Ready for a breakdown
Once you have checked your caravan or camper is in good working order in readiness for the long summer season, it is equally important to be prepared for an emergency.
Most recreational vehicles are sold with little in the way of tools to carry out on-the-spot repairs so it is wise to assemble a kit of your own.
It isn’t prudent to rely on repair shops because often when trouble strikes you can be many kilometres from the nearest town.
Essential items such as wheel jacks suitable for your RV aren’t always included when you purchase a new unit, though in recent times there has been a big improvement in supplying this vital tool with new vans.
Never rely on your tow vehicle jack being satisfactory for the task because, generally, it won’t do the job.
Apart from ensuring you are carrying a jack and wheel brace, your toolkit can vary from being modest to comprehensive. Often people with little ability to cope with making their own repairs ignore the importance of carrying an adequate set of tools or vital replacement parts such as globes and fuses.
This is unwise should you get into trouble because a fellow traveller may have the ability to assist with your dilemma but not have access to the tools to do the job.
The items listed on this page will not cope with every situation you many encounter but should get you out of trouble with minor mishaps and repairs.
There are a number of additional tools and spares which can be carried. However, consideration must be given to weight and space factors.
Some recreational vehicles have specialised tools and spares so it is prudent to make a thorough check to ensure these are on board and in good condition before leaving home.
DIY TOOL KIT
There is no definitive list to work from if you decide to put together your own kit. However, these are some of the items experienced travellers recommend:
• A variety of relevant-sized spanners and sockets
• Screwdrivers (an electric one is worth considering)
• A cordless electric drill (make sure it is constantly charged) with a good assortment of drill bits and screwdriver heads
• Allen key set
• Jack and wheel brace
• Multigrips and pliers (including long nose)
• Puncture repair kit
• Tyre pressure gauge and 12V pump
• Hammer and tomahawk
• Stanley knife with spare blades
• A couple of files (different sizes)
• Trouble light
• Hacksaw (with spare blades)
• Tow rope
• Long-handle shovel (can be used to assist lifting when changing tyres)
• Ockie straps
• If you have a rudimentary knowledge of electrics, a multimeter can be includedSPARES
• Spare fuses and globes for both RV and tow vehicle (Cover all amperages)
• Radiator and brake fluid
• A selection of screws and nuts and bolts
• Zip-ties, tie-wire and gaffer tape
• Penetrating oil (WD40 or equivalent)
• Insulation tape, silicone
• Water hose tap fittings (Ever left your tap fitting behind at a caravan park?)
• Canvas repair kit (Essential for pop-tops and campers)
• Appropriate grease and oil
© The West Australian
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