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Old 12-29-2017, 03:40 PM   #1
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What tools do you carry?

Quote:What are the 'MUST' tools you carry on your SMB" ATrav YOU should start it...your pics alone would make me want to copy that list lol! Quote

There have been several threads about this in the past, but CTB asked me in a different thread to list some must have tools I carry so I thought I would start another.

For 20 years I was chief engineer aboard medium sized cruise ships that traveled to far away wilderness locations where you must have everything needed to fix anything that may break, much like we do with our vans. The best way to determine what tools you might need is to actually wrench on your van as often as possible using just what you have inside. You will find out quickly what your missing. My basic list includes:

Complete open end wrench sets in both standard and metric, from 1/16in to about 1.5in. These are in roll up tool pouches from Harbor Freight

Socket sets on rails, in 3/8in and 1/2in drive both standard and metric, including deep sockets. From very small to over 1.5in

1/4in drive sockets in a small box, both standard and metric

Ratchets for the above plus breaker bars and cheater bars for them

A battery powered impact driver with adaptors to turn sockets, philips, and square drivers too.

A set of very small open end wrenches (often called ignition wrenches)

In an ammo can I have different sizes of plyers, crescent wrenches, screw drivers, vice grips, wobble sockets, extensions in 1/4 3/8 and 1/2in, and lots of other small hand tools.

In a general junk box I have pry bars, a BFH, a torque wrench, a piece of 1in pipe, jumper cables, snow chains (never to be installed, but required) wood blocks, duct tape, bailing wire, hose clamps, zip ties and a bunch of little stuff

In seperate zippered pouchs I have electrical tools including wire strippers, crimping tools, needle nose, jumper wires, small screwdrivers,
tons of fuses, relays, electrical tape, zip ties etc.

Another contains a volt meter with long leads and aligator clips, jumper wires and a spare battery for the meter.

Two boxes of assorted crimp on electrical connectors.

A complete set of factory manuals in heavy plastic bags

A tire plugging kit and an air compressor. Two spare tires. Epoxy (that reminds me, I gave my tubes of epoxy to a guy in Baja stranded on the side of the road with a hole in his oil pan, gotta replace that)

Spare coils (c.o.p's) and a spare fuel pump.

infared thermometer for checking tire and wheel bearing temps.

A chain saw, a hand saw, and sometimes a generator.

Ziplock bags full of nuts, bolts, washers and misc hardware, and locktite.

Recovery gear, rope, infared thermometer

Spare HID ballasts and bulbs



And probably a bunch of stuff I've forgotten.

Then there is the check list attached to the rear door.

This stuff is always in the van no matter the length of the trip. Your needs may vary depending on where and when you travel.
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Old 12-29-2017, 04:57 PM   #2
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Great list! Thanks for taking the time to list it all out. Only obvious thing I see missing are torx sockets.

We have all tools for tearing down our race cars that I'm slowly adding to for van needs. So we already have a lot of the stuff you listed with the torx stuff and ball joint separators. I do however need an electrical kit of some sort. Wiring was never an issue with the cars, but it definitely is with the van.

Another handy item that we have at the races is a floor jack. The handle makes a great prybar. Member petrolburner on expo did a great writeup on putting a skid plate on the bottom of a harbor freight aluminum floor jack so it didn't sink into dirt when using it out in the boonies. Will definitely be doing the same with ours and incorporating it into our camp crap pile.

Look forward to seeing what others have in their arsenal...
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:33 PM   #3
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Thatís a pretty comprehensive list. I donít know if I coul fit all that in my van. I usually try to predict what I might need, and adjust accordingly... what I might add would be a shovel and hatchet, and JB weld.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:54 PM   #4
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Awesomely thorough list.
Serious Boy-Scout-quality "Be Prepared" level of anticipated needs.

To this fine list you're growing, I must humbly suggest/add ONE thing....possibly the most-used "tool" on some of our trips to "keep things together"...

....GORILLA TAPE
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:36 PM   #5
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I don't know what it's like doing a field repair deep in a van engine bay other than a 6.0. The one tool that has saved my life a few times was one my father the mechanic always had. A strong magnet on a two foot piece of bailing wire. Again, I don't know if the other engines leave a lot of room to reach around in but the 6.0 is how I describe as, "just like a 6.0 in a pick up truck, only in a bottle". In the middle of no where I have dropped a bolt, nut, or socket that didn't make it all the way through to the ground and the only way I could find it was with a magnet. With the wide variety of fasteners they use on these vans it's not practical to just have a spare of every one so losing something in the body can mean being dead where you are until you find it. Highly recommend a strong magnet on a bendable wire. Nothing fancy but can save a lot of time and cussing.

BTW- I'm glad I'm not the only one who carries a lot of tools.

-Eric
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:14 PM   #6
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Since this is being kicked around --

-- what do you guys consider a "bare minimum list" of spare parts for your vans to bring along with you, as well? Especially for anyone roaming off the beaten path....what spare parts would you guys recommend as "absolute must-haves" to pack along? Seems this query goes right along with the list of essential tools to have along.

(I recall a least a few members mentioning "fuel pump" a good number of times....)
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:45 PM   #7
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Now that's the Senior Member stuff eh!?! That list is so awesome/mindbending/ good, and of course, has instant cred! THX ATrav!!Great info!!
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:26 PM   #8
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Great list AT... where do the people fit?
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:58 PM   #9
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I am re-evaluating what I carry because as mentioned, working on the 6.0 is not like my 67 camaro. I actually feel I have too many tools on board. I don't carry any major spare engine parts and don't plan to. A rear U-Joint is in the box because I've had that problem on the road. Not really tools but I think items like what's needed to do any hose repairs should be carried so clamps and what not. Zip ties, silicon, duct & electrical tape and the normal type stuff is on board. JB weld or A+B putty, silicon and bailing wire are handy. Other items like gloves and clear safety glasses have saved me. An engine belt and filters that are specific I usually haul but packing enough oil to do an oil change is out of the question.

Of all the engine breakdowns I've had that required a tow, not one was the type of failure I could patch up to make it to the road or anywhere for that matter. It's why my #1 tool is a sat phone.

I'm actually more interested in hearing what tools have you used or have needed that got you out of a jam. The problem is what one owner needs (carries) is actually something I need to have the the knowledge to use, so my list is more designed around me.

Other than recovery stuff, I carry:

Breaker bar. No need for a torque wrench... the breaker bar is enough for on the road.

A couple of Multi stage bottle jacks. One is also a stand. Those seem kind of critical for tire changes. I also have a High-Lift and equipment.

A high end Fluke voltmeter but in reality I can probably get away with a simple voltage probe and a cheap small VOM. The voltage probe is a must have IMO.

Small crimp set. Probably could just use diagonal cutters in a pinch but the set has lugs and splices.

I don't carry a screwdriver set but one of those basic multi drivers with the various tips.

A few socket sets (deep and shallow) 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch drive in both metric and standard. Probably can toss all the 3/8 drive stuff and get by with the other two.

Small 6" crescent plus a 10 and a 12 incher, the latter of which I probably don't need.

Small and large vise grips handy for a lot of things.

Kliens, regular pliers, and both small and medium sized water pump pliers which all have been used a bit.

Diagonal cutters are used often.

Allen wrench set, metric and standard.

I use a hatchet as a hammer and a hand maul as a single jack.

Large punch.

Propane torch is handy on stubborn bolts and makes starting a fire nice...oh and for those fine cigars if my mini torch lighter is dead.

Ratchet strap.

Tire plug kit.

Hose pinchers.

Hum, what else???

I do have a dremel tool that's nice for cutting locks
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:44 PM   #10
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Haven't seen the 4-way Sillcock Key mentioned yet....just in case you need to "borrow" some water during your travels.

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