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The essential packing list for motorhome and campervan hire

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Our essential packing list for motorhome and campervan hire has got you covered for all those times you get into a road trip and realise you’re missing something important. Or have you wished you had a few little extras to make your life easier?

While we think we have a very comprehensive list, each time we go on a motorhome road trip, we usually find some extras to add to it. These packing tips make packing a camper super easy.

This guide assumes that everyone knows how to pack their clothes for their destination.  It is also necessary to note that this is not a packing list intended for those who own their campervan or motorhome.  Of course,  you could still use this list if you were kitting out your vehicle for the first time as an owner as there are some helpful tips here, but we’ve also got a great motorhome equipment list here for those of you lucky enough to own a motorhome yourself.

As an owner, however, you would need to include much more to get your road trip underway. e.g. crockery, cutlery, pots and pans and bedding. There’s also no end to the number of options you can add to a motorhome when it is your own. This is simply a “useful extras guide” for what to pack for your motorhome holiday that will make your life much easier.

This is a unique packing list for campervan hire. Many others found on the internet give you the same things. Read on!

A great feature of hiring a campervan for your holiday is that the hiring company has already included most of the things you will need during your trip. But hiring companies are not all built the same, so it’s best to check before you arrive to ensure the basics are provided and, most importantly, included in your total cost.

Suggested reading >> If you’ve never hired a motorhome in Europe before, we recommend that you read our comprehensive guide The ultimate guide to campervan hire in Europe: the questions you must ask before you make the hiring decision

We keep adding to this list whenever we travel in a motorhome or campervan.  Even with all of these things on board, we always find more ways to make life easier on the road.

Basic motorhome essentials

These are all the items that should be included in your motorhome when hiring. We use and recommend Anywhere Campers for motorhome hire in Europe. They are also one-way hire specialists. We know that they have all of these items in their motorhomes.

Get an online quote now from Anywhere Campers.

  • Kitchen equipment including pots, pans, cutlery, crockery, glassware, sharp knives, basic utensils like egg flips and large spoons and a colander
  • Road safety equipment – warning triangles, hi-visibility vests, jacks etc
  • GPS – check you have included this in your hire.
  • External campervan equipment – Water hose and connector, electrical cable, adaptor for hooking up to mains electricity and levelling blocks
  • Gas bottles
  • Cleaning equipment – dustpan brush, broom in some cases, cleaning wipes, disposable gloves for handling portable toilet cassette
  • Bedding – if you are hiring, you need bedding included in your hire or you will have to bring it yourself
  • In the summertime, outdoor chairs and tables are a must to be included for your hire
  • Bicycles are also a great idea and provide enormous flexibility.

More reading >> New to motorhome hire? Read our guide on what’s inside a campervan for hire.

Following are more items that are highly useful and should make any campervan equipment list.  I know we couldn’t do without them.

Note: this is a list for travellers who are a long way from home and don’t have the luggage space or travel capacity to bring huge amounts of equipment to Europe.

Basic packing list for motorhome hire

*Most of these products are available via Amazon and can be accessed by clicking on the links below*


If you are travelling with your own motorhome then you will have this problem well and truly sorted.  Many private motorhomes are built with good internal insulation within the walls of the vehicle itself and removable insulation like blinds, stick-on pads and covers for the inside, keeping them cool and warm when needed.  They are also great for privacy at night.  On the outside, many have other covers that help with insulation and the dreaded windscreen condensation.

When you hire a motorhome or campervan, however, it is unlikely that these will be included.  Normally, they only have blinds which offer little insulation.

Each morning, especially in winter, where it is cold outside and warm inside, the windscreen is usually dripping with condensation. Years ago we used to use kitchen towel to dry it off every morning, but we would go through so much. 

The other alternative was using a towel but these just get wet and are a pain to dry if you are travelling all day. 

Now, we use a chamois and it’s so simple.  It’s easily transportable, doesn’t weigh much and is more economical and environmentally friendly than buying paper towel.

Packing cubes 

We are packing cubes converts.  Having used them in suitcases before, we now always use them in motorhome as well, even when we travel in our own at home.  What a breeze it makes unpacking and keeping things organised in the motorhome. The cubes can be kept up in the storage space above our bed, making them easy to access.   We would highly recommend them for long motorhome trips as it is seriously annoying to have to keep diving around bags and suitcases every day.

Packing cubes in storage cupboards at rear of motorhome
Packing cubes are easy to fit in the storage cupboard above the bed

Wine stoppers

Faced with such a wonderful range of whites, reds and champagnes/sparkling in Europe, we’ve always got a bottle or two open.  And, because most European wines have not succumbed to the screw top lid ( I can hear the French especially gasping at the thought of this!), taking our own wine stoppers always comes in handy.  One thing we have also noticed too is that the French champagne bottles sometimes won’t take the smaller plastic stoppers.  We also carry a champagne stopper with us too

Note: most campervans come with a corkscrew these days, but it might still pay to check with your hire company first.

Reusable shopping bags

Because we eat a lot of our meals in the motorhome, we are constantly at supermarkets and local markets stocking up on goodies.  In Europe, plastic bags are not provided when you shop so we make sure we have plenty of our own reusable bags on hand.

We keep several in the motorhome and I also have folding bags that I carry with me for when we go to the markets. 

Anti-bacterial sanitiser and wet wipes

Long before the world had heard of Covid-19 we used to carry with us and use sanitiser. There’s many things that occur around motorhomes, like emptying toilet waste, touching waste hoses or visiting public facilities, that makes products like these a good idea to have on hand. Wet wipes are great for those sticky fingers you get after eating French pastries in some beautiful French location.

We always have a large size like this one in the motorhome and carry smaller ones with us when we are outside the vehicle.

First aid kit

This one doesn’t need much explanation; a first aid kit is always helpful when you are travelling on the road.

Ear plugs and eye masks

Most of the locations we stay overnight in are usually very quiet, but it’s not always possible.  Memories of being parked out the front of a bar in Cannes – a long time ago – are still vivid, as is the night we spent in Liesel in The Netherlands with scooters zipping around us all night.  Earplugs would have been a welcome addition on those occasions. Now we carry them with us everywhere we go.

Light is never an issue for us in motorhomes as the windows have blinds and curtains. However, if you are a light sleeper and can’t handle even the smallest bit of light peeking in from the edges of the blinds, it might be a good idea to also pack an eye mask.

Pro tip: If noise is an issue, try stopping at a France Passion site.  They are usually on farms or in really quiet locations, ensuring you have a great sleep. Read our article on motorhome stopovers in France.

Short, lightweight bathrobe

We highly recommend this item if you are going to be spending a lot of time in public campgrounds.  It’s not something we would normally consider packing, but when you are in a campervan, it makes a lot of sense.  Getting changed in public bathrooms can be a little tricky at times.  Sometimes there is limited hanging space for your clothes/toiletries, and there’s nothing worse than getting your clothes and belongings wet.

On some occasions, the facilities can be less than ideal.  Getting undressed in your campervan and using a bathrobe or an oodie means less hassle. 

Hanging toiletry bag

For the same reason as above, it’s better to have something that hangs off a hook.  We take a waterproof hanging toiletry bag just large enough to fit in the basics (soap, shampoo/conditioner, razor) for this purpose.  The rest of your toiletries remain in the bathroom onboard.

Microfibre travel towels

Even if you are hiring a motorhome that includes towels we still highly recommend having a microfibre towel at the ready. They are small, easy to pack and carry with you and suit many purposes.  They are also useful then for taking to the beach or public pools, without the bulk of having to carry large towels.

Universal travel adaptor

You simply can’t live without these. We recommend having a universal travel adaptor that takes more than a few cables all at once. Sometimes electricity is not readily available, so having a universal travel adaptor means we can charge multiple items at once to charge everything as quickly as possible.

We won’t ever leave home without one, regardless of where we travel to.  Ours have a main power plug, four USB connectors and a USB-C connector (which I use for my Macbook). 

If you are coming from the USA, it’s also recommended to have a universal voltage converter with you as well as the voltage in Europe is 230/240-volt.


In a hired campervan there aren’t many power outlets, so a powerboard/powerstrip is also helpful for charging multiple items at once.  Most people these days travel with a lot of power-hungry equipment.  Unless you are planning on being in an official campground every night, it could be days before you get access to electricity.

Sometimes you can only access electricity through service areas for a short period of time.  A power board allows you to charge up everything you have in a short time frame. these days, the best powerboards also have multiple USB2.0 and USB-C ports.

Chargers and extra USB cables  

The more the merrier!  We always carry a 12-volt car charger for charging our phones and tablets when we are driving, making use of available engine power. Once again, we use one that has the ability to charge USB2.0 and USB-C devices at the same time.

We also always carry a portable powerbank with us as you never know when your phone is going to need a boost. Getting power when travelling becomes quite an obsession!

We also travel with extra USB cables and charger ends for USB2.0 and USB-C.

Pro tip #1: We keep all of the cables and chargers in a travel cable organiser.  This way we always know where we can find a cable or a charger when we need it.  It also helps keep the cabin free of clutter and safety hazards.

Pro tip #2: : Make sure your charger has enough watts/amps to charge tablets and the later model smartphones.  Many chargers only have enough amperage to charge phones/earlier model phones; for example, iphones like the iphone 12 onwards use 20 watt chargers.

If you are planning on staying off the grid quite a bit and have a lot of equipment (especially laptops, camera batteries, drone batteries and ebike batteries) consider taking an inverter with you. In our motorhome at home, we use a 2600 watt inverter, but when we travel it’s more like a 300-400 watt as that’s all the weight we can really afford to take with us.

Be sure if you are coming from the USA your inverter will convert the watts appropriately.


If you don’t want to disturb your fellow passengers in the night, consider taking a small travel flashlight with you.  It’s also handy if you need to go outside your motorhome at night or to use the public facilities.

Travel laundry sheets

Sure, you can buy laundry products wherever you travel but we love using laundry detergent sheets and have travelled with different iterations of it for years.  It’s compact so it doesn’t take up much room in the vehicle but its real power is that it is super-concentrated and it’s environmentally friendly and better for our skin as well.  

Shampoo and conditioner bars

We also use shampoo and conditioner bars, as a way of cutting down on our luggage and having less on board when we are in smaller vehicles.  They are great space savers.


Our days are usually busy and tiring, so at night time, we look to kick back with a nice meal, a few glasses of wine and some tv to watch.  But, in the campervans we hire, we don’t have a television.  In any case, if it did, it would be difficult to find English speaking channels.  This is where smartphones, tablets and laptops are useful.

Before we travel, we load up these devices with downloadable content like movies, tv shoes and reading material. This is one of the reasons I love technology.  We get access to so much and it doesn’t take up any room.  I can even borrow library books online on the road from my local library provided I have wifi access – which I always do. We used and recommend Maya Mobile eSims.

We also have our Bose noise cancelling headphones – never leave home without them -so my husband and I can watch different content whenever we want. Whatever headphones or buds you use, be sure to pack them.


When you’re on the road, items like these always come in handy.  I’ve had soles come loose on my favourite pair of shoes, where shoe glue or super glue has come to the rescue.  We’ve needed scissors to open packaging where a knife hasn’t been able to and a roll of tape has been useful on many occasions.

We also take bubble wrap with us all the time. While this might appear a bit strange it comes in handy all the time when we buy things to take back home.

We buy a lot of food when we travel, especially in Europe, and much of it comes in bottles.  Finding bubble wrap can be really difficult.  We’ve walked the streets of Paris looking for it, and stopped at nearly every supermarket, house shop and hardware store looking for it, to no avail. It’s light and serves as general protection inside our luggage anyway.

The good thing is that it is reusable, so we just store it after a trip and bring it out in time for the next one. 


We’ve become accustomed to taking our pegless line with us.  It’s great for using inside to hang up tea towels, and other lightweight items of clothing as well.

Plastic containers, bags and clips

Whether you buy these on your first shop or take them with you, they are a handy item to have on board.  Because we buy a lot of food along the way from local markets and shops, we’ve always got a fridge full of goodies. 

We love these collapsible food containers for our leftovers and storing food that has been opened in general. Silicone food covers are also another good idea and can save having the plastic containers too.

Plastic bag clips are also must-haves for us, and we will always sneak at least a few into our bags to take with us.


Everything on this motorhome packing list is easy to take with you.

This campervan packing list covers many small and often easy to miss items that can make your trip much smoother.  Your trip won’t be ruined if you don’t have them, but it’s sometimes the little things that count.  We always make sure we have these packed with us for any campervan trip.

More motorhome resources

You might also like to read these motorhome guides.

Motorhome rental in Europe – Anywhere Campers are also one-way hire specialists

Renting an RV in the USA

Buying a motorhome in France

Do I need a crit air sticker in France? A comprehensive guide

Driving tips for motorhomes in France

Motorhome itineraries

South of France road trip

10 day road trip through Burgundy France

Eight-day road trip around Iceland’s Ring Road

Lisbon to Porto road trip in Portugal

Lot Valley France road trip itinerary


Book your flight: Flights are an important part of travel and we’re always looking for the best deals. If you can travel mid-week and be flexible, you’ll often find great deals on flights. We also use Skyscanner and Expedia for flight bookings. Dollar Flight Club is a great resource for getting special advance offers and even error fares directly to your inbox.

Book your accommodation: We all love to stay in different places, from the comfort of a self-contained apartment or house to a resort or luxury hotel. Sometimes we need something quick, easy and comfortable for an overnight stay. 

We use all of the following online booking portals depending on where we want to stay and the type of accommodation we are looking for.

  • VRBO and Stayz (in Australia) – great for holiday rentals of more than seven days and often have discounts for longer periods.
  • Booking.com and Expedia – two of our favourites due to their cancellation and refund policies.
  • Trip Advisor – perfect for getting reviews, checking availability and pricing comparisons all in one place.

Book your rental car or motorhome: We always use Discover Rental Cars anywhere in the world for car hire. Anywhere Campers is our preferred motorhome hiring company in Europe, especially if you want to be able to pickup and drop off at different locations (even countries) in Europe. If you’d like to buy your own motorhome in France, we use and recommend France Motorhome Sales. Use our code FMS1022 or tell John we sent you!

Book a tour:  We travel independently, but when we do book we book them with reputable companies who have a great cancellation and refund policy. If you are looking for advance tickets to an attraction, group or private tours, we use and recommend Get Your Guide and Viator. Both have a great range of tours and flexible cancellation policies. If you are looking to do a food tour in Europe, we also recommend Eating Europe Tours.

Be covered: We always travel with travel insurance. We did it before the pandemic and it’s even more important for us to do so now. We use Cover-More in Australia. SafetyWing has great rates for travellers who are away from home for extended periods. 

Be ready: Make sure you pack a few essentials: universal adaptorpower bank and noise-cancelling headphones

49 thoughts on “The essential packing list for motorhome and campervan hire”

  1. Hi Vai, thanks so much for stopping by. Whilst some of these are expressly European, you are right in thinking there are so many applications in other countries too. Enjoy your trip. Our very first motorhome trip was also in NZ. I am quite sure you will love it.

  2. Awesome tips, thank you. Excited to go on our very first campervan trip here in NZ next weekend, although it’s only for a week, but am researching things to pack already lol Great insight into things we may not have thought of. Cheers

  3. I am inspired by your top tips, it has been my mother’s dream and finally, at 72 my Mom and brother set off and we will meet up them on the weekend. Not sure who is more excited but they love it and the photo of their first meal they look super happy. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to learning all these to know about travelling in a motorhome.

  4. Yvonne de clouetv

    We are thinking of travelling through Europe for a few months we have 3 yr old and two dogs
    Never Dione it before so we really need to plan and get as much info and help we can

  5. Hi Stuart, hope you had an amazing time. Thanks so much for taking the time to write up all of these as tips. They’ve given me some food for thought. Certainly as an Aussie, I couldn’t imagine taking tarps and poles with me but I guess buying them in those big supermarkets or a Decathlon once over there would be easy enough. We find the chamois cleans our windows really well but having said that we’ve always got those cleaners on board as well. The Euro 2 pin adaptor….not sure if this is different to what I’ve already mentioned. We use a Euro powerboard with three Euro plug spots plus we also have a couple of Euro adapters for taking our Australian pins directly into a socket. Is this what you mean? The bike rack warning sign is interesting. As you can see from the photo you have mentioned, this is a French registered and domiciled vehicle and this photo is definitely taken in France. We’ve driven all over France before without this warning and I would imagine that the rental company would have supplied this if it were indeed law. Shall check further into this. I agree that covers would be a good idea if you owned the bikes. We didn’t worry as these were rentals and they were “as provided” in terms of wear and tear. Never thought of the HDMI cable as we’ve never hired a vehicle with a tv, never needed to. We just use our devices and laptops. Good idea though. AGree with the door mat. Our motorhomes from France Motorhome Hire always come with a door mat and I couldn’t do without one. Again, the anti slip matting is a great idea. Our hirer has all of this in their cupboards but the rattling would annoy me so it’s a great extra.Thanks so much again for these, shall add them in as my “special audience list” :)

  6. Thanks for these tips. We got back from our first motorhome trip last week and used most of these. I also took some antislip mat and some silicon placemats (the thin heat resistant types). I stuffed bits of tehse between all crockery, pans etc. Also between grille pan rack and grille pan. It cut a lot of noise in our rented motorhome.

    Also put some non-slip mat on the cab shelf and cubbies so that we could safely store, ipads, sunglass cases, book or two etc whilst driving.

    I’d also add:

    – a decent glass cleaner to keep windows and mirrors clear (applies to cars also, but mirrors so important on a motorhome).
    – Euro 2 pin hookup adaptor (only used once but invaluable when needed and cheap)
    – bike rack warning sign if travelling in countries which require it by law (and possibly a cover) – the picture at the top of the article would be illegal on public road in France etc.
    – ipad to HDMI adaptor and HDMI lead if you want to watch downloaded content on the TV
    – our motorhome was not equipped with an awning so we took a cheap tarp and poles to create some shade.

    We didn’t take, but would next time, a door mat of some sort.

  7. I have actually never been camping in a camper-van before (not even with a proper tent). I would agree that the first air kit is essential, you never know what can happen and you should always be prepared. Never thought about bubble wrap before but that’s a great idea as I tend to bring a lot of food too back home.

  8. These are all great tips!! I understand the bubble wrap, don’t think you’re weird (or maybe I am too ;) ). I definitely find your tip about packing a bathrobe very useful! Not only do your clothes stay dry, it feels comfy too :) And getting power while traveling is definitely an obsession for me! My partner and I travel by hitchhiking and camping. Not often do we get the chance to charge our stuff! Often we go somewhere for a coffee but only in a place that has power plugs :) We drink a few coffees while our laptops, phone and camera is charging! I’ll pass this article on to a friend who loves to travel by campervan!

  9. Interesting post! I haven’t tried traveling with a campervan before, but I can imagine the essentials one need. I agree with everything, but instead of bring country-specific adaptors, I usually go with a general 150+ countries travel adapter. It costs more than 20 euros, but it works!

  10. Thank you for promoting the reusable bags. People have no idea how much plastic is a problem. The most I travel the more it hits me. Standing on a remote beach in the middle of nowhere Africa I found the beach littered with what looked like sea shells, but instead it was tiny pieces of plastic. It was a sobering experience, and sad.

  11. Samantha we travel reasonably regularly in a campervan. It’s a great way to relax even more without having to catch flights, pack/unpack, checkin/checkout etc. Great way to travel.

  12. I would’ve never thought about packing a bathrobe – but it makes total sense! For camping as well, and hostel traveling (if you use share bathrooms). So much better than lugging your clothes to the shower. When I bring back breakable items from a trip, I heavy duty wrap them in all of my clothes in my suitcase – bubblewrap sounds better though!

  13. I have never even been inside a campervan. How often do you take trips with the campervan? It sure seems more cost efficient than having to book hotel rooms and flights.

  14. Thanks for the tips! I’ve never been in a campervan before, but now I’ll know what to bring! Never thought of bubblewrap though…

  15. That is really a comprehensive packing list, can’t see anything that’s left out. The reusable plastic bags are a great suggestion, so that one can leave the place as it is and help in sustaining the environment of the place.

  16. Hi Christina. The last trip was 42 days. Generally we go for 5-6 weeks as it makes all the effort worth it, and we find we really unwind. Always seems like we are gone much longer than we actually have too which is a good sign. From a technical perspective there’s not much difference. But, the sizze of the country/cities and therefore the roads, size of towns etc is very different. Far more space of course in Australia – not a lot of tight cities that you couldn’t drive into. Even the big cities you can take a motorhome in Australia. I find Europe is much more open to motorhomes though and it’s far easier and more accessible to free camp in Europe than in Australia.

  17. You have a great detailed list right here. It is my dream to try a campervan and I will definitely try your suggestions and tips! Thanks!

  18. I’ve never travelled in a campervan before – but some of your essentials are totally useful what ever form of travel you take! I especially like the glass of wine that is your working equipment ;) when in France hey!

  19. Some good tips. Everything but the kitchen sink! It is a good job you have plenty of room, but that is the joy of a camper van I should think. Chuck everything in and off you go!

  20. You’re so organised Kerri. Some great tips here. You’re quite an expert on campervan travel! How long was your Europe trip? Is there a big difference between travelling around Europe and travelling around Australia in a campervan?

  21. It’s always good to have some helpful reminders as I always forget ONE important thing. For us, it’s pepper and salt or some other condiments that we’re like, UGH we don’t want to buy a whole new bottle, we just want a little on the meat we’re grilling or something. Why did we forget it?! The stoppers are always a goood idea too. We just shoot to finish the drink hahaha

  22. This is a great list and enjoyed reading it. For some reason, I’m really into reading packing lists lately. I think it’s a wonderful adventure to use a camper and go wherever you please. I also liked the tip about the bathrobe. I bought one in Thailand and it has been my best purchase yet!

  23. Helpful tips for when traveling in a campervan. I def bring along some of those items you mentioned on my own travels.

  24. with this super complete list we are all ready to go! next time you come to Paris (or France) you will find tons of bubble wrap in “Castorama” shops ;-)

  25. i have never hired an RV before but its high on my list. A road trip in Costa rica/Australian outdoors is just what the doctor prescribed :) So, I am keeping this list handy for when I do plan one – some points are so important (powerboard, adaptor, first aid) yet often overlooked.

  26. Great tips! I wouldn’t have thought about some of these before. I specifically like the light bathrobe one. It makes so much sense but I can’t say that I have ever though of it before!

  27. Forwarding this article to a friend of mine! They’ve recently renovated a bus and they are on their way to do a big roadtrip! Traveling via RV is definitely high up on our list- would love to do this! Great tips!

  28. Thanks for all the tips. I’ve only done one RV trip and yes we forgot to bring quite a few things but made the best of it. If the scenery is good I don’t get too bored

  29. These are all fantastic ideas. The powerboard is a great one, this would have come in handy on the road trips I did in Australia.

    Entertainment is always essential in a campervan, it can soon get boring. Amazing what even a pack of cards can do!

    Thanks for these tips, I will be using some of these the next time I hop in a campervan for a road trip!

  30. Mimi (eBaulaTravel.com)

    While we have backpackers here, it’s great knowing the camping style from the different parts of the world. Nice checklist for campers!

  31. Great tips. It’s the little things that we always seem to forget. We have been packing a clothesline for years, but just this year I started remembering clothespins to go with the line. And I can think of a million uses for superglue. I’m going to start adding that to my packing list!

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