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Old 02-11-2017, 12:50 PM   #1
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2019 27' International
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Tools of the Airstream Do it Yourself 'Collection'...

We all discover when we most need a tool, that we do not have those tools that are necessary to do repairs or adjustments when on the road.

It is discovered... one tool at a time. The tool maybe used only once, but at the time, you were not going anywhere until the particular tool was found and used to cure the problem.

Some may be too thick. Not fit at a proper angle to get to a nut or bolt. Some may be metric, or US, or either may fit enough to get you on your way down the road.

The Airstream Do it Yourself... tools can be very Airstream specific. Some sockets may need to be special ordered when that one specific socket or wrench is not even available at the Hardware Store in that size. You then may have to get the size just a bit larger, but has a loose fit and will work... but not as well as you would like.

Sockets and Open/Closed wrenches between the 27mm and 29mm are sometimes skipped sizes available over the counter. So just be aware that you may sometimes need to bring the bolt and nut to be sized for a proper fit to the hardware store. Some large sockets may require to be deeper than usual, so beware of that, as well. It will save you trouble... possibly in the future.

I also welcome other Do it Yourself owners to jump into this to add your valuable knowledge of what you needed when you did not have it in your Airstream Tool Box.

I took photographs of several groups of tools used to keep my Airstream tight and secure. If necessary, request and I will take closer photographs.

If I need a tool at home... first place I look is in my Airstream Storage as that is where they are to be found. We keep the philips and straight edge screw drivers and some adjust monkey wrenches in the laundry room... but everything else is packed for our next Airstream Adventure!
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Old 02-11-2017, 12:54 PM   #2
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Equalizer Hitch Tools

The ‘Tools of the Trade’…

Our Airstreams are not only complicated from just the components expected to be included upon delivery, they also require the Tools of the Trade. The tools to keep those components, holding together and possible repair(s) when on the road… if needed.

Photo #1 Major Hardware for Equalizer Hitch hardware

Top to Bottom:
1- Rubber mallet .
2- 1 7/8” with 3/4” socket 19” handle breaker bar
3- 28mm 1/2” socket 17” handle breaker bar
4- 29mm open and closed wrench (28mm is better if available)
5- 3/4” open and closed wrench
6- adjustable ‘monkey wrench’ at bottom

1- Used to tap bolts through snug holes, etc.
2- Equalizer Hitch deep socket to tighten Ball to Hitch
3 & 4- Tighten and secure bolts and nuts to Hitch
5- Tighten nuts on brackets that Equalizer bars rest
6- For anything that is outside your tool inventory use

I also carry for the Equalizer Hitch, extra washers to adjust the head. Also an extra pair of Snap L-Pins in the event of damage.
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:04 PM   #3
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The ‘Tools of the Trade’…

Photo #2

A variety of hardware items provided by Airstream to operate the stabilizers.
A manual tool to operate your electric Heavy Duty Levelright in front of your Propane Tanks
Various screwdrivers in length and widths, as well as philips
Hand Socket set (mine is US size, but Metric may now be the new norm)
My favorite nail puller and all around workhorse bar
Bearing grease for wheel bearings and greasing Hitch Ball and Swivels on Equalizer
Tape Measure, Paper Towels, small angle philips / straight edge for bolts at a right angle
A hand tool with 32 different kinds of bolt head patterns now in use
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:13 PM   #4
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The wonderful 'Tool Box' of our youth!

The Tool Box every drive way car mechanic owned as a youth and should still possess. Metric and US size sockets.

Extra extensions for your 3/8” and 1/2” sockets for those hard to get places. Often an inch too short or an inch too… long. All knuckle busters and well used over the decades. Some sized tools are very common. Some sizes you may never need… until that one special day with your Airstream.

I am not 100% sure if Airstream is now ALL metric or a mix of US and MM sizes. Some US and Metric sizes are identical fits. Others… a bit sloppy… but will work.

You never had enough money… and you certainly never have enough tools, wires, and washers you find in your travels at campgrounds!

A Calibrated Torque wrench. A soldering gun.

The most used tool in your arsenal of tools… the battery powered electric screwdriver and fairly good drill with sharp bits.
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:38 PM   #5
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Next to the ‘Wonderful Tool Box of our Youth’ is the ‘Wonderful Box of Hardware’ collected since our youth.

The older one becomes, the larger this Hardware Store increases in volume and weight. Anything from ‘braided wire’ to ‘lath screws’ to replace popped interior rivets (for those who are not Airstream pop rivet purists). Teks Lath Screws #8 x 1/2” and #8 x 3/4” in packets of 200… some for everyone in need.

- I have different grits of quality sandpaper.
- Nylon tape pipe seal.
- Hardened steel files.
- Fine mesh screen to filter out fine… particles of one thing or another.
- Contour Claw Bar Replacement #218610 for your Zip Dee awning… which I highly encourage you purchase at least ONE.
- ‘Scotch Tape’ for who know what, but you will know when you do
- Drill bits for steel
- Metal hose clamps of various diameters
- Metal pin for securing your hitch if yours… disappears
- Nylon string
- Metal punches
- Tent pegs of various sizes for securing rope to awning ends… from time to time… to 5 gallon buckets of rocks for wind insurance
- Matches, connectors for crimping loose wires to one another
- Electrical tape for what Duct Table will not do
- A mouse trap. A rat trap. (When field mice or pack rats are sitting on your air cleaner at night feeding on acorns or… your wiring
- Allen head six side wrenches. When you need one of these… you will keep some around
- Bailing Wire for about anything that needs to be secured temporarily
- A black Sharpie pen to write your name on things that a ‘neighbor’ at a RV Park may think is theirs and not yours…
- An assortment of nuts, screws, wood screws, metal screws, washers, WD 40, 3 in one Oil

Much of this is already in your drawers at home. They will do you better when in your Trailer… when you are not at home. I keep all loose washers and bolts found on the pavement at RV Parks. If they lost something… I may need these parts myself.

OK. This was one thing I wanted to do before I died. I can check this off my very simple and meager ‘Bucket List’ and you can now put this stuff on your own.

As you get more experience in life you always discover something nobody ever mentioned before. Not that these things are kept secret from you, but you never thought to ask and those individuals, like myself, thought too mundane to even bring up the subject.

Well… Welcome to the AirForums! You now will have no reason to ask Nancy or myself to borrow any of these tools or need any loose hardware. What you do not own today… owning a Trailer or anything else that moves or makes noise will need to be worked upon… some day.

… and if you do not know where to start to accumulate this stuff… do I have good news for you.

Harbor Freight may not have the ultimate tools… but get their catalog and your Christmas and Birthday wish list will be longer than this Post. It could be a inventory list of what I have and what I may need… some day.
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:41 PM   #6
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It is now your responsibility to fill in the gaps.

This does not include my geologic Books, Maps, Rock hammers, sieves, gold pans, sledge hammers, five gallon buckets... and you wonder why a tent just cannot handle all the stuff a guy needs when camping and exploring.

Fly rods, reels, flies, line, hooks, tweezers, net, waders... yes, sometimes.

What have I missed? And when did you miss that tool that you now have owned for years?
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:42 PM   #7
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You've got a pretty good list going there Ray. A couple of other things I never leave without are a multi-meter, and a big-ol-hammer, in case you need to bring some violence to the problem (usually to make it worse). I also always carry a cordless drill and impact driver with fully charged batteries.

Everyone's mileage will vary on these according to their ability to fix things and the likelihood that something is going to break. With my old beater trailer, lot's of things break.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:36 PM   #8
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Dremel tool with flex shaft cutting wheels and carbide metal cutting bit.also a cheap right angle drill from harbor freight.and a small roll of aluminum roof flashing ,I keep some 18" wide and rivets and gun.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:47 PM   #9
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A hammer and Vice-grips. Must be made in USA.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:27 PM   #10
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I carry a swivel-head, hand-operated rivet gun and a variety of 1/8" diameter blind pop rivets for interior and some exterior repairs.

Only recently have we seen the need for some exterior rivets. I guess I need to add some exterior grade blind rivets to my tool kit as well as some method of dressing the heads of said exterior grade blind rivets. A rivet shaver perhaps... so I can be the envy of all my Airstream neighbors.
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Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:01 PM   #11
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Wow! Great list and who doesn't love and accumulate tools! One New one I have that I am considering bringing is lithium battery powered chain saw, more for wood etc while boondocking. Picked up a cool little saw, a 14inch, made by EgoPower. I also have their lawnmower (not for camping). Cool stuff, and light. Figure saw might come in handy, but not sure of room versus utility.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:33 AM   #12
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This newbie now has a shopping list. I have a feeling Harbor freight is going to become my new most favorite store.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:05 PM   #13
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Some tools find you when you get an airstream. After parking my 72 Sovereign in the driveway I had a neighbor stop by to introduce himself. He was a maintence superviser at a local airport. He dropped off a complete buck riveting kit and an assortment a clecos from surplus. I had no clue what any of it was at the time, but have gotten plenty of use out of it since. It was also awesome to make a good friend just down the street who knows what he's doing.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:39 PM   #14
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Chase vehicle

Gents,
This is my first post after years of following. I LOVE this string! With all of these tools, I will need a special Repair Chase Vehicle! Fabulous! I'm an engineer and love my tools...

My 2016 Chev 3500 HD diesel tows my 2016 28' Serenity with 16 inch wheels and Centramatics, Upgraded to 4 AGM batteries and solar with 3000 watt inverter. Converted to instant hot water system and "big AL propane bottles". Oh- and I tow with a ProPride.

Why do I go on about this? (Besides normal braggadocio)


Every mod and upgrade I read and learned about right here on this forum! Thank you all for your fantastic insight and advice. The learning and information represents YEARS of experience that I don't have time to acquire!

Now, I have a reason to head to the hardware store for the "just in case" items...
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:47 PM   #15
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It is comforting to know that the "s##T" my wife says is unnecessary is in others tool kits. Several years ago I purchased a 6v Ryobi rechargable small drill, it is my go to tool for most repairs, fits in tight spaces. My next challenge is organizing all the small parts. Have found Harbor Freight has small plastic boxes with dividers for all the small screws, light bulbs, rivets and other small parts. The pioneers had parts for their wagons as they traveled west, so should modern travelers.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:36 PM   #16
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Don't forget the spare parts. I have one tool box that is full of electrical and plumbing parts. I even carry a spair water pump. On a trip to Alaska last summer I needed to change out my water pump. The spair that I had was different than the one in the AS so I needed to modify the plumbing. Luckily I had all the parts I needed to get the job done. Also, don't forget the duct tape.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:32 PM   #17
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If you are camping in the forest, don't forget the axe, shovel and bucket.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:33 PM   #18
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I got tired of not having the tool I need so transferred my most used tools from my roll around tool box to a 26" tool box on a cart. When we pack for a trip I move the box to the truck tail gate and slide the tool box onto furniture sliders, move it up against the cab and remove the sliders. It stays put and I have all my usual tools.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
........What have I missed? And when did you miss that tool that you now have owned for years?

The kitchen sink? No, never mind. You got one of those.

Great thread, Ray. But that's not unusual. Keep up the excellent work.

Jim
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jbuccola View Post
Every mod and upgrade I read and learned about right here on this forum! Thank you all for your fantastic insight and advice. The learning and information represents YEARS of experience that I don't have time to acquire!

It's amazing what collective wisdom can offer, and it's at our fingertips. Thanks to those who are compelled to offer their insight and help.
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