Last week we wrote about termites in RV’s, a rare but not impossible situation. Today I’m writing about another pest issue that is not only more plausible, it is also more frequent I’m talking about squirrel damage.
I had a gas grille that sat outside in my yard near where my car is parked. One day I walked out to the sound of hissing. I searched all around until I discovered it was propane escaping my gas grille. Squirrels had chewed through the gas line rendering the grill useless and the tank empty. What amazed me was the fact that the squirrels had chewed through sections of metal hose in addition to the rubber.
I have heard of other instances where RV owners have started up parked RV’s only to discover that squirrels have chewed through fuel lines or wiring harnesses. Squirrels can wreck havoc on an RV. It is especially unfortunate to discover that you have extensive squirrel damage on your RV when you are just days away from a trip.
Signs of squirrel activity in an RV
Besides the obvious nonfunctioning of wiring, fuel or water lines that might have been chewed through, some RV owners with a squirrel infestation have reported finding seeds in their RV in strange places. Others have opened drawers only to discover a large stockpile of pinecones or even a nibbled on corn cob.
If you begin to see these mysterious signs, you need to check the unit thoroughly to see where they are nesting and also where they might be getting into the RV.
Check the electrical center as squirrels and even rodents will sometimes try to build nests there. If you do find damage in the wiring center, immediately unplug the FW and clean out the debris. If the animal has chewed through the wiring, you could risk a fire, and you need to make arrangements to have the RV transported to a shop capable of checking the entire unit out and repairing the damage. This is a fire hazard and a risk to your safety. If you happen to be in or near the Dallas-Fort Worth area, contact us and we can arrange safe transport of your RV and inspect the unit for electrical damages from the squirrels.
Because squirrels’ teeth never stop growing, they constantly gnaw on things to help keep them from getting too long. For whatever reason, electrical wiring, and hoses are irresistible to them.
To determine whether damage from squirrels or other rodents might be covered under your RV insurance policy, you should double-check whether you have comprehensive coverage. This type of coverage helps protect you against damage that’s not caused by a collision—and that often includes damage from animals, such as squirrels.
Comprehensive coverage is an optional coverage on an RV insurance policy. If you are not sure whether you have comprehensive coverage, read your policy or check with your insurance agent.
Rodents of all shapes and sizes seek shelter and food when times get hard. An RV that’s, for the most part, well-insulated, dry and un disturbed during the cold months is an easy nest building site for squirrels. There are all kinds of tips on how to protect your RV from squirrel and rodent infestations and some work while others do not. Some will say to put mothballs around the unit or hang dryer sheets inside.
One of the first things you should do is get rid of the food left in the RV and really clean out the pantries and cabinets. Remove everything that could be considered a food source. Plastic containers will only slow them down for a few minutes, so when you empty your RV of food, empty it completely!
Setting rat traps in strategic positions around the coach is no guarantee that the squirrels will stay away. Most simply avoid them. Those ultrasonic pest repellers that are guaranteed to drive all rodents insane rarely keep squirrels out either.
Seal Your Firewalls and your whole RV
With a fine tooth comb go over your entire RV, looking for any small areas that squirrels or rodents can get in. Small gaps in the firewall can even be a way in that you might never suspect. Also seal access holes for water lines and electrical cabling. Access holes where water lines enter your coach can be larger than necessary, so seal the area with a plate of wood and some spray insulation.
Eliminating the pathways for entry into your RV is much easier than getting rodents out.
Remember, prevention is the best cure