When you think about going camping in your RV, you picture yourself having great fun outdoors and connecting with your family and friends. But the chances are that you will end up with some unwanted guests who will be quite difficult to get rid of.
If you are an ardent RVer, you might have also faced the same problem. You might notice mouse droppings and chew marks when you open the door of your camper in the spring after dreaming about going on a trip the whole winter. This could really put a damper on your plans.
Even though mice are small creatures, they can seriously damage your camper’s interior. Here, we have some of the best ideas for keeping mice far away from the camper:
How to Keep Mice Out of Campers
It can be quite a project to keep mice away from your camper. They are small critters that can squeeze through tiny openings that could only fit a dime. Thus, invisible holes and cracks in your camper’s exterior can serve as welcoming entrances for these little rodents. However, the following tried and tested tips can help keep these rodents away:
Clean Your Camper Thoroughly
The most important thing that will keep your camper safe from mice is regular and thorough cleaning. Don’t leave any food in unsecured places. Closely inspect the places where you keep the food, including the fridge, storage compartments, and cupboards for access points. Clean out loose clothing, paper products, and other such items as mice love to nest in them.
Mice also love dark places. Install a nightlight or two, as it may help keep the rodents away from your camper. Another great option is outside lighting, as it will keep them from getting near your rig.
There should be no food items inside the RV if you plan to store your rig for any amount of time. This includes non-perishable food items and condiments. Remember, keeping the food in plastic bins will not keep it safe. Mice can easily chew through the plastic to get to the food. No food, except for canned goods, should be kept permanently in your camper. Clean out all the food when you pack up for the season.
Similarly, whenever you return from a camping trip, make sure that you thoroughly clean any spills, sticky spots, or crumbs in your camper. Also, make sure that your refrigerator and microwave are spic and span. If you live full-time in a camper, you will need to clean it from top to bottom regularly.
Mice are great scavengers. They will easily find the crumbs left behind on countertops and cushions to fill their bellies. Therefore, it is better to make a schedule that will help you keep on top of regular cleaning.
Examine Your Camper and Identify Potential Entry Points
A mouse can get into very small openings easily. It can easily fit through a small hole about the size of a dime. Even the skinny gap on the underside of the unit or the tiny opening where pipes enter your RV are large enough for a mouse to get into your camper.
By keeping the mice away from your trailer, you can not only get rid of the grime and mess they make but also save money you would otherwise have to spend on costly repairs. There are plenty of entry points in an RV which allow the mice to enter. To keep these rodents away, you need to find these points and effectively block them:
- Open closets, drawers, and cabinets to look for signs of sunlight
- Go under the camper to locate any holes or gaps. You should pay particular attention to even small gaps, as the mice can fit through them easily.
- Inspect your camper closely when sunlight is streaming through the different parts to spot even the smallest hole.
- Remove the access panels in your bathrooms or any other area to search for any potential entry points.
- Make sure that the seal on the slide-out area is secure.
- Pay particular attention to areas where wiring and plumbing go inside the RV because even the smallest gap is enough for the mice to enter.
- Don’t miss the corners and look along the edges for gaps.
Seal All Cracks and Gaps
In order to prevent the mice from getting inside your camper you need to create barriers that are physically impossible to pass. The most popular way people accomplish this is using spray foam for plugging up holes in the walls or on the floor of the RV.
Spray foam provides no-hassle and is convenient way to block a hole quickly. This is particularly effective in spaces inside the storage compartments, around plumbing feed-through holes, and underneath the rig. Although it is an efficient way of stopping air from entering through any of open cracks, it is not very effective against mice because of their sharp teeth.
Another method used by people to stop the mice from entering their camper is caulking. It prevents drafts from coming in and also keeps the smell of food from gravitating outside and attracting mice. However, mice can easily chew through caulk, rendering it ineffective.
The best material that can stand as a barrier and work effectively to plug the holes is steel wool. A mouse cannot chew through it and it’s easily available at most hardware stores. Make sure that you get the kind used to strip wood.
Now, take some steel wool, put it into the opening where the mice may have entered, and seal the hole. Then go around outside your vehicle and work out the route the mouse may have taken to get to the opening. If you find some other gaps and holes, then stick some steel wool in them too.
You can also place metal rings around the tires, along with jack stands in order to form such a physical barrier that mice are unable to climb. These can be created using rolls of sheet metal that can be bought from any hardware store.
Use Mouse Traps or Poison
There is nothing that works better than the old-fashioned mouse traps. They are cheap and easy to use. However, there is a downside – you will have to get rid of the dead mice, but at least there won’t be any more mice in your camper. Place multiple mouse traps at intervals to make sure you catch the culprit(s).
If you are searching for a humane way to trap the mice, you can use live traps. They can be set preemptively to catch rodents in case they wander inside your RV. However, you will need to check these traps frequently so the trapped mice can be released. Make sure that you release these mice far away so that they do not find their way back into your camper.
Another old, yet effective, way to keep the mice away from your camper is using poison. There are many types of potent poisons available nowadays that work effectively on rodents of any size. You can also use poison sprays which are another convenient way to get rid of mice. Spray it on corners and other tough areas that are difficult to reach by hand.
Get a Professional Mouse Deterrent
There are many products and brands that can help deter the mice away from your camper. Some mice repellents are available in handy pouches that can be placed easily at the camper’s windows and doorstep. You can also throw some of these repellents in sinks, toilets, cabinets, and even near the wiring and pipes.
These botanical rodent repellents are a convenient and easy solution. You can even find various brands online. They are prepared with natural ingredients of herbs and plants. That is why humans find the smell of these deterrents pleasant, while the mice are repelled by them.
Many reputed brands also offer ultrasonic mice repellent. Although these are expensive, their performance has proven to be outstanding. These mouse deterrents emit irritating ultrasonic sounds which drive the rodents away and stop them from returning as long as the repellent is working. They also emit light which is another plus point. With this repellent, you will not need nightlights and will disturb the movement of mice.
Video Overview of How to Rid Your RV or Camper of Mice
This video clearly demonstrates the best ways to safeguard your camper against mice when you store it for the winter. It highlights the following points:
- Inspect your RV for small holes or openings, especially where wires and pipes enter the RV.
- Use silicone or expanding foam to seal holes. If you are new at this, be sure to practice on something as the foam may expand much more than you expect it to.
- Remove all food before storing the RV for winter.
- If possible, park your camper on solid pavement instead of grass or soft soil.
- Start the engine every week to ensure that mice and squirrels do not make a home in your vehicle during winter.
- Use deterrents or mouse traps and check on them after a few weeks.
- These preventive measures are sure to keep your camper free from mice. Watch the video to ensure that you implement these measures effectively.
Mice can do some extensive damage to your camper. They are not only disease carriers, they also destroy parts of your camper that might cause quite a hole in your pocket. All the nibbling of the carpet and wood, nesting in mattresses, all the plumbing and wiring they gnaw through, and so many other things they can sink their teeth into can become quite expensive.
Make sure you follow all the above tips to keep your camper safe from mice. Don’t be afraid to try new or unconventional methods to keep these critters away and ensure a healthy environment for your family.