Friday, December 8, 2023


How to keep rodents out of your RV

Anyone who has owned an RV for long knows that there are a couple of Public Enemies Number One — water intrusion and rodent intrusion (or should we say invasion). Let’s talk about the latter.

Rodents love RVs: They’re nice, warm, cozy places, perfect for their nests and where they can raise their little baby mouses. Mice and squirrels are the most common invaders, but rats can make an appearance, too.

Mice or other rodents can create more than just a mess. While some actually carry the fatal disease hantavirus, others can cause trouble by chewing on water lines or electrical wiring. Imagine the damage a rodent could cause if it chewed through a pressurized water line. Or worse, if it gnawed through a live wire that could cause a fire (it does happen!).

So how do we keep the critters away? Some RVers say to just put Bounce dryer sheets in cabinets and storage compartments. “Mice hate ’em,” some RVers will advise. And then you’ll read later from another RVer who says, “I found mice nesting in Bounce sheets.” Huh?

Others say, “Just put a few bars of Irish Spring soap around. Mice hate it.” And someone will reply, “The mice in my RV ate all the Irish Spring.”

Yet other RVers say the answer is to use an “ultrasonic pest repeller” to send the critters scurrying before they even get inside. Many college and university researchers respond: “Save your money: Ultrasonic repellers don’t work.”

Some RVer believe if they line their campsite with a string of LED lights, the mice will stay away, at least at night.

We’ve sold a lot of Fresh Cab rodent repellent through our Amazon affiliate program. Does it work? We haven’t received any angry letters from buyers saying it didn’t work. We tried it once in a barn. No mice (but then maybe there were none there to begin with).

Of course, the tried-and-true method to keep rodents away is to block their entry. Look carefully for spaces where critters can enter. Tiny spaces where water, sewer or gas lines pass through walls and floors may provide a mouse easy access. Stuff any such crack (it doesn’t need to be big for a mouse to get through) with steel wool, then cover with sealant.

What do you think? Please leave a comment; tell us what works for you (or what hasn’t worked).

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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BillBoy (@guest_74162)
3 years ago

I have found “Mouse Free” (available at Amazon) to be an excellent product for rodent control. I have been using it the past 3 years on a 5th wheel and a 35 ft tow trailer I bought for my daughter and her family. They did have mice in their camper before but using Mouse Free as directed once a year neither of us had any issues since. 1 Gallon will do bought RV’s 2 coatings as I only coat the edges and wheel wells and openings for pipes and wires and any openings. I coat it in the fall and in the spring even after hauling the 5th wheel 2000 miles to Florida the areas sprayed are still coated and doing their job. A product well worth using.

Thom (@guest_74047)
3 years ago

I work at a fire dept. We built a new station, had to park the rigs outside in tents for a while. Had good luck with Fresh Cab. Some of the guys didn’t like the smell of the Fresh Cab. I asked them which they would rather smell, Pine(actually balsam oil) from FC, or mouse pee.
As for our coach, had a mouse or two last fall, I think they crawled up the shore power cable. Also found an opening next to the windshield, behind the trim, Wires going thru there, open to below. I sealed around the opening by windshield with silicone, and where the shore cable goes thru with steel wool, placed traps in all compartments, and a few pouches of Fresh Cab around, have not caught any mice or seen any turds since.
With my new time off, I’ll get under the coach and look for any more openings.

Sandy (@guest_73859)
3 years ago

Hi. I use steal wool for the mice and it works but I did run in to a couple once and they had a couple of snakes that came up one day by where the dash air would come up. This happened durning the night. Yuck. How do you prevent snakes to stay out ?. I’ve never heard it since but never forgot about it !!!!!

Judith Pupek (@guest_66703)
3 years ago

I have been using Fresh Cab and cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil! No signs of mice and my rig smells awesome when we wake her up in the spring. I make sure to put a packet of Fresh Cab in the engine compartment also.

Bill (@guest_66700)
3 years ago

Many years ago I bought an rv for great price. While inspecting it I noticed a few mouse traps. I thought that it was good was just good prevention. After taking it home I discovered the traps were for a losing battle and the reason for the great price. So, I waged war for several days and thought I was winning as I exterminated three or four mice. Long story short… I crawled under the camper and found the large hole they were entering and repaired it. I then used silicone and sealed every possible hole, seam, etc. That camper is now 24 years old and we don’t even get an occasional bug or spider inside while in storage. I have had two other campers that I sealed this way as soon as I got them home with the same good results.

Bonnie (@guest_44934)
4 years ago

We had mice one year and startedto ask others how they handled rodent issues while their rig was in storage. We heard several and decided to try peppermint oil on cotton balls. We place it throughout our TT and also our park model. Since doing so we have not had any more incidents and the smell isn’t too bad when you open up for the season.

Judy Castle (@guest_44917)
4 years ago

After having mice in our cars, I was concerned about our motor home parked on the next lot. We heard that tea bags would repel the critters, so I tried them in our cars and in the basement of our home successfully. So I put teabags liberally throughout the Coach—in drawers, cabinets, all closets, and even in the bins underneath with the wiring, pipes, etc. Two years have passed with no mice and we live on the edge of the forest! Try it!

Moobear in Oregon (@guest_44912)
4 years ago

We haven’t had mice in a few years now, even though we’re near some grass fields and a seasonal creek in our small rural town. That’s because our neighbor got into cats. Lots and lots of cats. Thirty-five+ at one time. She’s toned it down to maybe a half dozen, but still no resident rodents. Guess they swept the area clean…for now. Did discover a free pet though when we got our trailer back from the repair shop last week. Opened an overhead cabinet to see a beady eyed field mouse pop up from a shredded pile of paper napkins. Set out our go-to solution of many years, a few sticky traps with a dab of peanut butter in the middle. Had the high climbing critter in ten minutes.

Rick Petzak (@guest_44900)
4 years ago

Tried moth balls, peppermint oil, dryer sheets, Irish spring, rodent spray (can’t recall name), and always catch mice in my peanut butter baited traps. They keep coming and I keep catching. Nothing deters them!!

Tommy Molnar (@guest_44884)
4 years ago

Seems like all these ‘remedies’ are for discouraging the cute little fellas from coming in. To me, these are nasty little disease carrying, asset demolishing, day ruining swine. It’s all out war! I carry lots of old fashioned mouse traps, and not the kinder gentler kind either. They are the SNAP – DEAD kind. If we’re in a mousey area (and where we boondock mostly, mice aren’t a problem) I put the traps by every bit of our trailer that touches the ground, baited with tasty morsels.

Tumbleweed (@guest_44871)
4 years ago

I’ve used electronic pest repellents and Bounce sheets and have had good luck with both. But now I use cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil and these seem to work even better. Whenever I hear rodents in the quiet of the night, I throw the peppermint balls around the area and the noises disappear the next night.

FJ (@guest_44864)
4 years ago

A Sprinter mechanic in Phoenix told me he had set up a couple of Sprinters so that the owners could plug in an electrical fence and run that around the vehicle.

FJ (@guest_44863)
4 years ago

One night I heard rodents chewing on plastic under the hood. I fired up the engine and they took off and did not come back. However in the morning when I warmed up the engine I smelled fuel. I checked under the hood and they had chewed three fuel lines, chewing all the way through one of them. The engine bay was soaked with diesel fuel. Electrical tape and paper towels saved the day.

So I have my anti-rodent kit that has been effective so far. I put moth balls in small plastic ketchup/salad dressing plastic containers. I place three in the engine bay and one in each wheel. I also have a solar rechargeable “EverBrite” LED with a motion detector (Walmart) that I also place under the hood.

JBC (@guest_44859)
4 years ago

Any chance we can get a visual of where the ‘small’ holes are often found. Those that need to be covered with copper mesh, etc. There are obvious places but there may be many ‘common’ locations that we might be overlooking. This would be a good article with lots of pictures. Thanks everyone.

BillBoy (@guest_44853)
4 years ago

I believe it starts with closing off any openings that you can find but but then you won’t find them all . I too have used Mouse Free and have so far found it to work quite well. My daughter has an older camper that had some of the under belly removed and only covered with Tyvec house wrap and I sprayed the underneath with Mouse Free and for 2 years there has been no rodents inside.

Mike in Texas (@guest_44844)
4 years ago

We like to use steel wool to stop the critters, they don’t like to chew on it because it bothers the fillings in their teeth.

RV Staff
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike in Texas

😀 —Diane at

Jerry (@guest_44821)
4 years ago

We have been putting moth balls in a cotton sack then placing them in the wheel wells of the RV. So far no rats/mice or any other rodent.

Bob Haddock (@guest_44809)
4 years ago

We use STOP THE RODENT spray on the outside, all wiring, entry points. It is heavy peppers based. Last word was that the govt red tape got them and they are going through approval. It stopped wood rats from building nests and eating wires on my cars for several years. We also try to block all entry points with steel or brass wool and foam spray.

George (@guest_44806)
4 years ago

We travel with our dog. The only time we had a mouse problem is when we were without a dog for about 6 months.

Stefan trestyn (@guest_44778)
4 years ago

buy a cat

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