Let There Be Light

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Nothing is more aggravating than your coach lights blinking off right at dinnertime. Or having a Highway Patrol officer wave you over because a brake light is out. That’s why having a few select electrical items in your well-equipped trailer or RV toolbox can be unbelievably handy.

First and foremost is an assortment of fuses in various amperage ratings to replace blown fuses on your power converter/charger or power panel. A blown fuse is usually the result of pulling too much amperage on one circuit, or an electrical short; but sometimes they’ll “pop” for no good reason. Be sure to replace a blown fuse only with the same size, never larger. A fuse that blows repeatedly is a good indication that you’ve got a short somewhere that must be repaired, otherwise the same problem will persist.

A collection of spare bulbs for brake, turn and running lights are also a must, and can save you from a traffic violation or worse. Make sure you have interior light bulbs as well.

A miniature voltmeter is helpful for tracing shorts and measuring battery voltages.

A small roll of 10- to 12-gauge insulated wire can help you bypass a problem area, and be sure to include aroll of electrical tape to prevent sparks or fuses from blowing.

A battery-operated or butane powered soldering iron and solder is helpful for making solid electrical repairs when you’re out in the boondocks with no AC power.

And a nice option is a head-mounted flashlight, for working in the dark where you need both hands free.

If all else fails, a box of weatherproof safety matches is ideal. You can use them to light a fuel lantern or a properly prepared campfire to hold back the night. Use with caution; they burn like a firecracker fuse and you can’t blow them out!

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