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Get our top tips for saving money on a campervan trip:

Our campervans are fully-equipped with a bed/dining room and kitchen with sink, stove, and refrigerator. In addition to the Extras we have available for rent (bedding kits, kitchen kits, camp chairs, picnic tables, and more), you may want to bring some more items for your own personal comforts. To help you plan your Escape, we put together a list of suggested items that past renters have recommended packing over the years.

Escape Tip

Suggested Items

  • Soft luggage is the name of the game for campervan trips! It makes packing up the van a breeze.
  • Read a past renter’s thorough 51 Vanlife Tips of what to pack on your trip
  • Previous renters tend to leave a lot of great things behind with us when their trips end! Feel free to pick through them and take what you like when you pick up your van.

Campervan trip in Monument Valley


  • Driver’s license
  • Credit card
  • Cash
  • Phone + charger
  • Passport
  • Annual National Parks Pass- If you plan on visiting 4+ National Parks on your trip, this can save you quite a bit of money. Learn more here.
  • A travel buddy!


  • Coffee maker of your preference – our Kitchen Kit includes a simple coffee drip, but if you prefer something fancier like a French press or Aero press, you’ll need to bring your own!
  • A large mug – We provide standard smaller mugs in our Kitchen Kit, but you might prefer your own
  • Cooler – While your van includes a solar-powered refrigerator, this can be helpful if you’d like to store larger items such as ice and beverages. For size reference, the refrigerator can fit approximately 24 soda cans.
  • Dishwashing liquid, salt, and pepper, cooking oil, paper towels, trash bags, ziplock bags, tin foil, etc. can often be found in our stash of unused past renter gear
  • Picnic blanket


Our biggest suggestion is to pack layers. Many places–especially in the desert–can be very hot during the day and very cold at night. Packing smartly and bringing different layers is the best way to prepare for these temperature changes. Aside from your basic t-shirts and shorts, we recommend:

  • Thick wool socks
  • Long pants
  • Hat – both a beanie and a baseball cap to block the sun
  • Warm jacket
  • Raincoat
  • Hiking shoes
  • Swimsuit


Aside from your own toiletry items, we recommend:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals – Good for campground showers and for lounging
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Insect repellent
  • Laundry bag and a small container of detergent (if you’re going on a longer trip, it can be nice to do some laundry at larger campgrounds)
  • Towels – You may want one for showering and one for swimming/beaches. Quick-drying towels are best for when you’re on the road.


  • First aid kit
  • Dashboard mount for iPhone (especially if using it as your GPS)
  • Fairy lights and any other decorations you may want for some extra magical flair
  • A small battery-powered fan – Nice if you’re going somewhere really hot (we provide heaters in winter months)
  • A lantern, flashlight, headlamp – or all three (your van comes with a solar-powered light in the back over the kitchen, but you may want an extra light for the picnic table or for making your way to the restroom at night)
  • Bear spray – Canisters can be expensive, but they’re worth it if you come across a bear on the trail!
  • Daypack
  • Wet wipes
  • Water bottle
  • Duct tape
  • Clothesline
  • Small sewing kit
  • Aux cable and USB converter (these are also available for purchase for $5 each at our Escape Campervan depots)
  • Books
  • Playing cards
  • Quarters for showering at campgrounds (we also offer a solar shower, see Extras)
  • Hammock

We’re happy to help out with any packing questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more.
Not your first rodeo? We want to hear your packing tips!

Book your campervan trip today to get started.

26 thoughts on “Road Trip Campervan Packing Tips”

    1. It’s more just for phones and small electronics. You can rent our Electric Kit for charging laptops, but you’ll need to be at a campground with a hookup for it to work!

    2. Do Big Sur vans have hitch receivers for a bike rack? . Looking forward to our family trip at end of July. Thanks

      1. We do not have hitch racks on our Big Surs. Unfortunately, we also had to stop renting our rooftop bike racks due to damage to the roofs and solar panels. Bikes can slide into the interiors with a little maneuvering! Otherwise, some racks are available to purchase at local outdoor stores. Have a great trip.

  1. Hi there!
    Is it necessary to have a bear canister in winter time? I’ll be around Yosemite for Christmas.

    1. Hi Karina! Yes, it is necessary to have a bear canister in the winter. We recommend chatting with a local ranger about the exact rules.

  2. Hi
    Do the Mavericks come with a roof rack and do you offer roof storage bins or can we attach our own?

    1. Hi! Our Santa Cruz and Big Sur models have roof racks, but we don’t allow the use of roof storage bins. We do allow ski, bike or surf board racks. We offer bike racks for rent on Santa Cruz, Mavericks and Big Sur models.

  3. Hello! Do you guys suggest to bring backpacking backpacks as our luggage? I thought this might save some space in the campervan but I thought I’d ask what others have used as their “luggage” on a campervan road trip. I’m flying in from Canada. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Sabina! We recommend bringing soft-sided duffel bags or backpacks. A backpacking backpack could work depending on how rigid and large it is. Usually hard-sided luggage is too big to store under the seats/bed.

  4. In addition to the daily rate, I have the following comments:

    Do you folks have a separate rate for insurance similar to rent a cars?

    Do you charge mileage in addition to the daily rate? If so, what are the terms?


    1. It would be inconvenient to set up a clothesline inside a Mavericks. Stringing one between trees or the van doors would be the best way. Be sure to check with the campground or area you are staying to make sure clotheslines are allowed. And use a tree-friendly rope if possible.

  5. What do you recommend to stay cool when travelling during the summer months? Also if bugs are an issue do you offer nets for the van windows or bug socks?

    1. Fortunately we just restocked our bug net inventory at all of our locations, so this is an optional extra you can add on to your rental. The nets attach over the driver and passenger side windows to let the air in without the bugs!

  6. What about December trip? It will be warm at night inside van in cannons or I have to prepare warm sleeping bag? Do you have pillows in van and blankets?

    1. Our campervans do not have built-in heaters that can run separately (you must have the van on in order to run the heat) but we do offer bedding kits you can add on as an extra which includes an extra duvet in the winter months. However, we recommend researching thoroughly the areas you plan to explore during our winter season as some areas may be closed or inaccessible due to snow. Please email us at if you need more assistance!

      1. We rent a van every winter to do dessert camping. You can buy heated sleeping bags in Amazon for less than $50. These are perfect for boondocking or when you don’t have an electric site.
        The heater that comes with the electric kit is tiny but powerful. It keeps the entire van warm.

  7. Just confirming we can charge our phones in the camper van? Also do you provide extra duvets as it will be close to freezing at night many places when we are taking our trip in April?

    1. Hello Anne!

      You can only charge your phone when it is plugged in and the campervan is driving/running. We recommend portable chargers for during the evening since you cannot leave your van running all night. We also give two duvets per bedding kit during the winter time. Please email us at with any other questions!

      Team Escape

  8. You mentioned that there was a sink in the small kitchen set up in the back. How much water does the van hold then? Does it have a water container somewhere in the back?

    1. Hi Michele, our vans come with a five gallon water reservoir for the sink and a six gallon gray water tank for the dirty water.

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