Motorhome Packing List: Essential items to make your camper van road trip more enjoyable
Creating a camper van or motorhome packing List is tricky. Especially if you intend to visit lots of countries with different climates and activities. Luckily, this handy guide is here to help you. From passports to sun cream, this list contains many suggested items for two people travelling together.
Some items are essential and some are optional. Consequently it is important to adapt it to suit your needs as well as for the space available in your camper van or motorhome! Where possible I have included links to products we have used or close equivalents.
Remember, don’t leave home without reading this list!
Check local rules and regulations!
Each country within Europe has its own rules and regulations. Consequently, it is important to check the requirements of each and every country you intend to visit before starting your journey.
Remember that many items permitted in the UK may not be permitted elsewhere. For example, many UK insurance companies promote the use of dash cams. Surprisingly, some privacy laws in other countries make their use illegal. Check the local law and remove it from the windscreen if you are unsure.
Don’t underestimate the value of books!
Laptops, tablets, smartphones. They are great, however there is a lot to be said about good old fashioned books.
Three books that were found particularly useful for travelling around Europe were:
Motorhome Packing List – The Non-negotiable items!
There are a number of essential items legally required in all vehicles travelling on Europe’s roads. Consequently, you can be fined if you fail to present these when stopped!
The rules vary from country to country, however the following list includes many of the items commonly required. Importantly, this is not an exhaustive list.
Top Tips: Check the AA and RAC websites for up-to-date lists of country specific items required.
- 2x Breathalyser.
- GB sticker.
- Headlight converters.
- High visibility jackets for all passengers (store these in the cab).
- Snow Chains (legal requirement in certain countries during winter months).
- 2x Warning triangles.
- 2x Spare bulb kits.
- Fire extinguisher – Often a condition of motor insurance (check expiry date).
- Fire blanket.
- First aid kit (check the contents are still in date).
- Smoke Detector (Regardless of whether or not this is legally required, just fit one…).
- Carbon Monoxide Detector (Again, just fit one).
- Parking timer disc.
- Glasses (if needed for driving).
More Essential Items!
There are a number of additional items that I feel are essential for any vehicle, not just motor homes!
- 12v/ 24v inspection lamp / reliable torch & spare batteries.
- Jump leads or jump starter pack (Ensure these are rated to the engine size of your motorhome).
- Foot pump / air compressor.
- Emergency glass hammer.
- Spare wheel, jack & wheel chocks.
- Small bottles of engine oil, coolant and screen wash.
- Funnel for filling the above.
- Folding snow shovel.
There are a number of essential documents required when travelling abroad in a motorhome. Consequently, it is worth spending some time checking these are all up to date well ahead of your departure date. Check individual countries for specific requirements as additional paperwork may be required.
We keep our documents in a plastic wallet to ensure they are always together. It is also worth taking photocopies of all documents and keeping these in a separate location as a back up! Also, consider storing these digitally in a secure online location!
- EHIC cards.
- Driving licences.
- V5 Vehicle Registration Document.
- Vehicle insurance certificate.
- Travel insurance certificate.
- Breakdown cover.
- Ferry / rail crossing details.
- Plastic wallet for storing documents.
- Photocopies of all documents.
- Vignettes, etc.
Motorhome Packing List – General Items
- Eco toilet chemical or sawdust for a composting toilet.
- Reusable shopping bags.
- Levelling blocks
- Laundry bag.
- Battery bank and charging cable.
- High Powered USB Accessory/cigarette lighter socket adaptor.
- Fairy lights!
- Rucksack for day trips.
- 12v vacuum cleaner.
- Dustpan and brush.
- Rubbish bin.
- Collapsible bucket.
- Insect screen.
- USB Electronic Bug Killer (can run from battery bank or leisure battery)
- Fresh water container (if vehicle does not have a permanent one).
- 5m Potable water hose for filling tanks with drinking water.
- Waste water container (if vehicle does not have a permanent one).
- Mains Hook up cable.
- European Hook up Adaptors.
- Electrical socket tester (useful for checking campsite power supply)
- Toilet paper.
- Paper towel.
Motorhome Packing List – Cooking Equipment
We have travelled extensively and have found that the following items work well for two people.
- Large saucepan.
- Frying pan.
- Tin opener.
- Bottle opener (essential).
- Kettle (either stove top for use on the hob. Alternatively a low wattage electric version if using an inverter or hookup. Remember that some European sites are limited to 6 Amps (1380 watts). Consequently your 3000 watt kettle from home may not work.
- Silicone saucepan lids (lightweight and compact to store).
- Silicone spoon.
- Collapsible sieve.
- Large flat spatula.
- 2 sharp knives.
- Forks (4x)
- Knives (4x)
- Table spoons (4x)
- Tea spoons (4x)
- Mugs (4x)
- Dinner plates (4x)
- Bowls (4x)
- Chopping Board.
- Collapsible washing up bowl.
- Ecological washing up liquid.
- Silicone dish cleaner.
Motorhome Packing List – Leisure Items
- Bikes (including toolkit, working lights, bell, puncture repair kit, lock)
- Camera (including charger, remote control, spare battery, memory cards or film)
- Drone (check local laws before using this)
- Camera tripod.
- Inflatable kayak.
- 12v Air pump for above.
- Reading books.
- Travel guides – great for planning on the road.
- Board games.
- Laptop computer including 12v charger.
- Mobile broadband (either through dongle or mobile phone tethering).
- Charging cables for electronics.
Motorhome Packing List – Outside the van!
- Folding aluminium table.
- 2 Lightweight folding chairs.
- Compact travel barbecue.
- Fire lighters.
- Wind break.
Motorhome Packing List – Personal Items
- Toothbrush (and charger or spare batteries if electric).
- Hair brush / comb.
- Shower gel.
- After shave, perfume, etc.
- Sun cream.
- After sun.
- Razor (and charger or spare batteries if electric).
- Shaving foam.
- Sanitary Items.
- Nail clippers.
Motorhome Packing List – Clothing
Clothing is to a certain extent a personal preference, however there are a number of things to consider before choosing which items to pack. Firstly, how long will you be going? Secondly, will you have access to laundry services? These two questions will help you decided how much to pack.
Another thing to consider is what whether you are likely to expect. Ask yourself where am I going and when? The answer help you decided whether to pack winter or summer clothing!
- Swimming costume
- Warm jacket
Motorhome Packing List – Desirable if space permits!
- Portable washing machine (we only use this on campsites as it uses a lot of water).
- Generator (We have one, but in all honesty we have never used it due to us conserving the power we have)
- Portable air conditioner
All of the items mentioned so far are simply items to be packed in the vehicle. There are however a number of modifications that can be made to the vehicle to greatly increase comfort. Some examples include:
- Roof Mounted Solar Panels(I would say these are essential for long term off-grid usage)
- Pull out awning
- Roof mounted air conditioner
- Air suspension. This can remove the need for levelling blocks.
Hopefully this list has given you an idea as to the type of things to pack into your motorhome.
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