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Bluemoon53 05-25-2021 11:03 AM

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!!:eek::eek:

Alex in LA 05-25-2021 11:54 AM

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!:omy
Does anyone have any other stories/advice about camping in bear country, particularly with small children?

CalCop 05-25-2021 09:16 PM

Wow thatís amazing !
Iíve camped in many bear country parks and never had or heard anything like this :omy

Steve Outlaw 05-26-2021 12:11 AM

Crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle.

Iowa Dave 05-26-2021 08:19 AM

Bears
 
1 Attachment(s)
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.
Iowa Dave

Alex Adams 05-26-2021 08:26 AM

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).

New Orleans John 05-26-2021 08:29 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluemoon53 (Post 815255)
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 !

garycarolyn 05-26-2021 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Outlaw (Post 815357)
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!

Stephen_Albers 05-26-2021 10:58 AM

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.

Mike_L 05-26-2021 11:13 AM

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.

Jennifer Minogue 05-26-2021 11:22 AM

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.

Kardon 05-26-2021 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jennifer Minogue (Post 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.

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

Kenny Strong 05-26-2021 01:14 PM

New Orleans John
What are those devices you show ? one looks like a fence charge. the other a motion sensor alarm ? names, models, etc. ?

Sally Stoner 05-26-2021 01:34 PM

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.

Mike_L 05-26-2021 02:23 PM

[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.

Wayne Collins 05-26-2021 04:51 PM

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.

Raz 05-26-2021 05:33 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Forgot to take the feeder down. Oops
Attachment 141133Attachment 141134

Jon in AZ 05-27-2021 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wayne Collins (Post 815489)
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?

tua 05-27-2021 10:05 AM

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."

Jann Todd 05-27-2021 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluemoon53 (Post 815255)
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!!:eek::eek:

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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