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Old 10-10-2018, 01:23 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Quality and What's in your toolkit

I have seen conversations about Quality all over here for a long time, and someone pointed out of about ways to fix things. I agree that we shouldn't have to fix a lot of things, but for all those buying new rigs (and even those who have been on the road), what are the key items you bring with?

What items do you use on the inside of your trailer to keep doors attached, drawers back in place, etc..

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Old 10-10-2018, 02:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreamingEagle View Post
I have seen conversations about Quality all over here for a long time, and someone pointed out of about ways to fix things. I agree that we shouldn't have to fix a lot of things, but for all those buying new rigs (and even those who have been on the road), what are the key items you bring with?

What items do you use on the inside of your trailer to keep doors attached, drawers back in place, etc..

Great question!

Do you own/have you read Rich Luhr's book "The (Nearly) Complete Guide to Airstream Maintenance"? Along with his "The Newbies Guide..." you will find a lot of ideas for what to have with you. But it sure would be interesting to hear from the long timers/DIY'ers here on the forum!
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:59 PM   #3
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I love it when someone asks the Tool question...😂

.......a tool thread starts I have to post this.🤣

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.

Bob
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreamingEagle View Post
what are the key items you bring with?

What items do you use on the inside of your trailer to keep doors attached, drawers back in place, etc..

Key tools/items we use every trip are:
Viair 88P air compressor to air up the tires
small level for setup
gloves for keeping hands clean during hitching
something to open those window gaskets--we use a lodge pan scraper. others use a credit card
cushy kneeler mat for low point drains and fresh water tank drain
socket set to tighten tow mirrors and to drain water heater plug

Tools we have used during trips:
torque wrench for lug nuts and extension socket-check periodically
zip ties--used for failed water heater clip
duct tape -used for lose trim (bonus-color blends in well)
sticky velcro-used for vent hood flaps, hanging pictures inside
spray silicone, spray graphite-used for locks and window gaskets

Tools we carry just in case:
Bottle jack
breaker bar
spare pins for sway bars
spare clips for sway bars
silicone tape for leaks
tarp
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:45 PM   #5
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Start with stuff to fix a flat tire (jack and lug wrench) and basic tools anyone (should) already own (pliers, screwdrivers, etc).
The most important tool is cash/credit card, to get the thing you need when you need it.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:37 AM   #6
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Childproof

Quote:
Originally Posted by StreamingEagle View Post
I have seen conversations about Quality all over here for a long time, and someone pointed out of about ways to fix things. I agree that we shouldn't have to fix a lot of things, but for all those buying new rigs (and even those who have been on the road), what are the key items you bring with?

What items do you use on the inside of your trailer to keep doors attached, drawers back in place, etc..

Take a look at Childproofing options for some of this. There are devices to keep cabinet doors from opening and keep drawers shut that can defeat a 2-year-old, and they will probably keep things shut for you.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreamingEagle View Post
I have seen conversations about Quality all over here for a long time, and someone pointed out of about ways to fix things. I agree that we shouldn't have to fix a lot of things, but for all those buying new rigs (and even those who have been on the road), what are the key items you bring with?

What items do you use on the inside of your trailer to keep doors attached, drawers back in place, etc..

You likely will receive many excellent recommendations on this forum as well as the Newbie Guide mentioned. My tool bag has been replaced with larger sizes three times in addition to tools that must be stowed separately (battery powered drill). The increased weight allows me to present to my wife the need for a new tow vehicle capable of the payload necessary to insure our safety and comfort while maintaining our Airstream investment.

I’ll add only one small, light weight, inexpensive item that I’ve used a few times on the road - a soldering iron (and solder).

A smart phone, and related charging tools, is perhaps the single best tool you can bring. You can search for repair instruction videos, parts stores, repair shops, and towing services. Or even put your rig up for sale on the very spot it is broken down. I also use my phone every stop to determine leveling. And the built-in flashlight is heloful. Finally, I have learned to ALWAYS take a “before” photo prior to disassembling or disconnecting anything.

It’s all part of the adventure. Repairs happen. Have fun!
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreamingEagle View Post
What items do you use on the inside of your trailer to keep doors attached, drawers back in place, etc..
Speaking of doors attached, one of my best purchases was 40 of those little plastic gizmos for covering the hinge release on all the Euro hinges. I always seem to discover another hinge that's hidden away waiting to detach the door with the slightest bump.

My microwave is on a pull out drawer, and I heard folks have trouble with the drawer staying closed underway, so I made a 3/4" dowel about 26" long, put white crutch tips on it and wedge it between the drawer and the opposite wall.
BTW, my microwave has never opened accidentally under way. It does scoot around since it just sits on the shelf, so I found that plain old rubber door stops fit snugly between the back of the microwave and the lip of the shelf.
(Plan B is to use very firm black case foam to put in front and back so the drawer latch doesn't rub the side of the microwave.)
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:10 PM   #9
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this is a very good question. After purchasing a 25 new in 2014, it is now clear to me that being able to fix things is part of using the coach. It makes sense that things break on the road which is also when time is limited and repair shops are far. Beyond the annoying repairs, we have had:
A failed furnace - bad overheat thermostat
A failed fridge - also a bad overheat thermostat
A failed hood vent - connector behind wall not properly seated
A failed hood vent again - bad fuse body
A failed tail light - it just failed.


All of these needed to be fixed right away which I was able to do after some research and reading - thank goodness for this forum and the internet in general.

I think a good set of 12 Volt electrical connectors and tools along with an electrical mulit-meter are absolutely essential.

I am sure folks figure it out, but I do feel bad for owners who must rely exclusively on repair shops to keep things working. The risk of incompetence, delays, and expense tip the balance of fun on the wrong side of the scale for me.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:27 PM   #10
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Tool List

Bob, your list had me roaring. Thank you.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
.......a tool thread starts I have to post this.��

Tools explained.

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.

Bob
����
Replacement glass pane for each of my 3 windows in the garage that the above tool breaks.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:42 PM   #12
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I just carry some basic tools (pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper, cresent wrenches, etc) with a few special tools for my Propride hitch. Then I have some extra hinges, extra latches, PVC pipe, PVC connectors, fuses, electric connectors. One thing I really use a lot is my 20V Delta Drill. Use it to raise the WD bars on Propride and putting up and down the stabilizers on the AS. Also definitely a 250lb torque wrench to torque hitch bolts and lugs. Also Gorilla tape and liquid wood is good. If a screw comes out and it doesn’t go back in tight a broken off match with some liquid wood works wonders.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Speaking of doors attached, one of my best purchases was 40 of those little plastic gizmos for covering the hinge release on all the Euro hinges. I always seem to discover another hinge that's hidden away waiting to detach the door with the slightest bump.

My microwave is on a pull out drawer, and I heard folks have trouble with the drawer staying closed underway, so I made a 3/4" dowel about 26" long, put white crutch tips on it and wedge it between the drawer and the opposite wall.
BTW, my microwave has never opened accidentally under way. It does scoot around since it just sits on the shelf, so I found that plain old rubber door stops fit snugly between the back of the microwave and the lip of the shelf.
(Plan B is to use very firm black case foam to put in front and back so the drawer latch doesn't rub the side of the microwave.)
Where did you get the “little plastic gizmos.” Looks like a good idea.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:52 PM   #14
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Where did you get the “little plastic gizmos.” Looks like a good idea.
There's two sources I found. both sell the same thing and they're about $0.45 each, so I ordered 40, shipping was $13 which was a lot considering the package comes in an envelope.
But they're worth it.

https://www.woodworkerexpress.com/gr...tor-steel.html

or

https://www.baersupply.com/baer/wg-index.jsp
(Part # GFF072135807540)

See this thread on the Airstream forum for more details.
I can't take credit for the research, but I saved it.

How to use:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f164...-175341-2.html
Scroll down to post #24, #25. (for images)
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