Top 10 Toolkit Essentials

Top 10 Toolkit Essentials

Earlier this year we were asked by a new motorhomie what were the most essential items that she needed to pack in her new home.  It prompted a blog on this very topic, which had a very purposeful female slant – The Top 20 Motorhome Essentials for Ladies.

We promised to draw up a male influenced Essentials List, which I delegated over to Mr Smilisie.  Now clearly, I recognise that there are plenty of solo ladies out there, although we hope you will forgive the masculinity of the topic and get some benefit from our list.

* Affiliate disclosure – some of these items have a link to Amazon, with whom we have an affiliate partnership. If you click on these links and decide to purchase, you will not be charged any more – we just get a small commission from any purchases you make.

1. Duck tape

There will always be little incidents and accidents whilst you’re away and sometimes things may need holding together until you can get it repaired.  One of our essentials is Duck Tape that is either translucent or the same colour as your van.  It deals with a multitude of sins and allows you to hanging things together whilst you’re away and before you can get to a garage to get it fixed.



2. Velcro ( heavy duty and standard) rolls

This has been a god-send to us, as we constantly look to evolve the organisation in the garage.  Having the Velcro allows us to keep everything in place especially in the garage and more importantly easily accessible.  It has so many uses, we could go on and on and on!

Keep some on board, you’ll not regret it.




3. Zip ties

Who would have thought that ZipTies could come in handing whilst living life on the road?  Buy a variety pack, you never quite know when they will come in handy.  And yet they do.  We’ve used them in so many different weird and wonderful ways. Now then; gripping a tyre when we were stuck on soggy ground, holding things together……. Not always with successful outcomes, although none-the-less, a great garage accessory to have.


4. Toolkit Essentials

For any garage, motorhome, cyclist or camper, there’s always a mini tool kit lurking somewhere in a tiny space somewhere.  Whilst you may not be able to bring all your beloved tools away with you, well not if you want to keep within your payload, there are some essentials that you just can’t do without.  Here are our vitals:

  • Multi-screwdriver
  • Small adjustable spanner
  • Stanley knife
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Good quality torch
  • Bungies
  • Pliers
  • WD40
  • White Spirit


5. Assortment of fuses

This has been one of most recent purchases, as there’s something about our 12v charger point in the kitchen that keeps tripping out the fuse.  So we’ve got a neat little box of fuses to replace the duffers.





6. Araldite glue

You always gotta have glue, it’s amazing the number of things that come unstuck that need putting back together again. If it works for Humpty Dumpty, then surely it must work for us motorhomies too.


7. Baby wipes

Now who would have thought that Baby Wipes would have got a mention on a blog like this!  Yet these little babies are fantastic for cleaning off the bugs and grime on the outside of the van, as well as helping sterilise stuff on the inside.  Marvellous.


8. Solar panel with pure sine wave inverter

This is one of our best ever purchases and whilst not a specific tool as such it is a great resource, especially as we do a lot of wild camping.  It’s a 120W Solar Panel that together with an extra Leisure Battery gives us all the power we need to run some household appliances, like the Nutribullet and Juicer for the Mrs and keep our devices powered up.




9. Power Packs

Whether you are travelling as a family, solo or as a couple, you will undoubtedly have devices that will need constant charging.  If you’re like us and do work on the road, these little bundles of power pack a right old punch and keep us connected both with the work we do and our family and friends back in UK.

They’re not expensive or difficult to store although essential pieces of kit.  Just make sure you get enough of them – we have three and sometimes even that’s not enough.



10.  Ratchet Straps

These straps are great multi-taskers and are just one of these pieces of kit that you need to keep in your garage somewhere.

We use ours for a bit of safety when we’re wild camping, strapping the two main doors together – it might not stop them getting in although they’ll certainly wake us up trying!




As always, not an exhaustive list, although these are the items we believe have been essential to us.  There are other items we carry, although perhaps more nice to haves – which is a whole different post altogether.  So for now, we hope sharing our experiences is helpful.  Kx

Additional extras

Additional extras

So we finally took the plunge and bought our brand new motorhome- a Pilote 740c. We chose this particular one because we liked the build quality of the Pilote and the model offered an Island fixed bed. Having toured New Zealand in a Swift Bolero with a french bed we thought we could compromise but we are spending a lot longer in our new ‘home’ we decided at the 11th hour on the ‘upgrade’. We think we’ve made the right decision but only time will tell.
Having finally made the decision on make and model it was time for the extras and what a selection there is. From electric lift up beds to rear view cameras- you can have the lot but in the end we chose the following.

1. A 120W solar panel
2. 1 Extra 105ah leisure battery
3. a gaslow LPG filling system
4. an outside BBQ point
5. An external shower point.
6. An inverter to convert 12v to 240v on 1 extra socket in the kitchen
7. The additional sleeping bits for a second double bed
8. A bike rack
9 An engine upgrade to 150BHP
10. A catgeory 1 Alarm

In addition we will have a drive away awning instead of a fiamma pull down sun screen ( this may in time prove to be a mistake), a cadac safari external gas BBQ, a 12v towel rail, anti skid wheels (to stop the rear skirt catching the floor) and a Wifi/Broadband system to stay connected.

Our thought process took us down the following path.

1. Running out of electricity while wild camping is not an option.
2. The inverter is necessary to charge up devices when not a electric hook up and standard kitchen appliances (juicers, blenders etc) can be used
3. On his return from a recent trip to Europe a friend of mine recommended the gaslow system as he couldn’t fill up his bottles unless he was in Germany. He also advised to install the skid wheels (served him well on a number of occasions) and the towel rail. ‘Always nice to have dry towels in the morning’ he argued.
4. Many people in New Zealand complained that their hire motorhome was pants going up hill hence the engine upgrade (especially if we’re going to tow a smart car or Qpod- the jury is still out here)
5. I’m a side mirror kinda person and did’t use a camera when I had one.
6. For convenience an external shower and BBQ point seemed logical
7. I was all prepared for the investment of an Oyster satellite dish on the roof when the same friend lamented whether his was money well spent. ‘ You can always get a mobile or wifi signal most places’ he said. ‘ We’ve only used the thing once and it was pretty slow. So I’ve plumbed for the latest wifi/mobile boosting roof mounted aerials in the hopes this will suffice.
8. Having had a puncture recently and used the glue stuff you squirt in to good effect I am refraining from a spare tyre and the long lasting residue they pump into all tyres for the tie being.

And that’s about it. I’m positive we haven’t thought about everything and that this is only a starting point but I don’t think we’ll be too far off.

TTFN Smiley…. Next Blog…. The dreaded Payload.