Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking and more.
I just read your article on some ideas to keep mice out of our RV. We just opened ours up and found many drawers, under the bed, in the bedroom closet, etc., littered with pieces of broken hickory nuts and droppings everywhere. We are assuming that this was the working of one, or more than one, chipmunk. Nothing was chewed like the year before when we had a mouse. Any suggestions on how to keep them out would be greatly appreciated. —Donna
I will assume that your RV is a nice, warm and safe place to be. And that’s why lots of critters – who agree with you – have chosen to set up housekeeping in your home-on-wheels. But, like that obnoxious cousin who just “drops by” to spend a few days camping with you, they are not invited and it is up to you to dis-invite them. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, and what works in one part of the country may not work in another – or with one critter or another (e.g., mouse, chipmunk, squirrel, voles, etc.).
However, the first action you need to address is blocking all possible places these critters can get in, wherever electrical wires, pipes or anything else passes through the walls or floor of your RV between the inside and the outside. This would include where the water heater and refrigerator are mounted to the exterior wall, and any entries through the firewall in the engine compartment and the dash such as ventilating, heating and A/C ducts. Crawl under your rig (I know, that’s not fun) and look for floor-mounted openings. You will probably be surprised that your RV has quite a few openings large enough to admit rodents of all types. Note that a mouse can fit through any opening that it can get it’s head through – about the size of a dime.
The next step is to plug up all these openings. So what do you use to plug these holes? This is where it will take some experimentation. Rodents have been known to chew through almost anything you use, as well as ignore every smelly deterrent you try. So don’t give up if one or the other attempt fails – try another. The consensus for stuffing the holes seems to be steel wool. Though caulking and spray polyurethane foam sound like good ideas, critters can chew through them, so reapplication would be necessary if you find evidence of chewing. If you find an opening larger than you can stuff, cut a wood or metal plate and glue it in place to close up the hole.
As far as odoriferous critter deterrents, Irish Spring bar soap, peppermint oil, mothballs, dryer sheets, and pine needle spray all have their true believers. There are also several rodent repellents on Amazon, if none of the above efforts do the job.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .