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Old 12-05-2018, 01:59 AM   #1
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Emergency road kit - what's in yours?

Over the last 3 years of driving 25,000 miles, there have been a few incidents that would have left me calling a tow truck if I didn't have a "Backup Plan" and an Emergency Road Kit.

So I will share my experiences and how I averted a tow, with the hopes these tips will save you $1,000 of dollars in tow fees and hours if not days of aggravation. (Maybe even your marriage!)

1) Spare Fuel Filter(s): I have 2 fuel filters and learned my lesson this year when I fueled at a Walmart station in Destin, FL. Never again! That said, I was lucky I carried spare fuel filters!

==> Be sure you have a strap wrench or the right size fuel filter wrench too!

Note: Be sure to store your RV over the Winter with a full tank of diesel fuel to cut back on algae build-up too! It is also a good idea to add a Biocide you can order off Amazon or use PS Diesel Clean to treat your stored fuel.

2a) Carry a 24"-30" spare battery cable ($10) you can buy at Walmart.

My charging light came on... and when I pulled over to investigate to be sure it was not due to an broken drive belt, the engine quit right along side the freeway shoulder. ...So I pulled out my spare battery cable and jumper-ed the "+" sides of the house battery to the engine battery ...and then I was able to drive 1 hour to a diesel repair facility to have the alternator changed. (Freightliner)

Note: This same battery cable can also be used to jumper a bad start or house battery solenoid in the event your engine will not turn-over when you turn the key.

2b) When you change your engine drive belts, you should keep the old ones as a back-up.

3) If you have a plastic radiator overflow tank, and your rig is over 6 years old, you might consider carrying 2 tubes of clear 5 minute epoxy, and 2 tubes of clear 15 minute epoxy. And a gallon of coolant for your CAT or Cummins type motor! Why? Your engine could go into limp mode if you do NOT have enough coolant in the system (above the minimum tank line).

4) If you tow a car you should have these spare parts for your tow bar system:
* 1 extra Carter Pin Clip.
* A hammer and a 3/8" bolt you can use to "punch out" the locking pins on your tow bar... in the event you tried doing a u-turn and couldn't make it. That said, you probably will have a bind on your tow bar system you can't remedy by hand.

5) BE EXTRA CAREFUL ON WET GRASS, in a dirt campsite before or after a rain, and at the beach:

I like to visit Port Aransas, TX where I can camp right on the beach ... 20' feet from high tide! And since we do NOT have posi-traction it's possible you can get stuck. However, I have also been stuck trying to do a u-turn on wet grass too!

So if you ever find your tire spinning.... STOP...AND DO NOT TRY TO POWER OUT OF YOUR PREDICAMENT!!! Take out your yellow, stackable, jack plates and lay them out so your tires don't dig yourself in deeper!

* Carry a shovel!!!

6) EXTRA 12V battery For Your Spot Light:

If you use a remote to test or turn on your roof mounted spot light, after years of sitting in a drawer, don't be surprised if you can't turn the light off after the old 12V remote battery only had enough juice to turn it on.

This happened to me and what I had to do was jumper my little spot light remote to my big house battery. I use some 20 gauge wire I had... and it worked! But I wasn't very comfortable. Now I carry an extra 12V specialty battery.

7) Spare Fuses:

Occasionally, your tow car lights will short out and burn-out your RV fuses, because there are no fuses protecting those aftermarket wires that run to your tail lights. My RV fuses have shorted out twice. Nuf said.


* Multi-meter
* DC voltage tester (A real must!)
* Enough air hose to reach the rear tires from the air compressor
* Truck tire plug kit
* Spare Windshield Wipers (Buy if your wipers are 2+ years or older.)
* Funnel for adding fuel or you can make a funnel from an old plastic quart size oil container that works even better.
* Electrical parts cleaner
* Slide-out lubricant
* Spare keys you can hide in your tow car. And I like to leave a duplicate ignition key in the RV ignition instead of always inserting and removing a key.


2004 Itasca Horizon ISK-40AD, 350HP Cummins 8.3L
75K miles and the best of 3 Diesels I have owned thus far!
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:56 AM   #2
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Location: North America somewhere
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Our roadside assistance phone # and a valid credit card.
Roadside emergency markers.

Some of the items on your list are unnecessary, like the battery cable, our MH has a switch to link the batteries when either bank is dead. Dielectric grease is an insulator, which means putting it on a trailer ball might break your ground connection enough to cause electrical issues with lighting while driving.

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy Read more at: John_F_Kennedy_1961
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:16 AM   #3
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Think you have most items. You should also carry a serpentine belt for the coach. You should also carry a gallon of diesel to prime your fuel filter if it needs to be replaced. You are also missing the most important item - a credit card !
09 Journey 39Z
Southern Ontario
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:16 PM   #4
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Followup; A multimeter and a DC voltage tester is redundant, the multimeter will also test DC voltage +amperes.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy Read more at: John_F_Kennedy_1961
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:24 PM   #5
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Ray... Ray... Ray...

Let me respond.

* You absolutely should carry a spare battery cable and a DC Test Light for several reasons:

1) Allow me to clarify my story above: My alternator went out. This condition is different than a dead battery where as Ray stated one could just hold down the Battery Switch to start the coach.

That said, I needed to use my spare 24" battery cable, which was just long enough, to jump my house battery to my engine battery so I could DRIVE 60 miles away and get service. Had I not carried spare battery cable, I would have needed to call a tow truck. So if that's not a testimonial, I don't know what is.

2) This summer a fellow RVer (in a 90's gas RV) had his engine hood up in a Walmart parking lot. I offered my assistance. He accepted and we found that one of his 2 RV solenoids failed and so he could not start his motor. We found this problem using a 12V DC tester; and I would have given this RVer my extra battery cable to jump the solenoid, but since we were in a Walmart parking lot... he just went inside and bought one. That saved this fellow RVer a lot of money and aggravation. ...And he couldn't have been more appreciative.

3) Many people don't feel comfortable with a Voltmeter. Plus DC Test Light has a sharp point that makes it EASIER AND FASTER to find voltage/current sources. Not to mention a DC Test Light has a much longer wire, which is often much better than using 2 wires on a Multimeter.

Additionally, I probably use a DC Text Light twice as much as I use a Multimeter, but I included the Multimeter in the list because sometimes you need to do a continuity check and/or look at resistance measurements.

My point is that RVers should at least carry a DC Test Light and then if they graduate to using a Multimeter that would be even better.

4) As for using Dielectric grease on your toilet ball seal... it works great! My toilet is a Concerto model that is suppose to allow water remain in the toilet after a flush. The problem is that sometimes this rotating ball does not seal properly and water leaks down in the tank. So I just rub dielectric grease on the rubber seal and my toilet works great.

Now I realize a toilet problem is not really an emergency... but sometimes I think any toilet malfunction could be considered one. In any event, I put dielectric grease on the list hoping other owner save $500+ in repairs.

5) I also want to add this new item to the list, but again... I hope I don't get beet-up over suggesting it should be part of your "Emergency Kit", even though I think this item should be carried by every RVer who carries a laptop with them:

For $30 you can order a USB-WiFi Long Range Antenna on Amzaon. In fact, I use this gizmo all the time to grab a "hotspot" when I'm parked out front of a Lowe's, HD, Walmart, or near any town library or coffee shop.

...Just plug the USB into your computer... switch to ANT2 on your WiFi icon... and you get free internet! (Where your computer antenna signal is too weak to use.) This helps cut down on the cost spent to download data off your Verizon Hotspot Plan, or Sprint or T-Mobile.


That's all folks... And Ray, you have a wonderful day!
2004 Itasca Horizon ISK-40AD, 350HP Cummins 8.3L
75K miles and the best of 3 Diesels I have owned thus far!
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:37 AM   #6
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I carry many tools and supplies but I am most found of my CoachNet card and a credit card.

Tools and and supplies I use mostly for making mods or repairs when I am parked and want to putz around.
US Navy Vet, Liberty Tree Member of Oath Keepers, NRA & VFW Life Member, Alaska EMT.
2009 Safari Cheetah 40 SKQ
2009 Winnebago Chalet 231CR
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:53 PM   #7
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I keep a reflective vest in the compartment next to the emergency triangles.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:22 PM   #8
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A Toad - hopefully you can go get what you need.
2002 Winnebago Adventurer
W22 Workhorse Chassis 8.1
2000 Dodge Dakota
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:58 AM   #9
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Emergency triangle.
Battery operated flares.
Air compresser.
High vis vest.
A few small traffic cones.
Some tools.
Duct tape and cable ties etc.
2008 Itasca Latitude 37g UFO Gas pusher.
2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara JKU.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ptl View Post
A Toad - hopefully you can go get what you need.

Along with my CoachNet card and my VISA card :-)

Oh - and a fly rod or two.. I'm sure I can find somewhere to fish while the coach is being repaired :-)
Scott & Sheri
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G / 2006 Jeep TJ / JD Gator
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Old 12-22-2018, 01:50 PM   #11
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I have not had a roadside issue in over 50 years. I do carry tools, jack, tow strap, battery charger (to retract my electric leveling jacks), safety triangles, jumper cables, fuses and terminals. I carry spare brakes and shear pins for my electric leveling jacks. After I change the belt and all water hoses next month I will carry the old ones as spares. And most important a credit card and toad full of fuel.

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