Top 20 Must Have Tools for RVing Fulltime

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Last winter I published a post showing all the tools I carry in the RV as a full-time RVer. It was a surprising amount and actually kind of shocked me when I saw them all together. This summer I have on my todo list a weaning of the tools I carry. With my many upgrades, our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel is approaching is max GVWR when we are all loaded up. I’d like to shed some weight to maintain a safety margin.

When I published the Tools I Carry as a Fulltime RVer video a commenter suggested I do another video showing my Top 20 Tools for RVing. The idea stuck in my head. Since I’m in the process of reducing my tool load it was a good time to come up with the list. Man, it wasn’t easy! I had to take a hard look at how much I really need each tool and whether it gets consistent use.  A tool you only use once or twice or have “just in case” could always be purchased or borrowed in a pinch.

Top 20 Full time RVing tools

1) Torque Wrench

Used for pre-trip setting proper lug torque on my trailer wheels and from time to time on the truck lug nuts. Also every month or two I check the torque on the fifth wheel pin box, hitch and suspension bolts.

2) Socket Set

I guess it could be classed as many tools, but for this list, I’ll count it as one. I feel a basic metric/SAE socket set is a must have for performing many simple repairs to the RV or tow vehicle. 

Craftsmen Socket Set

3) Tire Gauge

Another tool I use before every travel day to guard against blowouts and save fuel with proper inflation of all tires.

Motomaster Digital Tire Gauge

4) Multimeter

I carry a quality auto ranging multimeter to aid in electrical repairs and testing. With it, you can quickly check fuses, RV park power pedestals, and test batteries.

Fluke 79 Multimeter

5) Multi-bit Screwdriver

I keep a standard Picquic multi-bit screwdriver in the junk drawer of the RV kitchen and is one of my most often used tools, especially the #2 Robertson bit. The #2 Robertson bit (square bit for Americans) is used for almost every screw in our Keystone Trailer.

Picquic multibit screwdriver

6) Needle Nose Pliers

I carry an extra long set of needle nose pliers for getting into those nooks and crannies. They come in most handy for electrical wiring jobs or where you need to get a good grip on a small item to manipulate it. Our trailer was built using reams long metal staples; the needle nose pliers are ideal for removing these.

Xcelite needle nose pliers

7) Wire Stripper/Crimper

An essential tool if you are required to do any RV wiring repairs or installations. Many of the RVs 12 VDC wiring connections utilize butt connectors which need to be crimped.

Channellock wire strippers crimpers

8) Lineman Pliers

I love my Vampliers 8″ lineman pliers. They have serrated jaws that bite down hard to get a firm grip on things and built in side cutters. At the end are U shapes jaws for extracting stripped screws and bolts. You can see by the handle wear they get used a lot!

Vampliers Lineman Pliers

9) Channel Lock Pliers

I mostly use the channel locks for plumbing, for instance, hose ends and Pex pipe connections. A set lives in the utility side storage bay in case I need to snug up the water hose or regulator connections or turn on a campground spigot that has a missing handle.

Snap On Channel Lock Pliers

10) Utility (Exacto) Knife

An excellent all-around cutting tool that thanks to snap off blades stays super sharp. I always seem to be reaching for my utility knife.

OLFA Utility Knife

11) Cordless Drill

I grab my cordless drill every time I set up and break down camp. Inserting a Leveling Scissor Jack Socket makes quick work of that job. It also sees lots of action when drilling and driving screws during mods and repairs.

Mastercraft Cordless Drill

12) Cordless Screwdriver

My Makita cordless screwdriver is a left over from my TV and Stereo repair days and an all time favorite tool. It’s been put to good use around our fifth wheel trailer for the many repairs and modifications I’ve made over the years. Its top attribute is size. It’s small and lightweight with out sacrificing too much power.

Makita Cordless Screwdriver

13) Oscillating Multitool

This is a brand new cordless tool for me. I just purchased the Milwaukee M12 Multitool. It should be able to replace several saws, cutting, scraper and sanding tools for me. I wish I bought it sooner.

Milwaukee Oscilliating Multitool

14) Air Compressor

Used to top up my tires PSI if required before travel plus adjusting my pin box airbag and bicycle tires. Also handy for blowing out the water lines prior to putting an RV in storage.

Slime Air Compressor

15) LED Flashlight

A good flashlight is a must have. These days with LED technology flashlights are brighter and longer lasting battery wise than ever. I picked up this Nebo Slyde flashlight at an ACE hardware in Palm Springs a few years ago and it quickly became my favorite flashlight for jobs around the RV.

LED flashlight

16) Caulking Gun

As the RV ages, it needs more and more attention to its many seams and seals to prevent a dreaded water leak and the rot/mold that will occur. A caulking gun becomes an essential tool to have on board.

Caulking Gun

17) Infra-Red Temperature Gun

I bought an IR gun to keep tabs on my wheel hub and tire temperatures during stops out on the road, but quickly found many other uses for the device. Check out my previous blog post on things I use my IR temperature gun for.

IR temperature gun

18) Axe

I carry a decently sized axe for cutting up firewood and removing debris. It also doubles as a heavy hammer or as I like to call it a persuader.

Fiskers Axe

19) Hive Tool

Used for bee hives this handy tool “Hive Tool” is terrific for removing old caulking sealant and prying up things. Comes in useful when needing to remove things from the RV like roof vents. Last winter it helped me a bunch when I was swapping out a faulty water heater.

Hive tool

20) 13′ Folding Telescopic Ladder

I don’t know what I’d do with out my Werner MT13 folding ladder. I guess the top half of the RV would slowly disintegrate.

Werner Folding Telescopic Ladder

Video Detailing My Top 20 Tools for Fulltime RVing

Well, there you have it, my 20 must have tools for our RVing adventures. Do you have any different tools on your list? Head over to the Love Your RV! Youtube channel video comments section and let us know. I’m alway up to hearing about a new must have tool.  🙂  Cheers! Ray

What do I use all these tools for?  Take a look at the many RV Mods, Upgrades, and Repairs they’ve helped me with.

My Top 20 Must Have Tools for Fulltime RVing from Ray at the Love Your RV blog -

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