What tools do you bring?

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oldryder

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Working on a packing list for my camper. Easy to bring along a decent tool box that will allow me to fix a lot of stuff. Trying to decide if I need jack stands, a jack, and an impact wrench to be able to change my own tire. If I'm willing to accept I might wait most or all of a day to get mobile service seems like I can just leave those items home. Not wild about the idea of changing a tire on a shoulder anyway. looking for comments or advice.
 
What kind of camper? Trailer and two vehicle? Motorhome.

I consider the ability to change a tire, a necessity, especially out west where you could be far from services and cell service.

I have a tool bag in the trailer with specific sockets for wheel lugs, 24 in breaker bar, and VOM, wire ties, electrical tape, pliers, long needle nose, ratcheting screwdriver and kit of 52 different types of tips, a selection of fractional and metric wrenches.

Many years ago, a guy I worked with had a cartoon on his toolbox, a mechanic holding up an adjustable wrench, and exclaiming "this is my entire metric tool set". A lot of it depends on the tow vehicle and trailer, as to what and how much stuff you need. I'm guilty of hauling too much.

You should consider spare parts also. I have a set of trailer wheel bearings and races and seal, along with a hammer and punch to change races, a Fridge electric heat element (I have it so I keep it in the trailer), plus a few other small items.

Charles
 
If you have a 2 axle trailer, you can make a mini "ramp" from a 6x6. You pull the good wheel onto the ramp until the bad wheel is off the ground. It's lighter than a heavy duty jack and can double as a stabilizer block.

I carry a Harbor Freight tool kit. Yes, you get what you pay for, but these just stay in the RV and hopefully never get used. A cheap wrench sucks but a cheap wrench of the correct size is better that a leatherman tool to change out a water pump or battery. They have different kits in different sizes. Kobalt makes a much better tool kit for 100 bucks when they have sales.

Battery powered impact driver is a must.
 
decent tool box that will allow me to fix a lot

Or, a just OK tool box that allows you to fix what's likely to fail. There is no end to the tools and spares you could use, eventually, but there's a point of diminishing return. At Quartzsite I saw a bus conversion that had several bays with snap on tool chests in each, I think the only thing he was missing was a milling machine. Maybe it was inside... You can carry enough spares to rebuild an engine or transmission but odds are pretty good even if you did, you're not doing that on the side of the road. So what are failures you can practically deal with, and what parts are needed for those? Maybe a tire plug kit, some spare wire and fuses for odd electrical issues, and basic tools to work on user serviced chassis and house items. I carry three small toolboxes. A basic mechanic tool set, a collection of spare parts like plumbing fittings, serpentine belt, glue, sealant, hardware assortment and sundry fix-its, and a toolbox of electrical/electronic stuff like fuses, relays, lamps, meters, tape, splices, wire. To date I've been able to address every failure on the road I've had, and a few failures of others I've been with. If I lose a crankshaft position sensor, my disc brakes catch fire, a clutch pack in my transmission gives up I'm done. But to carry all it takes to mitigate those failures isn't practical or realistic as it's hoped that preventive maintenance will reveal if these are potential problems. In my view, I don't need everything to fix every problem, just fix it well enough to get me somewhere I can.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
I carry the toolbox from my garage that contains way too much stuff and weighs over 80lbs.
Luckily I've very rarely needed the tools in it but those few times I would have been in deep doo doo if I didn't have them.
 
It was mentioned a set of wheel bearings. That’s fine if all the bearings fail at the same time. Very unlikely. Go with one set would be fine and have it pre packed with grease. Next time you get to a parts store, just buy new set.
Don’t forget a roll of good duck tape, 3# hammer and a 12” crescent wrench.
 
For breaking loose the lug nuts when changing a tire, I carry a long breaker bar with the correct 1/2 inch socket. Other tools, minimum, are pliers, channel lock pliers, socket set, screw drivers, side cutters, and, yes, duct tape.
 
I probably carry too much, but what I use most is a multimeter, wire stripper / crimper, basic 88 piece socket wrench set, screw driver and pliers. This sums up all the tools I used on our most recent circa thousand mile trip to central Texas for the eclipse. On day 3 of the trip our turn signals on our TOAD car would not work when we hooked it up, this lead to testing various wires on the trailer connector, connector on TOAD car, etc, then eventually replacing the 6 pin socket on the TOAD car, all of which took much longer than it should have as whoever wired our TOAD car did not use standard trailer wiring color scheme. (they used yellow for ground, etc.).

After getting home and before taking the coach back to its storage shed, I removed and replaced the anode rod for the water heater (annual check item), this needed a 1/2 inch drive socket wrench, and about a 1 inch socket. Today I worked on something else under the dog house, needed a 1/4 inch drive, 7 mm socket and a couple of stacked 1/4 extensions and a pair of flat head screw drivers used to pry back some plastic clips. Just before leaving on this trip I had to replace a brake caliper, this again needed basic sockets, allen wrench, a box wrench for bleeding the brakes, as well as an impact wrench and larger socket to pull the wheel off.

Next on the project list is trying to figure out why the dash stereo would not work on our recent trip, it worked fine on the previous trip, so will likely be back to multi meter and wire crimping again.
 
It was mentioned a set of wheel bearings. That’s fine if all the bearings fail at the same time. Very unlikely. Go with one set would be fine and have it pre packed with grease. Next time you get to a parts store, just buy new set.
Don’t forget a roll of good duck tape, 3# hammer and a 12” crescent wrench.
I used the word SET improperly. What I are referring to is the two bearings and their races for one hub, plus the seal for the inner side. And yes, I have them prepacked in grease in ziplock bags.

Charles
 
You only need the tools to get you to the next town. Where you can buy the specific tools you need. Carrying extra weight for 100K miles will cost more in fuel than the cost of the tools.

A flat/phillips/torx bits screwdriver set, vice grips, one crescent wrench, and tire inflator is all you need to carry. Its more important to have a spare set of belts, hoses, and fuel filters than a toolbox.
 
You only need the tools to get you to the next town. Where you can buy the specific tools you need. Carrying extra weight for 100K miles will cost more in fuel than the cost of the tools.

A flat/phillips/torx bits screwdriver set, vice grips, one crescent wrench, and tire inflator is all you need to carry. Its more important to have a spare set of belts, hoses, and fuel filters than a toolbox.
This may be true, but I would much rather have a socket wrench set that can remove a nut with in 30 seconds, than have to use a crescent wrench, possibly in a tight location and take over 30 minutes to do the same job.
 
Trying to decide if I need jack stands, a jack, and an impact wrench to be able to change my own tire.
In my opinion, those items and many others might be justified if you will be fulltime, but not if part-time. I carried far more when we were living in our RV as our only home than I do when traveling for a week or even a month. When the RV was my only home than it wasn't possible to "make do" until I got back to my shop to do any repairs so I carried a lot more tools than when part-time. Also, changing a tire on a travel trailer is something that I might do but on a class A or even a class C is a completely different issue. For those I suggest a good road service policy is a much better choice. We had two different class A rigs, one for 9 years and the second for 14 years and never once did we have a flat tire on either. Both of them did have a spare and that proved to be a waste.
 
Specifically on the changing tire point, I like to have the ability to do it, though only once in my travels of over 30,000 miles in the last 8 years in our coach have I ever came close to needing to. In 2017 I was traveling through western Nebraska on I-80, when I hit pot hole in 2 way traffic construction zone (no way to miss it), which caused a belt separation and significant wheel vibration. In this case I did not have a TOAD car with me, but was carrying a mounted spare on the hitch mount tire carrier. Thankfully I was able to take the next exit and limp into the nearby town where there was a mom and pop tire shop on the side highway doing 20-25 mph. I paid them $20 to swap out my spare for the one with the belt separation and I was on my way.
 
This may be true, but I would much rather have a socket wrench set that can remove a nut with in 30 seconds, than have to use a crescent wrench, possibly in a tight location and take over 30 minutes to do the same job.
I agree but it would take a big socket set to fit everything a crescent can fit. Remember a crescent wrench can be used vertically like a box/open end wrench with a screwdriver thru the hole in the handle to turn it. It can also be used as a cheater bar, pry bar, a hammer, or self defense against attack squirrels.
 
Once I graduated to a rig that had greater-than-16" wheels I stopped carrying tire changing tools. That included a summer spent traveling in Alaska & western Canada. Never regretted it either. Nor did I ever need to call a roadside service for a tire issue.

Prior to that I did have tire failures with 15" and 16" trailer tires and did have a couple occasions to pull off a wheel and take to a shop.
 
I agree but it would take a big socket set to fit everything a crescent can fit. Remember a crescent wrench can be used vertically like a box/open end wrench with a screwdriver thru the hole in the handle to turn it. It can also be used as a cheater bar, pry bar, a hammer, or self defense against attack squirrels.
You ain't going to break a nut with a crescent wrench on it like that.
 

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