The pop up camper life is an unassuming and unglamorous one. These vehicles tend to be on the smaller side, so there’s not as much room to stretch out compared to a Class B motorhome or even a travel trailer. Bathrooms aren’t always included, and bedroom space is limited.
That means you’ll spend a lot of your time outside camping beneath the canopy of stars. Cooking and showering will often have to be done outdoors as well. It’s a life that isn’t for everyone. That said, you can make the pop up camper lifestyle more palatable by picking up some necessities your vehicle might be missing.
I refer to small and inexpensive changes and additions that will really make your pop up camper feel more like home. Here are some necessities you might be interested in as well as links to related products courtesy of Amazon.
1. Outdoor Shower
Just because you can’t build your own bathroom nook in your camper doesn’t mean you have to forego hygiene. An outdoor shower is probably more affordable than you thought and much easier to set up than anticipated.
One of the most recommended outdoor showers for RVers and camper enthusiasts is Southern Enterprises’ Curtis Outdoor Shower. I’ve written about it before, but it deserves a second mention because it’s that good. This shower is built from sturdy stainless steel and decorated with an oiled Indonesian eucalyptus base. It’s lightweight at 35 pounds yet can support users who are 300 pounds.
The Curtis outdoor shower has a height of 94.5 inches, a depth of 32.75 inches, and a width of 31.5 inches. It’s compatible with most outdoor faucets. To use it, all you have to do is hook it up to your camper’s water hose. You can then enjoy a rain-style shower when you need it most.
Update! If you are looking for great budget-minded option, then I highly recommend this JAYETEC Portable Outdoor Shower with 4400mAh rechargeable battery. It is not only cost effective, but also highly-rated, safe and simple to use.
You never know when you’re going to have to tinker with things around your camper. Having a toolset with all the trimmings gives you the confidence that if you ever run into an issue, you’ll have just the tool to fix it.
That’s why I like this Deko Tool Set. It’s a highly-rated product, and did I mention it includes 196 pieces?
The case the toolset comes in has a reverse mechanism and quick-release switch for easy and fast opening and closing. All pieces are made of chrome-vanadium steel and completed with an appealing full polished chrome finish. Not only will each tool look good then, but it’ll be corrosion-resistant and strong as well.
Here are just some of the tools you can expect in this all-encompassing toolset:
- Combination wrenches
- Hex keys
- Nut bits
- Screwdriver bits
- Drive tools
3. Pocket Projector
You can’t always expect to have a reliable Internet connection when you’re out camping. A pocket projector lets you and your family or friends view movies the old-fashioned way.
The DR. J Professional Video Projector is a solid pick. It’s another Amazon’s Choice product and is and very highly-rated. That’s probably because it’s compatible with all sorts of setups, including SD, AV, USB, VGA, HDMI, Fire TV Stick, and the Roku Stick. You can also use it with Android and iPhone smartphones, iPads and other tablets, some media players, Blu-Ray DVD players, laptops, PCs, and Chromebooks.
This outdoor projector has an average distance of 1.5 to five miles, so you can set it up almost anywhere near your camper and still see great-quality picture. The watching size of the projector is 32 inches to 176 inches. The lamp should last 40,000 hours, promising many movie marathons ahead. This projector has a contrast ratio of 2000:1, an aspect ratio of 4:3/16:9, and a native resolution of 840×480. It also supports resolutions of up to 1920×1080.
4. A Broom
You never know when you’re going to need to sweep things up, and doing so without a broom or dustpan is a real challenge. What else are you going to use, paper plates? Yeah, exactly.
This Casabella Basics Broom with Dustpan is a bestseller on Amazon for a reason. It’s inexpensive and includes two cleaning tools in one. The broom has bottom flagged bristles to capture more dirt. The dustpan will gather lots of dust and dirt too with its pointed teeth on the edges. When you’re done, simply attach the dustpan to the broom and stash both in a corner.
When you have a tiny kitchen with minimal counter space, you have to get creative in how you prepare dishes. A Crockpot makes it easy to whip up homemade meals every night you camp. You prepare the ingredients in the morning, let the Crockpot do its thing all afternoon, and then come back in the evening for a delicious, filling meal.
This Crockpot Slow Cooker (available on Amazon here) is six quarts and costs less than $100. The lid and stoneware can be taken out and cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher. You also get large handles for easily transporting the Crockpot around your kitchen without burning yourself.
Spills won’t be an issue, either. The rubber gasket and Secure-Fit locking lid will keep everything in place as they make a seal that’s airtight. You can’t ask for more in a moving vehicle!
The back of the Crockpot has a cord management system so the cords don’t get all messy and tangled. At the front of the cooker is the control panel. This lets you set your cooking time, with 30 minutes the minimum and 20 hours the max. You can also change cooking intensity from low to high.
If you’re out having fun longer than expected, you won’t come back to your camper and a cold meal. The Crockpot will activate its Warm setting when cooking is done so the food maintains its temperature. With Thermoshield insulated sides, you also get more heat retention.
The Crockpot can make meals big enough for seven people.
6. Collapsible Storage Containers
Unfortunately, most pop up campers lack all the little hidden storage compartments and spaces you’d find in travel trailers or smaller motorhomes. That doesn’t mean you have to skimp on what you bring. Collapsible storage containers make for a great space-saving solution for camper owners like yourself.
CleverMade’s 62L collapsible storage bins (check current price on Amazon here) are somewhat large, but you won’t be hurting for space anymore. You can get a three-pack of bins or just one. The bins are mostly made of plastic and can compress until they’re under three inches. You also get plenty of room in the bins, as they can stash 66 pounds of your gear, cargo, equipment, and other belongings.
There are side grip handles included with every storage bin so you can easily transport them. You only need dish soap and water to clean the bins if they get dirty. As a pop up camper owner, you have enough to be responsible for. Quick, easy, convenient storage is now one less thing to worry about.
7. Space Heater
Heating and air conditioning can be a little lacking with some pop up campers, especially the smaller models. If you and your family or friends are tired of shivering the whole night through, invest in a space heater. Everyone will be glad you did.
TaoTronics Space Heater is a favorite on Amazon with more than 350 reviews as of this writing. It switches off or on completely on its own, sensing the ambient temperature of the room and then working to warm it up as needed. You can even set the auto thermostat on so you can retain the same temperature all day or night.
If you by chance knock the heater over while behind the wheel of your towing vehicle, there’s no need to despair. You get tip-over protection with Trustech’s space heater. The device powers itself down so it doesn’t overheat and cause damage to your camper. That can save your passengers and your vehicle from a potentially devastating fire.
Slim, lightweight, and with its own handy carrying handle, TaoTronics space hater can warm up to 1,500 watts.
8. Indoor Speaker
If you or any of your passengers are avid music listeners, you need some source of audio for long camping trips. Listening to your favorite tunes on your smartphone, laptop, or tablet may seem like a smart idea, but the constant buffering from unstable Internet makes any song unlistenable. Not only that, but you’ll kill the batteries of your devices quickly with no way to charge them right away while boondocking.
Enter an indoor speaker. A small one like the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker is an inexpensive (less than $100) option that should be able to fit in even cramped pop up camper setups. That’s because the speaker is a mere 3.87 inches wide and 3.87 inches high.
Since the speaker has Bluetooth connectivity, you can use it for more than just listening to music. If you connect Google Assistant or Siri to the SoundLink Micro speaker, you can make or receive phone calls.
When it comes to listening to music, you’ll enjoy six continuous hours of tunes. The battery, once it dies, can be recharged. You can travel up to 30 feet and still get good wireless range. Also cool is that this speaker is waterproof, so if it gets caught in the rain or you bring it near the shower, it’s good to go. Plus, it’s a Bose, so you know you’re going to get superior sound quality.
The Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker is available in colors like dark blue, bright orange, and black.
9. Mattress Topper
Most pop up campers come with mattresses, but these may not always be the most comfortable thing in the world. You may also be lacking support and wake up with an achy back.
Although a mattress topper is just foam, it can make a big difference in how well you sleep and how good you feel when you get up in the morning. The Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper is a highly-rated Amazon product. It’s available for a variety of mattress sizes, including twin, full, queen, king, and California king.
No matter which size you choose, this mattress topper is covered in memory foam. This reduces pain on pressure points by moving with your body. You also get better weight distribution, so if you share your bed with a partner, you’ll both be more comfortable.
Even better is that this mattress topper is infused with gel that controls and cools your body temperature. You won’t wake up sweating on those hot summer days, even if you can’t keep the AC running all night.
10. Wi-Fi Signal Booster
I’ve mentioned several times throughout this article how the Internet is not so great when camping. This is something that’s not exclusive to pop ups. If you’re staying at a campground or state park, you can’t expect to have speedy Internet.
If you’re an adult, then you can probably live without the Internet for a few days. You may even welcome the chance to unplug and get back to nature. If you have kids or teenagers, though, they’ll be bored and downright desolate without access to games, social media, and other entertainment.
Any device that can get you better Internet would be welcome. That’s why we think you should make some room for a Wi-Fi signal booster. This one from Rockspace has a very high rating on Amazon, which is a testament to its quality.
To use it, you need to plug the signal booster in and then hook it up to an available Internet network. The included gigabit Ethernet port even lets you connect a video game console or smart TV to the Internet. How handy, right?
If you or a fellow passenger wants to play a video game online or stream video, you can switch the Victony signal booster to its High-Speed mode. This blends 2.4-gigahertz and 5-gigahertz channels for more bandwidth and better Internet for all.
11. Collapsible Coffee Dripper
If you can’t go without your morning cup of coffee, then a coffeemaker is crucial. That said, a device like that takes up a lot of room in your camper kitchen that you simply don’t have. What do you do? It’s not like you can run to a local coffee shop every morning, either.
A coffee dripper can get some java in your veins so you can get through the day, or at least the morning. Kuissential SlickDrip’s Collapsible Silicone Coffee Dripper will help you make your daily pot without taking up so much room. This coffee dripper is made of tough silicone that can be cleaned in your sink or dishwasher. There’s no chemical taste or odor absorption to worry about, either.
Plus, as we said, when you’re done, you can just collapse the dripper and hide it away for next time.
12. A Mini Cooker
I mentioned how a Crockpot is a great item to have when living in your pop up camper, but what if you want quick meals right away? A mini cooker that can heat up and cook food is ideal for satiating growing appetites.
The Total Chef 2-Liter Multi Cooker (on Amazon) will let you whip up meals like you’re back at home. It’s small, weighing about five pounds and measuring 9x15x15 inches. Still, it’s mighty, with a capacity of three liters of food.
The cooking surface is non-stick so you never have to waste valuable camping time scraping old food off with a spatula. You’ll even cut back on your energy usage. According to Total Chef, their mini cooker takes up less energy compared to oven cooking, 80 percent less.
[box] Whether you’re the glamping type or you just want some creature comforts when you go camping in your pop up, the above list is a great place to start. These items will make your life easier and more comfortable. Who could ask for more?[/box]