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Independent Lady

Rats crawling into my engne

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I'm wondering if any of you know how to keep rodents away from our truck's engines?  I had an incident this summer camping next to a lake and small 

brush nearby. My almost new truck, 2016, wouldn't start, and gas spewed up from under the hood. Had it towed to Ford, and they found a gas line chewed

almost in half by some kind of mouse or rat. Cost me four hundred bucks.

Someone mentioned lights underneath at night, but not sure how to do that. 

 

Has anyone here had trouble with rodents destroying your trucks? I have a towing service, but it took work trying to get someone to

come rescue me as I was pretty remote.

 

Not fun being stuck,

 

Thanks if anyone has any ideas,

 

Barbara

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I had mice nesting in the ventilation system of my truck once.  I put a couple of moth balls under the hood, that got rid of them within a day.  I did get a slight moth ball smell in the cabin, but not unbearable.

You might try placing the moth balls up underneath in the frame or crossmembers of your truck.

Good luck.

 

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I have had this problem and the problem is the packrats. At Harbor Freight you can buy a string of Solar Powered Rope Lights and I have used them for years when in a problem area. It solved my problem.

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1 hour ago, remoandiris said:

Unless your truck was sitting, unused, for several days at a time, you just had bad luck.  

I live in the high desert and I have had mice and nest in my truck that is a daily driver. What I do on my tow vehicle that get used less frequently is that I have to leave the hood up.  I AM INTERESTED IN THE LIGHT THEORY THOUGH

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Thank you Chirakawa, hadn't thought of that!  

I've learned a lot about living in my little trailer over the past year, and for me, I like staying in campgrounds where my phone works, and internet, people nearby if I need them for something. I've met some wonderful people who have had me for meals, 

fixed stuff without my asking, and just generally nice people. I tried boondocking, not for me. too remote, in case something goes wrong, like this

Hi Bob, yes,  was told about the lights, and wonder, is that why people string lights all around their RV's?  Can try that also.

I think this is just one example of things we don't think will happen when we're out in the middle of nowhere. I thought driving an almost new truck, I'd be all set, but wrong on that!

 

Thanks Kirk, will look for it. 

 

thanks everyone

Barbara

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When in areas with packrats, it is common to see people leave the hood up at night for prevention of their intrusion. They not only chew things but also build some really nasty nests. In such areas, I hang a drop light on a day/night sensor under the hood but leave the hood unlatched to make sure that I don't forget to remove it before starting the engine. 

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Hanging a mesh bag of mothballs in different areas helps.  We did one in the engine area, one in the generator area and one in the basement when sitting while volunteering for 6-8 weeks.  The smell never seeped up in the motorhome's living area. We kept a reminder at the steering wheel to remove them when moving.  It worked for us.  We never had packrats (I don't believe) but during one stay in sagebrush country we got plenty of mice. Never had a problem thereafter.

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I like the idea of the mothballs, if I don't put down the light strip. If I left the hood unlatched, knowing me and how sometimes I'm in a rush, I'd most likely forget, suddenly remembering when I'm on the freeway doing sixty...

 

But I see all this as learning experiences, and I went to some very remote places in Wyoming and Colorado, and being alone,

my gut told me not such a great idea.... I'm pretty gutsy, but common sense told me it wasn't smart.

 

Will get moth balls and a light strip, since I'm heading through the mountains in West Virginia next summer. I'm sure there's lots of rats up there!!

thanks again

Barbara

s  

Edited by Independent Lady

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Did you consider filing a claim with your insurance company?  Rodent damage is often covered under your comprehensive coverage.

Lenp

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22 hours ago, Ed ke6bnl said:

I live in the high desert and I have had mice and nest in my truck that is a daily driver. 

Wow.  I would have not believed mice could build a next so quickly.  We have parked in some real country-ass locations for several days with no issues.  Guess we've been lucky.  

Appreciate the tip on the open hood.  Is that wide open or just propped open a few inches?  Any idea "why" it works?

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1 hour ago, remoandiris said:

Wow.  I would have not believed mice could build a next so quickly.  We have parked in some real country-ass locations for several days with no issues.  Guess we've been lucky.  

Appreciate the tip on the open hood.  Is that wide open or just propped open a few inches?  Any idea "why" it works?

I leave the hood up all the way, BUT be concerned about strong winds or do something to prevent the hood from getting damaged.

On my old 80's dually as I was pulling the trailer down the drive it died looked under the hood with the whole family ready to go camping and found the rats had ate through the wires to the distributer, was able to do a quick fix and take off.

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Funny that of all things to know about Rv'ing, understanding rats is one of them,,,,

I saw a lady alone camping where I was last week, and she had her hood up. I almost stopped to ask her if there

was something wrong with her truck. I bet she knew about the rats!

 

I think I'm going with the lights. .For some reason, I'm hesitant to leave the hood up. Too much risk maybe with someone other than rats messing with my truck... I know, small chance, but a chance just the same. 

Right now I'm at a nice place with three cats roaming around.. Not the first time I've seen "campground cats" so I think

I have little to worry about here.  I appreciate the dialog here and knowing what you all do.

Funny though, up till last week, I''ve never seen anyone with their truck hoods up.   Maybe they've just been lucky

Barbara 

 

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I ran into this problem some years ago and another RVer recommended "peppermint oil".  I was at a park that was in a forested area and the critters were really raising heck with the rvs and trucks.  She gave me some oil to mix with water and spray around the RV and the engine compartment of the truck.  I immediately had no more trouble with rodents.  I buy mine at Amazon for under 10 dollars.  If you read the reviews on amazon you will see a lot of people use it to control rodents. 

 

Jim

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Hi Jim, 

What I'm wondering about that peppermint oil is, isn't peppermint kind of sticky, since it has a lot of sugar in it? I'd be concerned about it on the engine, and different parts under the hood. I guess if you haven't had a problem, it's probably fine, but now that you've mentioned it, it's a good question next time I'm at the Ford dealer.

 

Thanks for that

barbara 

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 just googled "can you spray peppermint oil on a truck engine" and came up with a video, they guy soaked cotton balls with the oil, placing all around the engine. Said it works great, so that makes more sense to me, rather than spraying it..

 

thanks for that tip!

 

Edited by Independent Lady

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1 hour ago, missourijan said:

Cab fresh, I think that's what it's called, at Tractor Supply store and on Amazon. We use whatever will keep them away, moth balls, dryer sheets, lights, etc. 

"Fresh Cab" - Google it.

The peppermint oil - you put  a few drops  on cotton balls.  Put 'em wherever.

The Pep oil is more tolerable *inside* an RV. -

Fresh Cab (it's some kind of a collection of potpourri) and (IMO) pretty smelly stuff.  But not anywhere near as bad as moth balls !!

Easy to understand why rodents don't like it.

The light under the hood - (i you want to do that) - extension cord up under the wheel well to a "shop light" (the one in a 'cage") - and close the hood.

As other posters suggested.....put a note on your steering wheel when you do that.

We all hate meeces to pieces.

 

.

 

 

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ground sqirrels, reg. squirrels and chipmonks can cause some of the same issues.  I prepped my truck for travel one afternoon checking oil, tranny fluid, etc. All clear under the hood. Next day a little after 8am I hooked up and took off.  A few hours  later I got an odd smell and stopped to check things out. Over night or even later the same day something had built large nest with large twiggs and even small sticks.  I almost had a fire on the engine that could easily have started a full blown vehicle fire.

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I stayed in AZ last winter and pack rats are a known problem there. I used bright rope lights, a 100' roll around the camper and truck, also draped around the engine compartment with a timer to come on at dark. In addition, I put bags of Cabin Fresh around the camper and truck. I do not like leaving the hood open with the motor exposed to the elements, so that was not a option. Also, check your truck every couple of days and if you see a mouse/rat around your vehicle then you know you have problems and will need to set spring traps or poison.

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Pack rats are an issue in the Tucson area and now our rig - trailer and truck - sits in an RV storage lot all winter. In the fall of 2016 I bought some solar lights. Right now I cannot find a link to the ones I bought, but each set has two lights with about 15 feet of wire and one solar panel. The panel charges in the day and has enough storage to keep the lights powered all night. On and off automatically. 

In the fiver I have one light in the main underbelly compartment and one on the ground under the trailer. On the truck I have one up in the top of the engine compartment and one under the cab up on a frame rail.

The effectiveness of lights has been heavily debated here, with some swearing by them and others saying they are useless. One pro light school of thought says lights shining from above are better than rope lights on the ground. Some people say lights or no lights it's the luck of the draw. I figure lights can't hurt!

So far so good on mine. I did get pack rats in the truck while we were still in the RV park in the fall of 2016, but no issues after a good clean out and use of the lights.

Knock on wood, fingers crossed, etc. etc.

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I was at a rural campground and had been up to the grocery store in a very small town that was nearby.  DW had gone into the store and I was a sittin' and a watchin'.  A lady came out and was putting her groceries in her car, when out came a mouse running out of her car, hit the ground running.  The owner of the store was over at the front door holding it open for another lady that was coming out,  so, as you would imagine the mouse ran lickety split out of the car and into the store;  the owner saw it and began running into the store yelling and screaming at the grocery boys to "Catch that MOUSE! , Catch that MOUSE!"  Of course they didn't so I am sure it wasn't safe in that store that night for all of the mouse traps.

Happened just that way in Quitaque, Texas!! 

Edited by Mike and Claudia

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