Buying an RV is an exciting purchase. I remember my first 1987 Tioga fondly, but I’ll never forget the realization that an RV requires a lot of RV accessories. From the moment your RV becomes yours, you’ll need to assemble your RV tool kit.
From additional tools to help with RV DIY projects to wire cutters that will aid your efforts to make adjustments to your RV’s electrical system, there’s a lot to consider. Lucky for you, we’re going to cover the most essential tools you must have in your RV tool kit.
Build The Best RV Tool Kit
Your RV tool kit will change as your gain experience, but these are my top 40 selections, based mostly on my own trials and errors.
Disclaimer: Every RVer needs good tools. But tools only go as far as the person wielding them can take them. Do your research to make sure you’re prepared with the right knowledge to perform RV repairs. Consult your RV owner’s manual early and often and never hesitate to reach out to a professional for help.
- Tire Inflator
- Tire Gauge
- Cordless Drill
- Multi Tool
- Telescoping Ladder
- Bottle Jack Recovery Kit With 6 Ton Bottle Jack
- Screwdrivers Set
- Hex Key Allen Wrench Set
- Rubber Mallet
- Crescent Adjustable Wrench
- Socket Set
- A Breaker Bar
- Small Drill Bit Set
- Electrical Tape
- Tape Measure
- Metric Wrenches
- Wire Connectors
- 12 Volt Air Compressor
- A Utility Knife
- Caulking Gun
- Leather Work Gloves
- Wire Stripper Tool
- Electrical Wire
- Thread Seal Tape
- Needle Nose Pliars
- Zip Ties and Duct Tape
- Angle Grinder
- Multimeter Tool
- Lug Wrench
- Bungee Cords
- Water Pressure Regulator
- Pocket Knife
- Super Glue
- Vice Grips
- RV Level
- Tool Bag
RV and trailer tires are the foundation of your motorhome. Therefore, it's essential that you maintain the correct tire pressure. Failure to maintain optimal tire pressure causes inefficiency and can ultimately lead to a time-consuming flat tire. So one of the best RV tools to keep around is a quick tire inflator.
Before you use your inflator, however, you need a tire pressure gauge to check how much pressure your RV or truck tires are currently holding. Check the tire sidewall for recommended PSI. And don't forget about your spare tire!
A power drill will save you a lot of time compared to used screwdrivers to check or repair RV components. Personally, I use my cordless drill set the most when installing new hooks or accessories to improve the overall organization of my RV's interior.
This is honestly something that everyone should have. RVers will find them useful for so many purposes. A quality multi-tool includes multiple screwdrivers, pliers, knives/saws, a bottle opener or corkscrew, and sometimes more.
These will really come in handy if you ever find yourself having to change the hitch ball on your tow hitch. In combination with the right socket wrench set, they can also help you make adjustments to other hitch equipment that needs to be tightened to the right specs for safe towing.
A telescoping ladder is a great addition to the best RV tool kit if you don't have an RV ladder mounted to the rear or side of your camper. It's a great way to get access to your RV roof and it compresses so that it can easily be stored, even in smaller RVs with limited space.
Servicing things like RV tires, brakes, and suspension components requires taking the weight off your RV tires. A bottle jack that's properly rated for your RV's axle weight is the best way to jack up your RV to install a spare tire or make other repairs.
You'll want several sizes of flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers for making RV repairs or renovations. If you're looking for a way to save space, look for a multi-bit screwdriver as an alternative to carrying around multiple screwdrivers.
I tend to use mine the most for making adjustments to my bike seat and handlebars, but RV travelers that don't carry bikes or e-bikes can also benefit from keeping a set of Allen wrenches in their RV tool kit.
A rubber mallet is one that might catch you off guard, but it's an essential tool for one of the greatest old-man camping hacks I've ever seen. Ever gotten your hatchet stuck in a pesky piece of firewood?
Instead of lifting the entire piece of wood and slamming it against the ground, grab your rubber mallet and hit the backside of the hatchet head until the wood splits as desired. Trust me, this RV tool will massively level up your firewood splitting game.
No matter how many wrench sizes you already have, an adjustable wrench is a must. Sometimes, it's simply impossible to find the perfect wrench size for the nut you're trying to loosen. This is where your adjustable wrench will keep you from damaging the nut or bolt and putting yourself in an even deeper hole.
A proper mechanic's tool kit is another great addition to your RV arsenal. Along with socket wrenches, it'll come with the various short and deep socket options you need for engine maintenance, changing the oil on a portable generator, and so much more.
This is another tool that's highly useful for owners of older RVs, but it's a great addition to any RV tool kit. You simply cannot predict when you'll need that extra leverage to loosen that one bolt that's in the way of your RV repairs or upgrades.
Those cordless drills you added to your RV tool kit earlier are great, but they won't do you much good without a proper set of drill bits. In addition, your drills should come with several drivers of different lengths and different style heads so you can work with various types of RV screws.
Electrical tape is often overlooked as an RV essential, but it's vital anytime you're making electrical repairs. Trust me, other kinds of tape don't suffice for insulating electrical wires after splicing. I have a scary midnight near-electric fire in my past trauma to attest to this. Use electrical tape whenever you're dealing with conductive RV wiring.
I measure things in and around my RV all the time. Sometimes it's as simple as re-measuring the length of my trailer to make sure I'll fit in a campground. Other times it's measurements to help me hang my US map of all the destinations I've visited inside. Odds are, you'll use your tape measure more than most of the other items in your RV tool kit.
If the socket set you acquired earlier didn't come with metric wrenches, add some to your RV tool kit. With all the different bolt and nut sizes out there, having as many wrenches as possible will set you up for easy installations or removals, regardless of what you're adding or taking out of your RV.
Splicing wire together isn't a complicated task, but it's much easier and safer with the proper connectors. These will especially come in handy if you're making any upgrades to your electrical system to accommodate more extended boondocking adventures.
There are so many ways you can use an air compressor as an RVer. From inflating watersports equipment like paddleboards to clearing out vents and ducts when performing annual RV maintenance, an air compressor is a super handy tool. It can even be used in place of a leaf blower to clean up around your campsite.
This item is for those times when your regular pocket knife won't cut it...literally. A utility knife can be a great tool for cutting packaging or upgrading your RV's interior. The last time I used mine was to make quick cuts in laminate flooring after ripping out some ghastly old shag carpet.
RV roof repairs and maintenance often require resealing roof seams or the seals around your roof-mounted RV appliances. Most RV sealants are sold in the same containers as caulk used for residential applications. That's why a caulk gun makes this list so you can easily reseal worn roof or window seals when the need arises.
While many folks prefer the feel of calloused hands, some of us rely on those hands in other areas of our lives. So when we're adjusting hot logs in a campfire, popping on a pair of leather work gloves sounds like a reasonable choice.
Any RV electrical repairs require both wire strippers and wire cutters. These instruments are specifically designed to help you safely handle wires that have a live electrical current running through them. Of course, you should shut down the power to said wires before making repairs, just to be safe. And you should never be ashamed of seeking professional assistance if you're uncomfortable tinkering with the electrical in your RV.
This is a great tool for owners of older RVs or camper vans who are more likely to encounter worn-out wiring. Keeping extra wire handy will allow you to remove compromised sections and splice in a new wire to get your RV back up and running the way it should.
Check your RV for gauge before shopping for electrical wire.
This one is particularly relevant for me, as I've recently found that the drain plug on my water heater is suffering a slow leak. Re-tightening simply isn't doing the trick. So, I need to remove and apply thread seal tape before re-installing the drain plug.
This type of tape is really important for many different RV plumbing repairs. I've also used it when re-installing an RV toilet after replacing the flange seal, for example. Keeping this tape in your tool kit is the difference between doing the job and doing the job right when tackling any RV plumbing DIY projects.
While pliers were on our list of tools included with most multi-tools, those pliers typically have pretty blunt ends. Needle nose pliers, on the other hand, are perfect for harder-to-reach applications and great for precisely pinching connectors when finishing electrical repairs.
While there are a lot of tools that you might want to have on the road, duct tape and zip ties can be a lifesaver. Duct tape and zip ties can definitely help you patch certain things on your trip until you can get somewhere to make a more reliable gear fix.
This is one power tool that might seem out of place on this list, but let's explain. This is an RV renovation tool that can be used for cutting, grinding, polishing, deburring, and finishing a variety of surfaces. For RV applications, it's best to choose a cordless variety with a rechargeable battery, if you can.
For testing your RV's battery system, a multimeter is an essential tool for making repairs to complex electrical systems. A multimeter can be used when troubleshooting RV thermostats, measuring the efficiency of your solar panels, and much more.
While there are other ways to remove lug nuts on RV tires, a lug wrench is the best way. Along with your other tire-related tools, keep a lug wrench in your RV or tow vehicle so that removing lug nuts isn't the crux of your tire-changing experience when it happens.
There's a laundry list of applications for which bungee cords will help you: keeping water containers upright in your truck bed, securing heavy tools so they don't slide around, expanding your carrying capacity by allowing you to strap camping gear to your roof rack, etc., etc.
I recommend having a variety of different lengths and thicknesses so that you have the right bungee cord for the job. The good news is that many gas stations along your RV route will sell multi-packs of this essential RV tool.
To my knowledge, RV manufacturers haven't quite built pressure regulation into RV plumbing systems. The problem here is that water pressures will vary depending on where you're camping, so a pressure regulator is a small, but vital, addition to your RV tool kit when it comes to protecting your RV's internal pipes and water tank.
This is an RV tool kit essential that I don't leave home without, whether I'm RVing or not. Some days, it might just be the simple convenience of always having something handy to open boxes.
Other days, it might be the difference between completing that small RV maintenance task safely or having to precariously employ a kitchen knife to get the job done. Either way, keeping a knife with a pocket clip handy at all times is a great idea for all RVers.
Using a hammer to pound nails into your RV walls isn't the idea here. But a hammer is still an essential tool for tasks like pounding in tent stakes for your campground visitors. It might also come in handy if you're interested in more extensive DIY RV maintenance.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of headlamps over flashlights because they allow you to keep your hands free for more important tasks. But the point here is to have a way to illuminate your campsite when you can't find your other RV tools or you're trying to set up camp after dark.
At your next gas station stop, pop inside and grab yourself a little tube of super glue. It's great for small repairs on the inside and outside of your RV, so long as you're shooting for a permanent application. Just be careful not to glue your fingers together!
This is another variation of pliers that I strongly recommend adding to your arsenal. Locking vise grips allow you to maintain a better grip without constantly squeezing with your maximum strength. Really useful for holding anything in place temporarily.
A level is something you'll use pretty much every time you set your RV up in a new campsite. Add this item to your RV tool kit to make sure you level and stabilize your RV or travel trailer appropriately before setting up the rest of your camp.
Last, but certainly not least, you'll need a compact way to keep your RV tool kit organized. If you go all-in on acquiring everything on our RV tool kit list, you may need more than one tool bag to contain everything.
Of course, items like an air compressor will require a larger toolbox for dedicated storage. In addition to providing a safe space for your RV toolset, your tool bag should provide easy access to your RV tool collection.
Swing into the next hardware store along your RV road trip to add a few of these important tools to your RV toolkit. Having the right tools is the difference between a half you-know-what patch job and the ability to properly repair broken RV parts so you can get back to the fun of RVing!
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