Man using laptop at back of campervan
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The Best Tech Gadgets For Campervans and RVs

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For many travelers, a campervan is the ideal mix of accommodation, storage, and transportation all in one. It’s ideal for freely exploring the countryside or making your way from one remote campsite to another, far away from civilization and crowds of people.

As great as they are for moving from place to place and giving you somewhere to sleep when you get there, though, the tech inside many campervans hasn’t kept pace with the demands of the modern traveler.

That’s especially true if you plan on working remotely from the road, where everything from power to connectivity can end up being a major challenge. 

Most campervans come with a 12v socket and basic USB ports for charging a phone, but on smaller models in particular, that may be all you get. There might be a traditional electrical outlet for powering larger devices if you’re lucky, but usually only one.

Even then, it often works only if the campervan is connected to a power source at a campsite.

Interested in portable power and off-grid gadgets? We’ve also put together recommendations for the best power banks and portable generators as well.

Of course, just because the tech features you need aren’t built into your camper doesn’t mean you can’t add them yourself.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my favorite gadgets for campervans, including solutions for charging multiple devices, maintaining a reliable Wi-Fi connection, and entertaining yourself on the go. 

Power Inverter

BESTEK Upgraded 300W Power Inverter for Car, Inverter DC 12V to 110V AC Converter Car Outlet Adapter with USB-C PD 18W Cigarette Lighter Plug, 2 AC Charger Outlets and Dual 2.4A USB Ports

This BESTEK 300W power inverter is one of those gadgets I recommend time and time again. It’s the best solution I’ve found so far for safely, reliably, and affordably powering all kinds of electronics from a 12v vehicle accessory port. 

The latest model of this inverter has 2 AC outlets and 2 USB-A ports on the device itself, and an 18W USB C PD socket on the plug. That’s enough capacity to simultaneously charge your laptop and most or all of your other mobile devices at full speed.

Be sure to check the maximum power draw of whatever you’re plugging into it: as the name suggests, 300W is the most it can handle. In general, as long as you avoid high-power appliances like electric heaters, fridges, or hair dryers, you should be good to go.

The inverter boasts of being travel-sized, and it is, but it’s still a bit bulky if you’re a lightweight traveler. That doesn’t matter once you’re driving around as long as you can find somewhere to stow it, but it can be a factor before and after if you’re only renting a campervan for part of your trip.

The cable situation can also get a little chaotic in the front of your vehicle when you’re powering several devices at once and trying to find a home for them, the inverter, and the various charging cables. It’s manageable, but you just need to take a little care to avoid ending up with a tangled mess.

Remember to tuck the inverter, along with all of your other charging cables, well out of sight when not in use. This helps prevent vehicle break-ins, since a power inverter is a sure sign to a thief that you have devices worth stealing.

Buy on Amazon

USB C Charger

Ugreen 130W car charger on a wooden table. Charger has two USB C ports and one USB-A port.

You may not need an inverter for your laptop at all if you have one that, like most, charges via USB C. This UGreen 130W charger delivers up to 100W of power from one of the ports, and 18-30W from the others, all from a 12v car port.

What does that mean in the real world? In short, it’s powerful enough to charge any USB-powered device you’ll have in the car with you, including laptops. You’ll still get full charging speeds even with two devices plugged in at once, which is fairly unusual: the combined output of the two USB C ports is 130W.

This is the charger that lives in my car most of the time, and gets dropped into my day bag whenever I’m off on a trip that’s going to involve driving a rental (or someone else’s car). It’s been super-reliable, and has charged any USB device I’ve plugged into it.

I was on a road trip with a couple of people in the back seat recently, and everyone’s phone was starting to get low on battery towards the end of the day. No problem: we all just plugged into the UGreen and were almost fully charged again by the time we got to our next stop half an hour later.

Can’t ask for more than that!

Looking for something a little different? Check out our complete list of the best car chargers for road trips.

Buy on Amazon

Portable Generator With Solar Panels

Laptop plugged into portable electric generator on a table overlooking a backyard.

If you’re looking for an off-grid solution and have a bit of extra storage space, a large-capacity portable generator can be a huge convenience on the road. When paired with solar panels, a setup like this offers endless power no matter how far from an outlet you happen to be.

Portable generators like these come in a variety of different types, depending on what you need to charge. Something like the Jackery Explorer 300 Portable Power Station can be paired with 60 or 100W solar panels to provide endless clean energy. You can buy the generator and panels separately or as a bundle.

The generator provides ~300 Watt-hours of power at up to 300W (500W peak), charging in 3.5-5.5 hours via a solar panel, 12v accessory port, or wall outlet. From that, you can charge most laptops twice, a recent iPhone around 30 times, or run a car refrigerator for four hours. 

You get one 60W USB C Power Delivery port that’s powerful enough to charge most modern laptops, two USB-A ports, and two 110V AC outlets for small appliances. A 12V DC socket is also included for devices you’d normally power from a vehicle, such as lights, air compressors, or a car cooler.

If you plan to be off grid for days at a time or need to power larger devices, versions with up to 1000Wh/1000W are also available. I was very impressed by the Jackery Explorer 1000 when I reviewed it.

No matter which version you go for, if you have the space, this is a handy device that gives plenty of extra flexibility on any campervan journey. Most of the vanlifers who travel in small campers have a setup like this, and for good reason: it just works.

Buy on Amazon

Wi-Fi Range Extender

ALFA Network WiFi CampPro 2v2 (Version 2) Universal WiFi/Internet Range Extender Kit for Caravan/Motorhome, Boat, RV

After power, the next biggest question is how to maintain a reliable Wi-Fi connection on the go. Whether you’re working from your van or just want to stream your favorite Netflix show, you need to be able to get within range of the nearest Wi-Fi hotspots and have a stable connection when you do.

Alfa has been making quality long-range Wi-Fi extenders for a very long time, and has now developed a kit intentionally aimed at RVs and campervans. The Alfa WiFi Camp Pro 2 is a long-range Wi-Fi RV system that will pick up a weak wireless signal from up to several hundred feet away, boosting and repeating it as your own personal hotspot. 

The kit comes with everything you need, including a Wi-Fi repeater, outdoor wireless receiver, weatherproof aerial, and the cables to connect it all together. Setup only takes a few minutes, and after that you’ll have better access to Wi-Fi across all of your devices.

Alfa gear generally looks about as boring as can be (the company clearly doesn’t spend its money on attractive industrial design) but in my experience, is super-reliable. We’ve relied on its products for years while traveling, and have no complaints about it.

Buy on Amazon

Unlocked Portable MiFi

NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 4G LTE WiFi Mobile Hotspot (MR1100-100NAS) – Up to 1Gbps Speed, Works Best with AT&T and T-Mobile, Connects Up to 20 Devices, Secure Wireless Network Anywhere

When even the Alfa kit above doesn’t get you within range of a Wi-Fi connection, it helps to have your own data connection beyond just whatever your phone can provide. 

An unlocked portable MiFi lets you drop in a SIM card from any provider, maximizing your chances of finding a signal when your usual cell carrier has little to no service. You can share your data across multiple devices, and it’s a good backup option for connection problems when you’re working on the road.

The Netgear Nighthawk M1 mobile hotspot is a great place to start. It provides 4G/LTE support throughout most of the world and can drop back to 3G where it still exists, which makes it useful almost anywhere your travels take you.

You can connect up to 20 Wi-Fi enabled devices at once, more than enough for all of your own devices and a few friends as well, if you feel like sharing.

At 8.5 ounces, it’s compact enough to bring along on day trips as well, and the impressive 11 battery life means it’ll last most of the day as well. There’s also a USB port on the side, which lets you get a bit of charge back into your phone or other mobile device if you need to.

Back inside the RV, the M1 can double as a media server in the evenings or on rainy days. Plug in a USB stick, hard drive, or microSD card with some movies on, and it’ll stream them over its Wi-Fi connection to any device you have connected.

Note that Netgear has released an updated version with 5G support, the M6. It’s very expensive for what it offers, though, so unless you’re desperately in need of 5G coverage, I’d suggest steering clear until the price drops significantly.

Buy on Amazon

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Mini Projector

Nebula Capsule 3 Laser projector on stone tiles with blurred metal fence in background

My final gadget isn’t a practical necessity, but it will make your evenings more enjoyable and likely win you some friends during your travels. The Anker Nebula Capsule 3 Laser is one of the best portable projectors on the market, and Dave has been super-happy with it whenever he used it on his own trips (he reviewed it in detail here).

This projector was made with portability in mind, weighing a little over two pounds. You can get smaller ones, but you probably shouldn’t: the Full HD resolution and 300 ANSI lumens of brightness on offer are the minimum I’d go for to make it useful.

The roughly two-hour battery life is enough to get through most movies on a single charge, or you can run it with the charger plugged in, via an extension cable if necessary. Any USB C charger that can put out 45W or more will power the projector, including the car charger and generators I mentioned earlier.

The 8W speaker provides surprisingly good, albeit mono, sound, and is loud enough to comfortably listen both inside and outside your camper. If you’re watching while parked somewhere particularly noisy, though, you can also connect an external speaker or soundbar via Bluetooth or the headphone jack.

Buy on Amazon

Main image via Brina Blum, photos of UGreen car charger and Nebula Capsule 3 Laser via Dave Dean, Jackery generator photo via author, other product shots via Amazon

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