Must-Have RV Tools & Toolkit Essentials

STEVE & KAYLEE TECHAU's RV with tools on a picnic bench

RVing offers so many opportunities for adventure and exploration, but it also requires regular maintenance and occasional repairs. These repairs can occur at inconvenient times, and having the right tools on hand can alleviate stress when they do. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." With a decade of RVing experience under our belts and the past three-and-a-half years spent as full-time RVers, we're sharing our recommended essentials for an RV toolkit.

RV toolkits should include a variety of items to assist with maintenance and repairs covering mechanical, electrical and water systems. These tools can be purchased individually or in pre-packaged sets from any big-box store or online. However, we suggest customizing these sets to include only necessary tools. As any RVer knows, maintaining a lower weight is crucial in RV travel.

Must-Have RV Tools

These provide the flexibility to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts on your RV or tow vehicle, making them essential for routine maintenance and repairs.

RVs use a variety of screws, and the constant vibration from travel can cause them to loosen. A multi-bit screwdriver helps save space and manage these issues.

These hex-head, L-shaped tools are primarily used on items like furniture, bikes and scooters.

Among our most frequently used tools, a cordless drill offers versatility and ease of use around the RV.

Needle-nose pliers are especially useful for grabbing small parts due to their sharp tip. Having an assortment of pliers on hand can be extremely beneficial.

These tools have countless uses, including driving stakes into the ground for rugs, tents and tarps.

Handy for a variety of tasks like opening boxes and cutting ropes, a utility knife is a versatile tool. Just make sure you have an extra set of blades.

To save space and weight, a multitool is beneficial as it combines several tools—such as a screwdriver, pliers, scissors, and a light—into one. We keep ours in the kitchen for frequent use.

Useful for electrical repairs, this combination tool simplifies the process of cutting and splicing wire.

Checking your tire pressure before and during travel is crucial. Incorrect tire pressure can damage the RV, decrease fuel efficiency and shorten your tire’s lifespan.

Not just for lighting the path during nighttime walks with the dog, we recommend having various flashlights, including headlamps, handheld models and magnetic ones.

Inside Our RV Toolkit

Pre-packaged fuse kits are available in various sizes and are always good to keep on hand.

This versatile adhesive can provide temporary fixes for many issues, especially if you have kids.

With countless uses, zip ties are cost-effective and can serve as a temporary or permanent solution for various problems.

Duct Tape: Like zip ties, duct tape is great for temporary or permanent fixes. We've found it to be a lifesaver on multiple occasions.

Keep a selection of different lubricants on hand to help maintain slides, slide components and hitch configurations. Regularly check your RV roof and caulking to prevent water damage. Carry grease if your RV has wet bolts, and check them routinely.

Not just for RV water piping, plumber’s tape can also help seal a leaky campground water spigot before connecting your water line.

A good pair of heavy-duty work gloves can protect your hands, improve your grip and keep you clean. Depending on the task, it's also good to have disposable gloves on hand.

When electrical repairs are needed, these items are invaluable to have.

Useful for small to medium tears on the RV roof, this waterproof, weatherproof patch can be used on almost all RV roofs.

Some Bonus Tools

Primarily used on lug nuts and some fifth-wheel hitches, a torque wrench simplifies the process of checking lug nut torque, which manufacturers recommend doing frequently.

This tool is useful when changing an RV tire, particularly if your RV lacks hydraulic jacks. If you're inclined to do your own slide repairs, a bottle jack can also support the slide while you work.

Whether an onboard or standalone unit, an air compressor has numerous uses beyond inflating tires. We've used ours for cleaning rugs, spraying sand off kids and filling up water toys.

Many RV technicians consider this tool essential for all RVers due to its ability to diagnose a wide range of electronic issues. A multimeter measures voltage, current, resistance, and frequency.

If you're handy, having the right tools can simplify water pipe repairs. Pex piping is common in the industry, fairly easy to use and available at most hardware stores.

Tips For Storing Your Tools

In our fifth-wheel RV, we utilize a modular system with interlocking storage bins for ease of use and organization. When we traveled with a travel trailer, we kept a bin in the back of the truck due to limited storage space. It's crucial to store your tools and essentials where they're easily accessible. You don't want to be unloading your storage bay on the side of the road just to locate your toolkit.

STEVE & KAYLEE TECHAU's exterior storage filled with tools

Hopefully you now understand the variety of tools and essentials that aid in RV maintenance and repairs. Preparedness is key, and having the right tool at hand can alleviate stress, particularly during an emergency. Most of the tools and essentials we've mentioned don't occupy much space, and you'll be thankful to have them. So gear up, get out there and enjoy your explorations!

Fifth Wheels

This camping trailer affectionately nicknamed a “Fiver” is a favorite of many, especially those taking extended trips or traveling full time in their RV. The prominent overhang resting above the tow truck bed is frequently employed as a bedroom suite, or, more recently, a living room or even a kitchen.  

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