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metalmagpie
09-16-2011, 10:34 PM
My partner Karen and I will be taking a month-long road trip in her 2004 Chevy van. We intend to never sleep in hotels. We will either be staying with friends/family or sleeping in the back on a sleeping platform built on legs so we can slide milk cartons underneath for storage. We will be camping in several national parks, and we will be cooking a lot of our own meals. We intend to back up to a picnic table at a campsite and open the back doors, and put a 10x10' easyup canopy over both the back of the van and the table, securing it from wind gusts by twine to ground stakes, to the table, to the bumper, or some combination thereof. We will be carrying firewood, kindling, paper and matches, as well as a coleman-type propane stove to cook on, pots, pans, kitchen gear, etc.

I've been tasked with coming up with a minimal set of useful tools to have on such a trip. We have roadside assistance insurance, so we don't need to be able to work much on the van itself, but it would be nice to have just a few tools. Obviously we'll bring a hatchet and camping (bowie) knife and a roll of duct tape.

I know there is a boatload of wisdom and experience on here. Have any of you faced something like this before and have a list of stuff to bring? Is there anything (maybe medium Vise-Grips) you would think handy enough to bring?

Bringing 100 lbs of tools is not going to happen. The price for space/weight is too high.

Any advice would be welcomed, thanks!

metalmagpie

macona
09-16-2011, 11:04 PM
Visegrips, set of wrenches, imperial and metric, hammer, pliers, set of screwdrivers, ratchet set with extensions, long ones too, crescent wrenches 8-12", 12v light bulb tester, pry bar, hack saw, spare fan belt. Should all fit in a tool box.

jhe.1973
09-16-2011, 11:30 PM
Hi Everyone,

Bunch of larger size nylon zip ties. Light weight & can be hooked together if you need bigger than just one.

I also like taking various size binder clips as in office supply items. The ones that are black, flat spring type w/shiny wire handles.

Sounds like a fun trip. Hope you have a great time!

J Tiers
09-16-2011, 11:46 PM
Carrying firewood is no longer a good plan due to so many tree-killing insects that travel in wood...... Ash borer, etc, etc.

In some places in US toting firewood across county lines is good for a hefty fine.

As for tools, tools with multiple uses are best.... you can hate crescent wrenches, but one size DOES fit "all"..... a kit of interchangeable bits and the screwdriver to fit is naturally handy.

As for roadside assistance plan...... it's nice, and lovely to have.... and does pretty much nothing in more remote areas. It's good in the city, though... that's for sure. basic car tools and obvious spares (extra oil and other essential fluids, for instance) are just plain sensible.

saltmine
09-16-2011, 11:49 PM
2 credit cards, and a AAA card with towing.

Black_Moons
09-16-2011, 11:53 PM
A decent number of lighters (At least 4), and led flashlights of all sizes. Idealy AA driven ones (AAA have very little power for the size/cost) or D cell if you can find em.

Realise your cells might not work in the forested areas.

Consider not using your car battery much except for emergency use, or you might end up stranded easily. idling the car for a few minutes will hardly recharge it. It takes hours to fully recharge a lead acid battery.

JRouche
09-17-2011, 12:13 AM
First off it sounds like a heck of a trip, FUN!

I have a project car that I have basically built from the ground up with aftermarket and junk yard parts. Its still only got 50 or so miles on it. But before I take it on a nice long trip I wanted to put together a "fix-it" bag with the stuff to get me back on the road if something minor broke, I have AAA for the major break down :)

So I went to harbor freight and picked up a canvas tool bag, a metal tool box is more weight without the usable space IMO. The bag empty and flat is about 20" long by 12" wide and flat to about 3". It has metal bars on the mouth of it that can be locked open to get into the bag. Fully opened its about 15" tall, so it can hold alot of essentials.

The essentials? All the stuff macona said. But Ill say what I use..

Channel lock pliers, two sizes, really big, as long as the bag, and small, about 7". Cresent wrenches, two large ones and one small one. Five screw drivers, three blade drivers, one large (pry bar size), one medium and one small one and a medium and small philips. One hammer, I love my craftsman long handled hammer. Hack saw is something I forgot but will include (thanks M). One diagnal wire cutter (dikes). Two punches, one long 12" flat nose and one 6" pointed. A 2" round mirror on a telescoping rod. I made a simple cover for the mirror from thin cardboard and duct tape to protect the mirror. So thats it for the tools, just working off of memory, I should pull the bag out to see. Oh, and some leather gloves.

Now some consumables are needed also. DUCT TAPE!!! Dont leave home without it. And the good stuff works much better. Id have a roll in the bag and one for the camping. It has SO may uses I cant even go into all the uses. Better make it three rolls :) A roll of bailing wire. The coated type. Its dark in color and kinda brown and shiny, VS the bare metal type. The coated type seem to be more flexible and just as strong. The 3" roll has enough to wrap around the van a few times.. Some hose clamps. I like the stainless ones because the screw doesnt tend to rip out of the slots too easily. You can really crank them down. Two each of four sizes for those (8 total). And like M said, fan belt. The "link" type belts are my choice for emergency needs, there are so many types out there you can decide. But a length that will make two belts and you will have enough to service the car for the rest of its days. A small roll of teflon tape. And a tube of epoxy. I like the paste type that you knead the two products together and it makes a ball of clay that hardens to a very firm material. I have fixed leaking cast iron water pipes with that and some hose clamps (and a small piece of sheetmetal).

Ok, it sounds like alot but its not. Its all small stuff that will fit into the canvas bag and it doesnt weigh all that much.

If you are camping you will prolly have all the other stuff like lighting to cover the stuff I didnt talk about cause I keep an led flash light in my bag also.

I gotta say, Im jealous!!! I havent roughed it in 35 years, back when I was camping with my Dad, he was the king for roughing it. We would camp in the Sierras, Rockies, Smokies, Appellation trail and everything in between.. Yer gonna have a great time!!! JR

Yup Jim, I forgot, the wire ties. Those are just as handy as the duct tape for many uses.. Good call

Mike Folks
09-17-2011, 12:16 AM
At least 2 sets of gapped sparkplugs. Water pump,air conditioning and alternator belts & tools to change them with. Maybe 3-4 qts of oil.

Ratchet & extensions to change sparkplugs. Spare air filter.

tdmidget
09-17-2011, 12:30 AM
"link" fan belts? spark plugs? Come on people!!! He said a 2004 model vehicle. What will you do with "link" fan belt? Hang up clothes to dry? Spark plugs? We have this new thing, platinum plugs, good for about 200,000 miles.
He did not say he was going in a model A.

darryl
09-17-2011, 01:12 AM
I'll throw my normal list of things in as well- crescent wrench, pliers, vise grips, couple of coathangers, hank of light rope or heavy cord, flashlights of course, hatchet with a sheath, all-purpose knife, container to hold drinking water, and a sierra saw.

If I'm backpacking, I'll pretty much have all of the above with me, although it would be small versions of the crescent wrench and vise grips. Instead of coathangers, it will usually be a short length or two of copper wire removed from the sheath (house wiring).

I pretty much always have a zip loc bag assortment- one with matches in it, and another one with a chunk of wax in it. If I think to, I'll bring a zip loc bag full of dry wood shavings, and another one with some bandages. One with several pouches of oatmeal, which I rotate out now and then, and one with a pair of gloves. Couple of garbage bags and some spare zip loc bags also, and a couple of space blankets.

All of the bagged stuff and the small tools can be packed into a shoulder bag (throw a roll of toilet paper in there as well) and shoved into a corner in the vehicle. It would be a good idea to have a few bottles of water in it too.

This is a combination emergency kit and convenience kit. If it comes down to it, you need only a few basic things- water, the ability to light a fire, the ability to stop bleeding, and some basic thing to put in your stomach if you get really hungry. You can mix the oatmeal in a ziploc bag if you have to, and you can carry water in a good sized zip loc - been there, done that.

The kit I keep in my van also has a container of antifreeze, a plastic slinky, a small tarp and some rope. I recently built a small container to hold all this stuff so it's easy to remove when I need the full room to carry plywood.

The slinky? It's two-tone fluorescent colored and is attention-getting even in low light. It's my version of reflective tape, something I can string up on a dark highway if I'm broken down.

Jim Caudill
09-17-2011, 01:33 AM
The wife and I took our Goldwing from Ohio to Washington state. We were gone for 17 days and "tented" all but 2 or 3 nights. One of the 2 or 3 was in a KOA "Camping Cabin", and one of them was in Jackson Hole, and I think we stayed 1 other night in a motel due to heavy rain.

In your travels there are things called "stores" where you can go inside and buy stuff that you may have forgotten, or not realised you needed. If you find you have too much stuff that prevents you from carrying what you really need, you ship it home.

I carry a small tool kit with sockets and wrenches that I know are needed to work on the Goldwing. These are buried at the very bottom since I know they will probably never be touched. I keep a 6-way screwdriver, pliers, etc in with the camping gear as it sometimes does come in handy.

THe wife got 1 of the side saddlebags, I got the other. All the camping gear (inflatable queen-size air matress, Eureka tent, inflator, etc) went in the upper trunk. All the riding gear (jackets, rain suits, etc) went on a strap-on, waterproof bag that was secured to a small "luggage rack". Sleeping bags and towels were in cinch bags that were carried on homemade pivoting carriers that pivoted over the side saddlebags.

Having an entire van sounds like an incredible luxury, and will probably lead to you carrying much more than you really need.

We didn't do any cooking though, we ate out for almost every meal.

Here's the wife on our Goldwing. It is July (and there was snow) and we are crossing Beartooth pass as we were travelling to Yellowstone from Montana.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i183/Ferrofab/GoldwingTrip2.jpg

JRouche
09-17-2011, 02:40 AM
"link" fan belts? spark plugs? Come on people!!! He said a 2004 model vehicle. What will you do with "link" fan belt? Hang up clothes to dry? Spark plugs? We have this new thing, platinum plugs, good for about 200,000 miles.
He did not say he was going in a model A.

Ok azz hat! What did YOU contribute to the needs of the man? Not a damn thing. Guess you need to crawl back into yer tool box and take a nap and come up with something huh? Ill give you a days nap, then show some productivity... JR

philbur
09-17-2011, 03:33 AM
I haven't read all the good suggestions but, is it bear country, is it insect country.

Phil:)

metalmagpie
09-17-2011, 06:52 AM
Realise your cells might not work in the forested areas.


Don't know about in Canada, but in the US there is an analog emergency service that you can access with a cellphone whether it has a plan or not, simply by dialing 911. I was stuck outside of Winslow, Arizona once in a rental car out of gas with two young kids and no cell service, and I tried 911 and an emergency operator in Flagstaff picked up the call and patched me through to AAA.

I think this service has pretty good coverage in the continental US.

torchroadster
09-17-2011, 07:03 AM
Look closely at the hardware on your EZ-up and bring the tools to take it apart and straighten the metal tubes when they inevitably get bent in the wind. When it happens its not too hard to fix, but you must disassemble it to do so. After that I'd add a Philips and straight screwdriver, Leatherman or similar multi-tool, two good knives, medium channel lock pliers, and about 100' of parachute cord.

Good luck - sounds like fun.

914Wilhelm
09-17-2011, 07:18 AM
18.25" 12 gauge mossberg.

Your Old Dog
09-17-2011, 08:32 AM
Carrying firewood is no longer a good plan due to so many tree-killing insects that travel in wood...... Ash borer, etc, etc.

In some places in US toting firewood across county lines is good for a hefty fine.

As for tools, tools with multiple uses are best.... you can hate crescent wrenches, but one size DOES fit "all"..... a kit of interchangeable bits and the screwdriver to fit is naturally handy.

As for roadside assistance plan...... it's nice, and lovely to have.... and does pretty much nothing in more remote areas. It's good in the city, though... that's for sure. basic car tools and obvious spares (extra oil and other essential fluids, for instance) are just plain sensible.


Jays right. I'm sitting on 7 cords of firewood at home and still have to pay inflated prices just so I can sit around the camp smolder. It's really hard to find dry wood for sale. If you do, keep in mind the bark is fire retardent for trees. So, if you find some bark slabs from a saw mill they will not burn very well. Have a great time and remember camping is a lot of fun if you bring along your HDTV satelite receiver :D

http://www.uvsconsole.com/clients/myersrv/watermark.php?src=551

vpt
09-17-2011, 09:29 AM
Don't forget an extra fuel pump! There isn't a chevy around here that hasn't had a fuel pump go out.




Tow strap
Jumper cables
two adjustable wrenches
pliers
screw drivers (phillips and regular)
hammer
wire cutters/scissors
duct tape
Zip ties
few feet of 14ish gauge wire
(should always have fuses in the glove box)
3/8" rubber fuel safe hose is small and good to have in the box
flash light
I have a pair of blue surgical gloves in my box
JB weld
And a few condoms (for plugging leaks, capping off hoses, in place of missing oil caps or what have you, or in case you meet some one on the road) :D

I know I am forgetting something but this is the stuff that fits and we carry in ammo boxes in our boats, trucks, amphibious vehicle, and hovercraft. The ammo boxes are great, water proof and strong!

tdmidget
09-17-2011, 12:18 PM
Ok azz hat! What did YOU contribute to the needs of the man? Not a damn thing. Guess you need to crawl back into yer tool box and take a nap and come up with something huh? Ill give you a days nap, then show some productivity... JR

Ok Azz Hat your self. What good will the link fan belt be on a vehicle that requires a serpentine belt? Even non platinum plugs have a 60,000 mile change interval. He has limited space and you want him to carry useless crap, some that won't even fit his car?

Black_Moons
09-17-2011, 01:02 PM
Don't know about in Canada, but in the US there is an analog emergency service that you can access with a cellphone whether it has a plan or not, simply by dialing 911. I was stuck outside of Winslow, Arizona once in a rental car out of gas with two young kids and no cell service, and I tried 911 and an emergency operator in Flagstaff picked up the call and patched me through to AAA.

I think this service has pretty good coverage in the continental US.

Depends where you are.

I can drive about 10 minutes into the mountains and have absolutely no service at all. Mountains block the RF and nobody there worth them putting up a cell tower. Oh, and basicly no radio stations received either.

Parks and hilly terrain, as well as hiways between towns can have the same lack of service...

danlb
09-17-2011, 01:16 PM
When it comes to mult-purpose tools you can't beat a couple of pairs of vice grips in various sizes.

They can hold broken parts together.

They can remove bolts, nuts, studs and screws.

They can hammer and remove nails

They can straighten a crumpled fender enough to let you drive.

Add to that a "Wonder Bar" and several normal screw drivers (phillips and slotted) and you are set to deal with a lot of mishaps.

And about credit cards... I learned that a credit card may not get you breakfast on a holiday weekend in the boonies. It's best to have enough cash for several day's living expenses if you end up in a motel somewhere.

Enjoy the trip.

Dan

Scottike
09-17-2011, 01:23 PM
Ok, here's my "Travel Kit":
Tools:
Jack and Tire Iron!
Hand crank flashlight
A stubby and regular length 4 way screwdrivers + extra oddball bits found on the car (torx, allen, etc.)
Combination wrench that fit screwdriver bit shanks (1/4 or 5/16")
12" and 6" adjustable wrenches
needle nose pliers
12" waterpump pliers
8" Vise Grip pliers
2lb. hammer
5/8" cold chisel
12v. light probe
wire strippers/crimpers
small drop cloth/ground cloth
25' of small rope or cord
And if you still have room -
3/8" drive socket set
combination wrench set
small AL pipe wrench (12")

Consumables:
motor oil
water (2 gal. or more)
1 Duct tape
1 electrical tape
1 teflon tape
several hose clamps (various sizes)
25' roll of 14 ga. primary wire
assorted crimp on wiring connectors
Small tube or tub of grease
Assorted auto fuses
1 can Fix a Flat
1 can Radator/block sealant
1 can heet (absorbs water from fuel)
1 can WD, PB Blaster, etc.
Spare belt(s)

Before you leave make sure you check your lug nuts, that you can loosen them with your tools, then retorque to spec., as well as the usual pre-trip check for everything else.

Edit: Oops! I went off and left the Jumper cables @ home!

metalmagpie
09-17-2011, 04:27 PM
Ok, here's my "Travel Kit":
Tools:
Jack and Tire Iron!
Hand crank flashlight
A stubby and regular length 4 way screwdrivers + extra oddball bits found on the car (torx, allen, etc.)
Combination wrench that fit screwdriver bit shanks (1/4 or 5/16")
12" and 6" adjustable wrenches
needle nose pliers
12" waterpump pliers
8" Vise Grip pliers
2lb. hammer
5/8" cold chisel
12v. light probe
wire strippers/crimpers
small drop cloth/ground cloth
25' of small rope or cord
And if you still have room -
3/8" drive socket set
combination wrench set
small AL pipe wrench (12")

Consumables:
motor oil
water (2 gal. or more)
1 Duct tape
1 electrical tape
1 teflon tape
several hose clamps (various sizes)
25' roll of 14 ga. primary wire
assorted crimp on wiring connectors
Small tube or tub of grease
Assorted auto fuses
1 can Fix a Flat
1 can Radator/block sealant
1 can heet (absorbs water from fuel)
1 can WD, PB Blaster, etc.
Spare belt(s)

Before you leave make sure you check your lug nuts, that you can loosen them with your tools, then retorque to spec., as well as the usual pre-trip check for everything else.

Edit: Oops! I went off and left the Jumper cables @ home!

You forgot the oxy/acetylene gear, the anvil, the tow-behind air compressor and oh yeah the kitchen sink! :-)

Scottike
09-17-2011, 04:38 PM
You forgot the oxy/acetylene gear, the tow-behind air compressor and oh yeah the kitchen sink! :-)

Yeah, I thought about adding a small benchtop lathe and some stock, just in case, but then you need a genset or some farmer's windmill to power it.
But really, the tools will fit in a reasonable sized tool bag and it's enough to get you out of the middle of nowhere if your lucky.

metalmagpie
09-17-2011, 04:57 PM
Carrying firewood is no longer a good plan due to so many tree-killing insects that travel in wood...... Ash borer, etc, etc.
In some places in US toting firewood across county lines is good for a hefty fine.


I followed up on this. This seems to be much more of an issue in the eastern and central US. The only Western state to have a law regulating firewood transporting is Oregon, and their law exempts firewood which originated in Washington or Idaho. Since I'd only be bringing fruitwood from either my yard or my neighbor's (here in Washington) I won't violate anyone's laws. Interesting point, though.

The relevant Web page is http://dontmovefirewood.org for anyone who's curious.

metalmagpie

SVS
09-17-2011, 06:03 PM
Why all the love for crescent wrenches for a late model vehicle repair kit?

I use and love them but not for auto apps. TOO BULKY(try pulling a driveshaft with a crescent wrench.)

Furthermore, the number one fastener related use of Vise Grips is removal of nuts molested by Crescent wrenches.

Personally, If space were at a premium, I'd spend 10 minutes around and under the vehicle checking fastener sizes, then pack appropriate sockets and end wrenches. 10, 13, 15, and 18mm should deal with anything you really want to do in a campground.

I agree with the lighter selection, or better yet one of the micro butane torches. I replaced a front wheel bearing in my 76 GMC 4wd in the Colorado Springs, Co Denny's parking lot heading home for Cristmas break about 1990. One bearing race was seized so went next door, bought lighters and got it "just" warm enough to slip off without the "right" tool.

Ace Hardware sells a Stanley combination screwdriver that I really like. Four screwdrivers and two nut drivers in one package. Must have a dozen scattered around the farm.

Might be overkill for your trip, but I feel naked without a Hy Lift jack and a "come-a-long."

Scott
(Sorry for the disjointed post, but I'm watching the Huskies self destruct against my Cornhuskers. Strange game.)

duckman
09-17-2011, 06:24 PM
Its not really a tool but if your taking an Easy Up go to your local cheap store and get 4 dog anchors (look like giant cork screws) they will hold your EU in place while every thing else is blowing away.

firbikrhd1
09-17-2011, 07:26 PM
Several people mentioned metric and imperial sockets and wrenches. I suggest a set that works for either. http://www.metrinch.tv/
Although I don't think I'd use them for every day mechanic-ing they seem to work quite well and would save half the weight and bulk of carrying two separate sets.

rohart
09-17-2011, 08:25 PM
Tweezers, mirror and magnifying glass in the medicine kit for getting splinters out. You're working with firewood ? You're going to get splinters. Do you call them slivers ?

Compass and maps for when you get really stuck and lost. That's when I hear it's better to travel without food !

I used to run with two batteries connected in hot weather. When I stopped I would disconnect them, and use one to run the cooler. Never had a problem reconnecting them once I was under way again. You could use the second for night lighting too if you don;t want to go as far as caravan electricals.

Depending on the weather you expect, you might need some heavy duty sacking to help get the vehicle out when it's bogged down. Unless you have a winch, of course. So rope, and lots of it.

Oh, and don't forget the binoculars like I often do.

vpt
09-17-2011, 08:55 PM
Don't forget the trunk monkey!

J Tiers
09-17-2011, 08:57 PM
Furthermore, the number one fastener related use of Vise Grips is removal of nuts molested by Crescent wrenches.



I thought that between pump pliers (fondly known here as a "North County socket set") and "Vice Grips" (mis-spelling intended), that would pretty much take care of all the nut mangling, rounding, and general mauling that was done.

They fit all sizes sort-of, and fit NO size properly. They burr up nuts so NOTHING fits on them.

Besides......

"Crescent" BRAND wrenches, at least the ones I have, are tight, stable, open and close like a Wilton bullet vise, and do not mangle nuts.

If you buy discount store "look-alike" wrenches, well, they have all the precision of plumbing slip-joint pliers, and may justify your comment a little bit. Jaws with a quarter inch of side play, and a sixteenth or more of jaw play even when tight..........whatever.........

Why the "love" for good crescent wrenches?

Well, because you are gonna obviously bring the common wrenches that fit the car. But, a crescent wrench fits any size, even the ones you forgot to bring a wrench for.

No. they don't fit in like a box wrench. But a 15mm box does you no sort of good when you really need a 20mm.... "even" a Crescent wrench looks good in that case.

h12721
09-17-2011, 09:07 PM
I and my wife took two trips to Alaska. in 1995 Ford Ranger and Ford Explorer in 1999 .
I did not hear anybody say 2 spare tires. Food for at least for 3 Days The same for drinking water.
I used a Coleman gasoline stove. Trip was 20 000 miles in three Months.
The tools where adjustable wrench, screwdriver and wrenches. All in a small roll up pouch never had to use them.
I made oil changes on the road. Before I left I asked the ford Mechanic what he had to say . No Belt no spare parts. He just gave me a spare Oil plug in case I would lose mine in the dirt on the road when changing, Also took a board to put my Jack on 2 x6 x12" . You not always find a flat spot on dirt roads.
I had to use the spares and the jack with the board,
Never had to look at the tools nor the extra oil plug.
The Trip, New York California Canada, Alaska Hwy Fairbanks ,Sewed, Prudhoe Bay ,Fairbanks, Cassia Hwy, across Canada on the Yellow something Hwy, Toronto, New York.
After tree months the cars needed a good wash.
Hilmar

KIMFAB
09-17-2011, 11:12 PM
A small container of go-jo is nice also.

The wife and I did this about 40 years ago and had all of the stuff mentioned.
We lasted 3 nights. We then found that our idea of roughing it is Holiday inn. :D

gary350
09-17-2011, 11:49 PM
Raise the hood of your car look and see what you need to change the battery, replace hoses, water pump, belts, etc.

I don't own vise grips I do not recomment them to anyone. There are a lot of people that can not fix anything without a large hammer, duct tape, vise grips and steel wire.

Once I had to change a water pump 1100 miles from home.

I carry an assortment of sheet metal screws. Once I had to replace an head light I lost a screw and had a replacement.

I would take plyers, needle nose plyers, several screw drivers, file, sets of wrenchs and sockets metric and american. Anything your engine needs.

Lew Hartswick
09-17-2011, 11:49 PM
Its not really a tool but if your taking an Easy Up go to your local cheap store and get 4 dog anchors (look like giant cork screws) they will hold your EU in place while every thing else is blowing away. You know, I've put up tents/shelters/etc. in several places in central PA,
New Mexico, and southern VA and never could get those screw-in
anchors to penetrate the top few inches of the terrain. I think they
only work on the beach or an ash pile. :-)
...lew...
edit: After reading the "trip to Alaska", we did that and a lot of other similar ones, the Alaska Highway in 1962 was
an adventure. Got a rock puncture of the gas tank. had it "repaired" by a "service station" along the way.
big old sheetmetal screw through a short length of rubber tubing. Was still there a few years later when the car
(a Pontiac Tempest) was traded in. :-)
The OP isn't going to be that far out of "civilization" that he need to take the shop along or even half of it..

Black Forest
09-18-2011, 03:37 AM
Cell phone and a Leatherman!

J Tiers
09-18-2011, 10:21 AM
The OP isn't going to be that far out of "civilization" that he need to take the shop along or even half of it..

A few sensible preparations are useful just for near-city driving..... They save trouble and allow you to get to where the problem can be repaired right without towing and trouble.

Would you leave the spare tire or its tools at home for city driving just because you have a cell phone? (although with new cars the spare is about worthless)

20 lb of tools and "stuff" saves a lot of walking, hitch hiking, and hassle.

I recall a time the low beam relay went out on a trip..... no "Autozone" store nearby, getting dark.

not a huge failure, "almost" an annoyance, except..... High beams would not latch "on" unless the low beam relay worked, so you had to hold the headlight lever with one hand and steer with the other. Not good on unfamiliar roads out wherever.

Pliers and a piece of stiff wire fixed that in 5 min and we drove all night.

It's stuff like that you want to fix..... that and water pump, belt changing, battery, oil drain plug..... Driveway repair stuff.

Nobody these days is going to fix a rod bearing along the side of the road..... not since 1935..... or thereabouts. That's NOT what you need to prepare for.

vpt
09-18-2011, 10:46 AM
A few sensible preparations are useful just for near-city driving..... They save trouble and allow you to get to where the problem can be repaired right without towing and trouble.

Would you leave the spare tire or its tools at home for city driving just because you have a cell phone? (although with new cars the spare is about worthless)

20 lb of tools and "stuff" saves a lot of walking, hitch hiking, and hassle.

I recall a time the low beam relay went out on a trip..... no "Autozone" store nearby, getting dark.

not a huge failure, "almost" an annoyance, except..... High beams would not latch "on" unless the low beam relay worked, so you had to hold the headlight lever with one hand and steer with the other. Not good on unfamiliar roads out wherever.

Pliers and a piece of stiff wire fixed that in 5 min and we drove all night.

It's stuff like that you want to fix..... that and water pump, belt changing, battery, oil drain plug..... Driveway repair stuff.

Nobody these days is going to fix a rod bearing along the side of the road..... not since 1935..... or thereabouts. That's NOT what you need to prepare for.



You could have just grabbed the AC relay and stuck it in the low beam spot. (not all vehicles AC relay works in the high beam relay spot, this was just a generalization)

J Tiers
09-18-2011, 11:05 AM
You could have just grabbed the AC relay and stuck it in the low beam spot. (not all vehicles AC relay works in the high beam relay spot, this was just a generalization)

And didn't work in this case..........

You needed tools to access the location even if it would have fit.

vpt
09-18-2011, 11:25 AM
What kind of car needs tools to get at the fuses/relays?

dalesvp
09-18-2011, 11:58 AM
Macona's reply well covers the minimal tools - that is what I carry on my road trips. For mountain travel I would and do include winter gear and WATER with a munchie or two. Minimal tool for camping is a good Collins machette - ditch the hatchet as being pretty much useless unless it has a hammer head on it for pounding things. PS: Don't forget your fire-making tools.

J Tiers
09-18-2011, 11:59 AM
What kind of car needs tools to get at the fuses/relays?

An old one.

Just the relays.... they are under the dash behind covers

ckelloug
09-18-2011, 02:41 PM
I was on urban travel for work and I had a rental care where the horn relay decided to fuse shut driving everyone nuts. I managed to open the fusebox and pull the fuse for the horn otherwise I would have had a dead battery and a lynch mob. This happened about 3 years ago so yes, even on modern cars being able to find all of the fuse boxes is a good thing.

darryl
09-18-2011, 04:51 PM
I'm semi-agreed on the hatchet- my sierra saw has pretty much replaced it. If you need a hammer for a tent peg or whatever, you can always use a rock. In my experience, the saw beats the hatchet for cutting firewood.

I went and found a decent tree saw blade and made my own handle for it. By decent I mean the teeth are properly shaped and hardened. Some of those blades are just garbage, but the good ones will impress with how well and fast they cut, and last. I had to buy one for my axe-wielding friend to convince him, but now he finds it quicker and easier to maintain an evenings fire when you're out in the boonies. The one I bought him was an actual Sierra brand. The replacement blade I bought to make my own - I think it was a Sanvik or something like that.

garagemark
09-18-2011, 06:35 PM
This has been a fun read. A little weird sometimes, but fun. You'd think this guy was going into a third world country. Guys, it just a road trip. Wife and I have done what you two are getting ready to do many times (we did it twice in an old 1978 Dodge van). You are almost bound to have fun, and it's highly unlikely that you'll be pulling drive shafts or engines while on the road.

We always kept it simple, keeping most of our space for creature comforts like extra pillows, a good cooler, and so on.

Tools were minimal. A pair of 430 channel locks, a good multi purpose tool like a Leatherman, a multi screwdriver (I like the Klein 10-in-one), and a set of jeweler's screwdrivers (you'd be surprised!).

Then there's hardware. Electrical tape (the good stuff, like Scotch 88), a few long ty-raps, and assorted hardware like screws (self tapping size 6,8,10, machine screws with nuts size 8-32, 10-32, 1/4-20), a few wire nuts, flat washers (10, 1/4"), and whatever else looks interesting while you're rifling through your hardware bins. I also like a little tube of super glue, and a used (partial) roll of duct tape (full roll is too big and heavy). All of this stuff, including the tools, will fit nicely in a tiny plastic fishing tackle box. You will more than likely need this kind of stuff for the camping aspect, not really for the vehicle maintenance aspect.

That's it. BUT....

Make sure that your hoses, belts, tires, fluid levels, battery and anything else it takes to make a car run are in good shape BEFORE you ever leave the driveway. Your vehicle is new enough that it should give you no trouble throughout your journey if it has been well maintained. Check the oil when you get gasoline, and you should be good to go.

HAVE FUN!

Mark

T.Hoffman
09-18-2011, 06:51 PM
I was looking for a nice vehicle tool kit for quite a while, but no kit seemed to have just the right combination of stuff. Too much of one thing, missing other things...

And then one day several years ago I came across a kit that Home Depot had. It was a Husky tool set that I thought was fabulous. Folded up in a self-contained case. Abosulely perfect for a vehicle kit. Nice selection of 1/2", 3/8", 1/4" standard and metric sockets and wrenches, plus a wide variety of other usefull items that come in SO handy just when you need it. Allens, torx, visegrips, crescent, tape measure, hammer, needlenose, linemans' pliers, etc.. Perfect stuff for a vehicle.

I have three of these kits, and everyone that sees it in use wonders where I got it. One in each vehicle, and bought one for my Dad. Unfortunately HD no longer carries this item and now have seen a cheaper version sold at Walmart of the same kit but the tools are not as good of quality.

http://cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/2/0/0/13/b/AAAAAviW1NwAAAAAABO0mw.jpg

I love these kits I have, and still have not found a kit for the vehicle that I like better. They have proven to be invaluable many times, and wouldn't be without them.

If I have needed something other than what is in this kit, or can't fix it with this kit, chances are that I have pretty big problems at the moment....

RoyClemens
09-18-2011, 07:20 PM
Can't augue with much of the above. Have carryed every thing listed above and then some. But the one thing I don't believe anyone has mentioned is your brain. It can repair more with less than the most complete machine shop in the world. The trick is to remeber where you packed it when you need it.

Also keep in mind the old saying "Take Half the clothes, twice the cash" the older I get the more I belive in it.

vpt
09-18-2011, 07:37 PM
plus a wide variety of other usefull items that come in SO handy just when you need it. tape measure,


"We broke the drivshaft, John run off in the woods and fetch a 75x4" stick. (John) But how would I measure that? (Hoffman) I just so happen to have just the thing!" :D

T.Hoffman
09-18-2011, 08:10 PM
;) ....and as I mentioned,



If I have needed something other than what is in this kit, or can't fix it with this kit, chances are that I have pretty big problems at the moment....

I was driving behind my friend's van, a person who is very neglectful of any vehicle mantenance. One side of the front end ball joint finally gave out, and the luckily he was able to pull over without incident. I looked at it and was shocked that he had been driving the vehicle for that long- it was literally disintegrated.

No matter how cool of tool kit I had in my truck, there was no helping him there.....

In that case, there is one tool that rises above all others. The absolute BEST tool to have in any vehicle:


http://austexpcs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/cell-phone-repair.jpg

GKman
09-18-2011, 08:14 PM
Have fun.
More camping than tool, but 2 3gallon collapsible water containers. Not 1 5 gallon, believe me.

murph64
09-18-2011, 08:22 PM
A roll of bailing wire. The coated type. Its dark in color and kinda brown and shiny, VS the bare metal type. The coated type seem to be more flexible and just as strong.


My vote for this would be a 1lb can of (.032) stainless wire. If one of the local hot rod shops don't have it, Summit or Jegs will get it to you in two or three days. It's the size of a Campbells soup can, and will last probably forever...Mine is ~15 years old and not even halfway used, and use it for a LOT around the garage/house/Jeep. :)


Andy

BillDaCatt
09-19-2011, 02:12 AM
10" Crescent wrench
10" Channel-Lock Pliers
8" or 10" Vice-Grip pliers
Needle nose pliers
Electrician's pliers
#2 Phillips screwdriver (not a bit driver)
#2 medium size flat blade screwdriver (not a bit driver)
T-15 Torx Screwdriver (not a bit driver)
6-in-one screwdriver (this one IS a bit driver)
3/8" Socket wrench
8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm & 16mm sockets
4" and 8" socket extensions
roll of electrical tape
small roll of Duct Tape
utility knife with a retractable blade
(2) mini-mag flashlights (any palm sized light will be fine, just make sure you have two)

These tools will store in a small bag, won't take much room, and will allow you to perform the most common basic repairs you may encounter.

If you still have room I would consider adding some of these too:

small roll of .032 stainless or 12g copper wire (about 10' is plenty)
short length of 3/8" rope (25' is plenty)
jumper cables
road flares
first aid kit
wool army blanket
folding shovel
(2) bungie cords

And the items that I don't think you need but I frequently carry and am even more frequently surprised with how often it comes in handy:

Milwaukee M12 3/8" cordless drill and two (2) charged batteries
small drill bit and driver set

Even at this point, the tools will all fit in a medium size tool bag and will weigh about 20lbs. The blanket, first aid kit, flares, jumper cables and folding shovel should all fit in a paper grocery bag with room to spare

darryl
09-19-2011, 03:46 AM
This is an interesting topic in the sense that you can choose to be prepared for differing scenarios. Some people don't want to be carrying extra weight around all the time, just in case a tool is needed. Others feel better about having the full complement of tools and hardware available at any time wherever you are, broken down or whatever. Yesterday when I was out, I needed a piece of cord or string- I had some in the van, great. Today I saw some mini ice scrapers for cheap- bought two of them. I needed them last year, and I ended up using some pieces of laminate because that's what I had.

When I was an active member in our local hiking club, we went through a lot of scenarios and considered how we could be prepared for them. At one point we each loaded our backpacks with our choices and brought them to the monthly meeting, where we weighed our packs, then laid all our stuff out on the floor. What some people brought, others never even considered, and vise versa. It was amazing some of the stuff that people wanted to bring along, and how much it all weighed. Yes, there was a hair dryer in someones pack- I was the only person with vise grips and hanks of wire. Darned if I didn't need that on the trail one day-

One woman was crying because by the time her pack weight was brought down to what she could reasonably carry for a week to ten day excursion, she felt that she couldn't actually go without bringing a lot of that stuff along. Some people would not have survived on their own with what they brought along. We have had instances where even on a day hike, one person would be so ill prepared that someone else would have to cover them. It would be food, clothing, footwear, water- it just goes to show that being prepared can mean wildly different things to people, even in the same situations.

In general, we may all need to be prepared for circumstances in the coming months and years, whether it's a kit you take with you while travelling, or a kit you have at home to help you survive a catastrophe of some kind. I think it's worth thinking this out some more, and trying to work out the bugs as it were, still on this conversational level. Though some of us are boy scouts, many of us are not. One of the more frightening aspects is that when push comes to shove, those who aren't prepared will be looking less than lovingly at those who are- and that's just something else to be prepared for.

vpt
09-19-2011, 07:54 AM
For the most part I see two different kinds of people when problems arise.

These:
http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/rcphoto/rcphoto0812/rcphoto081200417/4039103-teenage-girl-talking-on-a-cell-phone-trying-to-get-help-with-her-broken-car.jpg


And these:
http://www.dvdactive.com/images/reviews/screenshot/2005/2/macgyver_season1_1.jpg

bruto
09-19-2011, 09:22 PM
Interesting thread and variants here, and a lot of good ideas.

I recall a memoir I read long ago by a woman who lived in the outer Hebrides. The standard emergency equipment there was "a rope in case." It was never specified by anyone what the case might be, but one must always have a rope in case.

Scottike
09-19-2011, 10:30 PM
A full tank of gas, a full pack of cigarettes, and a cassette of pink floyd.