What’s in your RV tool bag?
Do you have everything you might need to fix the things you know how to? Do you have the knowledge to fix the little stuff?
RV systems are different than the ones in your home. There is no way to know what is going to break next on our rolling homes, but we can be sure of one thing, something will!
But the good news is 80% of our RV problems can be fixed with a little knowledge and carrying the right tools with us as we travel. Here is a great list to start filling your RV tool bag.
This post may include affiliate links. Click here to read our full disclosure policy
Knowledge is the number one tool for your tool bag.
Just having a nice full toolbox won't fix something that's not working. RV systems are different from what we are most used too, like our homes.
If your new to RVing and don't know where to start in maintaining or repairing your RV it's simple.
Start learning all about the systems, Then when you start to have a better understanding of how it all works you are in a great place.
It may take a little time, but it's well worth it if you want to make the best of your camping experiences. The best place to start is to read your owners manuals. These manuals serve two purposes, one if your ever need help falling asleep pop one of these open and 10 minutes you're out. LOL
But in reality, they contain information specific to your brand of RV, like how things operate, maintenance schedule and troubleshooting tips.
Next you can do online training videos about specific RV topics, like electrical, water, slides etc. There is a great website RV Repair Club (rvrepairclub.com) they do a excellence job of explaining how things work.
Best part is you can join for $3.00 for the first year. Now I don't know how long they will be running this promotional pricing but even at full price it's a exceptional deal.
A RV tire compressor should be the second tool in your toolbox.
Maintaining proper tire pressure on your RV is so important in preventing tire failure when RVing. It is the first thing I recommend checking before any trip. Tire failure on the road is something we should do everything we can to avoid.
Having the ability to keep your tires properly inflated is good thing. You don't want to get ready to leave the campground and realize one of your tires is low. This has happened 3 times in our RV travels. one was a leaky valve stem and the other two times was because of nails.
In adding an air compressor to your tool bag make sure it will be able to fill the high pressure tires on your RV. I would recommend Viair RV air compressor, they work great a are easy to use and are made for RVers. I have owned one for two years and so glad I purchased it.
Surge Protector/EMS/ identifies faulty RV park power plus offers surge protection.
I recommend using a surge protector every time you plug into a campground post. A good surge protector will protect yourRV. It only takes one power surge to lose all your electronics and wiring.
If you find faulty campground wiring, ask to be moved to another site, don't risk plugging in. Remember the campground won't be responsible if your rig get damaged by their post. Incorrect wiring does happen and I have pointed this out to the campground owners, their response was that no one has had ever had a problem with it before. Having the surge protector handy you can show them the readings on the post and ask to be relocated in the park.
Some of the other problems you can have are power surges that come from lighting strikes. Even with a surge protector, the best way to protect your RV is to unplug until the threat has passed.
Another problem is low voltage; it can cause the same damage as a power surge. Low voltage happens in parks where electrical wiring hasn't been updated. You have a hot summer day with all the RVs sucking power for their air conditioners, and the power supply drops to unsafe levels; it can and will damage your RV.
If you have a surge protector that can't monitor power levels, this puts you at risk. Make sure you have an (EMS) Electrical Management System surge protector. An EMS will automatically disconnect power to your RV if a problem is detected, with the source of electrical power giving you the highest level of protection. Have one installed or hardwired in your RV is the best way to do it. This way you will never leave it or have it stolen from your campsite.
A pedestal EMS is a good option if you don't want to have it installed. These are great because they are easy to check the power pedestal before backing in to your site. Also, if you ever decide to get a different RV they easy to take with you. The one down side is they are easy to steal unless locked. Locks are purchased separately.
Where the Streets wander
"Protect your investment and you'll have many years for happy travels ."
Rounding Out Your RV Tool Bag
Tool Kit with Bag
I really like ready-made toolkits when it comes time to pack them in an RV. They store easily, and I can find what I'm looking for if I remember to put it back!
An 18 or 20-volt Cordless drill with a drill and drive accessory set is a great thing to have. The driver bit sets are beneficial because they have a variety of sizes & types of bits that are often used in your RV.
If you already have a drill, this driver set will be a great addition to your tool bag. These drivers will come in handy when you are tightening everything up when it comes loose in travel. (Which does happen 🙂
Locking, regular and needle-nose pliers are things I can’t live without. You will use these in a variety of places in your RV. You can never have too many!
If you are like me, you will need plenty of screwdrivers to choose from. Having a Phillips' head, flat head and square head screwdrivers on hand will make your life easier. My RV uses a lot of square head screws. Be sure to add this type to your drill bit set.
Having an RV, you want a Multimeter to have the ability to check the AC and DC voltages. If you have never had a chance to use a Multimeter, it is easy to use; it will come with a manual on using it or, better yet, check it out on YouTube.
Wire Stripper/Crimpers & Cutter
Wire Stripper/Crimpers & Cutter are something every RV owner should have one or maybe two. Be sure to get a terminal connector kit and extra wire in different sizes. These will come in handy when you need to fix an electrical issue.
A receptacle tester will tell you if your power receptacle is wired correctly. You will want to test your GFI circuits.
Use this to trip your GFI circuit in your kitchen area and bathroom area to make sure you can reset them. A service call just to reset a breaker can be expensive.
Heavy-Duty Jumper Cables
I recommend buying a set of heavy-duty jumper cables with at least 2 AWG wire sizes. A 1 - AWG wire size would even be better. Sets with 4 AWG and 6AWG may work in some applications but they're not able to handle larger amp loads needed to start big RV motors. Big motors need a lot more cranking amps. You are far better off to obtain nice big heavy-duty set to begin with.
Purchase an RV Warranty
Unless you are already an RV mechanic or maintenance tech, there are just some things you can't or don't want to fix yourself when they break in your RV.
RV repair can be expensive and often happen at very inconvenient times. We have an RV warranty in our back pocket for those types of instances.
This warranty gives us peace of mind that we won't have to come up with $2000+ to repair or replace our Aqua-Hot and $1,000 on a tire replacement (yes, this happened to us!)
Wholesale Warranties made it very easy to buy from them and they have great service and have great reviews! It's the only company we considered buying from when we researched warranties.