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6 Clever Exterior Features That Add Space To Your Campervan

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

Any campervan owner will tell you that perhaps the defining challenge of life on the road is the battle for space. Compacting a bedroom, kitchen, living area and more down into an area not much bigger than your average car is a seriously complex task.

But there’s one simple way that a campervan owner can easily add extra room to their van, at no extra cost: look outside.

Life on the road allows you to change your backyard on a whim: the beach, forest, the mountains, the desert. What all these places have in common is that they’re spacious, and if you’re clever about how you set up the exterior of your van, you can enjoy al fresco living in its most open and luxurious form.

How do you make the most of the space that surrounds your van? These 6 exterior additions are a great place to start.

1. Side Awning

The simplest ideas are often the best. For a tiny investment you can instantly double the living area of your van by creating an outdoor room perfect for relaxation and fun. A side awning shields you from rain, hail or shine, and if you choose a model with walls, you might be surprised at exactly how warm and protective it can be!

2. Porch Lights

There’s no need to run inside when the sun goes down. By adding porch lights to the exterior of your campervan you’ll let the fun kick on until whenever you’re ready to hit the hay; another small and simple investment that can help you to make use of the endless space found beyond the four walls of your van.

3. Pull-out Kitchen

Cooking outdoors is one of the joys of van life, although it does mean that you have to pass up the ease and convenience of your kitchen appliances… unless you install a pull-out kitchen.

A pull-out kitchen sees your cooking area stowed away within the van until the time comes to make a meal. At this point it is pulled out from the back, allowing you to enjoy both the outdoors and the convenience of having everything you need on hand: a cooktop, a sink, an oven and easy access to utensils.

With the kitchen being one of the bulkiest features of a campervan, you also save serious space, and make cooking far more comfortable for yourself.

4. Exterior Shower

A shower can be hard to justify in a campervan. They’re expensive, they take up a lot of space, and they add unwanted moisture to the interior. An exterior shower, on the other hand, makes use of all that space outside your van. These showers are usually mounted onto the side of your van, and if you choose a high quality model, you can even enjoy perfectly warm water and a suitable amount of privacy. Check out our guide to campervan showers here.

5. Roof Rack

A lot of campervan essentials don’t need to be stored safely within your van. Think extra water and gas, outdoor furniture, tools and spare tires. A roof rack can move these space-hungry items from the inside of your van to the outside, freeing up so much room for activities. If you invest in a weather- and dust-proof capsule for the top of your van, you can even store clothes, dry foods and other important items outside.

6. Roof Terrace

A life on four wheels, or the penthouse suite? Por qué no los dos? Perhaps the ultimate exterior addition to any van, by installing a roof terrace you can enjoy the surrounding nature from an elevated view. Imagine sitting in your chair with a drink in hand as you watch the sunset. With a roof terrace, it turns out you don’t need a double decker bus to enjoy two-story living on the road!

At Drifter we’ve become experts at making the most of space, using clever design and innovative features to ensure we maximize every square foot, including those that lay outside your van.

If you’re ready to make the most of your outdoor space, we’re ready to help. Contact our friendly team today!

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