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So, you’re making the move to living in a van full-time? Congrats! There’s a lot to figure out as you make a transition to life in a smaller space. Like what type of camper van conversion to get, to how much you want to spend on the van itself, to what exactly you need to make life on the road more comfortable?

Here are 13 items you might want to consider when living in a van full-time. These items will help keep you stealthy, safe, warm and happy for van life.

1. Magnets for your doors and drawers

It’s easy for stuff to shift around when you drive, and these powerful magnets will keep doors and drawers safely clamped shut.

2. A tiny 200-watt heater for cold nights

Sometimes, it can get chilly inside your van as the temperature outside dips. If you don’t want to stay huddled beneath your sleeping bag or blankets all evening, try out a tiny heater. It doesn’t drain the power too much. I read that one van-lifer sets a timer for her heater to come on for two hours in the dead of the night to keep things cozy.

3. Pick a stove for your cooking needs

We all know a stove is a camper essential, but you’ll have to think about what type. You could pick a single-burner electric stove, but that will use up your power supply. Other options are a single-burner or double-burner gas stoves. Here are a few options for you to look through.

Double burner propane stove

Single-burner gas stove

Single-burner electric stove

4. Window deflectors for keeping windows cracked

So, this might be more helpful for sleeping in a car rather than a van, but my boyfriend and I have loved these window deflectors. The windows can be cracked when its raining outside, and water doesn’t get inside your vehicle. Definitely a camper essential for a camper car!

5. A super insulated cooler is a camper essential

You can put refrigeration inside your van, but it’s a major power suck. Many van dwellers instead choose a very high-quality fridge that keeps ice, food and drinks cold for days. A top-ranked one is the Yeti cooler. I love everything Yeti. It’s expensive, but you get what you pay for.

6. Reflectix insulation

Some people who live in vans love to tack this Reflectix insulation on their windows as part of their blinds. It’s a great way to stay warm and cozy when you’re living in a van full-time. Camper essential for sure.

camper essential

7. Blackout material for windows

Getting some black out material for your windows is a camper essential. While living in the Prius, we had our windows tinted, but I think some of this stuff would go hand-in-hand with a window tint, cause that morning sun is strong!

camper essential for van life

8. A sunshade for your front windows

We had to be super undercover while living in the Prius, and having sunshades over the front windows helped a lot. People couldn’t peer into the car as easily to see if someone was sleeping back there. Although, I do think a Prius is pretty stealth. A sunshade not only just keeps you hidden, it also keeps the heat down on sunny days.

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9. A DC to AC inverter…the camper essential for a computer

This handy DC to AC power inverter can be plugged into your cigarette lighter, and is powerful to charge things like laptops and tablets. Could be a life-saver if you’re out in the woods and want to watch a movie on your computer.

camper essential for van life10. Starter solar panels are a major camper essential

Living in a van full-time just wouldn’t be complete without some solar panels on your roof 🙂 There are a few ways to do this, and one is to get a starter solar power kit from amazon. This is one awesome step to going off-grid!

camper essential for van life11. A camp chair

You will want a camp chair on those days when its just too beautiful to sit in your van. The Kelty camp chair is super comfortable and a top favorite, so may be a good one to try.

camper essential for van life12. Some sort of internet hotspot

I absolutely love my Verizon MiFi device and would recommend it to everyone. I currently live on a sailboat, and it’s nice to be able to log onto my computer and do some work when we’re lounging around at anchor. I’ve also taken it on road trips and have been surprised at how good the coverage is. This is especially good if you’re living in a van full-time and need to do some work while traveling.

13. An outdoor shower head for van life

You may not have a bathroom in your van, and like many, rely on a gym or a rec center for your shower. But if its a hot enough day and you’re far enough out in the woods, this outdoor shower may just feel like the best thing ever.

camper essential for van lifeWhat items can you not live without during your van life or car living explorations? I’d love to know!


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