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Keep mice out of your RV while in storage with the BoxKat

How do you keep mice out of your RV? Aside from a slew of house cats, we learned of another option when we recently had the chance to speak with Tom Sharp, inventor of a device called the BoxKat. And, to be upfront, BoxKat is an RVtravel.com advertiser.

The BoxKat is, very simply, a corrugated plastic barrier that you assemble around your RV. The barrier is 14” tall, and there are interconnecting accordion-style panels that allow the individual pieces to adjust to uneven surfaces. It’s one of those simple but brilliant solutions that could help you eliminate the mouse problem from your RV. 

Mice and RVs

The typical mouse that is all over the U.S. is an interesting creature in that the teeth of the mouse continue to grow. As such, it’s always wanting to chew. Of course, it is looking for food. But while it’s on the hunt it’s always chewing. 

So when it comes across things like electrical wiring, it chews on that. That ruins wiring and it can be a very expensive insurance claim to have this repair done. The problem is, you could redo the wiring in your RV and have the same problem return in short order if you don’t solve the source—mice. 

Further, mice leave trails wherever they go, and those trails are mouse poop. So, if you don’t mitigate the mouse problem, then you also have a poop problem. That’s gross. 

Traps and poison

The obvious solutions that a lot of folks use are mouse traps and poisons. These can work to get rid of some of the mice, but not all of them. And mice aren’t stupid. If they see their friends and neighbors caught in a trap, they learn very simply to avoid the trap. 

If poison is your solution, know that if a mouse eats the poison, that mouse may also be eaten by larger predators such as your dog or cat, and that poison now becomes the larger predator’s problem. It just ate a mouse full of mouse poison. 

Of course, dealing with dead mice in traps is also not enjoyable. I’ve been asked to deal with this on numerous occasions because the owner of the RV or classic car couldn’t or wouldn’t do it themselves. 

BoxKat

Essentially, the BoxKat works by forming a physical barrier around the RV or whatever you would like to protect. It’s a plastic wall with accordion sections that keep the mice away in the first place. 

I got to speak with the BoxKat’s inventor, Tom Sharp, about the impetus for the idea and how he tested it. Tom has a classic 1991 Acura NSX sports car that was the target of mice. He tried several approaches and finally came up with the BoxKat. 

But since the panels that form the BoxKat are rigid plastic, he needed to accommodate the imperfections of the ground on which it set. After much deliberation, he happened to see how the Space Shuttle’s window shades were made. He came up with an idea based on the same origami principles as those window shades. 

After more than a year of investigating, he found a company who could produce the plastic accordion panels—and the BoxKat was born. 

Set up and use

Since the BoxKat is comprised of simple plastic corrugated panels. The panels have a cut in the bottom where you put cross-pieces sort of like what you’d see in a cardboard wine carrier. These hold the BoxKat up and form the legs. 

To accommodate various surfaces, you fit in the accordion panels and you then have a barrier against mice. These can fit into a baggage compartment when you’re on the road. An entire barrier for around an RV is relatively lightweight. 

This works well if you’re parked in an enclosed structure. But it is also a really good idea if you put your RV in storage for any length of time. I can’t tell you how many times I read posts on social media of people coming back to their RV at the end of winter only to find that it’s been infiltrated by mice. With the difficulty in finding RV parts nowadays, a heavily damaged RV may be out for the season waiting for parts if the mice have attacked it and ruined electronics in it. 

Should you be parked outside, there are also provisions to weight the BoxKat panels down with a variety of things. These include PVC pipe and rebar, or even permanent mounts into the ground. 

Further ideas

Since the BoxKat is essentially white plastic panels, it gave me an idea. If you happen to be an RV content creator, you could use this around your RV to also show off your various outlets such as your YouTube channel. So you would be protecting your RV from rodent damage while also telling others about what you do for a living. 

The BoxKat originally came out of the love of a collectible car. It would make sense to park one’s cars of any vintage with a BoxKat around them to keep the rodents out. In fact, I know of quite a few folks who have had many thousands of dollars of damage to their cars due to mice. 

But if you’re into going to car shows with a collectible car, perhaps bring the BoxKat with you as a barrier to keep humans away from the valuable paint job on your collectible car. You could also have the story of the car and pictures of the restoration on the BoxKat to further enhance the story of your car. (When Tom shows his classic Acura NSX at car shows, the BoxKat around it keeps the little kiddoes, and their sticky fingerprints, away.)

A good idea

Setting up the BoxKat isn’t that difficult, even if you have to incorporate weighting it down, should it be parked outside. The cost of the system is considerably less than even many insurance deductibles. Plus, it’s nice to know that mice haven’t taken root in your RV while you’ve been away. 

This is one of those ideas where it’s a very simple solution to a common problem. And it’s probably one where I’m sure there are more than a few folks asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Well, Tom Sharp did—and we RVers are the beneficiaries. 

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping, where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

##RVT1042

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Bob p
9 days ago

I’ve never seen a cute mouse or any other kind of vermin, dumb ad.

Jan S
2 months ago

So you have blizzard or just a plain old snowstorm and the drifts pile up1-2 feet around your motorhome, which does happen in Ohio in the winter. The time of the year we store our motorhome and mice like to get in out of the cold. They can walk right up the drifts and over the top of this and in they go. Nice idea, but not always a practical solution.

Thomas Sharp
2 months ago
Reply to  Jan S

Yes, a real winter like you have comes with those deep snow packs. But what mice can do in a winter could not only max out your insurance deductible but could also cause delays to any spring travels while you wait for repairs. If I had an expensive RV or even just an old rig I planned to use, then I would do all I could to keep mice out. You can pay the “price” of the time to dig out 2-3’ around the RV whenever it snows and keep the BoxKat in use, or you can hope for the best. You get a real 4 seasons at your home and it takes some extra effort to keep your RV safe from critter damages. Don’t surrender because of a little snow. It’s probably cold and dry snow. So, light to shovel. Kinda like in Phoenix when it’s 100+. “It’s a dry heat” the locals say.

Sharon B
3 months ago

Mice hate peppermint smell. Just buy a small bottle with a dropper and place a few drops in corners and in areas near the wheel wells. It really does work and also makes the stuffy camper smell good

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Sharon B

I know this is a popular idea but it’s a bit of a “husband’s” tale. Objectively speaking, if aromas and oils worked then all major U.S. cities wouldn’t be the rodent epidemic that they all are today. Google the worst city, some news reports in Chicago (the worst). If peppermint did work they wouldn’t be so concerned. A barrier is the only way to stop all mice. But I understand the desire for a cure.
Good luck, Tom Sharp

Steve Prado
3 months ago

A good idea but unfortunately not a great idea. Sticky traps around the parameter would do same work and capture a looky loo in the process.

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Prado

Sticky traps never completely stopped mice for me The BoxKat means no more dead critter disposal, or trap patrol daily and killing creatures just following their nature and noses where we leave tasty temptations. But thanks for looking over my invention. Please consider my points and maybe change up your strategy.. no worries anymore. Cheers, Tom Sharp

W Wilkerson
3 months ago

Heading to your site as I’m very intrigued by this solution. So no issues with the pesky little guys utilizing the cross-member supports as a step-ladder to scale the wall?

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  W Wilkerson

No. The bars between the white mini braces are set up inside BoxKat. The outside brace portion can be seen in mouse slideshow and video. They can’t jump unless all feet are on the ground. They fall as soon as they try to jump. Good question. Thanks. Tom Sharp

Cheryl Spiter
3 months ago

Won’t the mice chew through it or dig under it?

Cheryl

Ron
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Spiter

Yes, and they’re likely to jump right over it! Mice aren’t the only thing to worry about. What about Rat’s, Chipmunk’s and Squirrel’s. All of which have gotten access into my trailer!
Personally it’s a waste of money, if it can’t guarantee you’ll be rodent free!!!

Good luck

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron

I beg to disagree with all due respect. I haven’t needed to worry about mice in my cars in 3 years. Glad you’re on the lookout for bad products, but you missed the mark here. Thanks. Tom Sharp

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Spiter

Actually, no, the house mouse can’t jump over 14”. If the BoxKat is set up properly they can’t get under or dig under it. If you can only set up on dirt I recommend placing an 8” wide roll of zinc or galvanized coated 1/8” wire mesh on ground under barrier and extending out at least 6” outside BoxKat. On concrete or comparable surface, it’s a matter of just set up as pictured and weight as needed. If you have a washboard surface you will need to get the proper leveling compound to level out that area. The flex section can accommodate up to a 1/2” hump or dip in the surface over a 5’ – 8’ wall length. This is “the” secret sauce of how/why the BoxKat is the answer. Thanks. Tom Sharp

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Spiter

Sorry I missed the chew portion of your question. I’ve never found any chewing or poop trail or damage inside or outside my cars that have BoxKat properly set up. BoxKat gives a clean surface as a barrier, it doesn’t take more than a minute to walk around inspecting for any chew signs. I currently have had a rat coming and going in my shop/garage. You can bet I’m looking for the above signs. And removing all food source access. Even take out used food bags inside the car, these are magnets to their noses and makes them more likely to try to get into car. Rats can jump 2-3 feet straight up. So I’m feeling luck and mitigating all interesting rodent food chances. Thanks. Tom Sharp

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Spiter

No they can’t. Setup properly it’s no problem with the house mouse. Thanks Tom Sharp

Joe
3 months ago

What do you do where the sewer, water, and electric hook up is?

Last edited 3 months ago by RV Staff
Thomas Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Suspend them over the BoxKat. You’ll need a cone or additional DIY to keep them from using hoses as suspension bridge to paradise. Pretty easy in most situations. Thanks for the question. I think about storage too often and forget the hookup issues. Cheers. Tom Sharp

Last edited 3 months ago by RV Staff
Tom Sharp
3 months ago

So explain your expert advice. I have many customers that your comment would cause tears of laughter. But do explain and I’ll do my best to make the necessary improvements. I’ve stopped “needing” to worry about mice for over 3 years. So have many other BoxKat owners. Cheers. Tom Sharp

Last edited 3 months ago by RV Staff
Tom Sharp
3 months ago

I’m not surprised a fellow named ‘Dean’ is a thinker and was trying to save the very cool ( but not an NSX) S2000 from mice. But our cars both being low to the road is not really any more vulnerable than my new Subaru Crosstrek. The house mouse is on video jumping 12”, so if you’re gonna try using flashing spend a little more and get the 14” flashing. I thought about flashing as soon as I gave up on traps, poison and Irish Spring soap. But my NSX had a great black paint job and the flashing seemed too scary around my paint. It’s not too easy to get it to behave when separated at corral’s-closure point. Especially the last half of the roll wants to roll back up towards my paint. Even after trying to straighten flashing, it was kinda too tricky. You need a very clean and smooth place to tame its roll-up tendency. If you’re nailing it to a building as you unroll it’s not a problem, but as a corral it’s tricky. And I thought if a barrier works maybe I can make a product because none exists

Last edited 3 months ago by RV Staff
Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom Sharp

AND – I wanted the Boxkat to be easy to use right out of the box. And light enough to ship anywhere in North America. And even be taken down, put back in the box and a viable use on the road at RV parks and campsites that mice forage around. The Boxkat meets all these perimeters. 60 Day Guarantee….. you may find as others have….the end of worrying about mice for one insurance claim deductible cost. Cheers T Sharp

Leonard Rempel
3 months ago

What an unbelievable waste of plastic that ends up in a landfill for a million years or so! Does everyone not know that a mouse only needs a space the size of a pen to pass through? I realize that they pay you to run this article, but c’mon folks this is a joke at best.

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

I’m sorry you have this opinion but it’s definitely not a joke. Read Crimdom review on my site. He’s a prolific RV blogger and paid full price 2 years ago and loves BoxKat. The plastic in BoxKat will save you potential $1000s if they move in and I’d bet more plastic. The BoxKat utilizes plastic for a very long time. But I wholeheartedly agree “one brief use plastic” is as bad as anything we casually dump into the environment. BoxKat plastics are very desirable types to actually “recycle”. Hope this addresses your valid concern. Cheers. Tom Sharp. PS – All plastic uses are not horrific. Thank goodness the plastic bags for groceries are being banned.
PPS – You can’t buy Tony’s OR RVTravels’ integrity with an ad program or a new corvette, you should know that. TS

Last edited 3 months ago by RV Staff
Admin
Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
3 months ago
Reply to  Leonard Rempel

RVtravel.com was NOT paid to run this article. The author of the article, who chooses his own subject matter, decided this was worth writing about.

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

My NSX is a 1991 first year of production. It’s body number is 1776. And it loves loves loves curvy hills , and not smelling like mouse pee anymore. Cheers. Tom

Bill T
3 months ago

What happens to it in strong winds and snow storms if your rig is stored outside?

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill T

You will need to do some simple DIY anchor. See the anchoring options video on site. The first picture at header of review is in the mountains of central California. Crimdom blog review on my site. It’s been 2 years and the concrete has root caused bulges. He’s very happy. Simple anchor is steel bars inserted in mini braces and slide through a cinder block or landscaping block hole. It’s very stable on windy hillside. Like your awning a 50mph windstorm is a problem sometimes. One customer in Houston lost theirs in a hurricane a couple years ago, but happily bought a replacement. Several more “ elegant’ anchors but the bar/cinder block is elegantly effective and simple and cheap. Cheers. Tom Sharp

Last edited 3 months ago by RV Staff
Pete Morris
3 months ago

Seems to me the BoxKat would also help block wind and cold, maybe different heights would be a good addition to your product line.

Tom Sharp
3 months ago
Reply to  Pete Morris

You’re right, and it can be made up to 24” tall by simply adding a second Boxkat on-top of the first one. Pretty easy to get taller, but wind effects double so I recommend a steel bracket with legs of 10’’ x 16”+ and screwing the bracket into concrete. Brackets are needed at least every 5’. But pretty Bomb proof. And deter the larger rodents. But RATS can chew through almost anything if they get determined. The plan is to encourage them to look for easier food sources. Steel and strong concrete are the only RAT proof materials. Cheers. Tom Sharp

Last edited 3 months ago by RV Staff
DEAN W BROWN
3 months ago

Beat him to it. YEARS ago I bought a classic Honda S2000 and worried about rodents. I did have a nice level hard surface to park on so I bought a 12″ wide roll of aluminum flashing and simply wound it around the car!

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