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Old 08-04-2021, 06:32 AM   #1
Keshka
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Mouse proofing

Greetings everyone!
Thank you for reading my post. My wife and I just purchased a used 2011 Fusion that looks like it has hardly been used and only 200 hours on the genset. I am in the process of customizing it and performing tweeks and enhancements.

We live in a forested area in Eastern Oregon and the RV will be parked outside....with the pesky rodents! On our old 1996 Terry 5th I found all kinds of places that mice could get in and for awhile, they did! Places such as the hole cut in the floor for the black water tank line from the toilet had to be steel wool and foamed.

What places have ya'll identified that critters can enter and need better sealing?

Keshka and Nikki
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:50 AM   #2
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Every trailer will have multiple "entry points" for mice. I find the best process is to get a couple of rolls of "COPPER WOOL" or "ALUMINUM WOOD" (don't use steel wool because it rusts and can stain the trailer if it gets wet).

Park the trailer on a hard surface (concrete or asphalt), lay on a creeper and spent a couple hours under it, on your back/looking up, filling all the cracks and crevices with "wool" and then blocking them off with a can of "expanding foam". There are, in some stores, "rodent block" foam. With the "wool", and with the "rodent block", the entry points are usually blocked. That said, next year, after towing, the flexing of the trailer frame will "often provide additional entry points, so for me, it's a "never ending battle" to keep the trailer belly "completely sealed and mouseproof".....

A word of caution: Around your generator, there are "required air vents" that will always provide access to the areas around your generator. In storage, you may find that a sheet of aluminum, plexiglass or something similar will help prevent entry if it's taped in place during storage. Some have used stainless 1/4" hardware screen to block the area. If you consider something like that, make sure you don't affect airflow around the generator.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:00 AM   #3
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Hope nobody suggests Irish Spring soap as a panacea for mice! You can seal as much as possible but mice are generally smarter than people and can wiggle into the smallest opening. Mouse traps are generally not effective but mice bait will kill one once in awhile. My missus has a mouse phobia and we bought some of those ultrasonic gizmos that plug into an A/C outlet, keep all food in mouse proof containers, have mouse bait set out, sealed what can be sealed and spray with anti-mouse spray (some sort of stinky oil stuff I think) and this has cut down our mouse infestation. Our camper doesn't have that plastic stuff underneath except for the very rear over the galley waste tank so the missus put Irish Spring soap out as well... At least the mice haven't eaten the soap.
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:35 PM   #4
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Bait is most effective, but if you own pets you risk poisoning them (they may not eat the bait, but they will quite likely catch and eat the rodents that it slowed down). If you don't have pets, you risk poisoning protected raptors (owls, hawks) the same way.
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Old 08-08-2021, 05:43 AM   #5
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We just had an insurance claim on our 5vr for rodent damage. At the first hint of them I stuffed all the openings around drain pipes and wires with stainless steel scouring pads and spray foam. They never got into the living space or the a/c ducts, but they were everywhere else including the heat ducts below the floor. I further installed 1/4” hardware cloth (screen) under all the heat registers and all gaps under the trailer that I could find. I set traps and mouse bait and got rid of all of them before it went in for abatement.
Check in the battery compartment where the wires go into the frame also. I know they were getting into the framework there on ours.
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Old 08-08-2021, 06:54 AM   #6
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We had mouse issues a couple of years ago as we too parked in a wooded area. Sticky traps did the job rather quicky. I put a piece of chocolate candy in the center of the sticky traps and caught four mice in two days. And trust me, those things ARE sticky!
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Old 08-08-2021, 07:07 AM   #7
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We've never had a mouse problem in any of our campers over 30 ish years of RV ownership of one kind or another.

But, when we moved into our current house (about 15 years ago), we had some horrid smells in the bathroom. Well, it took 12 years to fully remodel every room in the house, but I did. When we did the bathroom, I knocked out 2 walls to make a huge bathroom and walk in closet and when the wall got knocked out, I found several dead mice in the walls. Quite evident, the previous owner had a mouse problem and set out poison. The mice died inside the walls and stank for years and years.

After I removed all the dead critters, along with the smelly wood and insulation and everything else, we never had smells again.

Now, fast forward about 6 years and I remodeled our front upper living room. I gutted the entire room and sure enough, the wall between the kitchen and the living room was filled with dead mice. There was always a slight, stinky, musty odor in that part of the house too, never could figure it out. Well, after removing all the dead critters, gutting the walls, disposing of the old insulation, and using tons of bleach on the studs to kill the smell, the odor disappeared. We've been odor free ever since.

Bottom line is .... DO NOT USE POISON to rid the mice. They eat it, crawl in a hole in your walls, your roof, your air ducts, in your wires, even in your electric outlet boxes, and die! What they leave is a stink you'll NEVER get rid of, unless you burn the camper to ashes! Use traps and catch them. That way, you won't have dead mice hiding in your walls.
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Old 08-08-2021, 10:03 AM   #8
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Agree with not using the poison. Many years ago I knew someone with an infestation in a mobile home. They used DCon and they way it worked was it made them so thirsty they would drink themselves to death. The result, they ate thru the water lines. Had to replace all the water lines under the trailer. Quite the mess.

Only had the problem once. We were at a cg at the beach. Our dog dug up two nests of baby mice in the sand. A couple of days after our return I saw the evidence. I nought a dozen good mouse traps. Baited them with a little peice of peanut sweet & salty power bars. Set the traps around so the bait end was against the wall as instruftions stated. Next day I had 6 customers. The following day 2 more. Followed up a bunch of Fresh Cab sachets and no more problems 3 years later.
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Old 08-08-2021, 06:08 PM   #9
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you can't beat peanut butter for bait. Been using it for years around our house/farm/cars.

I have spent the last couple day going over and over every nook and cranny of the 2011 Fuzion and so far...no place I have found were a rodent might get in when the thing is sealed up. Cargo ramp = really big hole! lol. I would like to seal the corrugated black plastic a little better up to the bottom frame. There are a few gaps between screws. The battery and gen compartments are well isolated from the garage. Keystone used some kind of expanding foam that is almost black and pretty darn tough. I think a mouse would have no problem chewing through it but no signs of attacks. Perhaps it has some sort of repellant qualities.

Next pest project is wasp screens on things like refrigerator/water heater and furnace vents.

Keshka
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Old 08-08-2021, 06:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Keshka View Post
Next pest project is wasp screens on things like refrigerator/water heater and furnace vents.
Warning -- the heating appliance manufacturers don't approve any sort of additional screening to be added to their equipment, even the screens that third parties sell "for" that brand. Apparently, their airflow is engineered quite critically, and if you burn them out, it's on your dime.
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Old 08-08-2021, 06:30 PM   #11
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you can't beat peanut butter for bait. Been using it for years around our house/farm/cars.

I have spent the last couple day going over and over every nook and cranny of the 2011 Fuzion and so far...no place I have found were a rodent might get in when the thing is sealed up. Cargo ramp = really big hole! lol. I would like to seal the corrugated black plastic a little better up to the bottom frame. There are a few gaps between screws. The battery and gen compartments are well isolated from the garage. Keystone used some kind of expanding foam that is almost black and pretty darn tough. I think a mouse would have no problem chewing through it but no signs of attacks. Perhaps it has some sort of repellant qualities.

Next pest project is wasp screens on things like refrigerator/water heater and furnace vents.

Keshka

As LHaven noted be careful with those screens, particularly on the furnace. I did that on a 35k btu unit and it immediately began to fail (unfortunately the first use was months after I put them on and forgot about it). The furnace has a heat limit switch that will shut it down, and mine did right off the bat. Couldn't figure it out but then thought it thru; removed the screen and furnace worked just fine. Some say they have no problems, could be the brand of furnace or the size but it sure made mine hiccup.
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Old 08-08-2021, 06:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Keshka View Post
Greetings everyone!
Thank you for reading my post. My wife and I just purchased a used 2011 Fusion that looks like it has hardly been used and only 200 hours on the genset. I am in the process of customizing it and performing tweeks and enhancements.

We live in a forested area in Eastern Oregon and the RV will be parked outside....with the pesky rodents! On our old 1996 Terry 5th I found all kinds of places that mice could get in and for awhile, they did! Places such as the hole cut in the floor for the black water tank line from the toilet had to be steel wool and foamed.

What places have ya'll identified that critters can enter and need better sealing?

Keshka and Nikki
Place a string of bright LED lights around the trailer, you will be surprised how well they work. We got our on Amazon 50’ string cut to length, I even put a string around my engine compartment.
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Old 08-09-2021, 10:39 AM   #13
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Follow Johns suggestions on blocking holes ..... I'd suggest starting on the inside and then go outside.

We don't get them in any living areas but we get them in storage, so I put out traps. Mice are territorial, so once you kill enough of them each year, they'll be gone for a while. I'd strongly suggest NOT using poison. Use peanut butter and the 50 cent traps. They still work amazing. Put the traps inside, not outside unless you want to kill chipmunks. I put out 5-7 at a time. Sometimes I catch 3-4 at once.
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Old 08-12-2021, 08:27 AM   #14
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The best luck I’ve had so far is an ultrasonic device in EVERY AC outlet in the camper. Every one. Camper is hooked to power always. I also stopped using a cover in the winter. That seemed to make it less inviting and easy to climb all over, like making a nest under the fridge vent on the roof. Filling holes underneath obviously. So like 8 or 9 ultrasonics in our 21RBS. I think putting any kind of bait in a trap or sticky inside the camper is an attractant. Don’t know if thats true, if a mouse can smell peanut butter from outside.
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Old 08-12-2021, 09:14 AM   #15
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Hope nobody suggests Irish Spring soap as a panacea for mice! You can seal as much as possible but mice are generally smarter than people and can wiggle into the smallest opening. Mouse traps are generally not effective but mice bait will kill one once in awhile. My missus has a mouse phobia and we bought some of those ultrasonic gizmos that plug into an A/C outlet, keep all food in mouse proof containers, have mouse bait set out, sealed what can be sealed and spray with anti-mouse spray (some sort of stinky oil stuff I think) and this has cut down our mouse infestation. Our camper doesn't have that plastic stuff underneath except for the very rear over the galley waste tank so the missus put Irish Spring soap out as well... At least the mice haven't eaten the soap.
Seal it up well, get several bars of Irish Spring Soap (it works as said), cut them in pieces and put them around the trailer on the inside, remember where you put them. Don't park your trailer in a field - you are asking for trouble. Oh yes get some traps, load them with the things mice like and put them in your trailer. Good way to see just how many mice like the nice trailer home you have.
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Old 08-12-2021, 09:46 AM   #16
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Works great!

Tried a lot of ‘things’. Nothing worked well. Then we remembered a recommendation from a friend who lives far out in the countryside and also has a 5er. His recommendation MOUSE FREE, mouse repelling undercarriage lubricant. No more rodents…bugs don’t like it either. Down side is it costs more and can also be messy.
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Old 08-12-2021, 05:03 PM   #17
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The best luck I’ve had so far is an ultrasonic device in EVERY AC outlet in the camper. Every one. Camper is hooked to power always. I also stopped using a cover in the winter. That seemed to make it less inviting and easy to climb all over, like making a nest under the fridge vent on the roof. Filling holes underneath obviously. So like 8 or 9 ultrasonics in our 21RBS. I think putting any kind of bait in a trap or sticky inside the camper is an attractant. Don’t know if thats true, if a mouse can smell peanut butter from outside.
Electronic repellants are controversial. Half the buyers swear by them, the other half say they are worthless. But you see the same spread on the odorant repellants, some people say their mice bed on them. I'm convinced rodents are like colds: there are so many varieties that no one noise or odor works on all of them.

My son bought a well-rated electronic repeller in May for under the hood of his MH. On his next trip, in July, he discovered the packrat had completely disappeared one of its battery leads... while it was running.
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Old 08-12-2021, 05:55 PM   #18
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Electronic repellants are controversial. Half the buyers swear by them, the other half say they are worthless. But you see the same spread on the odorant repellants, some people say their mice bed on them. I'm convinced rodents are like colds: there are so many varieties that no one noise or odor works on all of them.

My son bought a well-rated electronic repeller in May for under the hood of his MH. On his next trip, in July, he discovered the packrat had completely disappeared one of its battery leads.


I think most things supposed to eliminate rodents are "controversial" simply because the rodent in one place won't quite be like the rodent in another place, and as I've found, some aren't the same even in the same area.

Our mountain home was bad with mice when we were gone and sometimes we got mountain/forest/tree rats. Along with that we had squirrels in the attic, moths by the millions some years etc. etc. Tried most everything but ended up using about 4 kinds of electronic repellers. Tried to isolate what worked best and it seemed some worked better for different things;nothing was all inclusive except one more expensive unit. The problem was it emitted a sound that puppy could not tolerate so it was in the basement when I sold the place.

Over the years I believe the rodents also developed a tolerance for whatever I put in there; what worked like a charm for 4-5 years seemed to sort of lose effect. I even used some very effective poisons but over time they lost their effect and those little guys just played along like every day was Saturday. In the end I used a yearly rotation of various means of control. That was in a house. In my RV I've never had a mouse (knock on wood). But...

In my RV I place Fresh Cab all around. In the mountains I placed Fresh Cab in my Jeep that I kept there year round. I figure that probably contributes to my success as well.
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Old 08-12-2021, 10:33 PM   #19
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When you're closing holes, look in cabinets, under stove, fridge etc. Close up every place that there is a pass thru floors or walls in cabinets, if they do get in to one cabinet, make sure they cannot get into the next one. Any vents that require air movement, cover that with SS hardware cloth( SS mesh).
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Old 08-13-2021, 06:04 AM   #20
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When you look for reasons why some things don't work for some situations, take a minute to consider the "perspective from BOTH sides".

For the owner, it's an inconvenience that mice are in his trailer, possibly a trailer he's considering trading next spring. Throw a $5 "plugin squealer" and see if maybe it'll help....

For the mouse, it's about survival, not convenience. For the mouse, it's either "endure the annoying noise of that electronic squawker or starve, or freeze, or dehydrate or be eaten by that cat.... If there's a "nicer, quiet place to nest" they'll leave the "squealer" and go there. If there's "sure death" outside and no other place to nest without danger, that "annoying noise" becomes something they "have to tolerate" (not want to tolerate)... So, depending on the circumstances, that noise might be the "lesser of two evils".... So the mice stay, in spite of the "$5 noise maker"...

Like us, if it's an "inconvenience" we'll react one way, but if it's a "matter of life or death", things we wouldn't consider when it's just an inconvenience, suddenly become very, VERY tolerable......

We do the same in "life or death situations"... Think about getting out of your nice warm house during a tornado, to go lay in that cold, dark ditch, in the rain, knowing there might be snakes and bugs sharing the ditch.... But, it's safer to "endure the slight danger of snakes and bugs" rather than the "impending death from the tornado".... Mice have that same "survival instinct"... Noise ??? What noise, I can't hear you for the squeal (but we're alive)......
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