Sometimes, when we’re all loaded up and driving to the campground, I daydream that we’re the modern day version of Ma & Pa Ingalls loaded up in their wagon, Half-Pint and her sisters rubbing elbows with blankets and crates and Pa’s fiddle, headed toward that Little House on the Prairie.
Yeah, I’m kind of weird that way.
My point is this: The Ingalls had everything they own on that wagon with them. While we don’t have all of our possessions with us when we’re RVing, we should have everything we need. But, since space in an RV is at a premium, our toolbox should be filled with only the most essential items.
This headline of this post promises to tell you the five most essential of those items but, truthfully, a list of what’s truly essential would be much more than five items. Because of that, I’ve taken a bit of liberty with this list. First, I’ve limited to tools only, so a list of extra gear you should have – silicone, lightbulbs, fuses, etc. — will be saved for a future post. I’ve even then I’ve consolidated tools down to one multipurpose tool that does the work of several.
- Multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver set. Why carry a dozen flat- and Phillips-head screwdrivers when one multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver set will do? Easily one of the better tools you’ll have in your toolbox?
- 1/2-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/4-inch socket set including adapters and extensions. If you doubt the wisdom of having such a socket set, then take a quick tour of your RV and look at all of its nuts and bolts. Eventually these will come loose, or come off.
- Leatherman Multi-tool. It’s a Swiss Army knife on steroids and it’s a must-have tool. A Leatherman multi-tool, or any of a number of lesser-priced brands, gives you as much at least a dozen different tools in the palm of your hand: Needlenose pliers, regular pliers, branded wire cutters, regular wire cutters, wire strippers, electrical crimper, knife, serrated knife, saw, awl, can opener, bottle opener, ruler, file and various screwdrivers.
- Hatchet/Hammer Combo Tool. The hammer end is good for encouraging the hitch coupler latch to lock into place. Also helps drive stakes into the ground and, well, anything that needs extra motivation to do what you want it to do. The hatchet end is good for splitting firewood and defending the family against intruders wearing hockey masks. Some come with a pry bar as well, making this tool look downright medieval.
- Duct tape. Yes, this is a tool. Show me something else that can (temporarily) fix leaks, stop the air conditioner vent from rattling, secure loose items and keep the kids from yapping all night long.
Again, if you can ONLY have five tools in your toolbox, then this is the list for you. But there’s so much more you need not included here: measuring tape, claw hammer, proper wrench set, proper plier set, electrician’s wire strippers, etc. Also, I’ve only included tools. There’s a ton of gear you’ll want as well, and we’ll address that in a future post.
For one of the most comprehensive RV toolbox lists I’ve ever comes across, I invite you to visit the article by Jeff Adams for ReserveAmerica.com (http://www.reserveamerica.com/outdoors/what-to-put-in-your-rv-toolbox.htm).
A final tip: You should have a dedicated set of tools for the RV. If you’re constantly pulling tools from your garage for each camping trip, you’re bound to forget something.
See you next week when we talk about How to Camp with Pets in your RV.
Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Great Lakes region. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the Gr8LakesCamper blog.