A comprehensive motorhome equipment list and packing ideas by experienced motorhome owners
Our motorhome equipment list is based on 25 years of experience driving, hiring and owning motorhomes. It’s a big list, but it still won’t be an exhaustive one because we are all different, and because things are continually changing in the market and with the way you travel.
As you get older, you usually want more conveniences around you, but then you also get to a point where less is more because you don’t want to have to carry it, or pack it away.
When you hire a motorhome, usually all of the essentials are included. Crockery, cutlery, pots and pans and safety equipment, for example, are standard inclusions. There’s also the ability to add on extras like bicycles, tables and chairs, bedding and GPS.
Related reading >> If you are hiring a motorhome – or even if you aren’t and you just want to have a sneak peek – we’ve written an essential packing list for motorhome hire guide. It’s all the ‘extra’ things that help make your life easier on the road when it’s not your own vehicle.
However, when you own a motorhome, all of the responsibility for stocking up your vehicle inside and making sure you have all the relevant equipment for safety, emergencies, maintenance etc. falls to the owners.
As owners of our own motorhome in Australia and with our motorhome trips through Europe and other parts of the world as our working experience, we’ve put together this motorhome packing list. Even as experienced motorhomers, if we don’t have an ongoing checklist, something is always likely to get forgotten.
This list is specifically written with setting up for motorhome travel in Europe in mind, but please note that there could be and will be variations to this in different countries.
It should serve as a very thorough motorhome checklist, particularly for those who are beginners. It is however not meant to be an exhaustive checklist as people have different views on what they do (and don’t) like to pack. It is also written from the perspective of adults-only travelling. There’s nothing here that covers travelling with children in a motorhome.
Always pay careful attention to the weight limit of your vehicle and don’t overload it. Apart from being dangerous, you’ll run the risk of being fined if the authorities stop you and weigh it.
Before you travel anywhere in Europe in a motorhome, head over to the AA Europe website. Here you will find all of the latest information relating to legal documents, essential motorhome equipment that must be carried on board, and advice by country. There’s always plenty of driving tips and advice there too.
Related reading >> Driving tips for driving a motorhome in France
- A comprehensive motorhome equipment list and packing ideas by experienced motorhome owners
- Mandatory documents
- Legal requirements
- Motorhome equipment
- Maintenance equipment
- Outdoor equipment
- Kitchen equipment
- Kitchen supplies
- Bathroom supplies
- Bedroom supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- General supplies
- Food supplies
- Clothing guide
- Other motorhome reading
As a minimum, you should have the following documents with you at all times.
- A full driver’s licence. Some driver’s licences will limit the weight of a vehicle that can driven eg max 3.5t. Be sure to check what your licence will cover you for.
- Passports and any necessary visas
- An International Driving Permit (IDP). There is honestly no definitive rule on whether you need to have an IDP or not. If you ask any vehicle association in any country, they will tell you that you do. This is usually because they are the only ones who can issue them and so it is a revenue stream for them. If you don’t want to run the risk, simply purchase one from your automobile association. They are valid for 12 months.
- Original vehicle registration paperwork
- Vehicle Insurance paperwork. Always ensure that your insurance coverage is current and covers the countries you will be travelling in.
- Logbooks and vehicle manual
- Many European cities, like France, now operate low-emission zones and congestion schemes. If you are travelling to France, take a look at our comprehensive guide on crit air stickers in France.
Other travel documents
- Travel Insurance
- Important medical paperwork and relevant health care cards
- Roadside/breakdown cover and membership details
- Emergency contact details
- If away for long periods of time, any documents you might need to refer to like mobile phone and utilities. We always have scanned documents of anything that is important ready to access online if we need to.
- Any memberships for campsites eg France Passion network
- If travelling with an animal there are also a variety of specific requirements including a pet passport
Basically, the more details and documents you have at your fingertips, the better placed you will be if the authorities pull you over or if you need them in the event of an accident, breakdown etc.
We highly recommend having a mobile phone when you are travelling. In Europe we use and recommend Maya Mobile eSims.
It is law in Europe to carry a safety kit containing the following.
- Warning triangle – While not law to carry one it must be used in the event of a breakdown
- Reflective vests – It’s a good idea to have one for every permanent traveller
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Headlamp converters
- Snow chains
- In some countries, a reflective signal board is required when carrying bicycles on a rear bicycle rack, or other items that may protrude.
These are basic requirements for any motorhome. All items can be purchased via Amazon by clicking directly on the links below. In Australia, we also buy a lot of our motorhome and camping equipment from Anaconda.
- Water hose – This is a frequent-use item so make the investment upfront and buy a good quality one. It’s also a good idea to get one that is a reasonable length as access to the water supply isn’t always close. Look for hoses that won’t kink and that also suit your storage situation in your vehicle. Food-grade hoses are also a good idea. You’ll also need connectors for the hose. It pays to take a few sizes as taps in Europe are not a universal size. We use and recommend the Hozelock variety, as most of the taps in Europe will fit these. They also have a range of different types and even have a universal connector for indoor taps. The male connector is the most common. Make sure you have several of these on hand in your vehicle. There wouldn’t be a motorhomer around that hasn’t left one behind on a tap!
- Collapsible and portable water container – Depending on your available space, a collapsible water container is a good idea. This is required for those times when you may not be able to easily access the water point, the connection doesn’t fit, or if you have forgotten to bring your hose.
- Funnel – This helps to get the water from the portable container easily. We had to use a drink bottle to fill up once and it was a laborious process.
- Collapsible buckets – these are useful for a range of reasons in motorhomes.
- Grey water hose – this is essential for being able to dump your grey waste water responsibly.
- Electricity cable 230 volts – This is vital to be able to get the electricity from the supply source to the motorhome, particularly at campgrounds. Like the water hose, buy as long a cable as you have room to store. Sometimes the power boxes are not close to your motorhome site or where you need to draw the electricity from. If your cable doesn’t have a European socket, you will need an adaptor as well. This is a UK to Europe adaptor.
- Levelling blocks – It’s rare to find a perfectly flat site to park your motorhome. Having good quality levelling blocks make the difference between your wine sliding off the dining table and feeling like you are standing on your head when you are in bed.
- Tow rope
- Emergency hammer and seat belt cutter
- Universal bulb kit
- Spare fuses
- GPS – While many of us now rely on our smartphones and their inbuilt mapping apps, GPS devices are so inexpensive these days and offer peace of mind for many drivers and their navigators.
- Maps – If you would prefer the paper variety there are some great road atlases available to cover road travel all over Europe.
- Fire blankets – we always carry a few of these onboard, particularly in the kitchen. As mentioned above, it is also a legal requirement to also carry a fire extinguisher.
- Spare gas bottles- if your system does not operate on refillable bottles.
- Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are law in many countries. Even if they aren’t they should be considered an essential item for your motorhome to keep everyone safe. We have a dual smoke and carbon monoxide detector in our motorhome.
- Folding solar panels – our motorhome has two 170 watt panels on the roof, but we also take a 200w folding external solar panel with us. All is connected up to our 2×200 amp hour lithium batteries.
- Inverter – if you have good enough house batteries then having a portable inverter is worthwhiule. Because we run a reasonable a mount of solar (abnd the above batteries), we also have a 2600 watt inverter. There are many types of inverters; you’ll just need dto be mindful of what ampage you are going to try and draw from the batteries and make sure you’ve got the correct inverter to give you what you need.
- Additional house battery – Also called a leisure battery, having one in a motorhome is simply not enough, even with solar panels fitted.
- External 12-volt access points (custom-fitted). We use a lot of our technology outside so it’s helpful to have power points outside when we aren’t connected to 240-volt power. We’ve also got USB ports outside the motorhome and a 240-volt general power outlet. When we aren’t plugged into mains power, we can still operate off our leisure batteries.
- Security system – Can be DIY or custom-installed. There are many options available from trackers to sensors to fully automated and integrated custom systems.
- Spirit level – Small bubble levellers can be permanently fixed in an easy to see location. We keep ours in the front of the motorhome and pop it on the kitchen bench to check levels when we pull up.
- Custom-made blockout curtains or blinds with thermal backing. These are essential for protecting the inside of your motorhome, privacy and keeping you warm in the cold months and cooler in the hot. Blockout curtains also keep the light out when you are trying to sleep.
- Window thermal screens – There are a variety of these. The most common are padded screens that are applied to the windows by suction cups. There are also external screens that drape over the front windscreen with the doors keeping them in place. The more insulation the better. Shutters and thermal protection can also be custom fitted to motorhomes, eliminating the need to attach every day. We had our thermal blinds custom made from Vanmade Gear in the US.
- Safe – for keeping all of your valuables.
- Bungee straps or occy straps – we use these for many different uses;tying the bikes together on the Yakima racks, dog restraints and general packing.
- Floor mats – I had dirt, sand and mud on my floors so I’ll do anything to keep it out and keep the inside clean. For us, floor mats are a must.
- Full motorhome cover – if being stored for long periods of time.
- Gas bottle adaptors – If your motorhome has refillable LPG gas bottles you will need these adaptors for the pumps in Europe. If you are carrying gas bottles, understand how you can use these in Europe as part of thte swap and go program, or whether they can be refilled.
- Dashcam and reversing camera. If your vehicle isn’t fitted with one, it’s easy to retro-fit.
- Folding shovel
Pro tip: If you can convert your gas system to a permanent refillable system, it will make life on the road much easier, especially when it comes to getting your bottles refilled. To be honest, finding bottles to swap over can be an absolute pain.
You’ve got the basics sorted now check out our list of other things to pack to make life hassle-free in your motorhome
The older the vehicle, the more important it is to have these items readily accessible, but ongoing maintenance and servicing is also required for new motorhomes too. We know there is such a thing as carrying too much, but all of the items below are things we use regularly or have needed at some point during a road trip.
Be careful: Know your vehicle’s weight limits and ensure that you don’t exceed this limit when you are thinking about all the things you can buy and store onboard.
- Engine oil – we carry a small bottle of this with us just in case.
- Battery charger
- Solar battery charger
- Adjustable spanner
- Socket and ratchet set
- Wire cutters
- Jack – manufacturers recommendation
- Tyre pressure gauge – Don’t forget to test your spare tyre too!
- 12-volt air compressor
- Cable ties – is there anything these can’t be used for? Great to have around the motorhome.
- Epoxy glue
- Duct tape
- Electrical tape
- Stanley knife
- Plumbing thread tape
Let’s face it, as much as we love being inside a motorhome, when the weather is great, it’s even better to be outside. During the summer months in Europe, the days are long, meaning you can relax, cook, eat and drink outside long into the night. To be able to do this comfortably, there are some basic motorhome essentials for outdoor living.
- Outdoor table – tables are essential for outdoor living but will depend on how much storage space you have. Outdoor tables can be used to place beside your outdoor chairs, but also for outdoor cooking. There are many to choose from here.
- Outdoor chair – make sure you get chairs with cup/bottle holders
- Outdoor cooking device – even though motorhomes have cooking devices inside them, many people like to also have the flexibility to cook outside. One-burner and two-burner gas stoves are popular, easy to use and store. Charcoal BBQs are also often used.
- BBQ utensils
- All-in-one instant pots – in Australia we use an all-in-one slow cooker/pressure cooker to prepare food onboard. There’s nothing like preparing a curry in the morning, and having it cook throughout the day, while you are out having fun or driving. At night, it’s just a matter of taking off the lid and serving. On thte other hand, if we forget to paln dinner, the pressure cooker gerts dinner underway in a heartbeat. Devices like this are great as they perform even more functions. Airfryers are also popular as cooking devices in motorhomes these days.
- Outdoor matting – having an outdoor mat keeps as much of the outside where it should be and not in our motorhome. It’s also easy to store, carry and clean.
- Interlocking foam matting – we love using matting like this for outside the motorhome. you can use as little or as much as you like and we often put this over the top of other outdoor mats we have.
- Insect repellent
- Citronella candles or a bug zapper – it’s always good to keep a few of these up your sleeve.
- Outdoor LED lights – we’ve got outdoor lights as part of the vehicle, but sometimes a little more light doesn’t hurt. If you want more light, or don’t have external lights, these LED strip lights are really useful.
- Bicycles – I can’t recommend these enough, even if you would not normally use them at home. Driving a motorhome in Europe means that sometimes you can’t take the big vehicles into some cities. Having bikes creates a simple way of commuting. They are also great for taking a quick ride to the local village, without having to move the vehicle.
- Bicycle racks – we recommend getting the best you can afford, and the ones suited for your particular bikes. At home, we use Yakima bike racks and extension foldaway. We carry two very heavy e-bikes so we need racks that are built for the weight to keep them safe.
- Bicycle locks – We lock our bikes to the bike rack for added security and they are also useful for when you leave unattended in villages, cities etc. On the bike racks, we use heavy duty chain locks that can only really be taken off with a grinder. Then we add additional locks to that. A special note to watch what your insurance covers. Many insurance providers in the UK for example will only cover bikes locked with Sold Secure Gold locks.
- Bicycle helmets – While these are not a legal requirement in Europe, in Australia, they are, so we are used to wearing them. The choice is yours.
- Bicycle tyre pump and repair kit – if you’ve got bikes or ebikes, these are a must.
- Boules set – Whether it’s boules, bocce or petanque, having a set of outdoor balls is a great addition to a motorhome.
For those travellers who love staying connected, technology is an important aspect of getting their motorhome travel-ready.
- Mobile phones – There are too many plan options to mention them here. All of them will depend on what you want to use it for, for how long and where. Plans are usually divided into several broad categories: talk, text, data. Data is usually what most people will covet. Make sure you understand what the plans are, what they will give you for what price, and whether you are locked into a contract or not. Personally, unless you are planning on becoming a resident, I wouldn’t sign up to any sim contract. When we travel we use and recommend Maya Mobile eSims.
Pro tip: Make sure your phone is unlocked and that you have the tool necessary to remove the sim from the phone.
- Wifi booster aerial – In a motorhome, it’s also highly recommended to get an aerial to boost your signal. It’s one thing to have a wifi connection, but if it’s poor all the time, it will drive you insane.
- Ipads/tablets/laptops and the necessary cables that all of these require to operate.
- External hard drive – We wouldn’t leave home without one. Essential for downloading all your photos you take along the way, plus backups of your important documents, downloaded movies etc. We use Samsung SSD portable hard drives because they are compact (easy to carry and easy to hide).
- Cloud storage – We also back up our photos to Apple icloud which costs peanuts per month for 200GB of storage. There are other providers like Backblaze and Zoolz that do a similar job.
- USB car chargers for charging devices while driving. We use chargers that will charge both USB2.0 and USB-C devices.
- Power inverter – allows an electrical cable plus USB cables to be plugged into 12v to charge while driving or from sockets at the rear of your motorhome when parked up. For more grunt we recommend 1500-3000 watt inverters that can handle the use of many appliances at once,
- Noise-cancelling headphones – we swear by our Bose noise cancelling headphones that we use on the plane but they are also excellent in the motorhome too.
- Bluetooth speaker – we love our Wonderboom portable bluetooth speaker. It can be carried with us anywhere.
- Powerbanks – just in case. We are tech-heavy travellers so we make sure we have every option covered.
- Apps – there is a myriad of apps that are useful for road trips in France.
- When we travel in Australia, we take our Starlink satellite dish with us, meaning we stream anything we need to live. When we are in Europe, we use a VPN to access some of our programs if required, but mostly we have downloaded content. you can also take a firestick or chromecast with you.
- Guide books
- All the Aires is produced in France but it’s not the most user-friendly book. Aires can be found online also, but again, the website leaves a lot to be desired.
- France Passion is a brilliant network of obligation-free overnight parking locations that are safe and secure. Join as a member and receive the book and access to the online portal.
This list could be never-ending, especially if you like cooking in a motorhome as we do. However, these are some of the basic cooking utensils and equipment that would be a good starting point for your motorhome.
- Full set of crockery – This is where personal choice definitely comes in. We use melamine dinner sets as it’s durable and light. Bamboo crockery is also very popular these days. We always have a stash of paper plates on hand too for times when we just want a quick bite to eat and no washing up.
- Full set of cutlery – Along similar lines as above, you can choose to have stainless steel cutlery or choose from many other options available: travel cutlery and bamboo cutlery.
- Glasses and cups – As much as drinking wine out of glass is better, when we are on the road we prefer plastic cups and glasses. It makes for easier storage. We also use thermal cups as they can carry cold and hot drinks. Thermal wine cups also do the trick.
- Wine glasses – if you can’t face drinking wine out of anything less than glass, we recommend buying stemless glasses or at least ones with thick stems.
- Egg flip
- Potato masher
- Vegetable peeler
- Can opener
- Wooden spoons
- Sharp knives – Buy at least one large and one small
- Bread knife – Europe is full of amazing bread. Having a dedicated bread knife makes cutting bread much easier.
- Cutting boards – We have one solid cutting board and then four thin plastic ones that are colour coded for fish, poultry, red meat and vegetables.
- Colander and strainer
- Measuring jug
- Measuring spoons
- Trivet – worth its weight in gold to not damage your kitchen benchtops
- Electric Kettle or jug – Can be used when electricity is available or if you have an inverter. We use a collapsible kettle to save space.
- Coffee plunger/ French press
- Moka Espresso maker – These are used all over Italy but we have a camping one too. It can be used directly on the fire or on gas stovetops.
- Frying pan
- Large, medium and small pots with lid – we like to use collapsible silcone cooking pots as they save heaps of space.
- Cooking splatter guard – In a small kitchen area this is your best friend. We also use one of these which can act as a splatter guard, but it’s great for when the window behind the stove is open to block any drafts while we are cooking.
- Toasted sandwich maker / jaffle maker – we use ours for making toasties on the run all the time.
- Food storage containers – we love these silicone collapsible food containers. They keep the food really well, sotre and stack well in the fridge, are easy to clean and save so much space in our drawers.
- Gaslighter and matches
- Food clips
- Bottle opener
- Bottle stoppers
- Ice cube trays
- Drying rack / drying mat
- Oven mitts
- Heatproof cooking dishes
- Cling film
- Aluminium foil
- Baking paper
- Cooking oil
- Cooking spray
- Paper towel
- Freezer bags
- Clip lock bags
- String vegetable bags – great for storing potatoes ad onions in your pantry
- Brown paper bags – Great for storing cheese!
- Kitchen non-slip matting – We put this in all the cupboards and drawers to protect them and to stop the contents moving around.
- Air freshener – Always a good idea to freshen up your small living space.
Get your free printable motorhome equipment checklist below.
- Beach towels
- Microfibre towels – perfect for when you need a quick-dry towel
- Toilet paper – note if there is a preferred kind for your onboard toilet.
- Hooks – Motorhomes never have enough hooks. If additional hooks aren’t permanently added, try suction hooks.
- Hanging toiletry bag – Perfect for taking to campsite bathrooms
- Extra bag for taking belonging to public facilities.
- Bathrobes – makes going to public campsite bathrooms easier. If you go in your robe, there are fewer items to try and find a dry space for.
- Doona (duvet) and cover
- Spare set of bedding
- Hot water bottle
- Eye mask
- Dustpan and brush
- Clothesline – we use a pegless clothesline. If you have more storage, you can carry small stand-up clotheslines with you.
- Internal over door air dryers
- Laundry bag
- Buckets for general cleaning use
- Rectangular bucket – These are useful if you decide you want to wash up outside your motorhome or at a campsite sink area. They are great for carrying your dishes to the campsite sink. Collapsible buckets are the best for storage.
- Plug- Often campsites don’t have plugs. Buy a universal one that will fit all sizes.
- Dishwashing liquid
- Dishwashing cloths
- Microfibre cloths
- Toilet wipes – Perfect for keeping your . toilet clean as you go. Just don’t flush them!
- General-purpose cleaner for cleaning benches, bathrooms etc.
- Window cleaner
- Shower cleaner
- Toilet chemicals
- Freshwater tank cleaner and purifier
- Greywater tank cleaner and deodoriser
- Laundry powder or travel laundry liquid
- Outdoor mat – A simple idea to keep as much dirt outside as possible.
- Rubbish bins and bags. We use a larger bin for rubbish and recycling and a smaller food waste bin to recycle where possible.
- Travel iron
Many of these items could sit in a number of the areas noted above. They are universal items, covering a range of functions.
- Umbrellas – If space permits consider having small foldable umbrellas that you can take with you when you leave the motorhome and large golf umbrellas for times when you are at campsites for example.
- Hand sanitiser – Buy small bottles for your personal use when you travel and large pump packs for onboard the motorhome, Hand sanitiser is particularly useful when managing grey waste at dump stations and general maintenance functions.
- Hand wipes – Like hand sanitiser, there are a hundred and one uses for wipes for general travel and for living in a motorhome.
- Disposable gloves
- Chamois – these are perfect for wiping condensation from internal windows as well as the more obvious use externally.
- Small portable heater – When it is cold and you have access to electricity, using an electric heater will save your gas.
- Fan – (if you don’t have airconditioning or inbuilt fans)
- Sewing kit
- Pens and notepads
- Extension power cable
- Powerboards – Useful when there are lots of devices to charge quickly or at once.
- Universal adaptors – If travelling in Europe, the plugs are all the same but will be different in the UK. If you are seasoned travellers, having a universal adaptor or two makes using power very easy.
- Large plastic tubs for underneath storage
- Clear tape
- Masking tape
Not everyone loves food as much as we do. Pantry sizes in motorhomes will vary as will the way in which owners would like them stocked. This is a basic dry food store list.
- Loose tea
- Instant coffee
- Coffee for French press and Moka espresso
- Jam, peanut butter (and for Aussies) Vegemite
- Popcorn kernels
- Tins of soup
- Noodles and pasta
- Salt and pepper
- Various herbs and spices
- Small tinned tuna
- Lentils, rice, couscous
- Vinegar, balsamic vinegar
- Salad dressing
- Cooking oil
- Gravy mix
- UHT milk
- Bottled water and other drinks
Everyone packs differently so writing a list of what to pack to suit everyone’s needs is nigh on impossible. I am also a notoriously heavy packer, so many would take half or a third of what I take. This is a non-gender-specific, high-level list of the types of clothing you might like to consider.
- Long pants
- Cargo pants
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Short-sleeved shirts
- Polo shirts
- Rainproof jackets
- Hiking boots
- Sports shoes
- Flip flops
- Winter jackets including polar fleece
- Beanie or warm hat
- Thermal clothes
- Woollen socks -hiking, water sports
- Sun hat
- Bed socks
- General socks – sports, walking etc
- Evening wear
- Workwear (for vehicle maintenance days)
- Fishing clothes
Get your free printable motorhome equipment checklist below.
If you are an Australian looking to buy items at home, check out what Amazon have online here: Australian Motorhome Supplies
Other motorhome reading
- 20 days in south-west France
- Lot River and Lot Valley itinerary
- Following the Tour de France in a motorhome
- 10-day itinerary Burgundy France
- Itinerary through Rhone-Alps and Provence
- Travelling through Europe in a campervan – a 42-day itinerary