Torque Wrench for RV Maintenance Tip
As a full timer, snowbird and even a regular vacation type RV user it’s a good idea to carry and know how to use a torque wrench to maintain proper tightness on critical nuts and bolts. As our motorhomes, trucks, tow vehicles, and trailers are rolling and sometimes bouncing along down the road things are bound to come loose.
Things are even worse if you head to off-road areas or spend any time on some of the big transport truck pounded interstate highways. Small screws and nuts are easily tightened up by hand but what about the bigger sized stuff like wheel lug nuts, hitch bolts, suspension hardware, etc.. This is where having a good torque wrench and knowing all the proper settings for the various bolts can help prevent premature wear and tear on the RV or even stave off a catastrophic event like a wheel flying off the rig.
A torque wrench is a tool used to precisely apply a specific torque to a fastener such as a nut or bolt. It is usually in the form of a socket wrench with special internal mechanisms. It was invented by Conrad Bahr in 1918 while working for the New York City Water Department. It was designed to prevent over tightening bolts on water main and steam pipe repairs underground. A torque wrench is used where the tightness of screws and bolts is crucial. It allows the operator to measure the torque applied to the fastener so it can be matched to the specifications for a particular application. This permits proper tension and loading of all parts. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque_wrench
On my rig the most critical items I check often are the trailer wheel lug nuts. Because of the large sideways forces placed on these wheels being made from aluminum they are the most likely nut to come loose. I check them before just about every tow. Next every few weeks to a month depending on how much we are traveling I check the suspension bolts and truck lug nuts. A little less often maybe every six months I’ll give the hitch and kingpin nuts and bolts a check over. The ones that seem to come loose the most often on my RV are the trailer wheel lug nuts and the U-Clamp bolts on the axles. Not usually by much but if left unattended they could get worse.
You can pickup a decent enough torque wrench these days for around $70 dollars and it takes just a few minutes to check things on your rig. Something that will pay dividends down the road with less wear and the chance of a break down leaving you stranded on the side of the road. I find while performing the torque checks I also can at the same time inspect things like tires, hitch and suspension hardware catching early any signs of problems.
Video Showing My Wrench and Sockets I Carry and Where I Use them
Not only can this little tip save you money it may save your or some else’s life. Safe travels – Ray