Anyone who takes a road trip of any distance or duration should be prepared for potential roadside emergencies. But, RVers who tend to travel roads unknown with some frequency (while carrying heavy loads in their home-on-wheels) need to be well prepared for unexpected events that can occur based on weather, tire blow-outs, and other breakdowns. And they can (and often do!) happen in the most remote areas. This is why having an RV roadside emergency kit is so important.
In today’s post, we’re giving you 25 ideas of things to carry in your RV roadside emergency kit. Goodness knows we could easily add another 25, but we’ll call 25 good for one post, and at the end of the post, you’ll have the opportunity to tell us about some of your favorite items in your roadside emergency kit.
So, let’s get to it!
- 1) What Do We Mean By “RV Roadside Emergency Kit”
What Are Some of the Most Important Things to Have in an RV Roadside Emergency Kit?
- 2.1) Air Compressor
- 2.2) Slime
- 2.3) Road Reflectors
- 2.4) Flashlights & Headlamps
- 2.5) Portable Power Bank
- 2.6) Tools
- 2.7) First-Aid Kit
- 2.8) Battery Jump Start Box
- 2.9) Water Straw Filter and/or Aquatabs
- 2.10) Reflective Vest
- 2.11) Strong Gloves
- 2.12) Tow Strap
- 2.13) Fire Extinguisher
- 2.14) Safety Hammer
- 2.15) Air Horn
- 2.16) Extra Fuses
- 2.17) Electrical Tape
- 2.18) Collapsible Shovel
- 2.19) Mylar Emergency Blankets
- 2.20) Antihistamine
- 2.21) Emergency Food & Water
- 2.22) Wheel Chocks
- 2.23) Ice Scraper / Snow Brush
- 2.24) Butyl Sealing Tape
- 2.25) Eternabond Tape
- 3) What Other Roadside Emergency Items Do You Carry In Your RV?
What Do We Mean By “RV Roadside Emergency Kit”
To us, an RV roadside emergency kit contains items that one might find a use for in the event of a roadside emergency. The emergency could be anything that leaves you stranded on the side of the road (or anywhere, really), such as a tire blow-out, a mechanical breakdown, a weather event, mudslide, fire, illness – anything that impedes your ability to continue traveling down the road to your destination.
What Are Some of the Most Important Things to Have in an RV Roadside Emergency Kit?
We’ll preface our list of 25 items by saying that this list is likely to contain items that you already carry in your RV when you travel. That’s great – if you’ve already got the item onboard, check it off your list. You’ll have it when you need it.
However, if you don’t, you can give some thought to whether or not you feel the item belongs in your RV roadside emergency kit.
This list doesn’t cover all potential situations, but it’s a list of 25 items that we feel are important to have for emergencies.
Without further ado, let’s get to packing that RV roadside emergency kit!
An air compressor that you can use wherever you are is a fantastic item for any roadside emergency kit. We especially like the Viair compressors for their ability to service all the tires around the rig no matter where we are.
Viair’s compressor kits are thoughtfully designed with long air hoses and power cords that clamp directly onto your engine’s battery to supply sufficient power to inflate up even a large RV tire in no time.
This is the model we have and love, but Viair has a number of other compressor kits from which to choose. Feel free to check out our post, “Which Is the Best RV Air Compressor For You?”, for additional information.
- Thermal Overload Protector
- Automatic Shut-Off Function
Also in the “tire emergency” category, a couple of cans of Slime can repair a punctured tire long enough to get you to a service station where you can deal with the issue.
There are also tire repair kits available, but the Slime is more user-friendly and gets the job done. (Depending on the size of your RV tires, you may want to pack a few cans in your kit.)
- Slime Tire Sealant seeks out and instantly seals tread area punctures up to 1/4" (6mm) using Fibro-Seal Technology.Fit Type: Universal Fit
- Use Slime Tire Sealant with an air source for emergency tire repair on small/medium highway vehicles, such as cars and small SUVs
We wouldn’t recommend using Slime any time your tire goes flat… but if you don’t have a roadside assistance plan, or you’re so far out in the boonies that they won’t come to help you, the Slime will get you rolling to someplace you can get a more permanent fix.
A good set of road reflectors is an inexpensive but very important piece of any RV roadside emergency kit. These are designed to make sure you’re seen along the side of the road before someone is right on top of you.
Set your road reflectors a distance ahead of and behind your rig to give oncoming traffic advance warning of your presence. You’re already having a bad day… don’t make it worse!
- Be seen and stay safe
- Fluorescent orange triangles with red reflectors are highly visible day or night
Flashlights & Headlamps
Chances are good that you’ve already got some good quality flashlights and headlamps onboard the rig, but they’re extremely important so we’re including them on this list. In fact, we also included them on our list of essential winter camping gear.
A good flashlight is handy if you’re stranded on a dark roadside, if you need to walk any distance in the dark, and for any work you may try to do on the rig yourself in the dark or in other poor lighting conditions.
Headlamps are fantastic flashlights that leave your hands free for working or carrying items. You’d be amazed at the number of times you’ll pull out a good headlamp when doing a repair or a DIY project.
So…flashlights…whether they’re in your hands or on your head – these are important items for your RV roadside emergency kit.
- ADJUSTABLE FOCUS: Pull out to Spotlight for long distance observation up to 656 feet, zoom backward to Floodlight for nearby large area illumination.
- FIVE LIGHT MODES: 3 Brightness Levels and Strobe, SOS emergency modes
- SUPER-BRIGHT: 400-lumen Cree LED (50000-hour lifespan). A compact, yet radiant flashlight to illuminate any dark spot, space, or place. Features High...
- LONG-LASTING: Up to 20 hours (Medium-beam mode) of powerful, non-diminishing brightness from the included premium rechargeable 3350mAh battery. LEDs...
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Portable Power Bank
Having a portable power bank that’s always charged and ready to go is an important asset to any roadside emergency kit.
A fully charged portable battery bank ensures that if your phone runs out of juice, you’ve got a handy way to power it… whether you’re walking a distance for help or you have no power available for some other reason.
It’s also important to note that many smartphones/cell phones lose power in the cold. So, if you’re walking in cold weather and are trying to get help using your phone, it can go dead much faster than you’d expect, and it won’t reboot until it warms up. This won’t happen if it’s connected to a portable power bank.
- 【Ultra-high Capacity 36800mAh】36800mAh power bank with ultra-high capacity can Keep Your phone running all day. Without extra worry about low...
- 【3 outputs & Dual Input】This portable charger with 3 USB Output ports and Dual Inputs ; you can charge 3 devices simultaneously. Suitable for...
Being full-timers and die-hard DIYers, we carry a whole host of tools in our rig. But not every RVer needs a tool kit similar to ours. Still, a basic tool kit is important for every RVer to carry.
Your tool kit is likely to already contain the tools that you find most useful, and like the rest of us, you probably add to that tool kit from time to time as you complete new repairs and projects. If you’ve been looking to compile your own tool kit, you’ll find some ideas in our post, “The RV Tool Kit Every RVer Needs”.
However, the very bare minimum that should be in every RV roadside emergency kit (and every vehicle, for that matter) is a good, durable multi-tool that holds some very basic tools.
This is an example of one, but there are many on the market.
- A TOOL BOX IN YOUR POCKET: A small but versatile and high-functional multitool with the essentials and more; Put it to the test under the hood, at the...
- 14 TOOLS IN 1: Needlenose and regular pliers, hard and regular wire cutters, wire stripper, knife, package opener, wood/metal file, can and bottle...
You can create your own first-aid kit or buy a pre-made kit like this one, but having a first-aid kit on board your RV is an absolute MUST.
If you opt for a pre-made kit, just be sure to look through it once you receive it, and add anything important that it might not contain such as burn cream, bleed stop, analgesics, etc.
- WHAT YOU GET ▶ Everything you need is in this kit! Fully packed with 330 professional medical supplies - all kinds of bandages, CPR face shield,...
- WATERPROOF & DURABLE BAG ▶ Made of high-quality waterproof thickened nylon fabric to better protect the medical supplies inside and improve the...
Battery Jump Start Box
You may carry jumper cables in your rig’s basement, but a battery jump-start box can get you out of trouble even if you’re in some very tight quarters, or if there’s no one around with a vehicle capable of giving you a jump.
These compact boxes usually have an integrated flashlight so you can see to connect it properly, and they do an amazing job of jumping even the biggest rigs. They’re also great for charging devices and usually have a USB port or two handy for just this purpose.
- Easier & Safer Start Assurance: Product status is intuitively shown on a 3.3-inch smart screen, so you can start your car easily. Over 9 types of...
- Powerful Performer: 2000 Amps peak cranking amp can start the vehicles up to 8.5L Gas/6.0L Diesel engines. A single charge can achieve 60 times...
Water Straw Filter and/or Aquatabs
Having enough water is not just important – it’s absolutely critical. That’s why every RV roadside emergency kit needs to have some manner of obtaining safe drinking water.
Now, chances are good that you’ll have sufficient water on board the RV… and, in fact, one of our 25 things to have in your RV roadside emergency kit is (you guessed it) extra water!
However, it’s never a bad idea to carry a means of purifying water with you when you travel. A really good straw filter or some water purification tabs are great to add to your roadside emergency kit. They may never be necessary, but boy if you need them, they can be life-saving.
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If you have to walk in the dark, or you’re broken down in traffic and you need to alert oncoming vehicles (by laying out your reflective triangles noted above!), or if you need to direct traffic around an accident – you’ll want to have a reflective vest.
A package of two for two travelers is a great idea so that you’re both equipped to be seen, day or night.
- ▲ MATERIALS: the hi vis vest is made of 100% polyester fabric and Hi-Vis reflective material; Durable, Breathable, Lightweight and Machine Washable.
- ▲ HIGH VISIBILITY & 360° REFLECTIVITY: This black vest is high visibility with two-inch wide reflective strips cover the shoulders, chest, waist...
A strong pair of work gloves is an important piece of any RV roadside emergency kit to help protect your hands during any emergency mechanical work or tire changing, etc. The last thing anyone needs when they’re stranded roadside is an injury that makes the emergency even more urgent!
A quality pair of work gloves with a good grip will serve you in an endless array of circumstances.
- REINFORCED PALM - Duraclad reinforced saddle, palm, thumb and covered fingers for ultimate durability and increased grip
- HAND SAFETY - Thermoplastic rubber knuckle protection provides impact and abrasion protection across the knuckles
If you’re not already carrying a tow strap, it can be a useful item to have on hand. Recovery tow straps can be used if you’re stuck in mud or sand, or if you’re stuck in a ditch.
Remember, though, that the term “tow strap” is a bit of a misnomer. Recovery tow straps are intended to recover a vehicle or rig, not to actually tow a vehicle down the road.
Never use a tow strap unless you’ve familiarized yourself with the proper technique. Also, note that tow straps are available in various sizes and weights and you’ll need to purchase according to the specs of your rig.
Some rigs (especially big ones, like ours) are best towed out of a troubled spot by a professional tow truck. With that said, you can also help other stranded motorists with a tow strap!
- ✅ REAL LIFETIME WARRANTY - All of our high quality products are made to last a lifetime. However, If you ever happen to experience rips, tears or...
- RUGGED & HIGH QUALITY - Our Recovery Tow Straps are Designed and Fabricated with a Heavy Duty Poly/Silk Webbing and Reinforced Triple Loop ends that...
This one needs no explanation. If you don’t already have at least one fire extinguisher in your RV, get one TODAY. Depending on the size of your rig, you may want to keep one accessible at the front and a second at the rear, or one inside the rig and one in a bay, accessible from the outside.
Fire extinguishers come in various sizes, including small cans without hoses. No matter what, you need to carry a good quality fire extinguisher in your rig because you never know when you’ll need to extinguish a blaze quickly, whether in your galley kitchen or during a roadside emergency.
- The First Alert EZ Fire Spray Portable Fire Extinguisher discharges 4 times longer than a traditional fire extinguisher, providing 32 seconds of...
- Light aerosol can is easy to hold, carry, and use; ideal for kitchen, garage, boat, RV, dorm, and more
Safety hammers allow us to break a window in the event of certain emergency situations. You could use the hammer to break out a window of your own rig in an emergency… or to get to someone else who’s been involved in an accident you encounter in your travels.
This safety/emergency hammer has an integrated knife for cutting a seat belt off of someone who needs extrication from the belt to escape the vehicle.
- Double-sided, steel hammer heads breaks through side and rear windows
- Razor-sharp blade cuts easily through safety belts
Air horns are often overlooked as an emergency kit item but they can be extremely helpful in an emergency situation. Not only would an air horn allow you to call attention to yourself if you need help, but if you’ve had an accident that has left your rig precariously positioned in the roadway, and you need to alert oncoming traffic, an air horn can be just the item you need while waiting for emergency services to arrive.
A variety of extra fuses that can replace any that have burned out in your RV is an important part of an RV roadside emergency kit.
Depending on which fuse is blown, you could be disabled in some fashion. Being able to replace a blown fuse right there on the spot can be the difference between a very minor headache and a migraine.
- Easy Identification: Made of a high-quality zinc alloy, with a transparent cover and color-coded.
- 14 Most Common Standard fuses: 1A/ 2A/ 3A/ 5A/ 7.5A/ 10A/ 15A/ 20A/ 25A/ 30A/ 40A.
There are many uses for electrical tape. But, one example is your rig breaking down on the side of the road, leaving you stranded. You pop the hood and look around, and find that a rodent has apparently set up shop in your engine compartment at some point and has chewed on some wires that are deliciously encased. You use your electrical tape to wrap a section of wire (if you’re lucky), start up the rig, and drive it to the nearest service station.
There are a lot of reasons why electrical tape belongs in your RV roadside emergency kit. Toss some in there today.
- INSULATES AND PROTECTS against abrasion and moisture
- PROTECTIVE JACKETING up to 600V splice insulation
If your rig gets stuck in sand, mud. or snow, having a small shovel on board can be very helpful.
The ability to dig yourself out of a sticky situation is important. A small shovel – especially one that’s collapsible for compact storage – is a great thing to have on hand. (And if you happen to have something like kitty litter on board, don’t be afraid to use that for traction!)
- Folding survival shovel w/ pick - heavy duty carbon steel military style entrenching tool for off road, camping, gardening, beach, digging dirt, sand,...
- Military style e-tool - 2lbs of powder coated carbon steel, tough pickaxe & sharp rugged saw teeth.
Mylar Emergency Blankets
At least one mylar emergency blanket per traveler in your RV is good to carry in your roadside emergency kit. Should you be stranded in the cold, or should you have an accident in which someone is badly injured and in shock, an emergency blanket can make all the difference.
- FOUR MYLAR EMERGENCY BLANKETS (Pink) - Advanced dual-sided aluminized mylar blankets.
- BONUS GOLD SPACE BLANKET - Each package includes ONE EXTRA GOLD colored space blanket.
If you’ve got severe allergies to ANYTHING (nuts, bees, etc.), you should be carrying a prescription epinephrine pen (or Epipen) in your emergency kit.
Even if you don’t have severe allergies, EVERY emergency kit should contain Benadryl or the generic form of diphenhydramine in case anyone on board the RV has an allergic reaction to something.
This antihistamine is inexpensive, and everyone should have some on hand because severe allergic reactions can’t wait for a trip to a store (if you can find one open), and if the reaction occurs when your RV is broken down on the side of the road, you’ll have no way to obtain the simple drug that could be the difference between life and death. Always carry antihistamine.
- 100-count bottle of Benadryl Ultratabs Antihistamine Allergy Relief Tablets with 25 mg diphenhydramine HCl for powerful allergy & cold relief in 1...
- The small, oval shaped coated tablets with the antihistamine diphenhydramine HCl provides relief for hay fever or other upper respiratory allergy...
Emergency Food & Water
All roadside emergency kits should contain extra food and water – just in case. You can keep a few gallons of emergency water onboard your RV (accessible from the outside if possible), and you should also have some non-perishable foods on hand.
Specific foods are a matter of personal preference, but they should be nutrient-dense and able to be stored in the vehicle or RV even in heat/cold. Store them in a solid container that isn’t accessible to rodents!
Many people keep high-protein bars, organic jerky, or a certain amount of freeze-dried foods onboard at all times.
If you get stuck or become involved in an accident, your RV may be perilously positioned on an incline or a decline. In an emergency, wheel chocks can be an important part of your kit.
You most likely have some wheel chocks for the purpose of leveling your RV, but if you don’t, a set of these are highly advisable and could be very useful in an emergency.
- Fit Type: Universal Fit.Fit Type: Universal Fit
Ice Scraper / Snow Brush
“But we don’t travel where it’s icy or snowy.” We’ve heard that one before! As we type this, in fact, there’s just been a fairly significant snow and ice storm in North Carolina. The roads were seriously impacted, and a tractor-trailer slid off of a Durham overpass and hung there for hours!
Surely lots of folks emerged from grocery stores and such to find windshields covered in ice and snow. An RV emergency kit means being prepared, and a combination snow brush & ice scraper is a good thing to have.
- DIMENSIONS: Compacted Dimensions: 35.5” L x 4.25” W x 5.5” H. Extended Dimensions: 50” L x 4.25” W x 5.5” H. Weight: 1.5 lbs
- VEHICLE COMPATIBILITY: Trucks, SUVs, and Cars
Butyl Sealing Tape
These last two items are actually for emergency repairs. Butyl sealing tape is amazing stuff if you need to temporarily seal a leaky window or roof vent, thus preventing further damage until a proper repair is possible.
Butyl tape can be permanent, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be peeled right off if desired. So, whether you need to complete a temporary repair on the side of the road or a more permanent one, a roll of butyl tape in your emergency kit is a great way to be prepared for many things for very little money.
- VERSATILE BUTYL PUTTY TAPE. Butyl sealing tape is a versatile sealing solution commonly used in construction, automotive, and marine applications.
- RELIABLE RV WINDOW SEALANT. It is made of a synthetic EDPM rubber material resistant to water, chemicals, and extreme temperatures, making it a...
And finally, Eternabond tape. Having a roll of this stuff on hand allows permanent repairs, including damage to your RV’s roof from an errant tree branch or from a weather event, on the spot.
Eternabond tape is an excellent item to have on hand for any number of repairs (particularly to your roof), and for emergencies as well. Feel free to have a closer look at Eternabond by taking a look at our post, “Is Eternabond Tape Really Eternal?”
- MULTI-USE: Perfect for use on metal buildings, trailer/RV roofs and sides, drain pans, drain pipes, boats, canoes. bonds to a wide range of surfaces...
- NO ADDITIONAL SEALING REQUIRED: Aluminum backing, combined with a layer of advanced MicroSealant, creates a waterproof, moisture, and air tight...
What Other Roadside Emergency Items Do You Carry In Your RV?
We know that there are numerous other items that could be considered reasonable for an RV roadside emergency kit, and we’re interested to know what items you find important for your kit. Fire off a comment to let us know what you’d add to the list!
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Wednesday 1st of February 2023
I also carry a battery powered, rechargeable, impact wrench. I happen to have the Ryobi 18v line so that's what I have, but the other popular brands have them too. It's not cheap but it sure makes changing tires or loosening tough bolts a lot easier! I also carry an axe and a folding saw.
Monday 30th of January 2023
Don’t forget a bottle Jack to raise RV / trailer to replace a tire.
Pete & Elissa
Monday 30th of January 2023
Thanks for another great list! I’ll be adding some of the missing items to our kit. We can’t be without a pile of shop towels for any trip. We keep them in the under storage areas as well as inside so that they’re handy and easy to find any time. Especially near the entry steps before getting inside. Nothing worse than working outside in rain or worse with mud on your hands or gloves. Use them on our dogs feet too.
Monday 30th of January 2023
Friday 4th of February 2022
I carry a spill kit and a couple of ratchet straps.
Sunday 6th of February 2022
Thanks for the additional suggestions, Frank!
Wednesday 2nd of February 2022
I carry a 30' by 20' heavy duty plastic tarp in case I'm ever facing a situation where the roof/wall/windshield of my 35' Class A has been penetrated by a falling tree, low bridge, accident, etc. and I need to wait for assistance. Overkill? Not if my rig is open to the elements.
I'm not sure I would have bought it specifically but I have one I used to use as a winter cover for the travel trailer we had before the motorhome. Better in my rig's basement than on a shelf in my garage.
Wednesday 2nd of February 2022
Great way to put the tarp to good use... but we hope you NEVER need to use it for that, Graham! 🤞🤞