Everything you need if you travel by camper or van
Traveling by van and living there for a few weeks, or months as we chose, is a wonderful experience. Your home follows you and the freedom of movement allows you to manage your trip differently from how it has been done up to now.
Il wild campingthat is, parking and sleeping even if not in a campsite, usually in nature, adds that romantic touch to the experience which, however, is not free from unexpected events.
As much as we tried to leave prepared, there were inconveniences. These are also part of the game.
Only along the way, and after various problems to resolve, is the art of the perfect van driver or camper driver refined.
For this reason, during the first trip of about two months, between Switzerland and France, I wrote down all the things that came in handy almost every day and that should not be forgotten.
In fact, not only chairs and tables, but also tools that you hope to use little… but most likely, the more you travel the more chances there will be of needing them.
Clearly, if you are traveling for a week you may not need it, or if you rent the van/camper you will not need to purchase many of the things I mention. But in case you are deciding to buy one, or build one yourself, then this post is for you!
By the way, but then I will write a post exclusively for this, lhe gas cylinder issue in Europe is very complicated.
Indeed, it is more than complicated “pain in the ass” as the English would say.
Make sure you have a GERMAN adapter with you which is the one that best adapts to the different cylinder formats around Europe or equipped with bolts to adapt the different connections.
In some cases we had to order some things online, because it was very difficult to find camper shops, and we had them shipped to nearby lockers. A fast and immediate way to find what you need without having to drive to shops, in some cases even 100km away!
What not to forget before leaving for a Camper/Van trip
Chemical toilet disintegrating liquid
The chemical toilet cistern makes life easier when you travel but you have to clean it at least every 3 days, then it depends on the heat or cold. Bad odors can become annoying and so it is good to have the liquid or toilet tablets with you.
We use Aqua Kem liquid and we also have the tablets (15 + 3 bags)we are full of them that you never know might be needed and there are no shops nearby!
Plates and glasses with rubber bottom
The set of plates and glasses Brunner they’re the best. Excellent melamine and rubber materials on the bottom to stay firmly on the table.
Brunner offers different sets, I recommend the set of 16 pieces which also includes 4 cups and costs around 60 euros. Online shop
Unbreakable wine glasses
Imagine when on the first evening of the trip to inaugurate the van adventure the glasses needed to pour the wine were very sad plastic glasses. I immediately remedied this by purchasing glasses that guarantee safety and comfort!
The set of 4 glasses costs around 19 euros, an affordable price for a good product.
I thought I wouldn’t need it much but instead I wore it many times. From when I had to place the wedges in the dark, to when I had to look for something in the trunk when the sun had already set. A small gadget that should never be missing in the van.
I use the Omeril torch with three different light and waterproof options.
When the weather starts to be pleasant and you can eat outside in the evening, a light bulb that can illuminate the table and can be hung comfortably is essential. I opted for this compact lantern, small but which gives exceptional light. It recharges with a USB cable and has three different lighting modes.
It seems like we are straight but in reality we are not. Every time you park, if it’s for the night, you have to check how straight or crooked you are. The level helps you find the right position to stay level. I recommend it bidirectional level to be straight on all fronts!
If the level tells us how crooked we are, the wedges help us make our van straight. Also in this case the wedges I use are Brunner wedges of excellent quality and with three steps, which allows us to climb step by step and find the right one for us.
Buy online i cunei
Electricity cable and water pipe
The electricity cable and a water hose cannot be missing. I admit that we spend very little time camping but, especially in winter, when we have to dry our hair we need to attach ourselves to the column, and it is in these cases that the cable is needed.
To fill the water tank you also need a hose, and i related adapters (which you can buy in a package).
Buy the 20 meter cable
As I wrote, we like to do wild camping, on the other hand when working online we always need to keep our computers charged even if they are not connected to electricity. We have therefore installed an inverter that allows us to always stay charged and use the van battery and solar panels.
An excellent inverter is the Novopal Power Inverter (around 190 euros)
Fennek portable fire pit
I discovered it one evening in Albania when some German boys organized a fire around which to have a chat. The brazier is made up of steel plates that fit together and with a base with holes that allow the ash to fall to the ground.
In this way, not only does lighting the fire become easier but it is also safer. I bought it as soon as I got home and now I always travel with this simple, yet ingenious, idea for making fires while traveling in total safety. Buy online at €65.
When we left I thought that we would never, ever have to use the toolbox, but instead already from the first week we needed help.
The bag with the basic tools must never be missing in the trunk. To optimize spaces we have the Black & Decker bag with 77 pieces.
Dashboard cell phone holder
When you drive you always want to have the map at your fingertips and among the different supports tested, the one that rests on the dashboard was the one that worked best for our needs.
I particularly like the swivel one which adapts perfectly to the person driving and the lights. Online shop
Spray for gas leaks
In winter you consume much more gas than in summer, since you have to turn on the heating which, if it’s really cold, stays on all night. The cylinders are therefore changed generally every 3 weeks.
To ensure that there are no gas leaks, I recommend always having a cylinder with you that detects any gas leaks.
Watering can and 30 liter tank
Traveling in November which is a month in which all campsites are closed, things got complicated for us on some occasions.
To fill the water tank we used public fountains on some occasions and to then put it in the van’s tank we had to use a plastic funnel-shaped bottle.
The fifth time this happened to us we bought a watering can and our vision became easier!
Of course we always keep an extra 30 liter tank in case we suddenly run out of water.
Small travel vacuum cleaner
You enter the van strictly barefoot, with socks or slippers, but no matter how much attention you pay, the environment gets dirty easily and to clean more thoroughly I use a small vacuum cleaner with a nozzle to clean even in the corners.
Mine is a Dolfy wireless, important not only because it is easier to handle but also because I can charge it when I have the electricity cable and I can use it whenever I want. The battery lasts up to 40 minutes.