Skip to main content

Buying an RV? You'll Need Tools!

Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life. He shares his experiences along with valuable tips for RV owners.

A common soft tool bag that RV owners might find useful

A common soft tool bag that RV owners might find useful

Eventually, RV Equipment Will Stop Operating

Anyone who has an RV will tell you that it will eventually need simple repairs and some level of preventive maintenance.

And when you go to perform these repair tasks, you will need certain tools to take care of the problem, mostly simple common hand tools. And there are a few other tools that you can use to keep your RV in good condition that may be a bit more expensive than these hand tools.

Commonly Used Tools

Before you buy any hand tools for your RV's toolbox, you need to find out if your RV was designed with parts that use metric or English measurements.

Once you know this little fact, you can go to your local hardware store (or flea market) and pick up a relatively cheap collection of compatible hand tools. such as;

  • a socket/ratchet set for nuts and bolts
  • a set of open-end/closed-end wrenches
  • one large and one small adjustable wrench
  • one small and one large channel-lock pliers
  • one small and one large vice-grip pliers
  • a set of small and large screw drivers, both Philips-head and flat-head
  • hammers, one small and one larger
  • duct tape
  • electrical tape
  • hose repair kits
  • a collection of commonly used glues

Of course, these are common tools that you may already have in your garage or basement, but these are what a newbie might need to identify starting out, to keep his or her RV running.

Other Specialty Tools

The tools listed below are specialty ones which most RV owners will have with them to troubleshoot and repair problems in their RV,


Because so many things on an RV operate on electricity, every smart RV owner carries a multimeter in their camper for those occasions when electrical equipment stops operating or is operating strangely.

A Multimeter is a simple electrical device that is designed for technicians to use and perform measurements such as;

  • DC voltages
  • AC voltages,
  • electrical resistance and
  • AC and DC current sources.
Scroll to Continue

Read More from AxleAddict

WARNING: Remember that some of these measurements are dangerous to perform, and others are less dangerous, but a person trained in how to use a multimeter can safely make these measurements.

A typical low-cost multimeter that can be used for troubleshooting electrical problems in your RV

A typical low-cost multimeter that can be used for troubleshooting electrical problems in your RV

Power Drill - Rechargeable

It's smart to have a power drill on hand in an RV that is fully charged and ready for use. A rechargeable power drill with a 3/8” chuck and a set of good drill bits is cheap to purchase and can be used on many simple tasks.

Multiport USB Chargers

In this technology driven world we live in, I recommend that every RV owner have two (or more) multiport USB chargers on hand.

They can be used for recharging all of those cellular, phone, music and other rechargeable electrical devices that you may have in your RV when you travel and camp.

A typical multi-charger will have 5 or more USB ports for your devices to utilize, from one 110-VAC receptacle in your RV. It is more efficient to use a multiport charger than have everyone in your family fighting over the few available receptacles in your RV.


Yes, you will need to keep a few spare batteries in your RV. Even with all of your digital devices that are rechargeable, you will inevitably have a few devices in your RV that will need regular batteries, most commonly AA and AAA. I usually keep as many as a half dozen of each of these batteries.

The most common devices that use regular batteries, other than your RV itself with its automotive style coach batteries, will be flashlights, portable lanterns and remote control devices.

And don’t forget your smoke alarms in your RV. They use standard 9-Volt batteries and when they start getting weak, that shrill alarm can drive you a little crazy, until you replace the old battery.

The Reality of Storage Space in an RV

The useful tools on this list that you may need at one time or another in your RV are all great to have, but you must balance your desire to have every tool with the amount of storage space you may actually have in your RV.

I recommend that you have a cheap tool bag for your hand tools that you can keep in your RV’s exterior storage. The other tools mentioned here can usually fit into a plastic shoebox that you can fit into one of your interior storage spaces.

And remember, the purpose of having these tools on hand in your RV is not for major repairs, but to fix those simple yet common problems you might have with your RV. Major repairs may often require trained RV technicians working at a reputable service center and there are several popular RV Service Centers around the country where you can get such major repairs done if you are not comfortable performing them yourself.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Don Bobbitt

Related Articles