A hammer and screwdriver, though necessary, will only get you so far with an RV. Here are the tools every RVer needs to carry…
Unless you’re a newbie RVer, you’re well aware that RVs take a lot of work. Things break… often.
It’s not the RV’s fault, really. It’s more like the constant vibrations, bumps, and jolts from driving and exposure to the great outdoors. No matter how well something is built, all those things will take a toll on it.
So, RVers always have to be ready to roll up their sleeves or get out their wallet. You never know what’s going to happen, so you have to be as prepared as you can.
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The following tools will prepare you for some of the most common fixes on the road, but first…
Tools Are Only as Good as their User
It’s worth saying that none of the following tools will do much good if you don’t know how to use them. Hopefully, you or your travel partner will have at least a basic knowledge to get you out of a bind.
But, if not, YouTube has tutorials for everything! Before you resort to paying someone to fix it, look it up on YouTube and see if you can manage. You might have to if you’re far from civilization or an RV mechanic is unavailable (as they often are).
After you watch those tutorials make sure you find us there too! Our YouTube Channel might have just what you need!
If YouTube fails, don’t be afraid to ask a fellow RVer. We’ve all become Jacks of different trades on the road and a friendly neighbor may be the Jack you need.
10 Tools Every RVer Needs to Carry
Speaking of neighbors, if you ever find yourself without any of the following tools, check with a neighbor. They may have one you can borrow and save you a trip to the hardware store. As RVers like to joke, hardware stores are always far away and never open when you need them.
1. Duct Tape and GooGone
Yep, I’m one of those believers that duct tape can fix just about anything. Or at least patch it long enough for you to properly fix it.
It’s flexible, resists tearing, and sticks to just about anything. Its uses are limited only by your imagination.
It does leave a gooey residue… so maybe store Goo Gone with it, too.
2. Multi-bit Screwdriver
You’ll want every screwdriver known to mankind! Okay, I’m just kidding but you do need an array of screwdrivers or, rather, screwdriver bits.
This 12-in-1 multi-bit screwdriver includes Philips, slotted (aka flatheads), Torx, and square bits all in one handle. It rachets and the long bits are easier to use than other multi-bit options.
3. Camping Hammer
Whether you need to bang on something or pry it open, hammers always come in handy. If you don’t already have a hammer, consider getting a camping hammer, or travel hammer, as these are smaller but still work well.
You won't be left singing, “If I had a hammer…”
Mike and Jennifer's RV Lifestyle hat collection
Who needs a hat? You do! Dad hats aren't just for dads. This comfy one's got a low profile with an adjustable strap and curved visor. Just the thing to wear on your next RV Lifestyle adventure.
With all the jiggling and jostling, things start to squeak on the road. WD-40 is great for lubricating doors and hinges, and does much more, including:
- Removes tar, tree sap, and bird poop from the outside of your RV
- Keeps hose ends from corroding
- Lubricates tools to prevent them from rusting.
- If you have your bikes with you, keeps mud from sticking and prevents salt water oxidation. It will also lubricate and remove rust from your bike chain.
5. Zip Ties & Wire
They’re both inexpensive, don’t take up much space, and don’t leave a residue as duct tape does. Wire can also hold hot things in place, like a loose muffler.
They also come in handy for securing things you don’t want people to be able to take easily.
The next item on my list would normally be needlenose pliers. But why just get pliers when you can get a multitool? It takes up the same amount of space but gives you so much more.
The Leathermen Surge is a great option with 21 useful tools. I like this one in particular because it has extra-large scissors, a full-sized blade, and replaceable wire cutters.
A multitool is great for carrying in your hiking pack, too. Here are some other Top Picks for Multitools.
7. Water Pump Pliers
But, speaking of pliers, there are some pliers you’ll need that won’t fit in your pocket: water pump pliers. These will give you the torque you need to loosen water pumps and other tight fixtures.
You don't necessarily need these often. But when you do need them, you'll be glad you have them.
8. Tire Plugging Kit
A tire plugging kit can save you from being stranded for hours or having to attempt to change an RV tire yourself. It’s simple enough to use and can help get you to the nearest tire store.
This small kit, combined with the other tools on the list, should more than suffice.
9. Multimeter & Fuses
A good multimeter can help you identify electrical problems and measure voltage and currents. This comes in handy for various applications while RVing.
And, to go along with the multimeter, a box of various RV fuses you may need.
Last but not least on this list is wrenches. I recommend carrying both an SAE and Metric wrench set. Different parts and appliances will use different systems, so you’ll be glad to have both kinds.
Throwing a wrench into your toolbox can save you from a wrench thrown in your plans. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
More Tools Every RVer Needs?
Of course, this list of tools every RVer needs isn’t comprehensive but it’ll help you in most situations. Let us know in the comments if you think we left anything important out! What tools do you use all the time or have saved you in a pinch?
And our Facebook Page followers had a LOT to say about their favorite RV Tools.
For different kinds of tools, check out The tools and resources we use to plan our RV trips.
Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?
On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time. CLICK HERE to go to it directly.