Where's your workshop?

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Tom

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Most part-timers and some fulltimers have the luxury of returning to a home base where they have access to a workbench, vice, power tools and a lot more hand tools than they carry in their RV. But, irrespective of whether you're fulltime or part time, what do you use as a substitute for your workshop when you're on the road?
 

rovinsteve

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Madeira Beach KOA, Florida (St. Petersburg, FL)
I carry a five drawer tool box in the bay behind the door with a general assortment of tools.  My workbench is likely beside whatever needs working on or the picnic table.  Incidently, I bought a 1/8" slippery plastic sheet that works very well as a portable creeper.  It stores behind my Dutch Star's couch very nicely.

--Steve Crouch, NO7V
  Dillon, MT
 

Tom

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I too carry a toolbox Steve, although it never has all the right tools in it. But there are times when I wish I had a vice attached to a workbench so I could bend a piece of steel or aluminum, or I need an anvil to pound something with a hammer.

rovinsteve said:
I bought a 1/8" slippery plastic sheet that works very well as a portable creeper. It stores behind my Dutch Star's couch very nicely.

Sounds like what I've been looking for. Where did you buy that?
 

Len and Jo

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Since we have a 'B' space is a premium.  I carry some tools under the drivers seat (about 10"x10"x3"high) and a small storage compartment by the side doors (about 6"x6"x24).  Need a hammer....use an axe.  Need an anvil...use a large rock.  Need something welded...cuss at it really hard.  Beyond that I have to wait until I get home.
 

Tom

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Len and Jo said:
Need something welded...cuss at it really hard. Beyond that I have to wait until I get home.

LOL Len, I guess I do a lot of both.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
I carry a tool box that usually has everything I need when on the road, A cordless drill, and an assortment of wire connectors.  If I have a project that I don't have the stuff to do it with it just has to wait till we return to Sam's Camp.
 

Karl

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Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Going from a full workshop with radial arm saw, drilll press, welder, air tools, etc. was difficult, but then again my needs have changed. Fulltiming with a packaged set of wrenches and sockets, rechargeable drill, and a few wrenches and hammers gets most of the stuff done on a MH. Of course I wouldn't be without the Dremel Mototool.

Unlike Tom, I've yet to need a 3/4 drive socket with a 7' breaker bar! ;D
 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
Not quite there yet, but plan is to buy a 6x12 V-nosed enclosed trailer.  This we will pull behind the truckcamper and it will house my motorcycles and tools.  Plan on using it as a mobile workshop/ shed.  Tools to take, I am fretting over right now.  Big assortment downstairs awaiting the take me decision. 

Definitely my cordless stuff, the circular and jig saws, couple hammers, screwdriver assortment, socket set.  The more specialized tools I am still deciding between.  I have a wonderful chop saw I don't know how I lived without all these years, but it is bulky.  Have to figure out if I will have a need to make it worthwhile. 

If my parttime occupation is a general handyman it will be crucial.  If I am just doing fixupo stuff it will be over the top. 

My sockets are only up to 1/2" drive and these I think will be left behind.  Need to make room for a Whitworth set for my Norton.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I carry a basic style tool box, the kind with a lift-out tray. It has all the frequent  use tools, a set of screw drivers, hammer, Robo-grip channel locks, wire various pliers and wire strip tool, hammer, vise grips, 1/4 inch socket set, etc. The  large 3/8 socket set is in its own box  and I have stopped carrying the 1/2 inch set due to lack of use. If I ever need one, I'll borrow it or resort to a shop.  I also carry threeroll up tool wraps, two with SAE & metric box/open end wrench sets and another with miscellaneous low-use tools like files, snap ring pliers, rivet tool and such.  I have found the tool wraps fit neatly into nooks and crannys in the bays and consume far less space than when I had them in a standard tool box.  Last, I have two shoe box size plastic containers with various tapes, glues, sand paper, wood filler, electrical test tools, etc.

A shop also needs a supply of nuts, bolts, screws, wire connectors, etc. These I carry in a couple boxes designed for the purpose. Black & Decker makes an excellent compartmentalized box that is thin (about 1.5 inches) and broad. It slips neatly behind or along side of other things in the bays or behind a sofa or back of a closet. The B&D parts box is the only one I have found that actually closes tight enough to keep the small parts from jumping from one partition to another, even when standing on end or upside down. I also have a standard small parts drawer cabinet for miscellaneous stuff like valve caps, CATV connectors, an assortment of wire ends, etc. It's a just a small one and I'm thinking of replacing it with another B&D box.

Perhaps this sounds like a lot, but it doesn't take up much space or even add a whole lot of weight. Maybe 45# total?  I get kidded about having a traveling hardware store, but compared to many RVers I'm not carrying all that much. Still, I can fix most routine things without heading to a store.

One tool I like is a combination clamp bar and vise.  It's a typical lever-operated bar clamp mounted on a swivel base. The base has a screw clamp for attaching to a picnic table.  This is my portable vise and the bar clamp also removes for separate use. It is mostly plastic but quite sturdy.  It is made by Wilton and called the Multigrip. I think I got it at Lowes.
 

Tom

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I'm also a travelling hardware store Gary, but never seem to have the "right" size screw, bolt, etc. So I still have to make trips to the hardware store.
 

Tom

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Karl said:
Unlike Tom, I've yet to need a 3/4 drive socket with a 7' breaker bar!

LOL Karl, I used to carry a long breaker in the old coach, but that was for loosening lug nuts. Fortunately I didn't need the breaker bar. FWIW one of the bins almosy fell off that coach because I'd packed too many tools.
 

Woody

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I have a small square, but long length comapartment at the rear of the coach that is just made for the sockets, ratchet, and breaker bar needed to change a tire. I found out last year that I just don't have ooomph anymore to lift the tire into place from a squatting position, and I have Coachnet now but if for some reason CN couldn't get there I could maybe talk someone younger into changing it for me.

Woody
 

Tom

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Woody said:
if for some reason CN couldn't get there I could maybe talk someone younger into changing it for me.

Woody, you may need to keep a 6-pack in the refridgerator as an inducement.
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Karl

>>Unlike Tom, I've yet to need a 3/4 drive socket with a 7' breaker bar! <<

That was me, not Tom.? By the way I carry tons of tools, connectors, supplies etc in the cabinet where the washer/dryer would have been.<G>


Terry
At Clark Fork, ID
 

Jeff

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That was me, not Tom.  By the way I carry tons of tools, connectors, supplies etc in the cabinet where the washer/dryer would have been.<G>

Terry:

And Russ appreciates it.  ;D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm also a travelling hardware store Gary, but never seem to have the "right" size screw, bolt, etc. So I still have to make trips to the hardware store.

When planning what tools/parts I carry, I use a sort of triage to sort it out.  In one class are the small  repairs and "honey do" items, things that may be routinely encountered. At the other extreme ares major repairs, things I would not want to do on the roadside or campground, regardless (and I add more and more things to this category every year!).  In between are emergency house repairs like leaky pipes and electrical problems and a class I call "projects", various minor enhancements we might decide to make.

I try to carry everything I need for routine small jobs and emergency house repairs, at least enough for temporary fixes.  For the project class I try to  carry enough tools but not the supplies. Major repairs I don't bother with at all, i.e. leave tools and supplies at home.  "Major" now includes even an engine fan belt swap - one look in the engine compartment decided me I wasn't going to fool with that at roadside, so I don't need either the tools or the belt on hand.  Your triage categories will no doubt have different parameters than mine, but I believe it is helpful to think in that fashion.

Another of my triage rules is sort of a cost threshold.  If I needed a pop riveter, I would hate to have to go buy one when I already own a good one, so I carry it with me. But I don't try to carry the myriad of rivet sizes I might need. I carry only half a dozen assorted rivets for emergencies and figure I can go buy more of whatever size I need, IF the need arises.

Besides, going to the hardware store is not a bad thing. You probably do it all the time from "home", so why not from your home on the road?   
 

Tom

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I like your planning method Gary. I find that I start out at one level and, over time, keep adding stuff without taking anything off the coach. If I did consciously leave something at home, that would be the first thing I'd need on the road.
 

Betty Brewer

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Tom said:
I like your planning method Gary. I find that I start out at one level and, over time, keep adding stuff without taking anything off the coach. If I did consciously leave something at home, that would be the first thing I'd need on the road.

What's even worse is if  you happen to have a small storage shed for things you "needed" to store while traveling someplace else, anything you need will almost always be "in the shed" while you are on the road.  Or else "it must be in the shed" is the excuse for not being able to find  things.

My workshop is my RV  kitchen.  I find that I must have duplicates of almost every item I own as I will  soon need it, if it is left elsewhere.  Pampered Chef dealers love me.  So do the Dollar Stores.

Betty Brewer
 
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