Evicting mice from Little Bear!
Sometimes you assume that just because you’ve gone some place tons of times before without anything bad happening that you’ll get the same outcome the next time you go there. Well, that’s what we thought as we headed out to one of our favorite boondocking spots in Colorado. After about two weeks of being in our spot we woke one night to something most RV’ers probably dread—a mouse in the camper!
The mouse ran all the way up the edge of Mandy’s side of the bed and then scurried back underneath. That was the last we saw of that mouse for the night, but we didn’t take it as a sign that it was gone. We headed straight to the hardware store to buy traps!
There’s so many types of traps out there, it’s hard to choose. Here’s what we saw at the store:
We bought both the wooden and plastic snap traps. Ultimately, the classic wooden Victor snap traps baited with peanut butter to be the most powerful and effective.
Next, we tried spraying rodent repellent around the wheels and all four stabilizers of the camper. Rodent repellent’s are usually some sort of concentrated peppermint or cinnamon oil. We used:
Other rodent repellents that may or may not work include:
Over the next three days we proceeded to catch 21 mice! Mandy decided that after three sleepless nights enough was enough. So, we headed to her parents house to begin rodent-proofing the camper.
STEP 1: CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN!
The first step was cleaning the camper. If you know you have a rodent problem or even suspect it, then you’ll definitely want to do a DEEP clean of your RV—and disinfect EVERYTHING! Doing this will also allow you to inspect every nook-and-cranny to make sure you don’t have a nest anywhere.
We removed ALL of our belongings from the camper and washed ALL of our clothes, dishes, and bedding. We also used upholstery cleaner on all of the cushions and mattresses. With everything out of the camper we first did a quick vacuum to pick up all the dirt, debris, and most importantly—mouse droppings! To access everything in our nüCamp T@B 400 we had a few panels that needed to be removed and hatch doors that needed to be opened:
- Panel under the large fridge or closet
- Panel under the bathroom floor
- Hatch under the door-side dinette seat that access behind the fuse box
- All three compartments under the bed
Now that the camper was empty and everything accessible it was time to start scrubbing! We basically cleaned the camper from the top, down using the following cleaners:
STEP 2: SEAL UNDERBELLY
Next up was sealing off every possible entry point for rodents on our T@B 400. There were two main things we had to worry about here: rodents entering the underbelly of the camper and rodents entering the cabin of the camper. Rodents will first enter the camper underbelly before finding a way into the cabin. So, we had to seal up both of these types of access.
To seal the camper underbelly we did a lot of crawling around on the ground. Eventually, we settled on the following entry points:
- Big hole on each side of the trailer frame directly behind the wheels
- Big hole on each side of the trailer frame on the hitch-side of the wheels
- Big hole near where each of the front stabilizers are mounted
- Hole where fresh water drain valve comes out
- Gaps between the screws holding on the corrugated plastic covering the camper underbelly
We just used to methods for sealing off all of these access points:
- Metal Gutter Guard—cut to size and applied with Gorilla Glue contractor‘s glue in a caulking gun. After the glue dried white we spray painted it black to match the trailer frame
- DAP Touch ‘n Foam with Mouse Shield—this stuff works great for sealing off small holes and even works on larger holes. It’s a tad messy, so practice before committing to spraying it on your camper!
STEP 3: SEAL RV CABIN
In the event a rodent is able to get around all of these seals and gain access to the underbelly we decided to seal off all known access points from the underbelly to the main cabin. These will differ based on the model and model year of your nuCamp camper. So, inspect the camper and look EVERYWHERE! In our 2020 T@B 400 we identified the following concern areas:
- A big hole under the large refrigerator where the fresh water fill line exits the cabin. This hold had some foam-looking insulation that appeared chewed by the mice.
- A hole under the bathroom for the shower drain
- A hold under the bed by the air conditioner
We sealed all of these holes with the spray foam and used a small piece of the metal gutter guard on the larger hold under the refrigerator.
Hopefully with all of the work we put into rodent proofing the camper we won’t be seeing another mouse any time soon. After rodent proofing the camper we headed straight back to the same campsite to test out our work. No mice so far…
So, here’s to rodent-free camping!