Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. Today he discusses what tools an RVer should carry in a toolbox.
Would you post a list of tools you recommend to be carrtied in a tool kit for a travel trailer. Thank you. —Jack
A list of tools that I would recommend will vary with the type of rig you have, accessories or gadgets, and your level of technical expertise. However, here is what I recommend for a start:
- Screwdrivers – Philips/flat head (three different sizes but definitely #2 phillips head)
- Multi-bit set with Torx, #2 Philips, and others for square head and star head screws
- Pliers – Large and small
- Channel Lock Pliers
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Side Cutter
- Tin Snips
- Wire Stripper/cutter
- Socket Sets – 1/4” – 3/8” – Some 1/2” for larger projects like lug nuts – SAE & Metric (I also carry a set of deep well sockets – 3/8”)
- Drill Bit Assortment
- Wrench Set – Open End/Box End – SAE & Metric
- Cordless Screw Gun/Charger
- Electric Screw Gun (just in case!)
- Blow Hammer
- Regular Hammer
- Crescent Wrench – 2 sizes
- Razor Knife
- Vise Grips
- Bubble Level
- Plumbers Tape
- LED Flashlight
- Shop Towels
- Hand Cleaner/Sanitizer
- Duct Tape
- Black Electrical Tape
- Rescue Tape
- 12-volt Test Light
- Digital Multimeter
- Non Contact Voltage Tester
- Battery Terminal Cleaner/Sealant
- Assorted Wire Terminals/Wire Nuts
- Wire – 10 ga/12 ga
- Assorted Bulbs
- Assorted Fuses
- Extra 120-volt Outlet/GFCI
- Battery Filler/Distilled Water
- Zip Ties
- Certified Tire Gauge
- GFCI Outlet Tester
- Voltage Tester – Surge Guard
- AmWatt – Amperage Gauge
- 10 Gauge Extension Cord (Note: Used for tools only)
- Roadside Emergency Kit – Flares, Triangles, etc
- Jumper Cables
- Portable 12-volt Booster/Air Compressor
- First Aid Kit
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fuel Can – empty
- Floor Jack – Note: make sure it is rated for your weight and you consult your owner’s manual for proper placement and lifting the rig. Most RVers purchase roadside assistance and let someone else wrestle with the wheel!
- Transmission Fluid
- Hydraulic Fluid (slide room motor and jacks)
- Brake Fluid
- Windshield Washer Fluid
- CRC Silicone Spray
- Self-Leveling Lap Seal designed for roof material
- Fluid Film
- Conduct a thorough walk-through inside and out to see what “specialized” fasteners and other items your rig may have such as torx head screws, allen head, or even pop rivets. This is something that will be a work-in-progress as you come across items that are unique and it will prompt you to wonder: “Why did they use that?!”
- Wind Speed Indicator – AC/Heater Air Flow
- Level Check – LP Level Tester
- Magnet Source – Magnetizer/Demagnetizer
- Puck Wrench
- Milk Crate – great for carrying tools as well as a stool!
- PEX Water Line & Fittings – Hose Cutter
I conduct a seminar at RV shows titled “Cool Tools & Must Have Gadgets,” which is an informal walk-through of some of the tools I’ve found and made over the years. Here is a photo of some of those tools.
As you can see, the list can go on forever, with the yellow gas sniffer, LP level tester, blow gun, etc. Take a look at the list and see what you feel comfortable with testing and using and what would apply to your vehicle. I would suggest starting with the basics and build from there.
I also invite our readers to add their favorite tools and gadgets, and I believe this thread will last a long time!
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