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10 Essentials For The Festival Campervan

You have a festival to visit and you are lucky enough to own or you are renting a campervan for the occasion. What are the most important things to take with you? What will you need the most in your little Festival Campervan?

VW type 2 campervan at a festival
10 essentials for a festival campervan

1. Portable Toilet

A portable toilet sounds a bit grim but if you have had the pleasure of using a festival toilet 2 days in then you will be delighted you brought it along. Queues for festival toilets can be long. If you can pop back to the van, it is not just more relaxing but helps out when time is not on your side if you know what I mean!

There are 4 things you are going to need for a successful portable toilet scenario:

It sounds like an elaborate setup but it will be the best thing you buy for your campervan, not just a festival.

2. Bottle Opener and Something To Open!

What’s your tipple? Alcoholic, Non-Alcoholic? Drinks are required for survival and celebration! Most festivals have to provide drinking water so a simple refillable bottle will help rather than carrying 20 bottles of water to last you the weekend. A few bottles of water won’t go amiss, the festival taps can get pretty muddy by day 2 so you might be glad for a bottle or two.

If you like alcohol then you have a campervan so you can drive plenty into the festival. Be aware that many festivals don’t allow glass bottles so my suggestion of a bottle opener might not be that useful. In reality, no one checks inside your van and as long as you’re not wandering around with a glass bottle you are unlikely to get challenged.

3. Food

All festivals sell food and it’s one of the main ways traders make their living. Things can get pretty expensive if you are doing breakfast, dinner, and tea. Each meal is going to cost each individual £7 to £10 so without doing the maths, that’s an awful lot for a four-day festival.

cereal variety pack, you can pour milk straight into the box!

We eat once a day from the traders and take the rest ourselves. Breakfast is just a box of cereal, a variety pack is great because you can pour the milk straight into the packet (My wife taught me that!!) Hotdog sausages in a can and some hotdog buns are quick and dirty dinners. don’t forget the can opener and the hotdog mustard and ketchup. A can of tuna, mayo, and bread. Pot noodles or instant noodles are also a winner. You have a stove and a kettle on hand in a campervan so it can be put to good use.

4. Cool box or Fridge or Both!

Go for both, trust me on this one. A decent cool box can act as a seat full of beer and who doesn’t want that! You can use a cool box to keep food in. keep the milk cold and a bag of ice for the gin and tonic. Keep ice in a cool box? won’t it melt? of course, it will but here’s how we use ours.

Put all your food and drink in the cool box (Pre-chill the food and drink), and fill it full of loose ice (it’s about a pound a bag from the corner shop, 4 bags should do it. Keep one bag sealed (for drinks) and the rest can go in loose.

There are some really good cool boxes out there and you can use them not only for festivals but for day trips too. Here’s the cool box we use. The Coleman Xtreme range can keep things cold for up to 5 days! I can vouch for 4 days as that’s the longest festival we have done and there was plenty of ice left in there.

5 A Shower (Are You Kidding!)

Some festivals are starting to provide shower blocks. They are generally cleaned daily, but the queues can be horrific, especially in the morning.

Small campervans tend not to have shower rooms. These are more reserved for the motorhome.

I have a separate post on the hot water and shower system I built in our campervan. Click here to read it. There’s an easier way to incorporate a shower into your festival campervan (well outside your campervan would be better). You’ve already bought the toilet tent from the beginning of this article so you are halfway there. next, you will need a collapsible bucket and a rechargeable shower. Half fill the bucket with cold water from the festival tap, Boil a kettle full of water on your festival camper stove. pour the water into the bucket. Take the bucket and the rechargeable shower into the toilet tent and it’s like home from home! Don’t forget to take your towel!

You can purchase solar showers that heat up from the sun but in the UK, hoping for the sun at a festival is fifty-fifty.

6. The RidgeMonkey

Are we talking about a wild animal here? Are we taking a cliff-edging primate with us to a festival? Of course not but no festival campervan is complete without a RidgeMonkey, a type of frying pan I guess. So why didn’t I just say frying pan? Because it’s a frying pan with a lid. Why didn’t you just say frying pan with a lid for goodness sake? Because it’s more than that. Calling it a frying pan with a lid would be an insult!

It’s a frying pan with a hinged lid, that comes apart and makes two frying pans. The handles detach and store inside. It’s made of aluminum. Our model came with a cheese grater and a monkey slice. Does it belong in the top 10 items to include in a festival camper? Indeed it does.

Those part-baked baguettes, they’ll fit in and on a low heat will bake beautifully. Pain au chocolat, they’ll taste like fresh baked French cuisine with a few minutes in the RidgeMonkey. Pizza, Toasties, all the things you would have while camping, here in the RidgeMonkey you can now enjoy. I could dedicate a whole article to the RidgeMonkey. Actually, I’ll put it on my list.

No festival campervan is complete without a RidgeMonkey!

7. AeroPress

Here’s one that sounds like an iron on an aircraft. The AeroPress will make your fresh coffee in the middle of a festival field. In the case of my wife, the AeroPress makes her little bottles of sweetened espresso which she stores in the cool box and adds cold milk to for that chilled frappe in the middle of a festival field.

I’m not a coffee drinker so I have no idea how well they work.

I blindly make espressos to store in the fridge and make the odd coffee for the wife, not having a clue of whether it tastes good or not.

All’s I know is that my wife loves me for it and wouldn’t be without it. That’s why it made it onto the list and I feel other coffee drinkers will think the same. again, I think I’ll do a whole article on the AeroPress so watch out for that.

8. Flag and Flagpole

How does this benefit you when camping at a festival? I would guess that around 70% of campervans have flags and flagpoles at festivals. They don’t just give a great festival feel. The main reason is to allow you to find your campervan in a sea of campervans! Imagine hundreds of campervans in a field, how will you find your way back to yours?

There are many types of poles to choose from, telescopic, sectional, 4metres, 5 metres, or 6 metres. Then you have to choose your combination of flags. It’s not always flags, It can be beautiful spinning windsocks.

9. Beach Shelter

Stick with me on this one. Many of the smaller festivals will allow the pitching of gazebos within the arena. With British inclement weather, this is a great idea, but we have found pop-up beach shelters are the way forward.

Here’s the make and model we chose. The Easthills model is small enough to carry and big enough to put 2 chairs in! The kids sit around the edge and we sit like king and queen in the middle. I don’t think any beach shelter is waterproof but they fair well in light rain showers. They could well allow you to see that band you didn’t want to miss!

10. Cart/Wagon

It’s often a distance from the campervan to the actual arena and you have to consider how you will transport all your chairs, beer, cool box, and children. A wagon is the answer.

The one on the right is quite expensive but we chose it because it was strong enough to carry the kids and they can sleep in there while we are pulling them around in the evening.

There are lots of cheaper ones out there that may well suit you.

Don’t forget to buy some battery-powered fairy lights so festival-goers are less likely to trip over the cart at night!

Bonus: Ear Defenders

This one is essential for any festival with kids.

The noise levels from the stage and general surroundings can be overwhelming and could well be damaging to your children’s ears.

This didn’t make it onto the 10 list because it depends on whether you have children or not.

Whether you choose to take everything off the list or select just a few. You will surely have a fabulous time!

Here’s a link to my hot water camping shower idea for those with a diesel heater in their van.

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