What to Put in Your RV Toolbox

Just about anything in your RV, trailer or tent that can snap, crack, rip loose, tear, bend, leak, spark, or fall off will do exactly that--and always when you're out enjoying nature 40 miles from nowhere.

The whole trick to maintaining inner tranquility and not letting a mini disaster spoil your trip is to have a well-equipped RV toolbox on hand. This contains mostly inexpensive yet important items that newcomers and veteran campers alike should pack for every trip, both big and small.

Tools for Your RV Toolbox

No matter how well constructed your rig might be, eventually something will have to be tightened, loosened, pounded flat, pried or cut. Here are some basics that can help you deal with everyday problems and annoyances:

  • Socket wrench set (standard and metric) for tightening and loosening bolts and machine nuts.
  • Phillips head and flat bladed screwdrivers (large, medium, small) for tightening and loosening screws; also for prying items apart.
  • Standard pliers for holding machine nuts while installing or removing, or squeezing items together.
  • Channel-lock pliers (medium and large) for dealing with oversized machine nuts or turning pipes 10-inch Crescent wrench-for when sockets won't fit properly.
  • Small drill bit set with sizes ranging from 1/16- to 1/4-inch. Get the type that works with both metal and wood.
  • Cordless drill with spare battery for turning the drill bits that make the holes. Also good for lowering and raising trailer stabilizing jacks.
  • Sturdy claw hammer enables you to straighten what got bent, bend what got straightened, drive nails and stakes, and pull 'em out again, and provide "persuasion" where needed.
  • Pocket knife for cutting rope and twine, stripping wire insulation, or just whittling if you're so inclined.
  • Hobby knife with blade protector and extra blades, extremely sharp, for making very precise cuts in canvas, vinyl, tape, paper, wood and some plastics.
  • Wire cutters for cutting electrical wire, or turning metal coat hangers into marshmallow skewers.
  • Small tape measure to determine how much electrical wire you're going to need, or how much ground clearance you'll have while trying to get over that boulder embedded in the road.
  • Mini hacksaw with extra blades good for cutting away twisted bolts, damaged metal work, thicker plastics...anything where a knife won't work.
  • Small two-way bubble level to make sure your rig is properly leveled so you're not sleeping with your feet higher than your head.
  • Folding tree saw for cutting trees that have fallen across the only road out and you can't back up. Emergency use only; rangers and camp hosts frown when you start your own tree service on government and private land.
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