We’ve been doing this RV thing for about 3 years now. I’ve learned there can be a situation you just didn’t account for. An example of this is when my wife and I went on a tour of the local area in Kerrville TX. When we came back, we tried to enter the travel trailer but couldn’t. Apparently the lock seized up and we couldn’t unlock it!
It was no fun breaking into our own trailer. We learned how hard it is to break in while trying to avoid damaging the vehicle. When my wife got in, we still couldn’t unlock the door! Eventually she unscrewed the lock from the inside and we installed the spare door lock.
Wait a minute. The spare door lock?
You bet. I knew that lock was a piece o crap nearly from Day 1 so I bought a spare door lock via Amazon.com. I carried it in our bin o’ spares so we had it just in case. What is in our bin o’ spares? Here’s a partial list:
– 15’ sewage hose and connectors
– black water tank drop ins
– hand crank for leveling screws
– automatic battery float charger
– 25’ drinking water hose
– 1.5 volt solar panel
– rubber gloves
– spare fuses (15, 30 & 40amp) *
– clamps (no purpose yet, but available if needed)
– water regulator
* – new addition
There’s probably about $250 worth of stuff in there, but I’ve used almost all of it. In fact, the old spare sewage hose is the new sewage hose. You should be very selective in picking a sewage hose, because the last thing you want is a sewage hose that fails. For BSP’s RV, we now use Rhino sewage hoses I purchased on Amazon.com. I get nothing from Amazon.com for saying so but they generally have good prices. Walmart has good prices of course; I think I have everything in their RV section but sometimes they go out of stock.
Spare fuses. At this point, I realized I didn’t know the electrical system very well. I discovered this little fact when we stopped at Buffalo, Wyoming. Buffalo is a town in big letters on a map, but in truth it is tiny. We determined we would leave the vehicle hitched instead of disconnecting and reconnecting in 10 hours. So my wife tried to operate the slide out. It didn’t work. The battery gauge said the battery was totally discharged, which upset us since the battery was new. We had been driving all day so the battery should have been fully charged. I opened the spares kit, plugged up the battery charger and started charging the battery. I reconnected it then operated the slide out for a few seconds before it went dead again. I was exasperated, then I thought about the fuses. Was a fuse blown?
Yes. I pulled out the two 40 amp fuses, both were blown. I figured I needed 40 amp fuses so I asked the RV park manager. They didn’t sell 40 amp fuses but he told me about an O’Reilly Auto parts down the road. I was relieved. He then told me:
“They might close early. It’s a holiday (Labor Day).”
Uh oh. Remember I said Buffalo is tiny?
Of course it was closed. It had closed at 6 pm and it was now 7:30 pm. So I went to the truck stop next door. They had no 40 amp fuses so I bought a 30 amp pack.
I told my wife it was a long shot; I thought the 30 amp fuses would blow immediately but it was worth a try. I inserted the fuses and the RV immediately powered up. Success! And another addition to our spare kit. We will never travel without those fuses in our spare box.
A spare kit is an absolute necessity. Build a spare kit out of things you use which may fail, forget or even get stolen. I had a bumper cover, one of those plastic things fitting over the bumper opening, get stolen at an overnight stop Amarillo. I had made a spare from the original so I just slipped it on the next day before we left.