Cartwright Chronicles, Features

The best Christmas gifts for campervan owners

You may have read our previous two gift idea articles for caravans and motorhomes. If you’re a campervanner, or perhaps awaiting this post for a camper enthusiast in your life, there is one thing to bear in mind… 

Campervans, by nature, are the most compromised of all leisure vehicles. By this, I mean they’re very small! So the range of gifts in this class is not as extensive as the previous two.

Less spacious living and cooking areas mean the only thing campervans don’t compromise on is the overall driving experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love them and appreciate they are the stalwarts of the trendy elite. Who wouldn’t want to sleep on a let-down car seat, with their head next to a cooker?

I’m only joking, but my point is that campervans are difficult when it comes to accessories because the most important process for owners is deciding what not to take. Space is at such a premium that anything you bring needs to fit comfortably in storage, which, you guessed it, is also extremely limited.

So, if you’re on the hunt for campervan presents, avoid the previous articles and mentions of huge, snuggly, wearable quilts and the like. Apart from sentimental items, like cups with a picture of your favourite campervan on, these gifts need a practical edge. So, let’s take a look at some recommendations.

1. A trailer

This might ruin the aesthetic value of your campervan – it’s not as cool as a California with a surfboard strapped to the roof. However, a trailer isn’t only about being able to bring more things on your journey.

No, it offers a repository that you can keep at any campsite, for two main reasons. Firstly, it allows you to reserve your pitch whenever you drive off and secondly, it gives you a space to store kit you don’t need in the van.

Moreover, if you have wet or dirty clothes, you won’t want them inside your very small accommodation area. Simply stick them all in the trailer! Most are lockable and some are hard tops, too.

I wouldn’t recommend leaving valuable items in there, although the trailer certainly will act as a deterrent that works without compromising your ability to have bike racks. The bottom line is they increase your capacity and there are lots on Facebook Marketplace, whilst new trailers start at around £200 for a small option.

2. Digital jump-starter

I mentioned this in the motorhome article, but I would also describe this gadget as a necessity for campervans. They can charge your phone or any other electronic device via USB cables, but best of all, they’ll jump-start a five-litre diesel engine multiple times.

Some campervans have genuine issues with cab and leisure batteries, and when a problem does arise, it can significantly affect your holiday. Luckily, a lithium-ion jump-starter is the easy solution. Even if you don’t need to use it for this reason, it will still extend your off-grid capabilities, so owning one is a win-win.

It’s my go-to essential for any motorhome or campervan. They come in at roughly 15cm in length and 7cm in width, so they’re very small and easy to fit in any cupboard or even the glovebox. 

3. Cup holders with hooks

These attach to the windows or vents in your vehicle. The reason I like them so much in campervans is that most utilise driving seats as living seats, they simply swivel. But what if you’re facing away from the windscreen?

In this scenario, standard cab cup holders become rather annoying to use. I can’t count the number of times I’ve burned my hands reaching behind myself to grab a boiling coffee. With these cheap gadgets, you can place your beverages in much easier places to reach.

4. Flip-up kitchen extender

Widely available, incredibly practical and you might even find one that matches your work surface perfectly – a kitchen extender is a small flap that pops open and gives you a slightly larger space when preparing food.

In a campervan, the kitchen is normally very well-equipped with just about everything except the actual real estate to prepare food. So, if you’d like to chop a vegetable or two, that little extra bit of space is an absolute godsend.

5. Super absorbent microfibre towel

One unfortunate yet inevitable aspect of life with a campervan is the area within the vehicle, especially on the floor, will end up wet. Some people place carpets down in the living area, but these can lead to water ingress simply because they are so heavy and retain a lot of moisture.

But you need something to deal with water after you get wet, as it’s unpleasant and slippery, especially if you were to fall over and hit something. Lots of people have floor towels, but I’d recommend picking up some super absorbent microfibre ones.

A pair might cost around £15 to £30 – I keep two on rotation so that one is always ready for use while the other dries. This means there’s no need to bring a large towel, as you can store these small yet efficient ones easily and wipe the floor every time it gets wet.

As a final thought, you might be reading this article, as well as the previous two, and thinking these gift ideas aren’t very romantic. That’s because they’re not. Instead, they’re practical, as that’s what the leisure vehicle industry is all about. Merry Christmas!

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