Packing For Alaska: What your RV needs!

We’ve covered what YOU need, now it’s time for what  YOUR RV needs for the trip to Alaska!  With long stretches between towns, it’s best to be over prepared rather than under prepared.

One of the many pullouts on Top of the World Highway.

You can prioritize the needs of your rig, while I give you my thoughts on why each item could be valuable.  Most of these items you probably already have in your garage or RV.  

  • A Well Stocked Tool Kit:  Even if you’re not mechanically inclined the person who stops to help you might be.  I prefer a soft sided tool bag.  Make sure you have the tools needed to change a tire and double check that you have a socket to fit your lug nuts.  A variety of nuts, bolts, and screws could really save your hide.  I keep a few basic tools in easy reach, such as a multi-bit screw driver, crescent wrench, pliers, etc..  This saves you from having to unpack the whole tool kit just to tighten a screw.
This isn’t mine but I sure wouldn’t mind a built in tool box like this.

  •  Spare Tire:  Please make sure there’s air in it!  Since we are talking about tires it doesn’t hurt to have some tire plugs, fix a flat and a small air compressor like you would find built into a battery jumper box.  Don’t forget an RV tire pressure gauge that goes as high as the required pressure for your tires.
This is useless if there's no air in it.
This is useless if there’s no air in it.  Courtesy of rv.net.

 


  • Code Reader:  I’ve kicked myself for not buying a scan tool years ago, they’re surprisingly affordable and very helpful.  If one of the many “Warning Lights” comes on, you can find out if it’s serious or if it can wait until the next town.
Think about all the money this little device will save you in the long run.
Think about all the money this little device will save you in the long run.

 


  •  Spare Ignition Coil & Spark Plug:  The Ford is a popular chassis for motorhomes.  I love my Fords but they have a weak link, Ignition Coils!  Ignition coils fail at the worst possible time, leaving you with a horrible miss-fire and no power to pull the hills.  Combined with your code reader, you can pin-point which cylinder is missing and replace the coil and plug.  On a side note, be sure to know your engines cylinder pattern.  I have a saved image in my smart phone of the cylinder pattern for my engine. This tip also goes for any engine or chassis that has well known weak links that can be easily fixed.
Unfortunately these ignition coils are a weak link on the Ford Triton engines.
Unfortunately these ignition coils are a weak link on the Ford Triton engines.

 


  • Extra Fluids:  Engine Oil, Transmission Fluid, Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid, Engine Coolant, Air Filter Cleaner/Oil, Generator Oil, etc..  If you have a diesel you might want to have a small gas can with fuel in case you need to prime the fuel filter bowl.  Will you need to do an oil change during your trip?  If so, I would suggest bringing your own oil and filter.

A variety of fluids will come in handy on a 4,000 + mile road trip.


  •  Misc. Sprays & Fluids: These always come in handy.  WD-40, Silicon Spray, Brake Cleaner, Starting Fluid, Rain X, Holding Tank Deodorizer, etc..
Have you ever needed something and didn't have it?  But, your can picture exactly where it is in your garage?
Have you ever needed something and didn’t have it? But, you know exactly where it is in your garage?

  • Electrical Kit & Tools:  A handy little plastic box with a variety of fuses and wire connectors is all you need.  A pair of electrical pliers, electrical tape, and multi-meter/test light should be included in your tool kit.  You might even consider bringing other small items such as brake light bulbs, turn signal bulbs, and interior bulbs for your RV.  I also recommend an extension cord and plug adapter because some parks don’t have 30 amp hook ups.  One time after driving a bumpy road our hydraulic leveling stopped working.  I found the left front tire had worn into the wiring harness leading into the control box.  This turned out to be a simple fix with the right tools.
An example of an electrical kit.
An example of an electrical kit.

A bear chewed up this bush plane.  With a few cases of duct tape the owner was able to fly it back to town.
A bear chewed up this bush plane. With a few cases of duct tape the owner was able to fly it back to town.

  • Work Clothes:  Bring coveralls or clothing that can get dirty if you have to roll around on the ground fixing something.  Don’t forget about work gloves because parts of your engine and RV may be hot and dirty.
I guarantee you this isn't me, I haven't worn denim shorts since the 90's.  Seriously, wouldn't a pair of coveralls be nice so you don't get gravel down your pants.
I promise this isn’t me, I haven’t worn denim shorts since the ’90’s. Seriously, wouldn’t a pair of coveralls be nice, so you don’t get gravel down your crack.

 


When you're towing you have to think about extra parts for your trailer.  Courtest of Curtmfg.com
When you’re towing you need to think about extra parts for your trailer. Courtesy of curtmfg.com

Courtesy of doityourself.com
Courtesy of doityourself.com

  • 2×4, 2×6 & 4×4 Blocks:  Wood blocks come in handy all the time. They are especially handy if you need to change a tire and use your leveling jacks to get your tires off the ground.
wood blocks courtesy of mikeandlisaworld.blogspot.com
wood blocks courtesy of mikeandlisaworld.blogspot.com

  • Roadside Emergency Kit: These handy kits include flares, warning triangles and first aid items.
It's not just for you it's for other people on the road.
It’s not just for you, it’s for other people on the road.

Your RV should have everything you need now, including the kitchen sink.  I hope this list helps you prepare for your trip to Alaska.  Do you have more suggestions?  Please put them in the comments section below!

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