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Van Life

After owning 5 vans I've created a checklist of essential van items for each conversion. As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases, this helps fund the blog.

Van conversion

First - design is most important. Consider what the purpose of your van will be. Where you will travel? What are the laws and regulations of the countries you'll be driving/staying in?

Installing Shelves
Light Emitting Diodes


After learning the hard way, I would advise anyone to spend the money at the beginning on a good adapter and electronics. Higher quality with function better and last longer without needing maintenance. There are many videos and resources for converting vans online.

Shelves and Flooring

When designing shelving, consider what you will need to store in the van. Personally, I have to carry essential equipment for work and designed my shelving to fit all my kit, while maximizing movement room.


The lighting in your van is an opportunity for personalisation. Remember that function is the main feature, however as long as you can see in the dark the options are endless. Many people use fairy lights which only require batteries, not 12V Van Converter Wiring.


In 2022 my van was stolen. I'm very fortunate and lucky that due to social media campaigns, national radio and good local people it was returned and found dumped. Since this happened I've dramatically increased my van security.

Steering Wheel
Image by Nicole Tarasuk
Father and Son Using GPS

Visible Locks

Campervans and Camper Conversions are popular theft, all in countries. A visible lock is an instant preventative as a thief is looking for a quick, hassle-free theft.


Dashcam's that record the road is a great way to provide evidence in the result of a crash. Often you can get a deduction from your insurance with the installation of a dashcam and or a reversing camera.

A powerful GPS tracker built into a van is a great way to keep track of your van's location in real-time. In the event of theft, usually, GPS trackers inside the cab are removed (which happened to me) but well-hidden trackers built around the battery build an extra resistance.

EU Travel

I've been lucky to travel throughout covid as an essential worker. Much of my time was in Europe, it is important to research the relevant road rules and laws before leaving the UK so you don't end up with an unexpected fine or charge.

Driving in Snow
Car Breakdown

Some EU countries have a legal requirement to have studded snow tyres. Even with studded tyres the roads can get slippery, especially if not scraped regularly. Snow chains are essential to getting out of a tricky situation.

Another legal requirement in the EU is to have certain breakdown equipment within your vehicle. Random police stops may ask to see if you have the kit, you must also keep your driving license and travel documents handy, I use a little wallet. Remember to replace headlamp covers on each trip.


Miscellaneous Items which I have found useful in van life.

Car Oil
Man Listening to Headphones

Car Liquids

Don't rely on service stations to be as well stocked as those in the UK. I always take the essential fluids/repair kits for emergency that may happen on the road. Engine Oil, Brake Fluid, Anti-freeze, Diesel cleaner, stop leak, window washer.


An electrical tester will help you fix if a circuit is tripping or which fuse has broken without having to remove each individual fuse. A pack of spare fuses is essential as well as a fuse remover tool.

Long drives can be really dull without some audio. I have a Bluetooth to FM converter in my 12V cab plug to connect my phone with the van's stereo. A headset with a microphone is also very useful for taking calls - when driving it's legal and means you can hear the call in a noisy cab.

Air Con Hacks

My new van this summer didn't have air con. Driving to Italy in +40 degrees was really tough but luckily I learnt a few hacks to help.

As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases

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