Updated: Apr 13
Every van lifer does it. You scroll endlessly through Instagram, hunting for the next amazing addition to your home on wheels. You see a fellow van owner out in the wild, and ask for a quick look at their setup. It’s part of the joy of a campervan existence: your project is never truly complete.
But collecting all this disparate inspiration can be an inefficient pursuit. Would you rather a neatly compiled list of the very best additions to your campervan? Good news, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s take a look at 12 of the most useful and awesome features to add to both the exterior and interior of your campervan, to enhance your on-road lifestyle.
“You don’t know what you’ve got til it's gone” sang Joni Mitchell, and she may well have been talking about a level park. The reality of van life, particularly boondocking, is that you won’t always be on a level patch of earth, and might find yourself rolling out of bed or struggling to cook because of it. Levelling blocks (for small undulations) and levelling ramps (for larger ones) solve this issue, allowing you to find a level park anywhere, and have a far more comfortable time.
2. Reversing camera
A large percentage of campervan owners are unable to use their rear-view mirrors, making parking or maneuvering in tight spots a risky proposition. A reversing camera is the obvious, and now super cost-effective, solution.
3. Solar panels
Whether you’re using it to charge your electronics, heat your water or light your van at night, power is a valuable and often difficult-to-find commodity for campervan owners. Generate your own by pairing solar panels with a separate battery that you can use to power your life on the road.
4. Sky light
Space is at a premium in your campervan, which can see windows being covered by cupboards or a kitchenette, which can in turn leave your space feeling a little dark and dank. Installing a skylight can seriously improve the vibe, while efficiently lighting your van without needing to connect to a power source.
5. Outdoor shower
As we discussed in a recent blog, having your very own shower is the height of indulgence for a van lifer, though installing one within the van might prove to be too large an investment, both in terms of money and space. An outdoor shower is a fantastic compromise, particularly if you choose a model with heated water and a privacy screen.
6. Roof deck
Want to be the king or queen of the campsite? Nothing says ‘this is living’ like your own roof deck: a platform placed atop your van, where you can enjoy a drink and take in the surroundings. But far from just a campsite power move, a roof deck can actually be a super clever use of space: you essentially give yourself an extra room to enjoy, and one with the most awesome views.
7. Insulation blinds/curtains
While a well-built campervan should be lined with good insulation, the windows remain a weak point, where cold – and sometimes heat – can enter the living space (campervan windows are rarely double-glazed.) But by adding a set of insulating blinds or curtains to your windows, you can keep the cold out and the comfort in.
8. Ceiling-stowable bed
The bed is inevitably the most space-hungry feature in a campervan. But if you own a high-top camper, or are particularly short-statured, there’s a neat option that can free up a huge amount of the van’s floor space. Ceiling-stowable beds use a series of pulleys, connected to a motor, to pull your bed into the ceiling when it’s not being used. No deconstruction or folding away required – nothing more than a press of a button will see you reclaim the space that was formerly lost to slumber.
9. Swivel seats in the cabin
Another way to make the most of your space is to utilize the cabin. By replacing the standard driver and passenger seats with comfortable swivel models, you’ll be able to treat your cabin as a living room and entertainment space!
10. Under-bed storage
Living in a campervan means getting creative with storage. One of the most common and efficient methods to stow away your stuff is the use of under-bed compartments. Choose models that slide out of the rear of the van on rails for ultimate space saving and ease of use.
11. Wood cladding
Want the comfy, warm and charming feeling of a log cabin, but without those heavy logs? Installing wood panel cladding on the interior of your van will offer exactly that, bringing a natural charm to your otherwise metal home. A feature that can add real visual appeal to your van, wood cladding is cheap, lightweight and super easy to work with, as it can be installed in a way that follows the curves and corners of the interior.
12. Extendable kitchen
While an in-built kitchen can be a luxurious and visually stunning addition to your campervan, it will take up a huge amount of room. Depending on the height of your van, you might also get a sore neck while you hover over the pots and pans. A popular alternative is an extendable kitchen: one that hides away in your van, often beneath your bed, but can be pulled out from the rear, allowing you to cook outside. As a bonus, add a mini oven to the setup to seriously expand your dinner options.
Before you buy all the bells and whistles, you first need a van to put them on and in. At Drifter Vans our expert team is ready to build you a campervan from the ground up, and with all the features and accessories to suit!
Ready for a life on the open road? Contact our friendly team today!