I feel like we packed so well for our Route 66 cross-country trip that I exceeded my highest expectations. And that’s saying a lot, given how obsessive I am about organizing and packing.
But even with all that preparation (and the availability of many a Walmart along the way), there were still a few things that we missed having around. Blame it on being first-time vanlifers, but it was a good learning experience.
We don’t have any plans to hit the road in a campervan right now, but we’re definitely planning for more vanlife adventures down the road.
Here are the items we’ll bring next time.
Top 3 Campervan Accessories We Wish We Had Packed
Full disclosure: we are short people, so this may be less of an issue if you’re taller than 5’7″. But unless we were parked up against a curb, I had to stand on tiptoe to pump and use the sink in the back of our campervan.
This was simply a function of the way Escape Campervans designed the kitchen for their Mavericks and Big Sur models, so it wasn’t anything I could adjust or modify—it just wasn’t the most ideal situation for those of us shorties with tiny T-rex arms.
Cooking and cleaning was a little less of a pleasure because of it, and if we were doing it again, I’d bring my own stepstool (that we already use to access the Thule box on top of our car, because, again. SHORT ARMS!)
When you’re sleeping in a van in 25- to 30-degree weather, it gets pretty darn cold inside the van. (We had our hooded Poler Napsacks so we were cozy warm every night under the comforter, no worries).
But every morning, we were greeted by a thick sheen of condensation on every window. Microfiber towels were no match against this soggy overnight visitor, and a squeegee would have speeded up our morning routine a bit.
But we never ended up buying one… I don’t really know why we didn’t bother!
Extra Blanket or Sheet
Not because we were too cold! Those Napsacks are seriously toasty, and we had a big IKEA comforter provided by Escape.
But because you need to open the back doors of a campervan to cook anything—even a simple cup of coffee—the air comes rushing right in every time, and it’s not super fun in the early morning or after sunset.
Because we had a piece of paracord strung across the back of the van as a clothesline, I ended up using an extra towel as a buffer for both light and wind. It wasn’t quite big enough, but it helped a little.
Next time, though, it would be worth the space to have a bigger piece of fabric to block out the elements, whether a blanket or a sheet.