Bears and the Casita trailer - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:03 AM   #1
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Name: Melissa
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe
California
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Smile Bears and the Casita trailer

Hi there -
Just got back from a trip to the Big Pine area in the Eastern Sierra, and we had an encounter with a bear in the Casita. Woke to a scratching sound and realized a bear was trying to get into the refrigerator from the outside vent panel. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Luckily, I opened the door and scared it away, and there was no damage. But I guess from now on in bear country I will store food in the bear box as recommended. I thought I was a little safer in the hard-sided trailer, but I guess not! Bears do have an incredible sense of smell, and they can smell the food through the outside vents - so beware!!
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:54 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1999 Casita 16' "Snufkin"
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Good to know!

We are planning a 2 week camping trip to Eastern Sierras and I already read up on bears and storing food in bear lockers but your story makes it so much more real! Sorry it happened to you but many THANKS for sharing and keeping others aware!
Does anyone have any other stories/advice about camping in bear country, particularly with small children?
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:16 PM   #3
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Wow thatís amazing !
Iíve camped in many bear country parks and never had or heard anything like this
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Old 05-26-2021, 12:11 AM   #4
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Crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle.
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Steve and Tali - Dogs: Reacher and Lucy and our beloved Storm and Maggie (waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)
2008 Outlaw Oliver Legacy Elite & 2014 Outlaw Oliver Legacy Elite II
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:19 AM   #5
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
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Bears

Buy a cylinder of bear spray and a holster to carry it. Make sure itís available and easily deployed. Understand how to use it.
Review the lyrics to ďTie me Kangaroo downĒ
Pay attention to the line ďSo we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde and thatís it hanging in the shed. Use the bear boxes, Camp near the host and ask them if they have been having any problems with bears. Camp away from sloppy campers. Bears can smell strawberry jelly and bacon grease from long distances. Make your teenagers sleep in the camper, not a tent with a loaf of bread for a pillow. Donít get between a sow and a cub. They donít poop in the woods if they can find a clearing.
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:26 AM   #6
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Be careful when dropping your trash off at the dumpsters. Bears like to hang out around them since people don't properly dispose of their trash at the dumpsters (personal experience).
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:29 AM   #7
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Name: John
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Louisiana
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Originally Posted by Bluemoon53 View Post
Hi there -
Woke to a scratching sound and realized a bear was trying to get into the refrigerator from the outside vent panel.
In bear country; I would bring one of those. Or both !
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Old 05-26-2021, 09:37 AM   #8
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Name: carolyn
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Crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle.

That's the folks living in an igloo. "Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside". Funny!
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Old 05-26-2021, 10:58 AM   #9
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Name: Stephen
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Tennessee
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My thought is that bears probably would be put off by a porch light coming on over the refrigerator. I'm swapping out the anemic one from Castia and fitting a floodlight - one for the front too.
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:13 AM   #10
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Name: Michael
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Alberta
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As an avid boondocker I've seen many bears, both blacks and grizzlies, over the years. I've gone outside in the morning to find muddy paw prints all over the exterior of my trailer from bears standing and leaning against my unit as they sniffed around the windows.
And make no mistake about it, if a bear wants in to your unit, it will happen. A bear doesn't need a door, they can make their own door any place they want too.
The only interest a bear has with your trailer or vehicle is FOOD. Bears have an incredible sense of smell and when they smell food they want it. The solution to this problem is obvious. No food odors, bears will have no interest in your trailer.
We have never cooked in our trailer. We do boil the kettle for coffee but never cook and never leave any open food inside unless we are there.
Bear sprays, air horns etc. may scare bears away temporarily but if they smell food they will be back. Eliminate the food odors, eliminate the bears.
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:22 AM   #11
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Acquaintance who is a bear biologist considers black bears the most dangerous of the North American bears. You KNOW a grizzly or polar bear looks at you as dinner. Black bears are much more unpredictable so never let your guard down.

At Voyageur national park in Minnesota, the local town had open dumpsters outside the park and considered the bears who dined there a tourist attraction. (Really???) Park managers not impressed! That was 30 years ago - not sure what they do now.
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:00 PM   #12
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Name: Karin & Don
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Originally Posted by Jennifer Minogue View Post
Acquaintance who is a bear biologist considers black bears the most dangerous of the North American bears. You KNOW a grizzly or polar bear looks at you as dinner. Black bears are much more unpredictable so never let your guard down.

At Voyageur national park in Minnesota, the local town had open dumpsters outside the park and considered the bears who dined there a tourist attraction. (Really???) Park managers not impressed! That was 30 years ago - not sure what they do now.
When I was a kid, Yosemite had bleachers at the dumpsters and in the early evening we would all go down to see the bears (and cubs) chow down. There was a fence but I don't think anything kept the bears from walking around it. Karin
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:14 PM   #13
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New Orleans John
What are those devices you show ? one looks like a fence charge. the other a motion sensor alarm ? names, models, etc. ?
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:34 PM   #14
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beara

Last September in June Lake, a bear opened my locked camper shell and removed a tote with all my dog food. Was told by a neighbor that bears can open a car/truck door with their tongue. So don't leave snacks or food in the vehicle.
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Old 05-26-2021, 02:23 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Jennifer Minogue;815433]Acquaintance who is a bear biologist considers black bears the most dangerous of the North American bears. You KNOW a grizzly or polar bear looks at you as dinner. Black bears are much more unpredictable so never let your guard down.

Jennifer, I would have to agree with your acquaintance, black bears are very unpredictable. Having said that, if you have something any bear wants they will likely take it. I've had many black bears enter my campsite and were quite difficult to chase off and usually came back.

I've had grizzlies pass through/alongside my campsite but were never interested in us or anything we had. On my last camping trip I drove up the side of a mountain to pick some raspberries for pancakes the next morning. When I got to the berry patch but before I shut off my ATV I noticed something moving in the bushes and watched to see a grizzly sow stand up. She was a young healthy bear and stood at least 8 feet tall.
Then I saw more movement in the bushes and out came two fat little cubs who walked toward the sow. Suddenly I realized I didn't really need any berries. As quickly as I could I shifted into reverse and backed away until I had room to turn around. As I drove away I could see the bear still standing where she was in my rear view mirror.
On level ground I can outrun any animal on my ATV but on a rough trail I wouldn't have a chance against the sow.
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:51 PM   #16
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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If that is a Dometic Fridge; Food odors inside the box, should not be detectible at the outside vents. And that part of the fridge should be sealed from the inside of the trailer.
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:33 PM   #17
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Forgot to take the feeder down. Oops
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
If that is a Dometic Fridge; Food odors inside the box, should not be detectible at the outside vents. And that part of the fridge should be sealed from the inside of the trailer.
I was wondering the same.. Not only is the back of the fridge sealed from the cabin, but the fridge door has pretty tight seals, and cold items emit fewer odors. Of course few seals are perfect, and bears have an amazing sense of smell, butÖ

Itís possible that whatever smells were attracting the bear came from sources other than the fridge contents. Dry foods stored in unsealed compartments, maybe, trash with food residue, cooking equipment, or lingering cooking odors seem more likely.

In any case, that was uncomfortably close. I hope you notified park management. They do need to know about bear encounters so they can track patterns and provide appropriate warnings, and they may have some specific suggestions for the future.

Drought conditions never help. How are things up that way headed into summer?
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Old 05-27-2021, 10:05 AM   #19
tua
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Name: Manley
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As a youth my now son-in-law went camping with a youth group. The leaders/drivers instructed them NOT to leave ANY food in the cars in the parking lot while they camped on an island (they took canoes to their campsites). When they returned to the parking lot a week later, the car my son-in-law rode in had the door ripped off. Seems he left cookies in the back seat. The driver was justifiably furious and son-in-law had to find another adult leader to ride home with.

As Mike_L said......."And make no mistake about it, if a bear wants in to your unit, it will happen. A bear doesn't need a door, they can make their own door any place they want too."
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Old 05-27-2021, 10:28 AM   #20
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Name: Jann
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Originally Posted by Bluemoon53 View Post
Hi there -
Just got back from a trip to the Big Pine area in the Eastern Sierra, and we had an encounter with a bear in the Casita. Woke to a scratching sound and realized a bear was trying to get into the refrigerator from the outside vent panel. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Luckily, I opened the door and scared it away, and there was no damage. But I guess from now on in bear country I will store food in the bear box as recommended. I thought I was a little safer in the hard-sided trailer, but I guess not! Bears do have an incredible sense of smell, and they can smell the food through the outside vents - so beware!!
So you are expected to unload your fridge and put it in lockers to get warm and spoil. That is insane. You can't unload all food from your trailer if you are traveling for a long time and put it in a locker. For us it would take 2-3 lockers most likely. If in a tent yes food into the locker as well as an ice chest if not inside. Food in a fridge should not smell outside if it is covered. We've camped all over Canada and the northern US with bears around and have not had any problems. I've never heard of emptying your RV of food.
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