Keep chipmunks (and other rodents) out of your RV

Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking and more. 

Hi Bob,
I just read your article on some ideas to keep mice out of our RV. We just opened ours up and found many drawers, under the bed, in the bedroom closet, etc., littered with pieces of broken hickory nuts and droppings everywhere. We are assuming that this was the working of one, or more than one, chipmunk. Nothing was chewed like the year before when we had a mouse. Any suggestions on how to keep them out would be greatly appreciated. —Donna

Hi Donna,
I will assume that your RV is a nice, warm and safe place to be. And that’s why lots of critters – who agree with you – have chosen to set up housekeeping in your home-on-wheels. But, like that obnoxious cousin who just “drops by” to spend a few days camping with you, they are not invited and it is up to you to dis-invite them. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, and what works in one part of the country may not work in another – or with one critter or another (e.g., mouse, chipmunk, squirrel, voles, etc.).

However, the first action you need to address is blocking all possible places these critters can get in, wherever electrical wires, pipes or anything else passes through the walls or floor of your RV between the inside and the outside. This would include where the water heater and refrigerator are mounted to the exterior wall, and any entries through the firewall in the engine compartment and the dash such as ventilating, heating and A/C ducts. Crawl under your rig (I know, that’s not fun) and look for floor-mounted openings. You will probably be surprised that your RV has quite a few openings large enough to admit rodents of all types. Note that a mouse can fit through any opening that it can get it’s head through – about the size of a dime.

The next step is to plug up all these openings.  So what do you use to plug these holes? This is where it will take some experimentation. Rodents have been known to chew through almost anything you use, as well as ignore every smelly deterrent you try. So don’t give up if one or the other attempt fails – try another. The consensus for stuffing the holes seems to be steel wool. Though caulking and spray polyurethane foam sound like good ideas, critters can chew through them, so reapplication would be necessary if you find evidence of chewing. If you find an opening larger than you can stuff, cut a wood or metal plate and glue it in place to close up the hole.

As far as odoriferous critter deterrents, Irish Spring bar soap, peppermint oil, mothballs, dryer sheets, and pine needle spray all have their true believers. There are also several rodent repellents on Amazon, if none of the above efforts do the job.

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .

##RVT843

 

 

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6 Thoughts to “Keep chipmunks (and other rodents) out of your RV”

  1. Captn John

    A good coastal wind and spend days looking for it. A bit costly compared to other methods I have used and never a mouse…

    1. RV Staff

      Probably a good view comes with that coastal wind, too. Right, Captn John? Sounds like a good plan to me! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

  2. Tom Fitch

    If you don’t have the time or materials to make the repairs that Bob mentions in the field, just take a rag and pour some ammonia on it and place near wherever the “rodent problem” is. It will keep them away and works for most if not all animals. The best solution is to close off all entry points, as Bob says.

  3. Phil McCraken

    Tom,

    If that contraption works, I’ll eat my hat. How does it stay put in a wind storm?

    1. Tom Sharp

      That’s the DIY part for today. You’re right without a weight or anchor plan it will become unsettled but it won’t blow away. I towed on a flatbed at 40mph. Almost everything blows away at 40mph. I’ve used cinder blocks outside on concrete pad with bungee or zip ties to anchor, 1 gallon plastic water bottles will work too as required. It is the problem solved in garages,shops and barns. Yes the BoxKat has limitations but we are just getting started. Indoors against mice I’ll take your hat eating bet. We will be designing a way to take BoxKat on the road. But as a beginning to the end of rodent troubles I hope you can see this a big step in a new and better direction /solution. Hoping traps and Irish spring will work is not a solution and often a total waste of effort.
      Love your enthusiasm. You must have fought off some rodents too. Thx Tom

  4. Tom Sharp

    Hi there Boondock Bob. Just read your reply to Donna about rodents moving into her RV and hope you checkout my invention/product the BoxKat Rodent Barrier. The mice have been eating and living in my sports car and trailer for decades. There is no trapping or repellents that stops them. But at BoxKat.co you can easily see my new product provides a fool proof answer. Roll up the red carpet by stopping them outside your parking and especially storage site. The BoxKat is better than a mouse trap. I’d love to send the RVTravel staff one to checkout. Wouldn’t it be nice to put away the peanut butter, Irish spring and dryer sheets. BoxKat is a game changer. Checkout website BoxKat.co I’d love to see a review and comment reply. Mice are great critters, just not so much when they move into our valuable stuff. Cheers to you Tom

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