Tool essentials

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IMZvonko

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Posts
24
Location
Copley, OH
What tools do you bring with you as you travel?

I'm pretty handy so I can usually at least diagnose most things and usually am able to fix them. However, since I'm new to this, I have no idea what type of things can crop up, what I should even try to fix myself, what things should/must be done by an RV shop...

With space being limited, I assume one would want to bring only what is necessary. What do YOU do?
 

Ex-Calif

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Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,262
This is gonna get crazy fast in terms of "essentials"

I am a 45 year wrench - I have 3 tool bags that fit in the RV step. Pliers, wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers. A couple of hammers and mallets, some pry bars, a corded and cordless drill (& bits), in the basement I have 2 jackstands, a 2 ton bottle jack. In the electrical box I have strippers, crimpers, multi-meter, assortment of bullets, spades, wire, fuses. Files, rasps, sandpaper. WD40, brake cleaner, "canned air." Duct tape, electrical tape, painters tape and speed tape. Silicone, RTV, pipe thread tape, loctite, dielectric grease, wheel bearing grease. Battery post cleaning tool, vernier mics, steel squares, steel rules, tape measures, some clamps, feeler gauges. Various wire brushes including drill mount rotary. Couple of small hand saws. Tin snips.

Probably a few other things I am forgetting but that's basically it. Haven't been stymied yet.

OTOH you could probably get by with WD40, duct tape and a credit card - LOL...

Spare parts is another list...
 

uchu

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Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Posts
113
Location
Ontario, Canada
Not exactly a handyman myself, but I can troubleshoot and do some basic repairs, if need be on the road.

Multimeter, crimp wire connectors, electrical tape, assorted fuses, hand saw, mallet, screwdriver, wrench and ratchet sets, 12V air compressor...and yes, of course: a road assistance plan and credit card. Lol.
 

Isaac-1

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Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,275
Location
SW Louisiana
I probably haul too many tools around, and should wean the collection down some, my guess is I carry in excess of 150 pounds worth of tools, in a motorhome with about a 3,000 cargo carrying capacity (using the current OCCC calculation method) Even with this there are many limitations on what I can fix on the road, but for those things, tools are generally available in stores across the country, and yes I have bought some at Wal-Mart or Harbor Freight when 500+ miles from home and in need of fixing something in what will soon be a 20 year old coach.

Here is a quick list of the primary things I carry:
A 1/4 and 3/8 inch Socket wrench set, I think is a 125 piece set, in addition I carry a 1/2 inch socket wrench and a set of about 30 3/8 and 1/2 inch impact sockets.
A small assortment of box and open ended wrenches (wish I had some larger ones, but they get heavy fast)
A good multi meter, wire splicing tools, good ratchet crimper and various types of electrical connectors.
multi-bit screw driver set with torx, robertson, etc. bits (there are lots of Robertson square drive screws in my coach), a small cordless drill and impact driver set. I also carry a set of jack stands which the previous owner left in the coach, though I am seriously thinking about removing them for the roughly 35 pound weight savings, and the fact I have yet to use them on the road, as I can squeeze below it (barely) by putting the tires on a set of 2X wood planks.

There is other stuff, like a small handheld brake bleeder vacuum pump
A variety of flash lights, and LED work light,etc.
A variety of pliers, etc.
Out of all of it probably 80% of my on the road need is covered by the socket wrenches, and the electrical tools.

p.s. I left out my 1/2 inch impact wrench for changing tires, but that one is more of a luxury than an absolute necessity as the lug nuts on my coach only require 175 pounds of torque, much less than the 450 pounds required by many others.
 

Larry N.

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Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,545
Location
Westminster, Colorado
I have a selection of socket and open end wrenches, allen wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, cordless drill, a selection of screwdriver bits including torx, etc. and hammer, duct tape, WD40, small inspection mirror, small telescoping magnet, multi-meter, spare fuses, Viair compressor and other odds and ends I can't think of right now. And like uchu I have a road service plan, Coach Net.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
137
Location
Bad Water Texas
I think the tool list was covered pretty handily, but I will add, When I added my CAMCO Splitter valve at the Propane Belly tank for aux outside Propane device, I zip tied the spare O-Rings they provided with the kit to a area near the valves on the tank.

This is my first RV and I noticed the previous owner had a spare gasket or O-ring zip tied on the shower faucet hose or water lines at the various faucets.

I thought to myself that was a good idea and kind of followed his lead with the propane kit.

Maybe Winnebago put them there during the Build as Spares?

But Also if you have Air Compressor, I have a 6 Gal DeWalt Pancake, Thanks Gary!

Remember packing a few extra quick Connectors, tips etc.

Water Connections, Hoses and Main House Wire Voltage Connector adapters too should be part of your tool kit arsenal. You could run into a camp ground pedestal where you need to cross over with the 30 amp-50 amp connection, and vice-versa so various power dog bone connectors are wise to carry also.

You have to really watch how much you are putting in there because you will start adding the weight quickly!!
 
Last edited:

Mark_K5LXP

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Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Posts
885
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I have three toolboxes as well. Box one, I covered most of the tool compliment with an inexpensive harbor fright mechanics kit. Yep, they're low grade but more than enough for that odd fix it task. Box two is tools I want that aren't in the kit - voltmeter, crimpers, work gloves, LED worklights, etc. Handiest tool is prolly the hex drive cordless screwdriver with a set of hex drive drills and screwdriver bits. Tool box three is spare parts - fuses, lamps, relays, crimp lugs, solder, zip ties, tape, sealant, plumbing fittings and adapters, grease, nuts, bolts, screws, fresh batteries, and more. I have a spare tire and with it a 1" lug wrench to install it with. I don't bother with a jack, my leveling jacks can lift the front or rear off the ground and that's how I'd change a tire. A large milk crate in the basement holds quart bottles of various spare fluids. Years of cross country motorcycle trips have taught me what stuff is mostly necessary and I don't expect to have to rebuild a tranny or replace valve guides on the road, so if it's beyond my kit then I guess I'm stuck. "Heavy duty" stuff is done at home, most field failures are simple/stupid and just basic tools cover those. It's worked out that I've fixed more problems with other people's stuff than my own, as some RV'ers either aren't prepared or are somewhat mechanically/electrically clueless, and they luck out that I'm around to help out. Which is fine, it's great to be able to do that and prove that having this stuff around is useful. Exercising it reveals something you might want to add or change to the kit as you go.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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7,545
Location
Westminster, Colorado

TonyL

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Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Posts
302
Location
UK
I can guarantee that whatever you do end up carrying, half you will never use, and you will not have what you want when you really need it.
TonyL
 

Matt_C

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Posts
348
Location
SE - Mich

IMZvonko,​

Your best bet is to decide where you will carry your tools and find a box that fits there. Put in a good general set of tools and if you know your unit might need something special, maybe pack that too. It does not matter where you go and what you do, you will at some point come up on a situation where a tool you own but are not carrying would be nice to have. Live with it.....
Matt
 

Isaac-1

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Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,275
Location
SW Louisiana
Until I added in cab adjustable rear Air-Lift 5000 air bags with a tank and air connection I carried a cheaper Slime brand Dual Action compressor https://smile.amazon.com/Slime-40026-Heavy-Direct-Inflator/dp/B005Z8HAUK/ I bought this one 11 years ago, and it is still going, though the built in gauge is not very accurate I have used it in my F250 (65 psi tires), and my Safari Trek (75-80 psi tires). Much cheaper than the Viar, but works good enough.

(the onboard air tank now lets me run my air impact wrench, though only in short bursts, before I have to wait for it to refill, enough to loosen 2 lug nuts before waiting for a minute or so for it to refill), still beats removing them by hand.
 

SpencerPJ

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Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
3,139
Location
Midwest
Tools you carry depend on what you drive or pull. I have a new truck, I don't expect to do any major repair, and I don't need a 1/2" socket set to work on the travel trailer. I have a screwdriver set that has various tips that I probably use the most. A couple adjustable wrenches, a small assortment of pliers, a hammer, a small assortment of screws and nails.
 

Old_Crow

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Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,282
Location
California
Welllll, since I was a mechanic for my whole adult life, I probably carry more than I should, certainly more than most(except for my buddy who pulls his travel trailer with a 1 ton Ford with a utility bed). After my toad was stolen with about $800 worth of tools, I sat in front of my work tool box and took out everything I thought I might need and added it to the coach. Since then, I've added a few small things, including duplicates of some of the stuff I didn't take out of my work box.
I know I carry enough tools to replace the clutch on my Jeep, because I did it in a campground parking area 3 years ago.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Posts
14
As with most folks here I don't plan on doing in major work on the rig but I do want to be able to get myself back on the road when possible, at least to the next town or repair shop. Here's what I carry

2 different sized adjustable wrenches.
Set of combination open end / box wrenches in sizes needed on my unit
1 large and 1 small standard pliers
Vice grips
Channel lock pliers
Needle nose pliers
Assorted screw drivers as need for screw types on my rig (torx, square, phillips, straight)
Hammer
3/8 and 1/4 in socket wrench set.
Assorted wire connectors and a crimp tool.
Appropriately sized electrical wire.
Electrical Tape
Duct Tape
Engine hose repair tape
Spare belt for the engine.
 

8Muddypaws

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Posts
3,281
Location
California
After nearly 50 years of RVing my toolbox almost exceeds my lifting capacity. Some tools stay in the RV.

The further away from home the heavier the toolbox gets.
 

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