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20 Genius Hacks For Van Life & Campervan Road Trips

Campervans and motorhomes are the ultimate way to experience the beauty this country has to offer. However, there is an art to having a great campervan road trip. Every road traveller will tell you that there are a few essential tips that will completely transform a regular campervan holiday into a trip to remember. If you are looking for the top tips for your campervan trip, we have you covered with these 20 genius hacks for van life. Let’s dive in.

1. Use apps to find free camping spots and cheap gas spots

One of the biggest joys and challenges of van life is finding a great place to park. Finding somewhere that is not too loud, not too quiet, with the right amenities, and so on – can be challenging. Luckily there are plenty of apps that help you navigate this. One such app is the thl Roadtrip App – the perfect companion to life on the road. In this app, you can find places to park, local dump points, local attractions, water fill-ups, and so much more. Another invaluable tool for life on the road is Fuel Map – an all-in-one tool to help you check gas prices in an area to ensure you get the best deals!

2. Always have emergency water on hand

One of the perks of travelling in a campervan is having your kitchen (and sometimes even a shower!) with you at all times. The downside is you have to be mindful of your water consumption. Sometimes, you may find yourself at a rest stop that does not have drinkable water. Or, you may find yourself travelling down never-ending roads in the outback. Whatever the case may be, having additional water on hand is essential for those unpredictable moments of road travel.

3. Utilise bungee cords to keep van items secure

When you are constantly on the road, items that are not secure may shift around the van or break in the process. Bungee cords are a cheap and easy way to secure loose items. Whether it's helping keep your cupboards safely fastened or your clothes from shifting in the cupboards, they are infinitely helpful in a campervan. These are typically found at your local hardware store or Bunnings.

4. Bring items that are collapsible

When you hire a Mighty campervan, things like kitchenware, bedding and other van life essentials are already included with the camper. However, if you are looking to bring any additions, be sure to consider collapsible options. Items such as collapsible Tupperware, chairs, umbrellas etc., while not essential, can really add an extra dose of fun to your Australia road trip adventure.

5. Download music or movies for offline access

Sometimes, being off the grid can be a nice escape from technology and a great way to connect with nature. However, it can be nice to have the option of movies or music for late nights or rainy days. However, phone service isn’t always a guarantee on the road. So, we recommend that you download a bunch before your trip. That way, you’ll have them ready to go - rain, hail and no service.

6. Stuff your cushions if you lack storage space

If you are packing for a trip and can't quite minimise your belongings - why not try stuffing your pillows? This is a handy van life hack for when your storage space is at an all-time low. Simply pull out your cushion-inner and replace it with clothes or towels. That way you can still bring everything you want, without overcrowding or cluttering the campervan.

7. Only pack the essentials

As a general rule, it pays to be a minimalist when on the road. While it may be hard to narrow down your packing list, try and stick to bringing only the things you actually need. Try planning out your activities and the outfits you need for each, and then see if you can use certain items more than once!


8. Get vertical hanging shoe racks

When it comes to campervan holidays, clutter is a sure way to bring down the experience. Nothing like having to climb over piles of clothes or tripping on shoes on your way out the door for an adventure. Hanging shoe racks are a great way to combat clutter on the road. These perfectly sized sectioned spaces are a great way to get clutter off the floor and keep things organised.

You can also utilise hanging shoe racks as door and wall storage for other items like bathroom products – a total game changer.

9. Keep flies away with Pine-Sol

In Australia, flies can often be a problem during warm weather. A handy trick to keep these sticky friends at bay is to use Pine-sol. Wiping down your camper surfaces with a mixture of water and Pine-Sol is a perfect repellent to deter flies – giving you the much-needed peace and quiet to enjoy your campervan road trip around Australia.

10. Get a gym membership to take showers

If your campervan does not have a shower, you’ll need to figure out a way to shower on the road. One of the popular options for showering is to use gym showers. If you are travelling short term, you can typically just show up to most gyms and ask to use their showers. This typically costs anywhere between $2 and $7 per shower. As such, if you are travelling more long term, it may be useful to find a cheap gym membership that has locations throughout Australia. This will mean you have easy and cost-effective access to their facilities wherever you go!

11. Invest in a wifi extender or data connection booster

While much of the coast of Australia is swimming with unlimited wifi, the more remote interior towns are known for their limited and patchy network connectivity. In these times it can be helpful to have a wifi extender or connection booster. This is especially important for anyone who still has to work whilst on the road. It’s important to note that not all campsites/holiday parks have a great connection, which can also help in this instance.

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12. Make the most of public cooking facilities

If you are travelling on a budget, a great way to keep down your expenses is by making the most out of public cooking facilities. You will already save money by cooking in your campervan, but using public facilities such as public barbecues will help you save a little extra by reducing your gas usage. These are typically found at local parks, beaches and some campgrounds.

13. Avoid driving between dusk and dawn

Dusk and dawn are notorious for being unsafe on the road in Australia. This is when the wildlife comes out, and with the limited visibility, this can lead to accidents. Driving during these hours can put their safety and your safety at risk. To help reduce this risk, make sure to plan your driving during daylight hours!

14. Keep your eyes peeled for deals

Who doesn’t love a good deal? Saving a little here and there is a great way to extend your travel budget, so you can get the most out of your campervan holiday. One great way to save is to check out our deals page before planning your road trip to ensure you get the best prices. These can include anything from seasonal deals to accommodation combo deals and more.

15. Travel in off-peak seasons

Travelling in the off-peak seasons has been a travel hack amongst the most seasoned travellers for a long while. Turns out they are onto something – less tourists, cheaper accommodations and activities and so on. Try booking your adventure in the shoulder seasons outside of summer for beautiful weather and incredible prices! For more on budget travel, check out our guide to how much to budget for a road trip.

16. Book early

Travelling in the off-season isn’t always possible with work and school. If you are travelling during these peak periods, one of the best things to do is to book ahead. Booking your rental and campsites well in advance will ensure you get the dates and locations you want!

17. Don’t bring a hardside suitcase

If you want to save storage space, a hardside suitcase is not the way to go! Instead, opting for softside luggage or duffle bags that can easily be stored in cupboards during your trip, is a simple space saver for campervan holidays. Want to stay organised while travelling around? Why not invest in packing cubes to help organise your gear and make it simple to pack and unpack!

18. Fill up your tank frequently

When travelling the country by campervan, it's important to keep your tanks full – especially in more remote areas. You don’t want to get caught out on long stretches of roads, running on empty. One simple way to combat this is to use the thl Roadtrip App to find local gas stations, and save them to your trip itinerary! Then you can save this map to be offline, and you will have it wherever you go. Pair this with the Fuel Map app to compare prices in more populated areas, and you are covered for your Australia road trip.

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19. Always account for extra driving time

When you rent a van to travel Australia, it is a good idea to plan out how much driving you will do per day. As Australia is so large, it can be easy to underestimate these distances and end up driving for the majority of the day. Planning out your driving will ensure you have enough time for activities and exploring outside driving!

Our biggest tip for planning driving time or a road trip itinerary is to make sure to account for stops in your time. Chances are, you’ll need to make a few stops to check out some cool views or have a toilet break or tank refill. These can add up, so it’s best to just add on time beforehand so you don’t end up rushing to your destination.

20. Arrive at freedom camping spots early

Freedom camping spots are the pot of gold at the end of a long day of travel. The problem? Other people tend to have the same idea. These spots, particularly in busy areas, usually fill up by around 5 pm. So it is best to try and get there earlier to secure your spot. This will also mean you avoid driving at dusk, and have time to cook up a perfect campervan-friendly meal in your new home for the evening.

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Book your next Mighty adventure

There are so many simple hacks that make van life and campervan road trips that much better. With these 20 campervan hacks, your campervan adventures are about to get a serious upgrade.

Ready to experience van life and rent a travel van for yourself? Book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online. For more tips on saving money on your campervan trip, as well as for more travel inspiration for your upcoming Australia road trip, be sure to check out the Mighty blog.