16 Best VW Campervan Accessories – Our Top Camper Van Gadget Picks
Volkswagen make the archetypal camper vans – there’s no way of avoiding their history and legacy when it comes to deciding on what to buy. Style and grace, coupled with great design. They are icons of the camping world!
The flagship VW California is certainly one of the best specified campervans on the market in terms of the campervan accessories which are included as standard. Many years of design expertise have been directed at best-utilizing the available space as efficiently as possible. Nearly every nook and cranny has been exploited in order to fit tables, chairs, cupboards and drawers into the Caravelle base structure whilst keeping room for comfortable seats and beds.
We consider it a sensible idea to try and optimize the remaining space by carefully selecting any accessories you buy for your VW camper – not only does it mean less volume is consumed by the gadget itself, but it also has knock-on effects of making packing simpler, reduces clutter and gives more space for you to lounge around in – always a winner in our books!
On top of this, there are campervan accessories galore available to buy which can really augment either the functionality of your camper or your personal enjoyment of the overall experience without breaking the bank. In this post, we list some of our favourite VW campervan accessories, and how they can improve your campsite life…
Compression Packing Cubes
These excellent Eono compression packing cubes are perfect for helping to avoid the usual family packing fiasco as you prepare for a trip away.
They use a clever system of zippers to allow your clothes to be neatly arranged inside each ‘cube’ and then compressed down to a much smaller footprint than you might expect. They work especially well on socks, underwear and t-shirts, although the principle obviously can extend to other clothing. Available in several different colours so you can almost certainly get a set to match your VW!
Nestling 2m Telescopic Ladder
If (like us) you’re finding it increasingly difficult to clamber up into your Pop-Top sleeping area then we recommend getting a pair of these Nestling telescopic ladders.
Extending to a respectable (and ample for this purpose) 2m in length, they fold down to only 70 x 47 x 7cm and weigh only 5.1kg. Easily hideable behind the front seats or in the boot until you need them.
We’ve also used them successfully when we had a roofbox on top of our campervan and so can vouch for their usefulness – Go Go Gadget Legs!
Eono Microfibre Towels
Nobody thinks of towels when they’re speccing up their VW camper van, but if you ponder it for a second they do take up alot of bulk on a trip away, especially if there’s three or four of you in the family.
These great little microfibre towels aren’t expensive at all but represent serious bang for your buck. They pack in the campervan side cupboard very compactly and are adept at drying you off after a shower. Hang em outside in the sun and the moisture evaporates out of them very quickly. Definitely worth buying a few for your van, and we love the funky colours.
VW Campervan Windscreen Privacy Covers
If you want to properly cover up your windscreen so that prying eyes can’t see into your camper then we recommend this great value Custom Cover windscreen wrap for the T6-shape VW transporter.
In addition to adding privacy, the screen cover also helps to keep heat in your campervan and so aids insulation on winter trips away.
The wrap uses high quality 600 denier material and is also waterproof as you would expect. It also comes with a carry bag for storage when you’re not using the wrap.
If you drive a T5 campervan then you can also buy a T5 version which comes in blue.
Internal Thermal Screens
British company Maypole have designed some thermal screens which fix to the windscreen and side cab windows (three in a pack) using suction cups.
This version fits the T5 and T6 vans, and there is a separate set for the older T4. The advantage of them being secured inside the camper is that they don’t get sopping wet from condensation overnight like the external wrap (which inevitably then require packing away in a wet state when you drive anywhere!). The screens are both insulative and also have a silvered side facing the window which can keep your van cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The Maypole screens pack away neatly inside a supplied stuff sack and can easily be stowed in the boot when not being used. Highly recommended!
Anker LC90 USB-chargeable LED torch
I’m the type of guy who loves chunky, well-built tools which last a lifetime and do a job well. The Anker LC90 torch meets this description perfectly and is one of my favourite campervan gadgets.
Anyone who drives a vehicle of any kind should always have a torch on board in case of breakdowns. In a campervan, it is even more useful as it can be used for night-time walks to the pub or toilet. We recommend one for each travelling member, even the kids as they always feel left out if Mum and Dad get to commandeer them!
The Anker is an absolute top pick of the torch world on all counts:
- beautiful design using high quality aluminum
- can be charged via a standard USB cable unlike nearly all other torches which require a separate charger for their particular lithium batteries
- IP65 water-resistant (unlike most phone torches!)
- the beam is very bright (three different levels)
- the beam can be continuously varied between a tight spot having a long ‘throw’ to a more spread-out beam for lighting up closer objects
- the battery lasts yonks!
On top of that it is a superb price, and definitely worth investing in over some of the cheap Chinese models with shoddy, unreliable batteries. I would sincerely say don’t hesitate, just buy one!
Wuben Waterproof USB Rechargeable Torch
I’m the type of guy who loves chunky, well-built tools which last a lifetime. This excellent Wuben Waterproof LED Torch fits the bill perfectly and is a real tour-de-force of German engineering.
The Wuban is our current top pick due to its numerous standout features:
- Ergonomic ‘tactical’ design using high quality aviation-grade aluminum – will survive being run over by your VW and feels great in the hand.
- The Wuben can be charged using a standard micro-USB cable unlike many cheaper options which require the battery to be removed and a standalone charge to be used.
- IP68 water-resistant – this will survive any downpour or even being frozen in ice!
- the beam is very bright with five different switchable power levels (max power is a whopping 1200 lumens). Wuben have been making torches for 40 years and so I tend to believe their lumen numbers.
- 200m range on max power
- The battery lasts for up to 143 hours of continuous usage in Eco mode
Anyone who drives a vehicle of any kind should always have a torch on board in case of breakdowns. In a campervan, it is even more useful as it can also be used for night-time walks to the pub or toilet.
On top of that the Wuben torch is a great price, and definitely worth investing in.
VW Campervan Accessories – the Travel Dude Compression Packing Cubes
These excellent Travel Dude Compression Packing Cubes have certainly made our usual family packing fiasco much easier to handle as we prepare for a trip away.
They use a clever system of zippers to allow your clothes to be neatly arranged inside each ‘cube’ and then compressed down to a much smaller footprint than you might expect. They work especially well on socks, underwear and t-shirts, although the principle obviously can extend to other clothing. Available in several different colours so you can probably get a set to match your VW camper van!
We also have a soft-spot for these particular cubes because they’re fully made from recycled plastic.
VW Campervan Folding Moon Chair
Check out this super comfy ultra-cute VW Camper Van Moon Chair – we love the headlight eyes!
Moon Chairs are our favourite chair designs for campsite relaxation, and this is no exception. It provides a nicely contoured curve for your posterior to rest on, with decent padding around the top of where your legs rest.
Please be aware that there is no drinks holder, but we love the looks and comfort of this campervan chair.
Apeman Mini M4 projector
Our current favourite small projector is the Apeman Mini which certainly lives up to its name – it’s tiny, measuring only 10 x 10 x 2 cm. In VW pop-top campervans it can be conveniently pointed up towards the pop-top canvas which provides a great screen.
We found the picture using the Apeman to be sharp with good contrast when used with the blinds drawn (it outputs a brightness of 100 lumens) and we managed to expand the image up to the width of the camper van at about 50 inches. Obviously the size of the picture depends on the distance you place the projector from the surface it is shining on to – positioning is therefore key, and we recommend you use the tripod which comes supplied for this purpose.
The Apeman has an HDMI port to hook up to most media players (laptop, TV etc) and an aux out socket to direct sound to a speaker or headphones. Unfortunately there’s no Bluetooth connectivity. There are some onboard speakers which are reasonably good for a device so small. Battery life is around 3 hours, but we typically kept it charging as we used it (via the USB-c), meaning it will last pretty much indefinitely. Resolution of the screen is 854 x 480 which although is not earth shattering, it looks pretty good in use (see photo below).
This really is the future of campervan entertainment in our opinion. If you’re interested in projectors for your VW then be sure to have a scan of our roundup of the best campervan projectors on the UK market at the moment.
The Apeman Mini M4 is certainly a great value performer and we recommend it! If only they could dispense with the slightly silly brand name…
Obviously not an official VW toy, but we found this Build Your Own Camper Van toy to be a great bit of fun for the family on a dark night in Scarborough.
It’s similar in concept to old-style Meccano and uses good old-fashioned nuts and bolts to join the various panels and parts together. Looks great when finished too!
Yaufey Mini Camping Projector
Our current favourite small projector is the Yaufey Mini Projector which certainly lives up to its name – it’s tiny, measuring only 7.8 x 7.8 x 14 cm and weighing a mere 550g. It is a fantastic campervan gadget.
In pop-top campervans it can be conveniently pointed up towards the canvas at the front of the van which provides a great screen. Alternatively, just buy a small drop down screen, or even project it onto the side of your van – it can run off its internal rechargeable battery!
We found the Yaufey’s picture to be sharp with good contrast when used with the blinds drawn (it outputs a brightness of 150 lumens) and we managed to expand the image up to the width of the campervan at about 50 inches (tested in a Mercedes Marco Polo). Obviously the size of the picture depends on the distance you place the projector from the surface it is shining on to – positioning is therefore key, and we recommend you use the tripod which comes supplied for this purpose. The Yaufey does automatic correction of the picture in terms of the focus and the angle (keystoning).
The Yaufey also comes with an in-built Android operating system which means you can watch films/TV directly from it as long as you have access to the internet via Wi-Fi or a phone hotspot. Alternatively you can load films from a USB stick or even directly mirror your phone screen onto it. A highly flexible bit of kit! The resolution of the Yaufey is 854x480p which is perfectly watchable if you’re not concerned about having pin-sharp resolution on holiday.
This really is the future of camping entertainment in our opinion. If you’re interested in projectors for your VW then be sure to have a scan of our roundup of the best campervan projectors on the UK market at the moment. The Yaufey Mini Projector is a bargain for what you are getting and we recommend it for any camper van, caravan or tent!
VW Campervan Bellows Bungee
This ‘Bellows Bungee’ is a very neat and simple solution to reducing the risk of snagging the campervan canvas when you’re lowering your pop-top roof, especially the motorized ones such as on the VW California or Mercedes Marco Polo.
The bungee cord comes in a standard grey colour which matches the roof canvas and blends in nicely, squeezing the canvas bellows together a bit to keep a taut shape and helping reduce the chance of snags.
A word of caution – although the bungee cord definitely reduces the risk of trapping the canvas, it’s still best to follow the usual precautions of keeping a door or window open when dropping the pop-top. It’s also worth checking nothing is ‘caught in the fly’ just before the final lockdown – could be painful otherwise!
Alca Wheel Clamp
It seems a bit of a downer to be talking about spending cash on security when you’ve just forked out for an expensive campervan, road tax and insurance. Surely you don’t have to spend any more money on boring stuff do we?? Well sadly we think it makes sense to spend a small amount on security for your pride and joy – any way you can put doubt into a potential thief’s mind must help.
The German-made Alca wheelclamp does exactly that. It uses an extendable grip which grabs around one of your wheels and then locks in place with a spring-loaded mechanism which can only be released using one of the two security keys which comes with it.
On the other end of the grip mechanism is a sturdy, protruding rod (ooh err missus!) which stops your precious camper being driven off.
The great thing about the Alca wheelclamp is that it packs away pretty small and can be stored in the Cali boot cupboard really well to be used as soon as you get to your destination. Well worth it for peace of mind!
VW Campervan Board Masters Cool Bag
A great accessory for the summer months, this VW Cool Bag will keep your fresh food and drink cool for trips away from the campsite. It features a reflective silver interior which ensures that any exterior heat is reflected away from the bag, keeping the products within as cool as possible. Even better if you have some frozen ice packs to pop in as well. The bag has a total capacity of 27 litres which should be enough for a family of four – then again, that depends on your apetitites!
Quarkace Campervan Bin
Every camping trip produces waste, and you need somewhere to keep it before you make a trip to the big bins on site. This Quarkace foldable bin offers a neat and practical solution to the problem and is certainly a step up compared to chucking a bin liner into the corner of the camper van!
It can be folded flat when not in use and also has a handy strap for storing it on the back of the front seats of your camper.
Both the outside and inside of the bin are waterproof so if any of your rubbish happens to leak then it won’t soak through and spoil your van. The inside consists of a liner section with two straps which means it can be lifted out to empty the bin – nice thoughtful design touch which you don’t get on the cheaper versions.
It may seem a little expensive at £20, but it’s well made and should last the distance. A slightly cheaper option which is still of reasonable quality and waterproof is the Winzwon bin. However, the fabric does not seem quite as durable as the Quarkace. Either will enhance your VW camper van and get rid of that ugly bin liner from the floor!
Check out our in-depth review of the Quarkace bin here.
Vango California Self Inflating Mattress
The VW California has a great pop-top, but you cannot keep a memory foam mattress up there when the roof is down. A nice alternative is to use the Vango California Mattress which is self-inflating. In it’s deflated state (once you’ve rolled all the air out of it – something that requires a little practice!), it will happily stay up in the roof area of your van even when you’re driving around – less clutter to store in the back.
Vango make a wide range of self inflating mattresses (or SIMs), but this California version is specifically designed to fit into the Cali form factor – either T5 or T6 is not a problem.
Inflation is easy – you just undo two airlock valves on the SIM and air rushes in to inflate it up to a 5cm thickness. Now because you’re resting on a cushion of air rather than memory foam, it is not quite as comfortable – you may find that if you’re over about 15 stone in weight that your hips can press through to the floor. However, we found that it provided a decent night’s sleep, and the flexibility on offer with regards to space saving is significant.
Fully inflated size is 180 x 100 x 5cm, and so if you’re over 6ft tall, your feet will be over the edge, but again this is not a massive issue.
Overall, we recommend the Vango California Self Inflating Mattress for use in your T5 or T6 vans.
Duvalay Memory Foam Sleeping Bag
Most ‘rock and roll’ beds used in campervans can feel less than comfortable after you’ve laid down on them for a stretch of time. Back and hip ache soon makes its presence felt. Some form of mattress topper is therefore most definitely required for a restful sleep. However the ‘official’ Brandrup iXTEND memory foam version stretches northwards of £300 which is a tad high in our opinion.
An excellent alternative for restful sleeps are the Duvalay integrated sleeping bag toppers which are exceedingly comfortable and great quality. These are recommended time and time again on various campervan forums around the internet, and after trying one out recently, I can see why.
Although they only have 4cm of memory foam incorporated into the soft sleeping bag, it is certainly very supportive as it is the ‘proper memory foam’ – i.e. it moulds perfectly into the shape of your body and maintains heat very well. Coupled with the sleeping bag, you won’t be getting chilly, that’s for sure!
The Duvalay’s fold quite easily (we fold into three sections) and fit on the rear shelf of your camper van fairly unobtrusively. Also available in Navy, Plum and Striped Grey, these come highly recommended for that peaceful nighttime (or afternoon siesta!) snoozetime.
EcoFlow Delta 1300 – 240V Capable Battery Pack
If you’re camping ‘off-grid’ then the amount of juice you have left on your VW camper van leisure batteries is always a concern, especially if you’ve got the fridge on and are charging gadgets via the inverter. Solar panels are good for topping up small amounts of power, but certainly can’t compare with the 240V electrical hook-up you have access to at a typical campsite.
Well now things have been completely transformed in this area! The incredible EcoFlow Delta 1300 can only be described as a compact battery pack having immense output power.
It can provide both 240V AC and 5/12V DC – it has six standard 240V plug sockets, four USB sockets and two high power USB-C ports. It really is a game-changer for wild camping and campsites without mains 240V power.
The real selling point is that the EcoFlow can run appliances up to 1800W – that is substantially higher than the on-board California inverter which tops out at 150W. The Ecoflow can power an electric oven, boil a kettle and even run a hairdryer (not much use in my case!). It’s not exactly cheap, but the power and flexibility it affords you makes it a super piece of kit for camping off grid.
More and more of these battery power packs are being developed and it’s an exciting area of product growth. We feel confident that the EcoFlow Delta 1300 is a game changer – you can read our full review here.
Remoska Electric Cooker
While we’re all for using in-built gas-powered burners in your VW camper van, if you’re paying for an electric hookup at a campsite then it makes sense to use it. In addition, it’s often a pleasant experience to cook outside, and with an extension lead from your van this is possible with the fabulous Remoska Electric Cooker.
The Remoska is a great little cooker which is able to cook everything – from omelettes to roast chicken, risotto to cakes, bread to Yorkshire pudding or full English breakfasts. The possibilities are endless, and by including it in your onboard inventory, the beauty is that you no longer need to carry a whole load of different size saucepans in your camper. For once, one size does fit all!
Saying that, you do still need to choose which version to buy – we prefer the smaller 2 litre version best as it fits in the California cupboard nicely.
The cooker can essentially cook anything that you can cook in a proper oven. We use it mainly for fried breakfasts, but really the only thing limiting you is your imagination.
Remoska were the first company to design an electric cooker like this (they are from the Czech Republic), and so we prefer to recommend their unit rather than one of the many Chinese knock-offs. Mmmm, getting hungry now!
If you typically go campervanning with two adults and have small children in tow then you will appreciate this great little gadget. Likewise if you like to watch films or TV in your awning, but don’t want to keep the campsite awake then definitely read on.
This Bluetooth splitter is a tiny little box which literally performs magic. It takes an audio signal from any device you own which has a headphone socket – for example a laptop or TV playing your favourite movie, and generates dual bluetooth signals which you and your beloved partner can hook onto with your wireless Bluetooth headphones. You can then both watch your movie together in perfect harmony and not worry about waking anyone up.
The Most Important Campervan Accessory
We leave the most important campervan accessory of all to last – the bottle opener for that much needed bottle of wine at the end of the day!
This is our bottle opener of choice – it’s made by Barcraft and is certainly extravagant. Ridiculously so in fact! However, I challenge anyone using it to say that it’s not a great piece of mechanical design.
It opens your well-deserved bottle in an absolutely clinical and effortless way, and impresses anyone who sees it. Fits in one of the California drawers in the cupboard and always puts a smile on our face when it makes an appearance…. Recommended for anyone who admires quality product design.
Well that’s probably a good point to wrap things up here – straight after the bottle of wine has been opened! There are so many useful campervan accessories on the market that we will keep this blog updated as we uncover and review more. We only recommend items which we either own ourselves or have tested in another capacity (e.g. via friends, suppliers or our reviewer network).
Please let us know if there are any ‘must-have’ gadgets for VW campervans which we have missed, and we will try and test them and get them included. Drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Facebook page.