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Old 06-18-2006, 03:09 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
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Airstream 1979 bad rear bumper design

I'm in the process of trying to rid my AS of mice. After filling in the open ends of the frame by the tonge with expanding foam (what were they thinking?), I took off the rear bumper to see what was going on there. Some more poor design. Originally I had foam filled the hole where the main power cord goes into the rig. After further inspection, I found there to be a huge gap behind the black plastic pan. If it was solid steel behind that it would be nothing to worry about, but it isn't. I filled that in as best I could and filled in the gap underneath the plastic pan as well as filling in the frame ends in the back. This whole area is just a bad design. Water entry is another big problem back there (one I think I have licked). I'm thinking about taking out the black plastic pan all together and sealing from there but I'm not sure how to get it out of there. Even with the bumper off it doesn't seem to want to budge. I had already drilled out the rivets hodling it in. Thoughts, ideas....??





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Old 06-18-2006, 05:24 PM   #2
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Mice and Rats

My experience has been that Mice and Rats are only interested in occupying places that they can get food. Eliminate the food.....you eliminate the rodents!! Bill
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Old 06-18-2006, 05:39 PM   #3
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1979 31' Excella 500
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No food on board. They want a place to nest. All food is entirely removed from the trailer upon leaving except for canned goods which they cannot smell. The frame rails are a mice highway.
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
No food on board. They want a place to nest. All food is entirely removed from the trailer upon leaving except for canned goods which they cannot smell. The frame rails are a mice highway.
The mice are getting food within 100 ft of your trailer, for sure! Eleminate the food....no mice! Dog/cat food is very often the culprit. Bill
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:26 PM   #5
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1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
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Hi, Wacnstac,

On mine, that bumper stays closed. The power and water inlet are on a hose reel with a door just aft of the left rear wheel. The reel is under the streetside bed if you have twins.

Also, mine has rubber boots where the hitch triangle goes into the shell.

My Excella came from Grand Rapids, by the way.

Lamar
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:27 PM   #6
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1973 24' Argosy 24
Del City , Oklahoma
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I work in a feed mill and we always have mice. Mice will continue to eat through the spray foam unless you embed it with steel wool . Larry
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:13 PM   #7
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1979 31' Excella 500
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No food except what they can find out in the wild. That bumper door does normally stay closed but there is of course the rather large hole that the land line power cord goes through which gives them easy entry.
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:11 PM   #8
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1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
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Hi wacnstac--I always clean out all food not in a can or jar, and set 2 mouse traps in the front, and 2 in the rear bath, on newspaper on the floor, baited with peanut butter. Get a mouse now and then--usually before they have time to do much damage. When I'm ready to roll I collect the traps, seal them in a zip lock bag, store the bag, trash the newspaper, and I'm ready to go. Good hunting.--Frank S
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:25 AM   #9
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1979 31' Excella 500
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I have had traps set as well while I'm gone. Same deal with peanut butter and have caught a few now and then. So I guess technically there was food in the trailer (bait on traps). Now to hijack my own thread and get it back on topic, I'm trying to seal off all openings to mice from the outside and the rear bumper is a bad area IMHO. Anybody got a better solutions what what I did with the foam?
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:15 AM   #10
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Well after lots of expanding foam in the rear bumper area and in the frame openings near the tongue I seem to be mouse free (knock on wood). I've also setup the 5 gallon bucket trap outside and already taken a few victims that way as well.
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:37 PM   #11
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1960 24' Tradewind
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wascnot,
I thimk i would try to dig out all that foam crapand start fresh ,its hard to know what yo hav to work with with all that stuff sprayed everywhere.just a suggestion.

good luck ,mice are a pain!

Scott
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:15 PM   #12
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1979 31' Excella 500
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I'm the one who put all that foam in there to keep the bastards out. With the rear end design as it was they could get in all sides of the black plastic storage box (including in front of it, under it, and beside it). Now they cannot.
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:49 PM   #13
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Schererville , Indiana
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I just had my bumper apart due to a loose clamp on my soil pipe. There was a huge rat's nest under the plastic liner. The liner came out after removing the rivets (like you have already done). I did have to give it a good yank. You probably have it stuck in there because of the foam. It also has the springs for the lid holder in the way, so maybe that's what you're hanging up on. I talked to Ron from South Jersey RV today about a new plumbing part I needed & he suggested just getting rid of the plastic liner. He says it's a perfect place (between it & the case it sits in) for mice & rats, etc. It's a pretty good idea, because then you can keep an eye on your dump pipes in case any of the clamps come loose. I caulked everything that would let a mouse enter & also painted the metal piece in the back of the trunk to prevent any further rusting.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:22 PM   #14
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Becky,

I was wondering if that thing would come out entirely and really thought about ripping it out before I foamed it in. Does anyone know if it is solid metal behind it? Or are there holes in the metal behind it that would have to be filled? If I ever have a problem back there again, the thing is coming out.
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:10 PM   #15
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The bottom and sides of the box are aluminum. It has three holes in the bottom for drainage (because the box leaks like a sieve from the hinge!) The back wall of the box is what I am assuming is iron or steel. The soil pipes from the grey tank & black tank come through that back wall and attach to eachother to form one pipe (the one that comes out the side). There was one hole in the iron that was about the size of a half dollar. I took a wire brush & gave the iron wall a scrubbing because it was very rusty. Then I put some stuff on it that I got from Auto Zone that's called RustConverter. It's supposed to stop rust from continuing to form. Then I spraypainted the iron with rustoleum. After that I stuck a wadded up piece of screen in the half-dollar sized hole & caulked around it. Then I caulked around the soil pipes that came from the trailer. There was a small gap by the frame that I filled too. So, a mouse can get into the back trunk because there are holes for drainage as well as a gap around the pipe that sticks out the side. But he'll have a tuff time getting into the trailer. Oh, I also took the lid off the top & put a bead of caulk under the hinge, so hopefully it won't get water in it anymore. I'm still mulling over how to keep the mice completely out of the trunk. If I don't have the plastic thing in there, I can just wad some screen up & stick it in the holes. I think my plastic thing is going into the trash tomorrow!
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:33 AM   #16
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Becky thanks for the detailed description that was exactly what I was looking for. I still may rip out my box if I feel frisky. I would screw some alumimum sheet over the half dollar size hole in the rear plate after painting it and caulk around the waste tubes as well. I have already removed the hinge and caulked under the entire thing and while it doesn't keep water out of the back compartment, it does keep water from running back under the sheet metal there and into the inside rear compartment where there is wood to rot.
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