Modern-day campervans come with all the basics you need to drive away and enjoy a holiday.
But it probably won't be too long before you reckon on picking up a few non-essential extras to make life on the road that little bit more comfortable.
Of course, space and weight is always a consideration when it comes to packing in some extras so you need to be careful when considering the options.
It's a good idea to try and list extras in order of priority so the most important and useful items get chosen first.
Here are some useful accessories that you could consider taking along as optional extras for your campervan.
They are not in any particular order. Some may already be fitted and others may not appeal, so
scan through the list and take your pick.
Satnavs are almost essential these days and, if you don't have one fitted, we suggest installing one as soon as you can. Not only can a satnav get you back on track if you get lost, it can also warn about narrow roads and sharp bends ahead. Estimated arrival time is always handy to make sure you don't arrive at your destination in the dark. They are especially useful when driving abroad and downloadable maps can pinpoint campsites and provide other useful information.
Dashcams have dropped in price and now come with a host of useful features for the campervanner. They offer peace of mind for recording incidents and they can reduce your insurance premiums too. Quality varies from cheap and basic to sophisticated systems with multiple cameras and smartphone connectivity. You will need a system that powers down when the engine stops so you don't waste electricity. Other features to consider are the image resolution and frame rate. Cheaper models may not detect fast-moving vehicles and image quality may drop in low light conditions.
Campervans are relatively easy to manoeuvre but reversing into tight parking spaces can be tricky. A basic system will display what is directly behind you but more sophisticated systems will include proximity sensors to the rear and side to warn if you are too near a hazard. Some will display distance grids to show how much room you have. Check for cameras with wide-angle lenses, good picture quality and get a twin camera system for full coverage.
When parked with a power hook-up you can use all the electrical gadgets you have. Away from civilisation, you will soon have to mothball power devices like a TV or microwave. Here's where a back-up battery can come in real handy. Hook it up to the normal battery and you can use it in parallel to give some extra long-life power. It's best to make sure both batteries are from the same manufacturer and have the same rating. Normal batteries have amp hour ratings of 75, 90 or 110. The price goes up for bigger batteries.
In recent years solar panels have increased in efficiency and dropped in price. If you plan to take your campervan abroad to sunnier countries they can be valuable in helping to keep your batteries topped up. They are not so suitable for UK conditions but those that can tilt towards the sun have a big advantage over those that simply sit on the roof.
Campsites usually offer Wi-Fi to visitors but there is no guarantee of a good signal especially if you have to park the campervan away from the reception area. A wi-fi booster antenna may give enough of a signal to connect any deviceshave on board. Mi-fi devices can use 4G or 5G to connect to the internet and create a wi-fi hub for your campervan. Take care though that you don't ramp up roaming charges or you could arrive home to a whopping bill.
Awnings offer a flexible opportunity to stretch your legs outside the campervan. Sizes vary from a small 'porch' to a large tent big enough to relax in. One major advantage of an awning is that they keep the area outside the campervan dry in wet weather and shady when the sun comes out. Types vary from wind-out awnings to drive-away awnings and tailgate tents that fit neatly on the rear of the vehicle. Think also about a small pop-up tent which can make a useful temporary storage shelter.
Lightweight foldaway furniture is a must of you opt for a campervan awning. They can include chairs, tables and outdoors storage units. Look for those that come with their own storage bag or box so they can be neatly folded away when you are on the move. Particularly useful are those foldaway clutter organisers and collapsible rubbish bins which help keep things tidy as you go along.