6 Things To Remember When Preparing A Van For A Road Trip

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Written by Wendy Tucker

A van is no longer merely a mode of transportation. Today, it’s a home on wheels for people who are ready to hit the road for a week, a month, or a year. But before you can set out on the open road, you must make sure your van is ready to go.

Ensure your sleeping gear is in good working order, stock up on food and water, and make sure your vehicle is in good shape. Follow these tips to ensure your van is ready to roll. It’s not enough to throw a few things in the back of an old van and hit the open road. If you’re going to spend days, weeks, or even months on the road, you need to ensure that you’re as prepared as you can possibly be.

To get started, here are some things to remember when designing your van for a road trip.

1. Creature Comforts

It can be challenging to keep everyone happy and comfortable during a road trip, but it can also be a great adventure. When planning a vacation by car, you need to consider what everyone will need to be comfortable, including food, entertainment, and even just a place to relax.

When you are setting up your van for this expedition, one of the most significant factors to ensure a good time is your bed. If you are building your campervan from the ground up, you will be able to choose the correct sized bed that fits in the vehicle perfectly and is also comfortable. As space will be limited, you will need to understand which dimensions are best suited.

To that end, you can click here to see a full guide of mattress sizes from Queen to California King. Once you determine what type of mattress will fit most effectively in your sleeping area, you will be in the best position to decide what other items to include in the van.

Other creature comforts include having enough space to cook decent meals (and store them), as well as things such as TVs and enough electrical outlets, which leads nicely to the next point.

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2. Ensure You Have Enough Power

One of the most important things most people forget to think about is their power supply. While there are plenty of power points in most campervans, you need to ensure you have enough power to support all of the appliances you plan to use and keep your campervan powered in an emergency. When it comes to traveling, your need for energy is your biggest concern.

To ensure that you have enough power for your personal electronics, you must consider how many batteries you will need and how you will recharge them. One exciting option these days is to install solar panels on the roof that can charge up the batteries during the daytime.

3. Proper Planning (But Not Too Much)

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Prior to heading out on any road trip, it is essential to plan the route. Although it might seem like a simple and obvious thing to do, many travelers spend countless hours on the road wondering how they ended up somewhere unintended or why they can’t find a decent place to eat, all because they didn’t plan very well. The fact is, if you don’t plan your route, you’re bound to get lost.

On the other hand, with excitement comes uncertainty as you start to plan everything down to the last detail. Plan ahead, but take a minute to pause and think about your choices. What is the purpose of a road trip? Therefore while some planning is necessary, you should attempt to go with the flow where possible.

4. Bring The Correct Gear

There are a lot of things you’ll want to bring along when you hit the road for a long trip, and the same goes for a short road trip too. No matter how short or long your trip is, you should definitely bring a few items along for the ride.

Car Maintenance

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As you will be traveling around in your van the entire way, you should make an effort to have any equipment you might need to keep it in good working order. Some of the most apparent items include:

  • Spare tire.
  • Car documentation (insurance maintenance records etc.).
  • Any spare parts if your van is not typical or an older model.
  • Coolant.
  • Windscreen washing fluid.
  • Towels and clothes.
  • Spare keys.
  • Tire inflator.


Some other items might prove to be beneficial that you should bring along with you, such as:

  • Flashlight.
  • First aid kit.
  • Paper maps (you ever know when you might end up in a signal blind spot)
  • Spare blankets if cold or portable fans if hot.
  • Hiking boots and accessories for when the urge to trek hits you.

There are plenty more things you should bring along like a tent if you want to camp, but these are a good start.

5. Stay Organized

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The importance of staying organized on a road trip cannot be stressed enough. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of being organized on the road, but if you want to enjoy your vacation and get the most out of your time away from home, being organized is necessary.

By being prepared on your road trip, you can focus on enjoying each day and fully absorbing the experience.

6. Don’t Overpack

When it comes to road trips, the urge to overpack is a tough one to resist. Nevertheless, you should attempt to limit what you bring along with you to not overburden your vehicle or lose space by bringing unnecessary things. To make your trip easier, lay out everything you want to bring with you, and then remove half the items you don’t need.

Using this method allows you to visualize what you are taking with you and see it all laid out for you to see. Another rule of thumb is to leave anything that you can buy on the trip itself. Toilet paper, for instance, is available almost everywhere, so you don’t need to stock up on it.


When preparing your van for a road trip, there are a few things you should keep in mind whether you are traveling across the country or just down the road to the beach. You can do this by ensuring your van has the right equipment to ensure it will last or setting it up in such a way that you will be comfortable so you can enjoy the excursion.


Wendy Tucker


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