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Driving your recreational vehicle down the road, especially while traveling on backroads, you are bound to hit bumpy railroad crossings, potholes that rattle the filling in your teeth and the always dreaded speed bumps. That means things like cabinet doors and hinges and other parts are bound to jostle loose or break. Other important accessories also will fail. Having the right tools on hand to quickly fix things before they become worse is essential, especially because space is at a premium on an RV. You don’t want to have to make trips to the hardware store for a tool when you are miles off the beaten path.

So it is crucial you have on hand essential RV tools – tools needed for both home and vehicle repair  – to deal with nagging problems that are sure to pop up, making certain they don’t blossom into bigger problems.

Below is a checklist of essential tools every RV should contain:

  • A multi-tipped screwdriver set that includes multiple flat-tipped and Phillip-head screw heads as well as a Robertson head (usually a #2 size) frequently used on RVs. Check to make sure your manufacturer didn’t use some other type of obscure screw head you will need. A multi-tipped screwdriver is a big space saver and comes in handy when you need to tighten a wobbly dinette table.
  • Battery-operated drill that is useful for a lot of situations, including for saving time and energy on stabilizing jacks. Make sure you have a wide variety of drill bits for every job.
  • Channel lock pliers that come in handy for water hose connections or when a campground spigot has a missing handle.
  • Assorted hand tools, including a big and small adjustable wrench, metric and standard Allen wrenches, pliers and needle nose pliers to reach into nooks and crannies, and the all-essential claw hammer for straightening what’s bent, bending what shouldn’t be straight and prying off whatever needs removing.  
  • Pocket knife for cutting ropes, opening boxes, cutting through plastic packaging and cutting zip ties.
  • Assorted zip ties to manage wires and hold other things together in emergencies and in place while traveling.
  • Caulk gun for using caulks and sealants on seams and around windows and doors to keep damaging water out. Roof patch also is good to have on hand because as the old saying goes, there are two kinds of roofs: Roofs that leak and roofs that will leak.
  • Spray lubricant to quiet any annoying squeaks and keep things sliding smoothly.
  • Container of screws, nuts and bolts to fix drawers, cupboards and other parts that can jiggle loose as the RV sways on the road and over tooth-rattling bumps. This will come in handy regularly.
  • Multimeter to test your battery, electrical system and anything else electricity related. A multimeter helps to quickly find electrical problems.
  • Duct tape is as useful in your RV as it is around the house. It can be used to patch a leaky hose, patch a hole in the awning or hold just about anything in place until a more permanent fix is available.
  • A level to make sure you aren’t sleeping with your feet higher than your head.
  • Telescoping ladder for easy access to the RV roof, awning and other hard to reach places.
  • Folding hand saw to remove any limbs that might be blocking your way whether they be low-hanging branches or debris blocking the road.
  • Tire gauge to regularly check tire pressure and ensure you are getting the best mileage possible to save on gas.
  • Flashlight and batteries. Things tend to go wrong at the most inopportune times so having a dependable flashlight is vital to getting the job done. A headlamp can be even more valuable because it provides hands-free light.
  • Replacement fuses because sometimes RVs and hair dryers aren’t always a good match.
  • Drop cloth to keep the oil off your clothes when you have to climb under the RV for repairs.
  • Fix-a-flat kit because while a spare tire is always the first choice, a fix-a-flat kit can keep you rolling until you can get a tire properly repaired.

Finally, remember to space out your tools throughout the RV to keep the weight balanced. If not, you likely will have more use for your essential RV tools checklist in your near future.

If you are interested in purchasing an RV, the experts at Alliance Recreational Vehicles in Elkhart, Ind., are ready to assist you.


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