It’s a question that’s often asked on social networks: what equipment or accessories do we think are essential for a motorhome vacation or trip?
We’ve had our motorhome since the spring of 2021, and we love this way of traveling. We lived in it for 10 months during our tour of Europe, then used it many times when we came home for vacations.
It’s like a second home to us. So we didn’t hesitate to do a lot of research and make a few small adjustments to make it feel like home.
We tried tooptimize space and buy accessories to protect our motorhome and keep it as long as possible.
Kitchen and bathroom equipment
We’ll start this article with what we think is the most important thing: creating the kitchen and bathroom equipment you’ll be using every day.
Foldable drainer + draining mat
You’ll certainly think of thefolding drip tray, but we advise you to opt for a microfiber drip mat for your drip tray. Even if your drainer is equipped with a drip tray to catch excess water, there are always a few leaks.
It’s also handy if all your dishes don’t fit into the drainer. Then you can hang your rug over the shower to dry!
It’s also essential for preventing noise and protecting your dishes. We inserted one between each pan and saucepan.
As with felt, it’s important to protect your cupboards, especially those in the kitchen. Because when you roll all your dishes, they’re going to move around and rub the inside of your cupboards a bit. We inserted them in every cupboard.
Forget the energy-hungry Nespresso or Senseo, as you won’t have access to electricity when you’re bivouacking. So we opted for an Italian coffee maker. Simply fill the water container with water and the coffee container with coffee, then let it heat up on the stove. It’s a product we’ve used every day and we find the coffee excellent.
We’ve equipped ourselves during the trip, so you’ll find plenty of places to make a fire. You can grill meat, fish and pizzas.
Generally speaking, a tank in a motorhome can store between 100 and 120 liters of water. We bought 2 x 20-liter cans during the trip, to give us greater water autonomy.
It’s a basic, collapsible bucket or tub for washing clothes, carrying things…
Two essentials for traveling light and 0 waste! We’ve been using these products ever since we returned from our round-the-world trip.
Today I’m making our own solid shampoo, let me know in the comments if the recipe might interest you. Secrets de Provence, a French brand with impeccable organic ingredients, is one of our favorites on the market.
Soaps from the French brand Docteur Bronner’s are magic! They can be used to wash your body, hair and teeth, and to do your laundry (yes, it’s possible!), all in organic form. In short, a space-saving product to have in your bathroom.
A second point not to be overlooked is the creation ofstorage space that’s easy to use and doesn’t require too much work.
In our opinion, this is the must-have addition to make life easier in the motorhome: thehanging shoe organizer, close to the front door. For our part, we used the bottom pockets for our shoes.
Our daughter has easy access to it. Then, in the top pockets, we stowed outdoor accessories such as hats, gloves, neck wraps, umbrellas, etc. for cold countries, and sun cream, hats and glasses for hot countries.
As well as the equipment we used to go out at night, such as our USB-chargeable headlamps, which have been with us ever since our round-the-world trip. In short, another must-have accessory that will quickly pay for itself.
Nets to be put absolutely everywhere, it sounds very simple, but we hadn’t thought of it before we left… We’ve made a note of it here, as we’ve subsequently had trouble finding any.
We recommend that you each put one above your bed, and I used it to store my reading book, my sleeping mask and my earplugs (some bivouacs weren’t always very quiet). We also had several in the lounge area to store our phones (so we didn’t have to look everywhere for them) and our travel guides.
In our opinion, it’s also a must-have when you get back from a pool or beach session or a wet hike, if you’re planning to hit the road or the weather doesn’t allow you to hang out your stuff outside, having a clothesline over your shower will be a lifesaver.
Water from wet clothes can run directly into your shower tray.
It’s also a must-have for keys, tea towels and hand towels…. we recommend small adhesive hooks so that you don’t need to make any holes and can remove them easily.
6. Fit out the hold with storage boxes and bags
Some travelers leave with a very well-organized hold, with lots of shelves. If, like us, you’d like to carry out as little work as possible (perhaps to make it easier to resell your vehicle).
We recommend plastic storage boxes. We had 1 large one (1 metre by 50 cm), in which we stored things we hardly ever used. Then two small ones, on top, one with our outdoor stuff, mask, snorkel, snowshoes… and another one with our daughter’s manual activities, painting, stock of toys, little treasures brought back from our walks…
Sorry for the mess in the photo, we were in the middle of tidying up and cleaning out our cargo hold. There’s also a box for storing less frequently used shoes.
Converting a closet into a shelf
We had left the hall closet as a closet when we left, what a mistake, we really didn’t have enough room to store our things and the organization didn’t suit us.
So we added 5 shelves and a pull-out drawer for vegetables. Finally, our coats were folded in one shelf, we had all the others for storing things and what a gro sgain of space.
We bought one during our trip, as we were using our daughter’s bath thermometer, which wasn’t accurate enough.
This station is equipped with wireless sensors, so you can place 1 in the passenger compartment and 1 in the gas compartment, for example.
You’ll always know what the temperature is inside and outside the motorhome, so you’ll know what to wear when you go out.
JBL bluetooth speaker
For travelers (like us) who can’t do without music! We always carry our JBL Flip bluetooth speaker in our backpack or camper van, and find it really hard-wearing. After many years of use, it’s still as good as new. Note that it can withstand a few splashes or a little rain.
We bought our e-readers in 2016, before leaving on our round-the-world trip, and had opted for the Kobo brand from Fnac. Edit 2023, they are still in excellent condition after many years and hours of use.
You can easily download several books before you leave or during your trip, so you don’t have to choose just one to limit the weight of your backpack, suitcase or vehicle. It’s an easy , pleasant read. It’s a sustainable purchase for all voyagers, big and small!
This reading light is backlit, so you can read in dimly lit places (buses, hotel rooms and when everyone’s sleeping in the camper van).
We fitted ourselves with a motion detector alarm that we activate every time we leave the house, so that if someone breaks in, it emits a loud, unpleasant noise, which we hope will deter potential burglars. Just remember to activate it on your way out and deactivate it on your way in.
This is one of the accessories you’ll be taking out most often. For our part, we really needed to be flat to sleep properly , and our daughter enjoyed helping us with this family task. Of course, we recommend you buy a spirit level.
We recommend you choose an extendable water hose for easy storage in your hold.
As your motorhome’s joints are fragile, we recommend that you always have Sika joint sealant on hand.
Think about it, it can be useful for measuring the height of a bridge, because as you can see in some countries, such as Italy or Greece, to name but a few, bridge heights are not always indicated.
It saved us in Italy, in the Puglia region, where we really thought we were going over a bridge, but when in doubt we checked it out, and the verdict from our laser was that we weren’t going over at all. We can’t always rely on our human eyes to measure distances or heights…
Also handy, you might need it to cut off a branch in the way, or to chop wood for campfires on bivouacs when authorized.
Our daughter had just blown out her first candle when we bought our campsite, so we had to equip ourselves to adapt the spaces for a baby and then for a little girl during our 10 months in the motorhome.
Of course, our daughter didn’t lack for anything during our long trip, and she even took her baths in a bathtub – the ultimate luxury.
We opted for the Stokke folding bathtub (very light, top quality and with a little plug for emptying the water), which fitted exactly into our bathroom shower. We also used it a lot for outdoor bathing.
It’s great to be able to take a bath in a camper van – our 3-year-old daughter still uses it. There’s also a deckchair for the little ones. It’s the thing to have when traveling with a small child.
It’s something we spent a lot of time on, as we knew it was going to be used since we drove it for around 15,000 kilometers.
The Isofix system is not generally found on motorhomes, except on very recent models. For example, ours is a 2011 model, with no Isofix system, whereas our 2006 car has an Isofix system.
As you can see, we had to buy a car seat with a belt attachment system. So once again we scoured the internet for reviews, and now we consult the Sécurange website every time we buy a car seat.
We opted for the Maxi-Cosi Beryl (which doesn’t swivel) in the camper van, as there’s more room and our daughter could get into the seat on her own.
Our daughter was 1.5 years old when we left, so we decided to take our ergonomic & physiological baby carrier with us.
It’s also an accessory we use almost daily, so you can sit quietly outside, discreetly, or have a quick lunch without having to take out your tables and chairs. We recommend you take a thick one to make yourself comfortable.
We created a bespoke safety net for our daughter’s cot, as we wanted a system where she could be safe at night but still be able to get out on her own if need be.
Matthieu’s mom was responsible for the design and manufacture of this super net. If you’d like more information, we can send you our plans.
Accessories for digital nomads
As you probably know, we travel and work at the same time. It’s already quite an organization to reconcile everything, and we also do our utmost to work in good conditions.
This starts, of course, with quality equipment. So we invested in a laptop stand and a keyboard.
We really like this model, because it’s easy to use and compact (another very important criterion for us), for a small budget.
Keyboard and mouse
Matthieu works on a Mac and I on a PC, so we each chose a model adapted to our computer and Bluetooth. Mattieu is very pleased with his purchases, which recharge via USB.
While I find my PC keyboard very pleasant and similar to my computer keyboard, the only downside is that it runs on flat batteries, so I have to remember to switch it off after each use to try to conserve the batteries as long as possible.
And sometimes we work on our camping chairs…
Now you know everything you theoretically need in your motorhome! If it makes you feel any better, we bought a lot of equipment along the way. Tell us in the comments what your vanlife indispentables are!
We also equipped ourselves for our 15-day motorhome trip to Brittany and our 4-month stay in Scandinavia. If you found this article useful, don’t hesitate to give it 5 stars below.
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