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Old 12-31-2017, 11:47 AM   #21
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I know I won't (most probably?) go where no Artictraveller has gone before, BUT, you never know...
Which is a huge factor along with how long you're out. If I was planning an extended trip to a remote area I might take a bit more in tools and parts. Just having a cam sensor for instance might save you time if parts are hard to come by in your travels. Even if you can find a shop, they might not have what you need. I always cringe on a trail with that is so remote I really have no business being on it alone. Being able to do the repair in the field would be a huge asset but I'm no mechanic when it comes to my van. I did an alternator without the correct tools and getting the belt on was a PITA. For someone else it's probably an easy fix so I feel more at ease traveling in a group.
One of the things I do when taking a trip out of my area is to have a list of shops and tow companies in the places I plan to visit. I hope I don't have a breakdown that requires extraction because that might cost more than the trip itself.
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:03 PM   #22
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I always cringe on a trail with that is so remote I really have no business being on it alone. .
Despite having the ability to fix just about anything on the trail short of a blown engine or trans, the above might be the best advice in this thread. When I'm alone, I am far more concervative then when with friends. When alone, I worry far more about getting stuck that mechanical issues, and being stuck always leads to a lot of work. It took me an hour to get all four wheels back on the ground in this photo.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:17 PM   #23
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This can't be overstated:

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Ziplock bags full of nuts, bolts, washers and misc hardware, and locktite.
I busted a hard brake line 10 miles from pavement in death valley two days ago. Having a handful of junk off the top of my workbench in the garage would have made rigging a plug up much easier.

The other thing I didn't have was extra brake fluid, though, if I really had to, I could have run oil, which I had, or in a dire case even water, in there just to get me out.

The other thing that turned out to be useful, was a mental note of having gotten gas at a station with two active service bays in Furnace Creek. This made getting back there, rather than pushing through to Big Pine, an obvious choice.
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:00 AM   #24
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The other thing I didn't have was extra brake fluid, though, if I really had to, I could have run oil, which I had, or in a dire case even water, in there just to get me out..
A hundred years ago I was a licensed brake mechanic (California use to require those kind of things) The class instructor once said that using water was your best bet if you were stranded. Not sure what it would do to a modern brake system, but for a day or so, it would probably be ok. Certainly you would want to flush it out ASAP though. Fortunately, brake fluid is hydroscopic (designed to absorb water), so after a complete flushing, the new fluid would absorb any water left over. Motor oil would probably be too thick, and may react with the rubber seals in the system.
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:39 AM   #25
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A hundred years ago I was a licensed brake mechanic (California use to require those kind of things) The class instructor once said that using water was your best bet if you were stranded. Not sure what it would do to a modern brake system, but for a day or so, it would probably be ok. Certainly you would want to flush it out ASAP though. Fortunately, brake fluid is hydroscopic (designed to absorb water), so after a complete flushing, the new fluid would absorb any water left over. Motor oil would probably be too thick, and may react with the rubber seals in the system.
Thanks, that makes a lot of sense.

And yes, hardly ideal, but in some situations you might be willing to sacrifice the life of the abs pump in order to get out of somewhere and to a place with a parts store. Still, I've got a jar of brake fluid in there now.

I'm also adding a flaring tool to my kit after this experience.

Since folks were concerned about the amount of space taken up by tools: I carry a Locking Adjustable Wrench in place of the larger open ended wrenches.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:06 AM   #26
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This can't be overstated:

I busted a hard brake line 10 miles from pavement in death valley two days ago. Having a handful of junk off the top of my workbench in the garage would have made rigging a plug up much easier.
There exists DOT-approved brake line spicing fittings, they're small enough to carry along with a length of coiled hard brake line to effect repairs if needed. I buy mine at the local NAPA outlet but sadly can't find a link or image of what I use.

Also just picked one of these up: https://www.pepboys.com/product/deta...236?quantity=1 It was bought thinking/hoping it would only be used in the event of a flat tire so ultimate quality or USA-made wasn't a top concern. All things considered this jack has a lot of features quite useful raising our van's when needed.

I did test lift my own E250 extended body van fully loaded to 7,800#, flat concrete floor and properly inflated tires. It fit perfectly under the rear axle and front I-Beam with a very secure fit. It's range of adjustment should be sufficient to lift almost every vehicle.

Anyway just a few ideas..................hope they're helpful!
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:30 PM   #27
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Is a line wrench the same as a tubing wrench? (a box end with a slot to slip over the line?).
After a google search it looks like theyre one in the same. imho, a must have.

great info about using water as brake fluid. i had no idea that was possible, tyvm! i was lucky enough there was a restaurant somewhat close by (45 min) and i had a friend headed up that day to ride. so he picked up a few quarts of dot3 and the junction i thought was broke, but it ended up being the hard line from the drivers rear wheel that had broke.

breaking that line was actually a blessing in disguise. if i hadn't of got up early and ran to that little town i would have never noticed that the water from the swollen river we camped across was over the road on the other side. us and one other camper would have been stranded and who knows how long our rigs would have been stuck on that side of the river...they evacuated the entire canyon later that day.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:53 PM   #28
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We carry a ludicrous amount of tools and recovery gear with us all the time. I know that whatever issue we run into we are good to go for a repair. Every job we do on the van at home gets evaluated for trail potential and our tooling is adjusted to accommodate. Most say it's excessive, but we are prepared for the worst and drive hard so it's just a matter of time before we really need the stuff.

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Old 01-02-2018, 04:07 PM   #29
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We carry a ludicrous amount of tools and recovery gear with us all the time. I know that whatever issue we run into we are good to go for a repair. Every job we do on the van at home gets evaluated for trail potential and our tooling is adjusted to accommodate. Most say it's excessive, but we are prepared for the worst and drive hard so it's just a matter of time before we really need the stuff.

Scott
FWIW I totally agree with your approach Scott---there's almost always that time mid-repair on the road we need something and realize we didn't bring it with us, know its laying right on the bench back home.

Same as you jobs done at home are evaluated, tools/parts/supplies added as anticipated. During this past summer I created a failure in one of my heater hoses, didn't realize until a good distance from home. With nothing more than on-board tools and fittings a suitable repair had been made, back on the highway in less than an hour. For the less well-equipped that would have meant waiting for a tow truck and hoping to find an open mechanic who works Sunday on demand.

For me if it fits and even remotely needed sometime in the future its inside the van somewhere.
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:53 PM   #30
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A couple of additional useful items to have when going into the brush are: 30 inch bow saw (stores flat) and a lopper for cutting branches that could wipe out the side awning or other stuff on the roof.
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