Camper Van Packing List

I am working on the packing list for our southern minivan-campervan trip.  We will be staying a couple of nights with family and 4-6 nights in our van, should all go well. We will have access to laundry 1/2 through our trip.  We want to pack what it needed, but not too much.  Don’t want the chaos in the van to make the space uncomfortable!

  • Curtain to divide the front bucket seat from the back sleeping compartment.  I shortened an old shower curtain a few inches to fit the floor to ceiling height in the van. We won’t want the curtain up during the day, so it needs to be easy to take up and down. The hook holes along the top will make it easy to tie up and remove as needed.
  • Cooler, small – This first trip will include time with relatives and we will be in a number of cities, at least for the first part of the trip.  We will plan to eat out some, so we will pack minimal food products.
    • Yoplait Go Big -12 (our youngest son’s diet includes A LOT of yogurt)
    • cut vegetables
    • fresh fruit
    • lunch meat/cheese
  • Kitchen supplies
    • napkins
    • wet wipes
    • 3 flat bowls
    • 3 spoon/fork/knife combos
    • matches/lighter
    • 3 travel mugs
    • hot chocolate packets
    • ground coffee
    • pour over coffee maker
    • small dish soap
    • disposable dish rags- old cut up bath towels to wash and try with
    • electric tea kettle
  • Bedding
    • 1 cot (for my 6’4″ husband)
    • 1 foam pad (for my 7 year old and myself to share)
    • 3 pillows
    • 3 quilts/blankets/sleeping bags
  • Creature comforts/personal items
    • battery operated rechargeable fan
    • phones with chargers
    • tablets with chargers (loaded with books/audio books)
    • 3 camp chairs
    • 4 changes of clothes
    • personal toiletries/medicine
    • swimsuits- just in case
    • pajamas
  • Misc
    • extension cord
    • 3 ponchos
    • 3 microfiber bath towels
    • ball
    • tarp
    • rope
    • small first aid kit
    • flashlight
    • blanket for park or beach

If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. Thank you.




IMG_0929It has been about 5 months since our family last traveled and I have been busy mentally planning our next adventure(s).

Over last couple of months I have been exploring the idea of creating a camper van for our family of 4. We live in the city and we don’t have room on our property to store a pop up and I don’t want to add the extra hassle of storing a camper off location, so a stand alone camper is out. I love the idea of being free to roam the US in a van. I’d like to travel west with our kids in the next couple of years, and the camper van would allow us to travel place to place with minimal set up and tear down—the worst part of camping. I’d like our camper van to also be one of our primary vehicles.

My husband, who is a bit leery of the camper van plan, suggested we try it out first in our minivan before making a new purchase. Sensible.

Our eldest will be traveling to China with his grandparents for two weeks this spring— the remaining 3 of us will be taking a road trip south and we are planning to test out the minivan camper on that trip.

I have been making plans for a temporary van dwelling setup- I made a curtain to separate the front two seats from the back sleeping compartment. We plan to take out one of the 2nd row bucket seats so that my husband (6’4″) can sleep lengthwise in the van on a cot; our youngest and I will sleep horizontally across the back, with our feet under his cot.  This should leave us with 3 seats for traveling and a place for all 3 of us sleep.

We will open the back venting windows and crack the sunroof for ventilation and I plan to purchase a battery operated fan to circulate the air.

For this trip we will keep a limited amount of food in a small cooler and plan to eat some meals out (part of the fun of travel), so we do not need to pack as many supplies in the van.

I’ll post pictures as the project progresses.