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Adventure sports, Camping

30 van life essentials you must have to make your life easier

November 15, 2021

We knew we wanted our van life essential to be as useful and cozy as possible, so we carefully considered each item that deserved a spot in our cabinets.

To assist you in determining what you need in your van, we’ve compiled a list of the 30 greatest van life essentials that make van living simpler.

Van Life Essentials For Kitchen

Here are all of the van life essentials kitchen necessities that transform our camper van, Benji, into a mobile kitchen fit for a travelling chef.

Van Life Essential 1. Cooktop with Induction Heating

Price: $74.99

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Instead of faffing with gas, we opted for a super-fast induction cooktop instead. It warms up rapidly and is simple to store when not in use due to its small size. This is ideal campervan equipment since it is energy-efficient and much safer to use in a confined area than gas.

The other two best alternatives for making your cooking as easy as possible are these two stoves that can make your van life very easy and hassle-free when it comes to cooking. It is a great van life essential.

Van Life Essential 2. Kovea Spider


Price: $69.95

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The efficiency and portability of the Kovea Spider make it a great option as a backpacking stove despite its imperfect wind performance. The Kovea Spider has a wide base, allowing multiple pot sizes, and this compensates for it not being super fast. The Kovea Spider offers precise flame control.

Van Life Essential 3. Primus ETA Spider


Price: $74.00

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The Primus Eta Spider has a few small faults within its otherwise remarkable feature set. While helpful, the windshield is readily replaceable in the field. Basic lightweight aluminum screens many other major stove manufacturers. The zipped bag, which may also be used to insulate your food after cooking. A significant amount of packed weight.

Van Life Essential 4.Fridge

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Price: $339.00

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This 2.2 cubic foot RV fridge is surprisingly roomy and works on direct current electricity from our batteries. It barely consumes 40W, which is remarkable given that it also includes a tiny freezer section. The black appearance is sleek and contemporary, and we never have to worry about propane or ammonia, as with standard RV refrigerators.

Van Life Essential 5. Oven with Natural Convection

Price: $120.50 – $279.95

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A toaster oven is a multi-purpose van life staple that may be used for breakfast, lunch, and supper. We cook toast in it every morning, and it’s the ideal van-sized oven for roasting vegetables, baking pizza, and even baking dessert! When we’re not using it, we store it in the cabinet. It, too, is electric and operates on the same circuit as the rest of our gadgets.

Further Van Life Essentials

Water Bottles with Insulation


Price: $15.00

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When we want to keep our tea hot on a chilly day or carry ice-cold water on a trek, we go for our Hydro Flasks. We never have to worry about leaks, and the bottles are light enough to bring with us wherever we go. They come in a variety of sizes and adorable colors!

Roof Vent


Price: $36.00 – $49.50

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Other manufacturers, such as the Fan-tastic series of roof vents, may be recommended, but I like the MAXXFAN Deluxe line because of the rain guard, which keeps rain out of the vehicle while the vent is in operation. This design decision distinguishes the MAXXFAN Deluxe.

It may seem ridiculous to pick a fan only for its rain guard, as you can always stop the vent when it rains. But keep in mind that rainy days are ideal for staying home, brewing some coffee, and preparing a warming supper.

And you don’t want that vent to be closed while you’re cooking in your vehicle. The MAXXFAN Deluxe’s design allows you to use it even on rainy days.

Hydraulic Car Jack


Price: $33.99

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Flat tires happen whether you’re prepared or not, so have a vehicle jack on hand. This hydraulic equipment can easily raise your camper van off the ground and is certified to support the weight of even the heaviest setups. (Not included are a lug wrench and jack stands.). This is one the most important van life essential gadget that you must never forget when planning a trip.

Wall Hanging Fruit Basket

These wall-mounted kitchen baskets are another fantastic option to clear up counter space. They’re ideal for keeping fruit in order to keep it from bouncing and damaging while we’re driving. They also have a good, contemporary appearance and may be placed anyplace. We have two of them on the wall in our kitchen and another under our sink for storage.

Deep Cycle Battery


Price: $210.59

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If you’re going to put solar panels in your van, you’ll need a high-quality deep cycle battery to store the energy the panels generate. For modest energy use, two 100-watt panels and one 200Ah battery are a good place to start.

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker


Price: $93.95

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The Charge 4 is one of my favorite gadgets and I’d have a hard time living van life without it. It’s waterproof, puts out great audio, has wonderful battery life, and even charges other USB-powered devices.

4. Port Car Charger


Price: $24.87

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Do four USB charging ports seem excessive? Not when you live full-time in a van. I routinely use all four of this dependable charger’s ports to effortlessly and simultaneously charge all of my treasured gadgets.

Little Buddy Heater


Price: $68.39

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The Little Buddy Heater is the smallest and least expensive of the Buddy heaters (there are three in total). The Little Buddy Heater is the ideal entry-level portable heater if you’re searching for a low-cost solution to heat your vehicle.

This gadget can heat up your vehicle and keep it nice and warm in only 10 – 15 minutes. It fits on most vehicles and runs for over 6 hours on a 1-pound propane tank. It’s sleek, quiet, spotless, and odourless.

The Little Buddy Heater has a single temperature setting of 3,800 BTUs, which means it can only be turned on or off.

If you don’t mind having just one temperature setting (for example, if you don’t intend on travelling anywhere with variable temps), the Little Buddy Heater will suffice. However, if you want to travel between states, the lack of temperature control might be an issue. In such case, consider moving on to the next choice on this list.

LED Camping Lantern


Price: $27.99

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When the sun sets, so does your primary source of light. When that occurs, you don’t want to deplete your automobile battery merely to see in the dark.

Invest in an LED camping lamp to keep you active at night. Some people use battery-powered lights, which are OK, but if you want a dependable light source that you can use anywhere, I strongly suggest investing in an LED camping lantern.

A camping lantern is a multipurpose source of light. You may leave it on your van’s floor or hang it from a tree limb. Many of them are water-resistant and use relatively little electricity due to the usage of LED lamps. In any event, a nice LED camping light will be your greatest buddy in the dark, and all you’ll need is a couple of batteries.

Solar Charger


Price: $46.99

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When you live in a van, it’s tough to get battery power. Some people charge their power banks at work or at cafés, but this isn’t always enough.

A solar charger functions similarly to a standard power bank, with the addition of the ability to collect solar energy.

These solar chargers are crucial for off-grid travels, particularly if you are a digital nomad who depends heavily on technology.

I also suggest that you download this converter. You may connect it to your primary vehicle port to provide other charging alternatives while on the road. You’ll never have to worry about a dead battery again with the converter and your solar charger.



Price: $49.99

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If you want to keep your perishables fresh, you need invest in a decent cooler.

Many individuals seem to believe that they can purchase any cooler since “they’re all the same anyhow,” but this could not be farther from the reality. And you don’t want to be the man who discovers this when it’s too late.

Coolers are van life necessity since it is inconvenient to constantly purchase ice only to refill your cooler. Ice can survive 2 to 3 days in a good cooler but will melt the same day if stored in a poor quality cooler. And you don’t want to go all the way back to the store just to grab some ice.

The coolers featured below are from well-known manufacturers and feature high-quality insulation for optimal ice retention.

Cast Iron Skillet

Price: $29.99

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Cast iron skillets are the way to go for cooking your camp meals over a fire or a gas burner.

Cast iron is ideal for outdoor cooking because to its high volumetric heat capacity – once heated, it remains hot, and it warms evenly. This is vital since you want your food to be cooked uniformly, particularly if you’re preparing for a large group of people. You also want to keep the heat in so that you spend less time cooking and waste less gas.

Not only that, but cast iron skillets are exceedingly simple to clean. They’re inherently nonstick (because to the seasoning) and don’t need any soap. Cast iron skillets are one of the top van life requirements for all of these reasons and more.

Get yourself a lovely soup pot while you’re at it. You’ll have everything you need to make a feast with only these two ingredients and a few utensils.

Cutting Board

Price: $15.99

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Living in a van may require you to cook more in order to save money and keep healthy, which means you’ll be slicing up more meat and fruit than normal — which means you’ll need a cutting board.

And although it’s tempting to grab any decent-looking cutting board off the shop shelves and use it, a high-quality cutting board may make a world of difference in the kitchen. They may all seem to be the same, but you want a cutting board built of high-quality materials and meticulous workmanship.

Below, I’ll show you the greatest cutting boards at each price range and explain why they’re so good.

Camp Chairs

Price: $32.49

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Nothing beats settling down on a high-quality chair after a long, exhausting trip – one that doesn’t wobble or make you feel like an oversized kid. When it’s time to rest, you want to feel your best, which is why great camp chairs are a van life must.

That being stated, there are several elements to consider while selecting your seats, notably the sort of activities you want to engage in.

If you plan on doing a lot of hiking, you’ll want something light. Sure, a comfortable chair will be useful for resting once you get at the campsite, but it’s not worth it if the weight of your chair saps all of your energy. Fortunately, there are camping chairs that weigh less than 3 pounds.

If you intend on largely tailgating, boondocking, or vehicle camping, you’ll appreciate having a bigger chair (particularly since your van will be doing all of the lugging). Portability will be much less of an issue, and you can concentrate on comfort, which will be found in a bigger chair. Larger chairs include additional features, such as adjustable armrests, reclinability, cup holders, and greater room.

Determine your travel style – whether you want more mobility or can just concentrate on comfort. Knowing this will assist you in locating the ideal chair for your requirements. Here are a few of my personal favourites.

Awning Tuff Stuff Overland TS SW-6.5 Awning Shade Wall 6.5 X 8 Foot -  TS-AWN-SW-6.5 : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Price: $179.99

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Terrible weather can spoil a wonderful road trip – whether it’s a chilly, gloomy day or a sweltering summer day, bad weather can drive anybody insane. And inclement weather generally means cooping up in the vehicle for vandwellers. However, there is a perfectly practical method to prevent this.

Get an awning to prevent being cooped up in your vehicle while you wait for nicer weather. It will assist you in gaining more space outside your vehicle, allowing you to get some fresh air and enjoy a soothing view of the surroundings.

If you live in a rainy area, you’ll welcome the additional dry room for getting in and out of your van. And, if you live in a hot climate, you’ll enjoy not overheating inside your vehicle.

Your awning will make meals more memorable, busy campsites more private, and rainy days very enjoyable. Simply build a fire and arrange your table outdoors to enjoy the scenery from your movable porch.

Portable Espresso Maker

Price: $54.90

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When the tiredness of van life sets in, I go for my Nanospresso for an immediate caffeine fix. With it, I just need espresso grounds, boiling water, and my own two hands to make restaurant-quality espresso.

Wine Bag Tote


Price: $2.33 – $13.99

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Why should your wine be any different from the rest of your van life essentials? Simply take the bag from the interior of a wine box, slip it into its beautiful wine coat, and you’ll have on-demand access to wine anytime you want.

Tableware Set


Price: $48.76

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This dinnerware set isn’t the most beautiful, but that’s not the goal. This small, lightweight, and robust set made of enamel-coated steel can withstand the severe demands of day-to-day living on the road.

Wheat Straw Bowl


Price: $2.50 – $9.99

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These wheat straw bowls are a triple threat: they’re beautiful, healthy for the environment, and indestructible. Wheat straw is a fantastic alternative to plastic that is just as sturdy and lightweight. These are ideal for rough trips and can handle the rigours of backroad driving and life in a van.

Collapsible Silicone Food Storage Container


Price: $24.99

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With little space, having van life gear that can fold to lie flat and tuck away when not in use is really beneficial. Because they are composed of silicone, these foldable food storage containers are both sturdy and non-toxic. The four sizes are ideal for preserving our leftovers! They are simple to clean and store. We have eight of them!

Collapsible Trash Can


Price: $19.99

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We like this foldable garbage can that can be hooked into any cabinet door and fully flattened and out of the way when not in use. It’s tiny enough not to be cumbersome, but large enough to manage whatever rubbish we generate on a daily basis (we aim to live minimal waste, but we’re not there yet!). This should be on any list of campervan necessities.

Adjustable Cabinet Shelf


Price: $21.99

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Anything that creates more space in your tiny cupboards is on the van life essentials list for us. These adjustable cabinet shelves are an easy solution for adding shelf space to our cabinets. We use these for our toiletry cabinet, but they can be used for any kitchen/bathroom storage.

Expandable Drawer Organizer


Price: $29.99

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The ideal method to keep your silverware is in an extendable drawer organiser. It keeps ours nice and tidy. We like this eco-friendly bamboo tray since it is both functional and stylish.

Damascus Steel Knife


Price: $45.99

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Everyone knows that having the correct equipment makes cooking a lot simpler. This Damascus steel knife is a fantastic multi-purpose utensil that makes meal preparation a breeze. It’s hand-forged, razor-sharp, and feels safe and secure in your hand.

Ceramic Knife Set


Price: $39.99

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Because it’s impractical to carry a knife sharpening in a van kitchen, we can’t have knives that dull readily. We chose more costly ceramic knives to guarantee that we always have sharp, sturdy, and rustproof blades.

Silicone Spatula Set


Price: $14.99

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Silicone utensils are a terrific alternative to metal or plastic utensils since they are long-lasting, won’t damage your pots and pans, and are simple to clean. The handles will not get hot when cooking, and cleaning is as easy as wiping them off with soap and water.

Electric Water Heater


Price: $159.99 – $219.99

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An on-demand electric water heater is high on our list of van living necessities. Having hot water available anytime we need it has been excellent for chilly days and good washing up. This tiny 4-gallon water heater is simple to set up and warms up in less than 20 minutes. It’s a power hog, using 50-100A on average with each usage, but because we have lots of charge in our batteries, it’s one of the finest van life accessories we have!

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