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Old 11-04-2022, 06:00 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Mouse nest in heater vent?

When I bought my RV last April, I used the propane heater and it only seemed to blow warm air out of my kitchen vent, and very little out of the other vents. Plus the smell of mouse pee is very strong. I think there is a mouse nest in my heater vent. My vents run under the floors and I have a sealed underbody. I have not been able to find a way to get it out (the only guy around here who does RV vent cleaning is so busy he doesn't even return my calls. That's what the plumber he works for told me.) I tried running a regular vacuum cleaner hose down there, but apparently the vents have some turns in them, because the hose didn't make it very far. I consulted the manual for the location of the vents, and it was like reading another language. I couldn't decipher it.
I went to Home Depot today and talked with a few people, and came up with an idea for removing the nest. I bought a manual kwik-spin+ drain cleaner. It's a hand crank 25' long snake with no compressed air, and it is designed for water pipes. It has a coil on the end that augers into things that clog a pipe, then back the auger out and it pulls up the obstruction. I purchased it along with a shop vac (to clean up the nest once it is removed) and plus it's always nice to own a shop vac. I'm going to try it this weekend. Is this a good idea/bad idea? Do you think it will work? Do you have a better idea?
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Old 11-04-2022, 06:07 PM   #2
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The duct work,in most cases, is very thin foil and not solid metal so using an auger could just poke through when you get to a bend, if not before.

https://www.recpro.com/rv-foil-ducting-4in-x-25ft/
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Old 11-04-2022, 06:18 PM   #3
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The ductwork in my trailer is solid sheet metal, and the vents are all in a straight line. I have a 10 foot length of plastic covered 1/4" aircraft cable with loops on the ends (for locking things to my trailer axle so they don't get stolen). To clean my ductwork I remove the vent covers, snake one end of the cable from one opening to the next. I tie an appropriately sized rag to the loop on the other end of the cable and pull it through the duct. Then use my shop vac to suck up all the stuff that was loosened. A similar system might work for you.

Once you get the ducts cleaned, you could try repeating the process, using a rag soaked with enzymatic cleaner through the duct to neutralize the mousy urine smell.

I've had good luck with this one.
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonCommerc...Q%3D%3D&sr=8-5
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Old 11-05-2022, 05:54 AM   #4
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Once you get the ducts cleaned, you could try repeating the process, using a rag soaked with enzymatic cleaner through the duct to neutralize the mousy urine smell.

I've had good luck with this one.
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonCommerc...Q%3D%3D&sr=8-5

X2 on the enzyme cleaner. I used it on wood soaked with cat urine, it took a few applications. It does work well. Getting to the area will likely be the hardest part.
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Old 11-05-2022, 06:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SmokerBill View Post
The ductwork in my trailer is solid sheet metal, and the vents are all in a straight line.
That is the piece under the floor, the elbows and connections are normally the aluminum foil duct work, so that could be damaged with a drain snake.
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Old 11-05-2022, 07:03 AM   #6
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Singirl,

Welcome to JOF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singirl_dnnm View Post
When I bought my RV last April, I used the propane heater and it only seemed to blow warm air out of my kitchen vent, and very little out of the other vents. Plus the smell of mouse pee is very strong.......snip
I would check if you can locate a possible obstruction, or location source of the odor (dead mouse).

With a flashlight & small mirror, remove the floor vent 'covers' and inspect the ductwork for any obstructions (mouse nest, collapsed/disconnected duct, etc.).

Assuming your 2011 Starcraft Homestead is a fifth wheel, I would also inspect the ductwork that is attached to the furnace for any compromising issues. You may have to remove a side-panel in the basement storage area to access the furnace area.

Mice are known to build nests near, and/or inside the actual furnace.

Bob
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Old 11-05-2022, 10:13 AM   #7
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My vents don't go in a straight line. They all go down into the underside of the trailer width-wise and not straight down the middle of the camper. I tried to use the plumber's snake in 3 different vents and it only goes in about 3 feet before it won't go any further. But it is not pulling anything out.
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Old 11-05-2022, 10:19 AM   #8
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It's a travel trailer, not a fifth wheel. I don't think the nest is in the furnace itself because it runs efficiently and blows warm air very nicely out of only one vent. It's the vent that's closest to the furnace.
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