What to pack in your campervan?

One of the most popular search terms to find this blog recently has been ‘what do I need in my campervan?’ I wrote a post a few months ago about 10 campervan essentials you need to pack for your first trip, but if you’re after a full list, here’s an inventory of pretty much everything we take for a weekend away. And because it’s always nice to have a nosy through other people’s cupboards, a few photos of how we store it all in a very small space.

Kitchen

Our main kitchen cupboard has three shelves, which we’ve lined with some rubber grip matting to stop things sliding around, and everything is stored in large plastic tubs. Some things stay in the campervan all the time, other things we move into the house when we’re not using them, so it’s much easier when they’re in boxes. One of the tubs acts as a mini pantry to keep all the (non-refrigerated) food together, meaning there’s less chance of finding a stray onion lurking at the back of the cupboard in 12 months’ time.

Cutlery

Colourful knives, forks, spoons

Two sharp knives

Bread knife

Speed peeler

Two tongs

Mini whisk

Serving spoon

Spatula

Can opener

Crockery

Two small plates

Two large plates

Two bowls (cereal or pasta)

Two mugs

Two large wine glasses (Saturday night)

Two small wine glasses (Sunday night)

Two water glasses

Pans and other utensils

Three saucepans (varying sizes)

Two frying pans (large for a fry-up, small for pine nuts)

Three thin chopping boards (probably one too many but they are very thin!)

Two tupperware tubs (handy to decant a large tin)

Mini colander

Stainless steel mixing bowl (useful for all sorts)

Small measuring jug (for mixing salad dressing or just measuring)

Miscellaneous

Whistling kettle

Kitchen towel

Oven glove

Place mats

Two tea towels

One hand towel

Two place mats

Napkins

Small picnic bag

Ice block

Thermos flask

Cleaning / utilities

Surface wipes

Jay cloth

Scourer

Washing liquid and dishwashing brush

Microfibre cloth (useful for everything)

Soap

Bin bags

Ziploc bags

Two green enviro bags (handy for a quick supermarket shop)

Living area / bedroom

Two pillows and pillow cases

Bottom bed sheet

Top bed sheet (summer)

Quilt and cover (winter – this stays out during the day)

Two towels (double up for beach/shower)

Clothes

We have one drawer for both our clothes, which didn’t seem much at first, but thankfully Paul is very economical with his packing so I can actually fit a lot in. I’m borrowing an idea that my brother-in-law uses for short family holidays, where everyone can fill just one shopping bag with clothes so they all fit neatly in the boot. I found a nice large M&S food bag does the trick.

We also have a narrow cupboard for shoes and flip-flops; jackets go over the backs of the driver/passenger seats.

Bathroom

There’s actually loads of space in the bathroom (relatively speaking, of course), plus we have two drawers and a cupboard in the vanity.

Toilet roll

Soap

Hand towel

Hand wipes

Sunscreen

Insect repellant

Citronella candle

Insect bite cream (always needed in spite of the above)

First aid kit

Large Cath Kidston wash bag (me), toothbrush (Paul)

Outside

Most of our big items are stored in the space behind the front two seats.

Two camping chairs

Folding camping table

Beach umbrella

Rug

Body board (stored in the bathroom)

Awning (attached to van)

Inflatable kayaks (there’s no storage for these so they stay outside)

Two life jackets (always kept in the bathroom cupboard, only used if we take the kayaks out, or if there were a HUGE flood, I suppose)

Entertainment

Most of this (and the miscellaneous items below) is stored at the front of the van, which is quite spacious and has a few cubby holes and glove boxes.

Playing cards

Travel Scrabble

Mini telescope

CDs

Portable speakers (for outside)

Cross stitch (still to be attempted)

Miscellaneous

Fire extinguisher

Sweeping brush

Window shades for driver/passenger windows (there are no curtains in the front of the van)

Sunshade for windscreen

Curtain tie-backs

Mini fan

Torch and batteries

Various chargers

Matches

No-peg washing line

Tissues

Map

Sat-nav

.

So here it all is!

Reading the list back we seem to fit a lot in. There’s an equally long list for food so I will cover that in a separate post. Is there anything I’ve forgotten??

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13 thoughts on “What to pack in your campervan?

  1. I think you have everything covered!
    I just have my doubts about your previous posts and the “painting” on the back door!!

  2. Excellent list. I like the inclusion of travel scrabble. We tend to take full sized Trivial Pursuit with us but it takes up a lot of room. I want to eventually get to just playing these kind of boardgames on an ipad/tablet to save room.

    • Thanks David – it’s really useful to have a comprehensive list so I can just scan through it each time we go away, in case we’ve taken anything out.
      Wow – a box of Triv would take up one of our entire drawers! iPad apps are a great alternative – thanks for stopping by!

  3. Rachel, How so very inspiring! After reading your blog I have decided to DIY instead of purchasing an ex-rental. How is it all going? Now that you have some trips away is there anything you would do differently (design, layout, materials, etc)? Did you consider building a shower into the bathroom?

    • Hi Nadia – thanks for your comment, it’s great you’re going to DIY! It’s funny actually because I’m just writing a blog that answers some of your questions, because people often ask if we’d do anything differently. The answer is basically no, we’re really happy with how everything works and how the space is used. We didn’t really consider a shower in the bathroom because we don’t have the space for a bigger water tank. We did once holiday in a campervan that had a shower, but found we hardly ever used it because the water only lasted a couple of minutes – usually when I’d just lathered up with shampoo! So far we’ve been staying in caravan parks and the washblocks are a better alternative. I’ll put a bit more information in the blog!

  4. Pingback: Five best things about a weekend in a campervan « The Campervan Converts

  5. Hi Rach,

    I just stumbled on your site and am really enjoying reading all about your conversion and adventures. You’ve got a great writing style too !

    I did a similar post about how we pack our VW California recently. I think there’s a pretty good crossover between our packing lists although I suspect you have slightly more space than us (and two less people) … and your camper looks slightly .. ehm .. tidier !

    http://wildaboutscotland.com/2013/06/04/what-do-you-take-in-your-camper-van/

    Keep it up – I love your site.

    • Thanks very much – your blog is great too, I’ve just been having a browse through. I will be referring back to your list for our next trip, it’s very comprehensive!

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