Broken, lost or forgotten items can put a damper on or even end an RV trip. After more than six years of full-timing, there are a few spare items we always carry in our RV. Extra weight should always be taken into consideration, but there are a few things that are showstoppers if we don’t have an extra or something to fix the one that broke.
- Sewer hose – We started keeping an extra after we found some very thirsty critters in the hot desert sun who had chewed through the sewer hose. Thank goodness we were only dumping the gray water.
- Water regulator – The adjustable one stopped working and we had a spare non-adjustable one on hand. Good thing, as water pressure was well over 80!
- Water hose – This is good when a broken or damaged hose just can’t be repaired or the faucet is too far away.
- Sewer hose elbow – Cracked is not good! We carry an extra one now!
- Spare water pump – While this is usually not needed when hooked up to city water, the water pump is essential when dry camping.
- Washers – They get old and fall out!
- Toilet water valve – This one is in waiting for the existing one to fail… again.
- Soap pump dispensers – After searching and returning several built-in soap dispenser bottles from Amazon, once I finally found the right one I bought two!
- Hose menders – The little critters that chewed through our sewer hose also tried to refresh themselves on the water line. Connector ends leaking? No need to toss the whole hose.
- Several hose quick-connect ends – We use these all the time for the water hoses but sometimes they just get worn out and leak.
- Pipe tape and pipe adhesive – For all those easy and not-so-easy repairs along the way.
Electrical spare items
- Adapters – We carry an extra 30 amp to 50 amp, 30 amp to 110v, and 110v to 30 amp.
- LED bulbs – Unfortunately, our factory-installed ones flicker and when I can’t stand it anymore, we change them out.
- Heavy-duty extension cords – These are useful when our electric pedestal went kaput in 101-degree temps. We could at least plug in a fan from an adjacent pedestal until fixed.
- Fuses – We haven’t needed them (yet), but we are ready in case we do!
- Electrical tape – Oh, we have fixed more than electrical connections with this tape!
- Coaxial cable and connectors – For satellite and RV park connections. It is amazing how often they are lost or the cable just doesn’t work.
- Plastic leveling blocks – We use these for everything from leveling the RV to leveling sewer hose.
- Extra wood blocks – Having extra is useful when we have driven off and left them or they crack in half.
- Extra awning pole – We keep one on each side of the motorhome. Good to pull out leveling blocks, fish stuff out from under the RV as well on the awnings. Several have been left on a campground picnic table more times than I would like to mention.
AC and heat pump
- Interior air filters – I keep an extra set so one can be installed and one set washed.
- Squirrel cage – Unfortunately, the AC squirrel cage shatters at the most inopportune times.
- Mosquito, fly, ant and rodent spray – Just needed to run out of bug spray once when assaulted by a mass of flies and mosquitos. We learned our lesson!
- Tow pins – We’re not going anywhere if we can’t hitch up the car. Found that out the hard way…
Fix it up
- Gaffers tape – We have taped up, held down and patched more stuff than I would like.
- Glues, caulk and Velcro – Just like the gaffers tape, we have used these more times than I could have imagined. I particularly like the Gorilla glues, especially this slender tip, micro precise Gorilla Super Glue. That glue is currently holding our rear motorhome lens cover on and has held over some of the worst highways and gravel roads in the country!
- White removable artist’s tape – I use this for marking propane tanks, casserole dishes at a potluck, labeling spices and medicine bottles.
- Screws, nails, nuts and bolts – We have an assortment of purchased ones and also ones that fall out and we have no idea where they came from.
- Way too many tools – Self-explanatory!
There are a few items we have collected along the way that we are hauling along, just in case, to replace/repair parts that may never give out but I don’t have the courage to toss. Remember Murphy’s Law?
Don’t forget that toilet ball seal.
hose plugs and caps, just in case.
Heavy duty sewing needle and dental floss. You would be amazed at how many repairs can be done (torn upholstery, canvas, awnings, etc.). Much stronger than any kind of thread.
Decent listing of items; experience may be a better judge of what to carry
Thanks Nanci, which Soap pump dispensers did you choose??
Hi! I bought this dispenser Kohler 1039513 Bottle For Soap Lotion Dispensers from Amazon. Ordered a couple until I found that this one fit the existing pump on a 2017 Tiffin counter top dispenser. Once I found the right one I have a spare!
We are about to embark on our longest trip and have collected most of these items! If needed, my hubby can repair the toilet 3 times!! Lol!!
Have not considered the sewer hose and water hoses and critters but we do have extras. Probably only need to buy new wood blocks, as half of ours have cracked! Definitly too many tools!!! Thanks for all the info! Very informative!
Silicone tape in a couple widths is a good addition – also very small & lightweight. Useful to fix leaky water connections, better than elec tape on wire connections and useful to assure tight & waterproof connection even if you use twist-on wire caps. A battery charger can really save the day.
Propane regulator and pilot light generator/sensor
A simple but helpful addition: a spare screen door latch handle. Depending on how it breaks – and they do/will break – you may be locked in until you remove the old one and can’t close the screen door nor attach screen door to the door without one. A simple addition to avoid a large PITA.
Wow! What a list! Thank you!
One tool that everyone should carry is a DVM, Digital Volt Meter, can’t fix anything electrical without it! It measures AC & DC voltage & other items. Really necessary when chasing down battery issues!
A spare Dinosaur igniter board for the fridge. Its saved us once and been a loaner for fellow campers a couple of times. We like to dry camp, often in Mexico, so having spare parts for the refrigerator is a must.
I have one bag of hand tools, another bag of adhesives/tapes/zip ties/spare screws, a cordless drill/driver and a case of bits. I thought long and hard about each item and believe I can make full or at least emergency field repairs to all the mechanical, electrical, and gas systems on the RV. And without trying to fit a whole workshop in a storage bay.
On the water side, I will recommend carrying a ‘water bandit’ with a hose clamp.This tool will attach to darn near any potable water tap with or without threads. What it won’t do is allow you to use the tap for your pressurized ‘city’ water system. It is designed for a temporary connection to let you use that tap with your potable water hose to fill your internal tank (no static line pressure). I haven’t used it often, but it sure has been handy when I have used it.
45 years RVing and never had the squirrel cage in an AC shatter.
If your water pump fails you can always resort to the water tank drain valve and a bucket or pot to bring water inside.
I guess carrying around a lot of spare stuff “just-in-case” depends on how and where one camps. For us, most of this stuff can be found easily within 10 miles max (and usually closer) of wherever we’re staying. If you are boondocking way up in the mountains or out in the desert, maybe not so much.
I have a separate soft bag with all my electrical testers and pliers in it. Always my go to bag. Extra dog bones from 50 to 30 and 30 to 15 are handy. Lots of cleaning supplies. When you are full time, you need stuff! Hose menders are awesome and quick connects are something we keep and use as well. You can never have enough when you need it. Great list!
The list seems excessive. Maybe just drag along a spare RV? 😉
No, I would say it is not excessive at all! We have all of these things and more, and we are only a truck camper so weight and space are even more critical. Maybe if you stick to main highways and full service RV parks near big towns and places where mobile RV techs are always available, you wouldn’t need these sorts of items. But, for those of us that like to get out and away from the madding crowds, being self-sufficient as much as possible is the key.
Agree! We’ve been full timers for 18 years. We mostly camp off grid. When we had to make an appointment with mobile rv techs or shops we’ve encountered long waits for an appointment. We are lucky to be able to do most repairs ourselves. For rv folks who think this list is excessive, haven’t camped long enough.
Awesome list! Thanks.
Extra macerator! No stinky slinky for us. But, we have that also.