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Old 08-02-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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Tools! Tools! Tools!

I profess a fascination with tools be they hand tools, power tools, industrial tools, or machines the size of small mountains. The huge growth of the DIY world over the last 20 years or so has changed what once were unusual and exotic tools into common items in the average homeowners’ tool kit. For example, the battery operated power tools we take for granted hardly existed 20 years ago when I built my log home. Heck, even variable-speed electric drills were fairly new and not too reliable. (I know first hand as I killed two of them on that log home project.)

So I thought it would informative and useful if some of us would share some of the contents of our personal tool kits, especially as they relate to our Sunlines.

I am going to start it off with some basic hand tools like the screwdriver that lives in the Sunline. It’s an inexpensive “6 in1” available just about everywhere. It comes with a reversible shank that gives you ¼” and 5/16” sockets. Each socket holds a reversible screwdriver bit; a #1 phillipshead and a small slotted head in the quarter inch side, and a #2 phillips and similar size slotted head in the 5/16” side.



I found a matching bit that has #1 and #2 square drive heads. The #2 square drive in particular is pretty much an essential tool for RV’s as most of the screws used to built one are the combination #2 square/phillips drive. The phillips side of that isn’t very reliable to me and I greatly prefer the #2 square drive. Total cost of the “6 in 1” plus the square drive bit is less than $8. IMHO, if you could only have just one hand driver for your Sunline, this would be the one to have.

Some variations of the #2 square drive that have ended up in my tool box over the years:

Top to bottom: A dedicated #2 square driver that I bought for a whole lot of money many years ago when we bought our first TT (a ’65 Avalon! At the time, a #2 square driver was almost exclusively the province of the factories and RV dealerships. I had to order that one through a speciality tool shop that supplied my employer back then.), the “6 in 1”, and a small combination driver that uses the little quarter inch bits in various sizes and shapes. I have a whole bin full of those bits, but I keep a #2 square, #2 phillips, and a couple of often used Torx bits in the storage handle. The shank on this driver, while it has a magnet to hold the bits in place, is aluminum, and not really recommended as a quarter inch nut driver.

Now for power tools… My trusty Makita 9 volt drill driver has been with me for at least 15 years. Aside from replacing a battery a few years ago, its performance has been superb. Shown are just a few of the bits I have that make it so useful. I bought one of those quick-change bit holders. All you have to do to change the bit is pull on the collar of it to release and replace whatever bits you need.

The little brush on the left is used for quickly cleaning the inside of half inch copper pipe fittings prior to assembly and soldering. Just to the right of the 5 small drill bits is a bit that is used to start perfectly centered pilot holes for flat head items like hinges. The long holder next to it has a sliding outer shell that holds long screws straight while starting them. The rest of the bits should be recognizeable.

Sadly, the Makita is finally beginning to show its age. Under constant, heavy use, it sometimes just stops. I have to flip it in reverse and squeeze the trigger to start it up again. Only seems to happen when I am drilling into something really cantankerous so I suspect something is amiss in the gears.

What have you got interesting in your tool kit?
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:51 PM   #2
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Re: Tools! Tools! Tools!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Collins
So I thought it would informative and useful if some of us would share some of the contents of our personal tool kits, especially as they relate to our Sunlines.

What have you got interesting in your tool kit?
Sorry for not posting what's in my tool box yet, but I had to warn you that you may have opened a can of worms! Wait till you see what all Kitty has!
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
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I am really surprised this topic didn't get more replies . Most of the regulars here seem very handy, so I would imagine you carry a variety of tools.
I am not that handy , so I only have a few screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, and pliers.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck & lori
I am really surprised this topic didn't get more replies . Most of the regulars here seem very handy, so I would imagine you carry a variety of tools.
I am not that handy , so I only have a few screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, and pliers.

I guess most on here go by the saying: "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem!"
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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Socket sets, cordless circular saw, cordless drill, cordless jig saw, drill bits, adjustable wrenches, open end wrenches, hammer(s), screwdrivers, and a lot of other tools. Forgot the cordless dremel tool, tube of cable ties, bottle jacks (3), bottle jack extension handle, torque wrench, spare wheel bearings, various cans of lubricants, nuts, bolts. OF COURSE THIS REQUIRED MORE THAN ONE TOOL BOX


OH, wait that was before Gary said I can no longer use my big black toolbox, and handed me the "girlie pink" one that is less than HALF the size of my black one.

I'll just have to sneak them into hiding places in Sunny 14
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:35 AM   #6
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We're still deciding what needs to go and what doesn't. Plus a travel trailer seems to have more "stuff" to maintain than my popup did.

I still use my 12-inch tool bag, but it's got some additions in it.

I have two pair of arc joint pliers. One is kept in the side "garage" area on the coach for tightening & un-tightening water connections. Also in the garage is my 2-foot aluminum level, a 3-lb drilling hammer, an old rubber mallet, a roll of quality duct tape, leather work gloves, a pouch full of disposable polyethylene gloves for dumping, my 1/2-inch drive torque wrench with a 6-inch extension and 13/16 socket, and a couple of old hand towels for wiping down power cords or whatever when breaking down.

My tool bag contains my Vise Grips, a couple of needle-nose pliers, two 8-inch adjustable wrenches, a very nice set of screwdrivers (got them last Christmas), a lock back folding utility knife & spare blades, slip joint pliers, a Craftsman soft-side tool set with 1/4-inch drive sockets, allen wrenches, and such (got this last Chistmas, too) and a digital multi meter, along with some electrical tape and some 35-mm film cannisters with miscellaneous screws and such.

My truck box has a small D-handle shovel, a 4-way lug wrench, about 100 feet of nylon cord, some bungee cords, and assorted chemicals.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:47 AM   #7
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Simple tools

This is an interesting topic, particularly for me in my small rig where size and weight are in a consideration. Certainly the most important tools are the simpler ones, the ones you use 80 percent of the time, like the adjustable pipe wrench.

When I asked my wife what was my most used tool (no laughing here), she immediately responded your Leatherman.

When we started RVing 9 years ago it was given to me as a gift. It has been on my belt for virtually every day since then and works just as well as day one. It's obviously no replacement for an electric drill or even a hammer, but it's more used.

I admit to carry a fair number of tools, particularly because of our out of the way travels. By weight and volume the bulk of our tools are rescue tools including a compressor, battery based jump starter, and bottle jack.

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Old 09-13-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck & lori
I am really surprised this topic didn't get more replies . Most of the regulars here seem very handy, so I would imagine you carry a variety of tools.
I am not that handy , so I only have a few screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, and pliers.
Chuck and Lori

Thanks for bringing this back up. Some how....I seemed to have missed it. Tools and I go hand in hand and there is always a level of some in every vehicle we own. We don't leave home without it...

Pic's to come soon. Also reading some of the replies, my TT repair/emergency kit is missing a few things that soon will be rectified.

An interesting topic.

Thanks

John

PS Norm, OK what do you actually do with a pipe wrench in your camper? I have from 4” to 36” pipe wrenches but really have not used them yet inside or outside the camper, ever. Channel locks, oh yeh, all the time.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:00 AM   #9
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Pipe wrench

I carry a pipe wrench and channel locks. Both are good for tighetening water connections though I'm sure the channel locks would surfice. I quess it's chance to remove another pound by dumping the pipe wrench.

One thing the pipe wrench is good for is tightening the ball, something I've never had to do but....

As well I carry much of what Dave describes in his email, three kinds of tape, a multimeter, tywraps. I do have a shovel, grease gun, a good socket set with shallow and deep sockets, a soldering iron, tire repair kit (actually used a couple of times in nine years) Various kinds of screws. A can of spray black paint (I am rust paranoid)

Thinking about what I could remove - I could get rid of the trailer's original jack along with the pipe wrench. I also carry a small spool length of uninsulated wire for repairs. A bottle of distilled water for topping the batteries... Misc fuses... lots of Bungee cords (stretchy duck tape in my mind)

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Old 09-13-2009, 10:26 AM   #10
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A pipe wrench chews up whatever it is clamped on. It is designed to dig into the metal when force is applied to the handle. Back when black iron or steel pipe was the standard for home plumbing, pipe wrenches were essential. But leaving some teeth marks in a steel pipe or fitting that no one will likely see is not a big deal. Some plumbers will still use one on chrome pipe in the bathroom, but only with a thick rag between the pipe and the teeth of the wrench. More commonly these days they use channellocks over a rag or a strap wrench.

I'd be very uncomfortable using a pipe wrench on anything in the Sunline or the towing system or the truck.

An adjustable wrench is basically an open end wrench that can be sized to fit a number of different nuts and bolts; most commonly hex head and square head.

The pipe wrench is the red one.


Wrenches like these are probably a little better suited to tightening up a tow ball or adjustable ball platform.
(Excuse my size 12, but I needed something quick for size comparison. )
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:02 PM   #11
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I don't carry any open end or box wrenches, primarily a english/metric set of nomral sockets with extenders and a set of large deep sockets. In addition I. carry one large and one small adjustable wrenchs and simiilarly two vice grips. The pipe wrench allows me to grip the balls round coolar. I probably donakt need that.

I carry a lot more tools in the Bounder.

I usually also carry a tube of caulking. Like most RVers I carry a folding hand saw and a hatchet. In the carry we also carry our Spot immergency locator and a 75 watt inverter. The inverter is used to recharge batteries
, Phones and operate one of the laptops.

It seems that when it comes down to it you usually don't have what you need, the reason I bought the deep sockets.

Sorry for the errors in this post I'm on a bright beach sending this from a blackberr

Joy to all
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:29 PM   #12
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Here's an article on RV Tech Library's site. They suggest tools, for different levels that the owner feels necessary...

http://www.rvtechlibrary.com/misc/tools.htm

Personally, I carry tools that are for specific mods that I plan on doing while out. They are separate from the "Normal" tools that I feel necessary. I can see that I have a lot of picture taking to do!
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
An adjustable wrench is basically an open end wrench that can be sized to fit a number of different nuts and bolts; most commonly hex head and square head.
A.K.A. the American's answer to the Metric system
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACK C-85
Quote:
An adjustable wrench is basically an open end wrench that can be sized to fit a number of different nuts and bolts; most commonly hex head and square head.
A.K.A. the American's answer to the Metric system
I like that!!!
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