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Old 12-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2010 27' FB International
Livingston , TX
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 86
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Some preventative thoughts

Hi all,

A month today. FT has been part trial and part treat (busted toilet valve, failing electric jack toggle, but some beautiful scenery, a couple 80° days, and I own my time). We'll take the trials as they come, as if there is a choice... but figure the Oh-Crap, on-the-road fixes in the middle of my living space are a pain I want to minimize.

Wonder if the vets, wiser for the wear-n-tear, might offer the one preventative measure, tool, spare part, etc. they wish they'd known about before they left their weekend workshop and full tool set behind for the road?

Question: better to be a successful pessimist or a failed optimist?
Al & Robin
2010 Airstream 27FB International CCD
2011 F250 XLT 6.2L FlexFuel SD, 4WD
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,250
Images: 15
We have an older trailer, so our tool kit may be a bit different. Here are some tools we have found so valuable when away from home that we have purchased or stashed duplicates which live in the trailer:

Electrical muli-meter for diagnosing electrical faults in our rig and others
Replacement fuses - also used to light running lights at night when not hooked to TV
Multi-bit screwdriver. I think our current favorite is made by Stanley
A small assortment of screws (left over from our interior re-do)
Adjustable wrench
Gaffer tape - holds when wet if applied when dry
Rope or cord - just because. I have some laundry line and some smaller nylon cord
Zip ties - don't leave home without them
Sewing thread and needle - another "just because"
Sharpie pen
Small dish pan, Costco peanuts can with plastic lid, scrap paper or cloth

With this, you can do many hold-it-for-now repairs and even some real fixes. These are among the things that have come in handy when one of us asked "Do we, by any chance, have a..." for some problem or other.

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Old 12-13-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 568
Images: 3
Aluminum furnace tape,
you can stop a leak without looking like an episode of the Red Green Show.
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:41 PM   #4
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2004 28' Safari S/O
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,049
Images: 3
Add long, curved tip, needle nose pliers for all those hard to reach spots.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,780
It would almost be easier to make a list of what I don't carry.
I know I leave the welder and cutting torch at home but most everything else goes.
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 12-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #6
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,677
Just always know where the nearest hardware store is.

You will ALWAYS find some small thing is missing from your "need to have" tools.

For me, as I get older, a labeler has been very helpful - so I know what is in each compartment storage bin, etc.!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
2010 27' FB International
Livingston , TX
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 86
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So far the most unexpected "Thank God I Brought That" has been teflon tape. Handy for a variety of water connections, shower drips, and such where I'm trying to be careful to not overtighten. Needle nose pliers have come in handy. Not familiar with gaffer tape or aluminum furnace tape (think I'll get acquainted) but clear packing tape has been handy, too. Regard hardware stores and the like: Yelp, I don't leave home without it.
Question: better to be a successful pessimist or a failed optimist?
Al & Robin
2010 Airstream 27FB International CCD
2011 F250 XLT 6.2L FlexFuel SD, 4WD
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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2014 30' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Universal repair medium is duct tape, now available in designer colors like bright orange, green, camouflage and the usual gray.
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
Cat City , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 849
I've seen guys carry a complete mechanic's workshop in the back of a PU. I've seen people without as much as a screwdriver. It boils down to personality. Some will try to fix every possible thing, others rely on calling a tow service, garage or whatever. One thing is for certain, stuff breaks, things happen.

I started with lots of tools not knowing what to expect. I gradually reduced my tools to what is essential for any trip. Then I added the 'McGuyver Kit' and called it good. The essentials are 3 screwdrivers, vice grips, hammer, 10 sockets and socket wrench to maintain the hitch primarily, a torque wrench for the lug nuts, square head electrical pliers, and a box with all the TV/TT fuses. The McGuyver Kit, is a lot of tape, glue, knives and hanks of wire. In the end, it all fits in a 19" W plastic tool box, except for the torque wrench which goes in the hookup bucket.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 982
Originally Posted by switz View Post
Universal repair medium is duct tape, now available in designer colors like bright orange, green, camouflage and the usual gray.
I much prefer heavy duty 3M packing tape for anywhere I even slightly care about what it will look like when the tape is removed, let alone any place visible on my Airstream.

Much much less residue.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:07 PM   #11
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1960 28' Ambassador
Vintage Kin Owner
1998 25' Safari
Avonton , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,159
One thing I've noticed in 12 years, nothing ever breaks down in the driveway, It's always when on the road, so take everything.
Doug & Terry
60 Ambassador Int.
98 Safari
56 Flying Cloud
68 Tradewind
1950 Spartan
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:48 AM   #12
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,570
When we fulltimed, I bought a set of Telesteps. Expensive, but worth it every time I had to go on the roof.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:50 AM   #13
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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Posts: 5,282
Not really for repairs, but I use a lot of stick-on Velcro for either mounting stuff, or a little patch of it works well for keeping those pesky drawers closed while traveling.

Also I notice no one has mentioned silicone spray for use on awning arms and screen door slides, and such. I also use some heavier spray lubricant on things like door locks, stabilizer jacks, and door hinges.

And the truck storage compartments are full of tools all the way from typical hand tools to a hammer, saw, hatchet, small air compressor, and folding shovel. Ya just never know.....

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:38 AM   #14

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,802
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Thumbs up grab a napkin to wipe the coffee off your nose...

I LOVE these tool threads.....

Tools Explained
DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light . Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh sh--!'

SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle... It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes , trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans.. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

SON-OF-A-BITCH TOOL: (A personal favorite!) Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'Son of a BITCH!' at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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