What to carry in your van

What to carry in your van

Hey, If you’re reading this, you’re probably either living in a van or considering the van life. Maybe you’ve been living in a van for a while and are looking for some advice on how to make the most of your space. Or maybe you’re just starting to think about van life and are wondering what you need to know before making the jump.


Either way, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to share our thoughts to help you make the most of your van life. We’ll cover everything from what to pack to how to stay organized


So, whether you’re a van lifer or just considering the lifestyle, read on for some helpful advice to make the most of your travel journeys.


1. What to Pack

When you’re living in a van, space is limited. That means you need to be strategic about what you pack. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re packing:

  • First, only pack the essentials. That means clothes, toiletries, and other items that you absolutely need. If you can’t live without it, pack it. If you can live without it, leave it behind.
  • Second, consider multi-purpose items. We often look to use an item in more than one way, especially when cooking or cleaning.
  • Third, think about space-saving items. For example, many containers and bowls are now manufactured to be collapsible.

2. How to Stay Organized

When you’re living in a van, it’s important to stay organized. After all, a small space can quickly become cluttered and chaotic if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips to help you stay organized while living in a van:

  • First, invest in storage solutions. That means storage bins, shelves, and other items that will help you keep your space tidy.
  • Second, create a system for your belongings. For example, designate a place for your clothes, your toiletries, your food, and your camping gear.
  • Third, be diligent about putting things away. Every time you use something, put it back in its designated place. And every time you bring something new into the van, find a place for it.
  • Finally, start putting sticky dots on the things you use. At the end of your first trip, look for items without a sticky dot and pack them away, because you obviously didn’t use it or need it.

3. How to Stay Sane

Living in a van can be challenging, especially if you’re used to a more traditional lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you stay sane while living in a van:

  • First, make sure to take breaks from driving. If you’re on the road for long periods of time, make sure to take breaks every few hours to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
  • Second, find ways to stay connected. Whether it’s staying in touch with family and friends back home or meeting new people on the road, find ways to stay connected to the outside world.
  • Third, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Make sure to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break and do something that makes you happy.

4. Essential Safety Items

Even if you aren’t working while travelling, you should still bring a variety of chargers and other essential electronics. Even if you don’t have a complete solar power setup, solar generators are a great way to charge your equipment while travelling. Planning for a variety of weather patterns and other emergencies is imperative for your safety. Everyone should have a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a CO2 detector. Don’t forget to plan for your environment and pack recovery gear that is suited to your road trip. We also suggest a personal GPS location beacon in case you require emergency evacuation outside the Telstra and Optus cell towers.


5. Tools to carry when travelling in a van

Simple toolbox

A toolbox is another item you need to bring when travelling by van. A compact toolkit that includes the essentials, including an Allen key, an additional star-shaped screwdriver, a hammer, nails, a wrench, and pliers. *Note: It is required to have a small fire extinguisher with you in large camper vans and RVs. It doesn’t take up much room and can prevent a bad unforeseen situation, so I recommend having it in any camper van, RV, or motorhome.

Adaptors for your van

When you visit a campsite or a location designated for vans or motorhomes, you can plug into the mains. By doing this, you use 240v electricity to charge devices such as laptops, batteries, and mobile devices without using the onboard battery in your van. Make an effort to have the proper adapters and a long enough cable. If you forget, they are typically sold at BCF, Anaconda, and other 4×4 stores.

You must keep batteries and at least one flashlight in your van, preferably two. Alternatively, the flashlight should be rechargeable.
Along with the obvious uses, a flashlight comes in handy when going to the bathroom after dark if you don’t have one in your van. We prefer using a headtorch as it frees up our hands while walking.

Hose and various adapters for water charging
As a minimum, carry a drinking water hose, sullage hose, and a variety of adapters for different tap threads. We prefer to use brass adapters as they are stronger and are less prone to popping off the hose. Before you leave your site, take your tap adapters with you.


Don’t forget to get a photocopy of all your licenses and credit card just to be safe. You should also get RACQ Ultimate Roadside Assistance and adequate insurance for your van against unforeseen disasters or accidents. Van life can be a great adventure. But it’s not for everyone. If you’re considering van life, make sure to do your research and be prepared for the challenges. But if you’re up for the adventure, go for it!


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