Packing a motorhome or camper? Want to know what essential motorhome kit you need? Here's a list of the most important things that every motorhome or campervan should carry with them before they leave for their trip.
Don't forget to grab your free motorhome departure checklist below to help keep you organised.
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Motorhome Essentials- what do you ACTUALLY need?
I know, I know. You find a motorhome to buy and all of a sudden your wallet is open and you're buying STUFF.
So. Much. Stuff.
Sometimes, it's hard to know what the motorhome essentials are and which ones are just… nice to have.
So here's a list for you. These are the essential things we believe EVERY motorhome and campervan should have asap.
Some of them are important for life in the van. Some are important for safety. We're not concentrating on travelling abroad- if you'd like to see the 15 essential motorhome accessories you need for Europe- click here
Essential motorhome accessories
You need a hosepipe, in order to fill your water tanks. We highly recommend at least 10-15m in length. Food grade hose is preferable. We prefer a proper hose to a flat hose, but a flat hose is a lot easier to store.
You'll also need connectors- we like the Hoselock connector and use brass adaptors for Europe for different size taps. REMEMBER to take the connectors with you!! (I've lost so many all over Europe- oops!) And the cap for the water tank is brilliant- just attach your hose and leave until the tank is full.
240v Electric cable
A long (25m) 240v electric cable is good, but don't leave it coiled up when in use as it can cause a fire. Spread it out on the ground outside the van. We prefer not to have it on a reel as it's easier for storage and also means we don't get lazy and leave it coiled up on the reel- that's how fires start! We store ours in our motorhome storage box, but it can go in an internal locker or the garage if you have one.
You can have either refillable or exchangeable bottles. If you're staying mostly in the UK, stick to exchangeable (remember to get a spanner for tightening/ loosening the bottles. 30mm is the usual size.) Refillable are cheaper if you use them a LOT, but it's getting harder to find LPG in the UK (it's easy in Europe, so we highly recommend them then). This is the refillable gas system we use
You'll only spend one night at an unholy angle before you agree that levelling chocks are a motorhoming essential.
We highly recommend these Jumbo ones– take up a bit more storage room, but they're so much more useful than the smaller versions. The storage bag is useful too for when they're wet and/ or muddy.
Talking of mud, have you ever been stuck on a muddy pitch or field on a camper holiday? We have… and it was NOT fun.
I don't think we would have gotten out if it wasn't for these mud mats. I joked about not really needing them… but boy was I wrong! They are ESSENTIAL essential motorhome accessories!!
If you're new to motorhoming, you might be interested in these posts:
Essential motorhome Safety Kit
If you've got gas onboard, you need a carbon monoxide detector. And a smoke alarm. A combined unit is useful. And a fire blanket and extinguisher. After our motorhome fire, we are INSISTENT on these things.
(This pack is great value for money!)
Other essential safety kit includes:
Tyre Repair Kit
We don't like to think about it, but sometimes things go wrong. Often, it involves a flat tyre. Many motorhomes do NOT have a spare tyre- they have a tyre repair kit. Make sure it's a heavy duty system suitable for large vehicles.
You NEED a proper sat nav in a motorhome. No question about it. It's too big a vehicle to mess around with.
Motorhome Essentials- Wing-mirror protectors
These are one of the best things you will ever buy. Trust me- worth every penny. There are long arm and short arm versions- be sure to buy the correct one for your motorhome or camper.
Essential Motorhome accessories for living
Once you start using your motorhome, there are several things you'll need, even just for one night.
Toilet Paper & Toilet chemicals
You do NOT need expensive ‘motorhome' toilet paper. In fact, the cheapest stuff you can find in the supermarket is PERFECT- anything which dissolves quickly.
But we DO recommend toilet chemicals. We've tried a lot of different types, including detergent tabs, which were ok but didn't stop the smell.
We now use a product called Solbio organic toilet fluid, which is natural and doesn't contain harmful chemicals- and it smells delicious (yes, seriously!) It's also safe to be disposed of in septic tanks or fosse, meaning we have more options to dispose of our toilet responsibly.
Also, if it's a ‘new' van to you, you might want to freshen up the toilet cassette using this pack.
Bedding & mattress topper
If you spend much time in the motorhome, it's going to need cleaning. We have tried several different brands of 12v vacuum cleaner and conclude that Dyson is worth every penny. Get the one with a 12v charging option. You'll also want a small dustpan and brush to get in the corners.
You can get more tips on how to clean the outside of your motorhome here
Essential motorhome accessories- Plates and cutlery
You have a LOAD of options here. We have melamine, which are tough and can stand being dropped by accident. I love both of these, but Amazon have LOADS of options. Same for cutlery and motorhome mugs.
(Also, you DON'T need to buy huge amounts- just enough for one each. Guests or people you might want to invite for coffee can bring their own mugs/ plates.)
Other essential motorhome accessories
A couple of random tips for you. Change as many interior lights to LED as you can- your battery power will thank you- especially if you want to go wild camping with your motorhome.
Also, make sure to buy a way to charge your phone/ ipad using the 12v sockets at the front.
Watch a video of the essential motorhome accessories (plus a few random ones!)
Watch the video of me and Mr WB discussing our opinions on what we feel are the most important essential motorhome accessories (and what we disagree with each other about!)
If you're new to motorhomes, you might find these posts useful:
- Your first motorhome trip- step by step guide
- Essential motorhome tips and tricks for beginners
- Motorhome Departure Checklist and pre-trip checks
Alternatively, these guides might answer all your questions (and more!)