Every RVer has a typical toolbox. After all, it would be pretty difficult to get along without such basic tools as a screwdriver, hammer, and one or more pairs of pliers.
Things break, and while fixing them isn’t usually too difficult, some tools are required. This means it is only sensible to always keep these types of tools on hand.
That said, the most seasoned RVers have added to the basics over the years. New repairs crop up and new items creep in, and eventually the well-traveled RVer’s toolbox is quite full and incredibly useful.
While we aren’t exactly what I’d call “seasoned RVers” yet, my family and I have been living in a twelve-year-old travel trailer for over a year now. Obviously, we have had our fair share of problems come up, but we have been able to use Google and YouTube to fix most issues, and have bribed friends to help with the rest.
Because we have had these unfortunate trailer problems, we have learned a lot about the ins and outs of travel trailers, and we have learned about some pretty incredible fix-it products that aren’t always mentioned as an option for us RVers.
Because we want to share our findings with you, and because we think all RVers deserve to have the ability to fix minor issues with their rig, we have put together a list of the three must-have fix-it products for RV travelers. These are products that have been tested and approved by my family and myself, and are items we now keep on hand at all times.
Eternabond Tape (http://www.eternabond.com)
If you have ever had a roof tear, you know what a pain it can be to patch. Additionally, sealing—and resealing—around all of the vents and such on top of the roof is less than glamorous. For us, this is where Eternabond tape steps in.
This tape, originally made for the roofs of houses, is so incredibly strong that is holds up through all sorts of weather and looks no worse for the wear. It is the perfect solution for those who aren’t a fan of messy sealants and caulking guns.
We have used it to patch a few tears in our rubber roof, and have also used it to seal around our skylight in place of the usual lap sealant. Additionally, we have Eternabond patching an embarrassingly large number of cracks in our skylight. Admittedly, we should probably just invest in a new skylight, but the Eternabond fixed our problem, and while it isn’t pretty, it hasn’t failed us yet. The first pieces of Eternabond were put on our roof about 14 months ago and they are all still holding strong.
I will say, however, that we tried repairing a gray tank leak with Eternabond only to be disappointed. So while this tape is incredible for keeping water out, it is not so great for keeping it in. Not to worry though, we found the ideal product for fixing leaky tanks, which we will share with you later in this guide.
All in all, I definitely recommend that all RV owners keep some Eternabond on hand for quick roof fixes.
Gorilla Tape (http://www.gorillatough.com/gorilla-black-duct-tape)
Okay, so this is one we have all heard of, but have you tried it? This stuff is incredible. It holds up to tons of abuse, making it ideal for short-term heavy-duty fixes. It has proven invaluable for patching a leaky hose when we couldn’t get a new one right away, and was perfect when we needed to hold a window closed despite its broken locking mechanism.
Heck, I think this tape would probably even hold up a broken bit on the outside of your RV until you could get to a shop.
Best of all, this tape is the perfect assist when trying to remove Eternabond tape. While I don’t recommend removing Eternabond if you can help it, and while it likely won’t come off a rubber roof without damaging something, if you absolutely need to to remove Eternabond, Gorilla tape can help. Simply stick the Gorilla tape to the Eternabond, and pull.
Although this tape is not a permanent solution to anything and likely shouldn’t be used to patch a roof, it does have a number of other uses. It is definitely a product that should be included in every RVers’ tool kit.
Plasti-Mend Black (http://www.plasti-mend.com)
When our gray tank started leaking, I was determined to patch it. After all, replacing the thing entirely was going to cost hundreds of dollars, and we don’t have that kind of money just sitting around. So, instead of dropping the big bucks at a repair shop, I sat down and started doing some research.
At first I came across a number of typical mending glues. I tried a good 3 or 4 of them (as well as Eternabond tape), but each one failed, and the crack only grew bigger. Fortunately, we learned that as long as we were connected to sewer and left our gray tank open, we didn’t see any leaking at all. Therefore, we went for a few months without doing anything.
Eventually I came across Plasti-Mend. The product was once available on Amazon, but now must be purchased directly from their website. I called before ordering to make sure it was in stock, only to find out the owner of the company lived just a few miles from where I was staying, making the purchase a quick and easy process.
To be clear, the stuff is less than pleasant to work with. It’s gooey and it smells bad, but I am happy to report that it does work. By the time we found Plasti-Mend the crack was over a foot long, and I wasn’t sure any product was going to repair it. I cleaned the tank, applied coat after coat of the sticky solution, and lo and behold, it held up! The tank has been filled a number of times since then with absolutely no issues.
Obviously, I highly recommend Plasti-Mend for all RVers. It is an amazing solution for repairing cracks in your tanks, and could easily save you hundreds of dollars.
By stocking up on these products and ensuring your toolbox is always ready to go, you will be ready to fix — or at least patch — a large number of potential issues. We have put all three of these products to good use and have found them to be invaluable. We hope you will find them just as helpful so you can continue your adventures no matter what problems arise.