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Camping is one of those activities where you expect to be covered in dirt and have a tub of dirty dishes at the end of your trip. With the rise in camper vans making the backcountry so accessible, and comfortable, you can enjoy the outdoors in the same way, but come back to a much easier camping experience.


Depending on how big of a budget you have, and what you are using your van for, you can build your van with everything from wooden walls and ceilings to full bathrooms. If you are more adventure focused, and are looking to optimize storage space for bikes, paddle sports gear, and more, you have less room for large scale extras. That doesn’t mean you still can’t have those amenities though.


1. Showers


Even if you don’t have a full-on bathroom inside of your van with a pull up shower curtain or walk in space, you can still wash off in or out of your van. There are companies that make pressurized hot and cold portable showers, so you can rinse off after a long hike or ride in the backcountry. Being able to bathe after a long day of dust and dirt is the ultimate luxury in the backcountry.

There are a couple of choices for power; solar, battery, and propane.


A solar shower is a simple and easy tool, but it can take a few hours for the water to heat up.

Battery powered showers by themselves supply great pressure for a relatively small size. These options will need to be paired with some other sort of heating tool if you want hot water though.

Propane is your best bet for getting hot water when you shower, although they still use a battery to pressurize the water. This is often an expensive and bulky option.


2. Toilets


It is a long weekend, and you want to spend maximum amount of time in the backcountry, but you are sick of squatting over holes in the ground, or you’re in an area that requires you to pack out your waste. You can install several different toilet options into your van. Everything from composting toilets to flush cassette toilets and bio bags. For a more in-depth list of bathroom options, visit here.


3. Mosquito netting


Magnetic mosquito netting over your door can be a life saver when you are trying to cook but you still want to enjoy the fresh air. If you are in a location where there is a lot of water, there are probably a lot of bugs as well. You won’t regret protecting your van from mosquitoes.


4. Window Shades


Window shades and black out curtains are key for your van. If you are road tripping, black out curtains are a great for when you are sleeping near light sources, like in Walmart parking lots or on residential streets. Traveling across the country in your van can take you a lot of places, and window shades can hope you block the sun, add privacy, and regulate temperature inside of your van.


5. Suspension


Building out your van can add a lot of weight to your vehicle, adding suspension can help support that strain. Adding a good suspension can help a lot on back dirt roads, taking a lot of the stress off the internal build as well. No matter what, driving down a washboard back road for thirty miles is going to clack the teeth in your skull, but a suspension can help protect your vehicle in the long run.


Little added touches can drastically improve your outdoor experience. VanBuilders can help make your van build better. With a trained crew of technicians, we can help you add everything from roof racks, heaters, and lights (as aftermarkets) to toilets and showers (when designing a build). Want to know what we can do for you? Give VanBuilders a call!

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