Last Updated on June 7, 2021 by Chris and Lindsay
Having a comprehensive RV tool kit is essential to keep you safe on the road and also saves time, money and convenience when you need to fix any issues that may while you travel.
Aside from our emergency roadside safety kit, our RV tool kit is the most important thing we carry when we travel. And we definitely include these recommendations in our comprehensive list of RV must-haves.
The more you RV the more aware you become that things tend to fall apart when you drive. The more bumping and rattling you do in your RV the greater the chance that things shift, shake loose and ultimately break.
We’ve pretty much seen it all in over 3 years of full-time RVing. From needing to swap out parts on appliances like our refrigerator and hot water heater to installing solar panels, a WeBoost cell phone extender and an inverter while traveling the list goes on.
This isn’t to mention the number of times we’ve had to tighten down loose screws, replace missing nuts and bolts or repair electrical appliances.
That said, we’ve always believed that having a great RV tool kit and knowing how to use our tools was essential to safe and comfortable traveling. While we’re nowhere near certified RV repairmen we have found that having the basic tools has saved us lots of time and money in doing repairs ourselves.
Plus finding mobile RV repairmen is challenging on the road and there is usually a backlog of weeks in waiting before they can help you.
But we’re confident that it is likely that you can do most of the minor repairs and upkeep on your own with this list of tool kit essentials.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain links to products we think you’ll like. If you purchase any of the products through the links below we’ll receive a small commission. As full-time RVers, we know our RV products well and only recommend those that we either own or would consider owning ourselves.
The Ultimate RV Tool Kit
This list is comprehensive and thorough of every tool we own and carry with us everywhere we travel. But we want to ensure you that if space or money is an issue for you then you can get by with a stripped-down RV toolkit. But it’s a good idea to carry as many of these as you can.
We’ll indicate with an asterisk (*) those items we would NOT do without.
And while no company sells entire toolkits containing all of these recommended tools, you will see that we do suggest several kits that will help you acquire more of the items you need for less.
We’ve broken down this list into categories to help you organize your RV toolkit.
Most of the repairs and maintenance you will need to do on your RV can be done with hand tools. So these are the most basic, each of which we would consider an essential (*).
1) * Multi-Bit Screwdriver
By far the most practical and most-used tool in your RV tool kit, a multi-bit screwdriver will solve many of your on-the-road problems.
From tightening down loose screws in an appliance to installing a picture frame to prying a container open, these screwdrivers are essential.
Buying a ratcheting version makes things even easier.
2) * Ratchet Set & Socket Set
While cumbersome and a little pricey, owning a ratchet set and socket set is a good way to get right to the point in a repair. You can usually combine several tools to do what ratchet and sockets can do in one simple motion.
We personally opt for a full set of each that contains both standard and metric sizes as you never know what you will encounter in your RV.
3) * Screwdriver – Phillips & Flathead
While our #1 recommendation is a multi-bit screwdriver we still advise you to keep the oldie-but-goodie versions of flathead and phillip’s head screwdrivers in your toolbox as well.
We prefer the longer neck versions of these and have had to rely on them in times of reaching screws deep inside the engine compartment, in headlights and in hard-to-reach cubbies and corners in our RV.
4) * Mini Screwdriver Set
For some reason, mini-screwdrivers come in handy more times than you can imagine. Both of our solar charge controllers required them for connecting and disconnecting wires.
And there were a few screws in our refrigerator and stove that required a mini-screwdriver as well.
5) * Hammer
If a multi-head screwdriver is the most practical tool in your RV tool kit, a hammer is the least bang for your buck. They are heavy and take up a fair amount of space.
But when the time comes that you need one there are very few tools you can rely on in place of a hammer. You don’t need a 9-pound hammer. But have a hammer handy in your toolbox.
6) * Multi-Tool/Knife
Having a multi-tool is particularly useful if you want to try and combine tools in your RV tool kit. But while we find many of the tools hard to use when you need them, the knife function is incredibly useful.
So we’d suggest owning a classic Leatherman or similar for the knife feature, plus all of the extras that many come in handy as well.
7) * Plier Set
You will want to have several different kinds of pliers in your RV toolkit. For this reason, purchasing a simple plier set will get you every kind of pliers you need.
We suggest that you ensure that whichever set you purchase you include needle nose pliers, linesman pliers and slip-joint pliers. And you can’t go wrong with a sturdy classic set of Channellock pliers.
8) * Adjustable Wrench
Sometimes grabbing the adjustable wrench is a lot easier and more convenient than busting out the ratchet set.
Plus it saves time on trying to figure out what size nut you need to work, especially in hard to reach places. A good adjustable wrench earns its keep quickly in your toolbox.
9) * Wrench Set (Ratchet, both American and Metric)
While we do recommend a separate adjustable wrench, we also suggest that you keep a wrench set in your RV tool kit. We’re fans of the ratchet wrenches that allow you to keep torquing in whichever direction you need.
We also suggest that you have both the American and metric sizes for the most common sizes. Note, if you have any particular items in or on your RV that require a specific wrench size you will want to have that specific wrench in your toolkit.
For example, we keep a 1″ wrench for releasing the oil drain plug when changing our oil. We don’t need it for anything else (that we know!), but it certainly comes in handy and saves us money when we change our own oil.
10) * Allen Wrench Set
Allen wrenches or allen keys are both the best and worst inventions. While they are becoming more and more necessary to tighten and release screws in everything from bicycles to RV appliances, keeping up with them can be challenging because of their size.
But a set like this is easy to grab when you need to get to that screw.
Power tools are fun. But they are also incredibly practical – that is, if you have the cordless kind. For nearly 2 years we got by with a chorded power drill. Yes, it got the job done. But sometimes we had to turn on our generator to power it up.
And while it would be easy to say you can use a lot of power tools, these are the ones we’d recommend. If you carry any others it is more for fun than for requirement!
11) * Impact Driver (cordless) + Screwdriver Bit Set
A good impact driver will earn its keep quickly in your RV. While multi-head screwdrivers are great, being able to grab your cordless impact driver and throwing the right bit into it will make all the difference in completing a job.
These are particularly useful if you plan to do any remodeling or relatively significant repairs or upgrades on things such as vent fans and roof covers, siding or inside cabinetry.
Make sure you invest in a good screwdriver bit set as well so you can quickly grab the particular bit you need and get right back to work.
12) * Power Drill (cordless) + Drill Bit Set
A cordless power drill is another great tool to have within quick reach. We have found that anytime we put a new screw into our RV it is best to pre-drill a hole.
There have also been times when we needed to open up larger spaces, such as when moving wiring to more convenient locations or installing new appliances.
It is also well worth the money to invest in a decent drill bit set too so you have the exact bit you need when a job calls for a certain size hole.
Tapes & Sealants
We are a fan of having each of the following fans and sealants in good supply in our RV toolkit. While we don’t often have to reach for them, the one time we need any of them essentially pays for itself in having them on hand.
Plus everybody knows that Duct Tape is pretty much the most important and useful commodity in the world!
13) * Duct Tape
We don’t have to tell you all the things you will want to have duct tape for. If you’re not already making a list in your head, you’ll quickly find a list built for you as you travel.
From holding wires in place to quickly mending torn screen doors the options are endless for the functionality of duct tape in your RV tool kit.
14) * Electrical Tape
We seem to use quite a bit of electrical tape in our RV. Because we find ourselves in older RVs that we end up making more repairs to than we’d like, it seems like we’re having to snip a wire here or there, connect a wire to a new appliance or install an upgraded component to our RV power system.
Anytime we cut wires we tape them, even if we’ve correctly connected them, out o fan abundance of caution.
15) Propane Tape
Propane tape, or gas tape, is essential if you ever have to work on any of your propane appliances. When you disconnect the appliance – refrigerator, furnace, hot water heater, stove – you will likely notice old yellow gunk in the threads.
This would be the old propane tape used to seal the previous connection. Anytime you reconnect the appliance you will want to use propane tape to ensure that propane does not leak from the copper threads.
This is a major SAFETY issue and for this reason we also suggest you invest in a propane detector (mentioned below).
16) Plumbers Tape
Plumbers tape is essential anytime you work with your water and plumbing system. So whether you need to remove/replace your water pump, swap out a faucet or want to add our top-rated Oxygenic showerhead to your shower you’ll want to put 4-5 layers of plumbers tape around the threaded end of the connection.
And if you don’t think you’ll make many plumbing adjustments to your RV, know that it also comes in handy when connecting your hose at campsites where the existing hose threading may not have much integrity from a lot of use over time.
A few layers of plumbers tape can reduce the dripping which can be an annoyance as much as reduce the water flow into your RV.
17) * Eternabond
Eternabond is our new favorite go-tape for anything to do with leaks. We used to be fans of FlexSeal, and think the spray option may still be worthwhile to have in your RV toolkit.
But Eternabond tape – particularly in the 4″ width – will stop any leaks you may have in any part of your RV. We have used Eternabond tape to cover up screw holes on our roof, to patch up our awning and to cover the old sealant on roof fixtures and covers.
Having Eternabond, FlexSeal or some other super-adhesive tape and/or spray on hand can bail you out both in emergency leaks and in long-term maintenance for your roof.
18) Dicor Lap Sealant
Dicor Lap Sealant is the best stuff to use on your roof and any other horizontal surfaces that you need to seal for any reason.
Whether you are doing a new install, such as adding solar panels to your roof, swapping out old vents and covers or scraping away the old sealant to add a fresh layer during your routine roof maintenance, you’ll want Dicor lap sealant as your go-to.
It self-levels, so you can literally glob it on heavy and let it smooth itself out. And it dries relatively quickly. You’ll find that most of the experts recommend Dicor lap sealant by name so go with it in confidence.
19) * Geocel Pro Flex RV Flexible Sealant
While we use Dicor lap sealant on horizontal surfaces such as our roof, we rely 100% on Geocel Pro Flex RV Flexible Sealant for everything else.
Whether you’re trying to stop a leaky window or running light or doing routine preventative services to your siding, any seam or hole outside should have a thread of this sealant around it to prevent water damage.
It is easy to apply with a caulk gun and you can dab your finger in soapy water and spread it easily everywhere it is applied. We haven’t had to rely on this sealant in emergencies because we are good about resealing our windows and seams on a regular basis.
It’s also good to dab on any exposed screws to convince the water to go around, rather than through, the screw hole.
Electrical Tools & Accessories
We’ve found that one fairly regular system within our RV that requires more attention than the others is our electrical system.
Whether we’re making minor repairs, moderate upgrades in batteries or inverters or completely overhauling our RV power system, having the basic electrical tools and accessories listed below will make any job easier.
A multimeter can tell you a wide range of information about your electrical system and components.
Whether testing the voltage on your batteries, running a continuity test between wires to determine their load or measuring the current running through particular wires, having a multimeter is essential to us.
You can also use them to check for correct polarity when installing new light fixtures, switches or fans. We wouldn’t drive a mile without our multimeter.
21) Wire Crimpers
Wire crimpers come in handy when dealing with normal wire sizes most commonly found inside your RV. When dealing with more heavy-duty wires in larger battery banks and solar panel arrays you may want to check out these more heavy-duty wire crimpers.
But most jobs inside your RV can be done with standard wire crimpers that will allow you to cut and strip old wire and crimp new connections on as necessary.
We always tape up the wire after we’re done just to add an extra bit of assurance to the job.
22) Wire Cutters
While a good pair of wire crimpers will also have the capacity to cut, sometimes you need to cut a wire or object that is a little more heavy duty.
We keep a set of wire cutters next to our pliers and grab them whenever we’re working on wires or in the special occasion when we may need to cut a piece of chain or trim some soft metal such as aluminum.
Of course, they do a great job of cutting wires if that is all you use them for.
23) * Assorted fuses
One of the most often overlooked items you should have on hand as part of your RV tool kit, assorted fuses will mean the difference between a working appliance and a dead one.
But just because it’s not working doesn’t mean it’s broken. Many times you may have blown a fuse and simply replacing it will bring the appliance back to life.
24) Miscellaneous connectors and terminals
You’ll want to keep an assortment of different wire connectors and terminals on hand in the event you need to replace any inside your RV. Sometimes wires corrode faster near the terminals particularly when they are exposed to the outside elements.
You may find yourself replacing these, or making new connections if you replace or install new appliances inside your RV. Each connection needs to be secured with the right size connector.
In addition to the main tools in your RV tool kit, you’ll want to consider having these tools handy.
25) * Zip Ties
26) Utility Knife
A utility knife serves all sorts of purposes inside an RV toolbox.
Whether you’re doing major remodeling and cutting out carpet and vinyl, are trimming any sealant or paint you may have over-applied or any number of reasons you may need to cut something quickly, a utility knife makes that happen.
27) Tape Measure
Tape measures are quick and easy to grab and are inexpensive for the amount of time they save in whatever it is that you need to measure.
Whether trying to determine if that new widget will fit in your RV to calculating an RV remodeling project, there’s no reason why you should not have a tape measure in your tool kit.
28) Propane Leak Detector (Propane “Sniffer”)
We mentioned earlier that you must have propane tape when dealing with maintenance and repairs to propane appliances. Having a propane leak detector is an important second step to ensuring you correctly reconnected the appliance before you fire it up.
Wave one of these sniffers over the connection after taping and tightening it and if the alarm goes off you have an issue.
This is a minor expense, perhaps insurance, to safe you from catastrophic and deadly accidents in the event you are working on your propane connections.
29) * Tire Pressure Gauge
While a tire pressure gauge is part of our emergency tool kit, it also belongs in your RV tool kit. Your tires are your first and most important element of safety in your RV. So maintaining proper tire pressure can only be assured with a tire pressure gauge.
While there are some options that are basic and others with all sorts of bells and whistles, we recommend a tire pressure gauge that you feel comfortable using and that has a track record of accuracy.
30) * Flashlight and/or Headlamp
We’re fans of headlamps because they allow you to use your hands in the dark. But we also have a nice flashlight too that we can set down to illuminate a larger area while we work.
In either regard, we recommend that you include a flashlight and/or headlamp in your RV toolbox for anything you have to tinker on at night or in dark spaces inside your RV.
31) Miscellaneous nuts, bolts, washers, screws and nails
Unfortunately RV manufacturers use a wide variety of nuts, bolts, washers, screws and nails throughout the RV. As such, it is a good idea to have a variety of these in your toolbox as well.
Anytime we have to take an old screw or bolt out we make sure we buy and have a small stock of the same sized parts for any future uses.
Plus having these on hand allows you to be creative in problem-solving when a bolt, screw or nail in the right place might make the fix you’re looking for.
While these tools are the bulk of what you will want to carry in your RV tool kit, there are a few more items we would suggest you consider having on hand. These items are included in our comprehensive Roadside Emergency Kit, which you can read more about in this post.
But essentially we don’t feel comfortable going somewhere without the following items you may want to consider when shipping for tools for RV maintenance and repair.
32) * Air compressor
We don’t travel anywhere without our Viair portable air compressor. Because it is so small and packs up easily into a convenient carrying case it just makes sense to grab it anytime we may drive another vehicle.
Whether we’re filling up our own tires or helping someone else with a flat, being able to quickly fill up a spare or patched tire is a game-changer.
Looking for the best RV air compressor? Read our Buyer’s Guide to make the best purchase for your RV!
33) * Jack
If you have ever had a flat tire then you know the value of being able to switch out for a spare tire. Even when we rent cars from time to time we make sure we know where the spare tire and jack is located and that we are comfortable using the jack.
Now that we are in a Class C motorhome, we prefer to carry 2 of these 20-ton bottle jacks. You may not need a heavy-duty jack like this. Or maybe you need a larger one. Be sure to get the biggest jack you feel comfortable storing and operating.
We consider spare tires and jacks insurance. Better to have them and not use them then to need them and not have them!
34) Mechanics Gloves
A good pair of mechanics gloves can go a long way to preserving skin on your knuckles. You don’t need anything fancy. And sometimes gloves can get in the way when working with a small nut or bolt.
But you can use them all around the RV and they give you an extra sense of safety. We’d definitely advise them when changing a tire.
35) * Additional batteries
An often-overlooked essential tool is a spare battery/batteries for the appliances and tools that require them. You may hardly use your multimeter or propane sniffer.
But when you need it wouldn’t it be frustrating to find out the batteries were dead? We recommend having spare batteries for every appliance you have.
And if you buy rechargeable ones, especially for your power tools, be sure that you keep them charged from time to time.
There is no doubt that if you go RVing for any amount of time you need to have some kind of RV toolkit. While we’ve accumulated a lot of tools and experience in using them over time, your toolbox may look different from ours.
But we can speak from experience that in the course of any given amount of time on the road we are certain to reach into our tool kit and pull out any number of these tools on a regular basis.
Owning these tools is important for your safety and convenience. But it is also a good way to be able to lend a helping hand to someone else in need. Maybe you don’t need that random metric size socket.
But when you help your neighbor at a campsite and that is the one size you need you will be grateful you had it.
We’re not packrats. But we see tools as an investment in our safety and comfort on the road. Learning how to fix and install things on our own is a whole other topic. But having the tools to do any job is a start.
And we hope we’ve given you some good ideas for what to include in your RV tool kit.
We hope to see you safely out on the road! Let us know what tools we left off our list or share a positive experience where your RV toolkit helped you or a stranger out of a bind!