Posted on: December 19, 2023 Posted by: Niru Sherman Comments: 0
Must Have Camper Accessories for Travel

Have you ever gazed longingly at a sleek camper van breezing down the open highways and byways, wondering what it would be like to live out of one? As someone who spent the better part of last year traversing the backroads of America in my tiny home on wheels, let me tell you—it’s an adventure unlike any other!

But let’s back up a second. Before dashing off on a whimsy-filled camper trip, it’s important to make sure you have all the right gear and accessories. Without the proper equipment, your journey can quickly go from breezy to brutal. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way!

From storage solutions to power stations, I’m breaking down all the must-have camper accessories that will make life on the road infinitely more enjoyable. I’ve tested tons of products in real off-grid conditions, so consider this your definitive packing list before heading out in your camper, RV, van conversion, or trailer.

Let’s kick things off with the basics!

Securing Your Belongings: Storage Containers & Drawers

One thing you realize pretty fast when living in 50 sq. feet is that organization and storage are everything! Between clothing, kitchenware, tools, and food, compact campers can get cluttered quickly. Luckily there are some space-saving solutions.

Plastic Storage Bins & Boxes

I swear by collapsible fabric bins and plastic storage containers. They’re lifesavers for corralling loose items like chargers, flashlights, maps, books, and more. Sturdy bins keep things visible and accessible so you’re not digging around constantly.

I keep my plastic bins stacked neatly under the bed or secured in open cubbies. Just be sure to avoid flimsy containers that could tip over while driving. Low-profile bins that slide smoothly are best for campers and RVs.

Drawer Systems

Another organizing essential is installing full-extension drawer slides. They allow cabinets and shelving to function as smooth-gliding drawers, maximizing every inch. I custom-built a drawer system into my kitchen camper cabinetry for storing pots, pans, and cooking tools.

I can now access everything without unpacking an entire cupboard! Drawer slide systems also add usable space under beds, making it easier to keep clothing and linens organized. For a more temporary solution, cargo nets create instant “false drawers” too.

Storage Hammocks

Storage Hammocks

An oft-overlooked storage solution for campers is storage hammocks and cargo nets. I installed several mesh hammocks with carabiners or hooks in open wall gaps and ceilings. They’re wonderful for corralling light items you use frequently like hats, gloves, flashlights, or snacks.

Storage hammocks keep frequently used items visible and close at hand. I even have a couple mounted behind the front seats for quick-grab essentials when driving. They maximize open space without adding weight or permanent fixtures.

Food & Beverages: Keeping Things Fresh and Portable

Whether boondocking off-grid or just stopping for lunch at a wayside rest area, mealtime prep looks much different living in a camper than in a full-sized kitchen! Luckily there are some travel accessories that make cooking and storing food incredibly easy on the road.

Portable Coolers & Fridges

Unless your camper or trailer comes equipped with a refrigerator, stocking perishable foods requires a good cooler or outdoor fridge. During my trip, portable camping fridges were absolute game-changers! Unlike regular coolers, these fridge/freezer combos run off 12V power or propane so contents stay chilled even in sweltering weather.

I could store meat, eggs, cheese, and leftovers for days without worrying about safety or frequent ice runs. Some models even have handles and wheels for effortless transport at campsites. There are smaller versions sized perfectly for keeping essentials cold behind a truck or van seats as well.

When car camping I appreciated my Yeti cooler’s superior insulation and secure latches for keeping food properly chilled. Premium coolers like Yeti and RTIC eliminate sore arms by draining melted ice every couple of days. A good cooler is a camper kitchen necessity in my book!

Camp Stoves, Grills & Kitchen Accessories

Once you’ve got the food situation straightened out, it’s time to focus on the cooking gear! Camp stoves offer a reliable way to cook, boil water, and prepare hot beverages whether you have kitchen amenities or not. Many designs even fold up into a briefcase-sized carrier.

I grew quite fond of my single-burner propane stove. It was easily stored and put out enough heat for basic sautéing, simmering, or frying. Small propane canisters lasted 2-3 weeks before needing a swap too. There are larger stove options better suited for extensive meal prepping as well.

If open-fire cooking is more your speed, compact grills fold neatly away when not in use. I kept a charcoal hibachi-style grill secured in my rear storage area and used it nearly every night at campsites! Nothing beats that smoky charcoal flavor.

A quality set of outdoor cookware helps streamline campsite cooking too. I made sure to have a couple of good knives, cutting boards, pots, pans, plates, mugs, and utensils organized in plastic bins. Having the essential gear and ingredients for throw-together meals makes dining on the road much simpler.

Sleep Setup: Camper Mattresses, Bedding & Blackout Shades

One thing that takes some adjustment when moving into a camper is the whole sleep situation. Creating a peaceful oasis for quality rest and relaxation requires a few special accessories. Luckily there are lots of RV and camper gear to transform compact spaces into comfy, homey retreats.

Mattresses & Bedding

Camper Mattresse

Nothing determines a restful sleep quite like having a comfortable mattress and bedding. Most camper and RV mattresses are less than 5 inches thick and tend to compact over time. Without even support and cushy foam, they can be downright painful to sleep on during lengthy road trips.

Adding a 3-4 inch thick memory foam topper helps soften rigid sleeping surfaces for maximum coziness. Breathable bamboo covers prevent toppers from sliding around unnecessarily at night too. For camper van and RV owners installing new mattresses altogether may better suit long-term comfort needs or medical issues.

When it comes to bedding, moisture-wicking sheets, lightweight duvets, and hypoallergenic pillows ensure nights are dry and peaceful regardless of climate or allergies. Having dedicated pillows and blankets immediately makes compact spaces more homey and inviting after all.

Blackout Shades

If unfamiliar sounds, bright lights, or jostling movements keep you up at night, blackout curtains are non-negotiable for a decent road trip shut-eye. Basic clip-on shades that velcro onto windows work fine for temporary darkness. But installing custom-fit blackout shades that fully enclose windows really does wonders for daytime sleeping or nighttime privacy. Just draw the shades and instantly transform living quarters into a relaxing cocoon.

Power & Electrical: Portable Power Stations, Cords & More

Reliable power while out adventuring in a camper is incredibly vital yet easily overlooked. Even just a short weekend trip off-grid requires keeping essential gear and appliances charged. Add in CPAP machines, electronics, lighting, and fans plus the potential for campground hookups and things get tricky.

Thankfully portable power stations make handling electricity while roadtripping or boondocking an absolute breeze compared to the days of noisy, gas-powered generators.

Portable Power Stations

Portable lithium power stations revolutionize off-grid living by storing and supplying electricity on demand through AC, USB, and DC power outlets. I cannot overstate how incredibly freeing it felt to no longer worry about running out of charge for laptops, cameras, or even small kitchen appliances thanks to compact generators.

Rechargeable via solar panels, car outlets, or wall plugs, power stations keep phones, tablets, mini-fridges, and entertainment powered for days. I could even recharge my station entirely off solar! Some larger models cater better to running microwaves, power tools, heaters RV air conditioners, and convection ovens. Determine your electrical needs before investing but they’re total game changers.

Extension Cords & Adapters

If camping in an RV site with electrical hookup access, heavy-duty extension cords, and various power splitters you can connect multiple devices and appliances to single outlets comfortably. I utilized a couple of adaptors for plugging in my 30 amp trailer cable to standard household outlets along with a 20-foot outdoor-safe cord for powering electronics and small appliances indoors from the site pedestal outlet.

Waterproof junction boxes are useful for running cords securely through cracked doors and windows when outlets are far away too. Having backup cords of varying lengths on hand saves major frustrations down the road.

Exterior Accessories: Awnings, Lighting & Bug Protection

Spending time outdoors soaking up fresh air and epic scenery is one of the greatest joys of camper living. However, the external elements can take a toll on relaxation and fun without the right accessories. Keeping insects, harsh weather, and darkness at bay is key!


Nothing makes quite makes a campsite feel like home than extending an easy-to-install awning. These retractable overhangs provide shade and shelter from sun, wind, and rain near slide-outs or doors. For rainy days I’d set up a quick pop-up canopy to avoid getting soaked while cooking. And nothing beats relaxing carefree in folding lawn chairs underneath.

Attachable screen room attachments take protection up a notch by fully enclosing awnings into bug-free, windowed lounging spaces. The semi-transparent mesh kept mosquitos away without obscuring views. I loved unwinding with books or music as storms passed by. Definitely a worthy upgrade!

Exterior Lighting & Speakers

Exterior Lighting & Speakers

To make evenings outside more festive, string lights illuminate patios beautifully once the sun goes down. Battery-powered fairy lights add a whimsical ambiance wherever you roam. I also installed exterior radio speakers and an outdoor television for enjoying music, movies, and programs day or night without disturbance.

Powered speakers connected wirelessly via Bluetooth to my phone made campground dance parties an instant hit! Outdoor TV mounts are fantastic for sports events and news as well. Just be sure to waterproof exposed wires and electronics.

Bug Protection

Nothing disrupts evenings outside quicker than hoards of hungry mosquitos unless you’re prepared with bug spray and accessories like Thermacell devices. The heat-activated scent pucks ward off mosquitos for hours sans DEET chemicals. Where bugs are especially thick I break out the portable screen gazebo tent. The protective netting was a literal lifesaver in the humidity and heat of deep south camping. Citronella tiki torches also add ambient lighting and repellency simultaneously.

Camper Accessories To Simplify Road Life

Camper Accessories To Simplify Road Life

After months of living on the road across dozens of states and national parks, I discovered the right accessories can make mobile living infinitely smoother. While the initial upfront costs may seem high, the long-term savings on convenience are worth it. Investing in quality storage, power, climate, and comfort gear tailored towards camper living ultimately enhances safety, organization, and self-sufficiency for amazing journeys ahead. Just remember to research your needs thoroughly and confirm all items work properly before hitting the road. Adventure awaits when you’re fully equipped!


At the end of the day, camper living grants unparalleled freedom and adventure on the open road. But filling your rig with the proper gear helps journey smoothly and comfortably long term. After all, safeguarding food, organizing belongings, powering essentials, sleeping peacefully, and enjoying the outdoors require quality accessories purpose-built for compact spaces and mobile lifestyles.

With this definitive must-have camper accessories list in hand, say goodbye to unrestful nights, jostled belongings, or disrupted plans thanks to weather and critters. Hit the road fully prepared to live gracefully on wheels for the long haul. Your dream trip awaits! Just be sure to personalize components to best suit your individual vehicle, route, and lifestyle for maximized road trip bliss.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most essential items for comfortable and convenient camper living?

In my experience, securing your gear neatly with storage containers/drawers, keeping food cold with portable coolers/fridges, prepping meals using compact stoves/grills, enhancing sleep comfort with toppers and blackout shades, charging devices using solar generators and protecting your campsite from weather/bugs using awnings, lighting, and protective netting improves road life exponentially while saving space.

What must-have products offer the best value for money?

Portable lithium power stations, blackout curtains, storage drawers, and camping ovens/grills are incredibly useful, durable accessories that withstand years of steady use making them well worth their price tags. Premium YETI coolers, camper toppers, and built-in RV refrigerators/freezers cost more upfront but their superior insulation and longevity save expenses long term too.

How much do camper accessories generally cost?

Basic accessories like multi-use plastic storage bins, velcro shades, travel speakers, or camping stoves run $25-100+. Mid-range gear like camper toppers, portable power stations, and compact RV grills average $200-800. Bigger ticket additions for custom cabinetry, electronic entertainment bundles, or full-size camping fridges can exceed $1000+. Assessing your personal lifestyle and trip length helps determine suitable price points.

Where is the best place to purchase affordable camper living accessories?

Amazon and specialty retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Camping World carry the widest, most competitively priced selection of storage solutions, small appliances, bedding, camp cooking equipment, power stations, and more. REI, Bass Pro Shops, and Cabela’s also offer more tech-focused adventure gear. For custom drawers, cabinetry, appliances, and built-in fixtures find reputable RV dealers and installation pros locally or online.

What products are absolute must-haves versus optional extras?

For safe, comfortable long-term camper living, securing cargo, chilling/prepping food, powering devices, sleeping soundly and weather protection through gear like containers, coolers, shades, and awnings feel essential. Upgrading storage with drawers, enhancing entertainment with TV speakers, or easing outdoor living via screen rooms feels more optional based on personal preferences and length of trips.