It is impossible to prepare for everything that might go wrong when you’re RVing. But you can arm yourself with a few basic tools that will allow you to handle some of the more common problems that RVers often encounter, like replacing an RV vent motor. While you can decide for yourself how comprehensive you want your tool kit to be, you should always travel with some of the more basic and versatile implements. So after you’ve packed your travel bags, don’t forget to pack your toolbox with these must-have tools to bring while RVing!
Wrenches & Socket Set
Make sure your toolbox includes a combination wrench and socket set. These are used to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts, so they come in handy for an array of RV repairs. Carry an assortment of sizes, extensions, and types, to ensure that your wrench can accommodate whatever component or part you are working on. A torque wrench is useful for checking lug nuts and suspension bolts. If you use a generator during your RVing adventures, you might also want to pack a spark plug-sized socket.
A pair of needle-nose pliers can be extremely useful on the road. Whenever you need to tinker with accuracy or manipulate wiring, these will be your go-to tool. A pair of cutting pliers will also be conducive to achieving a number of DIY fixes around your RV. You can use them to snip through wiring or sheer thick materials with little effort. A pair of pump pliers will help you in gripping and twisting pipe fittings, nuts, and bolts.
Avoid growing a collection of electric screw drivers and save yourself space by getting a ratcheting screwdriver that accommodates interchangeable bit tips. Have the basic Phillips head bit tip and flat head bit tip, in sizes to fit small, medium, and large screw heads. In addition to tightening and loosening, screwdrivers can also come in handy whenever you need to pry things apart.
These versatile instruments are the ultimate all-in-one tool. Styled similar to a Swiss Army knife, a multi-tool gives you over a dozen different tools in one compact, hand-held implement. They can replace your basic pliers, screw drivers, and wire cutters, while also providing you with a knife, saw, awl, ruler, and a handy bottle opener so that you'll never be thirsty while you work!
Even if it’s not in your toolbox, you probably already carry around a flashlight in your RV. Flashlights can be used for numerous activities beyond just making repairs, so keep them easily accessible. If you encounter a problem with your RV, you may need a beam of artificial light to see back into the dark compartments and cavities of your unit. After all, if you can’t see the problem, you won’t be able to fix it!
Fixing an RV issue will probably require you to get your hands dirty. Packing a pair of work gloves will not only protect your hands from grunge and grime, but they can also help to prevent injuries like cuts and scrapes. When you have to root around in the narrow gaps or dirty crevices of your rig, you will be glad you packed a pair of work gloves!
Hatchet/Hammer Combo Tool
Why not combine these two must-have tools to save yourself space and maximize the effectiveness of your tool box? A hammer will come in handy whenever you need to drive stakes into the ground. Whether you are setting up a tent or stabilizing your awning, you may need a hammer to help get the job done. The hatchet side of your hammer works great for splitting wood for your campfire.
If your RV springs a leak, you’ll want to make sure you have what you need to fix it as soon as possible. Carry along a tube of silicone sealant to plug up cracks and reinforce any of your compromised seams and exposed joints. A roll of permanent waterproof tape can also be used in the event that you notice water infiltrating your RV.
Tire Pressure Gauge
Your RV tires can lose 2 pounds of pressure per month, so it’s important to regularly check and maintain the air pressure in your tires. Get a quality gauge and always check your tire pressure before your RV has been driven. Checking the pressure when your tires are fresh off the pavement will result in a higher pressure reading, which could lead you to under inflate your tires. Also, make sure you have all the tools necessary to change a flat tire, in the event that one does blow.
You might argue that this isn’t really a tool, but we would beg to differ! Duct tape might just be one of the most-used items in your toolbox, depending on how handy you are. You can use duct tape to repair all kinds of broken things around your RV. While it might not be a permanent solution to a problem, duct tape does often work great for short term fixes that need to be made in a jiffy! Bringing a roll of glow-in-the-dark duct tape can be used to identify objects around your campsite, saving you from an embarrassing fall or possibly a painful injury.
Like duct tape, WD-40 has a lot of uses, and many of them are very conducive to the RVing lifestyle. You can use this water-displacing spray to remove hard-to-budge spark plugs, clean a dirty grill, fend off wasps and repel insect, remove scuff marks, and wipe away tough stains. No matter what your RVing task is, WD-40 will probably help you to complete the task more easily.
Packing a cordless drill with battery pack can provide you with a simple means for solid fixes around your RV. Hauling an air compressor can allow you to easily set the correct air pressure in your tires, which can save you hassle in the long run and help to prolong the lifespan of your tires. Decide for yourself if it is worth it to bring these tools along while RVing. Though they can come in handy if they are needed, they may take up more space than you can sacrifice.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but having these basic tools will give you a pretty solid foundation for tackling minor RV issues while you’re on the road. When trying to decide on what tools stay behind and what tools go, find a balance between the storage space it takes to bring the tool, and the probability that you will need that tool. With time and experience, you will figure out for yourself which tools you actually use in your RV and which ones you can leave in the garage at home!