This is a list of the most popular caravan accessories for travelling around Australia
When we started our travels we’d check out everyone’s set-ups…
…and we kept on seeing the same things. Over and over.
So this is the list we wish we had before we set off on our lap
Some of these items we already had:
Others we only found out WHY they were popular once we were on the road
[Which meant we had to pay more for them]
Let’s get started:
1. Sirrocco 12V Fans: The Coolest Accessory for Your Caravan
Why are these the most popular fans for caravans?
Because they work. Really well.
And they’re quiet.
And, for a 12V fan, they use bugger all power.
You need these if you plan on going anywhere warm
(especially if you plan on free camping)
Sirocco II 12/24V Fans: Best place to get is from The Outback Equipment Store via eBay
2. Camec SmartSpace Pots: The Most Popular Caravan Cooking Accessories
You won’t always be throwing a snag on the barbie
So you want decent pots and frying pans that don’t take up a lot of space:
This means: NO LONG HANDLES!
I still remember the sense of internal lightness the moment we sacrificed our normal frying pan to the caravan park gods.
And got one of these:
But if you ask for recommendations from any of the caravan and camping Facebook groups?
You’ll always get these as the answer:
They’re like the Russian Dolls of the pots-and-pans world
[They stack and the handles detach]
Camec SmartSpace Pots: The cheapest place to buy them from Award RV Superstore via eBay
3. CGear Multi-Mat: The Caravan Accessory That Keeps Your Feet Clean
Did you know this:
Some caravan parks won’t let you put a mat down unless it’s one of these?!
What’s so special about them?
They let dirt, sand, and water through them…
…but not back up.
Perfect if you’re near a beach, have small kids, or you plan on landing a helicopter
[that’s what they were made for]
CGear Multimat: You can get them from CGear on eBay
4. Ampfibian Adaptor: The Must-Have Caravan Safety Accessory
Here’s the deal:
Caravans draw 15A of power.
Standard home outlets are only rated to 10A
[Drawing too much power = risk of fire]
So you have 3 options:
- Get an electrician to install a special 15A powerpoint at home
- Modify your extension cord to create an illegal, insurance-voiding, fire hazard ‘death lead’, OR
- Buy a 15A to 10A adaptor
[Hint: Option 3 is the best answer]
Ampfibian adaptors safely connect 15 amp caravans to standard 10 amp home power.
Safe, legal and weatherproof.
They’re not just one of the most popular caravan accessories…
…they’re one of the most needed.
Ampfibian 15A to 10A Adaptors: Best place to get is from CampSmart via eBay (over 2,000 sold and a 5.0 star rating)
5. Portable Folding Clothesline: The Most Popular Type of Caravan Clothesline
I wish I’d bought one of these earlier:
There’s way more hanging space than the piece of rope we’d been using.
[Don’t even get me started on using caravan parks’ clotheslines]
I can understand why they’re one of the most popular caravan accessories:
They’re easy to set up, move into the sun, or under cover.
They don’t blow over because you can peg them into the ground.
Go to a caravan park:
You’ll see that everyone who looks like they know what they’re doing has one
Portable Clothesline: We got ours at BCF but it’s cheaper to get the same one from Complete RV via eBay
…they’re on our list: 20 Caravan Gadgets Under $20 [That Make Travelling Australia Easier]
6. AeroPress Coffee Maker: The Best Coffee You Can Make in a Caravan
The only physical possession I missed when we packed up our home was our coffee machine.
[We tried taking a Pod machine with us but it wasn’t quite the same]
Life‘s too short to drink bad coffee.
So we picked this up for less than $50:
Well they have a 5.0 star rating on Amazon…
And I love this:
“If I were a robot, the AeroPress would be my arm”
AeroPress Coffee Maker: The best place to get is here on Amazon
7. Scrubba Bag: The Most Popular Caravan Accessory for Hand Washing Clothes
The topic of clothes washing comes up a lot in the Facebook groups…
… and you can’t go more than a couple of comments without hearing about the Scrubba Wash Bag
It’s like a dry-sack but with an old school wash board inside
You add water, dirty clothes and a little detergent
Then your washing is done in a flash.
Here’s a great video that the guys over at Overland Obsessed demonstrating it:
Scrubba Wash Bag: From Caravanning with Kids
8. ‘Love Your Travels’ Slimline Travel Mug: The Hottest & Coolest Caravan Accessories
There’s nothing worse than your hot drink going cold
[Or your cold drink going hot]
The guys over at ‘Love Your Travels’ are full-time travellers…
…and it looks like they’re serious about temperature control
They’ve sourced decent insulated travel mugs that keep your beverages the same temperature for hours.
Perfect while you’re on the move.
They fit perfectly in the car cupholder because they’re slimline.
Slimline Insulated Travel Mugs: Visit some fellow Aussie travellers at Love Your Travels
They also have some fancy looking cups that look like they need wine in them…
9. Folding Fire Pit: Warm, Fuzzy, But Not As Dirty
Everyone loves a fire.
Especially one that’s neat, tidy, and easy to control.
There’s a lot of parks and free camps that will only let you have a fire in a fire pit.
That’s why you need one of these:
Folding fire pits are one of the most popular caravan accessories for a reason:
They’re lightweight, pack up small, and they’re clean.
Perfect for roasting marshmallows.
Folding Fire Pit: Get from The 4WD Supa Centre on eBay
10. SafetyDave Reversing Camera: The Marriage Saving Caravan Accessory
Here’s the thing:
A reversing camera is the biggest stress-reducing caravan accessory you could EVER buy
Not for reversing the caravan…
…but for hooking the car onto the van.
It’s your choice:
a) Calmly reverse your car like a pro and hook it up first attempt
b) Be the 10 am source of amusement for other travellers
“Left, left. No! The other left! Keep it coming… Wait! Too far”
Now, a lot of cars come with these already factory fitted… but if your car is like ours?
A SafetyDave reversing camera is totally worth it. But if you’re after a cheaper way out?
Wireless Reversing Camera: Available on Amazon (for less than the price of a dozen roses)
11. Darche Firefly Camping Chair: The Most Popular Deck Chair for Caravan and Camping
When we were planning our trip we asked the Facebook gods:
What are the ‘must haves’?
Lots of people said to spend the money on a good quality deck chair.
Darche kept on coming up.
The plan is to be sitting in these things a lot and just enjoying your surroundings
So be very picky.
We ended up choosing these:
- Nice firm seat
- Folding side table and cup holder
- Good back support, and
- Not too big when folded away
Hint: Don’t buy the kids the mini ones with cartoon characters.
They just don’t cut it (especially if they’re trying to sit at the table with you)
[You spend half your time kicking them out of your good chair!]
Darche Firefly Compact Directors Chair: Best place I could find is Camping & 4WD Warehouse via eBay
12. Tow Mirrors: The Caravan Accessory You Need To Be Safe (And Legal)
I’ve spent way too much way time testing and researching these things
[You know you’ve reached a special point in your life if you tell the brand of a speeding vehicle’s tow mirrors]
But based on this:
The best caravan towing mirrors in Australia for 2019 are:
- Drive ‘Easy Fit’ (the best caravan towing mirrors on a budget)
- Clear View / BettaView Towing Mirrors or Adventure Extendable Towing Mirrors (like ClearView… but cheaper with better user ratings), or
- Milenco Aero 3 (the best caravan towing mirrors all round when you consider cost vs. function)
Read a review of each of them: The Best Caravan Towing Mirrors in Australia [2019 Review]
13. Hammamas Turkish Towels: The Perfect Towels for Caravanning
I’d never heard of a Turkish Towel until we got some of these as farewell gifts.
Turkish Towels are the best towels for caravanning becuase:
- They’re light and save space
- Even though they’re thin they’re super abosbent, and
- They come in pretty cool colours and patterns
[So you know who left theirs on the caravan floor!]
UPDATE! Hammamas Turkish Towels are now available here on eBay
14. Levelling Ramps: The Caravan Accessories You’ll Need Sooner or Later
There’s a reason why levelling ramps top our list of the most popular caravan accessories…
…because everyone needs them sooner or later.
We set off on our lap of Australia without them:
It only took a couple of (slightly) wonky campsites and the:
- Sink wouldn’t drain properly
- Fridge door would fly against the wall
- Caravan door would slam shut
[Almost trapping little fingers]
15. Tyre Pressure Monitoring System: The Caravan Accessory That Can Keep You Safer & Save You Money
At first I thought these were a cool idea
Then I saw the price.
But then I read one comment:
“If they stop you from getting one blowout, you’ve made your money back”
Especially considering the km’s and wear-and-tear from pulling a 2.5t van all around Australia
And safety: no one wants a blowout while pulling a caravan at 95 km/h
I was convinced.
TYREDOG Wireless Tyre Pressure Monitoring System: These are the top pick (recommended by the RAA), best price is from this search on eBay
They’re closely followed by the SafetyDave ones.
You can get them for less than $50 from Amazon too… and they look just as good!
16. Trail-A-Mate Caravan Jockey Wheel & Jack: So Popular You Need an Anti-Theft-Lock
Would you believe people actually steal jockey wheels?
To be more accurate:
Trail-A-Mate jockey wheels get stolen.
What’s so special about them?
Well, the Trail-A-Mate is one of the most popular caravan accessories…
…because it’s both a hydraulic jockey wheel that also doubles as a jack
[They’re that good]
They’re either stolen outright, or new shiny ones get swapped out for old crusty ones.
So the guys at Trail-A-Mate made these:
Here’s a quick video I made showing how they work:
Trail-A-Mate Anti Theft Lock: Best place to buy is from SunCoast Caravan Service, QLD via eBay (you can also get the Trail-A-Mate covers pretty cheap there too)
17. Weber Baby Q: The Most Popular Barbeque for Caravanning
You need a portable BBQ if you plan on caravanning anywhere warm…
…because the inside of your van heats up VERY quickly if you’re using the stove
[even if you have air-conditioning]
But here’s where we get controversial:
The great Weber vs. Ziggy debate!
So I’ll be upfront: I haven’t tried the Ziggy myself so I can’t make a comparison
But what I do know:
The Weber Baby Q is one of the most popular caravan accessories.
It’s small and no mess.
It traps in heat because you cook with the lid down so it…
- Cooks more quickly
- Uses less gas, and
- It makes food taste better (because it traps in the BBQ smoke)
And, they’re perfect for bacon and eggs because of their interchangeable plates
Weber Baby Q: Cheapest place I could find is online here on eBay (a lot of sellers at the same price)
18. DJI Drones: The Most Popular Drones For Caravan and Camping
If you’re in the market for a drone:
Pretty much there’s only one brand worth considering: DJI
Folding drones are the best drones for caravanning:
We have the Mavic Pro… and it’s awesome!
To be honest:
If the DJI Mavic Air was out at the time I would have bought one instead:
It’s a bit smaller and cheaper…
…but still does nearly everything the Mavic Pro can
19. Handheld UHF Radios: The Caravan Accessory That’s Popular With Kids Too
These were initially part of Mr. 5’s birthday present…
…but we found we kept on borrowing them!
Because you can talk between one of these handhelds and your car-mounted UHF, they’re perfect for:
- Reversing the van
- Keeping in contact with the kids when they’re on their bikes
- If you DON’T HAVE a car-mounted UHF
- Being reminded to come back from happy hour
[Well maybe they’re not great for that last one]
Handheld UHF Radios: Best place to get them is here on Amazon
20. Headlamp: Better Than a Torch for Caravanning
There’s no doubt that having your hands free to do ‘stuff’ is awesome.
But I’ll admit:
We’ve only hooked up our van a few times at night.
[Headlamps came in VERY handy those times]
So what else do we use these for?
- Visiting the toilet block
- Looking for frogs
- Changing over gas bottles
- Packing up as much we can the night before travel days
Now I’m very particular about having a quality head torch because of my time in the Army…
So I recommend: The Petzl ‘Tikka’ Headlamp from Amazon
[For the kids check out these animal headlamps from eBay]
21. Portable Solar Panels: Blankets vs. Folding Panels?
Portable solar panels are one of the most popular caravan accessories.
But what type?
We started our lap with a set of 160W folding panels
They were about $250… and were great for our power needs
[At the time we couldn’t justify the price tag for solar blankets]
But when we needed a second set for the car battery?
I couldn’t resist these from Kings:
Way smaller and lighter …and the price has come down A LOT
[Better at 200W but about the same price as we paid for our folding panels]
Even when we only need one set out in the sun, these are now our ‘go to’ source of free power
There are times when the folding panels are still better (they stand up by themselves)
So… we still use both
Kings Folding Solar Panel Blanket: From the 4WD Supa Centre online store
22. Air Fryer: Perfect for Cooking at Caravan Parks
The best way to describe an air fryer:
It’s like a portable mini-oven
Perfect for roasts, vegetables, pies, pasties, bakes apples, and dumplings
[They’re some of our regulars]
If you don’t have an oven?
We have a gas oven in our caravan… whenever we’re on a powered site, we use this instead.
Air Fryer: Best place to buy from is Kmart (closely followed by eBay)
23. Engel Car Fridge: Because Your Caravan Fridge Won’t Be Enough
Before you say anything:
Yep, I know this technically isn’t a caravan accessory.
And to be honest:
We travelled all over SA, TAS, VIC, and NSW without one.
[Would have been super handy to have the extra space though]
Once you’re in the Top End and Red Centre though?
One of these is a must have.
Shops are VERY far apart.
Now I know that Engel and Waeco are the most popular…
…but the Australian brand Evakool came with a really good recommendation
So we didn’t get an Engel, even though they’re the most popular
And you know what?
I can’t fault it.
[Way more energy efficient too]
Evakool Glacer 50L Fridge/Freezer: Cheapest place to buy is from Evakool’s store on eBay
24. Kogan 12 Volt TV : The Most Popular Caravan Accessory for the Realist
You’ve got visions of every evening outside… a book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
Wind. Rain. Heat. Cold. Midgies.
Don’t get me wrong, you will spend A LOT more time outside.
Just not all of it.
These are amazingly cheap, light, and energy efficient.
And, with USB ports, you can watch ‘The Greatest Showman’ 50 – 100 times
12V Television: Best place is Aldi or Kogan (they’re the same one)
25. Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board: The Most Popular SUP For Caravanning
These made our list of ‘Big Lap Must-Haves’ before we left home
[Inflatable so they take up less space on our roof-racks]
The idea was getting out on the water would be Natalie-time, away from the noise of the kids
You can see how that turned out!
They’re great for the whole family and can be used on:
- Flat water
- On waves
- They can even be used as kayaks because they come with detachable seat
We bought a good one (an iRocker) and a cheaper one
It’s safe to say:
Avoid the cheap ones.
[You can drive a car over the good ones… I’m reluctant to even stand on our cheap one]
Stand-Up Paddle Boards: We love our iRocker that we bought direct from the manufacturer
Want the best of the best? Check out Red Paddle Co.
Trouble deciding between the two? Have a chat to Galways Go Round (they’re the travelling family SUP experts)
26. GoPro Camera: The Indestructible Way To Capture Your Caravanning Memories
I never understood the fascination with these things.
Until we got one.
Everyone knows the saying:
“The best camera is the one you have with you”
You can have a GoPro with you ALL the time
Waterproof. Dustproof. Virtually indestructible.
This video was mostly filmed by Elliot (5) with our GoPro:
We took ours hiking the Kings Canyon Rim Walk, swimming under waterfalls at Edith Falls, and just drifting along on pool-noodles at Mataranka…
…you spend more time enjoying yourself than worrying about breaking your camera
GoPro Hero7 Black: We bought ours at JB Hi-Fi. The service sucked. And they’re cheaper online from Amazon anyway.
27. Mattress Topper: The Accessory You Shouldn’t Need For Your Caravan
My professional opinion as a physiotherapist:
A mattress topper shouldn’t be one of the most popular caravan accessories…
…because your caravan mattress should already be comfortable
But we know that’s not the case (since you’re still reading this!)
Will a mattress topper help?
Here’s the test:
Do you go “ahhhhhhhh” every time you lay down?
Well then my official diagnosis is: your mattress sucks.
If you value a decent night’s sleep fixing that should be your first option.
But it’s a lot cheaper and easier to get one of these.
Goose Down Mattress Topper: We got ours from Harris Scarfe because we were on the road… but they’re cheaper here on Amazon
UPDATE: We’ve since bought an Ever Rest Memory Foam Topper from Spotlight’s eBay store… and love it!
28. Qalo Silicon Wedding Rings
Why wear a silicon wedding ring?
Becuase diamonds are forever, but silicon is for every day.
We left our “proper” rings in a safe in storage:
No risk of ‘de-gloving’ injuries hitching up the van.
No sore fingers doing exercise.
And no problems losing them in the water
[Like losing one on a waterslide in Bali… true story]
They come in heaps of different colours and designs… we may have a bit of a collection now!
Another reason to buy them:
They look pretty cool!
Qalo Silicon Wedding Rings: Check them out at their online store
29. Compact Digital Camera: Because SLRs Aren’t Always Practical for Caravanning
Real photographers use SLR cameras.
Real photographers also don’t have 3 kids climbing on them, or asking non-stop questions.
So after reading A LOT of reviews the answer was a Compact Digital Camera
In particular: the Canon Powershot G7X Mark II
Why this one?
Even though you don’t have to worry about juggling extra lenses…
…the zoom is AMAZING
It’s as close to an SLR as you can get without the size:
You can get ‘depth’ in your images because of the large sensor
It’s an auto point-and-shoot, but…
…you still have creative control because you can manipulate the settings
It’s one of the best compact digital cameras for recording videos.
[A really cool feature is that it creates its own wi-fi network… you can transfer images to your phone or laptop without any cords]
Canon G7X Mark II: We bought ours from Amazon because it was the best price by a long shot
30. Travel Journal: Perfect for Caravanning With Kids
When we hit the road we were concerned was that Chloe would fall behind with her reading and writing.
That, and she wouldn’t remember our trip
So we made a daily travel journal… it was a shambles!
We’d be chasing down photocopiers in random towns, and there’d be pieces of paper floating around the van
We’re glad we bought this:
No pieces of paper flying around. No glue sticks. Or bits of glue on the table.
It’s funny, I initially thought it’d be cheaper to just do our own. In the end, buying a travel journal worked out cheaper. Crazy.
Caravanning With Kids Travel Journal: Available from… Caravanning With Kids!
31. Valco Baby Snap 4 Stroller: The Best Pram for Travelling Families
We’ve road tested A LOT of prams
Now that I think about it:
We spent more time researching our first pram than we did planning our lap of Australia!
So far we’ve tried out 4 prams just while we’ve been on the road…
….and the Valco Baby Snap 4 Stroller is the best by far.
We can see why it kept on getting recommended to us.
For us it’s the perfect blend of:
- Wheel size for rough surfaces
- The size it folds for storage, and
- It’s light weight
It’s also the only pram Eddie would have a decent sleep in because it reclines right back
There’s also a feature WE LOVE that you won’t read about in the glossy brochures:
Eddie sits himself forward by holding onto the rail at the front…
…we call it “meerkating”
Valco Baby Snap 4 Stroller: Best place we found was Babytime, Hoppers Crossing VIC via eBay
32. Tula Baby Carrier: Becuase A Pram Isn’t Always Suitable When You’re Caravanning
Unfortunately you can’t get a pram everywhere
[I wish we’d known the only way to get a pram to Nudey Beach on Fitzroy Island is to carry it. True story]
We have a selection of carriers in different sizes.
We’ve tried a lot of brands and styles.
Out of all of them:
The best carrier is undoubtedly the Tula
It’s comfy for both Bub and Mum/Dad.
You can climb mountains and you don’t even know you have a toddler on your back
[Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration]
Tula Baby Carrier: Best place to get these is here on Amazon
33. Folding Playpen: Keeping Toddlers Safe and Parents Sane
When we started travelling we were always told we were crazy for doing it with a newborn.
Here’s a secret:
Travelling with a newborn was easy.
Travelling with a crawler?
Not so much. At all.
Our playpen was a sanity-saver for us.
They fold away pretty small, and ours lived under the bench seat in our van
Eddie loved playing it it so much he’d lose it if we DIDN’T put him in it!
We bought the Perma Child Safety brand… but these now seem to be constantly sold out
[This one on Amazon looks pretty similar]
34. Lightweight Travel Portacot: Safe Sleeping Space For Your Travels
If you’re trying to find the best portacot – remember it’s different for caravanning
[It’s not like it’ll live in the cupboard and come out for the ocassional visitor or interstate trip]
The big things for us were that a portacot needs to be:
- Easy to set up and take down (to do it EVERY night)
- Lightweight, and
We started with the Baby Bjorn Easy Go Portacot:
It’s the simplest to put up and down.
It folds flat.
Great for everyday use.
[Pity Eddie wanted to sleep in our bed every night… and we’re suckers!]
When we were up in Darwin we picked up a Phil and Teds Traveller Cot:
- It folds smaller.
- It’s only 2.8 kg.
- And it has side access (perfect for installing in a caravan bunk)
To be honest – it is a little trickier to put up and down:
That’s why it’s set up permanent in the bottom bunk (the great thing about the side zip)
Baby Bjorn Easy Go Portacot: Best place is from The Nile‘s online store
Phil and Teds Traveller Cot: Baby Barn Discounts store on eBay is the best place we could find
Summary: The Most Popular Caravan Accessories For Families Travelling Australia
So this is the list of the most popular caravan accessories:
They’re things that we based on others’ recommendations… and everyone else seems to have them too
There’s also some smaller bits and pieces that make travelling Australia easier:
Otherwise comment below:
Any other caravan accessories we’ve missed? What else should be on this list?
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