Our Motorhome is now over 20 years old, and when we travel we are obviously reliant on it for both travel and accommodation! Accidents happen, things wear out, and stuff breaks – usually at the most inconvenient moment! In order to ensure you can cope with most dramas on the open road it pays to have a decent tool kit with you, but with space and payload at a premium it is a fine balancing act to find a useful enough set of kit without packing the whole van out with a full garage load of equipment……
This is what I travel with, it’s a self contained Magnusson tool kit I picked up from Screwfix, or Toolstation…..or somewhere – I can’t remember exactly!
Everything is contained in this heavy duty waterproof storage case with handle
Inside are two high density foam storage trays keeping everything organised and stopping the tools from rattling about while we’re driving. Even the inside of the case itself is padded!
The upper tray contains pliers, screwdrivers and a hammer
While the lower tray contains combination spanners, a bit driver with a good selection of bits, sockets from 4-19mm + 21mm & 24mm (so it will even handle Ducato wheel nuts), two ratchet handles, extension bars, a tape measure and a knife with spare blades.
The only thing I have added is an 8mm Hex key in a 1/2″ drive socket – which is for removing the cap head bolt that secures the spare wheel in our Hymer Motorhome. All the tools are decent quality (not professional quality, but much better that most of the ‘DIY’ type tool sets you see) so it should last for many years on the road. The whole lot weighs 9kg in total, so doesn’t take up too much payload.
This has saved our bacon a few times and easily paid for itself several times over. What do you carry? – any tools/equipment you couldn’t be without on the road? – let me know in the comments below!
While up at 1350m in Montalbert in the Alps the handle that operates the grey water drain valve on our 1999 Hymer B544 decided to snap off! Fortunately, I managed to get hold of a replacement valve, unfortunately changing it meant lying underneath the van on an icy carpark at -2degC…..
The Schaudt Elektroblock is an all-in-one power distribution, control and battery charging system for Motorhomes & Caravans – predominantly fitted to German built vehicles. Our’s recently started misbehaving on a recent trip to Europe, and while it was sent away and repaired by a specialist after the trip it made me lose some faith in the 20 year old components it is made from!
The 8140.43 2.8L Diesel engine used in various Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, Citroen Relay and other vans and MotorHomes uses a fairly unusual cold start system, here we’ll look at how it works so if you need to do any troubleshooting, you know where to start!
A lot of information on the internet would suggest that swapping out your replaceable gas bottles for a refillable system is an upgrade that would benefit everyone, but as with many things the reality is a little more complicated…..
An often touted statement on the internet is that burning Propane or Butane creates a “Wet Heat” – potentially leading to damp in your van….
While there is a lot of truth to this statement, I’ve also seen people advising use of electric heating instead of gas to combat the problem, and here things get a little more complicated (I’ll get to that shortly!)
Motorhomes tend to have pretty appalling rear visibility, so reversing cameras are a popular accessory. You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds, perfectly acceptable wireless reversing cameras kits are available for less than £25 from places like eBay, and are really easy to install!
A common issue with the absorption refrigerators fitted to most motorhomes is insufficient cooling performance when operating on gas. Absorption fridges are interesting devices that cool using no moving parts, and require only heat to drive the cooling process (which seems counter intuitive, but if you want to read more about the working principles Wikipedia has a good article here)
You may need to remove the fridge from your B544 for troubleshooting (see article on troubleshooting a fridge not working on gas here), or just for access to something else. Here’s the process for fridge removal based on our 1999 model:-
Just outside the resort of La Clusaz is a large free car park at the bottom of the Frenuy and La Balme gondolas, there are no facilities for servicing a motorhome here (apart from a toilet located at the gondola station, which is locked at night) but if you are carrying enough supplies for a couple of days it is a good stop off to explore the ski area.
For more details, including weather, webcams, piste maps etc visit ‘On the Snow’ here