can get out and enjoy everything the great outdoors, but are those times when you’re cooped up inside with nothing to do – that’s when a portable TV and satellite system comes into its own. If you want to watch free-to-air and local satellite TV channels, there are a range of decoder boxes you can choose from, but if you want to watch Sky, you’ll need an official system.
You’ll also have a choice of satellite dish which must be mounted to your motorhome – manual dishes will have to be manipulated by hand to find a signal, while automatic dishes scan the skies to find the strongest signal. Although automatic dishes are more convenient, they can also be a lot more expensive.
Dashcams are growing in popularity with every type of motorist, generally because they can provide vital evidence in the case of an accident or an insurance claim. And while this can be beneficial for any campervan owner, it can also offer a great way to record your road trip. Make sure you do your research before you buy, and don’t just opt for the cheapest model as it might not perform well at speed or in low light.
13. Reversing camera
While the dashcam can be used to record any mishaps from the front, a reversing camera can help you avoid any mishaps at the back, and can be absolutely essential if you have to manoeuvre a larger motorhome. Again, do your research before you buy, while will simply show an image of what’s behind, others will include a distance grid to make parking that little bit simpler.
14. Bike rack
A motorhome holiday offers the perfect opportunity to explore the great outdoors, and while you can do this by hiking cross-country, taking a bike ride means you can get much further afield. If you have a larger motorhome, it might have an integrated garage where you can store bike, but if not, or you want to store something else in there, a quality bike rack is essential.
When buying a bike rack, choose one that’s easy to fit, isn’t too heavy (you don’t want to add unnecessary weight) and doesn’t block any windows or sight lines.
15. A security system
Unfortunately, a fully loaded motorhome is one that’s very desirable to thieves, and while your van will most likely have an alarm in the cab, this won’t help if someone tries to break in at the back. And because motorhome windows are usually made of plastic, and don’t have the most robust of locking systems, they can be relatively easy to break into.
You can help protect your property by installing window catches with locks and an internal alarm. If you opt for one that comes with a flashing light, this can help to deter would-be thieves by letting them know your motorhome is alarmed.
Is your motorhome fully insured?
Remember, any additional gadgets and accessories will not only add to the value of your motorhome but will also make it more desirable to thieves, so make you’re fully covered by your motorhome insurance policy.
If you’re unsure how much cover you’ll need, give our insurance experts a call on 0800 0304 206 – our unrivalled choice of policies is what makes 98.8% of Comfort Insurance’s customers say they’re happy with our service and would recommend us to a friend*.
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