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What gear do we bring to the party?

updated 13 Mar 2017

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Our house is really two units: a 2005 25' Airstream CCD International trailer towed by a 2006 2500HD 4WD Chevrolet Silverado extended cab regular (6.5') bed truck. They each carry some gear. Most, and hopefully the heaviest, is in the truck's bed.

The trailer is near its maximum weight rating and the truck is under it's weight rating. The combined weights of both the Airstream and the truck are not far under the GCWR (16,000) for the truck. We could load and carry a little more or heavier stuff, if we put it in the truck. We're pretty sure we have all the gear we need, maybe a little more than.

We aren't collectors, don't pick up souvenirs, don't impulse-buy shoes or clothes, don't hoard books. Well, not too many books anyway. We're trying to pay attention to what we do, and don't, need. We're pretty much through jettisoning any extra stuff we just couldn't part with when we moved out of the house January 2008 (although we still 2x/year try to go through everything again).

This page is a start in documenting the effort. We list below what gear we currently live with.

On another page we list what we think is extra and what we wish we didn't leave behind. See the index to these related pages at the bottom of this page.





What are we hauling around all the time? Here's a list of the big stuff:

Toolbox, eight-drawer Channellock *detailed in list below Toolbag with sawzall, jigsaw, heat gun
16qt totes with wire, parts, 16qt tote with caulk, glue, tape
16qt tote, ham radio parts & pieces [removed 12/2016] 16qt tote, tie downs & straps
carrying case w/antenna tuner for ham radio [removed 12/2016] carrying case w/SGC autocoupler [removed 12/2016]
24qt tote, seasonal clothes 16qt tote, wax/wash towels [removed 12/2016]
1000 watt generator Dremel corded tool set (replaced cordless one 12/2014)
propane, 2 gallon, for grill gas can, 2 gallon, steel safety can
two folding chairs (deleted two 9/2014) telesteps ladder
two side tables (deleted two 8/2013) one folding table, 30X30
propane grill (Olympian 4000) 5# C02 extinguisher
50' 12-3, 25' 16-3 electrical cord 30' 10-3 RV shore pwr cord & 30' 10-3 RV extension cord
battery jumper cables triangle reflector, 3 flares
5 gal wash bucket & cleaning fluids [removed 12/2016] air compressor, one gallon
crowbar shovel, d-handle round-pt [removed 12/2016]
replaceable cartridge sediment filter 80 ft drinking water hose
chemicals, paints, lubes Cosco stepstool
tennis ball hopper (stored 1/17/2014) 3 tennis racquets [removed 12/2016]
20 feet sewer hose (2 10' sections) 75' hd 1/2" climbing rope (deleted: cut it up for grandkids tree swing 7/15/2013)
wheel chocks, 2 cast aluminum levelling blocks, 2 packs poly lego style
small picnic cooler (empty) [removed 12/2016] screws & bolts, 2 bins
para500 rope, 400 ft dipole, j-pole antenna & 150' coax [removed 12/2016]
Crazy Creek seats, 2 water fittings mini-tote

What tools do we think essential? In no particular order, here are our minimums:

  1. Metric and SAE socket sets, 3/8" and 1/4"
  2. 1/2" drive ratchet and sockets for wheel lug nuts, hitch head, hitch ball
  3. 3' length of 1" black pipe to slide over 1/2" drive ratchet handle
  4. Torque wrench 1/2" 150# capacity
  5. Adjustable wrenches, 4", 6", 10"
  6. allen wrenches, 1/16" - 3/8" & 1.5mm - 6mm
  7. 6-in-1 Screwdriver, mini screwdrivers, TORQ screwdrivers, #2 Roberts screwdriver
  8. diagonal cut pliers, needlenose pliers, mechanics pliers, pump pliers, crimp/strip tool
  9. Locking vise grip pliers, 4", 8"
  10. Pipe wrench 12"
  11. Hacksaw, 15" cabinet saw
  12. Mill file, wood rasp
  13. Ball peen hammer; hatchet
  14. Utility knife, awl,
  15. Cold chisel, pin punch, center punch
  16. Measuring tape,
  17. Shrader valve tool, tire plugging kit
  18. Air compressor (12v unless you have genset or big inverter to run 110vac)
  19. 3/8" drill, drill index, unibit, countersink rosette
  20. tin snips, pop rivet tool
  21. dremel tool basic set, corded
  22. electrical multi-meter (VOM)
  23. flashlight(s)
  24. work gloves

  • assorted metal-cutting files,
  • open-end wrenches 1/4" - 7/8",
  • stilson (smooth jaw) wrench 12",
  • masonry drill bits,
  • soldering iron,100-140w
  • soldering pencil, 10w
  • butane micro-torch
  • folding rule
  • micrometer
  • block plane,
  • coping saw
  • wood chisels (1/2", 3/4")

  • That's pretty much the list for now. There are probably tools we've left off. Let us know if you notice something essential missing from our list? We'll probably agree with you, add it, and say "Thanks!"

    What's Missing?

    What do we wish we had with us? You know, those things you reach for, can't find, and then say, "darn, we left it at PawPaw John's house!". Not as much as we might have thought. Then again, shouldn't we have this worked out pretty well after more than seven years? Early travels in 2017 we left the tennis racquets and court shoes in storage. Sure wish we'd had those while spending time in great weather out west. Also, thinking we'd be traveling largely on business for the Airstream Club and returning back east without boondocking, we left our solar panels tilt rods. And did have nice boondocking trips in Joshua Tree NP and Death Valley NP and wanted the prop rods. Ended up salvaging pieces of tubular legs from a thrown-away folding camp chair and using them temporarily. They worked out so well we might adopt them as the new solution for adjustable tilting of the rooftop solar panels.

    You can see the list of what we wish we had brought here, as well as the list of things we wish we just hadn't brought.

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