If you have an upcoming RV trip, it's time to add to your packing list. While essentials like food, bedding, and linens are essential, frequent RVers Brenda Hunsberger and Patti Boote shared that specific tools and equipment will come in handy the next time you hit the road. Here are their recommendations for the must-have tools and equipment for any RV trip.
KEY TILE TRACKER
Keys for an RV aren't only essential for the door to get into the unit but also to start the engine. That's why Hunsberger and Boote keep a tile tracker on their keychains if their keys get lost.
“If by chance you might have misplaced them in a restroom or on the ground somewhere when you’re running after the dog, you might want to use your tile,” says Boote.
Suppose you misplace your keys with the tile tracker attached. In that case, you can use the Tile app on your phone to find their general location and can have the tile tracker emit a noise so you can find their specific location.
LEATHER DRIVING GLOVES
If your RV trip involves long hours behind the wheel, leather driving gloves are necessary. The leather reduces vibrations and hand fatigue, providing protection and extra cushion from the impact of the wheel. Boote notes that overall, the gloves give your hands more power.
One of the most versatile tools, Channellock pliers, can help in various situations. Their angled head features an adjustable side that allows for easy gripping or pinching.
“How often do I use [Channellocks]? Every single trip,” says Boote. “This is a very handy tool. I use it to grip things during [campsite] hookups.”
Suitable for a variety of tasks on the road, the sledgehammer is best used to fix motorhome basement doors that fall out of alignment. As a persuader, the sledgehammer can correct the track of the hooks and hinges that make the basement doors shut evenly.
What problem can't duct tape solve? Whether you need to fix a piece of plastic on the microwave, tape down a piece of indoor or outdoor carpet, or patch a small leak, duct tape is a must.
Nothing is more challenging than recovering an object that has fallen just out of reach under a motorhome or removing a branch from the top of a motorhome. Having a yard rake makes it easy to get loose objects that are just out of reach. It also can be used to clean up the campsite, from removing gravel from a paved space to adjusting gravel on a gravel site to make it more level.
It's essential to bring the tools you regularly use at home on the road. Boote recommends including screwdrivers, a hammer, a box cutter, and of course, a Sharpie marker.
While many motorhomes are equipped with external microphones, walkie-talkies are essential. Boote and Hunsberger use walkie-talkies the most when they have to back their motorhome into a campsite. The spotter outside can provide guidance over the walkie-talkie to the driver working on backing the motorhome into the space.
You never know what the bugs will be like when you travel. Hunsberger recommends bringing bug repellent and a citronella candle to make being outdoors more comfortable.
Most campers know how to start a fire without a fire starter. But according to Hunsberger, many state laws or campground laws prohibit bringing your own wood to start a fire.
"Most states don't want you transporting wood back and forth between states," notes Hunsberger. "So, you do want to buy your wood locally. We started buying fire starters, and I used to feel like a little bit of a cheat, but now I know we're going to relax and have a good time."
Portable seating can serve a variety of purposes when you’re traveling via motorhome. A collapsible seat can keep your clothes dry or clean if you need to sit outside at your campsite in inclement weather. It can also serve as a knee pad for maintenance work.
FIRST AID KIT
Accidents happen, so it's best to be prepared. Hunsberger keeps things like Tylenol and Neosporin in their first aid kit. Pre-made kits are available for purchase at most retail stores if you don't want to make your own.
If you need to walk your dog at night, hook up your motorhome to utilities in the dark, or need to do motorhome maintenance, a headlamp keeps your hands free.
Like your kitchen at home, a motorhome kitchen typically features high cabinets that may not be easily accessible. A small step stool for the unit's interior can come in handy in these situations. Additionally, Hunsberger recommends storing a three-step stool in the motorhome basement for any exterior needs.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you’re new to camping and are working on your packing list, Hunsberger has one piece of advice.
“As you continue your camping experience, you’ll really find the tools you need,” says Hunsberger. “These are the ones that we find really helpful and that we think are good for the type of camping we do. But as you go on, you’ll learn what you need and what your rig needs.”