Toolbox suggestions

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JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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In Florida for winter
First Aid Kit is an excellent suggestion, but don't do what I did and put it in a drawer I could not access without putting slides out. Also, label it clearly so others can find it. I cut my thumb badly once, and had to hold a wash cloth on it to stop the bleeding. But I could not reach my first aid kit, nor could I let go of the wash cloth tightly pressed on my wound. I did stop the bleeding, but it made me put my kit is a more easily found spot!!
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
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Albuquerque, NM
I started off with a $50 mechanic's tool set from harbor freight. That is the baseline for sockets, screwdrivers, pliers, cutters, hex wrenches, torx bits. Another small tool box (I call "electrical") for add on tools like a cordless screwdriver (which doubles as a light duty drill), soldering stuff, crimp connectors and crimper, work lights, test light, multimeter, gloves. Then a third toolbox that contains parts and spares - fuses, relays, lamps, wire, tie wraps, tape, plumbing fitting assortment (plugs, unions, interseries adapters), hose clamps, screws, nuts, bolts. It's worked out that I've helped other campers as much as myself which I think proves out the technical merit of what I've brought. I consider the goal not to be able to fix every single failure or issue but have enough resources on hand to at least create a workaround until a proper repair can be effected. Example, I've had both the toilet valve and the vanity faucet split and go geyser mode. I don't carry spares of those but just having piece parts to cap off the supply line is enough to get you by until you can get somewhere you can get parts. Have yet to have a trip detoured due to a failure.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Tulecreeper

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Wstrn AR
And get the really long ones, about 12-14" long in case you have to tie down something big, like your awning when it tears in a stiff breeze. I know this one from experience!
I get the ones
Gotta have zip ties. I have used them a temporary hose clamp, to secure the exterior vent panel for the fridge when the cheap plastic clip broke, and more
I get the 2-foot ones. Make great tourniquets when the need arises. For some reason the need arises more often than I'd like. :confused:
:rolleyes:
 

gwinger

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Nov 6, 2018
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673
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Natrona Hts PA
One thing I did not see mentioned was a battery operated drill. Also a right angle drill adapter for tight spaces. You can find a Ryobi 1/2 inch drill with 2 batteries and a charger and bag at Home Depot for about $90. may not be professional quality, but mine is about 8 years old and still works like new.
ryobi-power-drills-psbdd01k-e4_300.jpg
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Albuquerque, NM
I went with a compromise. No disputing the utility of a full size power drill but I didn't want to carry one around plus a charger for the 2 times a year I might need it. So went with the cordless screwdriver, about $25. A hex-bit set of drill bits from the chinese emporium plus all the driver bits in the tool set and all boxes are checked. No, it won't sink a 3" screw into a 2x4 but I've never had a need for that camping. But it has drilled holes and driven screws as needed for a few years now, and it packs easily. Back in my man-in-a-van days the cordless screwdrivers were standard issue for most field work unless you were perforating walls.

1700500478516.png

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Gizmo

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Apr 22, 2012
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1,754
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Bellingham,WA
First step is to evaluate and understand what repairs and installs you are capable of and willing to do. For example while a multimeter is a good basic electrical tool to have, not worth having if you have no electrical capability. Secondly, if no interest in or mechanical ability, mechanics tools such as socket sets may not be a wise investment. For these scenarios a basic tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench etc. is a good investment and a good starting point from which you can always add to as needed. For tool storage I recommend multiple smaller bags if you do decide to carry an assortment as tools can be heavy and you are not likely to need all the tools in your arsenal at once for a given repair or install.
 

Kirk

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Oct 30, 2005
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Former fulltimer, Mesquite, TX
One thing I did not see mentioned was a battery operated drill.
While I have owned one or more cordless drills for more than 20 years, I carried a corded drill in the motorhome since the battery was nearly always in need of a charge when I needed to use a drill quickly. While the batteries have improved dramatically in recent years, I still have a corded drill for the rush job. If you will go many months without using your cordless tools they probably won't be ready when needed.
 

gwinger

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Nov 6, 2018
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673
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Natrona Hts PA
While I have owned one or more cordless drills for more than 20 years, I carried a corded drill in the motorhome since the battery was nearly always in need of a charge when I needed to use a drill quickly. While the batteries have improved dramatically in recent years, I still have a corded drill for the rush job. If you will go many months without using your cordless tools they probably won't be ready when needed.

The newer lithium batteries are a great improvement over the older Nicads, nickel metal hydrides and original lithium batteries. Mine will hold a full charge for well over 3 months and charge in less than an hour.
 

Tulecreeper

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Mar 19, 2023
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3,184
Location
Wstrn AR
A valve stem tool and a tire plug kit. Inexpensive, but invaluable when needed.
You still use a tire plug kit? I stopped when a guy I knew had the handle break while trying to force the patch into the hole and the broken stub punched all the way through his wrist. Bad day at Black Rock. :(
 

Ex-Calif

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May 15, 2020
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NorthCentral Florida
But a corded tool is available for immediate use, even if neglected for months or even years. There is a reason that cordless tools have not eliminated corded ones completely.
I bought a 3/8" corded drill this year. I looked in all the usual stores and eventually had to buy online.

I have used the corded drill in the RV but it requires A/C power or battery/inverter. In the RV I keep the charger in an overhead locker. I almost never store my battery tools with the battery installed. Or at least with one on the charger.
 

gwinger

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Natrona Hts PA
But a corded tool is available for immediate use, even if neglected for months or even years. There is a reason that cordless tools have not eliminated corded ones completely.

I think the the fact that corded tools are still popular has more to do with the power they deliver. My 120 volt drill will outperform my cordless ones.
Cordless are more convenient and do not require a power source or extension cord. Use is only for a few minutes at a time. Quick and easy.
Even my 'cheap' Ryobi batteries hold a charge for months on end. I have a 1/2 inch drill, small blower, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch impact. They all use the same battery. I carry two 4ah batteries. They recharge in about an hour. Just my opinion.
 

Martian

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Dec 4, 2021
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427
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Independent Republic of Horry
No matter how well prepared, make sure you pack lots of ingenuity because no matter how man tools you have there will be something down the road that needs a tool you do not have. Murphy says so so it is true.
 

TonyL

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Dec 10, 2017
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1,350
Location
UK
No matter how well prepared, make sure you pack lots of ingenuity because no matter how man tools you have there will be something down the road that needs a tool you do not have. Murphy says so so it is true.
Ingenuity, elbow grease, determination, and invention.
4 wonderful tools that you can't buy, but you will developšŸ˜
 

IBTripping

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Sep 19, 2018
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2,175
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Virginia
I probably have more tools than I should in my installed truck tool box. One of my most used tools is a good set of vice grip pliers. Had to get creative in several situations where my vice grips saved me. Since I have a 2 wheel drive F250, I also carry a heavy duty come-a-long, long tow strap, traction tracks, and small cordless chainsaw.
 

Adventurous Traveler

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Feb 1, 2023
Posts
353
Location
Western New York
Yep, Vice Grips are a must. Also, be sure you have a new fuse for every type in your RV. Count me in with the corded drill vs battery operated, between the inverter on my rig or the generator I pretty much will always have AC electric available but can't be sure a cordless battery would be charged.

For those that may not be mechanically inclined so they think they don't need tools on board, words of advice passed on to me back in my boating days (Lake Erie) when I asked a fellow boater "Why do I need this tool or that taking up space on my boat", the answer was "Someone may stop to help you that knows how to use those tools". I haven't forgotton that piece of advice with my RV.
 

garyb1st

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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
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4,662
Location
Southern California
I went with a compromise. No disputing the utility of a full size power drill but I didn't want to carry one around plus a charger for the 2 times a year I might need it. So went with the cordless screwdriver, about $25. A hex-bit set of drill bits from the chinese emporium plus all the driver bits in the tool set and all boxes are checked. No, it won't sink a 3" screw into a 2x4 but I've never had a need for that camping. But it has drilled holes and driven screws as needed for a few years now, and it packs easily. Back in my man-in-a-van days the cordless screwdrivers were standard issue for most field work unless you were perforating walls.

View attachment 169202

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
Generally I'd agree with your post. However, on our last outing, I needed to replace our Converter. It's under the refrigerator and the only way to access it was by moving the refrigerator. That required building a 2 foot square, 1 foot high rolling platform. Glad I had my WORX electric saw and Ryobi Drill.
 
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