By Chuck Woodbury
Sometimes you shake your head and wonder at something so outrageous that you marvel how it came to be. Here’s an example.
Emily and I attended a Seattle-area RV show a couple of weeks ago. One of our advertisers, Tom Sharp, had a booth and we wanted to meet him. Tom invented and sells a product called BoxKat. It’s for RVers and motorists who have problems with mice entering their vehicles and chewing wires. It’s a huge, costly problem, which you know if it’s happened to you (60% of our readers report it has).
Emily and I visited with Tom, a very enthusiastic and talkative man. We discussed mice and mice prevention. The most important way to keep them away, we all agreed, is to prevent them from entering our RVs or other vehicles to begin with. That’s where Tom’s product comes in.
Later, we explored some of the RVs on display. And, oh, my goodness, were we befuddled when we came upon a travel trailer with a ridiculous design flaw that begs rodents to come in, chew, and end up costing the RV’s owner a bundle to fix. I took photos. Everyone I have shown them to so far has marveled at how the design is one of the stupidest they have seen on an RV.
Oh … but don’t tell the mice. When they see it, if they could speak, they would certainly look to the sky and say, “Thank you, Mouse Lord in Heaven.”
Look at the photo directly below: It’s the vanity in the bathroom. Do you see where the water drain pipe exits the RV? Look at the huge opening. Methinks a mouse might observe all that space and decide to climb right up!
The photo below shows the area better. Keep in mind that all it takes for a mouse to enter an RV is a hole or other gap the size of a dime.
Emily, thinking it couldn’t possibly be an actual hole, stuck her whole hand down and out. Yup. It is indeed a hole straight into the outside world, a mouse’s outside world…
I did not have my writer’s cap on when I looked around this RV so I did not carefully document the scene. And I can’t remember the make or model of RV other than it was a trailer. But that’s not important. The point is to know that construction flaws exist and for a potential buyer not to assume everything is right.
I cannot tell you if a mouse could easily climb from inside the cabinet into the RV’s living space, but I suspect it could. At the very least, it would be a huge shock to an RVer to open the cabinet and have Mickey or Minnie shoot out — not to mention many other critters, too! If the RV was being stored, a mice or other rodent family would have a comfy, relatively warm nest, pooping and peeing at will, for you to somehow scrub away later.
But, really, the wide opening in the floor is just an example of the cheap, rushed and often crappy construction in many of today’s bargain-priced RVs. Emily and I only had time to explore a couple dozen rigs, but we found at least minor flaws in most of them.
I have repeatedly advised, along with our other writers and many of our readers, to inspect any RV you plan to purchase very, very carefully, from top to bottom. I imagine someone at the show ended up buying this trailer without even opening the cupboard door. I hope they like mice or find the opening and seal it up before the rodents take up residence.