Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stuff I Think I Need

One of the things I find fascinating about RV bloggers is their seemingly limitless imagination and ingenuity in repairing, customizing or just tinkering with their RVs.  Some folks are remarkably gifted in performing their own mechanical repairs, like Clarke of Our Newell Adventure.  Others, like Mui of  2 To Travel’s Phaeton Journeys, do careful research and seem always to acquire just the right thing to fill every need or whim and then perform an expert installation as well.  Sadly, I am nothing like these talented people.  It is my lot in life, I guess, to expend my hard-earned treasure to hire professionals to do what they seem to do easily.

However, since I do have a few very basic mechanical skills, I carry along a fairly rudimentary set of tools, and I have attempted to assemble a small collection of parts, hardware, lubricants and fasteners that might come in handy if something breaks on Phannie which, of course, it will. That is not to say that it would necessarily be me using this stuff, but it might; who knows?

Besides things like spare bulbs, fuses, clamps and fasteners, I also carry spare parts that might not be readily available outside of large cities, like fuel and oil filters and an extra fan belt for the Caterpillar engine.  I also carry a good quality folding ladder and some of those triangular emergency reflector thingies that you set out to warn drivers of a disabled vehicle ahead.
I also carry a few specialized tools like filter wrenches, a voltage tester and even a socket that will fit the large lug nuts on Phannie’s wheels.  I learned that from a blogger who wrote that he had waited for hours in the middle of nowhere waiting for a service truck to change a tire only to be thwarted in the effort when the road service tech discovered he didn’t have a socket of the correct size.
Once frustrated by not having the correct adapter for Phannie’s electrical power cord, I now carry adapters for every conceivable power configuration that I might encounter.
Again, because I learned the hard way, I also carry an extra 50-amp extension cord.

Same is true for a regular extension cord and water hoses; I carry three hoses, again, learning the hard way.  (Yes, I know this doesn’t meet the neatness standards of some folks, but hey, I don’t have ulcers from worrying about it.)
And what could be handier than a good worklight?
I also carry a little label machine, something I’ve found that has a myriad of uses.  It’s amazing how much more organized I feel when boxes and bins are labeled with their contents and when obscure switches, handles, controls and gauges are clearly labeled.  (I defy anyone to tell me immediately which direction is hot on a single-lever faucet.)  They also come in handy to attach placards showing brands and specifications for fluids that might need to be added.  As I get older, I’m aware of needing more of these helpful little reminders; If you find a label on my forehead with “If Lost, Return to Sandy,” you’ll know it’s time for me to hang it up!
So, that’s a peek at just some of the stuff I think I need to take along in Phannie; I would be interested to know what you carry with you that the rest of us may not have considered…


  1. I remember once upon a time repairing a busted water line in a fellow's house (it was out under a Florida room and he didn't quite grasp the concept of "frost") and he actually apologised for not knowing how to do something like that himself.
    I simply explained to him that he needn't apologise, since he did make a good income, and there were always guys like me out there who could use a little extra cash.
    There will be some things that you may tackle yourself, but then there will be others that you'd want to leave to the professionals anyway. Even if you could do every possible little thing, why would you?

  2. some are just more handy than others!..Mui is definitely one of the handier guys out there in blogville!..I am sure you have found your 'lot in life'!!..along with my lovely husband who is much better not lifting the hood of the jeep! :)

  3. Thans for the shout-out :-))) The link for this post goes to Mui for his reading pleasure. He too has a label maker ... I'm surprised there's anything left that hasn't been stickered :-)))

  4. Not sure what my honey has BUT he has enough bins full of stuff and he is of the theory always be prepared so I am sure he has a ton of stuff for repairs... But no label maker. Hmmmmmm maybe a good gift for him! lol lol
    Have fun

  5. We carry the same stuff as you do...fuel water separator and filter, fuses etc. We also carry a spare hot water heater anode rod and spare water filters. We excessively filter our water :)
    It has to be pretty basic and pretty easy. If not, we are of the firm opinion that there is someone out there trying to make a living and we will help support him in his quest!

  6. I must say that you can make a dull subject so funny. Paul is one of those...very organized people. He has all that you have plus tons more. He is very handy. He has used the label maker more than almost any other tool...hehe Enjoy your week.

  7. I bring Annie everywhere. She's the most useful item I could carry. Not available in stores.


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