What You Need to Have in Your RV's Tool Box

Updated on July 31, 2017
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I am an avid RV enthusiast who understands that my life and my safety depend on the condition of the equipment in my coach.

There are certain pieces of equipment and tools that every RV traveler should keep in his toolbox to help him deal with basic repairs as well as emergencies.

These are meant to keep you safe, save you money and make your travels more comfortable.

At the very least, your gear should include

  • specific types of small tools,
  • the right kind of air compressor,
  • a reliable tire gauge,
  • one or two sets of wheel chocks and
  • a rear camera monitoring system.

If you already have all of them, great! If not, it's time to do some sorting, figuring and buying.

Having the the right tools in your RV can be a life saver in many situations.
Having the the right tools in your RV can be a life saver in many situations. | Source

Small Tools and Supplies

Here is a list of the basics you should always have with you. Most, if not all, will fit into a standard sized portable tool kit.

For some, such as wrenches, you will need a variety of types and sizes, so shop accordingly.

  • pliers
  • a variety of blade fuses
  • protective gloves
  • tire-changing equipment
  • vise grips
  • wrenches
  • a wire brush
  • box cutter
  • razor blades for box cutter
  • pry bar
  • hammer
  • small saw
  • tube of silicone
  • hose clamps
  • screwdrivers
  • nails, screws, nuts, bolts
  • adjustable wrench
  • bungee cords
  • small shovel
  • zip ties
  • rope
  • electrical tape
  • duct tape
  • tape measure
  • voltage meter
  • water pressure gauge
  • extra hoses (water and sewer)
  • bubble stuff (for testing propane pipes)

In addition to these items, you will need to have those discussed in The Best Tools and Chemicals for RV Black Water Holding Tanks.

Always bear in mind that you may not be located close to a repair shop if you have a problem, but if you have the right equipment with you, you can generally take care of certain issues yourself or at least patch them until you can get help.

For example, if your water hose bursts, having a water pressure gauge and an extra hose on board will eliminate your problem.

Make sure your RV  toolbox is well equipped.
Make sure your RV toolbox is well equipped. | Source

The Correct Type of Air Compressor

It is extremely important for RV travelers to know how to maintain and use tires.

The Best Ways to Buy, Maintain and Safely Use RV Tires explains how to do this.

Please note that good care includes knowing how and when to inflate them without causing any damage.

Many people assume they can “air up” their large RV tires at gas stations and truck stops, but

  • gas station air compressors do not put out enough air to properly inflate RV tires,
  • truck stops are not always available when you need them and
  • public air pumps often have water in them that gets into and ruins your tires.

Thus it pays in both safety and convenience to have your own compressor unit on board that provides the proper psi.

A personal air compressor can also be used to inflate balls, blow up beds, rafts and other items, so they have multiple uses. This makes them an even better tool to carry with you.

There are many types on the market, but they vary in strength and may not be able to take care of your needs.

The right unit, which would be a 150 lb PSI air compressor like the one shown here, will have enough strength to inflate tires, which should be your main reason for having it. It is relatively light, compact and easy to store.

We never travel without this unit, and it has helped us often during our RV trips, especially when it comes to airing up our tires.

There is nothing worse than being on a country road, realizing you have a slow leak in one of your tires and not being able to air up until you can find an RV tire shop.

With a good compressor on board, you never have to worry about having this type of problem because it can keep your tires "aired up" until you can find help.

A Dependable Tire Gauge

A tire gauge is another important item every RV owner needs to have. (The same one you use for your car can be used for your coach and is equally accurate.)

If you feel you need to purchase a different one, stay away from the cheap gauges, and always test the one you have regularly to make sure it is maintaining its accuracy. (Watch the video I have included to learn more about this.)

If you are concerned that you do not have the skills to measure RV tire air pressure, you can use a wireless system instead of using a hand held gauge.

However, you still need to check and make sure the one you choose is accurate and is heavy duty enough to work with large vehicle tires.

The wireless system, of course, costs more, but it gives instant and accurate readings right from the inside of the coach and lets you know immediately whether your tires are properly inflated.

RV tire air pressure is a big safety issue and should never be taken for granted. You need to use one type of tire gauge or the other on every tire several times each day when you are on the road as well as prior to and after each trip in order to make sure that your unit is safe to drive.

If your tires are not equally inflated (and to the correct levels) you can expect to have a blowout. When this happens, your coach can become damaged, and you might even have an accident which will make it turn over.

These situations are dangerous for you as well as other drivers, so do not hesitate to buy and use a tire gauge like the one shown here.

This is what we use. For us, it is enough. However, if you are uncomfortable with a handheld device like this, do buy yourself a wireless unit.

It will cost much less than the loss of a life.

Is Your Tire Gauge Accurate? Important Read!

A Set of Wheel Chocks

Owning a set of wheel chocks is one of the least expensive but most helpful pieces of equipment you can buy.

They are very inexpensive, are light weight, come in a variety of sizes and weight ratings, store easily and, properly used, will protect your coach from major damage due to unstable parking conditions. Most people purchase two sets to protect against breakage, which does happen from time to time.

To use them, you simply place one in front of and behind each wheel once you park your unit. This is especially important to do if you are parked on any type of sloped area.

They keep the coach's wheels from rolling, thus eliminating any chance of an accident that results.

No RV traveler should ever park a unit without using wheel chocks. It just makes good sense to do so.

We never travel without the professionally made ones because they are light weight, store well and are easy to use.

However, you can use wood to do the same job. It's more awkward, but the end result is the same.

A Rear Camera Monitoring System

If you drive a motor home and tow a vehicle, you should never travel without having a good quality camera monitoring system installed in your coach.

These come with either color or black and white monitors, and screens that are various sizes.

Their purpose is two fold:

  1. to make sure that your tow vehicle is securely connected to your coach when traveling and
  2. to help you see behind you when you are backing into a campsite.

However, even though you may use one to help you back up, you should always use a spotter because these cameras only show what is directly behind you, but not what is on either side of your RV.

Some people think that the type used for automobiles that simply attach to the bumper are sufficient, but although less costly, they do not provide the same level of safety as a properly mounted internal system.

Most of the internal units are mounted above or within the dashboard to the right of the driver so that he or she can easily see the images.

While color is nice, it is expensive, and really is not necessary.

However, it is very important to have a screen that is at least 5 x 7 inches. You don't want anything smaller because you won't be able to see comfortably, and if the screen is too large it may block or distract your vision while driving.

Some motor homes come with these systems, but many do not. Fortunately, you can purchase them as an after market item and either install them yourself or pay someone to do so for you.

The wireless types are not nearly as dependable as the ones that require you to run a cable from the front monitor to the rear camera, so I would avoid them.

These units, properly sized and installed, are important for your safety, so don't hesitate to get one before you leave on your next trip.

A Well-Stocked Toolbox Is a Must

You will be amazed at how often you will use the items listed here, and how much better your trips will be because you have them with you.

There are other items you may want to carry as well, but those mentioned above are "must haves."

If you're going to travel in an RV, you need to be prepared for all eventualities.

Do you think it is important to carry the named items with you when you vacation in your RV?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Sondra Rochelle

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      3 years ago from USA

      Au fait: Thanks so much for your kind words. You would be surprised to learn how many people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a new RV only to ruin their first experience by not taking the time to learn what they need to know about things like this. Many never travel again and take horrendous financial losses on their coaches. The irony is that when I try to tell people in person about such issues, they totally ignore my warnings. Very sad. RVing is a great way to travel, but you do have to plan well and do your homework before you ever leave home. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      Lucky is the newbie RVer who reads this hub! So great of you to share this advice with people so their first trip won't have to be a disaster that puts a bad taste in their mouth from the get-go. I can see how not having some of these things with could spoil someone's day . . . excellent information!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      3 years ago from USA

      Don Bobbitt: I'm sure each RV owner has his favorites, you included, but as a long time RV traveler and former cross country trucker, I'm pretty sure that people who have at least these five items on board along with a basic tool kit will be prepared for just about anything.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      3 years ago from USA

      rebeccamealey: Well, that is why I wrote this one. You only need to have dangerously low tire air pressure one time when you are nowhere near help to realize that you need that compressor! Nice to see you again and thanks for the comment.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      TIMETRAVELER2- You know how superstitious we RVers become, so I refuse to name the equipment I think is the most important. to me. Suffice it for me to say that at one time or another, I have had to use each of the ones you mention, and sad to say, several others have been lifesavers at one time or another.

      As I always tell others, an RV is nothing more than a house on wheels vibrating its way down the road. And, as RVers, we are just waiting for the next thing to vibrate loose.

      Good Hub,

      DON

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      No doubt this will make hitting the road much easier for anyone. Thanks!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sondra Rochelle 

      3 years ago from USA

      Nell Rose: Hiya right back! Yep, upkeep is a biggy with RVs. Thanks for reading, voting and sharing. Good to hear from you again.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      Hiya, great advice, especially that toilet one! lol! we forget that there is so much maintenance that comes with owning an RV, so this is really helpful, voted up and shared! nell

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)