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Old 06-12-2019, 01:56 PM   #1
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Mice in 2006 Interstate walls

Can anyone provide any information on where mice may be getting into my 2006 Interstate Motorhome walls? We believe they are getting into the walls then getting into the camper. But we haven't been able to figure out where they're getting in. We removed a panel and have found droppings in the insulation. We believe we're plugged any other place to keep them out.
Any information on experience you've had would be appreciated.
Is there some strange place someone has had experience discovering as a mouse potential entry point?
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:34 PM   #2
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Wow. That's a disappointing problem to have.

I do not have your model, but due to generator and engine exhaust fumes, there should be no openings to inside of your van. That being said, factory holes drilled for water pipes, drain pipes, an electrical holes could have lost their spray foam sealant and left a small opening (which is all they need to enter).

If an inspection crawling from below has not revealed an entry point, then I suggest a night inspection using flashlights. One person inside with as many panels as you can remove for access. And someone below, both with powerful flashlights and as many peripheral lights off as possible (darker the better). Taking turns shining the lights toward each other may reveal a flash of light through an opening that was not visible during the day.

Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:50 AM   #3
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Mice are a common problem, almost inevitable in some circumstances unless measures are taken against them.

I advise putting the Interstate up on ramps, getting down on a creeper, and scooting around under there to check the chassis penetrations.

I'll place my bet on it being the gray water drain pipe for the galley sink as the culprit. Stuff the gap between the chassis and the pipe with copper wool. And any other gaps you find.

Here's a pic of my home-made ramps (made out of fence scraps taken from trash piles) and creeper. The creeper is sold for about $30 on Harbor Freight (their website down today, or I would link it). You can do this inspection without a creeper, but it's a real pain to be working in such a tight space without one.

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Old 06-13-2019, 11:36 AM   #4
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Mice are a common problem, almost inevitable in some circumstances unless measures are taken against them.

I advise putting the Interstate up on ramps, getting down on a creeper, and scooting around under there to check the chassis penetrations.

I'll place my bet on it being the gray water drain pipe for the galley sink as the culprit. Stuff the gap between the chassis and the pipe with copper wool. And any other gaps you find.

Here's a pic of my home-made ramps (made out of fence scraps taken from trash piles) and creeper. The creeper is sold for about $30 on Harbor Freight (their website down today, or I would link it). You can do this inspection without a creeper, but it's a real pain to be working in such a tight space without one.


Creeper on sale for $20 right now!


https://www.harborfreight.com/40-in-...fQ%3D%3D%0D%0A
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:39 PM   #5
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Creeper on sale for $20 right now!
TINCAMPERS - Thanks for this timely sale announcment. I just happened to be in the area of HF today.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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TINCAMPERS - Thanks for this timely sale announcment. I just happened to be in the area of HF today.

You are very welcome. I was near an HF earlier today but didn't know about that sale item.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:10 PM   #7
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Here's a pic of the black tank drain line with copper wool stuffed into the hole (view looking upward under the chassis; the copper is dulled by corrosion). This hole was made too large for its purpose, but Airstream decided to run a wire bundle out of it as well, necessitating extra width and making it a bit messy to seal. I should probably put some foam over the copper wool, to keep out moisture.

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Old 06-17-2019, 08:34 AM   #8
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Thanks! This is one of the first places we found that we figured they would be getting in. We stuffed it with steel wool. I'm thinking we should have used copper wool to avoid a rust problem! We made ramps but only two so we only lift either the front or the back at a time. I like the fact you made four and can roll around the entire bottom! Have you found any places in the engine compartment where they get in?
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:37 AM   #9
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Naughty Mice

Thanks! This is one of the first places we found that we figured they would be getting in. We stuffed it with steel wool. I'm thinking we should have used copper wool to avoid a rust problem! We made ramps but only two so we only lift either the front or the back at a time. I like the fact you made four and can roll around the entire bottom! Have you found any places in the engine compartment where they get in?
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:39 AM   #10
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I'm learning that this is an all too common problem! Thanks for your suggestion
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:24 PM   #11
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Thanks! This is one of the first places we found that we figured they would be getting in. We stuffed it with steel wool. I'm thinking we should have used copper wool to avoid a rust problem! We made ramps but only two so we only lift either the front or the back at a time. I like the fact you made four and can roll around the entire bottom! Have you found any places in the engine compartment where they get in?
The engine compartment is completely open. I'm a bit nervous about chewables because newer vehicles sometimes have plastics that attract rodents, and I just put in a new engine (gulp).



Here's another owner's image from another forum, for instance:

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Old 06-17-2019, 02:52 PM   #12
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Bounce dryer sheets zip tied to cables in the engine compartment and safely out of the way of moving parts has kept the animals away for us. Refresh them every couple of months.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:48 PM   #13
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Honda Rat Tape. Yes it is a real Honda product with it's own part number. I used it after the rats chewed the ignition wires, overnight, under the hood of my wife's Lexus. Apparently the wires are coated with a soy based product instead of plastic.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:31 AM   #14
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Honda Rat Tape. Yes it is a real Honda product with it's own part number. I used it after the rats chewed the ignition wires, overnight, under the hood of my wife's Lexus. Apparently the wires are coated with a soy based product instead of plastic.
And it worked for you? Because there are a lot of reviews on Amazon in which people claim that rodents gobbled up that, too.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:58 AM   #15
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An experiment:

Think sacrificial anode type functionality.

I took commercial rat bait and wired a block of it into a frame recess near a bumper fog light.

CAUTION - DOGS WILL EAT THIS STUFF IF THEY CAN REACH IT. Hence I recessed the bare block of poison bait into a void space where my dog's jaws cannot reach.

In the rear of the van, I took an entire bait station, armed it, and wired it to the spare tire frame. This is an inelegant attachment as shown, but it's nine million degrees outside, I just got done waxing my van forehead and touching up the reflective roof coating (sweating), plus this is just an experiment. I might find a way to do a nicer chassis fit later if I see any results with this.

The idea is, rodents gonna chew - they are going to be attracted to these vans no matter what we do. It might be better to proactively offer them something of greater desirability than wiring and other plastics.

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Old 06-18-2019, 09:46 AM   #16
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I have not had any additional wires chewed on since I wrapped with rat tape. I still keep baited snap traps in my garage for added protection.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:41 PM   #17
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I have not had any additional wires chewed on since I wrapped with rat tape. I still keep baited snap traps in my garage for added protection.
I wish Amazon's user listings would show their locations. Some users claim it works, but I bet some of its effectiveness (or claimed lack thereof) has to do with the geography which influences species dominance.

Also I'd expect more damage in winter when food is more scarce, but a lot of the complaints appeared to be about non-winter damage (one poster even put up a pic of chewed tape).

The effectiveness may depend in part on the offending animal. Mice, rats, squirrels, and raccoons were all mentioned in Amazon reviews.

Here on the upper Texas coast, our biggest rodent challenge overall is Norway rats.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
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An experiment:



Think sacrificial anode type functionality.



I took commercial rat bait and wired a block of it into a frame recess near a bumper fog light.



CAUTION - DOGS WILL EAT THIS STUFF IF THEY CAN REACH IT. Hence I recessed the bare block of poison bait into a void space where my dog's jaws cannot reach.



In the rear of the van, I took an entire bait station, armed it, and wired it to the spare tire frame. This is an inelegant attachment as shown, but it's nine million degrees outside, I just got done waxing my van forehead and touching up the reflective roof coating (sweating), plus this is just an experiment. I might find a way to do a nicer chassis fit later if I see any results with this.



The idea is, rodents gonna chew - they are going to be attracted to these vans no matter what we do. It might be better to proactively offer them something of greater desirability than wiring and other plastics.





While I get the sacrificial anode concept and appreciate your initial setup to keep your dog’s jaws away from it, I wonder if you worry, as I do, that running down the road is going to loosen bits of that up and leave them along your trail. Just seems like there are some potentially negative unintended consequences with that setup. Maybe that could be mitigated if it was placed inside some plastic container sealed on all sides with a round hole on one end so they can get in (but not out) and so the bottom portion under the circle entrance would keep bait crumbs inside the container?
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:36 PM   #19
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.... running down the road is going to loosen bits of that up and leave them along your trail. Just seems like there are some potentially negative unintended consequences ...
I just spent fourteen grand on a new engine, complete with tasty new wiring. The little buggers will be lucky if I don't set off a nuclear bomb under that thing to keep them out of there.

Wiring damage by rodents can easily run thousands of dollars. I have not even begun thinking this issue all the way through - I'm not even into Act One yet. It was not concern to me when back, say, last month, when I had 13-year-old wiring which had long since lost its appeal. Now things have suddenly changed.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:35 PM   #20
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Does driving your van regularly help? I drive mine as a second household vehicle year round.
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