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RV Must HavesIt is a well known and obvious fact that RVs are self-contained units. However, they are not self-maintaining. What I mean by this is some people create problems for themselves when they neglect to pack some basic and/or otherwise useful objects when they set out on the road. By properly preparing, you may find that you avoid some expensive, time-consuming, or even trip-stopping repairs or maintenance.

Multi-testerThere aren’t actually many tools that you will need on the road unless you plan on performing mechanical chassis repairs. In this case, be sure to pack a set of mechanic’s tools and never attempt repairs you are not comfortable with. For the purposes of this article, I will discuss tools for house repairs only. Purchase a reasonable quality digital multi-meter (DMM) for performing electrical troubleshooting. These are required for everything from testing fuses to measuring voltage and current. It is a good idea to also carry wire cutters, strippers, crimpers, extra wire and fuses, electrical tape, and crimp connectors at the very least.

Be sure to pack at least one multi-driver screwdriver, duct tape, a multi-tool, hobby knife, hammer, wrenches (including adjustable ones), scissors, and a socket set. These few tools have got me through most coach repair and maintenance tasks. Extra items I carry include a spool of crochet cotton, which is very strong and doesn’t stretch much, solid hobby wire for repairing and securing, and a few different types of glue.

dish clothsIn addition to tools, there are other items which can be extremely useful. Some of these are common items such as dish cloths, towels, and rags. Make sure to pack plenty of these, since they make cleanup a breeze and if you have a lot of them you don’t have to worry about rushing to the laundromat. The moral here is, pack way more kitchen linens than you think you need for dishes. Don’t forget to pack rags, which ensures you don’t ruin your good dish cloths. In addition to standard kitchen and bathroom cleaners, it is a good idea to pack carpet shampoo and/or spot cleaner as well as a stiff brush.

Other lesser known items that have saved us from kitchen spill disasters are refrigerator load bars and plastic egg containers. These items can be purchased from your local RV parts supply store. We have load bars placed across each fridge shelf to prevent shifted items from falling out. They work extremely well if properly set and I highly recommend them.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and as you become more experienced with travel in your RV, you will develop your own “emergency” kit that works for you. Be sure to share your additions in the comments section below.

About the Author: 

Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.


Aww Shucks!T. B., New Bedford, MA ~ “I was extremely impressed with the way we were back on the road in 1.5 hours.  The call center and the service were great!”