70 Of The Most Popular Caravan Essentials

by Rose Foster

Heading out on the ultimate Australian road trip? When it comes to planning your Big Lap (or any kind of caravanning and camping adventure), knowing what you’ll need can feel like a bit of a minefield.

There are so many products on the market which can make your trip easier, more convenient and generally better, but finding them can be never-ending!

Well, to make things easier for you to plan your Big Lap, we’ve picked 2021’s most popular caravan essentials that you need to consider for your trip. Scroll through them all or jump to a specific product..

Table of Contents

1. Sirocco 12v Fans

The Sirocco Fan is Australia’s best and most popular fan on the market. So many Big Lappers swear by these, making them number 1 on the list.

As fans go, they’re not the cheapest but they’re well-made and do a great job. They’re also great for children as the blades are soft meaning they’re safe for little fingers.

2. MukMat

If you’re always out on the beach or traipsing through the bush, you definitely need to get yourself a MukMat. These handy little items make sure you don’t bring in all the dirt from outside into your van.

This ‘patch of grass’ solution allows you to keep your caravan cleaner for longer and keep the outdoors, outdoors!

baby weber q for camping

3. Weber Baby Q

The Weber Baby Q has long been a much-loved travel companion, and it’s easy to see why many people living full-time van life recommend it.

Not only can you cook pretty much anything on it, much of the time, but it’s also reliable and very well-built. It’s something that many people opt not to buy before their trip but quickly decide that they need!

reversing camera for your caravan

4. A Decent Reversing Camera

If your caravan doesn’t come with a reversing camera, you might want to invest in one. Trust us, it will save you a whole lot of time and stress (and martial arguments) when you’re trying to back into a tight spot!

This Furrion camera set-up allows you to connect up to 4 devices and it has night vision too!

5. Extendable Mirrors

This is perhaps the most essential thing on the list. There are a number of options when it comes to extendable mirrors for your caravan adventures and the style you choose depends on personal preference and budget.

You can choose to keep your current wing mirrors and add additional extended mirrors or replace your current ones with these ones with the extended function built in.

6. Big Lap Bible… Obviously!

Well, we couldn’t create a list like this without THE most essential item (well in our opinion anyway!).

The Big Lap Bible has fast become one of Australia’s favourite way to plan their Big Lap. This really is the ultimate guide, planner, tracker and diary for your travels around Australia.

7. Tesalate Towel

These towels are perfect for your Big Lap because they’re lightweight, sand-free and they dry extremely quickly. Plus, they look pretty good too and have a number of funky designs.

Their exclusive AbsorbLite™ fabric means that you can head to the beach and dry yourself off without getting sand everywhere!

8. A Good First Aid Kit

Safety is really important when you’re travelling Australia and you can never be too prepared. Ensuring you have a decent and well-stocked first aid kit in your car is essential.

And, just a side note: make sure you keep this in your car and not your van as you can bet you’ll always be with your car, but not always with your van.

9. Map of Australia Wall Sticker

When you’re doing your Big Lap, planning where you’re going and tracking where you’ve been are half the fun. This awesome map is great for your caravan as it is easy stick and easy-off too.

Many people choose to stick it to their fridges and you can draw on it with a texta too.

10. Trail-a-Mate Lock

This little device turns your jockey wheel into a wheel clamp in minutes. While you may not think there would be people in Australia who would steel your van whilst you’re exploring, there unfortunately, there are!

While they are few and far between, it’s a good idea to lock up for peace of mind, especially when you’re free camping or you’ve had to drop off your van somewhere for a short while.

11. Tooletries

These are genius! These handy silcone holders are perfect for your caravan shower.

Originally designed as a cool shower organiser for men, these caddies and organisers are great when space is at a premium.

They even have a shower beer holder!

12. Stratchits

Stratchits are a revolutionary way to secure loads to your car. Unlike traditional ratchet straps, these straps are stretchy, compact and lightweight – perfect for any Australian traveller.

These stratchits absorb tension so they don’t damage the gear you strap down with them.

13. Scrubba Wash Bag

Described as the world’s smallest washing machine, this little device is perfect for those who want an easy way to do a little laundry when you’re not staying at caravan parks with laundry facilities.

And it doubles as a dry bag too – pretty cool!

14. Caravan Levelling Ramps

There’s nothing worse than an unlevel caravan. These handy little ramps will allow you to avoid the situation all together! So, if you’re an avid free camper, you definitely need these.

Make sure you get ones with chocs and also take into consideration single axle vs dual axle.

15. A Camping Shovel

It may not be something that is immediately apparent, but Big Lappers should always have a shovel on board. And this compact Diggar shovel is the perfect option.

Dig yourself out of trouble, dig a fire pit, dig a toilet! Whatever you use it for on your travels around Australia, you will use it!

16. Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Caravan beds are notoriously uncomfortable so many Australian travellers would argue that a good mattress topper is a Big Lap essential.

Memory foam is a great choice not only because it’s super comfortable but also because it’s light (and we all know weights are always an issue).

17. Navigator Kitchen Bundle

Although your caravan may have a kitchen, you will probably find yourself cooking outside on many occasions during your trip around Australia. So, having some adequate equipment to help you do that is a good idea.

Navigator has some awesome solutions for camping and caravanning your way around the country.

18. Darche Fire Pit

Having your own fire pit that you can set up anywhere (well, unless fires are not permitted), helps you have that authentic Australian bush experience. These handy little pits are especially good when you’re free camping or having a chill out session down the beach.

19. Fire Starter Sticks

And… if you’re going to have a portable camp fire pit, having a way to light it will be pretty important too. These cool fire starter sticks will help you quickly and easily get your fire burning!

20. Navigator Wood Holder

Collecting firewood is one of Australia’s favourite pastimes and it’s almost a rite of passage for any Aussie traveller. So, if you’re heading out bush on your Big Lap, this carrier is a great little accessory.

21. 4WD Adventure Pack

If you love exploring off-the-beaten track, you need to get Hema’s 4WD Adventure Pack. It is a little pricey but it allows you to see so many places you’d never find otherwise. And that’s priceless!

This pack includes the HX-1 GPS Navigator with Drive Mode and Explore Mode, meaning it can be used for regular route navigation and off-road adventures.

22. Garmin inReach Explorer+

Explorer+ is Garmin’s new satellite communicator that uses global Iridium satellite coverage for interactive SOS, two-way messaging and location tracking anywhere in the world. Includes a built-in GPS that enables location tracking and basic navigation with waypoints and routes. 

23. Wacaco Minipresso

If you’re a coffee lover, going on your Big Lap may fill you with fear that you can’t have your morning cuppa. But the Wacaco Minipresso came up with a solution that allows you to have quality espresso without bringing the whole coffee machine.

This gadget is absolutely essential to keep you caffeined up during your lap of Australia.

24. Diesel Heater

While you’ll probably be chasing the Sun during your Big Lap, you will likely still need a little heating from time to time.

Whether or not this one is essential probably a matter of personal preference and travel style. Are you happy to rug up and make do? Are you heading down south during the winter?

25. Door Latch Extender

If your caravan window hits the door when it’s latched, you’ll love this! This door latch extender gives you extra room behind your door to allow you to open the window.

So, depending on how irritating this issue is for you, this one may or may not be a travel essential for you!

26. Darche Foxwing Awning

We all love a good awning but this Darche awning is a game-changer. With incredible coverage, this awning allows you to get from the back of the car to the side without having the sun or the rain beating down on you.

Perfect for those beach days and while you’re free camping.

27. Sand Builders Kit

Your Big Lap is all about embracing the outdoors, so why not take your outdoor-play game up a notch with this awesome kit.

We’re sure the kids will find these essential for your travels around Australia! They will be the coolest kids at the beach!

28. Pegless Clothesline

These pegless clotheslines have become really popular amongst the travelling community for their ease of use. Instead of carrying pegs with you, this clothesline allows you to string it up and hang your clothes quickly and easily.

29. Navigator Seat Buddy

These seat organisers are great for travellers with or without kids. Organisation is key to travelling around Australia whilst still feeling like you know where your things are. And this organiser is one of the best on the market.

Built with Aussie travellers in mind, it will make your Big Lap more organised.

30. Wine Rests

When you get out on the road and start living the Big Lap life, you’ll soon realise that happy hour is a thing that many travellers life by. It gets to 4pm and it’s wine o’clock!

So, if you like a wine, these wine rests are the perfect addition to your camp chair!

31. 12v Smart TV

You may not think you’ll spend much time in front of the TV (and you may be right). But soon, you’ll find that your Big Lap is less of a holiday and more of a lifestyle, so you won’t want to constantly be on the go!

This 12v smart TV is a great option for when you want a little downtime.

32. Inflatable Paddleboard

During your Big Lap, you will probably be in or on the water for a significant amount of time. And while it’s not always possible to take all the watersports gear you want, an inflatable stand-up paddleboard is a great option.

Even if you’re not a paddleboarder, sitting down and floating is a nice way to experience Australia’s waters.

33. Solar Panels

If you’re planning to do any amount of free camping (which most Big Lappers do at some point), having a good solar set up is essential.

Depending on your budget and home much you free camp will determine what kind of set-up you need, but one thing’s sure, solar is essential if you want to spend time off-grid.

34. RV Tank Cleaner

This RV tank cleaner is great for ensuring your caravan’s plastic tanks are de-odorised and clean. It helps with making sure your drinking and washing water does not get tainted either.

And, in our books, that makes this absolutely essential!

35. Hulk Outdoor Matting

We’ve spoken about the MukMat, but you also need something a little more substantial to cover the ground outside your caravan. This matting is great for free camping or just when you’re not staying at a caravan park with a concrete slab.

There are a number of options available but this one is cheap and lightweight.

36. Air Fryer

The air fryer has became a hit in 2020 with so many households and now they’ve become an essential for the caravan too! These handy gadgets make cooking chips and other ‘fried’ foods quickly and easily.

They come in so many shapes and sizes to suit your needs too.

37. Camping Cutting Board

There will be so many times where you cook outside on your travel, especially if you love to fish. This cool little cutting board allows you to easily prepare food by the camp fire, on the beach or on a hike.

38. Caravan Fire Extinguisher

It’s always important to ensure you have all the safety equipment you need for your travels and a fire extinguisher might just be the most important thing you carry with you.

It can literally make the difference between a small and insignificant fire and a totally write off! So, be prepared!

39. Caravan Starter Kit

Many people are surprised with the amount of leads, hoses and cables are needed (and don’t come with) a new caravan. This handy little kit comes with an electric cable and carrier, drinking water hose and carrier, grey water hose and carrier, hose fittings and a set of levels. Really, the essentials!

It’s a great first step to getting out on the road and starting your Big Lap.

40. 12v Jump Starter

There’s nothing more irritating than a flat battery – at the end of the day, your car is your lifeline when you’re on the most epic roadtrip of your life!

This awesome jump starter can jump start a vehicle up to 25 times from a single charge!

41. 12v Vacuum Cleaner

From messes in the car to messes in the caravan, a small portable vacuum cleaner is an extremely handy product to have around.

While your caravan will be pretty quick and easy to clean, some messes are just easier to vacuum up. After a day at the beach, it’s pretty easy to bring sand inside (and into your bed… yuck!). A portable vac not only helps you clean quickly, but it could even help you have a better night sleep too!

42. MaxTrax

If you’re planning to go off road at any point, then a set of MaxTrax can be really useful. Even if you’re not planning on doing anything extreme, the terrain around some free camps can be pretty rough.

These simple devices could get you out of trouble quickly and they’re pretty light too.

43. Tefal Stackable Pots

Whether you’re camping or caravanning your way around Australia, space is always at a premium! These Tefal pots are great since they stack easily as there’s only one handle for the whole set (and that’s usually the part of the pot that always gets in the way, right?).

Plus, these pots are from a well-known and reputable brand meaning they will last your whole Big Lap and beyond.

44. 4WD Wheel Bin

It’s so handy to have an outdoor bin when you’re on your Big Lap. Whether you’re out at a National Park or down the beach for a day trip or you’re free camping – well, even if you’re staying at a caravan park – having somewhere to put your rubbish (and take it with you) is a great idea.

This rubbish bin sits on your back tyre (allowing you to take it with you without bringing it inside your car).

45. Awning Privacy Shade

No matter if you’re free camping or staying at a caravan park during your Big Lap of Australia, an awning shade is necessary. Even if you’re the most sociable person and don’t need too much privacy, there will be times when the sun beams into your space and you’ll want to keep it out.

46. Mavic Pro Drone

Seen those pretty drone shots on Instagram? Well, you’ll need one of these beauties if you want to get those shots too. And let’s be real: we all want to make our friends and family jealous of our adventures, right!

Just be sure to check the flying rules in the states in which you’re in as you might needs a licence to fly it.

47. Caravan Level

It’s one thing to purchase some caravan levelling ramps, but having a small spirit level on your draw bar will help you actually figure out whether it is level!

In our opinion, this is absolutely essential as it’s a cheap addition to your caravan that will help you immensely.

48. Puretec Caravan Inline Water Filter

When you’re out on your Big Lap adventure, you’ll be getting water for your caravan from a number of different places, so this product gives you piece of mind that the water you get is safe to drink.

This water filter inhibits bacteria growth and removes unwanted taste, odours and chemicals.

49. Water Tank Flow Rate Gauge

When free camping, it’s important to know how much water you have left as it will influence how conservative you are with your supply and determine how much longer you can stay.

Some caravans are fitted with water tank gauges but if yours isn’t, it’s a really good idea to install one.

50. Ampfibian Power Adapter

Safety connect your 15A caravan to 10A power at caravan parks with this waterproof power adapter. This product is heavy duty and will last your whole trip – it comes with a 2 year warranty for peace of mind.


51. Caravan Surge Protector

Protect your inverter and electronic gear from power spikes and surges. A red warning light lets you know if the powerpoint is incorrectly wired before plugging your caravan in. Miswired powerpoints damage your equipment and can be fatal if the earth connection is missing or live.

And when you’ve spent a lot of money on batteries set-ups for your lap, this is a small investment to protect it.

52. Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

Tyre pressures will become something that will always be on your mind when you’re on your Big Lap of Australia. From letting your tyres down on the beach to making sure they’re at the right pressure when you’re on the road, you will want to know there’s enough air where it needs to be!

This monitoring system will help put your mind at ease.

53. Outdoor Shower

Even if you have a shower in your caravan, there will be times where you’ll want to shower off before you go inside. This quick and easy to use outdoor shower will give you access to water while you’re free camping or returning from a day at the beach.

We’d say that the travelling parents will find this one essential!

54. RV WiFi

Need to keep connected while you’re on the road? RV Wifi is one of the most popular solutions as it is one if the best portable modems on the market. You can choose your data provider from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin and with the the plan of your choice (pre-paid or monthly).

It also has an Inbuilt Media Server letting you watch your own movies/photos on your phones/tablets and computers.

55. Reusable BBQ Mats

You’ll probably use free BBQs at free camps, day rest areas and caravan parks… and they aren’t always the cleanest!

These awesome, reusable BBQ mats allow you to use the BBQs without your food coming into contact with the plates. And, they mean less scrubbing for you too!

56. BBQ Arm

The BBQ Arm is a perfect solution for your BBQ. Attaching to your drawbar, it eliminated the need to carry around a table for your BBQ. It swivels too so it’s easy to move.

Australian made and built, this space saving solution is a great addition to any caravan.

57. Uniden UHF

While it’s not absolutely essential, it is really useful to install a UHF in your car before your Big Lap. Having one allows you to keep connected when you’re camping in a remote location.

It also helps you stay safe and informed on the road and allows you to communicate with other road users. You’ll see people on the road letting to know which channel they’re on or you can stick on the truck channel, 40.

58. Wash Down Pump

If you’ll be driving on the beach during your Big Lap, a wash down pump is an essential addition to your car. Removing salt-water immediately is so important and having an on-car solution will mean you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to wash your car after your day of adventuring!

59. A Great Camp Chair

Arguably, the most important purchase for your Big Lap of Australia is a great camping chair. This chair will be your couch replacement, your dining chair, your down-the-beach chair and more. So, it’s important to invest in a good one.

60. Easy Beach Shelter

You’ll likely become somewhat of a beach bum while you’re travelling around Australia, making a beach shelter essential.

But here’s a tip; make sure you get one that’s easy to set up and pack down, otherwise you might not set it up. And since sun safety is so important, you really need one that you’ll set up every time.

61. 12v Tool Kit

While you can’t take every tool under the Sun with you, there are a couple of tools that you really should take with you. This handy little 12v set from Kogan is a good option.

With all the essentials in one little set, this is a really great option for any Big Lapper.

62. Bed Throw

When you’re travelling full-time, your bed isn’t only used for sleeping. You’ll use your bed as a couch and your kids might use it to play on. So, it’s a great idea to get a throw to protect your bedding from the dirt of daily life.

63. Rechargeable Head Torch

Lighting will always be an issue when you’re travelling. At free camps, you won’t have the luxury of outdoor lighting around you and even if you do, there will be times that you will need more light to brighten your way.

A battery-powered and rechargeable solution is a great idea – there’s nothing worse than batteries running out when you can’t charge them.

64. Enerdrive Inverter

Although there are so many 12v versions of most of the items you’ll want to take on your Big Lap, having an inverter in your caravan will mean you can actually plug in your non-12v items when you’re off-grid.

There are a number of different options but the Enerdrive brand is amongst the most reputable.

65. Red Arc Tow Pro

Safety is paramount on your Big Lap, or any amount of road travel really! The Tow Pro electric break controller system allows you to have more control over your vehicle’s braking system, giving you a sense of greater security on the road.

This is particularly useful when you have to stop suddenly or you’re descending steep or long hills.

66. Fridge Bars

There’s nothing worse than opening your fridge after a stint on the road for everything to fall out. These fridge bars are not so essential but they do solve a potentially annoying issue in your caravan!

So, why not?!

67. UE Boom Speaker

You’ll soon come to learn that outdoor entertainment solutions are your friend! And the UE Boom Speaker is one of the most popular outdoor, portable speakers on the market. This durable device is great for any camping trip; it’s waterproof, dustproof, shock proof… Big Lap proof!

68. Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent

Ok, this one is probably one of the less essential ‘essentials’ on this list – but if you’ve ever been victimised by mozzies when you’re camping, you might think this is a must-have!

This cool little product creates a 15 foot zone around your camp site which repels mosquitos.

69. Compact Generator

While a generator isn’t absolutely essential for everyone, depending on your set-up and how much of your time you’ll spend off-grid, it might be a must-have for you.

Again, there are a number of options to suit a range of needs, but a small compact one like this one is a good place to start.

70. Collapsible Kitchenware

When space is at such a premium in your van, you’ll want to save space wherever you can. These days, there as so many products on the market that you’ll find yourself buying the lot!

He’s one option to get you started!

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