Tuesday, December 6, 2022


Duct tape: The incredible universal fixer and 16 ways to use it


My uncle always said, “You can fix just about anything with duct tape.” I can’t believe it took nine years for him to lose his medical license.

Its history is amazing!

There are lots of funny jokes about duct tape; however, duct tape is really pretty amazing! Did you know that duct tape was invented by a woman? Vesta Stoudt, mom of two World War II soldiers, worked packing boxes of ammunition for the war effort. When inspecting the ammo packages, Vesta noticed a flaw. Paper tape was used to seal the boxes. Then the boxes were dipped into wax to make the complete package watertight. Opening these boxes could be problematic. It just took too long, especially when soldiers were under fire. Vesta thought a waterproof tape could seal the boxes better and still allow the boxes to be opened quickly.

Vesta’s supervisors did not share her enthusiasm for this new product, so she wrote a letter directly to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In her letter, Vesta described the problem and detailed her solution. She even included diagrams! The rest, as they say, is history! The armed forces used Vesta’s cloth-backed, waterproof tape to fix everything from Jeep fenders to combat boots.

It’s come a long way…

Today there are duct tape festivals, fan clubs, and a wide variety of decorated duct tape available. Vesta would be amazed! You might be amazed, too, at the list of ways campers and RVers use duct tape today. Read on to see for yourself!

Try these uses for duct tape

  • Fix a broken vacuum cleaner hose with duct tape. I’ve done it and it works!
  • Repair a tent tear with duct tape. It’s waterproof! Duct tape can also temporarily hold a broken tent pole together. Ditto as a temporary fix to a small rip in an RV awning.
  • Got a splinter? Duct tape can help extract it. Just gently apply tape to the splinter, then slowly remove it. The splinter should come right out.
  • Friends we know use duct tape to secure a credit card to the bottom of a closet shelf. Though out of sight, it’s always handy for emergencies. Best of all, thieves most likely won’t find it!
  • Hang a long piece of duct tape like you would hang fly-catcher paper. It will catch those pesky flies just as well.
  • You can also temporarily fix a hole in a screen with duct tape.
  • Save the RV floors. Apply duct tape to the bottom of your dining chairs and the chair feet won’t scratch your floors.
  • Got sticky residue on your RV from the dealer’s price sticker? Duct tape may help remove the stickiness. Tear a new piece of tape. Apply it to the sticky spot and remove the tape. If any stickiness remains, dab the spots with more duct tape. (Hint: Try this on a less visible place first to see if the tape will in any way harm your RV’s finish.)
  • Use duct tape to help you get up every speck of dirt when you sweep. Simply apply a length of duct tape to the dustpan edge and to the floor. When you sweep, the dirt will not slide underneath the dustpan.
  • Love pickles but can’t open the new jar? Duct tape to the rescue! Wrap a piece of duct tape part way around the jar lid. Pull the loose end of the tape and the lid should come off.
  • Twist a long length of duct tape to form a “clothesline.” Then tie the ends to different tree branches and give your RV clothes dryer a break.
  • You can tape a flashlight or camp lantern to a tree or other solid fixture for a quick and easy camp light.
  • Hiking? Duct tape the bottom of your jeans/pants to keep out ticks and other creepy-crawly insects.
  • Keep rope from fraying. Simply wind some duct tape over the loose ends.
  • In a pinch, you can use duct tape to fix a broken fishing pole.
  • We’ve even used duct tape to secure a twisted ankle until we got back to our RV and could replace the tape with an Ace bandage.

Does the list of uses for duct tape ever end? Nope! Feel free to add your own unique uses for this unique tape in the comments below.


“You can’t fix stupid with duct tape.” Funny sign will make you laugh

Duct tape on Amazon


Did you enjoy this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Used duct tape to patch a hole in a canoe. Held up for the four hours needed. Also knew a pilot who patched a wing tip after he hit a pole with it. Flew the bird 200 miles home.

Martin Stein
1 year ago

be aware duck tape adhesive can be acidic and eat through the finishes you put it on

1 year ago

Our small outdoor kitchen refrigerator kept popping open on travel days and the drinks got hot. A small piece of duct tape keeps it closed now.

1 year ago

I’ve used duct tape to hem my jeans. It has lasted through 3-4 washes! Also used it to hem the sleeve of a light weight jacket. The sleeves were so long that you couldn’t even see the tape! Yes, indeed, the list just goes on! Love it!

Richard Hughes
1 year ago

Once, when working in Florida, I saw duct tape holding a Palm Tree together. I was told, “Duct tape is holding Florida to the United States.”

1 year ago

If you get the itchy microscopic fiberglass in your arms when crawling in the attic duct tape will remove it. The underside of your arms of course where there is little to no hair, that’s where the fiberglass likes to stick.

1 year ago

I forgot to mention I still have the first holder I made 40 years ago

1 year ago

I used to make tool bag holders for specialty tools usually with individual slots. Ex. Hole punches, cold chisels, Allen wrenches, etc.

Lindy Maynes-Kolthoff
1 year ago

Saw this once. “Duct tape is like Star Wars. There is a Dark side and a Light side and it holds the universe together.” LOL

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

We’ve pretty much changed from duct tape to Gaffer tape (which we were alerted to in an rvtravel article).

Carol Stanfill
1 year ago

A raccoon attacked our sweet pitbull. A main artery was pumping blood. Adhesive tape from the 1st aid kit was useless. Duct tape saved his life.

1 year ago
Reply to  Carol Stanfill


Larry Lee
1 year ago

My granddaughter makes duct tape wallets even including pockets for credit cards.

1 year ago
Reply to  Larry Lee

I got one as a gift from one of our kids and I believe it was signed by Red Green who called duct tape the handy man’s secret weapon.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.