Top 10 Caravanning DIY Items
Lydia Bailey reveals ten essential DIY items for caravanners.
1. A toolkit
However well equipped your garden shed at home might be, a proper toolkit in a case is the essential kit. If you want to avoid the perennial problem of bringing the wrong-sized screwdriver or pair of pliers for the problem at hand.
Budget supermarkets often sell them for as little as £15. And, because they come in a purpose-built case, they can be easily stowed in the car boot to save weight and space.
2. Fuses and bulbs
A full set of fuses and bulbs to fit every light in your caravan will ensure you are never in the dark.
Top tip: always replace your external lights in pairs because one bulb will always tend to go soon after another.
Likewise, take a torch. While it seems an obvious item to have on board, caravanners often overlook a decent light. As well as taking one, make sure everyone knows where you stowed it and how to switch it on. Camping Online has a handy spare bulb and fuse set for £6.99 + postage.
3. Petroleum jelly
You can buy Vaseline in tiny pots from the cosmetic counter in any chemist. It will do the job of any DIY store pot of grease and yet take up one-tenth of the space.
4. 3-in-1 oil
Essential! Unlike its equally famous counterpart, WD-40, 3-in-1 oil does not evaporate on contact. It will, therefore, offer continuous lubrication. It's invaluable if you encounter a corroded wheel nut or hinge. Or, only use it for cleaning any chrome or metal fitting.
5. Multi-tool penknife
While it may be true that we have only ever used ours for opening a bottle of red wine and the odd can of dog food, a multi-tool penknife is small to carry and give the impression to get you out of a few scrapes.
This Poeland Multi Tool has good reviews on Amazon, and is £12.99.
Just a tiny piece of sandpaper in your toolkit is useful for all sorts of minor issues; from a door jamming in the middle of the night, to clean rust from your tow ball, which could damage the friction pads inside your stabiliser.
Halfords stocks its 1200g Wet & Dry Sandpaper Roll, which is a £6.50.
7. Electrical tester
Small and lightweight, an electrical tester looks complicated, which is why most people give them a wide berth.
If you follow the simple instructions, however, for the primary circuit breaking, they can save you a lot of time if you encounter a dead appliance.
Use it to test each part of a device from the fuse to bulb and wiring, and immediately identify where the fault lies. The Knightsbridge Te2 tester has good reviews. You can get it on eBay for under £30.
8. Gaffer/Duct tape
Gaffer tape can get you of many a sticky situation temporarily until you are home or at a point to have something fixed permanently.
We have used it for a running repair on a leaky window, and to hold the fridge door in place!
9. Cable ties
Cable ties are versatile to have for running repairs and invaluable for what they are designed to do: keeping electric cables neat and tidy.
Our new site neighbours were big fans, using them to hold on a dodgy hub cap, and as hanging loops from various points in their awning.
For under £3, you can buy an assorted range of cable ties from Halfords.
10. Fantastic elastic
Not the children’s book but flexible glue which will stick or seal anything you want to stick or seal. And, also many things you don’t, so use ‘Fantastic elastic’ with caution.