Stay one step ahead with campervan safety essentials

As you embark on thrilling journeys and create unforgettable memories, it’s important to prioritize safety. Enjoy a safe and enjoyable travel experience by having the right safety gear in your campervan.

What safety gear do you need for a safe trip?

We will guide you through the must-have safety gear for your campervan without spending a fortune.

1 – Campervan safety essentials: Escape tools for your journey

No matter how long the trip, having escape tools in any vehicle is essential to driving. Thankfully I have not had to use it. I hope that I never will. However, having this seat belt cutter and a hammer for breaking glass in your campervan can save your life and your family.

  • Hammer to break glass and cut seatbelts – If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to open doors to escape your campervan, the hammer can crack your window. However, you will still need to push the glass to escape using your foot. The hammer has stainless steel points that easily break the glass on one end.
  • On the opposite end is the seat belt cutter, which will slice through your seatbelt. It is a small blade, which can be awkward to use, but you should not panic.
  • I have the Autoark car safety antiskid hammer seatbelt cutter and emergency glass puncher from Amazon. It is two a pack and is attached to a black holder that you pull the device out quickly. Practice pulling out of the holder so you feel confident with it. I also have an older version with metal prongs at the back that push into the carpet near your seat. This holds the safety device in place. Unfortunately, this one does not, and I have not been able to find these any more. I keep one on the side of the driver and another on the passenger’s side. I attach it to the side door with velcro so it does not move about in my vehicle. This is important because if you are in a crash, you need to be able to locate it straight away.
  • Not only is the emergency hammer and seatbelt cutter for your safety, but if you see an accident, you can help others.

2 – Stay Visible and Stay Safe: Emergency Warning Triangles for Campervan Travel

Emergency reflective triangles should be used if you break down during the day or night. Not only for your own protection but to warn other users that there is a hazardous obstruction in the road.

  • Always have more than one emergency triangle. one that can be kept at a distance of UK 45m (147 feet). However, you need to use your own judgement as if you are travelling on a high-speed road such as a motorway, it may be advisable to have the emergency triangle at a further distance. Place the other triangle 22m (73 feet) from your car.
  • Having more than one emergency triangle will increase the visibility of your vehicle.
  • I have two foldable emergency triangles and a battery power emergency triangle.
  • The two Crayfomo foldable emergency triangles from Amazon I have are lightweight, so you need to be able to weigh them down. Otherwise, they can easily be knocked over in the high wind or as traffic goes past them. Especially if they have not slowed in the following lane. Lories are the worst. They are not ideal, but they offer protection and can help if you are on a budget. To weigh them down, you can use bean bags.
  • For a more solid warning triangle is Ourleeme, which is battery operated. So you always need to ensure you have spare good quality batteries. It has a solid support to avoid falling over, which converts into a carry handle. There are four settings, bright, low, flashing and solid red lights. It is much smaller than the foldable warning triangles, but I always feel extra safe with this in my boot. Although I have not had to use it yet. There is no chance of it falling over unless it is kicked or hit by another vehicle. I have also used this when camping for lighting inside of my tent if my lantern has died and I have not recharged it. You need to be aware that if the batteries are left in for long periods of time, they can corrode.

3 -Vital role of carbon monoxide monitors in campervan Safety

A carbon monoxide monitor is one of the most important safety gear you need when in a campervan. It will give you peace of mind. As you are in a confined space, you will not be aware that you are breathing in any deadly odourless fumes.

The only way you can tell if you are affected by carbon monoxide gas is if you become drowsy, have headaches, dizziness and feeling sick.

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous odourless gas that is emitted from cooking appliances such as gas stoves, heaters and fuel generators. A high-pitched alarm will sound when the gas is detected. You must turn off the offending burner that is creating the gas and leave the vehicle. Leaving doors and windows open to allow air to flow through.

  • Always check the expiry date and average time span of 10 years.
  • Test frequently
  • Led display
  • LED lights showing power on, fault and alarm light indicators
  • Complies with BS EN 50291 standards for the sensitivity of CO levels, performance, installation and testing.

Carbon monoxide alarms are not cheap and, on average, cost £30, depending on the model. I have a Wolf Sheild portable detector from Amazon that has a sealed battery and complies with British Standards. It is available in white or black and is lightweight. This allows me to secure in place via a velcro strip near my cooking facilities.

4 – Importance of a well-stocked first aid kit in your campervan

A first aid kit is an essential section of your overall emergency preparedness. Depending on where you travel, having a fully stocked first aid kit ensures compliance with local regulations and avoids potential penalties.

The first aid kid should be easily accessible and contain

  • Basic medical care should include items to allow you to deal with cuts, sprains and minor injuries- Plasters, antiseptic wipes or creams, scissors, adhesives tapes and bandages.
  • Burn gel or cream, saline solution, and non-adhesive gauze pads.
  • Allergies and medication – antihistamines, headache tablets and medication for younger children.
  • Cold compress

My first aid kit goes everywhere with me whether we travel by campervan or car. I check all medications regularly and rotate if they are near the expiry date so I can use basic pain medication in my home. This avoids wasting money. I replace any plasters yearly as I have found keeping them outside in a vehicle they to lose the ability to stick. Don’t make the mistake I did when I purchased my first aid kit. It had no scissors, so always check first or buy a good quality set separately.

I have a medium first aid kit, a hard case, which complies with British Standards BS 8599, but I recommend purchasing a soft waterproof case kit. There will be no struggle to close the lid if you overload, which I often do.

5 – Campervan Fire Safety: Fire extinguisher and fire blanket

A fire extinguisher is the first line of defence in a campervan. The type you need for a campervan is an ABC fire extinguisher.

  • A – Ideal for interior materials of a campervan such as wood, paper or fabric.
  • B – For the kitchen area to extinguish fires of flammable liquids such as gasoline, diesel, or cooking oil.
  • C – For fires that involve electrical equipment and wiring.

A fire blanket can smother a fire and also be used to wrap around somebody to protect against flames. It is a fire-resistant material and is essential for a kitchen area.

I have a combination of an ABC powder fire extinguisher and a fire blanket from Amazon. A smaller 500g ABC Powered fire extinguisher and blanket are available, which will be easier to handle and store. The fire extinguisher is 1kg and has a bracket to fix it securely. Although it is important to consider the size of your camper, 2kg may be more suitable. Or you have two x 1kg extinguishers. Once a fire is extinguished, it needs to be replaced, so cost-wise having to would be more cost-effective.

6 – The importance of having a spare power bank for emergencies

Having an additional power source to charge mobile phones, lighting and radio devices for emergencies will give you peace of mind.

  • Portable power bank – A hand-held device that sits comfortably in your pocket or bag. It can be charged either by mains, solar or 12v. Storage capacity is shown by the mAH milliampere-hour. The greater the value, the more power can be stored. Depending on the size, they charge via a USB connection and can charge multiple devices at once. For more information, including costs of charging and how to work out the best size portable device, read our article, and we will explain how they work and tips on what to look for when you are buying.
  • Powerbanks on camping lanterns – Another option is a power bank on a rechargeable lantern. Not only will they help light the inside of your campervan or help you work on your campervan in the dark. You can use them to store power to charge mobiles and iPads. Several different types of lanterns are available: solar, mains, batter, fuel powered or crank lanterns. although I do not recommend a fuel-powered lantern. For more information on the different types of lanterns and the multiple usages, we explain in our article how each work and lumens, which is the brightness of the lantern.
  • Solar generators – are smaller generators that can charge devices by USB, 3-pin sockets. Solar or mains charged that is clean energy, so there will be no environmental harm. Compact small generators compared to fuel generators and safer to use. I have a Jackery solar generator that goes everywhere with me, even for days out and a fuel generator. I do not really use the fuel generator any more due to restrictions on site and the harmful fumes it gives off. For more information on the different types of generators and what to consider when buying. But most importantly, would a generator be more suitable than a power bank? Read our guide to generators.

7 – Guiding light in emergencies: Torches and lanterns for campervan Safety

Torches and lanterns are main essential for campervan safety. They will provide light; many have emergency signalling and additional power storage to charge mobile phones. They are also vital for allowing you to work hands-free.

They need to be water-resistant and sturdy, as well as the lanterns have the ability to recharge devices. Having a reliable torch or lantern is essential if you need to navigate with a red stone light to attract the attention of help.

I use a Nebo magnetic LED torch with a torch, a strip light, and strobe lighting. I purchased this torch mainly because it has a magnetic base, so I can attach it to metal, and it stays in place. Which is ideal if you need to be hands-free. It is my go-to torch. We also have a Eurohike head torch, which my son mainly uses, but it is hands-free and easier to use if I need both hands.

If you don’t want to have lots of different lighting sources, the Lepro lantern will meet your needs. It is bulky but has suitable handles to hang, a wide base and two detachable torches. However, the two torches need additional batteries and can be expensive. For more information on multi-purpose lanterns, read our budget guide to the best lanterns available.

8 – On the road to safety: Spare tyres and foam tyre kits for campervan emergencies

Equipping your campervan with a spare tyre, jack, and foam tyre kit prepares you to handle tyre emergencies effectively. Ensuring your safety, peace of mind, and the ability to continue your journey with minimal disruption.

Campervan will come with a jack and a spare tyre. However, most vehicles today are supplied with a foam tyre kit. Foam tyre kits are ideal if you have a puncture but not if the tyre has been split. It is important to familiarise yourself with changing a tyre or using the foam kit. If you do not feel confident with changing a tyre, then wait for roadside assistance.

Not campervan related, but a friend got a puncture and was unsure what to do. It did not help that it was snowing hard. We tried her foam tyre kit. However, we were not sure how to use it. So we used my standard foam filler can. You simply shake the can, attach it to your tyre, and press the button to inflate. Before you do this, you need to try to locate the puncture and remove any objects stuck. Check as you fill with foam that it is not escaping as it did, my friend. If this is the case, you will need to call roadside assistance.

I use a simple foam-in can and do not have power-operated devices. I find them difficult to use, and you must ensure that the lead from your 12v power supply reaches the back of your campervan.

Remember, foam filler tyre repair kits are not for continuous usage, you must have your tyre repaired. It is only a temporary solution.

9 – Personal emergency kits for campervan safety

It is important always to be prepared and keep a personal emergency kit in your campervan. This will allow you to deal with unexpected situations and protect yourself and your family.

  • Waterproof clothes – You must leave the vehicle and stand away behind barriers if on a motorway. Waterproof clothing, a jacket with a hood, trousers and shoes will keep you dry.
  • Foil blanket – Additional protection against the cold is a foil blanket. They are flimsy and can easily blow away. A foil blanket will help to retain body heat.
  • Hi-Vis Jacket – Either a full jacket or a vest so other drivers and rescue services can easily see you in all weather.
  • Emergency funds – Having a credit card or an account to transfer money in an emergency. Either for paying for repairs or towing your vehicle.
  • Emergency contact list – As well as having these details on your phone, a waterproof bag that you can keep a notebook inside with all of your emergency contact details, recovery numbers, and insurance details.
  • Mobile waterproof pouch -I always have a clear pouch for my mobile. You can keep your mobile dry and use it at any time. This is also ideal for hiking, as your mobile will always be safe.
  • Emergency food – Keep high-energy bars, or other snacks, especially for children; if you are waiting for recovery, you can wait for several hours.

10 – Roadside assistance for campervan travellers

Roadside assistance membership is crucial for campervans as it provides peace of mind and essential support in case of unexpected breakdowns or emergencies on the road.

With a membership, you can access professional assistance 24/7, ensuring prompt help when needed most. Whether it’s a flat tyre, engine trouble, or a battery failure, roadside assistance can provide services like towing, jump-starting, fuel delivery, and lockout assistance.

Membership offers convenience, safety, and convenience, allowing campervan travellers to navigate unforeseen challenges and continue their journeys to reduce disruptions and maximum reassurance.

I normally am with the AA. However, there are many more, such as the Green flag and RAC. These are the main roadside recovery companies. Always compare each year and never automatically renew with the same company, as you will find the prices double.

The AA has an app for your phone, and you can also receive discounts from restaurants and local events. Which helps to keep costs down when you are exploring. There are many more benefits of ensuring you have roadside assistance and not rely on a free assistance package when you renew or buy motor insurance. They will only cover you within 10 miles from your home. Find out more about roadside assistance coverage in our guide to buying a motorhome hidden expenses.

Respect the dangers of wildlife

Another important factor is respecting wildlife. If you are driving along a country road or in a forest area, you may encounter deer jumping into the road. They freeze in and will not move. There will be warning signs showing indicating the dangers of wildlife, so you must take care and slow down. Be ready for the unexpected.

To help protect wildlife when we are in their natural habitat, our article explains how we can help. Not cause any unnecessary stress or disturb them in any way. Especially during their breeding seasons. Read our article and help keep wildlife safe whilst you are exploring.

The emergency budget campervan shopping list

The Amazon listing below is items I have purchased and used during our travels. We combine them camping and using our campervan. Because of my restricted budget, I do not feel you must buy the most expensive items.

Related questions

Staying safe on the road: Navigation and route planning tips

Navigating the open road in a campervan can be an exciting and liberating experience. However, it’s important to prioritize safety during your journeys. it is crucial that the route is planned and thought through to ensure an easy journey.

  • Plan your route in advance – Consider routes, road conditions and traffic.
  • Research stopovers – Book campsites or check to see if you can legally stop overnight on your route. Ensuring any roadside camping is safe and recommended by other campervan owners. Join Facebook groups, as they are great sources of information.
  • Roadworks – Check for roadworks and road closures, as this will affect your route. Any delays due to roadworks will increase your driving time.
  • Height and weight restrictions – Check your route for low bridges and restrictions on bridge weights. Especially if you intend to explore minor roads.
  • Tiredness – Plan your route so you can have regular stops. Not only to avoid tiredness but also to stretch your legs and swap drivers if possible.
  • Back-up maps for routes – Always have a backup plan for map reading. Often GPS does not work in remote areas. Ensure that your GPS is up to date.
  • Speed limits and road signs – Don’t get distracted. Be aware of local speed limits and road signs.
  • Carry backup maps and a compass – While relying on navigation technology is convenient, it’s wise to have backup options. Keep physical maps and a compass in your campervan as a fallback in case of technology malfunctions or loss of signal in remote areas.

Overall the main priority is to keep you and your family safe. Investing time and effort into preparing your routes and staying informed can minimize risks, creating an enjoyable, safe and memorable journey on the road.

Preventing accidents and fires: Good cooking practices in campervans

By following these safe cooking practices in your campervan, you can minimize the risk of accidents and fires, allowing you to enjoy delicious meals. A little caution and preparation go a long way in creating a safe and enjoyable cooking experience on the road.

By following some simple guidelines and practising safe cooking habits, you can prevent accidents and fires. Here are some tips to ensure safe cooking practices in your campervan.

  • Stable cooking surface – Ensure that your campervan has a stable and level surface for cooking. Use sturdy and non-slip materials, such as a camping stove or a built-in cooktop, to minimize the risk of burns or spills.
  • Ventilated area – Proper ventilation is crucial to remove cooking odours and prevent the accumulation of harmful gases. Open windows or use ventilation fans to ensure fresh air circulation while cooking.
  • Be aware of your surroundings – Avoid cooking near curtains, flammable materials, or sensitive equipment.
  • Flammable liquids – Remove all flammable liquids away from the cooking area. Such as cooking oils, tea towels and any other flammable materials.
  • Fire extinguisher and fire blanket – Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket nearby. The fire extinguisher needs to be an ABC extinguisher.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. -It can be tempting, and you can be sidetracked easily if you have children. If this happens, turn it off until you can start cooking again.
  • Get to know your cooking facilities – Read instructions and safety measures before using them. Familiarise yourself with safety cut-offs in case of an emergency. Never cook whilst the vehicle is being driven.
  • Cooking outside BBQs, fire pits or portable grills – Always keep a safe distance away from your campervan. At least 6m, the same distance as a tent.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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