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  • May 13, 2022 5 min read

    If you crave adventure, traveling in a camper van is one of the best ways to track down new experiences and soak in some of the best landscapes and environments the country has to offer. But before you set off in your wheeled home, you need to invest in the right van life gear.

    In this guide, we’ve put together a list of the top camper van items you need for a smoother experience as you cruise down the open road and set up camp in faraway places. They range from safety and security tools, everyday carry items, tech gear to kitchen equipment.

    Carbon Monoxide Detector 

    A carbon monoxide detector is a must-have van life item. It will protect you and your loved ones from breathing in toxic gases that can leak from the van’s engine, furnace, gas range, or generator. If your camper didn’t come with one, install this life-saving accessory.

    It’s compact, simple to use, doesn’t need wiring, and you can place it anywhere in your van and sleep soundly knowing you will get alerted if deadly gases are present. Just make sure you replace its batteries every six months. 

    Sindbad Multi-Tool

    Sindbad Multi-Tool

    Multi-tools are camper van essentials that no rig is complete without. These inventive sidekicks will help you cut, twist, tighten, loosen, or open your way through whatever problems you encounter when traveling or camping. 

    The Sindbad Multi-Tool is made of super-tough stainless steel, and all parts of this instrument have amazing edge retention and wear resistance. It has 15 tools in one, including flat nose pliers, a wire cutter, scissors, a serrated knife, a tooth saw, and a bottle opener.

    Campervan Emergency Kit

    While breakdowns are frustrating, they are an inevitable part of van life. What matters is how you prepare for such situations. So, how do you deal with flat batteries and tires? You pack an emergency kit.

    Bring a complete roadside emergency kit that includes jumper cables, tow straps, tire repair materials, an air compressor, wheel chocks, and a seatbelt cutter. Don’t forget warning triangles and reflective vests to make sure other road users can see you much more easily.

    Adventure Gear Roll 

    Adventure Gear Roll

    Van lifers carry a host of tools in their rig, from wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers to cables. Without a home, these items will make your camper feel disorganized. To quickly access your camper van tools and keep your rig tidy, get the Adventure Gear Roll.

    This gear roll-up multipurpose bag features 3 large pockets that can be closed with oversized industrial zippers, 7 wrench pockets, and an internal zippered pocket perfect for holding your essential papers or maps. It's even tough enough to haul bulky stuff like firewood.

    Water Filter 

    When living on the road and camping off the grid, you’re constantly filling up your water from different sources. Some reliable, some questionable. Whether you’re collecting water from a babbling brook, natural pond, or gas station, you need to make sure it’s safe to drink. 

    That’s why a water filter is a van life essential you can’t afford to overlook. It provides an easy way to remove harmful contaminants from the H2O you harvest. Look for a portable device that works fast and filters effectively.

    Off Road French Press, Grinder, and Molle Pouch Kit

    Off Road French Press, Grinder, and Molle Pouch Kit

    There’s nothing quite like waking up in your cozy home on wheels and strolling outside to soak in epic lake or mountain views while sipping some hot coffee. While spending time on the road and in the wild, you need a rugged and portable French press to brew some tasty drinks. 

    Our Insulated French Press is exactly what you need. It has stainless steel construction and serves as a double insulated cup to drink from and take on any adventure. In addition, the package comes with a manual coffee grinder that’s easy to use and a tactical molle drawstring magazine pouch to carry everything together. 

    Solar Kit

    Going off the beaten track doesn't mean you have to leave your favorite tech behind. Whether you live in your van full time or you’re an occasional traveler, a solar kit will boost your rig’s livability. 

    A solar setup allows you to harness the sun’s free energy and charge all of your fancy tech gadgets and stay off-grid almost indefinitely. Look for a kit that is portable, packs small, is durable, then pair it with a battery or portable power station that stores enough energy for all your devices.

    USB-Rechargeable Fan

    If you're looking for a way to stay cool in the van without using a lot of power, get a rechargeable fan. This clever piece of equipment has a built-in battery that you can charge via USB, plus the clip allows you to attach it to just about anything.

    Of course, the fan won’t do much good unless it provides a strong breeze. So look for one that delivers strong airflow to beat the heat. Also, make sure it has varying speed settings to change the amount of airflow and adjustable heads so you can alter the breeze direction.

    Portable Space Heater

    Van life will take you to all kinds of destinations, including chilly ones. Unfortunately, most rigs offer little insulation and have plenty of gaps for cold air to sneak in. To stay warm when traveling in cold areas or staying in high elevations, get a space heater.

    Electric heaters for campervans are a brilliant way to quickly and evenly heat a small space, helping you stay toasty warm. It will also protect your rig's systems from cold weather damage. You’ll also save, as this heating method is cheaper than running your propane furnace.

    Cell Signal Booster

    With the rise of remote working and online learning, even the most off-the-grid van lifers need internet access during their sojourns. So, what do you do if you love camping or driving through areas with patchy cellular reception? Simple, get a cell signal booster.

    This device has a powerful antenna that amplifies weak cell signals, so you can get better performance out of your phone, tablet, or laptop. Use it to get a more stable internet connection, faster data speeds, and fewer dropped calls.

    Portable Barbecue Grill

    If you’re looking to spice up your cooking experience while traveling, then a portable barbecue is a must-have. Many campervans have limited or no cooktop space, so this essential van life equipment will help transform your culinary experience.

    Look for a grill that’s lightweight, doesn't take up much space, can be set up almost anywhere, and can cook a wide array of meals. You have a few different options when it comes to a fuel source for a camper grill, from charcoal, gas to electric.

    Supercharge Your Adventures With Clever Van Life Gear and Tools

    If you're thinking about getting on board with van life, you need to know what gear to pack for the trip. However, deciding exactly what qualifies as a van life necessity can be tricky. Simply borrow our list above, and your life on the road will be easier and more comfortable.

    For more van life items that will elevate your adventure experience, check out Defiance Tools. You'll love our multi-tool collection, grilling tools, utility knives, and coffee brewers—all designed to make your journey smoother.

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