top of page

Main accessories for the airframe

Now I want to talk to you about the main accessories to be installed in the camper cell (or which you may find already installed if you buy a used one), to be clear those generally sold after market by dealers.

Main accessories for the airframe
Main accessories for the airframe

If, on the other hand, you want to take a look at everyday accessories , from wedges to clotheshorses, I suggest you read this article .

Before delving into the useful accessories, I have to make a small clarification by asking you to answer the question "what is a motorhome for you?" It may seem like a strange question, but for accessories, it all depends on your opinion. The two most extreme answers are emblematic :

  • a camper is a house on wheels, I need an oven, microwave, electric coffee machine, juice extractor, and much more

  • a camper is a van with a bed, all I need is a comfortable mattress and a stove.

In short, there are hundreds of accessories for the camper, all are useful and all are useless , it's up to you.

My personal answer to the question is that, except for special needs and specific situations, a motorhome must allow me to travel easily, without wasting time setting up and dismantling a camp, it must offer me "camping" internal comfort and it must be autonomous (neither I speak later).

Start from your idea of ​​camper and evaluate the accessories according to your needs (you know, these will change, but you can always adapt).

The awning , the one fixed to the wall above the door and which opens "by crank", is certainly one of the most requested accessories, it is useful at stops (where opening is permitted). I feel more like recommending its installation than against it, but personally I practically never use it, I've even had campers without it. The important thing for me is that it remains a simple awning , without side walls, mats on the ground and other gadgets that make it an anchor. It must open and close in two minutes.

I consider the bike rack or other system for transporting two wheels to be important. Keep in mind that bike racks have a range and even the walls on which they are installed can suffer if too much stress. 4 adult bicycles are heavy, you have to come up with something to support them: there are those who tie a strap between the outermost channel and the luggage rack (in an attempt to unload the wall a little), there are those who build a support (like leg ) bottom to "pin" in some way on the frame and make the bike rack a sort of shelf (but these changes should be put in the booklet and I don't think they can be approved). In essence, up to three bikes any solution is fine, from four upwards I consider the garage locker or a roof rack necessaryinstalled on the frame (it is not always possible). Possibly the "2 in and two out" solution is excellent : 2 on the bike rack and 2 in the garage.

The inverter (did you read the description in the definitions paragraph?) is certainly useful, we all depend on the batteries of our cell phones, cameras, computers, and for these uses a small 600 watt inverter is enough, however it needs to be installed ALWAYS by competent professionals. For everything that can be recharged via USB, it's better to install a few sockets here and there, to avoid waste and unnecessary installations.

To use appliances that need more power (classic the hair dryer) you need bigger inverters, but also consider that an inverter "transforms" the current from 12 to 220 volts by wasting some of it, so you must have a sufficient reserve , sizing the battery pack adequately. You must also have an inverter-battery connection done in a workmanlike manner, badly installed inverters catch fire .

The current generator . I find it really difficult to talk about it, but it is an often requested accessory. Sure, a lot of electrical consumers = a lot of energy needed. Who has an air conditioner and wants to use it without being connected to the 220, for example, how does he do it? But a generator (even if there are silenced ones) annoys the neighbors (especially if they are neighbors), burns petrol and smells bad. Except for special needs (for me practically limited to health reasons only) I would never take it into consideration .

The air conditioner is also a very popular accessory. For use it needs to be connected to 220 volts (therefore in a campsite or rest area, it can also be used with a generator, but for this read my opinion above), on hot days it is effective, like those at home. In addition to normal air conditioners, there are also coolers that operate on 12 volts by exploiting the evaporation of water (they have their own tank). It seems that they are becoming more and more fashionable, there are those who speak well and those who speak badly about them. I'd like to gather the opinions of those who have it in the comments .

Rooflight with fan: it is a good helper for the air exchange in the vehicle. Excellent if capable of sucking in or extracting air, because it will be useful for expelling vapours, odours, humidity and heat, or, by turning it in the opposite direction, for forcing fresh outside air into the vehicle. It works at 12 volts, so it can always be used (compatibly with the electric range). It is important that it is silent, so that it can also be used at night (it helps to keep the cell cool), that it has more speed (to identify the best useful flow) and that it is equipped with a mosquito net (perhaps easily removable without tools). Generally these portholes are applicable in roof openings of 40x40 cm. There are various types and brands, but my advice is to install a good one, the savings in this case translate into noise during use, one or two speeds, single direction of rotation. For years i have been usedTurbo Vent della Fiamma , for some time there has also been a new product, more expensive but which promises a lot (I haven't personally tried it) in terms of usability (even in case of rain) and versatility (it has a thermostat, and is equipped with a remote control), it is called MaxxFan Deluxe .

The photovoltaic system , or the solar panels that are often installed on the camper: is it needed? Of course yes, it recharges the service battery and the engine battery (if the system is equipped with a paralleler or equivalent function in the charge regulator), and therefore increases the electric autonomy. But it all depends on your way of experiencing the camper: are you strictly sedentary? Do you always stop at campsites or equipped areas? Do you do a lot of free time? Do you move very frequently? Do you consume a lot of electricity? In my first camper (kept for 10 years) I had only one service battery and the utilities were only the lights, the water pump and the ventilation of the stove (it was a Trumatic, so the ventilation had its own separate switch), I never installed a solar panel. But my travel style was highly itinerant and I hardly managed to spend two nights in the same spot, so there weren't many batteries to recharge (mobile phones, cameras, PCs, tablets), much less electric coffee makers, no 'there weren't even many rest areas and therefore, every now and then, we entered the campsite to load and unload, "a knock" on the batteries and maybe do a washing machine. It worked.counteract the self-discharge of the batteries , even if a good battery switch does its duty very well. Summing up: the panels are a good way to increase energy autonomy (among other things while respecting the environment), but it is said that not everyone needs them, depending on how the camper is used, and in every case they can be installed at any time.


bottom of page