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Old 02-13-2020, 04:20 AM   #1
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2017 23' International
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Squirrels destroyed my front ac

2018 international 28’ dual Hvac

Squirrels destroyed front unit. I’m faced with replacing it. But am concerned even if I do they will come back. Keep it stored in back of my driveway under a tall carport. I have a whole system back there. Power. Water. Sewer. They are jumping off trees and climbing on the carport rafters. Jumping on top of my AS. And camping out.

I found a good deal on a replacement unit but it’s “cool only”. I live in Austin TX so don’t really use the heat. But am concerned with resale value if it only has one heating unit (back one where the bedroom is).

Also concerned with keeping these squirrels out in the future.

Read about a lot of solutions. Not sure what to do.

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Old 02-13-2020, 06:55 AM   #2
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I have squirrel issues as well. Here's my advice:

Trim the trees back so they can't jump onto the carport roof. They can still go up the poles, but are more hesitant to do that for some reason. You can wrap the poles with about a foot of aluminum so their claws cant grip the poles (like power companies do on telephone poles for coons.)

Try putting one of those owl or hawk decoys on the AS roof.

Get a live trap and relocate them far away.

When all else fails, get out a lawn chair, a cooler of beer and a pellet gun.

They are individual creatures of habit and will return to "their" place if not distantly relocated. In addition, one squirrel's habit of building (and destroying) is not necessarily the next individual's habit.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:02 AM   #3
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That is fixable. Just order a new Styrofoam plenum and put some spray foam in the holes.



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Old 02-13-2020, 07:13 AM   #4
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- If possible, place chicken wire on the bottom side of the trusses. It is ugly but effective. This will also keep birds from nesting above your trailer.



What is actually damaged? From your photo I can only see damage to the white styrofoam piece. Did they get into the wiring? Does the unit work? The styrofoam and the cover are both replaceable. The Dometic Penguins come in three flavors. No heat strip (easily added), with a heat strip and a heat pump. Which do you have?


BTW - Cull the herd - squirrel can be tasty if cooked correctly.......
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
- If possible, place chicken wire on the bottom side of the trusses. It is ugly but effective. This will also keep birds from nesting above your trailer.

If you place the chicken wire on the inside of the bottom pan covering the holes, it is basically unnoticeable. Had to do this to keep birds from building nest inside the unit. This seems to be a common problem if you google it. Problem should be addressed by Dometic.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:28 AM   #6
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Browning 800 22cal pellet, with scope. Works pretty well,AMHIK
Forget the beer though you might hit the AS.

What has worked...give them something else to chew on.
Styrofoam around the bottom & 'THE WALL'
Or... The neighbors platoon of marauding outdoor Tactical Cats.

Good Luck...and as noted the foam can be replaced without too much trouble. The wiring, if damaged is also doable with a bit more effort & some diagrams.👍

Bob
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Browning 800 22cal pellet, with scope. Works pretty well,AMHIK
Forget the beer though you might hit the AS.

What has worked...give them something else to chew on.
Styrofoam around the bottom.
Or... The neighbors platoon of marauding outdoor Tactical Cats.

Good Luck...and as noted the foam can be replaced without too much trouble. The wiring, if damaged is also doable with a bit more effort & some diagrams.

Bob
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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Angry live trap and travel

Had a similar problem with squirrels eating gas lines off of my truck. Seems that the "gas lines" are made with a soy product. Squirrels like soybeans. Trapping may take a little time. Several trips miles away to a wooded area. Thought about painting their tails to make sure that I was transporting them far enough. Good luck. Mine required $$$ to fix the truck.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:47 AM   #9
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We live in a neighborhood with lots of squirrels. We left a car parked for a couple of months while traveling. Squirrels built a nest under the hood and chewed through a couple of wires. Mechanic in the area suggested sprinkling cayenne pepper inside the engine compartment when not used regularly. Maybe that could help with protecting your AC unit.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:03 AM   #10
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I had a similar problem. Turned on AC the night before a long trip and it did not work. When I finally went up to the roof to check it I found a squirrel nest and every wire chewed through. Every wire. I spent the next four hours I spent repairing wires. I then used electric fence wire the best thing I had at hand) and built a wire fence across every opening half big enough for a squirrel to get in Then I trimmed back the trees.

This is basically the same as the chicken wire solution as long as you use the chicken wire with small holes (1/2”?). But your AC can probably be repaired.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:07 AM   #11
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we live in an area with a large population of pack rats. They can be very destructive to cars and trailers as well. We have a couple of sonic devices plugged into the trailer and solar powered rope lights under the trailer.

These could help you as well...
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:21 AM   #12
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Obviously the squirrels have good taste and discretion simply for the fact they like to camp in the Airstream.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:33 AM   #13
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Squirrels are a major pain. Tried the live trap approach, pepper, and more. The only sure proof solution I’ve found is my 22 cal Benjamin pneumatic pellet gun. It’s quiet and positive. I counted 18 in my back yard at one time and that was enough. They chew on everything they can find including wood trim and siding.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:46 AM   #14
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Squirrels are a major pain. Tried the live trap approach, pepper, and more. The only sure proof solution I’ve found is my 22 cal Benjamin pneumatic pellet gun. It’s quiet and positive. I counted 18 in my back yard at one time and that was enough. They chew on everything they can find including wood trim and siding.
They particularly like my Rubbermaid outdoor storage shed and the rubber sliding door bumpers. Little shits!
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:51 AM   #15
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Oh. My. Gosh. It isn't enough I have to learn all the various systems and how to use/repair/etc, now I have to take Rodents 101 to figure out how to keep my restored-to-brand-new Caravel restored and not chewed to pieces!

Good thing I have a terminal case of aluminitis: no choice, must persevere or die.

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Old 02-13-2020, 12:05 PM   #16
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If you have to replace the unit don't forget to contact your insurance company it should be covered. I a car dealer and it happens to cars all the time and we contact the insurance company for the customer. Good Luck
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:10 PM   #17
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If you are worried about the squirrels going to waist, skin them, freeze them, pack them up and send them off to Joe Wilson. He holds the World Champion Squirrel Cook Off in Bentonville AR every fall. They are always looking for more for there chefs.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:00 PM   #18
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They may be high in cholesterol but they taste good. Look at you tube Shawn Woods (Mousetrap Monday) he has great traps and ideas for rodent population control.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post

Try putting one of those owl or hawk decoys on the AS roof.

Get a live trap and relocate them far away.

When all else fails, get out a lawn chair, a cooler of beer and a pellet gun.

They are individual creatures of habit and will return to "their" place if not distantly relocated. In addition, one squirrel's habit of building (and destroying) is not necessarily the next individual's habit.
I hate squirrels for lots of reasons, largely because I live in a city and they have no predators culling their population. So they're out of control. They take one bite out of each Nectarine on our tree. And they are (as the OP illustrated, destructive.) Because they are territorial, when you relocate a squirrel they will be immediately set upon and killed. So live trapping is kinda moot. I have two of these devices <https://www.amazon.com/Aspectek-Sentinel-Outdoor-Ultrasonic-Repeller/dp/B01MQCLN45?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_8> in my front yard; they seem to keep the squirrels away.

Michael
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:21 PM   #20
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Had same problem

You can rewire that unit. Squirrels pretty much ate all the wiring and styrofoam in my Dometic Penguin unit. As long as you can identify the color of the wires , just splice them back together . There is a rodent repellent spray sold by Amazon that seems to work.
Squirrels also got behind the dash of my John Deere tractor and ate the ignition wires . Same solution, same preventative measures
Allen
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