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Top Gear for Camping

Have more fun on your caravan trips with the right equipment

Time flies incredibly fast. Therefore, we should treat every day like it is a gift!

Over a decade ago, I was searching for our family's first caravan and discovered the emerging company Burimex, which imported used ones from England. It was somewhere near Beroun where the history of our caravan travels began.

My name is Víťa Válka, and I am known as a digital nomad, graphic designer, and internet entrepreneur. Some of you may also know my Camperguru project, which has already found over 600 of the best camper spots in Europe. Over 11 years, my family and I have traveled a good 200,000 kilometers by caravan. During that time, my wife Renča and I worked remotely, taught our children, and — a bit heretically — enjoyed the hot sun even when it was still snowing in Czechia.

We test gear and gadgets so you don't have to

Because we've tried two caravans from Burimex, a roof tent, and a van with our family, we've also tried, broken, discarded, or kept a lot of equipment and gadgets that make our nomadic life a whole lot more fun. Want an upgrade too? Right here and now? Let's dive into a selection of the best little things to improve your life that you may not have come across yet. These have the same effect as when you try flying first class for the first time — you'll never be satisfied with economy again.

Only the solid, time-tested gadgets

My first point of advice is to be careful. I've taken great care not to clutter your vehicles with any unnecessary ballast that devours space like a whale does plankton. I'll only recommend multifunctional and durable helpers that will save you space and time, leaving more for travel joys. You can easily find and buy all of these items online, and some you may be able to find in your local travel or camping shop.

Personal Confession: I'm quite impulsive myself, so I'll be honest, I've often gone through the whole carousel from cheap junk to lasting quality. And that's great for you because thanks to my trials and errors, you'll save yourself time and money!

An important question to ask is, what qualities must each recommended item meet? I think these are the three most important:

  • Robust quality and durability, because travel is full of surprises
  • Low weight, space-saving, and ideal multi-functional gadget
  • Pleasant design that soothes the eye and conjures a smile

Recommended gear for campers, vans and caravans

  • Level Ramps: Thule makes quality leveling ramps that I've used with all kinds of vehicles from caravans to vans. This is an indispensable item if you're sensitive to having a level sleeping surface.
  • Victron Energy: This Dutch company makes robust solar regulators, inverters and LiFePO4 batteries that power many European and US RVs and boats. We have their 375VA inverter, MPPT solar regulator and 160Ah LiFePO4 battery with BME monitor in our van.
  • Alugas Travelmate & MonoControl: Switching to refillable aluminum LPG tanks and adding a MonoControl system allows heating while driving – priceless when stuck in a -20°C traffic jam. I've mapped LPG adapters for easy European refills.

Here are some other great little gadgets I've found:

  • Baseus USB car socket hub
  • Leatherman multi-tool
  • Amazonas hammock
  • Silicone toilet brush
  • Hultafors/Wetterlings axes
  • Brunner folding shovel
  • Styyl magnetic table

Specifically for Ducato Van Owners, the Thule Elite Van XT bike rack fits perfectly on Ducato rear doors.

Some of my kitchen favourites are:

  • Aeropress for great manual espresso
  • Sencor hot plate for electric cooking
  • Stemless wine glasses
  • Remoska oven when craving baked goods
  • Large bamboo table like KingCamp or Outwell
  • Roccbox pizza oven, Omnia camp oven, Lotus grill

For work, navigation, and connectivity, we've found the following to be most useful:

  • Waze for navigation
  • Vodafone unlimited data plan
  • Starlink satellite internet — more about Starlink and SIM cards.
  • Beyerdynamic headset
  • WiFi Map Pro app

Sports and activities: We've tried bikes, skateboards, scuba, paddleboarding and more but cycling stuck longest, especially for the kids. Don't miss diving in Croatia!

Safety items: Besides a first aid kit and GPS tracking, we keep a baseball bat for security. But best to avoid conflicts – check Control Risks' travel risk map before trips. STYYL's interior door locks also provide peace of mind.

For fun: Barigo's classic analog thermometers and barometers add a nice nautical touch.

More tips in the Gear page on Camperguru.


Travel resources

  • Use Aferry to compare ferry prices across routes.
  • Numbeo compares living costs between cities to plan affordable stops.

Thanks for your attention 🙏 These personal tips come from a decade of Mediterranean caravanning and meeting experienced campers. I hope they influence your gear decisions because your wallet votes on which companies would succeed. Safe travels and happy returns! 🚐

By Vita • March 2024

Vita, co-founder of Camperguru, and his family traveled around Europe for over a decade. Starting with a caravan trailer and later upgrading to a more maneuverable van, they partially raised their children on the road. Vita is the co-founder of Camperguru and contributes to camping in Europe with his maps and other freebies. He is always willing to help with all things camping.

Check 78 Verified spots at Camperguru by Vita.

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