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RV Gift Ideas: Toolbox Edition

The leaves have fallen and the camping season is coming to an end for some. For those who have winterized their RVs for the winter season, the next few months might seem bleak. But wait a minute! Soon enough the holidays will be here! Here are some great RV gift ideas for stocking that Christmas stocking or great for each night of Hannukah.

If you walk down the various tool aisles of your favorite hardware store, what’s essential, something nice to have, or a waste of valuable storage space? We’ll show you some great holiday gift ideas for your RV friends and family (that they won’t want to leave behind). If they treat their motorhome or travel trailer like a hot rod that they live in or want to keep their rolling home on the road, RV tools are the best gifts to get them.

Great RV Tool Gift Ideas for Your RVer

Think like an RV service technician on vacation. You want to think like an RV service technician on vacation. RV techs spend their working life repairing motorhomes and travel trailers, so they know the best tools to bring when they head out on the open road. The RV tools in their RV toolkit may have more than what you need (or what your favorite RVer needs), but they know the best brands, procedures, and tips.

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Tool gift baskets

There are candy gift baskets, flower gift baskets, fruit gift baskets, even wine gift baskets. So, why not treat your loved one to a tool gift basket? If you look through Instagram and Pinterest, you’ll find thousands of ideas on the topic. The idea creates itself since you can substitute the basket with a toolbox.

You can theme it however you want by arranging the packaged tools however you want. For example, you could use a screwdriver theme with SAE and metric Allen wrenches, flathead, Phillips, multi-bit ratchet screwdriver, and other similar tools. 

Another technique is to create a feature presentation basket. If you buy your loved one an expensive tool, place it in the center, and put less-expensive tools or accessories on the sides and behind it. For example, you could surround that Dewalt cordless drill with the brushless motor with the various bits, battery, and charging accessories they’ve always wanted. 

Multi-tool stocking stuffers

Product photo of a Swiss army multi-tool
Photo from Amazon

If you just finished your first RV camping season, you now have practical experience learning an essential truth about RV life: storage space is more valuable than gold. People will spend a few thousand dollars more on a motorhome or travel trailer because the model has a few more square feet of storage.

A great space saver is multi-tools. An all-in-one folding device with many capabilities that attaches to your belt can eliminate many tools for small and medium projects. Those that enjoy backpacking, tent camping and small campers will find multi-tools essential because every square inch is as valuable as Einsteinium (a very rare element named after Albert). The real challenge is to find multi-tools made with high quality and are big enough to take on RV repair projects.

The first multi-tool dates back to the Romans. Archeologists found an iron and silver folding utensil multi-tool in the Mediterranean region that dates between 200-300 C.E. More “recently,” it was Victorinox that came up with the Swiss Army Knife in 1886. The Swiss Army wanted all of their soldiers to carry a folding knife and contracted Karl Elsener, founder of Victorinox, to create the knife. Thus, the first Swiss Army Knife was a single folding blade. 

In 1889, the Swiss began using a new rifle, so Elsener added the screwdriver to the folding knife. This way, the men could disassemble their gun, clean it, fix any problems, and put it back together. Later the can opener and other tools would be added when needed. 

Here are some multi-tools we’ve found that have high-quality manufacturing and will be perfect for those living the RV camper life:

  • Swiss Army Knife: I wonder, does the SwissCard Lite count as a Swiss Army Knife or something else? Purists may disagree, but it does have the multi-tool element.
Product shot of RoverTac multitool
Photo from Amazon.
  • RoverTac Multitool: The RoverTac has 14 essential tools like a hammer, hatchet, pliers, knife, saw, multiple hex wrench sizes, Phillips screwdriver, and others. Both the hammerhead and hatchet are the right size and sturdy enough to handle your nailing and log breakdown needs.
  • Defiance Tools EDC Pliers Multitool-16: Belt-held tools are always good to have when camping. This 16-in-1 multi-tool has a knife blade, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, wire strippers, wire cutters, and many others. 
  • Husky 2-in-1 Folding Utility Knife and Sporting Knife: Sometimes, you need a knife. Other times you need a utility knife. Husky’s 2-in-1 folding utility and sporting knife comes with stylish wood and black durable composite case that clips onto your belt. The utility blade is changeable, and its durability makes it worthy of a future heirloom hand-me-down.
  • WorkPro 12-in-1 Ratcheting Multi-Bit Screwdriver: Having a multi-bit screwdriver in your RV’s junk drawer is priceless. You never know when you just need a screwdriver. This device has a ratchet mechanism that lets you keep your connection with the screw. The large double-end bits are big enough so they’re easy to find if they get loose.
  • EKone Keychain Tool: Never leave home again without a tool. If you need a wrench, bike spoke key, screwdriver, bottle opener, wire stripper, ruler, or other tools, you’ll have it on your keychain. You’d be amazed how often these little multi-tools come in handy. (This author has two of them).

Tool Organization Systems

There are many different ways to organize tools and accessories in an RV. The big hurdles when shopping for your Mr./Ms. Fix-It require keeping everything contained while traveling, making sure the organizer doesn’t warp or crack due to temperature change, and everything is easy to get to when needed. Here are a couple of ideas that are popular in the RV world for functional storage.

Read more: Top 10 Camper Storage Hacks To Save Space

DIY RV Storage Pegboards

 Photo from @outdoorishrv

 RV storage pegboards for tools are a DIY technique that does two things for your Fix-It RVer:

  1. It maximizes tool storage space without taking up a lot of room. RV pegboards are great in the freshwater tank bay or against the sidewalls of your massive storage bay.
  1. What better way to show off your tool collection than have them displayed for visitors to see. That perfect spot on the pegboard for that heirloom tool makes a great centerpiece and good luck totem for your tool collection, especially if it still works.

You could install the pegboard yourself and surprise your loved one with a ready-to-go pegboard. If your Mr./Ms. Fix-It person you’re shopping for is the type that won’t allow anyone to work on their RV, you can always find an extra-large box that fits all the materials they need.

Multiple Toolbox Systems

Dewalkt Tower Tool Box
Photo from Amazon.

To keep tools and hardware pieces organized, toolboxes that come with multiple box sections could be a smart move. These multi-box systems fit together, making them easy to transport. Choose one that has deep compartments to hold screws, washers, and other hardware pieces. You’ll want a pretty long box so that extended-length tools will fit. When you’re shopping, grab a long torque wrench off the rack for measurement purposes. If it fits, most other tools won’t have a problem.

The Dewalt TSTAK Tower Tool Box System comes with three sections. The top and the middle section have places for fasteners and other small pieces on the lid. The main compartments hold many essential RV tools. The large bottom box has two big wheels and a telescoping luggage handle to roll like a suitcase. The sturdy poly composite plastic keeps its shape, and the metal hinge parts don’t rust. 

As an extra “handy” tool organizer device, you could throw in BinyaTools Magnetic Wristband. As long as the magnet won’t create a problem with the project, it’s a safe way to hold screws, nails, drill bits, and other small things while keeping both hands free. It also supports the wrist, decreasing fatigue and carpal tunnel issues. The designers even made it breathable, so it stays comfortable for righties and lefties. Wait a minute – we need to send this to our significant others for ourselves!

The Best Power Tool Combo Kits in 2021

Ryobi tool kit
Photo from Amazon.

Each year, the big warehouse and smaller neighborhood hardware stores will have great deals on the best power tool combo kits. This year, everybody wants brushless electric motor tools. To give you perspective, if you read our discussion on the EV trucks, you know that this is the same type of motor electric cars and pickups use, but on a smaller scale.

Brushless motor power tools last longer, have higher torque settings and come with lithium-ion batteries. Many famous brands have standardized the batteries so that you can use them in power tools, lawn equipment, and most anything else in their cordless products. Combo toolsets will come with a few all-purpose needed tools like a drill, reciprocating saw, and circular saw. You’ll also see some convenient accessories like a flashlight, Bluetooth speaker, and a bag. On average, the kits come with two batteries and a charger. 

The most expensive kits will have other tools that have specific uses, but the general-purpose counterpart usually does the job well. For example, an electric drill can be used as a drill or as an electric screwdriver. Impact drills have a different head and are for more heavy torque requirements. But, most of the time, the drill can do it all. 

One last factor you have to think about is compatibility. If the person you’re buying for has one brand of power tools, you’ll want to stay within that brand. Each electric tool maker designs their rechargeable batteries so that they only fit on their devices. To adapt that iconic Alanis Morissette song, “Ironic,” you could have 10,000 charged batteries for a Black & Decker when all you need is a Craftsman battery.

Here are some RV oriented power tool combo kits worth looking at:

  • Black & Decker 20V Cordless Drill Combo Kit: The kit also includes an LED work light, a circular saw, and a reciprocating saw. If you choose the upgraded package, the multi-surface stick vacuum uses the same battery as the power tools. With the LED light and vacuum, this could work out to be a cost-saving strategy when buying your essential accessories for your new RV. 
  • Ryobi 18V One Lithium ION Combo Kit: This six tool kit comes with a drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw, multi-tool, and flashlight. One of the batteries gives you 4 amp-hours, and the other has a reduced output of 1.5 AH. The kit rounds out with a charger and contractor’s bag. 

Amazon recommends adding a 90-piece drilling and driving kit with all the drill and screwdriver bits you’ll ever need. They also recommend completing the package with a cordless 18V jigsaw. An ultimate power tool combo kit like this gives you everything you need to build or repair anything on your RV.

  • WORKPRO 20V Cordless Drill Combo Kit: If you’re looking for a simple combo kit with a drill, impact drill, batteries, charger, and some standard bits at a reasonable price, this kit may interest you. It’s not one of the most popular bra
  • nds, but the customer reviews give it top marks. This combo kit is a reliable tool at a value-friendly price. 

RV Tool Starter Kit

The RV newbie in the family may need a good starter kit for those minor to medium-sized repairs as they start learning how to maintain their RV. Instead of going on a spending spree and buying tools they may not need, a good starter set can get them going on the right foot. Professional RV service technicians and veteran RV owners that repair their motorhome or travel trailer buy new tools when they need them.

  • Jar-Owl Blue 112 Piece Power Tool Combo Kit: The kit includes manual tools and a 21V cordless drill with two lithium-ion batteries. The screwdriver bits fit in the drill and a multi-bit ratchet screwdriver. Whether you’re starting in a camper, mid-size travel trailer, or traveling in a drivable, having all of your tools in this smaller case won’t take up too much storage space.
  • Hi-Spec 48 Piece Starter Tool Kit with Multi-Tools: For those with teardrop campers, small pop-ups, short bed truck campers, or small travel trailers, a toolbox could take up a lot of valuable storage space. Hi-Spec created a starter kit with two multi-tools and a ratcheting multi-bit screwdriver to minimize storage space and maximize your tool arsenal. The large 14-in-1 pliers tool gives you gripping, cutting, filing, opening, and screwdriving tools. The all-in-one bike repair tool comes with three socket bits to make repairs while you’re out on the trail. 
  • Werktough 44 Piece Tool Kit: Many families have passed down their home repair skills from one generation to the next. The best builders, RV service technicians, and auto techs started helping their parents at home. If you’re going to teach your daughter how to maintain an RV, she’ll need her own tool kit. But that also means she has to help with the RV sewer hose too. So if she’s going to learn it all, then she has to do it all.
Young woman maneuvering an RV sewer hose
Brian’s daughter learning the ropes of RV maintenance

RV Specialty Gifts

Some RV repair or upgrade projects can get complicated. Parts, tools, and additional equipment can melt credit or debit cards due to the long list of items and high costs. Getting together as a family to collectively purchase everything the RVer needs can be the best holiday season ever. 

Converting a school bus, restoring an old travel trailer, or even building a DIY teardrop kit is a labor of love. But, when there’s more love than money, the act of family and friends pitching in to the dream is the real gift. 

An RV has different sections from a construction standpoint. Some parts like a finned transmission pan that displaces heat better, solar panel systems, RV refrigerators, suspension parts, and other big-ticket items can stop a building project. 

Either you or the family collectively could put together a themed set of gifts that focus on one of the following sections of an RV:

  • Automotive
  • Carpentry
  • Computer and media
  • Electrical
  • Furnishing
  • Insulation and siding
  • Plumbing
  • Personal protection equipment 
  • Roof reconditioning

For guidance, check out the many how-to guides you can find on our sibling website, Do-It-Yourself RV, to learn what parts go into each of these sections. You’ll also want to send an “agent” over to your family member’s place to see what they already have and what they need. Once your agent (probably that other family member or friend that’s been helping the RVer with the project) has the intel, they can report back with some suggestions.

8 Nights of Hannukah

Now that we’re adults and we’ve resolved our childhood gift issues (or in process with our therapist), we can get the gifts we want for Hannukah instead of socks and packaged underwear. 

Gift-giving for Hannukah has a few different strategies. RV tools and accessories fit well into these strategies since they come in all shapes, sizes, and price levels. 

  • Strategy 1- 7 Small and 1 Big: Give a small or individual tool/accessory for the first seven nights and that more expensive power tool or machine on the last night. For example, each night, you gift a screwdriver, and on the eighth night, you give them that 20V brushless Lithium-Ion drill.
  • Strategy 3- Themed: Each RV tool corresponds to a different section of their RV. One night could be a torque wrench for the automotive area. Another could be that needed tool to fix that broken interior piece that keeps getting pushed off. 
  • Strategy 4- RV Vacations: This strategy involves keeping the kids and your partner away from planning the RV trips for 2022. Keeping the family out of the planning process could be risky and may backfire (or could be amazing!).

Based on what the family discussed throughout the 2021 camping season, you plan RV vacations at eight different destinations. You also include a list of the many attractions and things to do. You reserve the campground and some places you know everyone will like that require reservations. For example, If you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you only reserve the campground and dinner reservations at the Dixie Stampede since both fill up quickly.

Each night, you present the family with the trip destination, where you’ll be camping, and the one or two places you’ve already reserved. You then hand each person a list of the other attractions in the area, so they have the opportunity to think it over and add what they want to see or do. 

Conclusion: Virtually Camping in the Off-Season

Now that your loved one has their RV tools, you may find them working on it during the winter if your garage is big enough to hold your travel trailer. If you’re not ready for the winter camping experience, but you feel yourself getting withdrawal symptoms from a lack of RVing, there’s help.

The RV Life Network has plenty of resources to keep you involved throughout the year. Typically, the off-season is a time to learn more, refresh your knowledge, plan and reserve your 2022 campgrounds, and keep in touch with your RV friends. RV life has plenty of opportunities to stay involved during the off-season.

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About the Author:

2 thoughts on “RV Gift Ideas: Toolbox Edition”

  1. Good gift giving ideas. My opinion is that an rv tool kit should be personalized and specific to the rig you own vs the pre packaged kits that often contain things you’ll seldom or never use. Also, a peg board is nice if you have that space. Most rigs won’t and if they do, you’ll likely put something besides tools in there. My approach was to have 2 tool boxes. One was large and contained most of my tools. It was actually a tackle box, so it already had compartments for small tools and parts. The other is very small and only contains a medium screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, teflon and silicon tape, a couple of hose washers, and a medium set of channel locks. These are the tools I use most often and the ones I use to help campers out when they need help.

  2. Lame article with obviously sponsored links.
    With over 45 years as a mechanic, farmer, and electrician (and over 10 as a full time RVer), I believe I’m qualified to comment.

    Mention multi-tools and not Leatherman?!
    Mention cordless electric tools and not Milwaukee?!



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