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Friday, June 21, 2024

Essential Van Camping Accessories

photo by photoschmidt via iStock

A van offers the perfect platform for a camping setup. It is spacious, comfortable, and safe. 

They are the perfect solution for people who are into adventuring but stay away from the difficult trails. 

Because of the versatility and comfort they can offer, the aftermarket is full of accessories that make living out of a van even easier.

This article goes over five of the most useful van camping accessories on the current market.

Table of Contents

Van Camping Accessories – Portable Diesel Heater

planar diesel heater review

The first item on our van camping accessories list is a diesel heater from Planar.

This specific unit is great due to its portability. The relatively small size means it can be used in a van, RV, or even a tent. 

Furthermore, this is one of the safest camp heating methods one can buy due to its design. Since the unit sits outside your sleeping quarters, there is far less risk of introducing carbon monoxide in the air.


There are many diesel heater options out there, but in our opinion, the one from planar is the best choice. 

It is a 4kw self-contained heater that comes in a crushproof and rain-resistant case. It can run on diesel or kerosene and 12v DC. To ensure quiet operation, it’s equipped with a silencer. For longevity and ease of operation, an air intake filter and a remote wired controller are included as well. 

Fuel consumption is 3-4 liters every 8 hours, and the heater will operate normally at altitudes of up to 8,200ft. 


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using this heater. It provides way more heat than I need for my SMRT Summit Suite rooftop tent, but it’s nice to know that I have added heating power when the time comes. The wired remote is nice, too, that way I don’t have to descend my tent ladder to adjust the temperature.

In the video above, I give a tour of this heater and compare it to another Planar heater I have – the 2 kw fixed-mount heater. As you’ll see, both options have tremendous upside!

A heater like this may be an expensive accessory, but the comfort and convenience it offers are invaluable.  

Van Accessories For Camping – ALL-TOP Vehicle Awning

ALL-TOP Vehicle Awning


An awning should be on the list of van accessories for camping. Protection from the sun or rain is crucial for a comfortable camping experience and the best way to get this is by using an awning. 

This specific one from All-Top provides 67 sq. ft of shade and shield from rain. The entire assembly is stored in a heavy-duty PVC bag.

Anodized metal poles with twist-lock provide durability while being easy to set up. They are also adjustable with a choice of 4 and 7 feet. 

Installing the awning is easy and can be done on any vehicle with a roof rack.

Van Camping Accessories – Milliard Premium Folding Mattress

Milliard Premium Folding Mattress

A comfortable mattress can transform the way you sleep. The Milliard premium folding mattress is comfortable and also takes little space in your van. It has a three-inch foam base that is sturdy and built to last.

Furthermore, the 1-inch memory foam top layer adds superior ergonomic comfort.

The size of the mattress is 31 inches wide and 75 inches long. 

All foam material used for mattresses made by Milliard is CertiPur certified and passes all relevant US regulations. 

With great customer reviews and good technology, this mattress will transform the way you sleep in your van.

Van Accessories For Camping – Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator

Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator

A fridge and freezer are crucial for a hot camping trip. How will you keep all the food and drinks cool for multiple days otherwise? A cooler can do the job, but it is nowhere near as convenient. 

The Alpicool C20 offers 20 liters of storage and can fit up to 25 cans of cola. It can run as a fridge or freezer with a low-temperature setting of up to -4F. 

This fridge will run great with a small solar system or a car battery. 

It is made of durable plastic material that ensures it is durable and will last for years inside your van. 

For the price of the Alpicool, we believe there is no better option on the market. But, if you want to explore other options, check out our Alicool refrigerator comparison!

Van Camping Accessories – ZATOOTO Car Curtains

ZATOOTO Car Curtains

The last item in our van camping accessories list is some privacy window curtains. 

In many cases, the rear of a van is well insulated from the sun. However, the cabin upfront can be an issue due to the big windshield and side windows. 

For additional privacy and to block the sun in the morning, it is good to divide the two sections of the van with curtains.  

These specific curtains by Zatooto are magnetic and come in multiple sizes depending on your application.

With a rating of 4.5/5 out of 2,833 reviews, you can be assured that this quality product will serve your needs perfectly.

Final Thoughts

Essential Van Camping Accessories

photo by Oleh_Slobodeniuk via iStock

The above list provides some useful van accessories for camping any new adventure will enjoy. 

If you have any further questions regarding van camping or any other off-road or overland-related topic post them in the forum section of our page.

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