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Old 09-21-2014, 05:43 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
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Unhandy woman with Overlander issues!

Okay. I admit I probably don't deserve to own my beautiful 64 Overlander. It sits year-round in a (stunning) spot where it is completely exposed to the elements. And I mean elements. It's on the shore of the North Atlantic.

It's a very wild and lonely place and I only get there during the summer months. Repairs are done by guys who spend most of their time out lobster fishing.

Anyway, I left there yesterday, and won't be back until next year. Two nights before leaving, I heard mice in between the walls. Over the past couple of years, I've been blocking up all the spots where they could be getting into the actual interior but this wall thing is a fairly new development. Fairly new, because I discovered this summer that none of my fans are working, which I figure means that they've been in there already gnawing through the wires.

So, what should I do? My AS is hundreds of miles from any place that could do major tear-apart repairs. I can't do them myself, and no one out there can do them for me...

The mice must be getting in around the stairs. Are there other likely places? Wheels? Will try to get someone to do a major inspection.

And I'd really like to repair the electrical. But how can someone get at it without deconstructing everything?

I'm at a total loss. Please advise.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:59 PM   #2
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One of the gents on here recommended I use dog flea collars, and cut them into four equal lengths, then toss these in all the compartments, void spaces, and zip tie them to the axles. I have done this, and had no problems. Also the neighbors have had their cars mouse eaten, so the threat exists in the area. Other options are glue traps, and things of that nature.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
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Hello, Wigwag! That must be a bit of a drive to get to your new trailer!

As for mouse control, we have had good luck with the old-style traps where you load a bit of cheese on a trigger and cock a spring-loaded arm.

They are a bit gruesome to unload when you have been successful, but at least you have no fear of a poisoned mouse dying in the wall, with the subsequent long-term smell...
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:08 PM   #4
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Flea collars? Who woulda thought? Thanks, Vycan.

As for glue traps, no way. Not for this gal.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #5
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As for repairs, go "steampunk" and just mount the new wire chases on the interior as an intentional feature, held together with moose tags and sticky back velcro?
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:30 PM   #6
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If you suspect that the mice have already damaged your electrical wiring, I'm afraid that you are past the "dog collar" stage unless you are willing to use your trailer as a glorified tent (i.e., no power or go with Piggy Bank's suggestion.) The only way to repair electrical wiring that is so damaged by mice that stuff is no longer working is to remove everything from the inside and rewire. Yes, that means all the furniture, appliances, and the interior skin. This is a very expensive repair and given your declared skill level, will require that you transport your trailer to a professional or a very very good and skilled friend.

Sorry to be the bearer of this news,
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:49 PM   #7
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Aage, you are darn tootin. But airplanes make it a bit closer. Have had my sweetie for five years now.

Piggy Bank, ha! I'll give that some thought. May require a whole new approach to my decorating.

AnnArborBob, I fear you may be right. Of course, I JUST invested in new FanTastic fans. Of COURSE.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wigwag View Post
Aage, you are darn tootin. But airplanes make it a bit closer. Have had my sweetie for five years now.

Piggy Bank, ha! I'll give that some thought. May require a whole new approach to my decorating.

AnnArborBob, I fear you may be right. Of course, I JUST invested in new FanTastic fans. Of COURSE.
If it is any consolation, I'm sure the Fantastic Fans can be re-used as part of the restoration!
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:44 PM   #9
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Wigwag, somewhere (and I'l try to remember where) there is a video, I think on youtube.com that talks in detail about how AS laid out the 12V and the 120V wiring. It's not too difficult to do it yourself, if you can find that info.

The bulk of the 12V wiring is in one of two places: the top central panel hides the fans wiring and lighting wiring, and the interior lowest row of the aluminum panels is the other.

IIRC, the 120V is all behind the same lower panels, since it only feeds the AC wall receptacles.

Those panels are not really too difficult to remove. The top centre one more than the bottom interior ones (a two person job for sure), but it's not heavy work.

Get an Airstream Service manual, you will be able to much more easily sort out the wiring as to where it goes and what items it carries.

Have fun!

[EDIT:] I found the video:

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Old 09-21-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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Poison, and lots of it.

By the time you get back next summer the mice will have long decomposed and stopped stinking.

This is your only realistic option.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:57 PM   #11
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and about 10 boxes of bounce dryer sheets all over inside your trailer because the mice hate the smell of it and won't want to stay there anymore.....
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:06 PM   #12
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I use bait traps. They eat the stuff and usually go outside seeking water and die. Might just be a blown fuse.

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Old 09-21-2014, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
As for repairs, go "steampunk" and just mount the new wire chases on the interior as an intentional feature, held together with moose tags and sticky back velcro?
Hi Wigwag,

We're just down the road from you, and we have a '64 Overlander too! Mounting the wire to the interior of the panels might be a good solution since it sounds like you're not in a position to be tearing out the interior to replace the wiring. When I renovated our '74 Sovereign I put virtually all the AC wiring and much of the DC wiring on the inside rather than burying it in the walls. There is so much built-in furniture that it's just as hidden as it would be in the walls with the added advantage that I can get to it easily if I have a short or want to change something.

It's not so easy to hide the wiring to a ceiling vent fan, but probably better to have exposed wires than no fans.

The mice may have chewed the wires, but it's also possible that the fans are not working because a fuse has blown.

Grant
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:45 PM   #14
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build a better mousetrap...

Two points:
  • I agree with Becky that dryer sheets laid on everything in the TT are very positive with regards to avoiding mice infestation. Plus, your TT will smell nice come spring. Not too sure about letting them rot in the walls as regards to smell.. Whenever we have had mice, catching one or at the limit two, in traps stopped the problem cold.
  • Secondly, I should have said that, as several have already pointed out, you need to confirm that wires have been damaged before removing wall panels. Not all mice eat wiring!

If you have people that are local to the trailer that you give access to, see if they will put a few traps out now, that may do it.

Another simple trap is one you make yourself.

Take a regular two-gallon pail, and fill it about a third with the antifreeze you use on your TT. Easier still, here's an article on the web:

Bucket Mouse Traps | Five Gallon Ideas

It's cheap (well, free if you have a bucket), easily reused, simple to empty, and won't smell because of the antifreeze.
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