Mouse Proofing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2007, 10:13 PM   #1
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I keep my Scamp inside my garage, and have not had any mouse problems yet, but I'm considering keeping it in a remote location, mostly unattended through the summer. But I'm a little concerned about mice getting in and making themselves at home. I want to avoid that, and for now will just tow it back home with me. I see several places they could get in.
1. Around the outside refrigerator access.
2. Through the electric cord opening.
3. The most obvious is around the poorly fitting entrance door.

A screen could probably be used to seal the first.
I have read about a marine electrical receptacle with male contacts that seals the opening and allows detaching the cord.
The entrance door seems to be the most likely way for them to get in. Those little buggers can get through amazingly small openings! Even if the door fit tightly, it would surprise me if it would keep them out.

Another idea I had, if the trailer was parked on a concrete slab, I wonder if you could use 6 inch metal flashing, stood on edge on the concrete, to build a short wall around the trailer. I don't know if mice could climb it or not. If not, then it would keep them away from any access points to the trailer.

I could just feed them lots of D-Con, but that would possibly just give me dead mice in the trailer.

I'd like to hear anybody's experiece or ideas on the subject.
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:27 PM   #2
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If you use poison, you want the kind that makes them dehydrate and leave in search of water.

From my experiences with Cape Breton jumping mice, pet rats and other mice, I would say that 6" is not enough. I once had a mouse in the back of my pickup, chewing up my stuf. I slowly emptied the bed and the mouse was up in the front, trying to leap up to the end of the rolled inside edge -- It finally made it, and that leap was only about 1.5" short of the full pickup bed depth -- If it had been starting from a 2x4, it would have been able to leap over the tailgate!
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:43 PM   #3
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I have read about a marine electrical receptacle with male contacts that seals the opening and allows detaching the cord.
The entrance door seems to be the most likely way for them to get in. Those little buggers can get through amazingly small openings! Even if the door fit tightly, it would surprise me if it would keep them out.
One idea I'd considered for the door was to tape thick poly around the door frame (the recessed edge that the door seals against)... It depends upon which surface you have your door seal. On mine, I put the door seal foam on the door itself leaving bare fiberglass on the trailer. In the winter, I plan to seal the trailer in exactly this way.

As far as the gaping hole for the power cord, I bought a replacement one of those and using lots of epoxy, glued in a male 30A 125V twist lock connector. I then made a couple of pigtails with female 30A 125V connectors on one end and 15A/125V & RV connectors on the other. I did something similar on our old 1300 and it held up well over 5 years. When I got my 1700, I found all sorts of inset carcii inside the storage compartment along with 20 feet of power cable. I've since reclaimed that otherwise wasted storage compartment.

Here's the inside:

http://www.beer.org/gallery/Boler17-refresh/IMG_5456

and the outside:

http://www.beer.org/gallery/Boler17-refresh/IMG_5460

I'm sure there are more correct ways to solve the problem such as the marine connector...
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:12 PM   #4
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We have had several travel trailers, RV's, and seasonal trailers and never had a problem with mice at all.

What we always do is put out a few moth balls in strategic places, and some of those Bounty or Febreeze type dryer sheets in with clothes, and in cupboards etc.
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:26 PM   #5
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I know rats aren't mice, but I tried the mothball trick to keep Ratbertha out from under some furniture and all she did was carry them back to her cage to store there. Cute, but not effective. She was annoyed when I took them away.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:33 PM   #6
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We sealed the old receptacle hole and installed one of those sealed receptacles that we purchased at Camp World. Well worth the effort because it keeps the ants out too and got rid of the long cord under the seat storage area so we can store more crap in itís place. Just carry the power cord in the back of the truck.

Mothballs: Killed 2 cats that we had. Very poisonous should they ingest it.

Boric acid powder kills ants and other bugs and we use it when we see the ants. The best way to keep the ants out is to spray insecticide around the tires and anything else that touches the ground. Stops them before they enter.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:59 PM   #7
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Get one of these.....

Exterminator in training.


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Old 06-22-2007, 04:05 PM   #8
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It should be noted that different poisons work best for different kinds of ants, so some kinds (like carpenter ants) require specialized poisons. Check with a place like Home Depot for more info.
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:20 AM   #9
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For a season or two, a few bars of Irish Spring soap seems to keep rodents at bay. A brother with a mouse-attractive cottage tried it and swore by it as the miracle cure. But then, the mice started nibbling at the soap. Had they developed an imunity to the odour? or does the soap need renewing? It's at least worth trying as an experiment.

Diane & Des
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:26 AM   #10
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Doesn't work for ants! I have one in my soapdish in the athroom, and I go in there in the morning to find it covered in black spots.

I hear little tiny voices singing skating songs too...
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:08 AM   #11
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For a season or two, a few bars of Irish Spring soap seems to keep rodents at bay. A brother with a mouse-attractive cottage tried it and swore by it as the miracle cure. But then, the mice started nibbling at the soap. Had they developed an imunity to the odour? or does the soap need renewing? It's at least worth trying as an experiment.

Diane & Des
Thats what i use and i live close to a open field.I do have field mice in the area.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:41 AM   #12
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...just yesterday I noticed a rat snooping around under our trailer.
Not sure how to keep them away, but my .22 is looking good. 'They' say that if you see a rat out in the daytime, you got REAL problems!!! I know that moth balls will make mice vacate but I was told that mothballs made today do NOT contain the chemicals that repell rodents! SORRY to hear they got to a family pet though. We have found that IF you suspect mice GETTING IN to stuff ALL (even the smallest hole) holes with SOS (not just steel wool) pads. Something about the soap keeps them from even trying to gnaw at the pads, and the pads themselves stop the critters from chewing larger holes.

We had carpenter ants in our stickie (on a pad in a heavily forested parksite) and got rid of them with a combination of borax and sugar!

Today we are moving the Egg from its current resting place to try an discourage the rats from gnawing their way inside, and besides that its time to start re-stockin it for our July4th outing.
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:36 AM   #13
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...just yesterday I noticed a rat snooping around under our trailer.
Not sure how to keep them away, but my .22 is looking good. 'They' say that if you see a rat out in the daytime, you got REAL problems!!! I know that moth balls will make mice vacate but I was told that mothballs made today do NOT contain the chemicals that repell rodents! SORRY to hear they got to a family pet though. We have found that IF you suspect mice GETTING IN to stuff ALL (even the smallest hole) holes with SOS (not just steel wool) pads. Something about the soap keeps them from even trying to gnaw at the pads, and the pads themselves stop the critters from chewing larger holes.

We had carpenter ants in our stickie (on a pad in a heavily forested parksite) and got rid of them with a combination of borax and sugar!

Today we are moving the Egg from its current resting place to try an discourage the rats from gnawing their way inside, and besides that its time to start re-stockin it for our July4th outing.
Doug,
One thing you might try for rats is a garbage can half-filled with water. You put a plank across the top and spread bird seen on top of the water. The rats lean off the plank and try to reach the bird seed. they fall in and drown and, over here in the Gulf Islands at least, we can dispose of them in the bush where the ravens and the turkey vultures clean them up. Since there's no poison in them, there's no risk to the birds.
cheers
Ian
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:19 PM   #14
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I hear little tiny voices singing skating songs too...
It escapes me how you could possibly hear little tiny voices over the louder voices that seem to always be there in your head...

In an early 1900's book that I read as a child, when it was already an antique on the shelf in the library, they proposed a barn rat trap consisting of a wooden rain barrel (this was before the advent of the metal drum), a slanted board to get up to the top, a covering of stiff, slick, treated paper with a large X cut in the center and bait suspended on a string over the center of the X. The rats come up the board, go out on the X, which bends and sends them sliding into the barrel. They didn't mention it, but I'm sure a siphon hose would come in handy later for emptying the barrel to remove the rats.

Rats are indeed colony creatures, so if you see one, there will be a nest within foraging distance.
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