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First timers guide to campervan travel

How to Prepare for Your First Campervan Experience

Going on a road trip in a campervan is an innovative and exciting way to explore Japan, not to mention it cuts down the cost of having to book hotel rooms and public transportation

But if you’re driving a camper for the first time, you might be wondering how exactly you should prepare for it. After all, it can feel a bit intimidating. So to prepare you for that, here are some guidelines to help you plan better for your campervan experience.

Heres a quick video where I cover some key points.

How to Prepare for Your First Campervan Experience: The Guide

Pack only what is necessary

As you probably know, a campervan doesn’t have that much storage space. Try to pack light and pack what’s necessary. In addition, try to avoid hard suitcases because those take up more space. You can consider using duffle bags, backpacks, and tote bags instead.

Pick up some supplies

After picking up your campervan, you can go to convenience stores to buy instant food, extra cooking gas if you plan to cook a lot, and anything else you might need. You can always stop along the way to get more things, but having some supplies at the start of the trip will make things easier. 

Learn the ins and outs of your campervan

Make sure you know everything there is to know about your campervan before starting your trip. Doing so will minimize any problems you may encounter along the road. 

Plan accommodations in advance

Although it is legal in Japan for drivers and passengers to sleep inside a vehicle in a parking space, it would be wise for you to plan where to park and sleep before you set off on your trip. You wouldn’t want to be driving late at night on the road to hunt down a suitable rest stop or camping ground, especially when you’re tired from driving for the whole day. Yet, if you are the type of person who likes to go with the flow you can use the sleeping spot finder we provide as you start your trip which will display locations on the fly. 

Be flexible

Since you’re going to be on the road for so long, you may find yourself making sudden stops along the way or trying different routes. Be prepared for any unexpected changes to your initial itinerary. Don’t feel pressured to stick to your original plans. It is a road trip, so enjoy all the bumps along the ride.


Avid camper, family of 5, long term resident of Japan and founder of Dream Drive