49 Van Life Essentials: Accessories, Gadgets & Must-Haves

Various van life essentials gear including a stove, Hydroflask, wet wipes, fire extinguisher, power bank, espresso maker, first-aid kit, and more
Van Life Essentials: Best Gadgets, Gear & Accessories List

Ol’ Champ, my beloved 2005 Chevy Astro camper van, has taken me through desolate deserts, breathtaking mountain ranges, chaotic city streets, and everywhere in between. I’ve spent months living under its humble steel roof with all I could ever need and nothing more. I know a thing or two about what’s essential when it comes to full-time van life.

That’s why I’ve compiled an extensive list of safety and security items, tech gadgets, kitchen essentials, and other must-haves that can assist you in living your very best van life. These are the items that I’d never dream of leaving behind.

I’ve also included a complete van life packing list, thoughts on my experience living full-time in a van, and some of the internet’s best resources for van dwellers worldwide.

Van life takes passion and preparation, so prepare for your adventure on four wheels with the proper gear and a wide-open mind.

Are you not living the van life quite yet? Check out my road trip essentials + packing list post.

Safety & Security Products

White fire extinguisher for cars, RVs, and camper vans
Safety and Security Items
Black car alarm and remote start set

Alarm System & Autostart: Viper 5906V

My Viper alarm system shrieks like a banshee if Ol’ Champ is disturbed, allowing me to start my van remotely. My handy Viper smartphone app will alert me if and when the alarm on my van is triggered, and I can spring into action.

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Apple AirTags four pack tracking devices

Tracking Device: AirTags

A stolen vehicle is rare but also a van lifer’s worst nightmare. By hiding Apple AirTags in my van (and with other valuable belongings), I can track its whereabouts as long as there’s an iPhone within a close distance.

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Red and black Garmin brand portable satellite messaging device

Sattelite Messaging Device: Garmin inReach Mini 2

Whether I’m cruising around in my van, going on a day hike, or thru-hiking a trail, I always bring my inReach along. It’s a potentially life-saving satellite device that can send messages and SOS alerts when my phone doesn’t have service.

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Security safe box for vehicles

Electronic Safe: Amazon Basics

Small enough to tuck away into a corner of your van, this safe box will keep your valuables locked down while you’re out and about. Bolt it to the wall of your van, set an electronic passcode, and go live your life.

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Must-have van emergency kit for living out of a vehicle

Car Emergency Kit: First Secure

Breakdowns are bound to happen for van lifers, so prepare yourself with an emergency kit. This handy setup includes jumper cables, tow straps, tire repair materials, an air compressor, a seatbelt cutter, and more.

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RV fire extinguisher for living in a van full time

Fire Extinguisher: First Alert

Though you’ll hopefully never use it, having a fire extinguisher in your van could be a life-saving (and van-saving) decision. On the off-chance that your van does catch fire, be ready with a compact, affordable, and reliable solution.

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White carbon monoxide detector for RVs, camper vans, and road trips

Carbon Monoxide Detector: Kidde

Like a fire extinguisher, this carbon monoxide detector could be a life-saving accessory for van life. Powered by two AA batteries, this device will constantly beep at 85 decibels if deadly carbon monoxide is present.

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Hydraulic Car Jack: Pro-Lift

Flat tires happen whether you’re ready for them or not, so prepare yourself with a car jack. This hydraulic kit will lift your van off the ground and is rated to hold the weight of even the largest rigs. (Lug wrench and jack stands aren’t included.)

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Tech Gadgets & Accessories

ECOFLOW power bank for off the grid electricity
Tech Gadgets & Accessories
200 watt solar panel kit for camper vans and rvs

Solar Kit: Renogy 200W

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or living in your van full time, a solar setup will boost your rig’s livability. Solar allows you to power your gadgets whether or not the van is running, which is a must-have for off-grid living.

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ECOFLO portable solar power bank for campers and rvs

High-Capacity Power Bank: ECO FLOW River Pro

I attach my solar panels to this high-capacity power bank, which keeps all my precious electronics running. And if there isn’t much sun to charge my solar panels, I can plug it into a wall for fast charging or into my rig’s 12-volt port.

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Electric 12-volt cooler for camping and RV life

Electric 12-Volt Cooler: ICECO JP40

Behold, my absolute favorite piece of van life technology: the ICECO JP40 12-volt electric cooler. I stash it full of perishable food and refreshing beverages, and my ECO FLO power bank + Renogy solar panel combo keeps it running 24/7.

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High-capacity portable USB power bank

Portable Power Bank: Anker 335

I stash a high-capacity portable power bank as a backup in case my larger power bank craps out or runs out of energy. With this, I can charge my iPhone or Garmin inReach Mini satellite device in an emergency.

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A touch USB lantern providing essential light for van life

USB Touch Light: RTSU Stick Anywhere

This little USB-chargeable light is handy when I want light but don’t want to draw power off my external battery. It charges fully in an hour and a half and can go weeks before it needs another charge. It’s dimmable too, which helps set the mood.

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USB-Rechargeable Clip-On Fan: Koonie

If a Fan-Tastic Fan isn’t in the cards, or you don’t have external power in your van, worry not. This compact and portable fan has a built-in battery that charges via USB and lasts between 6 and 24 hours on a charge, depending on the speed.

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Small JBL brand bluetooth speaker for travel and camping

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Go 3

The JBL Go 3 is one of my favorite gadgets, and I’d have a hard time van lifing without it. It’s waterproof, ultra-compact, puts out great audio for its size, and can take quite the beating. It’s also my minimalist travel speaker.

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Magnetic car cell phone mount for wireless charging

Wireless Charging Car Mount: Anker MagGo

I love this car mount because I don’t need to worry about twisting knobs or adjusting dials to grab my phone. My iPhone 13 Pro connects to it magnetically, and the charger passes on some power (slowly but surely).

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Black compact USB-rechargeable vacuum cleaner

Hand Vacuum: eufy by Anker

When you’re spending your life in a van, dust and dirt accumulate at an astronomical pace. That’s why a compact USB-rechargeable hand vacuum like the eufy is an absolute must-have for van lifers who need to keep tidy.

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12-Volt Air Compressor: Fortem

Whether you’re off-roading and need to control the air pressure in your tires or simply topping off a tire with a slow leak, you can do it all with a 12-volt air compressor. With this, you’ll never pay for air at a gas station again.

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Battery jumper gadget for cars, camper van life, and rvs

12V Chargeable Jump Starter: Hulkman

This incredible little accessory might be the most versatile van life tech gadget on the list. Not only can this power bank jump your dead car battery, but it also fast charges devices, works as a flashlight, and has a built-in compass.

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Van Life Kitchen Essentials

MSR Windburner Group stove system for camping families
Kitchen Essentials

Black Coleman butane camping stove

Butane Camping Stove: Coleman

My lightweight camping stove (a discontinued Kovea model similar to this) is the first of three stoves in my cooking system. I use it with my cast-iron skillet to cook all my non-liquid-related meals. It’s affordable, lightweight, and reliable.

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Isobutane Camping Stove: MSR WindBurner Group

I bought the MSR WindBurner stove system when I was hired to guide a 10-day trek of the ‘O’ Circuit in Patagonia. I loved it so much that I now use it for van life to cook ramen, soups, curries, and other liquid-based meals.

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Red isobutane camping stove used for rapidly boiling water

Compact Water Boiler: MSR WindBurner

The third and final piece of my cooking setup, the MSR WindBurner rapid water boiler, is a powerhouse. It connects with the same lightweight stove as the MSR mentioned above, and I use it to brew coffee and tea and to boil water for backpacking meals.

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Black yeti cooler for road trips and traveling

Portable Cooler Bag: YETI Hopper Flip

While many van lifers dream of purchasing a 12-volt refrigerator/freezer, the YETI Hopper Flip cooler bag is a more lightweight, portable, and versatile option. With enough ice, it keeps contents cold for days and is mobile enough for day trips.

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A green double walled vacuum-sealed thermos

Insulated Thermos: Hydroflask

The Hydroflask’s double-wall insulation keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for crazy-long amounts of time. It works wonders during long stretches of driving and extended trips into the outside world.

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Cast iron pan for camper van cooking

Cast Iron Pot: Utopia Kitchen

My sturdy cast iron pot is a pretty burly tool. It cooks food evenly on my camping stove and is rugged enough to prepare dinner over a campfire. It’s built for the constant abuses of van life and should be my workhorse for years to come.

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A wooden cutting board

Cutting Board: Utopia Kitchen

I’ve made the mistake of van living without a surface to prepare food, and cooking meals became damn near impossible. I won’t make that mistake again, however, as a large and sturdy cutting board is now a staple of my rig.

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A tableware setup providing all the essentials for life in a van

Tableware Set: Stansport 24-Piece

This tableware set may not be the prettiest, but that’s not the point. Made of enamel-coated steel, this compact, lightweight, and durable set can endure the harsh rigors of life on the go, day in and day out.

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Lightweight aluminum fold up table for camping

Folding Table: Mountain Summit Gear

What good are all of your van life essentials if you don’t have a surface to use them? I own two of these lightweight aluminum tables for cooking, eating meals, working on my laptop, and keeping other odds and ends off the ground.

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Other Valuable Van Life Essentials

Helinox Chair Zero portable camping chair
Other Valuable Van Life Essentials
A fan ventilation system for camper vans and RVs

Ventilation System: Fan-Tastic Vent

My Fan-Tastic Fan does wonders for keeping fresh air circulating throughout my van and regulating the temperature inside. With its handy remote, you can change fan speeds, reverse direction, and turn the fan on and off.

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Tools for car repairs when living in a van full-time

Do-it-All Tool Set: DEKOPRO 196-Piece

Trying van life without a reliable tool set would be silly. Whether a broken bed frame needs to be fixed or you’ve got to get under the hood for more serious repairs, a proper set of tools will give you the freedom to fix it all.

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Gray portable toilet for vans, RVs, and motorhomes

Portable Toilet: SEA FLO

While a portable toilet isn’t the sexiest van life essential, it’s undoubtedly one of my most necessary. When nature calls, I’m always prepared to answer this portable, lightweight, and affordable SEA FLO 2.6-gallon camping toilet.

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Red propane heater for living in cars, vans, RVs, boats, and other vehicles full-time

Propane Heater: Mr. Heater

Van life has taken me to some chilly destinations. Luckily, I have the propane-powered Mr. Heater to warm up my space instantly. Life-Saving Tip: Always use proper ventilation, a carbon monoxide detector, and never sleep with your heater on.

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A silvery water filter housing

Gravity-Fed Water Filter: Big Berkey

The Big Berkey filter can purify even the gnarliest of water you throw at it. Whether taking on water from a pond, gas station sink, or babbling brook, the Berkey’s gravity-fed carbon filters will safely remove harmful contaminants.

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Ultralight Helinox Chair Zero camping chair

Camping Chairs: Helinox Chair Zero

Whether relaxing in the mountains or enjoying the sunset over a beach, standing around while doing so isn’t always ideal. I carry two of these ultralight Helinox Chair Zero camping chairs to rest my aching bones at the end of a long day.

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Laundry wash bag that's essential for cleaning clothes during van life

Portable Laundry System: Scrubba Wash Bag

Gone are the days of visiting seedy, overpriced laundromats in the middle of nowhere. Just fill the Scrubba Wash Bag with water, drop in your clothes and some soap, scrub the bag with your hands, rinse, and hang them to dry. It’s that easy.

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A red first-aid kit: a must have for van living

First-Aid Kit: Survivorware

While nobody ever expects or believes they’ll get injured on the road, it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Pack a lightweight and portable first aid kit to stay on top of any injuries as you go.

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Hand wipes for living in a camper van

Wet Wipes: Amazon Elements

My rustic style of van life (no running water) can get a bit grimy at times, so I’m always sure to have a large pack of wet wipes at the ready. A quick freshen-up with a few of these handy wipes can do wonders for morale when showers aren’t an option.

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Inflatable camping shower

Camp Shower: Nemo Helio

When wet wipes aren’t enough, I turn to my Nemo Helio camp shower for a more thorough cleanse. I fill its tank with water, inflate it with its foot pump, and use the nozzle for a delightful high-pressure shower.

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Yellow ear plugs

Earplugs: Howard Leight By Honeywell

I would sleep terribly in my van without earplugs, and that’s not an option. These super comfortable Howard Leights block out the external noise surrounding my van during the night hours so I can fall asleep (and stay asleep) effortlessly.

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Not-So-Essential Essentials

Nanopresso portable espresso pump
Not-So-Essential Essentials

Inflatable yellow 2-person kayak

Inflatable 2-Person Raft: Intex Explorer K2

No, this inflatable raft is not essential for van life, but it will open up a whole new world of possibilities. With it, you can float lakes, creeks, and lazy rivers at a moment’s notice — an entirely new dimension of freedom.

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Green frisbee with a tribal design

Frisbee: Innova Big Kahuna

I can’t tell you how many times my Big Kahuna has brightened up an uneventful afternoon on the road. Getting out of the van to toss this frisbee around is therapeutic and a great excuse to stretch out my restless legs.

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A green, red, and blue hammock for full-time van living

Hammock: ENO DoubleNest

Few things in life are more relaxing than swaying in a hammock as a lazy breeze rolls by. The ENO DoubleNest is my go-to van life relaxation vessel because it’s sturdy, dreamy, and comfortably fits two people. It’s also great for quick overnight backpacking trips.

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Nespresso coffee maker: a van life kitchen essential

Portable Espresso Maker: WACACO Nanospresso

When the fatigue of van life hits, I turn to my Nanospresso for an instant shot of caffeine. Though it’s a bit of a luxury, it’s all I need to create restaurant-quality espresso with coffee pods, hot water, and my own two hands.

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Waterproof Playing Cards: Kovot

My girlfriend, Keri, and I are addicted to playing gin rummy when we’re van living and often play for hours in one sitting. A set of thick, durable, waterproof cards allow us to shuffle and deal for as long as we’d like, even if we spill a drink or two.

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Cornhole party game setup for camper van living

Cornhole Toss Game Set: GoSports PVC

Cornhole is my all-time favorite camping game, and thus essential for my van life entertainment needs. This particular set is lightweight, portable, and packs down into a convenient carrying case.

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Helpful Storage Systems

Black storage boxes for holding camper van essentials

Rooftop Cargo: Yakima Skybox

I have two of these sturdy Yakimas atop my Chevy Astro, and they triple the meager storage space I have within my van. I store my raft, stove, tools, table, fishing poles, skis, and more within these lockable, durable beasts.

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Hanging storage mesh bags for van life gadgets

Hanging Mesh Pockets: Kimbora

These mesh pockets are meant for hanging on the back of a closet door but work wonderfully when installed inside a van. They create easy-to-reach access to all of van life’s smaller gadgets, tools, and odds and ends.

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A laundry bag with a map of the world

Travel-Sized Laundry Bag: Kikkerland

When wine stains or man musk force my clothes out of duty, they are relegated to my laundry bag until further notice. This bag is featherlight, stylish, and has a detailed world map to gaze at as I dream of my next destination.

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Three packing cubes: must-haves for van living and traveling

Packing Cubes: Travelwise

Organization is vital for van dwellers, and utilizing packing cubes will ensure that all clothing has an accessible home. These Travelwise bags are durable, breathable, washable, and have convenient carrying handles.

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Complete Van Life Packing List

Solar panels leaned up against a white camper van in a dirt campground
Van Life Packing Checklist

Any van lifer will tell you that living on the road requires moving a lot of stuff into a tiny space. Feel free to use my extensive packing checklist as you get ready for your next big vanventure.

Security & Safety

Fire Extinguisher

Roadside Emergency Kit

GPS Tracker

Fire Alarm/CO Detector

Pepper Spray

Electronics

Cell Phone

Car Charger

Charging Cables

Battery Bank

Lantern/Light

Head Lamp

Bluetooth Speaker

Computer

External Hard Drive

WiFi Strengthener

Camera

Camera Lenses

Headphones

Extra Batteries

Kitchen

Cups

Mugs

Plates

Bowls

Silverware

Knife

Cutting Board

Scissors

Spatula

Bottle Opener

Strainer

Tongs

Pot

Pan

Stove

Water Boiler

Coffee Maker

Thermos

Spices

Cooking Oil

Sponges

Cooler/Refrigerator

Fuel

Food

Drinks

Coffee/Tea

Ice

Clothing

T-Shirts

Long Sleeve Shirts

Button-Up Shirts

Tank Tops

Sweater

Sweatshirt

Rain Jacket

Light Jacket

Winter Jacket

Pants

Jeans

Belt

 Shorts

Athletic Shorts

Skirts/Dresses

Bathing Suit

Underwear

Long Underwear

Socks

Shoes

Sandals

Hiking Boots

Baseball Hat

Winter Hat

Gloves

Sunglasses

Wallet

Laundry

Soap/Laundry Detergent

Laundry Bag

Wash Bag

Clothing Line

Safety Pins

Toiletries

Toiletries Bag

Soap

Shampoo

Conditioner

Hair-Styling Product

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Deodorant

Bug Spray

Dental Floss

Glasses

Contacts

Contact Solution/Case

Ear Cleaner/Swabs

Ear Plugs

Razor

Nail Clippers

Tweezers

Advil/Aspirin

Sleep Aid

Multivitamins

Medication

Hair Dryer

Makeup

Entertainment

Frisbee

Playing Cards

Hammock

Sporting Equipment

Backpacking Equipment

Games

Books

Journal/Pen

Bedding

Sheets

Blankets

Comforter

Pillows

Pillow Cases

Mattress Pad

Bags

Backpack

Daypack

Packing Cubes

Purse

Wine Bag

Reusable Grocery Bags

Miscellaneous

Folding Table

Camping Chairs

Camping Shower

Tool Set

Toilet

Heater

Water Filter

Water Storage

Vacuum

First Aid Kit

Wet Wipes

Tissues

Toilet Paper

Garbage Bags

 Towels

Hand Towels

Lighter/Matches

Umbrella

Axe/Hatchet

Shovel

Windshield Scraper

Documents

Passport

ID Cards

Medical Insurance

Itinerary

Car Registration

Car Insurance

Living in a Van Full-Time

Noel against a white camper van while living full-time with Crater Lake, Oregon in the background
Can you handle living in a van full-time?

To save money, I lived in Ol’ Champ full-time for my last three months in Denver before I quit my job and began to travel the world. My reasoning: By doing so, I would be pocketing about an extra $1000 a month.

Moving out of my apartment and into my van forced me to thin out my possessions and keep only what was necessary. The fewer belongings I had weighing me down, the happier I began to feel. All the extra money I was saving was expanding my sense of freedom and lifting an invisible weight off my shoulders.

My life instantly became more mobile. If I wanted to go on a hike, I’d park at the trailhead the night before. On nights I wanted to drink beer with friends, I didn’t have to worry about paying for a taxi home. When I knew I’d be craving empanadas first thing in the morning, I’d park a block away from the restaurant and go to sleep.

Having my home and everything I needed with me created a sneaky sense of freedom — no more rent checks or landlords. Roommates were a thing of the past. Packing for trips? No need. My cost of living after moving into a van full-time had plummeted. This was a lifestyle I could get used to, and I’ve embraced it ever since.

Van life, what a concept.

I’ve since moved to China with my girlfriend, so I don’t live in Ol’ Champ full-time anymore, but when I’m back home in the US, I never hesitate to fire up the engine and hit the road with a complete sense of freedom.

Is living in a van full-time something that interests you? Try it out. All you need is a minimalist mindset, a sense of adventure, and an itch to move about the world with no strings attached.

Inspiring Van Life Instagram & YouTube Accounts

Van life has become an unstoppable global movement, and more and more people are opting for full-time van living every day. Social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube have played a huge part in its quick-spreading popularity. Here are a few of the most inspiring, entertaining, and helpful van life YouTube and Instagram accounts on the web today.

Van Life Instagram Accounts

slownsteadylivin – Matt and Steph are traveling Europe in their 1996 Iveco van and share stunning photography of their open-ended honeymoon.

sweetvanlife – Ben and his lovely blue camper van, Poppy, always seem to be exploring warm, calm, and relaxing locations in France.

vandogtraveller – Mike Hudson wants to inspire the world to “1. Quit Job 2. Build Camper Van 3. Travel” through his excellent photography and helpful tips.

advanturing – Nick and Micah explore the Americas while living full time in their beast of a 4×4 AWD Sportsmobile Sprinter Van.

basillynch – Basil is a wave-chasing photographer who travels around in his beefy 2000 Ford-F250 camper truck as he prepares to travel the Pan-American highway.

Van Life YouTube Channels

Let’s Be Us – Cris, Sara, and their dog, Kramer, travel full-time and work on the road from their gorgeous self-converted Sprinter van.

Kombi Life – Ben, Leah, and their dog, Alaska, travel the world in their 1973 Volkswagen Kombi Adventurewagen, seeking out inspiring stories of alternative living.

FLORB – While this channel explores the ins and outs of van life, it doesn’t stop there. FLORB focuses on all types of alternative living spaces.

Ronny Dahl – Based in Australia, Ronny Dahl romps around his home country in his rig and releases off-roading, four-wheeling, adventuring, and camping videos every week.

We’re the Russos – Joe and Kait live full-time in their camper van and share their best tips, advice, stories, and adventures with the world.

Other Helpful Van Life Resources

Need a little extra van life motivation? Here are a few more of my favorite resources:

reddit.com/r/vandwellers – A colorful, humorous, helpful, and honest subreddit discussing the ups, downs, and everything in between in the van life community.

The Vanual – A top-to-bottom guide analyzing van life compatibility, picking out a vehicle, gathering materials, and constructing a custom build on a rig of your own.

VanDweller Community Forums – An extensive online forum for van and RV dwellers. Browse through years of old posts for helpful tips, building advice, stories, reviews, and more.

Final Thoughts: Van Life Essentials

Noel types on a keyboard inside his converted Chevy Astro Van
Immerse yourself in van life

Though I’m no longer living in my van full-time, my thousands of miles spent cruising the open roads with Ol’ Champ have taught me immensely. Life on four wheels is liberating and free, and possessions take on a whole new meaning when your living space is 24 square feet and can be moved at the drop of a hat.

And though van life is rooted deeply in minimalism, the things you choose to bring along are essential for the journey ahead. The depth and quality of your setup can make or break your time on the road. You don’t need a lot of gear; you just need the right gear.

People worldwide are beginning to realize that we’re just a bunch of nomads at heart. Being bound down by walls and cement goes against the thirst for exploration that’s in our blood.

So, whether you’re living in a van full-time yourself or simply pursuing the possibility, I challenge you to delve a little bit deeper into the movement. Life gets a little more interesting when your future is decided with the turn of a key and a foot on the gas pedal.

More Travel Gear & Resources

Last Updated on September 5, 2023

Photo of author

Noel Krasomil

Hey, I'm Noel Krasomil, the founder of The Packable Life. I pack light and explore the globe searching for awe-inspiring hiking trails, rich cultural experiences, and ways to continue traveling indefinitely.

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Affiliate links help support this website and keep it 100% ad-free.

25 thoughts on “49 Van Life Essentials: Accessories, Gadgets & Must-Haves”

      • Inspiring insight into an alternative lifestyle. I will be doing the same sooner or later, and I see it as you’ve written it, “far more advantages than disadvantages”. I live in Spain, so I’ll be able to traverse Europe, no bad thing. I do like that Toyota Hiace I’ve seen just about everywhere, all over South East Asia, so could be an older model of one of those, we’ll see what happens. Thanks for your thoughts, enthusiasm and the links ..
        Kind Regards
        Cris ..

        Reply
        • Cris, my recommendation would be to wait patiently for something with solid gas mileage and a good report from a mechanic, as fuel and repairs will be your biggest expenses along the way. Once you can find the right van, do the build yourself to save more money. I paid a premium for mine since it was already converted.

          OR, you could just hitchhike everywhere and rely on your charm to find you a nice comfortable basement or two 😉

          Reply
          • I’ve hitchhiked for a year. I only have an army duffel, a sleeping bag, a tarp, dog food, a book, insulated overalls, I wear overalls, 2 t-shirts, 7 pairs of undies, and I carry around a jug if water with me. Easier than you think if you just camp the entire time, don’t have to worry about someone else’s house being safe for a night.
            You don’t need a van to start!!! I just bought my first van and am fixing it 🙂

          • Alex, that sounds like quite the experience hitchhiking. I love your minimalist packing gear. I love to backpack, camp, and travel like a minimalist myself, but have never gotten into the hitchhiking game. Where did you go over the course of a year, and why did you end up buying a van? What kind of van did you buy and where do you plan on going with it? I have so many questions! Thanks for the feedback, and keep traveling. I’m glad I got to hear a little bit of your story.

  1. I love the fire extinguisher on your packing list. That is something I didn’t think about. My wife and I are considering the van life and I just started making my own packing list earlier today. There are a lot of things that I don’t know how to do. We may hire a professional for things like water heater installation and other things like that.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the response, James! Yeah, a fire extinguisher could be a literal lifesaver.

      It might be best to hire a pro for the more technical ins and outs of the van, good call.

      I definitely recommend the van life, by the way. Go for it!

      Reply
  2. Sir thank you very much, I am doing a lot of research on how to go about this SAFELY and price wise – 20 years ago I lived in a mini van that had only the front drive and passenger seats along with the the bed seat! It was a great year doing it, so now I want to do it more permanent! So thank you for this page! and Site!

    Reply
    • Vanessa, Glad to hear you’re going back to the van life after so long. Do you have a van yet? Are you doing the conversion yourself? Will you be living in the van full-time? I’d love to hear about your project!

      Reply
  3. I should be buy a van by the end of this year. i’ve almost got all the money saved. glad to have stumbled onto your page for the insight!

    Reply
  4. DUDE , what will be the cost of all the things in your checklist , cause i have to save money for the ‘ van life’ .

    Reply
  5. Hey Noel,
    Where would you park your van for the 3 months you were working/saving? I’m in Minnesota and have a fully off-grid campervan that I would like to do this with, but I have no idea where to park…other than trying to find a friend that will let me park in their driveway. Which nobody has been open to yet.

    Reply
    • Brendon,

      Luckily, my mom lets me stash my van on her property while I’m out traveling, but it sounds you don’t have the option to park with family/friends. If I were in your shoes, I’d post an ad on Craigslist and see if someone were willing to hold your van on their property for a small monthly fee. Obviously, you’d want to meet them in person to make sure you trust them first.

      Reply
  6. after perusing hundreds of sites,
    I kinda feel like
    this one is real to my soul. Just getting on the solo road after a 40 year marriage. I am scared but not as scared as I am free and excited about simplifying my life, grounding like I have never grounded before, connecting with the earth and enriching my soul . Thank you so much for sharing your journey so
    people like me find the courage and faith to do what we always needed to do.

    Reply
    • Your thoughtful words just brightened up my day, Sheryl! Thanks so much for reaching out and telling me a little bit about your story. Leaving a 40-year marriage must be rough, but freedom, exploration, and an open mind will help you recover quicker than staying put. I’m so glad you’re inspired by my blog and I hope you continue to seek personal growth and challenging experiences. Cheers, and happy travels!

      Reply
    • Hey, Norah. Start-up cost should vary from person to person. I (over)paid $10,000 for my van, but I’ve heard of people investing only a couple of thousand dollars to get started. My typical monthly cost for van life is detailed in this article. I worked in a restaurant, saved money, and paid cash for my van.

      Reply

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