View Full Version : Critter entry points at Slideouts! Help!
06-12-2011, 06:37 PM
I picked my 2009 Jayco Eagle SL30.5DBSA about 4 weeks ago and I must say overall a impresive unit until this weekend. Get out to lake on Thursday night and unpack the trailer put the slides out start rousing around and start finding little black specs (droppings) thru the trailer. Now this being my 3rd trailer, first with slide outs, in about 15 years I had the underbelly sealed with spray foam to avoid this. So I started looking around to figure where it may have come in.
First thing I did was put the slide back in trying to recreate were I started at. Started with what I thought was the most obvious spot, the slide corners an well guess what... light at all four corners! So I start looking as to why I am seeing light. I will try to describe it:
On each corner of the tip the floor of the trailer is notched out about 2" x 3". The slide sweeper is located on the outside of the notch attached to the wall of the trailer. When the slideout is closed it butts against a foam block wich covers the notch and then patheticly wraps around the sweeper. Well when I'm outside and push up on the foam guess what I'm feeling the inside of my trailer! I'm sure this is where they got in based on the amount of black specs on the ground near the wheel. (Front slideout). While rooting around outside I notice one other place that bugs me is the hole in the frame that rod the moves thru for the tip out. About 3/4" bigger then the rod.
After finding this I thought I had better see what this thing is like when opened up. I put the slideout out and checked the seal around the inside and it's realtivly tight, just to be sure I stuffed some steel wool between the floor and seal just to be sure. As well I steel wooled the slot around the slideout rod hole.
Sooooo where does this leave me? Well for starters I've had to leave the tip out open for the week to ensure that it's sealed. I cleaned the trailer, put some traps and bait blocks in it friday morning and nothing heard, seen or nibbled on as of this morning, I'm pretty sure they were out and about when we got there Thursday evening and by opening the slides locked them out.
What I'm hoping is someone on this forum and has found the same problems with the slideout corners and the rod hole in the frame and has come up with a way to seal these up so they remain functional and correct the issue that the Jayco factory has created. Any help would be apprieacted and pictures are worth a thousand words!
06-12-2011, 10:20 PM
Hey Dean - I cant help you with the slides, but wanted to take just a sec to welcome you to the Jayco Forum! If you get a chance, come on over to the New Member Forum and introduce yourself!
Good luck with the critters - always a fun challenge!
06-13-2011, 08:00 AM
Anytime I leave the rig unattended for a while.. I leave my inverter on and plug in an ultra sonic pest chaser.. works well.. but then I have 515 watts of solar on the roof to keep the batteries charged.
06-13-2011, 10:47 AM
At my seasonal site, I removed its under floor plastic layer and removed its factory "unless" fibreglass insulation batts. I then hired a Mobile Contractor who applied professional grade (not those useless DIY kits) of 2 lbs Closed Cell spray foam @ 3.5"-4.0" thick - under its entire belly area. re: http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w251/Spike99-Pictures/Seasonal%20Camp%20Site/100_0696.jpg & http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w251/Spike99-Pictures/Seasonal%20Camp%20Site/100_0700.jpg Inside the trailer, I took steel screen and placed on the underside of all heat vents (re: floor and round vents). I also installed steel screen on its furnance air intake and dischart vents. I also replaced the furance fabric flex hose with "real" steel flex hose. I also removed many cupboard doors (to allow me to clearly see inside the cupboard area), and I applied steel mesh with spray foam on the plumbing pipes - where they go through the floors. Doors where then re-installed. I also removed the microwave and applied spray foam within its cavity area as well. When slide is out (at my seasonal site), I shove fabric material at the bottom of the slide's inner vertical beams (where there's a 2"x2" hole at their bottom). For the slide's underside on the outside, I also place a steel screen within its corners and apply spray foam as well. Thus, "sealing up" those entry point areas as well. This works great at my seasonal camp site - which isn't towed. Haven't gotten any critters since installing the above. Many items that should be "factory" inclusions. Especially the furnance screens, foaming around plumbing pipes and foaming behind appliances.
For furnance venting upgrades, surf: http://www.jaycoowners.com/showthread.php?t=3106
Perhaps some of these ideals might help with your trailer as well.
06-13-2011, 12:04 PM
Hi Dean, Just wanted to welcome you to the Jayco Owners Forum and congrats on the new 5'er :)
06-13-2011, 12:54 PM
Spike99 Thanks for the reply. I've done 3 of the same things already.
1. With the slideout in the open position stuffed steel wool at each corner to seal it up.
2. I had the whole bottom of the trailer sprayfoamed to seal the entire unit up
3. Have gone thru the entire trailer on the inside and then sealed with steel wool and spay foam any floor penetrations that are within the trailer where plumbing pipes come thure the floor.
My concern is around the closed postion postion I'm wondering if you have any pictures of what you do or if you can descibe it since this was the area of most concern for me.
06-17-2011, 09:00 PM
so I got a response from from Jayco kinda makes me go Hmmm. Here it is:
"Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at Jayco. There
should be 2 3x3x2 foam blocks spray glued into each gap. I'll have 4
blocks sent to the address below. That said Jayco does not build a
rodent proof product. Mice can get into any unit just the same as they
can get into any home. It is a matter of location in that if a unit is
where mice are the customer will have to continuously take precautions
to keep them out. So I wouldn't count on the foam blocks being a cure
all for your mouse issue. The 2 best deterrents I would suggest is
when you are leaving the unit to scatter bounce fabric softener sheets
through out the unit on the floor in storage compartments and drawers.
I don't understand the science of it but it seems to work pretty well.
The other is to not leave food in the unit or at least seal it in a
Tupper ware type container so they cannot smell it. Thanks again for taking the time to contact. If we can be of
service to you in this or other issues in the future, please feel free
to contact us again at your convenience."
So with said looks like I'm on my own! So went out and strating looking at other brands of fifthwheels and this what I've found. Where the Jayco has floor notched back and filled with foam Chapparel has brought the floor foreword and has run the lower rubber seal to the to the front of the front wall of trailer thereby seperating the slide and floor.
So this leads me to conclude I think Im going to have to remove the foam blocks, cut some 5/8" filler plywood, attach them with galvanized plate and then rerun the seal to match the Chapparel design. This design Ive seen on many other trailer slides as well. From what I can tell it looks like the Jayco way is a qucker andcheaper way to manufacture the unit.
Anyone have any thoughts or an easier way?
06-18-2011, 10:41 PM
Jayco and other TT makers cannot make a RV that is 100% critter proof. Especially when it has a slides - that uses gaps and rubber gaskets. And, when under floor heat ducts, and under floor wiring is used.
Fleecy sheets is an old wive's tail and it doesn't work for all species of mice. The "previous" mice within my TT would use fleecy sheets in their nest materials. It is true that foam won't 100% stop mice or other critters. But if you push wire mesh over an opening and spray foam that opening (foam "locks in the steel mesh"), it dramactically slows down the critters. Often, it 100% stops critters. Especially for critters (like common field mice) that don't like steel shavings in their mouths. Ever since mass spray foaming under under side my my 2006 Jayco and installing wire mesh on all under floor air duct, and also spray foaming around pipes (from top down approach) no more mice. They probably "gave up" and now invade other TTs - that are much easier to get into.
If wondering, we put our dry goods in steel and tupperware containers as well. For some foods (like breads and bags of cookies or bags of chips), we put inside our microwave chamber. I've yet to find a critter who knows how to open a microwave door. LOL We also put our spoons, forks, etc, in a utensil tupperware container as well.
One can use common "store bought" pison to kill mice but when the animals die inside the walls or roof cavity, it takes 1 (sometimes 2) full season for the "death" smell to go away. Been there and will never do that again. Besides that, poison only kills majority of existing critters. It doesn't eliminate the hole (holes) for future mice getting into your RV. For killing existing mice, I hear sticky traps works best. Mechanical traps work but after a while, the critters learn how to remove the bait without getting nailed. If it was my RV, I would use both machanical traps and stiky glue traps. Both traps - to kill the majority of the critters already inside your RV.
With my TT, I think majority of critters were entering the inside chassis from its tank's top fill 2" ABS pipes. One pipe under the kitchen sink and one pipe within the batroom area. I'm sure many were entering from the open gooseneck hole as well. re: http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w251/Spike99-Pictures/Seasonal%20Camp%20Site/100_2056.jpg For those take pipe / floor openings, I used both steel screen and spray foam - from the top side. re: Put steel screen in the hole, the foam this screen into place.
If you feel build methods of slides of other RV brands (non Jayco brands) are designed better and you are a DIY person, then sure. Clone what works on other RVs. If it works for them, then it should work on your RV as well.
06-27-2011, 10:01 AM
Thought I provide a update as to where we ended up...
Based on the amount of nibble on the blocks and color looks like we only had one intruder, Thank heaven for that. I did do a complete crawl under the trailer from end to end and eventhough it sprayfoamed there are a few areas to point to other owners where you may want to do some work. Some of this may be specific to this model of Jayco FW but don't think it will be far off for others.
1. Spare tire where the cable hangs thru the under belly, there is a 8"x8" hole where the underbelly is cut for the cable to hang thur. The tire is in close proximity to the axle, so up the tire and onto the axle and accross to the spare and up on in and then free run of the trailer. So I used a sheet of light galvainzed metal slotted it and drilled a 3/8" hole for the cable and then glued screwed it in place.
2. The back sheeting underneith add screws and whasher to close the gaps. at the front and back of the trailer. As for the sides (Along the bottom flange of the frame) there are gaps but some silicone and spray foam will close this off.
3. Inside the trailer where electrical and plumbing cut thru the floor, steel wool and sprayfoam again (Approx 8 locations in various spots) I did go to the extreme of sleaing all openings within the stroage area as well so the areas are segregated.
4. Slideout corners when open, steel wool the corners, I do it from the inside, keep filling the corners until you cannot push any more in.
5. Slide out motor arms when slide is open 1/2" gap around them, Steel wool will solve this probem. When closed the gap is seaed so no addtional sealing required/
6. Slideout corners when closed. Will describe as best as I can, if any wants pictures let me know and I will down load. I did end up removing the foam blocks and fabricating from 5/8" plywood filler pieces. I do now understand why they have used the foam instead of closing the floor in, this is because height differece from when the slide is open vs closed, when closed there is about a 1/2" gap from the floor of the u/s of the slide. So what I did to adress this is added rubber backing to the plywood fillers and installed it in the slideout open postion (Lowest point), pushed the filler in as tight as it will go and then fabricated metal brackes that screw to the floor as well as the filler piece. I then Closed the slide out (Highest point) and added rubber gasket, same type that is used on a overhead door bottom to fill the gap, stapled it to the filler board and then added rubber seal material to the underside of the slideout floor therby making it a tight seal. I now have nowhere that my pinky can slide thru. As added insurance I will steel wool around the fillers just to be 100% sure that it cannot be penetrated.
I am hoping this takes care of the issue, spent about a day and a half working on it, it is work, but I'll sleep alot better knowing it's done. If anyone wants more details I will be more than happy to share.
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