Covers Increase Rodent Access?

Discussion in 'Camper Storage / Winterizing & De-Winterizing' started by revance, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. revance

    revance New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    I just picked up a 2009 Bayside that almost looks like it left the factory yesterday. Now I am completely freaked out about trying to keep it that way. Our old pup fit in our garage, but this one does not.

    What I am wondering is if anyone has heard about or has experience with covers increasing the risk of mouse infestations? I would love to protect the PUP from UV exposure, rain, and hail, but I started to wonder if putting a cover on it would provide mice with an all access pass to the outside of the camper. Without a cover, it seems like you really just need to worry about mouse proofing the under side of the camper. I can't imagine the mice would be able to crawl around the outside rails of the frame and up the smooth metal side panels. What do you all think?




    For those who want to hear the nitty gritty details about my new purchase...

    Someone in town was selling a '09 Fleetwood Bayside, but was asking more for it than they are typically worth. Because of this, he hadn't gotten any interest. I figured since it wasn't far away I would go take a look. It was in covered storage (although roof was so high, it was still somewhat exposed), but the exterior was in almost perfect shape. He immediately pointed out that it had a crack in the filon roof (the typical 45 degree crack from the corner of the A/C), but said the silicone caulk on it had prevented it from causing any problems. Besides that, it didn't look like it had ever been used. The underside of the flooring didn't even have dirt and grime from towing. He was the 2nd owner and said they only used it about 5 times and the original owner hadn't used it much more. Given the condition, I believe him. We opened it up and everything was perfect. Except... I noticed a water stain on the canvas that wasn't in the pictures. So I immediately started going over the ceiling with a fine tooth comb, looking around the edges for any bubbling or warping. I thoroughly checked all the edges of the roof for signs of water exposure or rot. Our current PUP is an '82 Starcraft my dad gave us a couple years ago and we had to rebuild to roof, so I am well versed on all the signs of water damage. I couldn't find any signs of water exposure. Then the seller found it. The cover on one of the lights had water in it. He was absolutely mortified. He kept swearing that it must have just happened and that it was perfect when he winterized it last fall. I pulled off the light fixture to take a look at the inside of the roof. I closely inspected the edges of the luan where it was cut out for the light. There was no discoloration, splitting, or delamination on the edges of the luan. So I believe him that it must have been a recent development. Since it was fairly well protected from the weather, it probably never had enough water exposure to leak. I climbed up and took a closer look at the crack and found that the silicone had pulled away from the crack in several places. My guess is that it got some snow on it and the slow melting allowed the water to seep into the crack. However besides the water stain on the canvas (that can probably be washed out), I could find no signs of real damage. I decided that since it was pretty obvious the source of the leak, and it hadn't had time to cause any real damage, I would see how low he would go and patch the roof with a strip of Eternabond (which I already have plenty of). I managed to get him down to $1000 below average selling price! We are pretty excited to have a camper that is so much easier to setup/pack-up than the old Starcraft, has a ton more room, and isn't crumbling apart. Although it was kind of nice not having to worry about campsite theft. We could leave whatever we wanted in our pup while we were out exploring because nobody in their right mind would waste their time burglarizing our tenement on wheels.
     
  2. sierrapup

    sierrapup Active Member

    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    can't think of one reason why a cover would cause a rodent infestation, after all it doesn't go all the way to the ground. but uv protection is very important..
     
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,752
    Likes Received:
    851
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    I'm half convinced that in some places, the mice are so aggressive that almost nothing will prevent infestation. (Pack rats are even worse, friends were in a campground in AZ where they were instructed to keep their hood open - by the time they opened it 20-30 minutes later, the pack rats has already started a nest. I'm not sure if they nested in any type of campers in that campground.)
    Our garage has mice fairly regularly, never have had them in our pups or TT, which have all been parked outside and covered from time to time. We've had the occasional mouse in the TVs. I also clean out peanuts and other items from under our TV hood. Given the length of our season, the longest the cover has been on is probably 3 months or so.This year it was 6 weeks. (It's too much work to put the covers on between trips with the TT, it involves a ladder.)

    There have a been a couple of people that have removed the spare tire and LP tank covers, because they found the mice made nests in those. However, I don't think I've seen a post where people thought a cover had increased access for mice.
     
  4. ChocoChock01

    ChocoChock01 On the road aagaain See Rallies below;

    Messages:
    4,020
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Mice or rats can climb up almost any thing (when had rats and give them show ers they would climb up the aluminum shower door frames and walk across the top).

    They can jump, climb and slip through holes the size of their head.
    What I have found is they may stay in the cover, rather than in the trailer.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
     
  5. revance

    revance New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    I was just thinking that without the cover, they can't get to where the roof meets the body, the A/C unit, the door frame, or the access doors. They are limited to access points on the bottom of the camper. With a cover on it, as long as they can get onto the bottom frame, they can crawl up the inside of the cover to get to any of those places.

    However it just occurred to me that my camper has that fiberglass panel on the front and rear, which I am sure they can climb up since it is textured and their claws can sink into it. So it might be a moot point for me.
     
  6. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    559
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, California
    There's a lot of rat traps in the storage where I park my popup. So for nothing got in my popup (knock on wood). My camper is covered but the cover does not touch the ground though.
     
  7. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Messages:
    5,330
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Florida by way of WV and MD
    [:O] [:O] [:O] [:O] [:O] [:O] [:O] This sounds like some kind of nightmare out of Australia!

    An occasional mouse doesn't freak me out. Even in FL, we seem to get one at the beginning of every winter. We always catch that one, and never any more, or any further signs of another until the following year. It's the strangest thing ... like they send in a scout to see if he comes back out. [LOL]

    I've never covered our pups, not in WV or here in FL, and never had any mice in them. Not surprising here in Florida, since we camp year round. In WV, I just think that the huge, old, run down barn in our backyard was much more attractive to them.
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,752
    Likes Received:
    851
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    @Orchid- I sometime wonder if the easier access into our garage for mice is one of the reasons the campers have not been invaded. We get multiple scouts, especially in the fall.

    Animals doing damage to parked vehicles is something we encounter every now and again. As I said, we've had mice in the TVs, in campgrounds. There is a campground in Utah where we hike, for a while we had to cover or remove windshield wipers, since the ravens thought it was fun to rip them off. I don't remember any notice of protecting camping equipment, just wipers.
    There are trail heads in Colorado where (apparently) marmots chew wires. Haven't encountered that yet. Usually they don't come near to campgrounds, so I guess the trailer wires are safe.
     
  9. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Messages:
    5,330
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Florida by way of WV and MD
    I Googled the pack rats and this is what I found - [:O]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mandinga

    mandinga Member

    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Location:
    Ottawa, ontario
    I had a mouse in a trap inside my pup this winter for the first time. The unit is completely sealed. The underneath had been mouse proofed. However, there is a slight gap between the door and roof when closed. This is also the first time I used a cover. My guess is that the mouse was able to climb up from the frame rails between the cover and there trailer, the squeeze through the gap. I'm hoping through trap if the first thing it got to, but I won't know till spring.
     
  11. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    Messages:
    4,651
    Likes Received:
    455
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    Morris County, NJ
    At work we had a Ford F700 back in 1987 and we had it about a month. Now, I drove that thing everyday! I parked in on Friday and when I got in on Monday the thing would not even crank. Not a click or anything. When I opened up the hood it was a literal rat's nest!!! They destroyed the wiring and it was like someone dumped the grass clippings from a mower in there. Cost the company about $3,000-4,000 to repair it. They had to replace all the wiring harnesses under the hood. The darn things even chewed thru the heater and rad hoses. It was parked on gravel so I did not see a puddle!!!

    It's amazing how fast those little buggers work and do damage!!!!

    In my opinion if you put a cover on it they will appreciate having a dry home!!
     
  12. ChocoChock01

    ChocoChock01 On the road aagaain See Rallies below;

    Messages:
    4,020
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    The cover does not need to touch the ground, they climb up that nice soft rubber tire!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
     
  13. sierrapup

    sierrapup Active Member

    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2016
    I didn't mean they would climb the cover. I was referring to the dark cool environment it would create under the pup. they really like that.. :)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.