Thursday, March 23, 2023


27 ways to use zip ties you probably haven’t thought of

By Gail Marsh
Move over duct tape and make room for zip ties! Many RVers carry these handy little ties because they can be used for so many, many things! Some zip ties are even removable! Who knew? Zip through the following 27 ways to use zip ties and you’ll be ready for almost anything.

When traveling:

  • Use one zip tie to fasten together several hangers of clothes. Then use a second zip tie to secure the bundled clothes to the closet pole. This should prevent clothes from being tossed off their hanger and onto the floor as you move toward your destination.
  • Thread a zip tie through adjacent door handles to keep cupboard doors secured while moving. (Removable ties can be reused!)
  • Use your zip ties as a key ring. Zip tie your extra set of RV keys together. Then use a second tie to secure the keys to your tow vehicle’s rearview mirror and never be locked out of your rig. Driving a diesel pusher? Fasten the extra keys to your belt loop and always have your keys at hand.

When hiking/walking:

  • A zip tie can serve as an emergency shoelace if your laces break. Just thread a tie through each of the lacing holes. Then tighten to fit.
  • Zip ties can improve traction on slippery surfaces. Tie two zip ties around the outside of your shoe, at the top of the instep (where your foot makes first contact with the ground). Be sure the fastener clasp is facing the ground.
  • Use zip ties to fasten additional equipment to your backpack. (Zip ties add very little weight to your pack.)
  • A zip tie can temporarily mend a broken zipper. Just thread it through the top of the zipper, where the original pull was located.
  • Use zip ties to keep bugs and ticks at bay. Put ties around the bottom of your jeans to keep pests out.
  • In an emergency, a series of zip ties can hold a splint or tourniquet in place.
  • Use a zip tie to tie back your hair if your rubber band breaks.
  • Zip ties can help secure a lantern to the inside of your tent roof.
  • A zip tie can temporarily replace a broken or missing tent tie-down.
  • Use an appropriate-strength zip tie to keep food off the ground, away from animals.
  • A zip tie threaded through your tent’s closed zipper can secure your tent overnight while you sleep.

Use zip ties Inside the RV:

  • Use zip ties to fasten labels to storage baskets. The ties can also hold two or more baskets together in your cupboards, enabling you to stack the baskets and use them as shelves.
  • Prevent tripping. Use zip ties to secure excess lengths of electrical cords together. Tuck the cord bundle out of the way.
  • Make diagonal slits along both sides of a zip tie. Then use it to remove hair and “gunk” from your drains. (Be gentle to avoid damage.)
  • A zip tie can temporarily replace a shower curtain ring.
  • Loosely loop several zip ties together to form a chain. Put the first loop over a clothes hanger. Hang a second article of clothing on the second zip tie loop, a third garment on the third loop, and so on. This will enable you to vertically hang several garments from the top hanger.
  • Several zip ties looped together can secure a picnic tablecloth on a windy day.
  • Tired of the soup spoon slipping down into the soup pot when serving? Secure a zip tie to the end of the spoon! Problem solved.
  • Use different colors of zip ties to label various cords (e.g., TV, computer, printer).

Outside of the RV:

  • A zip tie can prevent lids from blowing away in the wind. Drill a small hole in both the lid and your container and secure it with a tie.
  • Use zip ties to secure various hoses in the RV basement.
  • Wrap kitty litter in a bit of fabric. Pull the corners of the fabric together and secure the bundle with a zip tie. Toss the bag into your toolbox to help keep your tools from rusting.
  • If you have pegboard installed in your rig’s basement, zip ties can secure cans and/or boxes to the pegboard. Just thread the tie through a pegboard hole, around the can, and back through another pegboard hole. Tighten securely. You can form tool holders, too. Just thread a zip tie through two holes, forming a loop big enough to put the tool handle through to hang.
  • Zip tie a basket to your bicycle handlebars for trips to the camp store, to carry a picnic, return books to the library, and more.

Additional hints regarding zip ties:

  • Check out releasable zip ties for applications you use over and over.
  • Store differently sized zip ties in various plastic water bottles for quick and easy access.
  • Remember that zip ties are made of plastic and can melt. Keep away from heat sources (campfires, light bulbs, etc.) Depending on the quality of the ties, they may also degrade when used outside.
  • If you want to trim off the excess zip tie length, always trim the excess as close to the holding clip as possible. Left exposed, a trimmed zip tie can cut you.

Buy some of your own for a great price here. They’re worth having around!


Nite Ize Gear Ties, essential for your RV’s toolbox



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Dawn H
10 months ago

I still enjoy tent and car camping as well as using our TT. Please do NOT use zip ties inside your tent for overnight security. If anything, use a small carabiner clip that you can squeeze and easily remove. If you use a zip tie you may as well sleep with a knife nearby to cut your way out in an emergency.

Richard Wildhirt
1 year ago

I tow a 5th wheel, and a few zip ties keep my light cable and my brake pin cable from getting tangled.

BILLY Bob Thronton
1 year ago

My wife said they don’t belong anywhere near the bedroom. I have no idea what that meant

RV Staff
1 year ago

😯 😆 —Diane at

BILLY Bob Thronton
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Thanks! I laughed so hard. And not a word was said!

RV Staff
1 year ago

I didn’t dare say anything. I would have been bleeped! 😆 —Diane at

Curt Quiggins
1 year ago

Hang a set of keys to your home on the road on a rearview mirror in plain view. Then lay back and listen for a banjo playing the theme from Deliverance and a bunch of hillbillies crashing thru your front door. Wouldn’t it be easier to put up a sign saying Rob and kidnap me, here’s the keys.
What a stupid and dangerous idea.

Paul S Goldberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Curt Quiggins

Actually also may be illegal. In most states anything hanging from the mirror is considered an obstruction. See article in today’s NYTimes.

Tony Barthel
1 year ago

These are some great tips, Gail!

1 year ago

Properly inserting a straight pin into the holding clip between the plastic tab that locks the tie and the tie will release any zip tie. I carry a safety pin in my assortment of zip ties for just that purpose.

Julie Winkelman
1 year ago

It’s great to have more excuses to use disposable plastics. There aren’t enough bits of trash washing up on our Pacific coast beaches after garbage scows dump trash in the ocean.

BILLY Bob Thronton
1 year ago

That’s why I volunteer for shore cleanup day. I think you would like it, let me know and I’ll give you a link where you can give back.

Bob Packer
1 year ago

I also use colored zip ties as leg bands to identify different poultry.

Lance Craig
1 year ago

I don’t understand the “Driving a diesel pusher?” statement. What makes it different requiring attaching keys to belt loop?
Also, you can store your zip ties by grabbing a bundle, turn half around so the fastening parts are opposite ends, and use a zip tie to keep the bundle together.

1 year ago
Reply to  Lance Craig

I think the author is saying that if you’re towing a travel trailer, having a spare set of keys to the trailer in the tow vehicle prevents you from being locked out of the trailer whereas if you’re in a self-propelled RV (Class A, etc) keeping a spare set in the RV wouldn’t serve the same purpose. Make sense?


1 year ago
Reply to  John

Should have just said motorhome.

Steve T
1 year ago
Reply to  Lance Craig

Possibly no interior rearview mirror?

1 year ago
Reply to  Steve T

Trailer keys on mirror in tow rig if you tow a trailer. If a Class A, only one set of keys. I’ve been known to secure spare keys with a zip tie in a clean place under a vehicle.

1 year ago
Reply to  Lance Craig

If you drive a “diesel pusher”, maybe you never change your pants?

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