When we started planning this trip, we spent a lot of time researching vehicles, campers, battery vs. solar, the big (and obvious) stuff.  What we never really thought about was the everyday stuff, we had originally hoped to do a couple of shake out trips to figure that stuff out, but the camper was delayed and we had to figure it out on the road, which has worked out for the most part.  Recently I was asked what piece of gear I would recommend as an absolute essential to anyone planning a similar trip, narrowing it down to one item is impossible, however here is a list of stuff that we didn’t know we would love when we started, but would now consider essential. {the below views are our own, we have not been paid or sponsored by any of these products}

1. Soap sheets (who knew these even existed!)

We picked these up at a dollar store somewhere and immediately loved them, but we’d only picked up a couple of packages, lucky for us my Mom likes a challenge and she started buying out whole dollar stores of them, we now have more than we’ll ever use in the camper and a small supply at home too, but for $1 you can’t go wrong.  Plus I should mention that these are biodegradable, so safe to be used anywhere. But best of all, no messy bottle leaks!

2.  The bucket sink

Of course the camper came with a sink, but there is no grey water tank (which is fine by us).  What we are supposed to do it hook up a hose to the drain (on the outside of the camper) and the have the hose run into some sort of “waste collection” system.  We had the system and used it twice, it was a pain in the ass.  Thankfully at the dollar store I came across our trusty sink bucket, now we just chuck the water out, no hoses, much easier.  Also the bucket is multi purpose, you can use it carry dirty dishes to outdoor sinks at a campsite, which inevitably are giant concrete sinks with no plugs, so again the bucket comes in handy to fill and wash in.  It’s also been used as a sick bucket, but we’ll save that story for another time.

3. Weather tight boxes

Dan procured these gems, we have 6 altogether, 2 large, 2 medium and 2 small.  The small ones hold our first aid supplies and our “overflow” toiletries and cleaning supplies.  Then we each have a large and a medium box for our stuff.  The large ones hold our clothes and the medium our footwear.  By the way we both have way more clothes than we need.  The boxes are also useful as little tables in the camper.  The nice things about these totes is that they are very strong and the seal up nice and tight so everything stays really clean inside and the lids never pop off (oh and they’re stackable).


4.  Small Tupperware and bins

These were just some bits of Tupperware that we decided not to leave in our apartment and then repurposed for the truck.  The containers with the lids are great for keeping spices and herbs, dry and contained.  And the bins make a great crisper for the fridge.

5.  Endless breeze fan

This was something I read about on Life Remotely or Home on the Highways blog, we almost didn’t get one because we’d never really gotten hot on the trip in the early months.  Then we arrived in San Diego, after one sleepless night we spent much of the next two days trying to get our hands on one.  A local RV store managed to order one in for us, but when we arrived to collect it the DC plug was shattered.  But this is why I love small shops, 3 people went to work calling other shops, warehouses and suppliers, their efforts paid off and we were able to drive across the city and pick one up from a wholesaler.  The fan, was then hardly used, in Mexico and Guatemala we were always at elevation and it cooled down nicely at night, but then we got to Honduras, we used it every night in Nicaragua and most nights in Costa Rica.  We probably wont need it much in South America but it’s something I would never be without.

6. Level

A simple tool that lives in a cup holder in the cab of the truck, sometimes it turns into a heated discussion piece, as Dan likes the camper perfectly level, but that is sometimes impossible.  However it is nice to have this in the cab, we’ve met a lot of people whose levels are on the outside of the truck and they never use them because its inconvenient (and it was cheap).



7. Mats and a brush

These should seem obvious, but we picked all these things up as we went.  The last addition was the outside mat, which really should have been the first, but we are learning.

8. Tick remover

I had never even seen a tick before this trip, Dan picked this up somewhere and seeing as it is tiny it was thrown into the first aid box “just in case”.  Alarmingly I have now found 2 ticks on me, within a month of one another.  The first was on my arm, I woke up in the night and scratched my arm where I thought I’d been bitten by something, to find something attached to me, but it was on the back of my arm and I couldn’t see it.  So I totally freaked out, woke Dan up (it was 4:30am), he took one look and said, where is the tick thingy.  Exactly one month later I found one attached to my hip, no less disturbed but calmer I got the tick thingy out and had Dan get to work.  We have no idea where these things are coming from, or why they like me but lets hope we don’t need the tick thingy again.

* just f@%*ing take it

Anyone have any travel item’s that are a must for them?

Categories: Overlanding, The Hulk (aka our truck), TravelTags: , , ,


  1. Yup…we still have more soap sheets, but as long as we keep them out of water they will not go bad. So glad Dan picked up the ‘tick remover’ and now that you know it works…stop making pets of them H! Maybe eat more garlic or get some stinky shorts…ha ha! xoxo


  2. Glad to see that a bucket made the list!


  3. The list is a brilliant idea sure it will be helpful, reading about the level brought back memories of our adventures with you in Arizona – We never could fault your levels ! xxxx


  4. We just bought a camper, and are getting lists of things we will be taking with us. Thanks for this one!!


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