How to keep mice out of the camper? Avoid a mouse problem in the first place! Here’s how to keep mice out of your caravan or motorhome for good…
Mice may be small and cute, but they can cause great damage and havoc.
Jennifer and I have heard horror stories over the years of mice chewing through wires, insulation and walls. Not to mention the nests they build that can clog vents and wreak havoc on your appliances and engine.
Even a dead mouse can cause a stench! Anyone who has returned to their RV after storing it for the winter months only to be faced with a terrible smell knows what I’m talking about.
So whether you have a rodent problem or want to prevent one in the first place, here are some tried and true tips to keep them out of your RV.
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5 preventive measures to keep mice out of the caravan
The best way to prevent a mouse infestation is to keep them out of your RV. This means blocking any potential entry points that a mouse could use to infiltrate your platform.
There are several methods to do this. You will likely need to use more than one depending on the type of holes and entry points you are dealing with.
1. Learn how mice get in
You’ll see in the next section that the first step in preventing mice from entering your RV is to look for entry points. But that means you have to know what to look for!
When searching, remember that mice have collapsible rib cages. Why is it important? Because that means if his head can fit in a hole, so can the rest of his body.
A good rule of thumb: if it can fit a pencil, it can fit a mouse.
So when looking for potential entry points, you need to look for even the smallest holes and cracks that a flexible mouse can exploit.
2. Listen outside your RV for possible entry points
Now that you know what to look for, the first step is to scour the outside of your RV for small cracks or small openings.
I recommend bringing a flashlight and brightly colored tape so you can find and mark all possible entry points. You can then determine what materials you need to cover or fill the openings.
Since mice often enter your RV from the floor, you’ll need to crawl under your RV to search there as well. Or hire someone else to do the job…even if that’s a grandchild. (By the way, I say “most of the time” because I’ve heard of mice falling from tree branches into RVs.)
If you use jacks or stands to search under your RV, please follow all safety precautions and use safety precautions so the RV can’t crush you! Unlike mice, you don’t have a collapsible ribcage!
3. Seal all holes and cracks
The easiest way to seal openings is to use spray foam, RV sealant or putty, or steel wool. Or a combination of all three. Just fill or cover the small holes with these materials to make sure mice can’t get in.
It’s a good idea to bring a cloth with you and wear gloves, as these materials can get messy (or scratchy in the case of steel wool). The last thing you want to do is make a mess of yourself and your RV when you’re trying to upgrade it.
Note that steel wool is a good choice if you want to remove it easily later. For example, you may want to use the hatches while your RV is in storage that you will then remove before your next camping trip. Just be sure to mark these areas with brightly colored tape so you remember to remove the steel wool.
As an added bonus, ultra-fine steel wool is also great for cleaning, sanding and polishing. You can use it to clean your RV windshield and more.
4. Use mouse deterrents
Another effective way to keep mice away from your RV is to make them unattractive. You may wonder what deters critters that feast on trash, but there are plenty of options.
Of course, there is debate about the effectiveness of some of them, but there is not always a perfect tried and true method. I guess individual mice have their own preferences (and dislikes). But the following are supposed to help deter most of these little critters
Here are some mouse repellents and deterrents that some people swear by:
- Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil
- Peppermint oil spray (apparently mice don’t like peppermint!)
- Dryer sheets (fabric softener sheets)
- Moth balls
- Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent
There is an old wives tale that bars of Irish spring soap will deter mice, but it seems the myth has been busted. However, I know several RVers who still swear by it. I would be curious to hear from more RVers about this. If you’ve tried using Irish Spring soap as a mouse deterrent, please share your results in the comments below.
Keep in mind that any deterrent that uses strong scents or essential oils will lose effectiveness over time. You will need to replace these scented repellants on a regular basis.
5. “Burn” all bridges
Mice can jump quite high (13 inches!), but prefer to climb. Therefore, you need to make sure that there are no “bridges” that allow you to easily access your RV from the ground. That includes dangling tubes… and tires.
While you can prevent the tubes from hanging, what the hell are you supposed to do with your tires?!
Fortunately, one of our podcast listeners named Bob shared a valuable tip with us. You can click on this link to hear him explain it in detail. In short, wrap sheet metal around the tires. Mice cannot climb the surface of the slipper.
Tips and proper care for storing your RV
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