What goes in your ‘on the road’ toolkit?

Talk about a mutlidimensional problem! Figuring out what to carry in your RV for repair and maintenance on the road has to consider your own interests and capabilities, the many different kinds of things that might need repair, the space and weight carrying availability, balancing between repair and maintenance, where you travel, and how significant a problem has to be to require fixing while on the road in your eyes.

your own interests and capabilities There is no sense carrying things you don’t know how to use or don’t have any interest in using or learning how to use. You can get yourself in more trouble trying to fix something you don’t know anything about than if you just let it be until you can find someone qualified to fix it.

the many different kinds of things that might need repair Your RV is a mix of automotive, low voltage electrical, high voltage electrical, LP gas, plumbing, and other technologies. Some tools can be used for several of these technologies but each has its own special needs, too. These technologies also each have basic tools for the broader range of tasks and more specialized tools needed for more focused tasks. Taking an entire toolkit for each technology and task is impractical for most RVer’s.

the space and weight carrying availability You need to carry things besides tools and spare parts in your RV, too. Select what you can take so it will store safely and conveniently and be out of the way of your day to day use of the RV.

balancing between repair and maintenance On short trips, you can plan maintenance from the convenience of home. Repairs are only needed to get you back home safely. Longer trips means you need to plan for maintenance on the road and be able to make effective long term repairs.

where you travel If you never stray far from civilization, you can depend upon being able to find help when you need it. If you get out in the boonies, you might find getting the right kind of help difficult and costly. If you can’t call for immediate road side assistance, you will have a greater need to be able to fix things yourself for better comfort and safety.

how significant a problem has to be to require fixing while on the road in your eyes. This is a what you are willing to put up with issue. Some things must be fixed in order to make your RV minimally usable. Other things are just matters of convenience and lifestyle. Some things are easy to fix and others need special tools and capabilities. Plan for what you need to do that you can do to be able to fix your RV so you can use it the way you want to as best you can.

What this all comes down to is one of those issues that you have to figure out for yourself. You already know those tools you will need in your RV because they are the tools you already have and use. Being out in the road is no place to find out whether someone else’s toolkit is going to be what you need. Your only decision is whether or not to have a duplicate set of tools in your RV that reflects what you have in your workshop, garage, kitchen, or other workspace or to just use one set that you move back and forth as you go on RV outings.

If you are totally unfamiliar with the RV experience, start with weekend outings, preferrable with more experienced friends, and gain experience to learn what you need for the way you do things.

If you are totally clueless and want to stay that way – your toolkit only needs a cellphone and a toll free roadside service number. And just don’t get out of range of a cell tower.

Or, if you are handy at a lot of things and carry a large toolbox, then maybe you can pick up some extra cash at the campground helping others get things fixed. You can help everyone enjoy their RV experience better and make new friends at the same time.

For ideas and links, see

See the preparedness section of the owner’s guide.

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