Lost in the #Vanlife

How to Prepare for a Journey in a Camping Van

From time to time, you will need to take a trip to discover your country and the beautiful sceneries it has. Getting a campervan, also known as a Class B motorhome, is ideal as its size makes it easy to drive. Preparing for the first trip can be a bit hard because you’re afraid to forget something you need or end up in an uncomfortable situation. A lovely road trip can quickly turn chaotic unless everything is in check. 

Stick around to learn how to prepare properly for a camping road trip. 

Check Legal Regulations 

The number-one thing you want to do when going on a camping trip is to check the rules and regulations in your state to avoid any trouble, like having to pay fines. In some states, you have to add a sign or a placard to your van to inform other drivers or first responders that you have propane or butane gas, which you might need for the kitchenette on board.

You may also need to check regulations when it comes to where you park your car. Some places prohibit parking overnight, so if you find a place to park your car, make sure to check the rules there. Some places also don’t allow open flames in order to limit fire risks. 

Packing List

There are essential things to pack with you in your camping van. First, you need to pack items that you need for your kitchenette. Remember that if you’re in a campervan, it’s smaller than an RV, so you need to pack the necessary items only. You want to get a small cooler, cooking utensils, propane or butane gas if needed, and dish soap. There are different types of water systems you can install, too, for the sink and plumbing. You can browse online websites to learn about the different methods you can install a water system before you can determine which system you want to use. 

Don’t forget the small stuff like water bottles, can openers, lighters or matches, paper towels, and mugs. For the bathroom, you need a portable toilet and shower, dry shampoo, soap, towels, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, wipes, and deodorant. Of course, for the night, you need a mattress, a pillow, blankets, and bedsheets. For your safety, bring a first-aid kit, CO detector, fire extinguisher, and an emergency beacon. 

Get a backpack specifically for outdoor camping. We advise you to check the weather in the area you’re visiting and take appropriate and sufficient clothing. There are non-fundamental, but helpful items, you can bring like earplugs and an eye mask for a comfortable sleep. Don’t forget to get one or more universal travel adapters to charge your phone, camera, and laptop. 

Overnight Parking

We’ve mentioned that overnight parking can be tricky because not all places allow it, and you might find yourself with no place to stay at night. Your best option for overnight parking is a campground since they usually have space for campervans. However, you have to check if there’s room for your van before going. If available, call firsthand or book your stay online. 

National forests are a good option since they are federal property, so parking there is usually free. They are good options, too, because they have great landscapes. Some highways, coastlines, or dense parks don’t allow you to park there overnight, so check their rules before going there. If you get stuck picking the parking lot, head over to the next Walmart for the night; it’s most likely that you’d be allowed to park there. 

Test Drive Your Van

Whether you’re buying or renting a campervan, you need to take it for a test drive before you embark on a journey with it. Yes, campervans are smaller than RVs and are easier to drive, but you have to be sure that it’s suitable for you, nonetheless. Make an appointment beforehand, take the same number of passengers, and try it out yourself. Make sure the one vehicle you’re trying has the same model and engine as the one you’re buying or renting. Try everything from starting the engine, driving down a long route, to parking it. 

Now that you’ve prepared everything, it’s time to enjoy nature’s offerings and relax. There is nothing to worry about if you have everything under control. Just be sure to take all the safety precautions and be careful when going to new places. You should read more about all the camping safety tips once and twice to ensure your trip is as safe as it is fun.