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15 Essential Tools For Your Campervan

These our our top picks for the 15 most essential tools for your campervan.

For many of us living life out of our campervans, it can be very liberating to get rid of the clutter in our lives, hit the open road, and travel with just the bare essentials. However, deciding what counts as “bare essentials” can be quite a challenge. 

Having a good collection of tools is one thing that allows us to fix/update our homes and maintain that sweet, sweet autonomy.

Having a good set of basic tools isn’t too expensive and can even end up saving you money by doing your own repairs and renovations.  But it can be hard to decide what tools are worth bringing when space is so limited. I put a huge premium on tools that are both compact and versatile.  Based on what we have in our van, I’ve put together a list of 15 essential tools for your campervan.

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Emily drilling the rustic wooden plank walls on the camervan doors

Power Drill/Driver

 DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch (DCD771C2), Dewalt Yellow

I view the power drill/driver as the most important tool there is.  Since vans experience so many vibrations, nearly everything needs to be attached with screws instead of nails.  So, drilling holes and driving screws is fundamental to SOOO many projects. We love our compact little Dewalt Power Drill.

Drill Bit Set

 BOSCH TI14 14-Piece Assorted Set Titanium Nitride Coated Metal Drill Bits with Included Case with Three-Flat Shank for Applications in Heavy-Gauge Carbon Steels, Light Gauge Metal, Hardwood

A good set of drill bits in various sizes will ensure that you have the correct size for every task. Titanium is a really strong and durable metal to ensure that these drill bits stay sharp!

Drill Driver Set

SKIL 89033 33 Piece Screwdriver Bit Set

And a set of driver bits will allow you to work with all the most common types of screw heads. This isn’t the biggest set of bits you can find, but that’s kind of what I like about it. It has multiples of the most common bits and not a ton of extraneous bits that you will never use. And the metal is good quality so they wont get torn up quickly like a lot of other cheap drill bits. 

Ratcheting Hand Screwdriver

NoCry Stubby Ratcheting Screwdriver Kit with 14-in-1 Mini Bit Set including Flathead, Hex, Torx, Square and Pozidriv Tips

For all those little places that your power drill can’t reach.  Trust me, there will be a ton of tight spaces in your van. This little ratcheting screwdriver is extremely versatile, while only taking up a tiny amount of space in your toolbox. They are also good for delicate jobs that require a bit more care and fine-touch.

Tape Measure

STANLEY Tape Measure, Chrome, 25-Foot (33-425)

A tape measure is a critical tool for measuring, sizing, spacing, and loads of other uses. Stanley has been the gold-standard of tape measures for over 50 years. Their tried and tested design is perfected for use by beginners up to lifetime craftsmen.


Stanley 51-112 7 Ounce Fiberglass Hammer

While I don’t actually use my hammer very often for hammering nails, there’s no shortage of jobs the hammer ends up being useful for.  It’s great for pounding, bending, distorting, prying, breaking, etc.

Electrician’s Multitool Pliers

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripping Tool Wire Cutter, 8 inch, Cuts 10-22 AWG, ProTouch Grip (2078309)

A pair of versatile pliers like these are essential for any electrical work.  They can cut, strip, and crimp wires to complete electrical connections. And they can also function just as needle nose pliers, for getting a firm grip in those hard to reach places.

Vice Grips

Vice Grips (or locking pliers) might seem like ordinary pliers, but they have the unique ability to “lock” their grasp. They can be finely tuned to a specific size and then when engaged can apply much more force than traditional pliers.

They also don’t require any user force to remain firmly clamped. Useful for various screws and bolts, and also great for holding or bending things.

Ratchet & Socket Set

DEWALT Drive Socket Set, SAEMetric, 12-Inch, 23-Piece (DWMT73813)

For all jobs involving nuts and bolts you will need a socket wrench.  And rather than a whole collection of traditional hand wrenches, a single socket wrench kit gives you the ability to work with most sizes.  And their ratcheting action makes them much more easy and efficient to use.

Wood Saw

IRWIN Hand Saw, Coarse Cut, ProTouch Handle, 15-Inch (2011201)

A classic wooden hand-saw is great for cutting lumber and firewood.  And this Irwin Wood Saw has some unique features that make it easier to use.

The finer teeth at the nose allow you to get cuts started easier.  The handle is comfortable for extended use and the deep gullies remove chips quickly.

Hack Saw

LENOX Tools Mini Hack Saw Frame (20975975)

This handy little hacksaw can cut through almost anything; metal, wood, plastic, rubber. For small jobs, this small style works fine, but if you are looking for one that’s better for extended use or bigger jobs look towards a tension style hacksaw.

Utility Knife

WORKPRO Folding Utility Knife with Belt Clip and Extra 10-piece Blades, Wood Handle Heavy Duty Cutter, Quick-change & Back Lock

A utility knife is a useful tool to have around.  These extremely sharp but rigid knives can make clean, precise cuts through many materials.  They can be used to trace along lines to contour odd shapes.


BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, 5-Amp, 3,000 Blade Speed, 45 Degree Beveled Cuts, ¾-Inch Orbital Blade, 4 Curve Settings, Corded (BDEJS600C)

These little power saws are definitely the most versatile and portable.  A jigsaw will allow you the most flexibility, and this corded version can be powered with even just a modest inverter. And don’t forget to pick up some blades.

Duct Tape

Gorilla Tape

Okay fine, it’s not necessarily a tool.  But let’s be honest, Duct Tape is often the most useful tool there is.  And I have become fond of white duct tape for aesthetic reasons. 

I just find that it looks less bootleg when you fix or patch something with white duct tape rather than the classic ugly silver. Or black is a good option too.

During our van build we had a problem with water leaking through our back doors. We stressed for several weeks about how to fix it. I finally applied some duct tape over the leak and it fixed the problem. And the white duct tape blends in perfectly with our white van. Months later, the duct tape is still there and still working!


DEWALT TSTAK Tool Box, Deep, Long Handle, Extra Large Design, Fixed Divider for Tool Organization, Water and Debris Resistant (DWST17814)

And lastly, having a toolbox is key for keeping all your tools together in one place.  Make sure you can find your tools every time you need them. Some larger items like my drill and saws don’t fit, but almost all my other tools are kept organized in my toolbox.  So consider sizing up or down based on preference.

15 Essential Tools For Your Campervan

I know the full kit can be quite pricey depending on the price/quality of each tool.  But hopefully some of these items you already own so you’re not buying them all at once.  Also, remember that you don’t need to buy everything brand new.

You can often find quality used tools at yard sales, Habitat for Humanity, and other thrift stores. Or you can also check local groups on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Letgo, etc.

With the tools listed above, you will be well-equipped if you ever need to fix or make updates to your home on wheels.  

A couple of notes to keep in mind….

  • Be sure to cater the tools to your specific needs.  If your van is completely done, and you don’t plan on adding or changing anything, then you can probably get away with a slightly smaller toolkit.
  • If you are living in the US your sockets (for the ratchet set) should be in imperial. If you are anywhere else in the world, you will likely need metric sockets.
  • Take note of power needs for certain tools. Anything that uses AC current (think typical household outlets) will require an inverter to run. The battery charger for my power drill and the power cord for my jigsaw are the two tools that I run using my 1000 Watt Inverter.

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