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Old 02-07-2019, 12:27 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2016 28' Pendleton
Marshall , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Birds nesting in AC

Last year I had problems with starlings nesting in the two AC units atop the AS. My first atempt (after removing shroud and cleaning) was to buy covers through Camping World for the Penguin II units, they did not fit over the lower rectangular openings (see photo) and the birds returned to build the nest. After the second cleaning, I duct taped cardboard over the holes and replaced the purchased soft covers. This solved the problem but required that prior to trips I had to remove the tape and cardboard.

I called Dometic and they were aware of this problem, but other then using Irish Spring soap as a deterrent, had no solution. I suggested fastening 1/2 in. sq. wire mesh to the inside of the unit cover (read that in a previous post), but they said that would void any warranty. My next attempt will be to fabricate covers from garden bird netting, but would prefer a permanent solution as I do not like to have to climb on top of the AS. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Has anyone attached wire mesh as I mentioned or does anyone have other solutions.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:39 PM   #2
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1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
Join Date: Dec 2017
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I had a similar problem. My simple solution was to buy some foam pipe insulation (also called pool-noodles) and simply jam them in the gap between the curved roof and bottom of the flat AC units. They kept out the birds and could travel down the road left in place.

Years ago, vintage AS units had custom AC shrouds that conformed to the curve of the roof.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:52 PM   #3
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2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2018
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Ha, they say warranty is voided if you put screening on the outside of the cowl. But will they honor their warranty if the evaporator coils get clogged with a bird nest? Or will they say it's not a covered item or due to owner neglect?

You probably can't win, but I'd put something there and fight the warranty later (I doublt they'd actually make an issue of it).
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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2006 23' Safari SE
I'm In , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,710
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Just a thought here. I haven't had problems with them nesting in the A/C of my AS but I have 2 porch lights that they seem to love. Every year they kept coming back and I'd have to pull out the nest stuff. I took my son's rubber snakes, 2 of them about 3' long each, and wrapped them around the top of the lights. It not only kept the birds away but scared a few door to door salesmen.

You need to move them, maybe once a week, or the birds will get used to them.
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2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE 4.7L V8
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:04 AM   #5
Rivet Master

2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 8,880
Two thoughts: 1) Since you have a 2016 model, the air conditioner warranty is probably expired already. 2) Bird nests in the unit will cause a lot more damage that worrying about a warranty.

I'd say pull the A/C external enclosure, clean it out thoroughly, and find some 1/4 " mesh "hardware cloth" and neatly install it inside the unit covering all the air intake openings to keep birds out.

Note that 1/4" Hardware Cloth WILL NOT keep mud daubers or other insects out of the interior of the unit. Depending on where you live this could be a hazard as well. The problem is that screen that will keep insects out is also a maintenance issue because it will trap dust during normal operation and cause issues with the system, so it would require regular cleaning.

In any case, you would need to regularly check the interior of the unit and do some preventive maintenance...
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:26 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
2016 28' Pendleton
Marshall , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
I guess I was not clear. The are going into the rectangular openings and nesting inside the AC unit not under the unit.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:55 PM   #7
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2017 25' International
Port Dover , ON Canada
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,830
I have used Bird Repellent Scare Tape. Strips can be taped onto the roof near the air conditioner. They move in the breeze and scare the birds away. If the air conditioner is on Starlings won't nest in the unit. I have also tried the rubber snakes but can comment on their effectiveness.

A trash picker/grabber will help remove any nesting material from a ladder without having to go up onto the roof.
Ray B.
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