Although folding campers come equipped with beds, a cooker, and a sink, you will need much more than that to enjoy your folding camper holiday.
I did some research into equipment essentials that all folding camper owners need when travelling. I’ve compiled this list based on my research, as well as my personal experience travelling the UK and Europe in my folding camper.
Equipment You’ll Need For Your Folding Camper
Most folding campers come with nothing other than essential elements such as soft furnishings. Here are some of the basics that you should take when going away in your folding camper.
- Fresh Water Container
- Wheel Clamp
- Electric Hookup Lead
- Gas Bottle
- Cleaning Sprays and Bleach
- Non-Perishable Food Items
- First-Aid Kit
- Sleeping Bags
- Warm Sleepwear
- Radio/CD Player
- Board Games
- Repair Kit
- Emergency Toolkit
- Fire Extinguisher
- Water-Proof Clothing
You might not have thought of taking all of the above, but there’s an argument for taking every item we’ve listed.
Fresh Water Container
If you’re pitching in a location that doesn’t have an easily accessible water supply, you need to ensure you take your own water. There are plenty of fresh water containers available to choose from. I personally use the Outwell collapsible water container.
The freshwater container that I’ve linked above is particularly good for storing permanently in your folding camper. It is a bit cheaper than some of the other collapsible water containers available on the market
You’ll want a wheel clamp for your folding camper to keep it safe and secure when you are pitched. A wheel clamp is also essential for when you’re storing your folding camper, such as at home. Most insurers won’t insure your folding camper if you don’t have a security feature like a wheel clamp.
A wheel camp doesn’t just protect your folding camper. It will keep it secure in the area that you are pitched and prevent any movement.
I use the Maypole Wheel clamp, and It is a product that I would definitely recommend! It has two security plate settings for different tyre widths and is also fitted with a rubber pad to prevent wheel damage. You can find this wheel clamp on Go Outdoors.
Electric Hookup Lead
If you want power in your folding camper, you will need an electric hookup lead. An EHU lead will let you connect your folding camper to a campsite’s power supply. You’ll need this if you want to power equipment in your camper such as your phone chargers and heaters.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all EHU lead. The type of hookup lead that you need will depend on your folding camper. If your camper has its own electrical system, you will need a lead that plugs into the side of your folding camper. Does your camper have its own onboard electrical system? If not, there are electric hookup leads with domestic sockets on one end. This EHU lead will allow you to plug devices straight into it.
One of the best EHL that I have used is the Eurohike Mobile Mains Kit. It easily connects to your campsite’s electrical hook up point safely and conveniently with this 3-socket mains converter kit. This is definitely an essential piece of kit for any family camping trip. You can find out more about the Eurohike Mobile Mains Kit here.
Most folding campers are fitted with gas cookers. Some campers are fitted with heaters, too. To power your gas appliances, you will need a gas bottle.
Gas bottles are fairly cheap and will last a long time, depending on how much you use them. My family and I usually take one gas bottle when going away for a few days, and that tends to be more than enough. I use the Calor Butane Gas, which is one of the best-known companies when it comes to gas. You can get the same Gas I use here from Go Outdoors.
If you are going to power your folding camper in any way with gas, you need to ensure that you have a gas regulator. Without a gas regulator, the gas pressure could damage your folding camper. Gas regulators are cheap and easy to fit, so you won’t have any trouble acquiring one and fitting it.
There is always a chance that you might run out of gas while you are away from home. Make sure that you have a gas spanner as part of your emergency toolkit so you can change the cylinder if it does.
Chances are you’ll want a hot drink while you’re stopping in your folding camper, if only to warm up when it is cold!
There are gas and electric kettles available, but be aware that electric kettles use a lot of power while boiling. Be careful to ensure you don’t overload your electrics!
I recommend using the Kampa Squash Collapsible Electric Kettle as it uses very little energy at 1000W. It is also collapsible, which means it takes up much less space, perfect for travelling in a folding camper. You can find out more here.
Cleaning Sprays and Bleach
Chances are there will be some spillages while you stop in your folding camper. There are loads of cleaning sprays and bleaches available that you can take with you time and time again when travelling with your folding camper.
Most sprays and bleaches you can store with your folding camper, so you’ll never forget them when travelling. This will save you from buying the same things over and over like I’ve done a few times!
One of my favourite cleaning products to keep stocked up in my folding camper is the Fenwicks Black Streak Remover. I use this to clean and remove any black streaks, green algae, road traffic film, winter grime and diesel fumes. You can find out more about this cleaning spray here.
Non-Perishable Food Items
You will likely purchase most of your food before travelling or when you reach your destination. However, keeping some non-perishable food items in your folding camper is a good idea for numerous reasons.
Food items such as tinned food, coffee and individually wrapped products can stay in your folding camper for a long time. If you decide to travel without doing any food shopping beforehand or throughout, you’ll have food in your camper that you can eat.
Here are some examples of food and drink you can keep in your folding camper for a long time:
- Tinned Beans
- Tinned Fruit
- Powdered Milk
- Potato Chips
- Bottled Water
- Granola Bars
- Freeze Dried Meals
You never know when you’ll need a first-aid kit, particularly when you’re out and about adventuring with your folding camper. I’ve cut myself putting up my folding camper before, so you never know when you could suffer a small injury.
Most first-aid kits are small, so it won’t take up too much room in your folding camper. For peace of mind, it’s always a good idea to keep a first-aid kit in your camper.
I always keep the Regatta First Aid Kit in my folding camper. It contains low adhesive dressing patches, antiseptic wipes, 1m fabric strip, 1 pair of vinyl gloves, and other essentials you may need.
Sleeping Bags and Warm Sleepwear
Folding campers can be cold no matter the time of the year. Depending on the country that you are travelling in, your folding camper can be cold at night, even during the summer.
Sleeping bags can help you to feel more comfortable when sleeping in a folding camper. Folding campers aren’t the most comfortable as it is, as I mentioned in this blog post, so a sleeping bag can make a big difference.
On extremely cold nights, I like to wear my Packlite Alpinist Down Jacket. This is a very practical jacket as it isn’t bulky like other insulated jackets, which means it will feel comfortable to wear and doesn’t feel restrictive while also keeping you warm and waterproof.
Television, Radio and Board Games
If you are going to spend a lot of time in your folding camper, you’re going to want some entertainment. Whether you want to watch some TV, listen to the radio or play a board game, none of the three takes up much room in your camper and they can provide hours of fun.
We have a TV and radio that we store in our folding camper. They don’t take much electricity so we can use them as much as we like when we are staying away in the folding camper.
Repair Kit/Emergency Toolkit
Your folding camper could sustain damage at any time. Say you pitch under a tree and a big branch damages your canvas. You need to repair the damage if you are going to be staying in your folding camper. With a repair kit, you will have everything you need to patch up your camper until you can get it repaired properly.
Repair kits and tool kits are particularly important when you are stopping in an older folding camper. Older folding campers are a little more fragile, and you never know when something is going to go wrong. Ensure you have repair kits and tool kits so that if something does get damaged, you can repair it so that it doesn’t spoil your holiday.
I personally always keep the Tear Aid Repair Kit with me in my folding camper at all times just in case of emergencies. It comes in the form of patches that fix the fabric and are brilliant when you need to repair something that needs to be abrasion, moisture and saltwater resistant, able to withstand UV sunlight and extreme temperatures. You can find out more about them on Go Outdoors.
Hopefully, you’ll never need a fire extinguisher, but having one in your folding camper is a really important precaution. Although the chances of your needing an extinguisher are slim, you are using gas and electricity, and an accident could occur.
Fire extinguishers are relatively inexpensive, and some folding campers have spaces specifically to store them. Even if your folding camper doesn’t have an extinguisher space, it won’t take up too much room.
The fire extinguisher I have in my folding camper is the Streetwize Fire Extinguisher. It is a dry powder fire extinguisher with a fitted bracket. You can find it here on Go Outdoors.