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Old 07-09-2015, 02:20 PM   #1
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Looking
New York
Posts: 18
Hello and some questions

Hey folks,
I've been lurking on this site for a few weeks now. Finally decided to join because I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on a FGRV. We had a popup that we camped in for a few years. Several winters ago, the mice got into and started chewing the canvas. It wasn't totally destroyed so I got one more season out of it. The following winter, the vermin totally destroyed it. Since then, I've been looking around for campers. I knew this much; since there is just my wife, son and I, I wanted it light enough that I didn't have to go buy a big truck to pull it. And there was NO WAY I was going to buy another pop up.

I've looked at teardrops (I've only ever found 1 model that would accommodate 3 people and at $17K to start, it was a non-starter for me). I've looked at some of the older retro campers (Scotty, etc.) which I love. But, the leaks and wood rot scare me. I've looked at the aluminum campers (Camplite etc.) but their starting price is a bit outside of my budget right now. And so, here I am. And I'm about to open Pandora's box...

I've been looking at the vintage model Bolers, Scamps, Trilliums, Cadets etc. because that is more in line with my budget, fiberglass won't rot, and there is much less that the mice can chew!! If I were able to find a comparable model and year between these three brands that were in roughly the same shape and price, should I favor one over the others? Were there any design "flaws" in one particular brand that would cause one to maybe avoid them?

I've found the checklist on this site as well as the one specifically for Bolers so I know what to look at on a specific trailer, but just curious as to whether or not I should maybe avoid certain manufacturers or eras.

Thanks,
And I'll continue to read.

Brian
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:24 PM   #2
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I don't think any one of the vintage brands is inherently superior to any other. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. I am thinking a Trillium might be a bit more resistant to mouse infiltration due to its full bathtub floor design, but no trailer is mouse-proof. Better to choose based on location, condition, price, and how well its design fits your family and camping style.

My experience with mice leads me to make several suggestions. (1) Keep the trailer liberally supplied with Decon, mothballs, and anything else that might repel or kill the pests. (2) Remove anything removable that can be chewed for nesting material: cushions, sleeping bags, towels, paper goods. (3) Check the trailer regularly for signs of activity, especially during peak spring nesting season. (4) Park away from tall grass, debris piles, sheds, and anything else that provides cover. (5) Keep it clear of snow as much as possible in the winter.

Good news is that although mice have managed to infiltrate both our cars, so far our Scamp remains mouse-free.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:09 PM   #3
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Looking
New York
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I know mice are a hazard to anything. They really nailed my lawn mower this past winter.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:52 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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For mice repellent I use a product called "Fresh Cab" inside, along with some traps inside too, both the spring type and sticky type. But what may work the best, and was recommended by a RV dealer, was to put poison in containers that other animals can't get at and put those containers UNDER the trailer near the wheels. I use something like a tupperware container, butter tub, or similar with a hole cut in the side for mice to get in to the poison. A brick on top keeps the container in place. The idea is to kill the mice BEFORE they get in. It's worked for me.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:58 PM   #5
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We use an pest control service to control scorpions and spiders (found a brown recluse a while back ) in and around our house. They also provide bait boxes for mice that we place around our house and storage areas. I didn't think about putting them by the trailer wheels Good idea!
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:00 PM   #6
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
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Casitas also have a fiberglass bottom.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:31 PM   #7
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Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
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The universal mouse access point on any trailer without a detachable power cord is that little plastic door flap where your power cord pulls out. If you keep yours plugged in that must be blocked off.

I always have a detachable cord. Marinco makes a nice marine bulkhead connector with a flip cover: http://www.amazon.com/Marinco-Valox-...s=marinco+plug
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
The universal mouse access point on any trailer without a detachable power cord is that little plastic door flap where your power cord pulls out. If you keep yours plugged in that must be blocked off.
Yeap, I made a little widget out of plastic to fit into that opening in the electric door. In fact, I made 2...one for the 30 amp cord and one for a regular extension cord.

While there appears to be an opening below the cord, there is not. The door frame is there so there is no way a mouse can get in.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:23 PM   #9
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Yeap, I made a little widget out of plastic to fit into that opening in the electric door. In fact, I made 2...one for the 30 amp cord and one for a regular extension cord.

While there appears to be an opening below the cord, there is not. The door frame is there so there is no way a mouse can get in.
Hey, I LOVE widgets!!!!!!
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:59 AM   #10
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Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
The universal mouse access point on any trailer without a detachable power cord is that little plastic door flap where your power cord pulls out. If you keep yours plugged in that must be blocked off.

I always have a detachable cord. Marinco makes a nice marine bulkhead connector with a flip cover: http://www.amazon.com/Marinco-Valox-...s=marinco+plug
That is the same unit I put on our egg. Can't beat it, and not terribly expensive.

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Old 07-10-2015, 08:09 AM   #11
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Looking
New York
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Thanks for your feedback everyone. Supposed to be going to look at a Trillium tomorrow. We'll see how things look. I've got my evaluation checklist printed and ready to go.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:22 AM   #12
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Name: Tap
Trailer: 2015 17' Casita Independence, 2010 Escape 19’
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Joy A, wow! Great widget.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:53 AM   #13
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Trailer: SOLD - Lil Snoozy 2014
East Tennessee
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We've been where you are now. Each to thier own but we went with the Lil-Snoozy. Should fill most of your requirements. Has no holes for mice to find. The power cord storage come with a widget. No doors for hot water heater, furnace or refrigerator because it's all electric/battery or back up generator. We love our Lil Snoozy!
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:58 AM   #14
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: Shopping for new RV
North Carolina
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Mouse control.....first you cannot keep them out. The best defense is lots of Bounce Dryer Sheets and a product that comes in pouches that contain natural repellents that smell like Balsam Pine (might be the product "Fresh Cab" mentioned in an earlier post) can't remember the name for sure!

Remove all food products....do not use baited traps...the smell of the food bait attracts the little invaders! Even the mouse poisons contain a food product and attract mice.

The Bounce Dryer Sheets work! Put them everywhere!...inside and outside under the trailer...at the entry point of the power cord etc...the smell does repel mice.

Good Luck
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Old 07-10-2015, 03:37 PM   #15
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
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I found that removing all food and cleaning thoroughly before storage helps. Also liberally spread mothballs and dcon. One repels, the other kills. Last thing, I did find a nest one season in a roll of (destroyed) toilet paper. I decided to leave it and it was the only rodent damage there was despite 5 years under a tarp in a field.

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Old 07-10-2015, 04:01 PM   #16
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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Others have reported the mice using the Bounce sheets to make a nest. Never tried them myself so have no direct experience either way. Had a mouse chew a half dollar size hole in the canvas of my daughters pop-up a few years ago. After that is when my local RV dealer told me about poison under the trailer by the wheels. Read in a car magazine about the Fresh Cab. No mouse problems since using both. Bought a bucket of poison pellets from Tractor Supply ( they have the Fresh Cab too ) and a bucket of chunks. The mice seem to like the pellets best.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:40 AM   #17
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Poison pellets attract mice (contain food and therefore the food odor attracts rodents). They look like they are working because you see feeding activity!...think about it!!
Moth balls have been proven not to repel mice...they and their odor causing chemical are harmful to humans not mice.
The "Fresh Cab" product has worked for me in my travel trailer along with Bounce dryer sheets and most important...REMOVAL OF ALL FOOD PRODUCTS, including rodent baits that contain a food attractant along with the poison.
Put dryer sheets at all points of possible entry...keep in mind that mice can squeeze through any opening no matter how small....you can not deny them entry unless you use repellent (odor) products that they find offensive.

Many years ago I ended the over winter mouse damage to my tractors by using Bounce dryer sheets around the engine and wiring....the stuff works if it is fresh and has lots of odor. I hate these little devils!!
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:54 AM   #18
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Going back to your original question, in vintage FGRV's it's all about condition, condition and condition. While my 1973 Hunter needed very few structural repairs, I have seen other vintage FGRV's with everything from broken door hinges to cracked frames.


That said, most brands of vintage FGRV's are fairly equal in quality, but a thorough inspection is your best friend. If you are unfamiliar with how to inspect a trailer you might want to find someone to go with you who has some experience with FGRV's or at least with RV's in general.


BTW: What will you be towing with???? Some FGRV's are a bit heavier than they appear and weight is always a considerations.



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Old 07-11-2015, 07:03 PM   #19
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Looking
New York
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'll be starting a new thread with pics. I bought a '79 Trillium 4500 that is (in my uneducated opinion) in excellent condition. Take a look and see what you think.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:04 PM   #20
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Looking
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
BTW: What will you be towing with???? Some FGRV's are a bit heavier than they appear and weight is always a considerations.
I'll be towing my 4500 with a '09 Forester. From what I've read as far as the towing capacity vs. the weight of the Trillium, I think I am well within tolerances. Thoughts?
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