Buying advice: top 25 motorhoming accessories
Words by Iain Duff
You’ve decided on what new motorhome to buy – but that’s only the beginning.
Now it’s time to stock up on the little (and not so little) extras that will turn it into a home away from home. We've come up with 25 accessories – from a tea towel to an electric bike – that are guaranteed to improve your motorhoming life.
Outdoor Revolution Campeze inflatable sofa
Give your awning a touch of comfort with this two-seater sofa, boasting a hard-wearing 420 denier polyester cover with protective PU coating.
It has a maximum load of 240kg and the armrests and backs claim to be supportive, while it all packs away in a handy carry bag and weighs just 7.3kg.
In terms of size, the sofa, when inflated, is 1.60m by 0.85m by 0.75m, with a 0.38m seat height and 0.60m depth.
Expect to pay £114.99 for the sofa, while the optional 12V air pump costs just £7.99 (why wouldn’t you make life easier for this little money?) and you can increase comfort levels with the matching footrest, which is priced at £29.99, or cater for parties by buying the chairs, too, for £79.99 each.
Weber Q 1200 gas barbecue
In the world of barbecues, there’s probably no name more famous than Weber, which offers all sorts of products from patio gas cookers to charcoal smokers.
However, here we’re looking at the latest generation of Q-Series barbecues. The Q 1200 has one burner offering 2.49kW of heat over porcelain-enamelled cast-iron grates (43cm by 32cm) and is powered by a disposable canister.
This particular model has a built-in thermometer and electronic ignition, but you can opt for one without this gauge and push-button lighting, while the larger models in the range can be powered by a motorhome’s external gas barbecue point. It weighs 13.2kg, with dimensions of 40cm high by 104cm wide and 42cm deep with the folding side tables out.
This Weber Q 1200 is available direct from Weber, as well as at garden centres or various online outlets.
JSK Silicone Collapsible Containers
We love JSK. It’s a great one-woman-band company run by Jacquie, who lives in a teardrop caravan in Australia and invents some great accessories.
New is a range of collapsible silicone airtight containers with wire rims for stability, which can be used in the oven, microwave, fridge and freezer. The rectangular ones come in a two-pack, each measuring 17.5cm long by 11.5cm wide and 6cm high, collapsing to 2.5cm.
Ion8 Leakproof Steel Vacuum Flask
With plastic taking the place of diesel as the world’s most demonised item, you will have to find another way to deliver your daily water consumption while being at one with Mother Earth.
Leakproof has the answer with its Ion8 steel flasks. You can refill this with tap water to your heart’s content.
When asked, our reviewer quipped that it’s a bottle that is covered in pineapples, so out came the spotlights in drab surroundings and the interrogation commenced.
The results of this inquisition found that the Ion8 keeps liquids cold and it can definitely be jostled about in a bag all day without spilling, plus it’s easy to open with just one twist. The bright design is an added bonus, too.
You can feel smug that you’re doing your bit for the planet, as well as making the world around you a little more pineappley, or cherry filled or cupcakey... there are other designs to choose from!
It may be a little chilly for outdoor chairs in the UK just now, but if you’re heading down to the Med or want to get your gear bought for next season, then here is the Derwent from Outwell.
If you enjoy watching a neighbour trying to put up a new awning or a new tugger attempting to reverse a caravan onto a pitch, then this is the chair.
You can settle down and watch their antics in comfort for a good while with extra cushioning in the back and neck rest – there’s even a foldaway cup holder for when you really need to concentrate.
Our reviewer praised its comfort, as well as the fact that it’s lightweight (4.5kg) and compact – folding up into a carrybag with shoulder strap (should you need to move position for a better view of the argument across the other side of the site). Its pack size measures 18cm by 18cm by 95cm, if you have to measure your cupboard.
Vecta Personal Safe
Security mechanisms on modern vehicles are pretty high tech, with alarms and immobilisers that are hard to hack. But that’s no good when someone can just get hold of your keys and drive off. It’s easily done.
Think about it – how often do you come through the door, chuck your keys on the sideboard and leave the front door unlocked while you feed the dog?
Perhaps you’re not quite that careless but would a burglar be able to find the keys if your house was broken into?
For peace of mind and a mere £149, it’s a no-brainer to install a wall safe in your house where you can keep small valuables such as keys. This one from Vecta is an electronic safe that uses a four-digit PIN. It’s approved by both Sold Secure and Secured by Design.
The advantages of electric bikes are clear – they allow cyclists to go that bit further from the motorhome pitch on two wheels, even if their knees are not what they used to be. There are so many to choose from, and now you’ve got another brand to consider, Midlands-based manufacturer, Wau.
Its bike offers a number of unique features, including very smart integrated front and rear lights – they act as running lights, brake lights and indicators.
In addition to this, the bikes have integrated alarms, geofence GPS security/tracking (through an app) and the option of faster charging (with the £99.95 supercharger).
The lithium-ion battery stores in a locked compartment within the frame, but can be easily removed for charging.
The standard 10.5Ah battery offers a 40-mile range of pedal assistance, while there is a 24.5Ah model offering 100 miles and a 55Ah model providing up to 215 miles of pedal help.
You also get a digital display, 250W rear wheel hub motor, 28in double-walled alloy wheels, aluminium frame and disc brakes.
The bikes weigh from 22-28kg depending on battery size and suit riders from 5ft 3in to 6ft 4in tall (120kg max weight limit).
OK, so the Wau is not cheap, but, if you like all the bells and whistles, then these bikes are certainly worth a look.
Telic Flip Flop
There’s something wonderful about the flip flop. It may be just that we wear them when the sun is shining, so they evoke warm feelings. Whatever the reason, we have also been warned that some are not great for foot health.
Not so for these Telic sandals, the American manufacturer claims. Launched in 2012, these have been designed to help feet recover from energetic activities such as hiking and cycling.
The sandals have a slight stretch, meaning they should be able to mould themselves to fit all foot shapes.
The heel is slightly rounded, too, and an arch support spreads body weight across the whole foot, thus reducing the risk of specific pressure points in one place.
Choose between various styles from the standard Flip Flop (£35), the sandal-like Mallory (£40), the Dream with a covered toe (£45), the Z-Strap with z-shaped top pattern (£35) or the Recharge Slide with open toe (£35).
Jake & Nayns’ Burritos
We’re big fans of the Naanster movement. There is surely nothing better on a cold day than a tasty curry sandwich.
Well, if you’re not a curry fan, the people behind the Naanster brand, Jake and Nayns’, have moved to Mexico (not really, they’re still based in Leicester) and discovered the burrito.
Available in four flavours, our favourite was the pulled pork, but there’s also a vegetarian jackfruit one and two types of chicken (jerk and Mexican), which were tucked into with gusto.
Each also comes with rice and kidney beans. Simply pop the packet in the microwave for 90 seconds and then burn your mouth by eating straight away or patiently wait for a minute or so until it has cooled to non-volcanic temperatures.
Buy these at a Sainsbury’s priced around £2.50 each (also available at Spar, Londis and Co-op).
Outwell Padres Double Kitchen Table
Apparently, the sideboard has been delighting our dining rooms since the eighteenth century, so it’s about time the well-heeled motorhomer or campervanner got a camping version to use in their free-standing awning! Step forward the Padres, from Outwell, to act as your on-site cocktail cabinet.
This unit sports a bamboo worktop and the entire structure unfolds in seconds to create a large sideboard (1.20m by 0.50m by 0.80m) with two compartments.
And, because of its lightweight construction (aluminium frame and zipped polyester compartments), it will not eat into your payload too much. It weighs just 10.8kg. It has adjustable feet, mesh ventilation and four side pockets for things like corkscrews.
AlcoSense Lite 2
You know how it is. You go out for a lovely meal, have some wine and then retire to the motorhome (maybe with a nightcap).
Then you get up at a reasonable hour, pack the motorhome and are about to head off to your next destination... but wait, you may still be over the legal blood/alcohol limit for driving (and these levels differ across Europe, with some countries having much lower limits than in the UK).
Alcohol is removed from the system at roughly one unit per hour, although this varies between men and women, and is affected by how much food you’ve eaten, your weight and your metabolism.
So, pack a breathalyser to make sure you are fit and legal to drive. This new version from AlcoSense is the Lite 2. It’s very simple to use: switch it on, place a straw in the side and blow into it. It gives you readings of ‘Lo’ (fine to drive), and then increments of 0.1 up to the user-set limit.
You can order a carry case for £12.99 while extra blow tubes cost up to £4.99. It’s a simple gadget at a good price, plus it just makes sense.
Easy Camp Map Holder
Hiking used to be called hill walking and was the preserve of oddballs clad in plus fours paired with knee-high itchy woollen socks, an explorer hat and sporting a beard.
But a lot has changed since those days. Getting outdoors is trendy now and one must look the part; in fact, that’s more important than not getting lost, which is why map cases haven’t changed much since they were invented.
As you’d expect, this one features a string, so you can wear it around your neck and get slapped in the face by it on windy days. A robust plastic and Velcro seal creates corners sharp enough to take an eye out, too. Still, at least your map will keep dry.
Outwell Cornillon L
How excited can you get by a box that’s also a seat? Well, very, if you are us. This Outwell product, in a very fetching grey, would not look out of place in a designer home.
Simply unfold it, put the supportive wall in the middle and place the cushioned lid on top. Voilà! Storage that can double as a nifty coffee table or an extra seat. It’s pretty strong, taking the full weight of our reviewer (she stood on it and it still held, although we don’t suggest you try that at home).
It claims to support 80kg and you get 40 litres of space with a 49cm by 30cm footprint and a height of 29.5cm when in box form (6.5cm when folded). And all this for £28. That’s a steal in our book. There’s a smaller version, too, costing £22.
If You Care roasting bags
Have you ever wondered, when browsing the secondhand stock at your local dealer, how the kitchens look so good, almost as if they have never been used?
Well, they might have belonged to someone who liked eating out, or having barbecues, or they could have been owned by a Lakeland lover, if these bags are anything to go by.
You can keep your oven tip-top shiny by sticking your Sunday roast into one of these non-stick bags before cremating, sorry cooking, it (up to 220˚C only). You can also use them to roast fish and vegetables.
Eco-credentials are not lost, either, as these bags are unbleached and chlorine-free and can be recycled simply by sticking them on the compost heap.
Zippo Flex Neck Utility Lighter
Zippo dates back to the 1930s and is a household name that’s synonymous with lighters – particularly those rectangular windproof ones that were issued to the US military during World War II.
Nowadays, however, since being a smoker makes you about as popular as having syphilis did back in the days when smoking was cool, Zippo has had to branch out and now offers a whole range of stuff for the outdoors, like this butane-fuelled Utility Lighter.
It’s designed for lighting things like barbecues and campfires and the flexible swan neck makes it ideal for awkward grills, too.
It’s got an anti-slip rubberised handle so it doesn’t accidentally fly off and set fire to the curtains, while a hook means you can hang it out of harm’s way when not in use.
Henrietta’s Kitchen Camping Kit Tea Towel & Greeting Card set
Motorhomers might like to think they stand out from the crowd by being into something different when, in reality, we’re no different to anyone else with a hobby.
We like to demonstrate our passion by adorning our houses and motorhomes in a load of hobby-related paraphernalia so that visitors cannot fail to miss what we’re into.
As you can imagine, the camping sector is a huge market, which Henrietta taps into perfectly with hand-drawn designs used to create her Essential List of Camping Kit tea towel and matching gift cards.
Postcards and recipe cards are also available. It’s a quirky range that brings a smile to your face and, therefore, makes a perfect gift for fellow camping fanatics.
Near the Motorways
Near the Motorways, by the wonderfully named and amazingly well-spoken Hugh Cantlie, is an antidote to the horror of motorway services.
It’s the perfect book for motorhomers as it encourages you to make the journey part of the holiday, never settling for soggy sausage rolls and lukewarm roast dinners.
Now in its twelfth edition, the book contains 200 restaurants, hotels and pubs that are just a five-minute drive from a motorway junction.
Each section contains brief information about the towns you could stop at and there are also some listings with places of interest nearby, too. The illustrations are lovely, while the simple maps offer clear directions. Just note that this is not a motorhome-specific guide, so parking for larger vehicles has not been assessed.
Robens Rydal C66
These Robens carbon walking poles are pretty nifty, weighing just 446g a set. They’re 110–130cm long but cleverly fold up into three pieces measuring 37cm long, so they’re super-compact and easy to stow away in the supplied carry bag.
Thetford Grey Water Fresh Concentrated
Could you get any more snore-worthy than talking about grey and fresh water tanks in the same sentence?
Not likely, but stick with us as this product is worth a mention and it won’t take long. Thetford has a new addition to its space-saving Concentrated range, called Grey Water Fresh.
Simply add it to your sink or shower drain after you’ve emptied your grey water tank and flush with water.
It banishes any potential pongs that may ooze up through the pipes and drainholes and reduces ‘deposit’ formation in the tank.
It also means a fresher-smelling emptying process.
Being concentrated, you only need to add 80ml to a 100-litre tank (if it’s over 30˚C add a little more), and that will last up to five days. Bottles are 800ml, which is 10 doses. Shop around, as we found this product at various UK shops costing from £7.95 up to £13.
Vango Grivola boots
“These boots are made for walking,” sang Nancy Sinatra, and it’s pretty much a given that most boots these days are made for walking. Well, at least the ones we review are; you (well, we) wouldn’t go prancing about the hills or campsite in patent stiletto versions.
Outdoor gear specialist, Vango, offers a range of stout footwear and these Grivolas are intended for tough and boggy terrain.
Our trusty reviewer found that they didn’t need breaking in and they are pretty lightweight, plus they are just as comfy around town as they are on the hills.
Even though they are fabric, the upper is waterproof and lined with a ProTex waterproof and breathable membrane. Once thing to note is that sizes are European, so will suit people that are a half-size.
The biggest is 47, which fitted our size 11 reviewer. The boots are priced at £80, with sizes from 41, and you can get them in blue, green or black. There’s a women’s version, too, in sizes from 36 to 42 and blue or grey colour choices, also priced at £80.
Outdoor Revolution Collapsible Lumi Mosi lantern
It’s a lovely sunny evening and warm enough to sit outside under the awning, watching the glowing sunset recede while quaffing your favourite tipple.
There’s just one annoyance, the midge and mosquito problem. Tiny in size but large in impact, these little blighters could quite easily ruin your perfect holiday evenings.
So, invest in a mosquito killer and why not get something that adds another function, like this Lumi Mosi Mosquito Killer Lantern from Outdoor Revolution?
For the bargain price of around £24.99 you can have a hanging lantern and an ultraviolet insect zapper all rolled into one.
The LED lantern has three brightness settings and can be used with the fold-out hook or on a table. It can be used to charge your devices too.
The battery, topped up by USB, is stated to last for around eight hours. If you don’t have USB charging points in your motorhome or campervan, then accessorise with the company’s 12V USB charging hub for just £19.99.
Easy Camp Backgammon Cool bag L
Putting the cool into cool bag, this new offering from Easy Camp features an unusual but striking ‘backgammon’ design.
As well as looking good, it has plenty of practical features. Its contents will stay cool for seven hours, using an 800ml ice pack and it has a detachable shoulder strap, a front zip pocket and a large top opening. It comes in three sizes: small, medium and, as seen here, large.
Outwell Caleta Camping Aircondition
Would you buy a car or motorhome without air-con? No. Well what about the living area of your motorhome? With temperatures on the rise, the days of saying we don’t need gadgets like that are gone.
However, fitted air-con can be heavy and expensive, won’t fit all motorhomes and can take a lot of power.
There is another option, like this evaporative cooler from Outwell. It works by blowing air across water to cool it. It has three power settings, three fan modes, a remote control, quiet operation and 7.5 hours’ running time.
Measuring just 26cm by 31cm by 57.5cm, it only weighs 5kg. It works better in a dry heat and the motorhome should be well ventilated as this does introduce moisture-laden air (although it can be used just as a fan without water).
Zempire Roco Low Rider
Zempire’s new Roco range of camping chairs has a real touch of natural style. Durable and lightweight, the chairs have frames made from beechwood imported from Germany, combined with breathable canvas.
They have a weight capacity of 150kg and come with a foldaway cup holder.
The chair is also available in a lounger style and as a more traditional, aluminium-framed camping chair – but still with the canvas seat material.
Kampa Ebony Cobble dining set
We can’t guarantee your cooking will be Michelin-standard (or even Come Dine With Me), but for a touch of fine dining in your motorhome, have a look at this new 16-piece dinner set for four from Kampa.
Included in the set are dinner plates, side plates, bowls and stackable mugs, all in the same classy-looking black melamine.
Images courtesy of Outwell and Wau