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RV troubles never seem to happen where it is convenient. Instead, they happen miles from an RV dealership during a tightly packed travel agenda- which is why having the right tools in your RV toolkit is essential.
At least that is what we found when we spent 22 weeks on the road in a 27-foot travel trailer. By the end of the trip, my husband became great at fixing just about any problem that came up thanks to having the right tools and a bit of help from either YouTube or a friendly RV park neighbor.
15 Essential Tools For An RV Toolkit
Gorilla Glue saved the day quite a few times. The biggest being when there was an accident in the trailer that caused some flooring to be gouged and we were able to smooth it out and re-glue it almost as good as new. It takes several minutes to find it–well at least it does for everyone but the person who accidentally caused it–they still feel terrible about that one. Eh! Mistakes happen and Gorilla Glue fixes them.
Our roll of Gorilla Tough & Wide Duct Tape was a life saver! My husband used at least half the roll during our 22-week trip. One thing it helped fix were holes in our awning caused when we slipped on ice and hit a building. Luckily that was the only damage. My husband also used this tough and wide duct tape to help seal a small hole that developed in our roof (we don’t know what caused it).
There are of course hundreds of different brands of duct tape out there, but my husband insists the Gorilla Tough & Wide Duct tape is the best out there. It sticks better than any other duct tape we have tried.
Custer State Park visited during Week 22 of our trip
If your travel trailer or RV didn’t come with a handy ladder attached to it, you are going to want to purchase one. You need to be able to get up on the roof of your rig to perform regular maintenance and repair. If you have a slide-out, you need the ladder to clean off the roof before you pull it in for travel. This particular type of ladder folds small, making it easier to store.
A level is critical for making sure you are not sleeping in a slanted RV.
Kolob Canyon visited during week 21 of our trip
Sometimes you have to crawl under your travel trailer to figure out the source of whatever problem you might be having. When you do, putting down a drop cloth first will make the job much more comfortable. You could also use a tarp that could double as backup roof protection should your roof spring a leak, but a plastic tarp it isn’t as comfortable to work on as a cotton drop cloth.
If you want to make s’mores, you are going to need firewood. Even if you get the pre-cut stuff available at the campsite, a hatchet could still come in handy to break a piece into kindling to get your fire going faster. My husband also used the blunt end of the hatchet as a hammer a few times. Of course, you could just add a hammer to your RV toolkit.
psst…a great twist on the classic s’more is this recipe for chocolate chip cookie s’mores
Yellowstone visited during week 19 of our trip
We used our 18-volt drill every single time we set up our trailer at a new campsite with #9 attached to it (more on why in a second). The drill also came in handy numerous times for various fixes including tightening up the screws in the camper’s dining room table several times. Those dinette tables get wiggly fast–especially if you are breaking them down into a bed each night like we were.
When you have a drill, you need a drill bit set…kinda hard to use your drill without one.
Atlanta Aquarium visited during week one of our trip
Our RV repairman showed us the power of a leveling scissor jack socket attached to a drill as we were hooking up our trailer after its first repair before our long road trip with it. When my husband saw how much time it saved over doing the job manually, he was sold. The leveling scissor jack socket was in the Amazon shopping cart the minute we got home.
Make sure your wrench is large enough to adjust and maintain your hitch. If you don’t have a travel trailer like us, but instead an RV or a fifth wheel you might not need one as big, but having one in your toolkit will still be handy.
Death Valley visited during week 9 of our trip
If you are not an electrician, it is, of course, unwise to do major electrical repairs–but that isn’t what we used these tools for. Our battery wasn’t working properly, and the electrician’s pouch with tools and the electrical test kit helped us find the source of the problem and get it fixed with the help of a handy retired RV mechanic who just happened to be camping next to us.
This kit also came in handy when our trailer signal lights were not functioning properly. Using the tools allowed us to figure out where the problem was originating and then YouTube how to fix it. With this knowledge, we discovered all we needed was a small fuse that could be picked up for a few dollars at a local auto parts store.
Things like cupboard door hinges and such in travel trailers jiggle lose with repeated travel. Having a container of screws, nuts, and bolts makes fixing these things a breeze.
Mabel Lake visited during week 15 of our trip
2 Tools To Add For The Serious RV Traveler
These last two tools probably are not needed if the only place you take your RV to is the campsite an hour outside your town on long weekends. However, if you are planning to travel farther and longer, you might want to consider these purchases.
Tire inflation is pretty important when it comes to safe RV traveling. Having an air compressor with an air impact gun along on your travels will make tire inflation a lot easier. Who wants to try and maneuver a big travel trailer or fifth wheel around a gas station to get to their self-pay air stations when you don’t have to? Plus the air compressor comes in super handy for filling bike tires, inflatable beach toys and more.
If you are wondering where to store such a big item, my husband stored ours in the back of our truck, but it could have fit under our bed in the travel trailer too -it just would not have been as easy to gain access to.
Truth time: I thought my husband was going overboard with this purchase, but within a few weeks of our five and a half month trip I saw he wasn’t. He used it at least once a week and sometimes more. One time it saved us from having to wait around for a tow truck to rescue us after our trailer tire started leaking air during a long travel day. He was able to fill the tire up enough to get us to our campsite and then use his Hydraulic Bottle Jack (#15 on this list) to hold up the trailer while he got the tire off to take in for repair. Meaning we kept our home to sleep, eat and hang out in, instead of losing it to the repair shop.
If you do need to get your tire off for repair, having a hydraulic bottle jack is essential–that and the knowledge of how to use it properly (YouTube should help with that). As I said above, having the jack saved us from having to take our whole trailer to the repair shop. This saved us money and time.
Fellow RV owners–have I missed anything? Tell me in the comments what you would add to my list.
3 related posts you are going to want to read:
- RV Trip: A 22 Week Journey Taken By A Family Of Five
- 12 Tips For Long RV Road Trips
- 10 Things To Bring When Exploring The National Parks
Love to travel? So do we! Check out our travel blog The Parents Flew The Nest.
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