In RVing, it’s not a question of if an electrical issue will happen, but when. If you RV long, there’s a good chance you’ll experience an electrical problem with your RV. You don’t have to be a certified electrician for most of the issues you’ll encounter in an RV, but having some essential tools and pieces of equipment is a good start.
If you want to build an electrical system tool kit for your RV, we’ve got some ideas for you. Let’s check out some tools you should add to your equipment so you’re ready to handle whatever the road might throw your way.
Why You Need an RV Electrical System Tool Kit
Having a basic electrical system tool kit on hand can be a lifesaver while RVing. You don’t always have to call a professional when an issue occurs. You can fix some common problems with a few fundamental tools and a YouTube video or two.
By having an appropriate electrical tool kit on hand, you can address these issues yourself or come up with a fix to get you by until you can get closer to help. Depending on where you’re camping, it may not be convenient or cost-friendly to have a professional address an RV electrical issue.
➡ Overwhelmed by the electrical system in your RV? Don’t stress! We put together a guide on Helpful RV Electrical Basics for Beginners.
How to Store RV Electrical Tools
In an RV, you have to get creative when it comes to storage. While RVs are great for making epic memories, they’re not notorious for having excessive amounts of storage space. This can make storing your electrical tools difficult, but it’s not impossible.
You want to keep your electrical tools safe and secure from theft and the elements. One of the best ways is to keep them in a storage compartment with locks. This way, you know where your tools are when you need them.
It’s worth the investment to store these items in a tool bag or box. It’s convenient and organized. You’ll have all of your tools for the job easily accessible while you’re addressing the situation.
Should You Do Your Own RV Electrical Work or Hire a Professional?
Whether you should do your own RV electrical work or hire a professional greatly depends on several factors. You must know your abilities in safely working with electricity.
If you have no previous experience, you probably have no business working on anything electrical in your RV. It can be hazardous and even fatal if you don’t know what you’re doing.
However, it’s not a problem if you know how to safely work with electricity and take the proper precautions to ensure you and others are safe. Doing the work yourself saves money and gives you the experience you may need to handle larger projects down the road.
Pro Tip: Before you hit the road, make sure you know Is It Dangerous To Use Outlets In An RV While Driving?
21 Tools Every RVer Needs for DIY Electrical Work
There are some items that we think every DIY electrical tool kit needs to include. While this is not an all-encompassing list, it’s a great start. Here are some items you might need to add to your tool kit.
When you’re working on an RV’s electrical system, you’ll likely find yourself in some pretty tight and dark spaces. Wearing a headlamp illuminates the area while keeping both hands free.
Depending on the issue, you may need both hands to address it correctly.
2. Spare LED Light Bulbs for RV
Many RVs come with unique light bulb sizes. While these lights can last for many years, they’ll eventually fail. If your RV is a few years old, you’re taking a gamble without spare LED light bulbs on hand.
Many RV manufacturers use the same type and size LED light bulbs for any fixtures in your RV.
3. Soldering Iron
Soldering irons are a great way to securely and efficiently connect two wires. Electrical connections from the manufacturer can come loose as your RV travels down the highway. If you’re creating a new connection or fixing a faulty connection from the factory, a soldering iron can be handy.
- Soldering Iron Support Station: Standard dual spring soldering...
- Soldering Iron Unique Features: Superior professional soldering...
- Solder Sucker Desoldering Pump: Rugged metal construction,the...
4. Electrical Tape
Electrical tape can help with cable and wire management and insulating wires. If you want a more temporary solution, electrical tape is a fantastic option.
Having electrical tape on hand can not only help with electrical issues, but it can also serve other multi-purpose functions for RVing. So put a roll or two in your tool kit before you hit the road.
- MULTIPLE FADE-RESISTANT COLORS for color coding
- PROTECTIVE JACKETING for up to 600V splice insulation
- IDEAL FOR CABLE JACKET REPAIR and electrical insulation
Want to level up your electrical tape game? Then get some liquid electrical tape, too.
- Forms an airtight, protective, waterproof, UV resistant,...
- Prevents corrosion on wires and terminals, protects against...
- Made in the USA
5. Wire Connectors
If you’re joining two wires, wire connectors are a must. They help prevent wires from touching each other or surfaces that could cause a fault or short, which can be very dangerous.
- Tin bonded stranded wire range: #18 - #14 AWG (≤ 19 strand)
- Made in USA
- 2 Port (25) 3 Port (25) 4 Port (25)
You should apply wire connectors when the power is off to avoid potential risks for you or anyone helping you.
6. Heat Shrink Wrap
This material typically wraps around a wire, and, as its name indicates, it shrinks under high heat. It helps insulate wires, connections, and joints in various electrical projects.
Heat shrink wraps will also provide increased protection from the elements and any movement that might cause wear and tear on a cable.
- 3:1 SHRINK RATIO - Recovers to 1/3 of its original diameter, and...
- GLUE INSIDE - When heat is applied, adhesive comes out and seals...
- VARIETY OF SIZES - We have included 7 most commonly used...
7. Heat Gun
To shrink the heat shrink wrap material, you’ll need a heat source. A heat gun can create a tremendous amount of heat and help quickly and efficiently shrink the wrapping. A heat gun can also help with other projects around the RV that require quick drying or high heat.
- VERSATILE USE – 1,350 W heat gun is useful for a variety of...
- DUAL TEMPERATURE SETTINGS – Switch between 750°F and 1,000°F...
- BUILT-IN STAND – Makes cooldown easier and safer.
8. Wire Cutters, Strippers, and Crimpers
Sometimes it’s best to start from scratch instead of trying to salvage or repair a bad connection. Having a quality set of wire cutters can help cut the old wire and crimp and strip the new wire.
By creating quality connections for your electrical system, you’ll have the assurance that your RV and family are safe while RVing.
- Wire cutter with induction hardened cutting edge stays sharp...
- Strips and cuts 10-22 AWG
- Pliers style nose allows wire stripper to pull and loop in wire
9. Zip Ties
Zip ties offer one of the best ways to manage and organize the wiring in your RV. They’re relatively inexpensive and keep your wiring tidy and out of the way in storage compartments.
- Made with UV resistant industrial strength 6/6 Nylon
- 100 8 inch pieces
- 50 lbs tensile strength
Having several different sizes of zip ties is preferable as these tools can serve various purposes. You never know what situation might require temporary rigging until you get a more permanent fix.
10. Utility Knife
Having a sharp blade can make cutting through wiring, zip ties, and other materials a cinch. You want a utility knife that can make easy work of various materials to create the cleanest cut possible.
You may also want to grab several replacement blades for your utility knife. This way, you can quickly and easily swap blades out and always have a fresh one for the job.
- Sleek, lightweight anodized aluminum design with anti-slip grip....
- Heavy-duty carbon steel blades stay sharp longer. Convenient...
- Lock-back design safely locks the blade in place when in use
11. Socket Wrench Set
You want a socket wrench set with various sizes, extensions, and adapters. Peruse your RV and consider various socket sizes you might need for your RV’s nuts and bolts. Remember to choose the appropriate size sockets for your RV.
- Mechanic socket set comes in locking, stackable case with...
- Metric socket set 3/8-inch drive exceeds ANSI specifications
- Socket set metric and standard has 72 tooth count ratchet...
There’s a good chance you’ll only need a few sizes, but manufacturers seem to enjoy tossing in a random size now and again. Consider throwing in a universal socket wrench for these occasions.
- The One Tool Can Replace The Whole Set: Focus on simple and...
- Practical Gifts for Men Who Have Everything: Men won't know they...
- Clever and Useful Tools Ever: Universal socket grip is equipped...
You can never have a shortage of screwdrivers in your electrical tool kit. You’ll want a mixture of Philips, flatheads, and various size star and square bits as well.
Square bits seem to be a popular choice among many RV manufacturers. Having long-handled and short-handled screwdrivers is also a great idea as some screws are more challenging to reach than others.
An easy way to have many screwdrivers in one is to get an interchangeable multiple-in-1 kit like this one:
- 【Patent Design, Saving Time】The five-color ring design on...
- 【Practical Bit, Widely Used】Ten kinds of commonly used repair...
- 【Longer Service Life】Our multi-purpose repair toolset, made...
A good set of comfortable pliers can help you squeeze connections, bend wires, and hold screws and other small objects. Some pliers even include wire cutters, making them versatile for your electrical work.
Buy a pair with a comfortable handle. The cost will be minimal, but you’ll appreciate the comfort when you need it. Saving a buck or two on a cheap pair of pliers will be something you regret when you use them on a tricky project.
- Easy to use ,thicken the metal portion, save your force when you...
- The handle made by environmental PP+TPR materials, proTouch grips...
- Multifunctional: This tool can be used as wire stripper also...
14. Cordless Drill
Cordless drills are versatile because they can deliver tremendous power but don’t require you to be near an electrical connection.
When you’re working on electrical connections and other projects involving electricity, you’ll likely need to turn the power off during the project. This would render an electric drill useless, so you can’t finish your project.
Get an extra battery or two, as well. It can take hours for a battery to charge, so you’ll want a spare on hand to keep you working if the first battery dies in the middle of a project.
15. Measuring Tape
To avoid wasting wire, get a measuring tape. Precise measurements will also reduce your risk of cutting a wire too short!
Look for a fiberglass or non-conductive measuring tape designed for use around electricity. Having a measuring tape on hand is also beneficial for modifications that can make your RV feel more like home.
- 2 Pack Soft Fashion Measuring Tape Set. Double sided, 60 inch /...
- Easy to Read and Accurate Measurements. The tape measure has...
- NOTE: The black tape measure is retractable. There is a retract...
Pro Tip: A strong tool kit can keep you safe while on the road! Apart from electrical tools, these are 36 Important Tools You Need In Your RV Tool Kit.
16. Outlet Tester
Having an outlet/polarity tester can help you identify faulty or incorrectly-wired electrical connections. This is especially useful if you’re making electrical modifications to your RV. If you’re trying to diagnose an electrical issue with your RV, an outlet tester can be a great place to start.
- LARGE CLEAR LCD READOUT on receptacle tester to instantly view...
- TEST GFCI TRIP TIME IN SECONDS to find out if the trip breaker is...
- DETECT WIRING FAULTS of open ground, open neutral, open hot, dual...
17. Non-Contact Voltage Tester
A non-contact voltage tester can help you identify whether there’s the presence of electricity in equipment or wires. You should always test wires and connections before working on them as a safety measure. You don’t want to take any chances, no matter how minimal the voltage.
- Be aware of voltage easily - the tip glows red and a beeper...
- Continuous self-test so you always know it’s working
- Voltage detection range for wide application use - 90 V to 1000 V...
A multimeter lets you diagnose a few different scenarios in your electrical system. You can use a multimeter to measure voltage, resistance, and continuity.
A multimeter is a must-have item for any tool kit, whether you’re doing maintenance or troubleshooting your electrical system or components. This is the multimeter that we currently have, and we like it a lot:
- True-RMS clamp meter: This multimeter can accurately measure...
- LowZ & LPF: Low input impedance helps prevent false readings due...
- NCV Detection Function: Non-contact voltage detection effectively...
19. Insulated Gloves
A good set of insulated gloves can help minimize risks while handling electrical wires. However, selecting a quality set of leather protector gloves is a much better option as they protect from burns and puncture wounds in addition to shock. Regularly buy a new set to avoid wear and tear that can occur during normal usage.
- Unique palm and finger material provides durability and slip...
- Extended cuff for easier on/off
- Wrapped index finger for durability
20. Safety Glasses
Anytime you’re working on a project, wear safety glasses. Doing so helps protect your eyes from loose pieces of wire, wire insulation coverings, or debris. If any of this debris hits your eyes, it can scratch your corneas or do more serious damage!
While your RV may have a ladder on the rear, sometimes you’ll need to reach places that aren’t accessible from the roof. Having a lightweight ladder is great for reaching exterior lights and other hard-to-reach items like awnings.
Just remember to turn off the power as most ladders are made from conductive materials.
- One Button Retraction: Convenience is key! That’s why we’ve...
- America National Standards Type I Ladder: Ohuhu extension ladder...
- More Than 60% Overlapping: This collapsible ladder is crafted...
You want plenty of room for storing a ladder. Many RVers choose extendable ladders that fold up quickly and can fit under storage compartments. These ladders are also great for washing and keeping your RV looking clean.
Is Carrying an RV Electrical Tool Kit Worth It?
Having an RV electrical tool kit on hand is most definitely worth it. The amount of money you can save by fixing a project on your own instead of calling a mobile RV tech to come to you can be huge. The savings from a single project could make up for the cost of all the tools you purchased.
What items do you have in your electrical tool kit? Let us know in the comments below!
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Sunday 12th of December 2021
Thanks for the electrical tools list. I like some of the suggestions that you have made that look better than I have. Our first rv trip was more than 40 years ago and so I’ve learned the hard way to keep a comprehensive set of tools handy when we travel. But I’m a bit disorganized at the best of times and with a house and vacation "cabin", I’ve ended up with 3 sets of tools. Buying cheap tools is a false saving as they either wear out way too fast or fail when you need them.
Sunday 12th of December 2021
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