Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Preparation & Readiness, RV Maintenance, RV Repair
DO I REALLY NEED TO TAKE THAT? Must have tools and parts for RV Camping
Packing or stocking your RV for an extended camping trip can sometimes be more like a game of chance than a science. The problem is that when you are 90 miles from nowhere at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night and the need for a specific tool or part arises you are up that proverbial creek without a paddle – that is, unless you stock for every imaginable need.
Well, let me share with you one of my most inner, deep, dark secrets – this is one of those secrets that only my closest friends and family know. I have an extremely vivid imagination. Couple that with a guy who is an admitted tool junkie and president of his local Tools Anonymous help group along with my passion to fix anything and everything that “might” go wrong and you end up with a big, big box of tools and RV parts that could serve as initial inventory for a new Camping World Store.
Anyway, to get to the point, these are the items packed away in that big, dark warehouse of parts, tools and accessories that DID prove to be needed and prevented us from enduring some sort of discomfort during our recent trip.
EXTRA FUSES – On our first night out we noticed the lights in the camper getting dimmer and dimmer. Apparently, we were drawing only off of the camper’s batteries. But, we had 120-volt shore power; the converter should be working and supplying current to the batteries. Investigation of the problem led me to three blown 25 amp ATC fuses on the side of the converter. Fortunately, I had a box of ATC fuses for the camper that served as replacements. The new fuses did not blow and to this day, I have no idea why the original ones did.
EXTRA SECTION OF SEWER HOSE (AND POWER CABLE) – We pulled onto an extremely nice campsite that had the power pedestal and sewer connection on the awning side of the camper. Apparently, the site was designed so a MotorHome could pull straight in. But, when a trailer was backed in all the connections were bassackwards. My 20 foot sewer hose was about five feet too short and my 30 foot 50 amp power cord lacked at least 15 feet to reach the power connector. Fortunately, I had come prepared for such an event and had an extra 10 feet of sewer hose and a 50-amp power cord extension cable packed away. The day was saved. I shudder to think the wrath I could have received from the DW if those components were not onboard.
ADDITIONAL WHEEL LEVELING BLOCKS – One of our long pull-thru sites had a slope that amounted to at least 4-1/2” from the front door to the street side of the camper. I am always prepared for a one-block slope, but a three-block slope is a rarity. To complicate things further getting a set of tandem axle wheels up on three stets of stacked blocks takes a lot of length so both tires can easily roil up the man made incline. Joyfully, I had a bag full of easy fit and locking plastic blocks waiting for the occasion and spent the night with my head lying level.
SPARE WATER CUT-OFF VALVES – The OEM faucet for the kitchen sink literally blew up. Water was going everywhere. The ONLY way to stop the water was to turn off the supply hose outside. UhOh – this meant we had no water in the RV. No water for the potty. No water to shower. Sure, we had a bathhouse several hundred feet away but that is not the way we like to camp. There is a need to have use of our own facilities. Now, this one was just plain lucky – I had two cut off valves made for 1/2” PEX water lines like those used on the camper. All you had to do was cut the PEX water line in two and push the valves onto the cut pipe. Viola, an instant cut off for water to the faucet and we could use the rest of the plumbing in the camper. Being able to cut the PEX (plastic) water lines to the faucet required a hacksaw and some sandpaper – tools on board that came in handy.
EXTRA LIGHT BULBS – By the time we got home, I had replaced two inside halogen bulbs, a tail light bulb, one of the round white bulbs over the vanity and two outside porch light bulbs. All of these bulbs are somewhat “specialized” and not available at just any Wal-Mart. It is best to carry a spare of these specialized bulbs purchased from your RV dealer.
OTHER TOOLS – Nearly everyday I found myself using a square tip screwdriver for tightening screws constantly working loose. Most if not all screws used in the assembly of a typical towable RV are 1/8″ square drive – using a #2 Phillips screwdriver may sometimes work but usually ruins the screw’s head. Get the right tool for your RV.
Rubber hose washers were needed on more than one occasion, an assortment of nuts, bolts, and screws proved to be invaluable for those disappearing or breaking .
I guess I could tell you how the Dremel Tool with a diamond bit saved me a trip to a Podiatrist for an ingrown toenail – but I will spare you the details of that one.
Personally, I don’t think you can ever have too many tools or spare parts on board. But, realistically some will probably never be used and can be left behind, thus reducing weight and opening up need space for other junk.
HAPPY CAMPING TRAILS TO ALL!