Items to Carry in RV

In the last installment, we looked at what to do if your RV breaks down. In this installment we will look at suggested items to carry with you so when the unexpected occurs, you will have a better chance of resolving the problem and getting back on the road with minimum inconvenience.

Wheels & Tires

Think about the song “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”. When the tires and/or wheels on your RV, tow vehicle or dinghy no longer go round and round you are unlikely to be able to continue your journey. To get you back on the road faster consider the following:

- Carry at least one spare tire for each vehicle (RV, tow vehicle and/or dinghy)

- Own a lug wrench of the proper size for each of the above listed vehicles

A Star Wrench May Fit Both Your Travel Trailer and Tow Vehicle

- Equip your RV with a jack capable of lifting each of the above vehicles

- Know how to properly and safely change a spare tire/wheel

Carry a Jack and Know How to Use It

- If you tow a trailer or fifth wheel, consider carrying a spare set of bearings and grease seals that fit your RV as the average auto parts store will not carry them. They are relatively inexpensive and don’t take up much space. Even if you don’t know how to change them, roadside assistance personnel or a Good Samaritan most likely will. Don’t forget a can of axle grease to complete the job.

- If your choice of RV is a large class A* odds are it doesn’t have a spare tire as there is no place to store it. In this case do a little research ahead of time and know the size of the tire and which tire manufacturers offer it. Then when you need one, you will have a good idea on who to call.

*Class A tire and wheel assemblies are typically too heavy and cumbersome for the average RVer to change by themselves. Therefore, the RV manufacturers don’t supply them with the RV or design a place for it to be carried leaving Class A owners at the mercy of roadside assistance to locate a replacement (not always possible in small towns) and change it.

- Just because the wheels go round and round, doesn’t mean you are going somewhere. Consider carrying a set of tire and/or alternative tire traction devices that fit your drive wheels. You may not be traveling where snow is expected, but you might encounter muddy roads or other slick/soft surfaces where extra traction is needed.


CTI FusesThe automotive side of your RV/tow vehicle and the house side of your RV both depend on 12-volt power to operate. Consider carrying a small 12-volt electrical kit like the one outlined in a previous entry and a supply of fuses for both the automotive side and the house side as they aren’t always the same style and/or amperage.

Roadside Emergency Kit

Next assemble a roadside emergency kit that includes the following:

- Road flares or reflective triangles so you can be seen by other motorists

Reflective Triangles

- 12 volt air compressor for inflating low tires

- A good set of battery jumper cables

- Sturdy gloves to protect your hands while changing a spare or other dirty repair job

- Bungees or straps to secure things you might knock loose during your travels such as an awning arm, stabilizing jack, entry step, etc.

- Extra light source, like a flashlight, to see for making repairs under the hood or as an emergency light source in your RV if your 12- volt system fails. Headlamps are especially helpful since they free up your hands to perform repairs or change a blown fuse.

- Spare belt(s) for the engine

- A tow strap

Other items worth considering:

- A screwdriver that fits the screws your RV is assembled with. Many RVs are assembled with square tip screws which aren’t part of the average tool kit.

- Emergency crank handles for items like electric tongue jacks, mechanical slide outs, etc.

Emergency Crank

- Seatbelt cutter and window breaker tool

- Back up source of communication (other than a cell phone) that allows you to summon help. Options include; CB radio, OnStar, DeLorme InReach, Spot X messenger, PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), etc.

First Aid Kit

Finally, don’t hit the road without a first aid kit. The American Red Cross suggests these items be included. In addition, carry an extra stock of all prescription medications for everyone in the RV in the event you are stranded for a few days.

First Aid Kit

By being prepared with the suggestions above you will likely be ready for the most common interruptions encountered while RVing.

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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