Getting a little case of cabin fever lately? Why not grab a camper van and explore your surroundings? We are here to give you the 411 on camper van living, traveling, and more with 10 great camper van hacks that will make the transition to van life easy. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner!
First things first: Don’t skimp on the cooler. Most campers have a mini-fridge, but these camper van hacks help you not lose your food when you have to turn the electricity off. Investing in a high-end cooler will keep your food colder for longer so it’ll be well worth the extra cash you’ll spend on it. There’s nothing worse than drinking lukewarm beer on a camping trip because your cooler didn’t perform.
Especially when you’re first starting out, look for free campground sites. Test things out a bit, see what you can handle having and not having before shelling out the big bucks for highly sought-after sites. Never underestimate them either. Just because they’re free, doesn’t mean they won’t be beautiful. That being said, they rarely have amenities so be sure to come prepared. Most National Forests, National Grasslands, and even Bureau of Land Management land offers free camping on their grounds. Keep FreeCampsites.net handy for finding free camping spots in North America.
READ MORE: Our Favorite Campgrounds in South Carolina
One of the best camper van hacks we could give you is to remember this word: SIMPLE. Keep it simple. This goes for everything you bring, including clothing, accessories, and food, too. The less you have to bring to make your food the better. Don’t clutter up what precious little space you have with 20 different spices or too many refrigerated items. Easy meals like toast and eggs will make your life on the road much, much easier.
Yes, camper vans have a bed, but did you notice that they don’t have a shower? For camper van hacks, this is probably the most important one. Invest in a portable camping shower for your days traveling. A day or two you may be able to get by with, but any longer and you’re definitely going to be a bit ripe. Having a portable camping shower in tow will be a lifesaver, especially if you get a solar-heated one! You might be tempted to skip some of these camper van hacks, but this certainly isn’t one you should miss.
READ MORE: A Beginners Guide to Grand Canyon Camping
Are you planning to be on the road a lot? If so, it may be in your best interest to grab a gym membership. Several gyms are statewide, so you can travel to and fro without worrying about heading home for your workout. Not only will you have access to your workouts, but more importantly, you’ll have free showers and comfortable temperatures to bask in while on the road. For camper van hacks, this is one that has many uses.
Always carry a little bit of cash. We’re not suggesting you bring your life savings with you in tangible green, but when those surprise campground fees turn up, you won’t want to be left with just a card made out of plastic in your hands. Another thing to think about is how rural and remote you may be traveling. It’s not uncommon for places like these to not have reliable internet to accept cards. A small amount of dough in your wallet will come in handy more often than you may think.
Never underestimate the power of an organized camper. With such little space, you’re going to want to make sure you only bring the essentials. More importantly, you’ll want to know where it all is. When thinking of camper van hacks, you’ve got to stress the organization aspect. There’s nothing worse than spending half an hour of daylight looking for something small that you’ve misplaced in your heap of camping gear. Grab a few tote bags, hanging shoe organizers, or even a tension rod to make sure your things are easily accessible, as well as easily discovered.
READ MORE: 10 fun Stops for your Next Oregon Road Trip
Most camper vans have slide-out trays, tables, and the like for you to eat your meals. That being said, unless it’s a blizzard out there, it’s just much more comfortable to take in the fresh air while you eat. Grab a collapsible set of table and chairs to easily make your meal an outdoor one. Otherwise, you’re missing the point and you will start to get cabin fever a little sooner than you probably wish. For camper van hacks, this one is easy to brush off, but easy to regret once you’re on the road.
A big part of the reason to even do van camping is to be outside. Make sure you maximize your outside time by keeping a tarp handy. The van is definitely cozy, but even in inclement weather, the point is to be somewhere without four walls as much as possible. This is one of those camper van hacks that is truly invaluable. If a tarp isn’t your thing, try a canopy or you could even install an awning to the van itself. Either way, do what you have to for more time with mother nature.
Living in tight quarters means you need to be smart about the space you take up. Create more space for yourself with cup hooks. Trust us, your floor space will already be occupied by everything else you need to pack. Utilize that upward space by using a pegboard and hooks to easily hang things you use on the regular. This makes it easily accessible as well as gives you more space. A camper van hacks list just wouldn’t be complete without this one.
Whether you’re looking to make van camping a lifestyle or just get out on the open road more, we have your back! These camper van hacks may seem small, but during your travels, they’ll be sure to help you out in more ways than one. The biggest thing to remember is to keep things simple, stay prepared, and enjoy the great outdoors. Bon Voyage fellow campers!
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