Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-17-2016, 11:52 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
NicheVintage's Avatar
1965 26' Overlander
The Gorgeous Pac Northwest , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 445
Images: 34
Buying an Airstream with "tenants" and how to evict?

Dear hubby and I are going this weekend to see an Airstream that has only ever been towed 2000 miles. It was purchased and parked on some land in the SW. The owner told us there have been mice and or pack rats in the trailer. There is a stink and evidence of droppings. The price is great and it's aside from the mess in good shape. How do we get rid of the mice and their mess? We live on a farm and have free ranging poultry so I'm a little nervous about using poison etc. any help is greatly appreciated. Our last airstream was very clean when we bought it and never had to deal with this problem. Thanks!

WBCCI# 2578
Four Corners Unit

Our travel and resto blog:
NicheVintage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 04:17 AM   #2
Rivet Master
2005 19' Safari
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,451
Hantavirus is occasionally reported in the southwest, and this RV could be a candidate for infection. Strongly suggest researching this subject before purchasing. Also, caution is advised during cleanup and disinfection.

Suggested reading:

Phoenix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 05:36 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,798
Blog Entries: 2
Listen to Phoenix.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 11:28 AM   #4
Rivet Master
Ahab's Avatar
2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
Put a rattlesnake in there and shut the door. Wait a week or so and open the door to let him out. No more rodents.
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 11:45 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Lumatic's Avatar

1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,955
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
My 71 was a mouse condo. I cleaned it out as good as possible but there was still a residual smell. Getting rid of the mattresses and anything that is fabric helps a lot. The mice tend to nest in the walls and especially belly pan. Taking off the belly pan and cleaning it out will help a lot. The mousy smell will dissipate with time, but may not completely go away without cleaning out the belly pan. I never did. That was 10 years ago. I chose to live with it. I still get a mild whiff if the trailer has not been used for a while.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 11:48 AM   #6
Rivet Master
TG Twinkie's Avatar
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,279
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
A bull snake would be safer than a rattler. Plus they can get into where cats can't.
Mouse traps with Peanut butter or cheese works pretty well.
The best bet is to block off any access to the mice. Shore power cords are a great bridge for mice. Use the old sailing ship method and install a disk on the cord to prevent mice invading.
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 11:51 AM   #7
Sbb's Avatar
2017 25' Flying Cloud
Denville , New Jersey
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,029
Images: 2
I walked away from a 25' with 500 miles because it sat four years and was not winterized. Pipes broke. The mold just hit me once I got past the fabrezze which was used for my visit. I was heartbroken ! But just could not live with four years of mold growing.
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
Sbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 02:04 PM   #8
Rivet Master
PKI's Avatar
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,611
There are some other threads on how to remove rodents, so some searching is a good idea. In general, you want them to leave. Ace sells a mouse repellent that is supposed to work. Some folks say to use dryer anti-static sheets, but other folks say that does not work. The cleanup job is a complete dropping and debris removal, a scrubbing and a disinfect. Should be easier than fixing rot or collision damage, but a challenge that many would avoid. Sounds like the infestation may have been long enough to include wiring or plumbing damage, so there is that possibility to consider. Good luck. A jewel or a pit, let us know how it all works out. Pat
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 03:29 PM   #9
Rivet Slave
Rocinante's Avatar

2014 27' FB International
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,185
Blog Entries: 49
Buying an Airstream with "tenants" and how to evict?

I'd also be worried about whether the rodents had gotten into spaces between the walls (e.g. between the inner and outer shell) or under the floor. There are plenty of stories about rehabs of mouse-infested trailers out there for you to read. Clearing that stuff out could be a major chore, so don't take it on without being clear on what you may have signed up to do.
Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

Rocinante is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 03:40 PM   #10
Rivet Master
MarkR's Avatar
1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
Folsom , California
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 725
Images: 12
I got rid of them . . . but the smell wouldn't go away no matter what I did or cleaned. I eventually tore the entire trailer apart . . . and found that a city of mice had lived, for years, in between the walls (i should say "lived AND died" in between the walls . . . and pooped and peed (for years). I would have never gotten rid of the smell if I hadn't torn it "all the way down" - and cleaned/scrub everything of course . . . your mileage may vary.

Aluminumbskull with Led Balloon in Drag
Birch Plywood and Aluminum go together like
Peanut Butter and Chocolate
MarkR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 07:41 PM   #11
Rivet Master
tjdonahoe's Avatar
2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,063
Yuck! Run the other way.....
tjdonahoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2016, 07:36 AM   #12
Rivet Master
Hittenstiehl's Avatar
1961 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3,265
Images: 9
The bullsnake, cat, foodless traps, bucket of water will work on the ones freely moving around the cabin. Don't use traps with peanut butter as you aren't trying to attract more of them.

Belly pan drop will work for those under the floor. Removing the interior skins will take care of anything in the walls and allow you to see your wiring.

If the price is that great you can do it but that's a lot of work.

Hittenstiehl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2016, 09:34 AM   #13
Rivet Master
AnnArborBob's Avatar
2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,792
Images: 12
If there is evidence of previous or current rodent infestation chances are 99.999% that they have gotten into the insulation in between the inside and outside skins. The only way to deal with this is to remove all the interior parts of the trailer (fridge, cabinetry, etc..,) remove the interior skin and compromised insulation, clean thoroughly and then reinstall new insulation, the interior skins and other component parts (might as well do a shell off floor replacement while you are at it.)

If the above scope of work is not of interest to you, I would pass on this trailer as you will never get rid of the smell.
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
AnnArborBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2016, 09:46 AM   #14
Rivet Slave
Rocinante's Avatar

2014 27' FB International
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,185
Blog Entries: 49
One more joyful thought: it's my understanding that pack rats in particular like to munch on the wiring insulation so it would be a good idea to test all electrical systems to see whether they still work. Otherwise you may find opens or shorts when you get it home.

Again if you're up for the challenge and the price is right you can save this trailer and make it your own. Just take a clear-eyed look at it first.

Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

Rocinante is online now   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bought a Spartan...need to evict the rats and get it home?? Spit Vintage Kin 36 08-22-2014 06:39 AM
What Boomers Are Buying - Airstream Makes the "Smart Money" List Fly at Night Airstream "In the News" 0 07-12-2011 10:09 AM
Big questions about buying from "reputable" dealer and what he promised..... Dureedesign Commercial Listings 25 06-24-2007 06:56 PM
check engine compartments for "tenants" maznblu Tow Vehicles 0 12-01-2003 11:05 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.