We all think little Frederick and his little mouse family that live in the wall all winter are adorable, but we’re not so excited when the little mice have made their winter home in our RV. How can you tell if you’ve been hosting these little rodent guests all winter? Here are 3 signs you may have a rodent problem as you pull your RV out of storage to get ready for Spring travels.
- Made the mistake of keeping dry goods in the pantry? Look here first for signs of nibbling on pasta boxes and even eating through packets of creamer and sugar. If you left it in there, they found it.
- Is there an unusually foul smell? This is likely a dead rodent who made and nest, enjoyed a comfortable stay, and then for any number of reasons died. Rodents will go back to their nests to die, so if there had been any “bait bars” or other types of poison in the RV to deter mice and they took the bait, they won’t die near the source, they have gone back to their hidey hole in a wall, mattress or corner cupboard.
- Do you notice outdoor debris scattered around? Mice will bring in their food sources, so if you notice trails of little bits of debris from outdoors, that’s an indication there’s a nest somewhere.
- Holes? If you have a huge RV, inspecting for holes and points of entry can seem like a nightmare. Some people will do an inspection at night, using a flashlight shining from the inside out, and a helper outside looking for any light coming through. Mice can get through an opening as small as a dime, so some RV owners even wrap their RV with plastic wrap around windows and doors to make intrusion that much harder.
A rodent infestation is the worst as it means damage and usually a lengthy clean-up, but if you inspect your RV frequently while it’s in storage, and if you start the engine when you can, that can help deter the little critters to find a quite abode elsewhere.
Is the water smelling funny? Or maybe your noticing just constant lower-than-usual pressure? It may be time to sanitize the water system in your RV. It’s not difficult and can be done in just a few easy steps. Refer to your owners’ manual or visit the manufacturer’s website for detailed instructions regarding your specific RV so you don’t do any damage or void any warranty in any way. We’ve gathered the most agreed-upon steps to sanitize most freshwater systems in most RV’s.
- Turn off water heater and drain once it is cool and not pressurized.
- Open all drain lines and let as much water fully drain as possible. This may include low-point drain lines as well as draining the water from the holding tank. If you want to turn on the pump to force out as much water from the holding tank as possible, use caution and continue to watch so that you can stop the pump immediately when water stops flowing.
- Close all drains.
- The standard rule of thumb for bleach to water is 1/4 cup for every 15 gallons.
- Fill the freshwater tank to capacity, open all hot and cold faucets, and turn on the pump.
- Once water begins to flow through all pipes, turn off faucets and leave the system sealed with the bleach solution for 12 hours. Some people even drive the motor coach or pull the trailer a little bit to move the water around within the system helping to ensure all pipes and surfaces make contact with the bleach solution.
- After at least 12 hours, open all drains and drain the bleach water completely from the system. Make sure you’re not draining into an area where plant life could be harmed by the bleach cleaning solution.
- Refill the water tank, and run water through all faucets until the smell of bleach is completely absent.
Keeping your RV in good shape isn’t hard if you tackle these projects one at a time. Part of the pleasure of the RV Lifestyle is enjoying taking care of your home away from home.