Road-tripping in an old car? You need to pack these tools to avoid catastrophes

Road-tripping in an old car? You need to pack these tools to avoid catastrophes

If you like getting out on the road like we do (check out our latest 83-minute holiday flim HERE) then you know that being prepared is key to a successful roadtrip. When you're driving nuggets that are older than Cheryl's mum's prawn cocktail recipe, then being prepared becomes absolutely vital when you're driving through remote areas. So we're going to run you through some of the tools you really should take on a long road trip. 

Here is a bunch of tools we'd recommend packing into any old car going on a long (+1000km) trip through remote areas, where you may not have a lot of passing traffic or spare parts stores to help you... which is pretty much everywhere between capital cities in Australia.

Unless they're cruising in some giant American land yacht like our mates from Roadkill, not everyone will be able to pack all of this malarky into their car along with their luggage. However, this is also Old Car Life.

You shouldn't need to pack an entire workshop with you, but it is a good idea to take tools that will allow you to work on any part of the car. If you're cruising with mates who are bringing their own car you can also split the tools up across several cars, which lightens the load and leaves more room for tofu kebabs.

The numero uno item which should live in the boot (nee: trunk) of every old car is a good quality basic tool kit, like this ToolPro-X jobbie from our mates at Super Cheap Auto. A mix of imperial and metric sockets (in 1/2in, 3/8in and 1/4in drives) and spanners, pliers, Allen keys, and screwdrivers means you'd be able to tackle a huge number of road-side repairs or maintenance.

It also means you could lend assistance if a mate breaks down or you stumble across a stranded motorist. 

Chucking a trolley jack and a stand or two into your car is a really good idea, as this makes working under your car much safer and easier. To make it easier to transport we'd recommend grabbing an aluminium jack, and good-quality stands.


The beauty of cordless power tools means you can always have an ugga-dugga on-hand for stubborn wheel nuts or hub fasteners, and throwing a high-powered light and drill in doesn't take up much room, too. The homies at Ryobi have a huge range of handy tools out, including power stations, tyre inflators, mini air-compressors and more, so depending on how janky your jalopy is you could basically take a whole workshop with you. 

Just remember to charge the batteries before you leave!

Murphy's Law says the part you'll need to undo will be the one held fast by the Power of Castle Greyskull (that's a He-Man reference, kids), or it will be covered in schmutz. Throwing a can of WD-40 and some brake clean into your tool bag will help un-stick items, and let you clean up any spills or dirty hands while making road-side repairs - just remember to put the lids on so the cans don't squirtle mcturtles your tool bag while in the boot!

Taking some microfibre cloths to clean the car, or clean up yourself, is a great idea so why not grab a four-pack of MCM microfibres (CLICK HERE) for the glovebox? Road trips are rarely a mess-free affair.

We're so used to using our phones for navigation when we're around home, however this often doesn't work on road trips once you're a few hours outside of capital cities. Buying a GPS like one of the touch-screen jobbies from our mates at Garmin (CLICK HERE)  means you won't be sweating on trying to find mobile reception or data services to find a petrol (gas) station, point of interest, or cool piece of twisty road. 

Something we found pretty cool is that Garmin do GPS units suited for off-roading (like in our Kei To The Mountain video) with units designed for dirt biking and 4x4ing. They even have the Catalyst which shows you the fastest way around race tracks.

If your classic car rocks original wiring, it might pay to throw some spare wire, electrical connectors, electrical tape and basic tools into your kit. Wire-strippers and crimpers, at the very least, are cheap insurance against electrical gremlins that can kill your roadtrip dead super-fast.

Some other handy tools to think about taking include a breaker bar, locking pliers and a shifting spanner. These are the kinds of tools which fall into the "you never know when..." category, so they're not mandatory, but can be cheap insurance. 

MOOG has done a killer video on his survival backpack, otherwise known as a Bug-Out Bag (BOB). This can be used when going bushwalking, camping in remote areas, travelling around the world, or on roadtrips. You can check out MOOG's BOB HERE...

Hopefully you never need to use any of these items while cruising the highways of your homeland, but when the distances can be vast and help can be many hours away, it pays to do a little prep.

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