Few caravanning trips are completely hiccup-free, making a compact and comprehensive touring toolkit an absolute must-have. James Stanbury tests out 10
A good toolkit is vital for caravanners. James Stanbury tests some of the best
Many people who’ve never actually set foot in a tent, caravan or motorhome might baulk at the idea of taking a long drive to get to your destination, and then having to spend time setting up your holiday home when you get there. And if you asked them, they would probably think that the idea of carrying out running repairs – while supposedly being on holiday – is sheer madness. But dealing with occasional minor kit maladies is all part of touring. The emphasis for manufacturers of caravans and accessories is on items being lightweight, often foldable, and as compact as possible. Factor in that most of the kit spends much of its life being moved, and it’s no surprise that bolts and screws work loose, wires become strained and break away, and things generally just wear out. And that’s why, this month, we’re looking at that touring essential – a good toolkit. Unfortunately, few companies make a dedicated camping/touring kit, so we’ve checked what the mainstream tool firms offer and applied our own criteria. Some would argue that the best approach is simply to buy a box or case and purchase your own tools to fill it. There’s definitely merit to this idea. But one of the big benefits of ready-made kits is that you get far more equipment for your money than buying everything separately. Often, these kits are well presented in custom cases, too, making them much more compact and easier to use than a home-made version would be. And that’s where we start our judging. Like all accessories, a toolkit should be as compact and lightweight as possible; although obviously, this has to be weighed up against easy access to the tools inside, and the comprehensiveness of the kit.
Finding the right kit
Speaking of which, our ideal kit should cover plumbing, electrics, basic dismantling and retightening, and – ideally – slightly heavier jobs. Wheelnut levers, supplied with cars and caravans, are notoriously poor, so it’s handy if the toolkit extends to jobs of that nature, too. Quality is another important aspect. Yes, these sets tend to be cheaper than buying all of the items separately, but that should be due to buying in bulk, rather than the contents being of questionable quality. Unfortunately, in the past, sets of the latter type have been widely available. As always, test results and checks are factored against price – making sure you’re not paying over the odds for the best kit.
The ideal toolkit for caravanners should cover the plumbing, the electrics, and basic dismantling and retightening