After sharing my experiences with tools in my Nick’s Tool Box blog on Saturday, a couple of new RVers wrote to say that even though they now knew I wasn’t the right person to ask, would I check with Miss Terry and some other experienced RVers and ask what they considered the basic to carry in an RV toolbox.
A lot depends on your abilities and your own RV. Most of the bus nuts I know running around the country in converted buses (myself excluded) are pretty handy with mechanical things, and it is not unusual for them to carry a wide selection of tools with them; everything from a full collection of wrenches, screwdrivers, and a socket set, to caulking guns, and even power tools.
My pal Howard Best, who is the guy the rest of us bus nuts call when we’re in trouble, seems to have one of every tool ever made in the cavernous bays of his MCI bus conversion, as well as a pretty well stocked spare parts supply. One time when our 24 volt alternator died, Howard rummaged around in one of his bays and pulled out a brand new replacement, and then fabricated a mount for it!
Other fulltime RVers and extended time travelers we know carry much less, sometimes no more than a couple of screwdrivers, a pair of pliers, and an adjustable wrench. They figure if something needs more than just tightened, it’s time to limp into a garage or call their roadside service company.
Even a non-mechanic like me carries a decent assortment of tools. (Okay, let’s be honest, they’re Miss Terry’s tools.) We have a basic assortment of box and open end wrenches, a few adjustable wrenches, various size vise grips, pliers and channel locks, several sizes of standard and Phillips screwdrivers, a collection of standard and deep well sockets, a hammer. Miss Terry also has a set of Torx head screwdrivers in several sizes.
Then, of course, there are certain non-tool items that everyone should have; WD-40, duct tape, and Rescue Tape, which can be found at many RV rallies and is handier than a Swiss Army Knife. We have used it for everything from mending a leaking sewer hose to sealing a power steering canister. We also carry a spare fan belt, as well as replacement turn signal, brake, and taillight light bulbs.
Keep in mind that very few RV parks will allow you to do much in the way of RV repairs on the premises, so you probably don’t need to bring along every tool from you garage at home. In most RV parks, you can get by with some basic things like replacing a headlamp or taillight bulb, but most are not going to allow you to change your oil in your RV site. But you should still have a basic complement of tools to handle emergency breakdowns on the road.
What kind of tools do you carry in your RV and find you can’t do without?
Thought For The Day – Nothing’s impossible for those who don’t have to do it.