My RV will be left in a New Hampshire campground for the winter. How about installing a solar trickle charger to keep the battery charged and using an ultrasonic pest repeller to keep mice and insects away, plus roof edge heat tapes to melt the snow? —James, Keystone Montana 3950BR
There are three questions here about storing an RV at a campground, so let’s cover them individually.
Solar trickle charger for batteries
It depends on the type of batteries you have. If they are lead acid you can install a solar maintenance charger. However, I would recommend looking at the BatteryMINDer solar charger, as it sends high-impact waves into the battery to condition and desulfate them. As lead acid batteries draw down, sulfur coats the plates and requires a bulk stage charge of more than 14 volts to break up the sulfation. A typical low-cost solar panel maintenance charge just does a 13.2-volt charge, which means your batteries will not last very long.
Ultrasonic pest repellers
I am not a big fan of these as I am in the Midwest and these have not performed well in any application I have seen such as farm, RV, or a house. Even though I do see the testimonials on the ads, I don’t trust them. I am also not a fan of the dryer sheets or mothballs even though that is what my parents used. I am a fan of baits and have used several different types and pet-friendly traps which you can find in the video here.
Since this video was produced, I have found that Mouse Free has a product that is guaranteed, but I have not used it. It is a mint-based product that mice do not like and it has a proprietary substance that keeps it from dissipating, which I believe is a Teflon-type product.
Another option is Grandpa Gus, which seems to be getting some really great reviews.
Additionally, I just had a reader send me a homemade remedy of mixing cornbread muffin mix (Jiffy) with baking soda, which expands in the stomach and kills the rodents. The problem with these products is it takes a long time to determine if they work.
If anyone else has any suggestions, please leave them for James (and the rest of us) in the comments below.
Roof edge heat tape
The challenge with a roof edge heat tape is that you either need to be plugged into 120-volt power or find a 12-volt product. But that would drain your batteries and not be effective. I do see some products listed on Amazon that are 12-volt wires in a plastic or rubber sleeve. However, there does not seem to be a good way to connect it to the roof edge and keep it secure. My preference would be a cover.
Make sure, when storing an RV at a campground throughout the winter, that it’s fully winterized. You may want to have someone check in on it now and again, too, if nobody is staying in it.
You might also enjoy this from Dave
How should I winterize the RV to use it part-time in the winter?
We live in Long Island and want to use our motorhome part-time during the winter months. Is there an alternative to going through the winterizing process? —Walt
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”
Read more from Dave here.
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