As full-timers, we constantly work to keep mice, bugs, scorpions and other creepy crawly creatures from entering our house on wheels. One of the easiest openings for these critters to ingress is your wet bay around the sewage discharge pipe. While wet bay configurations differ, in most RVs there remains as much as a .75” to 1” inch opening around the diameter of your dump hose. This hole is an open invitation for critters to migrate to other areas of your RV. So how can you prevent them from hitchhiking?
No freeloaders, please!
After hearing many suggestions from twisting towels to steel wool around the pipe, what worked best for us was EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) foam rubber. This closed-cell foam is typically used as a weather proofing sealant around doors or windows and in the automotive industry. It comes in many sizes and shapes. We chose to use square, non-self-adhesive, as it is easy to press-fit around the pipe and we can soak it with insect repellent. If we chose the foam with a self-adhesive strip, the insect repellent would eventually dissolve the self-stick adhesive.
Where can you obtain it?
You can get it at the usual big box stores: “Homeless“ Depot or “Woe-is-Me” Lowe’s. Also, most reputable hardware stores carry it. We purchased approximately three feet of 2” EPDM foam with no adhesive. It’s also available on Amazon.
Force fit works perfectly
We simply cut it to the approximate length and manually stuff it around the pipe at every setup. And from time-to-time, we refresh it with insect repellent to keep freeloaders from the snacks in our pantry. When we pick up to travel once again, we merely set it to the side in the wet bay until we stop at the next destination. (You can read about our Gulliver’s Travel nightmare against the armies of ants in Southern California here.)
The only place the ants didn’t penetrate was around the sewer hose. Gee, I wonder why? The “sand” particles in our wet bay are from last month’s stay directly on the beach in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico. It was a wonderful trip and we took no freeloaders back to the states.