50 Motorhome Essentials every van ACTUALLY needs

New motorhome or camper owner? Looking for the essential motorhome accessories you need for your new van? Here are 21 ESSENTIAL things you need right now

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

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    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 but not essential. There are 3 options when it comes to hoses – a normal hose, a flat hose and the expanding hose.

    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 store ours in our motorhome storage box, but it can go in an internal locker or the garage if you have one, either rolled up for in a carry case.

    You’ll probably also want a splitter (there are a LOT of campsites with not enough sockets!), a 240v wall plug and a European adapter.

    Want to know how to pack a motorhome (from scratch?) Here’s a video for you

    Gas Bottle

    You can have either refillable or exchangeable gas bottles in your motorhome. 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.


    Talking of gas, if you don’t already have a 3-way fridge, get one. The ability to run on the leisure battery (depending on your set up), 12v (while the engine is running), gas or 240v power is so useful- you won’t regret it. There are options – a fitted fridge or one that is portable, below are some options. It is worth thinking about the installation – will it impact your warranty, so will you need to have one fitted by a certified workshop (this will mainly impact those with purpose built motorhomes / campervans).

    3 Way Fridges (No Freezer)

    Portable Fridge / Freezer

    Another option is a 2 ways fridge – these run off 12v or 240v and these come in a configuration of fridge and or fridge freezer. My friend has this 15L one – she uses as an extra freezer and it sits in her passenger foot-well (this one can also be used as a fridge).

    If you prefer the Dometic range – the brand that most motorhomes are equipped with, you can check out their link Dometic Fridge/ Freezers and Dometic Coolers.

    Levelling Chocks

    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.

    Mud Mats

    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 motorhome accessories!!

    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. I have done a full post on fire extinguishers – check it out here.

    The latest product on the market is the Fire Safety Stick, I have done a post which includes this product and you can see a video of the product here – in action!

    Other Essential Safety Kit includes:

    Spare bulb kit and fuses, First Aid Kit, Warning Triangle, basic toolkit, and a head torch.

    This roadside emergency kit contains most of those things, plus extras.

    Whilst we’re on the subject, don’t forget security. We fitted a motorhome door lock for additional peace of mind, as well as several other motorhome security ideas.

    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.

    Sat Nav

    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. If you’re living in your van, you’ll need even more 🙂

    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.

    To freshen up the toilet bowl after use – these products are great! Zoflora is great to use not only in the toilet bowl, but also down your drains and grey water tank!

    If you need to freshen up the toilet cassette – these products are great and I would advise to clean your cassette regularly to keep it free from “grime” (but this will depend how much you use your van)

    Bedding & Mattress Topper

    Decent motorhome bedding is essential. We aren’t a fan of sleeping bags, preferring proper duvets and pillows. A mattress topper is also essential if you want a good night’s sleep. Almost all toppers are made for “normal” beds – so if you have a french bed in your van, then your best option is buy a foam topper where you can cut ti to shape. Or you can get made for purpose toppers but these can be expensive!


    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


    Here are some great alternates to cooking of you run out of gas or there is power cut your campsite. There are two great options; alcohol cooker and gas cooker.

    These are great way to keep food or drink hot / cold whether you’re wild camping or out on a walk. When you’re cooking via gas, these are great way to minimize using your gas to reheat water or food.

    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:

    Alternatively, these guides might answer all your questions (and more!)

    Step by step guide for new motorhome owners
    motorhome buying toolkit
    Motorhome Buying- complete guide to buying the right camper for you

    Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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    1. Tony Draycott says:

      We also value a couple of outside mats or shoe scrubbers when the weather is wet or we are on a sandy site, saves loads of dirt inside.

    2. Jayne scott says:

      Alcohol stove (often found on boats). Freestanding and saves on gas or as an alternative cooking source when you run out. Easier to get fuel too.

      Grip mats which can save getting stuck in wet/muddy conditions.

      Sense of humour when the above happen!!

    3. Brian Collis says:

      Kat, I thought that you used Co-Pilot as your sat nav. Have you changed

      1. Hi Brian,

        We (and some other people we know) have been having some issues with Co-Pilot. We’re still using them, but every time we have issues with it sending us down a tiny street or up a junction the wrong way, so have to constantly check with Google Maps! So we no longer recommend them- the newer Sat-Navs are far better and at some point we will upgrade.

        1. Yes, we have also used Co-pilot for many years but during the last year time and time again been fooled and it has shown us completely wrong with long detours on small country roads so it’s out.

    4. Ian Fletchet says:

      We also carry grip mats and have used them quite regularly. In addition, our kit includes a length of waste hose as you can’t always access a drive over Grey water drain easily.

    5. Ken Almen says:

      Hi Kat,
      I have a 2013 Fiat Ducatto Auto trail. Do you recommend any dash cam front and rear, although the rear one would have to be mounted outside as I have no rear window. Also wired or wireless?
      Wait to hear from you.

    6. John Dickson says:

      Hi Kat, I like your list. A couple of things though, I have 2 electrical cables, 1 x 10 metre and 1x 15 metres, best length to a hookup (if needed).
      Also have 5 metre blue hose to fill tank, with various connectors and 1 piece of hose about 2 feet to fill our water barrel, most places in Britain seem to have screw theads on the tap or a Hozelock connector.

    7. Jane Connors says:

      I have a Bilbo Nexa so two single beds ( I travel with friends). I use duvets from the Fine Bedding company. Warm as toast, machine washable and soft as clouds and pack down to virtually nothing. I start with single cotton duvet cover used as a flat sheet, and duvet on top. When packing away. Roll pillows ,sheet and duvets up into a roll. Stuff into waterproof sack which I then sit on to get all air out and then stow. Easy peasy
      I have giant micro fibre towels too. Can also be used as shawl if cold or extra blanket.

    8. Primrose Jones says:

      Call me daft but I don’t like melamine so I use wooden plates and bowls – non breakable and lighter than china- I use ceramic mugs though as they seem to survive. Agree only need one set cutlery and dishes per person but I do carry extra mugs. Can I say I love your site and all the advice and links too – saves a lot of time looking for things!

    9. We have a Collapsible watering can which we use to fill up the tank of parked away from a tap. It’s also got a tap on it so we can use it for drinking water.

    10. John Tiernay says:

      We are about to swap our motorhome, so everything has had to come out of the old one. Horrifying how much one accumulates over several years. Be careful not to take too much. It all weighs something and clutters up space and spare space means that my wife can fill it with shoes and clothes!!

    11. Rebecca Butler says:

      Hi Kat
      We also have a pop up shower tent that we put outside the door for wet shoes and hanging wet coats, the dry off in there rather than brining them inside

    12. Hey kat could we use our motorhome to do our shopping so we can give it a run out in these trouble times or could we just run the engine for a time on our front drive . Many thanks John and stay safe

      1. Either, or or both! 🙂 There’s no problem taking your motorhome to the shops, although it can be tough to park in supermarkets in the UK. Also, you might find people all too willing to share their own opinions on motorhoming, but don’t let that stop you. But otherwise, just run the engine on the drive for a while, but driving it is a much better option if you can.

        1. Steve Burrell says:

          Hi Kat, I would suggest just running the engine isn’t such a good idea. The engine needs a good blast of about 20 miles. Just letting it tick over will clog up the particulate filter. I completely agree with you about using the MoHo to get the shopping, or drive to get exercise. There are no regulations stating the type of vehicle you can use. Great site, keep it up

    13. Hey cat again one other thing what we now do in the winter we bought a roll of roofing felt and laid it under our motorhome where it’s park on our front concrete drive to stop the damp drawing up under our van . John.

    14. Sally-Anne Schilfer says:

      Love your site Kat, and you always have useful info for us.
      One thing we always carry in abundance – cable ties.
      Useful for many little and larger jobs.

    15. BaileyStrempel says:

      Fantastic page so useful information has given by you, that I will need when I start travelling in our caravan. CANNOT WAIT.

    16. Fantastic tips, thank u. How can I stop the rattling in our MH pls?

    17. amazing site for information. Thank you

    18. I can’t fathom traveling without my bicycle. To me, a bike carrier stands out as an essential accessory. I invested in a universal towbar with a frame extension for my Adra Matrix XL motorhome, enabling me to utilize the most convenient bike carrier designed for towbar mounting. I highly recommend the UCAMP from XIMPLIO. 😀

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