Updated: Jan 9
That feeling of self-reliance is one of the most alluring things about life on the road. If your campervan is appropriately kitted out, you can go days at a time without any assistance.
But there’s a flipside to this self-sufficiency. You need to be prepared to deal with the wealth of potential emergencies that you might face while you’re on your own. A flat tire, an injury, a kitchen fire, a dead battery; the list is endless, but the space for emergency equipment is not.
The question: what are the most critical roadside emergency items that every van lifer should have in their van? Spare tire aside, here are our 11 must-haves.
1. Tire repair kit
Sure, you’ve got a spare tire, a jack and a tire iron, but what if you have two punctures on the same trip? A tire repair kit can remove the need to pack yet another tire by simply plugging the puncture – provided you can find it, and it’s not on the tire wall. What’s more, these kits are super compact!
2. Air compressor
Perhaps it’s not a puncture but a slow leak. Good news: a 12-volt air compressor, which plugs into the power outlet of your van, can save both work and space when compared to a manual pump.
3. Jumper cables/portable jump starter
A set of jumper cables is an absolute necessity for any van lifer, but if you plan on taking your adventures more off-road than most, it might be worth considering a portable jump starter, as it removes the need for help from a good Samaritan.
4. Gas Can
There’s nothing more painful than falling a couple of miles short of the gas station. The simplest item in your emergency kit, a gas can might save you serious inconvenience.
5. Fire extinguisher
The addition of a kitchen makes a campervan slightly more fire-prone than the average vehicle. Ideally you’ll have two fire extinguishers in your van, strategically placing one near your cooktop, and the other nearer the engine.
6. First aid kit
Campervanning isn’t 100% safe, and that’s part of the fun. Cuts, scrapes and other injuries happen on the road, and you need to be prepared for them. The more remote and exciting your adventures, the bigger your kit should be.
7. Car safety hammer
Breaking glass in case of emergency – it’s a last resort, for sure, but one that you must have at your disposal. A car safety hammer allows you to make a quick escape in the most dire of situations.
A multi-tool is essentially a Swiss army knife built into a set of pliers. It’s capable of fixing a million on-road problems you haven’t thought of, and can take the place of dozens of tools you’d find in a standard toolkit.
9. Tow rope and shackles
A tow rope and shackles can help you get out of a number of jams. If you break down or run out of gas on the highway you can get towed to the next town, and if you’re stuck in the mud or sand during an off-road adventure you can get pulled out!
10. Shovel/traction mat
These items are for the even more serious of off-road enthusiasts – those who don’t think they’ll be able to find a friend where they’re going. A shovel and/or traction mat can get you out of a sticky jam without the need for a second vehicle.
11. Duct tape, lubricant, hammer
A lot of old mechanics will argue that these three items make a complete toolkit. If it moves and it shouldn’t, use the duct tape. If it doesn’t move and it should, use the lubricant. If neither of those work, use the hammer. Problems solved.
No matter what your campervan future holds, the expert team at Drifter Vans can help make it happen. Get in touch today!