33 Camper Essentials You Need for Your Next Road Trip

These top-rated products are total game changers, from maximizing small spaces to on-the-go creature comforts.

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August 06, 2021

There’s been a massive return to the great American road trip and camper life in the last decade. Whether that’s loading up the RV for a couple of weeks or pulling a pop-up trailer for a long weekend, more and more travelers are trying the camper trend for vacation. However, if you’re a nomad newbie, it can be a bit of an adjustment — from navigating campground rules to living and sleeping in the same, small space. But with the right packing list, life on the road is a breeze. We’ve rounded up the best products and gadgets to take your camper to the next level, from clever storage hacks to tiny kitchen appliances to luxe upgrades that make all the difference. Take a look at our favorites below and gear up for your next camper trip.

STORAGE FOR CAMPERS ON THE GO

RVs have come a long way in terms of multi-purpose storage, but if you have a smaller camper or camper trailer, there are no fancy pull-outs or hidden drawers. Whatever your rig, you can make it feel larger and hack more storage by using common household organizational items in new ways. This over-the-door hanger is technically meant for organizing baby diapers and clothes, but the see-through cloth shelves are perfect for organizing your stuff in a camper, too. And double suction cup hooks are an absolute must. They’re not just for towels! You can hang keys, cords, flashlights, jackets, kitchen utensils and so much more. Collapsible bins are also super handy for storing shoes, rain jackets and umbrellas by the door so that you don't track dirt or water into the camper.

SMALL-SPACE ESSENTIALS FOR CAMPERS

Just like an apartment or a tiny house, living in a camper is all about maximizing space. This ottoman seat is actually a storage bin and a coffee table. The cushion flips over to reveal a tabletop. If you need a work or homework station but don’t have space for a desk, this bed computer desk is the real deal. It’s got USB ports, a tiny fan and a secret pull-out drawer for storing pens. Another challenge with campers is keeping it tidy. This cordless handheld vacuum folds in half and is outfitted with some serious suction power for tackling any dirt or mud you might track into the camper. And to keep cooking smells or RV toilet smells at bay, these mini scented discs from Arm & Hammer are perfect for small camper trashcans.

MINI KITCHEN BUYS FOR RV TRAILERS + CAMPERS

One of the most challenging aspects of life on the road is cooking. Most campers are not outfitted with true kitchens. It’s more like a hotel room kitchenette. But you really don’t need a full oven to whip up good food. Several compact countertop appliances get the job done, from a travel-size blender (that is also great for soups) to this waffle maker (that can also be used as a panini press). But for the ultimate setup, this Ninja SP101 is basically a kitchen in a box. It can bake, roast, toast, dehydrate, air fry and keep food warm. As for dishes, you dovn’t want to sacrifice counter space all the time for a dish rack, so invest in this handy collapsible one. It squishes down flat for easy storage when not in use.

LITTLE LUXURIES FOR CAMPING

The great thing about camper life is that it affords you more creature comforts than traditional tent- or car-camping, however, it can still feel like you’re roughing it. If you don’t like the sound of that, there are several luxury travel products to make your camper feel more like a rustic hotel. Glamping must-have number one: The silk NIGHT Pillow. This memory foam pillow packs into a travel case half its size for minimal storage. Perhaps the most luxurious upgrade is this chrome spa showerhead from Oxygenics sized just for camper showers. It even comes with an installation kit for RV pipes. If your camper doesn’t have a shower or if your shower is in the RV wet room (AKA the toilet is also in the shower) just forget showering altogether and take a bath! Yes, inflatable bathtubs are a thing, and Tubble is the most popular with an integrated headrest and cup holder. It only takes two minutes to inflate.

OUTDOOR MUST-HAVES

The best part about camping is turning your lot or campsite into a fun, outdoor space, and this is where it can really feel like you’ve got more square footage and room to stretch out. An outdoor rug not only gives you a barrier from bugs and sand but also helps create a clear vignette for your outdoor room. And for the focal point, a Solo Stove is worth the splurge. Its clean burn design means less smoke and nearly smoke-free smelling hair and clothes, which is a game-changer when you’re living in tight quarters. The stainless steel design is very pretty, too. If you plan on staying connected while on the road and in the great outdoors, a portable generator is crucial. The Goal Zero Yeti is a great size and sweet spot of power for long weekends. It can charge multiple devices or simply just power a fan if it's hot outside.

PEST CONTROL FOR CAMPING

While campers and RVs offer far better protection against critters and bugs than a tent, it’s still very easy for the great outdoors to get into your camper. Especially when there’s food around. For general ant and roach prevention, Diatomaceous Earth is a great natural deterrent. If they’ve already found a way inside, this bait gel should do the trick. Just make sure that curious toddlers or pets can’t get to it. And as for mosquitos, a Thermacell portable mosquito repeller is a must. No more bug spray or scented candles. This little doodad is DEET-free, scent-free, flame-free and lasts up to 12 hours. There's also a camp lantern version.

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