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Old 02-23-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
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Rats and Mice and Bees, "OH MY"

This thread is for re-builders to post repairs to stop "Rats and Mice and Bees" in our trailers. I'm working on my second rebuild of a Classic Airstream and have found Mud wasp nests, and mice trails everywhere. When Airstream built these trailers I don't think the problem was known at that time. When I redid the Bambi I found nests in the belly pan that were 4" thick by 24" wide. I've found lots of stuff in the 55 Flying Cloud as well.

On several of the threads on the Forums different people have listed their critter finds. I've worked to solve this problem in the Bambi and now the Cloud.

An example.
The ends of the main frame boxes are open to the air inside the bumper.
Large holes in the skin where electrical wires feed through
Large holes in the skin where gas lines pass through
The holes where wiring passes through on the clearance lights.

If you have an example, Ad it here with some pictures.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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Well come to think of it! I have a few places that could allow entry and need a solution. Thought I would use expandable foam or maybe even brass or copper wool. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:16 PM   #3
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Chasmorgan, here is one suggestion. You can cut small rubber rings and contact cement or rivet them to the bottom of the trailer. If you use contact cement you will need to clean and ruff up the aluminum around the hole with a little sand paper. They need to fit tight. I'd put a little sealer around the connection to the pipe also. I've seen the same thing done with aluminum also. The aluminum can cause vibration and abrasion to the pipe or wire going through the metal and that's not good. There also grommets that are used for wire passing through metals. These are used on trailers, cars, and planes. However it is sometimes hard to find one that will fit your application.
Look in the plumbing department of the hardware store you may be able to find rubber washers there that you can adapt.Hope this is of some help.
Don
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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I noticed that you have a mounting clip that has come un-riveted on your line. It's good to keep these in place. It helps prevent vibrations of lines as you travel down the road.
Don

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Well come to think of it! I have a few places that could allow entry and need a solution. Thought I would use expandable foam or maybe even brass or copper wool. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:04 PM   #5
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My biggest problem

Good thread Don. MY biggest problem...and its big , is mud daubers. I always had an awareness of them and problems with airplanes.....but this is unbelievable. I have 'em everywhere. I am planning on screening every opening possible. But, from what I have been finding that won't do the job. I'm at a loss. Any ideas? By the way, the good news is that I don't have any spider problems now. The daubers take care of them.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:47 PM   #6
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I've spent the day replacing the belly pan on the Bambi. As I proceed I've been riveting tight fitting aluminum disks around all the openings for pipes and wires. No matter how hard we try critters will still find their way into the pan area. Because of this I am not putting in any fiberglass insulation, or any other type for that matter. There is nothing worse than the smell of mouse pee and wet insulation, and the amount of heat loss through the floor is minimal. If the floor is cold,wear some slippers, or as my wife says, get back into bed!
Tim
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi View Post
When Airstream built these trailers I don't think the problem was known at that time.
If you have an example, Ad it here with some pictures.
Hi, Airstream still doesn't know or care about these rodent problems; At least up to the year model 2005. I got a hitchhiker once, on the last day of my last trip. I used spray foam to fill the open areas in the wheel wells, front and rear. I sealed the area in front of and behind my steps. I sealed an open area where my tanks overlap. And I sealed the front frame ends; Originally with stainless steel wool and finally I covered that with spray foam too. I hope I have all bases covered.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:02 AM   #8
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:17 AM   #9
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Bob, thanks for the pictures and the solutions. The hitchhikers are the ones we need to watch out for. Also having the trailer being dormant during trips is a good time for move-ins.
Don

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Hi, Airstream still doesn't know or care about these rodent problems; At least up to the year model 2005. I got a hitchhiker once, on the last day of my last trip. I used spray foam to fill the open areas in the wheel wells, front and rear. I sealed the area in front of and behind my steps. I sealed an open area where my tanks overlap. And I sealed the front frame ends; Originally with stainless steel wool and finally I covered that with spray foam too. I hope I have all bases covered.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:19 AM   #10
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I'm always happy to see our cat in the garage.

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:20 AM   #11
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I'm right with you. Mouse smell can ruin a happy home.

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Originally Posted by Beaker63 View Post
I've spent the day replacing the belly pan on the Bambi. As I proceed I've been riveting tight fitting aluminum disks around all the openings for pipes and wires. No matter how hard we try critters will still find their way into the pan area. Because of this I am not putting in any fiberglass insulation, or any other type for that matter. There is nothing worse than the smell of mouse pee and wet insulation, and the amount of heat loss through the floor is minimal. If the floor is cold,wear some slippers, or as my wife says, get back into bed!
Tim
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:07 AM   #12
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I found the slots that the door steps ride in make a good access point for bees.They had worked their way in as far as they could go towards the front of the trailer.When I replaced the plywood by the door I put in aluminum baffles a couple inches from the step outriggers. Vulcumed them in good. Should limit any tresspassers to a confined area that could be hit with bee spray easily
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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I've never taken a trailer completely apart to see the whole frame under the floor. I'm not sure that if mice get in the frame, can they go from there and into the other parts of the trailer?
Could someone who has taken a trailer apart that far give me their opinion on blocking the frame holes front and back and if it would cause more corrosion by not letting air circulate? I certainly don't want the mice in the trailer nor corrosion of the frame.
I'm thinking that maybe a screen of some type might work?
What's your opinion?
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:47 AM   #14
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Another option on plugging holes is aluminum wool. It won't rust like the steel kind but is harder to find. Mice won't chew through it and yet it still allows a bit of air circulation.

Brad
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