Wherever your journey takes you there will always have to be some compromise on space and weight when you’re travelling in a campervan. It’s often tempting to leave items such as bulky and heavy tools at home. But is this really such a good idea?
No matter how modern your campervan is, if there’s an issue with the engine, or something needs fixing inside you’ll be glad you packed even a basic toolkit, and if you have invested in one of those head-turning but high maintenance classic campers, you could look foolish if you haven’t got the right tools for an easy fix.
The trick is knowing what to pack, and what is best left at home. So, that’s why we’ve put together this handy packing list of what tools to carry in a campervan.
If you do decide to take your tools on the road, double check that your insurance for campervans covers the contents. You never know when a thief may strike!
The right toolbox
Having your tools spread throughout the van is no use if you find yourself in need of a quick fix. So invest in a decent toolbox to keep all your tools in one place.
The old-fashioned heavy metal toolboxes are both too large and too heavy for campervan use. Instead choose something lightweight in heavy-duty plastic or aluminium as a practical solution.
Basic tools for tricky spots
There are a few basic tools which no travel toolbox should be without. These include:
- Spanners – A good set to fit all the nuts and bolts in the vehicle is essential to get you out of tricky situations. A small and a large adjustable spanner are also worth packing just in case you don’t have the right-sized conventional one. They’re also invaluable for water and waste connections, and gas bottles.
- Socket set – Don’t bother with a full set. Just invest in a small socket set with a single ratchet handle and removable heads. Excellent for hard-to-reach places.
- Pliers – Perfect for grabbing and manipulating in a whole range of jobs. Have two sets of pliers as a minimum. A long-nosed type is best for electrical jobs or more intricate work in tricky places. While a conventional pair of square nosed pliers is better for the heavy-duty work.
- Mole grips – Effectively like having a mini vice to hold things in place while you're working on them. Perfect for clamping in place bolts, nuts, screw heads and fittings – particularly if your fingers are not strong enough.
- Screwdrivers – A small set of screwdrivers will come in useful for all those minor DIY jobs around the living space. Ensure you have both flathead and Phillips screwdrivers in your kit. If you don’t have space for a full set then at least pack a small ratcheting screwdriver with a range of heads.
- Hacksaw – These handy little saws will cut through almost anything from metal, wood, plastic and rubber. Great for small jobs and easily packed away.
- Stanley knife – An extremely sharp knife with a retractable blade that’s great at making clean, precise cuts through many materials.
- Tape measure – A critical tool for measuring, sizing, spacing and lots of other uses.
- WD40 – No toolbox is complete without a can of this wonderful fluid. A whole host of situations are made better with a few squirts of this. It stops things squeaking and rubbing and keeps everything well lubricated.
- Duct tape – Another essential item with a whole range of uses. From leaky pipes to broken latches this simple roll of tape will often be enough to fix minor damage. Meaning you don’t have to interrupt your holiday with a trip to a garage or hardware store.
- Pressure gauge and tyre pump – Essential to make sure your tyres are running at the right pressure – better for safety and fuel economy. And if you get stuck in the mud and need to reduce tyre pressure to get you out, you’ll need the pump before you get back on the road.
- MultiMeter - If you’re thinking of doing any electrical work in your campervan this will really help with finding faults. It will also indicate the condition of the van’s battery. If you don’t know how to use one then find out! It’s a really invaluable tool that will help you no end.
Other essential items
As well as tools you’ll also need some other essentials. Having a supply of these basics means you can do minor repairs right away rather than leaving them until things get worse. Such items include:
- Spare fuses
- Spare bulb kit
- Wiper blades
- Electrical tape
- Cable ties
- Spare bolts and washers
- Spare jubilee clips / hose clips
Each campervan model is unique so speak to other owners about any unusual items or tools that you may need along the way.
If your van is a recent conversion and completely done both inside and out then you might get away with a slightly smaller toolkit. Campervan insurance from Motorhome Protect can cover all makes and models of camper.
Learn to use it
Being self-sufficient while beyond the reach of civilization is a big part of van life, and there’s really no point in going out and investing your hard-earned cash buying tools if you’ve no idea how to use them.
Perhaps join a campervan maintenance or DIY course to teach you the basics. There’s nothing more satisfying than having the right tool for the job!
Protect your home on wheels with campervan insurance
Toolkits are essential in your camper – a bit like campervan insurance! Call the specialist team at Motorhome Protect to find the very best policy suited to your particular vehicle, needs and budget.
Quality campervan insurance policies arranged through us can include the following benefits:
- Cover of camping personal effects for up to £3,500
- Up to 6 months to complete a self-build conversion
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Discounts if you're a member of a campervan club
- Quotes available for customers with claims and convictions
Call Motorhome Protect today for a quick quote.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.