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15 Things That Make Vanlife More Comfortable

Vanlife is a unique way to live life! You have the ultimate nomadic freedom to travel and always have your home with you wherever you go!  But it’s not always easy to “live small”.  There are many simple comforts that can make your tiny campervan really feel like home! Here are 15 items that make vanlife more comfortable!

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Vacuum Sealed Water Bottle:

Hydroflask: Our Favorite Vacuum Sealed Water Bottle

There is nothing like a nice refreshing drink of warm water. (Just kidding)! Having a vacuum-sealed water bottle (like a Hydroflask or LARQ) can be a game changer in vanlife. 

If you are into ice cold water, it can keep your water cold for 2+ days, or if you like room-temperature water, it will even keep it that temperature for multiple days. Jake used to have a regular plastic water bottle, but every time we parked the van to go into a store, Jake’s water went from cold to warm in just a short while. 

But now that I got him a Hydroflask for his birthday, he doesn’t have to worry.  And we find that we both stay better hydrated when our water is cold and refreshing! And another product that I use everyday for coffee or tea is this insulated coffee mug

Running Water:

Campervan sink plumbing with filtered water

One thing that can make you feel right at home is running water. You can easily rinse foods, do your dishes, wash your face/hands, etc. It makes vanlife feel more like home, rather than just camping.

There are multiple ways you can have running water in the van: electric pump, foot pump, hand pump, etc. We have a Shurflo 12 volt water pump and it’s the perfect item, to make vanlife feel more comfortable.

Campervan sink plumbing with water filtration pin

For full details on building your own campervan sink and plumbing, check out:

Campervan Sink Plumbing With Water Filtration

Water Filter:

A huge perk in vanlife is not having to search for safe drinking water everywhere you go. Having a water filter allows you to fill up at people’s hoses, city sinks, water fountains, etc. We have a Filtrete water filter that eliminates 99% of lead, 99% microbial cysts, 97% chlorine taste & odor, 0.5 microns of sand, sediment, rust & soil, etc. 

If you don’t want to have a built in water filter, you could consider getting a water bottle that purifies your water for you. 

If you are interested, check out our

Review On The First Self-Cleaning Water Bottle: LARQ

Non-Stick Pot And Pans:​

Having non-stick pots and pans makes cooking and cleaning a breeze in the van. We usually just use a paper towel to wipe out the excess crud from cooking and do a quick rinse with biodegradable soap (Dr. Bronner’s) to clean the rest off. 

It helps us drastically reduce our water usage from cleaning dishes, so we can travel longer and farther without worrying about refilling our water tanks. We love our Caraway non-stick pot and pan! They are very affordable, and the non-stick coating stays good for hundreds of uses. 

Check out our post: Campervan Kitchen Essentials


Wifi On The Road | Vanlife

While living on the road, there really is no great source for having internet full-time. We do a lot of our work via a hot spot on our cell phone plans. But, there are times, when the service just isn’t strong enough to use our hot spot. We use the WeBoost which is a cell booster.

If you want more details about the WeBoost, check out are Review: Should I buy A WeBoost (Cell-Signal Booster)

The WeBoost amplifies your cell signal up to 32x. It is a large cost to fork up front, but having the ability to have service in areas where you don’t have good service is a huge perk! It allows us to work on our blog from so many more places!

How To Get wifi on the road

Or if you are just looking for FREE ways to find wifi on the road, check out our article: “How To Get Internet and Wifi On The Road


Emily Handing Jake A Beer Out Of The Vitrifrigo V51 Fridge
Emily Handing Jake A Beer Out Of The Vitrifrigo V51 Fridge

Having a fridge and freezer that runs off solar is beyond nice! Having to get ice for a cooler every couple of days would be brutal and honestly add up pretty quickly.

Not to mention everything inside gets soaking wet when the ice melts.

Therefore, we invested in the Vitrifrigo 12V fridge/freezer and it works great! (Check out our extensive review: Vitrifrigo c51i Fridge Freezer Review for more details.  We get to have ice and ice cream in the freezer and lots of fresh veggies, fruit, beer and cheese in the fridge! 

There are many great 12V fridges on the market. You can even get a DC fridge with a large separate fridge & freezer, but it requires much more battery power.

Check out our post: Best Fridges For Campervan | Ultimate Guide

Rooftop Cargo Box:

Yakima Cargo Box

As you can probably assume, it can be tough to fit everything you own into a 60 sq foot space. We have found that having a cargo box is the perfect item to have for extra storage. It is especially convenient if you don’t have a shower/“wet room” in your van. Therefore, you can store things that get wet or dirty above your van and not in the van itself.

Check out our post: Best Storage Options For Camping and Road Trips

Down Slippers:

When it is cold out, your van floor will be cold no matter how much insulation you’ve put in. Having some down slippers will keep your feet super toasty! And better than most normal slippers, they actually keep your ankles warm too!

No one likes to go to bed with cold feet, so invest in some down slippers, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Solar Shower:

Emily showering outside our van with a solar shower

Showering while living in a van becomes less of a priority (which ironically is probably moreso when you need one!) Having a built in shower can be nice, but takes up a lot of precious interior space and you usually have to have special plumbing set up!

If you want to go the budget and more space efficient way, a Solar Shower Bag is super effective! You place it out in the sun to warm up (or boil some water to speed it up), and then hang it either on your van or on a tree.

Jake and I get about 3 showers each from one bag (although, we are very conservative with our water usage), so we only have to fill it up every couple weeks! 

Check out our post: Best Portable Shower For Vanlife & Camping for more great shower options.

Solar Electricity:

The biggest luxury to vanlife is having off grid electricity. We personally have a 320W solar panel and 200Ah of lithium battery power.  We can run our lights, Maxx Fan, fridge, TV, sink pump, and charge our laptops, cell phones and other devices. 

Not having to stop at campgrounds to charge up is very convenient! We put a lot of money into our solar setup, so that it’ll last us many years.

We used Northern Arizona Wind and Sun from Flagstaff, AZ and their customer service was outstanding! We highly suggest getting your solar through them! (Read: Vanlife Solar: Beginners Guide to Solar Components)

Be sure to check out our Vanlife SOLAR Shop for your one-stop shop for everything you possibly need!


Jake sitting in the van on the bathroom toilet reading a magazine

This one has been my favorite additions to vanlife. When nature calls in the middle of the night the last thing you want to do is layer up and head outside into the cold to relieve yourself.

Not to mention, when staying in a city, you don’t have the option of going outside to pee, unless you are planning to illegally go in someone’s lawn. (which we DON’T advise!) Hence having a toilet is one our favorite products that make vanlife more comfortable.

We have a cassette toilet that we only use for #1 and we love it! We use Porta-pak tabs so their is no smell in the van and we they really do work! But if you have the budget, we suggest getting a compostable toilet. We have never tried it, but have heard great things about it and that it doesn’t smell up the van even when going #2! 

Check out our post: Best Portable Toilet Options For Vanlife & Camping

Black Out Curtains:

Having a way to block out the front cab is great. The front cab is the part that get’s the hottest because the angle of the windshield. We do have a sun shield and reflectixs for the driver and passenger window, but if you are trying to be stealth, it is nice to block out the front cab. It also can be nice for driving, so if you want to run the heat or air conditioner it just has to heat and cool the front and not the whole van. 

12 Volt Fan:

Sometimes the Maxx Fan just doesn’t cut it, so it can be nice to have an additional fan to get air flowing through the van. We tried to be cheap and buy a 12V USB 2-speed fan, but we regret it because it is so weak.

So we started doing research on which one to buy next and lots of vanlifers suggested the Caframo Sirocco fan. 

Shoe Rack Organizer:

One easy way to keep the van organized is to have a shoe rack to either keep shoes or small items like sunglasses, keys, sunscreen, bug spray, wallets, etc. We hang our’s right on the back of the passenger seat, so its like a little vertical mudroom organizer!

Portable Speaker:

Sitting in silence out in nature is definitely nice, but having a way to listen to music without turning on the van is almost essential.

We highly suggest a JBL charge, because the speaker is great quality and you can even charge your phone with it and link it up with other people who have a JBL! It is also waterproof which is a huge plus if you are going to be using it outdoors!


Although these items aren’t essential to living in a van, they sure do make vanlife more comfortable! These are just a few items that have made us feel right at home while living on the road. We hope you find these make you feel just as comfortable! 

Also, check out our article on: 

10 Vanlife Essential Items

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