As full-time RVers, we know that it’s hard to go a week on the road without something going wrong with your rig. Below is a list of RV maintenance and repair items we always have on hand to help these moments go more smoothly.
Some of these items are used for preventive maintenance, but many are there to help in a pinch. Having them on hand will prevent further damage and many will help you avoid needing to take a detour and seek costly professional help.
1. Motor oil
Checking the level of your motor oil is an important step in basic engine maintenance, but what’s the good in checking it if you don’t have extra oil when it’s low? Having extra motor oil on hand will help prevent costly engine damage.
As with any other fluid, it’s crucial to have extra coolant to fill it back up to the recommended level. Not doing this can possibly result in your engine overheating and can cause serious damage that could cost thousands to fix.
3. Fuel filter
Fuel filters are good to have in case you need to replace one. This can be an intimidating repair for some, and if so leave it up to a professional to replace it.
Even if you choose not to replace it yourself, having the correct fuel filter when you go to an RV repair shop will make you better prepared and hopefully help you avoid paying a higher price for the part.
4. Fuel treatment
Fuel treatment keeps your engine running cleaner, more efficiently and quieter. It’s a small bottle so it’s not hard to store and haul. When it comes time to treat the system, just pour a bottle into the tank before filling up.
If you shred a belt on your rig, pull over as safely and quickly as possible. This is another situation that could cause serious damage to your engine by causing it to overheat.
As with the fuel filters, not everyone may want to make this repair themselves, but having the specific belt for your rig when you go into a shop is also helpful. We carry an extra set with us.
6. Extra LED light bulbs
Its hard to see at night without these little things, so it’s good to have a few on hand. Most newer LED lights are sealed units that can’t have the bulb replaced, but older fixtures may require them.
7. Toilet deodorizer
We’re not fans of harsh chemicals, but having a black tank valve get plugged is not a fun experience. Sold as a liquid or dissolvable packets, toilet deodorizer can easily be added into the tank to help break down the toilet paper and solids that are clogging your system.
All RV components are protected by these, so it’s nice to have some on hand if they fail and need to be replaced. It’s a simple first step when troubleshooting problems with your internal RV components.
9. Roof sealant
All RV roofs will leak, so carry some extra tubes of roof sealant to make repairs as needed or to perform any preventive maintenance.
10. Slide-out lubricant
You don’t want to get stuck not being able to pull your slide-outs in. Have this on hand to spray onto any movable part on a slide to ensure your slides operate properly and smoothly. Click here to find out more about slide-out maintenance.
11. Hose repair kit
Sometimes water hoses can get a pinhole or develop a leak, so carry a small kit to fix a hole or some extra rubber gaskets to resolve a leak. We all need water for our coffee.
12. Air compressor hose with tire inflator & pressure gauge
Having the proper air pressure in your tires is very important. Your RV will get better gas mileage, ride smoother, your tires will last longer and it’s safer.
13. Air filters
Replacing air filters when necessary is another way that you can ensure your equipment is running as efficiently as possible.
It will depend on your rig as to how many you need to carry, but typically you’ll want an extra one for the engine of the RV. A generator or compressor may require them as well.
14. Head light bulbs
Driving at night is never fun, so be sure when you do that you are able to see the road and anything else near it. If a lamp was to burn out on you, you would want to replace that as soon as possible for your safety and the safety of other drivers.
We carry a good amount of tools with us to fix a majority of issues that come up on the side of the road.
This adds weight to our rig, but it’s worth it to have a good set of basic hand tools including: sockets, wrenches, pliers, hammer, pry bar, screwdrivers, cordless drill and bits, cordless reciprocating saw and blades, caulk gun, headlamp, propane torch, Allen wrenches, nut drivers, as well as some basic nuts, bolts, screws, and washers.
16. Electric meter
An electric multimeter is another valuable tool to have. This tool is primarily used to troubleshoot any electrical issue on or in your rig and could be the difference in diagnosing and resolving a simple problem yourself and bringing your RV into a shop to have a tech do it.
Not everyone is going to know how to use them, and that’s okay, but if you do or want to learn it’s a handy little tool to have with you.
There you have it. Our top 15 go-to RV maintenance items that we always find space for no matter how much we downsize. They’ll save you time, money, and allow you to continue your adventure without an annoying detour to the hardware store, or worse—the RV repair shop.