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Old 07-29-2020, 07:28 PM   #1
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Rodents coming in through engine compartment.....

2016 Jayco Alante A Class
Do all motorhomes have this problem?????? What more can we do????

PROBLEM: When camping in the woods and at home, we have had chipmunks and rats access the inside of our motorhome through the engine compartment, coming out under the dash, usually on the driverís side. We have caught the critters with traps and electronic zappers. There is a hole somewhere and they are getting in through the engine compartment.

In October of 2018, an RV repair shop supposedly fixed the problem for us. They removed the dash and sprayed foam in any openings. Within a year of that, while camping in the woods, and also at home, we had rodents enter the rig. Three weeks ago, we went camping in Big Bear. While in the woods we caught one chipmunk inside on the driverís side. On second night after returning home, we caught one rat on the driverís side.

Preventative Steps We Have TakenÖÖ

*** 3 Blinking Strobe Lights, set on a timer, shining under the rig and into the engine compartment every night.

*** 4 Electronic, battery operated gadgets that blink and emit a high frequency sound. 2 in the engine compartment and 2 more inside under the dash area.

*** An additional electronic device placed under the rig which emits a high frequency sound.

*** Cotton Balls soaked with peppermint oil placed all around the rig under the dash and inside engine compartment.

*** Fresh Cab placed all around the rig under the dash and inside engine compartment.

One year we literally built a barricade with our firewood under the dash to keep them out. Each day my husband would peek inside to check and reset the traps. (Miserable vacation!!!)

Over the years, we have had a tent, pop-up trailer, hybrid trailer, and a regular trailer. We never had any problems. Never....... Now we have a beautiful motorhome and I'm afraid to go camping.

Any other suggestions? We live in Southern California. Are there any experts out there you would recommend?
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Old 07-30-2020, 04:45 AM   #2
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From experience on a 2016 precept. There is a gap on the wood boards behind the gas pedal under the carpet. I found this out due to a gust of cold wind. The wiring bundle near your air conditioner under the hood has gaps where it enters the 'firewall area'. I found a small hole in the sidewall near driver, under dash, maybe for side mirror wires I don't remember.

Other spots.
Where electric bundle enters under bed.
Piping between bathroom sink and kitchen faucet thru floor.
hot/cold pipes under shower.
Bottom of rear cap. There is a huge gap there not sealed off.

You can also sit a bucket trap outside to attract them before they come in if your close to woods. It's on the internet.
Good luck
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:03 PM   #3
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Thanks...

Hawkster.....

Thank you so very much for your input. I printed out everything you suggested and gave it to a service tech this morning. Hopefully he can identify our problem.

Again.....Thanks much!

Shilo777
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:28 PM   #4
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Spray foam is useless against rodents. They chew right threw it.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicr View Post
Spray foam is useless against rodents. They chew right threw it.
Haven't seen that yet Vicr although our southern mice may be different than your northwest mice. In larger holes I used steel wool or copper pads backed by foam but mostly foam. There is a new rodent foam not sure if it's any good. There are some hard to reach areas where we have no choice but to use foam.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:03 PM   #6
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What has worked for me, are Moth Cakes They are Moth ball material, but held in a plastic case with a hook. I've found them at W-mart and a 'dollar' store.

I hang a couple under our truck and three under our trailer on the outside, NOT inside! Sometimes I notice the smell outside, but have never smelled it inside.

They worked for both mice and pack rats.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:07 AM   #7
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This reply is going to be wide ranging and will cause some to agree and some to disagree.
I've lived in the same high desert location for 40 years. In this time I have seen the amount of rodent population increase by leaps and bounds. Yes, the rodents do leap and bound.They have been in my house, my trucks, and my trailers. I have made a number of observations over the 4 decades.
So... Some of my ideas may be of the tin foil hat variety but here goes.
Many of us now live in semi-rural areas where folks did not live in previous generations. This is so that we all could try to get away from the urban crowds. So...we have moved into regions where rodents have always lived in the past. Folks have dogs with food and water outdoors, They feed the wildlife with birdseed, Heck...my neighbor even buys 50 lb. bags of dry dog food every week to feed the Javalinas. Others folks plant gardens and then wonder why their tomatoes and squash have chew marks on them. Additionally, according to some automotive mechanics, our vehicles are powered by wires coated with soy oil in the manufacturing process. Supposedly soy oil cools the factory wire making equipment better than petroleum based lubes. Rats and mice love this soy coated wiring.
Also, when we move in semi-rural areas we often kill most of the rattlesnakes that feed on our rodent pests. So...less predators to eat the darn rats, mice, squirrels, and chipmunks.
I put out the "big" snap traps baited with peanut butter and catch/kill at least 50 pack rats a year. In AZ there are "rock squirrels" that love the newly disturbed soils where we park our vehicles, these pest dig under our new out-buildings and our new storage sheds and cause these building to tilt on their foundations. I catch 35 rock squirrels every year in "live catch" traps and then give them swimming lessons, but I'm a darn poor instructor. Rodent bait can be purchased that causes kidney failure in all these rodents, but then the remaining predatory animals die from eating the poisoned rodent pests. I have a 120 volt timer that turns the four light bulbs mounted in the ceiling of my "car barn" at dusk every night, have "rope lights" strung out under the trucks, and have 2 "rid-a-rat" strobe lights hooked to the 12 V battery of each of my vehicles, and mice still get into the heater fan and in the cab air filters of wife's SUV. We had owned the same brand of vehicles for at least 25 years and mice got into the heater fan of every vehicle because they all had the same heater placement in every model. Some in the biology field have stated that rodents possess something called "genetic memory", and that each member of each new generation can recall the place of their birth and they strive to return to that location to give birth to a new rodent pest generation. Hence, 25 years of mice in all my heater fan housings. This is not a solution to our rodent problems, just some thoughts as to the causes at work.
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