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Old 11-15-2002, 09:01 PM   #1
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Stainless steel wool and mice

Hi Leigh,

I thought I would put this on a seperate thread. The other is getting full. I found a source for stainless steel wool at McMaster Carr, the web site is www.mcmaster.com . It was about $15 a pound. I think I will order a pound of it. It is more than I need for the trailer, but I have other uses for it too. They also sell aluminum wool. 1/3 the weight. (for those pushing the limits)

Check out all the other interesting stuff you can get there. I am still browsing it.

For this winter I used regular steel wool. If you are not towing the trailer it should be no problem. By the time spring comes I will have a rivet gun and know how to use it, and I can fix some loose skin on the belly pan. Pay attention to the front of the A frame, and the plug in cord at the back, I have heard they crawl up the extension cord and get in around the holding tanks. You should not worry so much since your trailer will be cold this winter. I am heating mine up to work on it when I can. That invites them in.

We live on a river, and the rodents are a battle. Hope you have good luck.

Do not try to pull the larger sizes of steel wool apart by hand. Always use scissors. I tried to rip some apart that way and it cut through my leather glove and gave me a nasty cut.

Have fun!

JimW
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Old 11-15-2002, 09:05 PM   #2
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Thanks for the source, JimW!

I couldn't find aluminum wool, so I bought a roll of aluminum screen, cut it into strips and stuffed that in there.
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Old 11-15-2002, 09:11 PM   #3
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Wouldn't dissimilar metals like stainless steel wool or brass wool cause corrosion?

Shari
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Old 11-15-2002, 09:56 PM   #4
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Hi Shari,

Good question, I really don't know. This was a suggestion from the VACList. I have not tried it myself. This gets into some chemistry stuff that I would have to look up. The grade of stainless might make a difference, there are varying amounts of nickle in it. The idea was to take a large opening, shove it full of stainless wool, and shoot it full of that canned insulation. It might be reasonably insulated from electrolysis. Aluminum and copper is a problem with wiring. We are just plugging holes with stainless and aluminum. Maybe you can get further information? If you think about it most of your aluminum trailer is mounted to a steel frame with rivets or other fasteners. If it were a big problem I'm sure we would have heard about it.

After looking at my belly pan, I'm happy for any assurance.

Thanks,

JimW
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Old 11-15-2002, 10:05 PM   #5
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By the way, I have noticed all ground wires go to the steel frame, and not the aluminum. I'm just a newby here learning. Not the guy who knows it all.

JimW
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:58 PM   #6
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Movin on

Hey JimW - Thanks for moving the thread. I was having a hard time getting to the bottom of the other with all the photos posted!! My computer is not working well for some reason, keeps locking up when pics are involved.

Thanks also for the source for the stainless wool. Not having "Mini" close by to keep track of is probibly my cause for worry. I liked being able to go have a cup of coffee with her in the morning, but living in a neighborhood that frowns on "old trailers" parked in a driveway has made her a country girl. Oh well, such is the stuff of life!! Anyway, thanks for taking the time for all of us who might need it. Now I can move on to the getting it and using it part. GTG Leigh
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Old 12-02-2002, 03:22 PM   #7
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new question

Jim - I was looking into the purchase of the stainless wool and then started looking into aluminum because of the lighter weight and it says it "won't burn", which I thought "hmmm", but noticed you said something about aluminum/and/or copper and wireing. Would it be bad to get the aluminum wool and put it where there is possible contact with wires - it will short them out?? We are going to use "Mini" at Christmas while visiting relatives and I want to get this to take with us so everybody can help "stuff the trailer" along with the bird!! What a treat!! Leigh
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Old 12-02-2002, 06:01 PM   #8
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Hi Leigh,

It will not bother your wiring if the wiring is in good shape. Just don't put around bare hot connections, like the back of the reefer. From what I understand the wiring runs through the top centerline of the trailer, and drops down the sides. Hopefully there is no wiring under the bellypan. These are all things I have glanced at briefly while going through tons of posts. Use at your own risk.

My last comment was more of a question than anything else. I was hoping Shari had more information. Since then I have found a bit more information on the subject, but not much. 120 V grounds to the steel frame. 12 V grounds wherever from what I see on mine. From what I have read steel will turn to mush when in wet contact with aluminum, but stainless is ok. Use your own judgement, I have no reference to quote. It is all burried somewhere in the vaclist. We have always used steel wool for mouse proofing, so it made sense. If aluminum wool does not burn it might be better. One thing I thought about is if the underlying insulation gets wet, and the bottom is too tight, it might take a long time to dry out. You might wish you had mice. lol Always questions and few answers.

It took me 15 minutes and about three handfulls of steel wool to do mine. This spring I will cut some patches and rivet the cracks up. If you have a lot to do you might consider just fixing the bottom. I would be a little nervous about lots of hands poking stuff in places I did not know about. I'm just a newbie too, and look things over carefully before I do anything.

Wow, another long minuet on board!

JimW
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Old 12-02-2002, 06:58 PM   #9
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If aluminum and steel are in contact the aluminum will corrode badly (galvanic reaction), eventually becoming a flaky white mess, aluminum's version of rust. The steel also rusts, but as the aluminum is thinner it will be in worse shape.

The frame and shell are electrically the same, ground. The screws attaching the shell to the frame assure this, and I am sure there are jumpers. The 12v is attached to the shell because it is more convenient and used as a return path, less expensive and faster than running 2 wires everywhere.

120v uses 3 wires, hot, neutral, and ground. Neutral is the return path, ground a safety feature. If 120v shorted to the shell and you were to reach up to open the door, you would be ground.

John
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Old 12-02-2002, 07:52 PM   #10
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barbwire ~

Sorry I don't have any answers...I just raised the question.
Quote:
Wouldn't dissimilar metals like stainless steel wool or brass wool cause corrosion?
Sounds like 74Argosy24MH has the same concern.
Quote:
If aluminum and steel are in contact the aluminum will corrode badly (galvanic reaction), eventually becoming a flaky white mess, aluminum's version of rust. The steel also rusts, but as the aluminum is thinner it will be in worse shape.
I just recall seeing someones' posts about having to patch around some marker lights because the backing on the light was stainless steel and it was installed right onto the aluminum without any sort of gasket between them. I also recall some posts somewhere about using Vulkem or gaskets when screwing into the aluminum with non-aluminum screws.

Anybody with a chemistry background have any input on this one?

Shari
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Old 12-02-2002, 08:36 PM   #11
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Galvanic corrosion.

You can use vulkem or a gasket behind the marker light, but that will not help where the screw touches the aluminum. Anti sieze works on machine thread screws, I don't know why it wouldn't work on sheet metal screws. I'm not a real fan of aluminum screws, a galvanic reaction will even occur between different grades of aluminum. They tend to break or strip very easily after a few years.

John
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Old 12-02-2002, 09:44 PM   #12
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Thanks John! All I ever wanted to know about galvanic corrosion...and then some! Seriously, great link ~

Shari
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Old 12-02-2002, 09:57 PM   #13
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Hi All,

The information is helpfull, but did not really differentiate between regular steel, and stainless steel. I dismantled an old boat of mine that had aluminum fittings held in place with stainless steel screws. I did not see any signs of corrosion. Are you saying stainless is as bad as regular steel? It is certainly much stronger than aluminum.

And now I'm paranoid. Do I have to use special aluminum rivets instead of the ones from Ace Hardware on the belly of my trailer? I would never have suspected that different grades of aluminum could be a problem. My trailer will suffer more wear and tear than galvanic action on rough roads, but it is always a concern.

Thanks for the info, any help is always appreciated.

JimW
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Old 12-02-2002, 10:31 PM   #14
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Galvanic reaction is the result of the electrical potential difference in metals, nothing to do with hardness. Brass will generally be softer than steel, but will react with aluminum more than steel does.

Non ferrous stainless will not be as reactive as steel or ferrous stainless. That is why your boat didn't show any sign of corrosion. And you're right, your trailer will suffer more from the roads than the dissimilar metals touching.

John
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