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Grey squirrels


woodylmiller
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Just trapped a grey squirrel in our Dynasty.  The trap had 1 inch squares so the rat was big enough that it couldn't get out of the trap.  Where might I find a hole big enough to have let it in?  Mice get in, but they can get through openings the size of a dime.  This guy was full grown.  I just find it hard to believe there is a hole that big somewhere.  Any ideas on where to look for such an opening?   Thanks,

09 Dynasty Regal IV

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I would guess up through the rear cap into the rear closet area somewhere. 

You should also check where the steering column comes up through the floor. There is a large plastic cover over it inside so it may be easier to check from underneath.  

Edited by vito.a
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I posted these several months ago but thought it appropriate to repost here.  You coach is open to all kinds of critters. I had 'droppings' on my engine just below the bedroom so I put a camera inside to see if I could find what critter was hiding out. I also put out a large trap. Here's what happened.. vid one is the first night vid two is the second.....Dennis

 

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We have not found any droppings or other signs except under the kitchen cabinets, out on the floor and under the bed.  That tells me it's moving from one side to the other under flooring,   I'm guessing there must be a space between the floor and what might be considered the ceiling/roof on the basement.  We could hear it move from under the cabinets to the front dash area.  Glad we caught it but I sure don't want that mess again.  So the hunt begins to find the hole(s).  

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Guest Tim503

My unit used black spray foam and I noticed a large hole in the dash where the cap sat on the supports. I was able to feel it in winter when the cold air just came right in. Most of the lines run between the rails in that 4 foot area they use spray foam there but they will go through that. They use it in the back before the water tanks and in front above the diesel tank on mine. You could remove the board in the center basement to get a better look up there. I have a sink and stove in the slide and that is quite a contraption with possibilities of entrance and under the bathroom vanity. Of course most units have a raised shower to keep the P-trap inside but it has a front access panel maybe. I have a raised toilet so that is an area. All of those areas are hard to get into but they can hide out there. Otherwise if they can get into the fridge box (not the fridge) they can get into the ceiling from there if the space between the ceiling and roof is not sealed. Mine was not and they started eating the duct work for the AC The other problem would be exhaust gas getting into the coach from the fridge but I never noticed that. Make sure all the access points in the basement and water area are closed or seal with that metal scrubbing material where wires and hoses come in. The bummer on mine is the propane and diesel tank are open to the ground with no way to seal them. Put traps in the propane, on top of the diesel tank and around water tanks and/or use poison. You could also put one by the inverter. One time coming back to open it and found a family of newborns in a box I threw them and the box out on the ground and mom came and rescued them while I was busy cleaning the mess she made. Use plastic tubs for storage. Too many bugs and critters like cardboard. one more thing my unit had a center furnace floor outlet and I took it out but that could be a problem. Mine ran above that board in the basement in the middle four feet then over the diesel tank before going into the register.

Edited by Tim503
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  • 2 weeks later...
9 hours ago, woodylmiller said:

Good to know.  Have not seen anything since the trapping.  Found a couple gaps to be filled with foam soon.  Hard to get to some of these places.

09 Dynasty Regal IV

I would stuff the gaps with pan scrubs or steel wire wool (as it’s called in the U.K.) then apply the foam, it will make it more difficult to gain entry again.

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I park my motorhome out at a friends house in the country. Had mice one time. Looked everywhere for entry point. Followed trail of paper from roll of paper towels hung on inside of baggage door. Found the nest and got rid of that. Thinking they got in when I was working out there and had left doors open. Put a bunch of dryer sheets in the compartments, around the batteries and everywhere inside I could hide one. No problem since. Also I keep poison cubes around inside the shed. If you have a problem the cubes will get eaten.

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Hanging camphor blocks, like "tidybowl", can be strategically placed.    I hang them in every compartment, especially where there are lots of wires.  Don't take the wrapping completely off, just a little at the top so the  fumes release slowly.  Avoid putting it in areas which can get so hot it melts the camphor of course.

Rick P.

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Woody - Based on your description, I would check  a few areas.  Up under the dash where the wood plywood meets the front cover accessible when the generator is open.  This gap was large enough for me to fit in my hand.  I filled it with black spray foam.   Open the access cover under the drivers window and do the same for the wiring coming up through the floor from the FRB.  The other areas to check are where wires and piping enter the  first and last storage bins.  Pull off the frame rail cover up front and look at the exterior of the last bin ahead of the drive axle.  I needed to add foam to plug the gaps.  Black foam used for landscape waterfall rocks sold in big box stores (HD and Lowes) will match the same black foam used by Monaco.

The other gap a found was under the front PS slide.  It is to keep the slide in position while moving in and out.  I got tired of stuffing fiberglass insulation in there every time I moved out the slide to stop the air leaks.  (Same for under the PS rear slide.)

I attached a few pictures because pictures are worth a thousand words.  On the slide seal, the slide gasket I'm holding down will seal the lower gap in the picture after I added the rubber gasket in front of the slide centering mechanism.

BTW, all these air leaks were found when we were living in our coach during freezing weather - The things we do for our children.

I would say that sealing these leaks made a HUGE difference in both heating and cooling our coach.

Black foam sealed gaps between front cover and dash.jpg

Air gap under PS front Slide.jpg

Original slide guide.jpg

Slide guide modification.jpg

Adder inner tube rubber to seal air gap.jpg

Air gap now closed when slide is opened.jpg

Interior view with new gasket before cover plate installed.jpg

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On 8/7/2020 at 5:09 AM, hitechpete said:

I would stuff the gaps with pan scrubs or steel wire wool (as it’s called in the U.K.) then apply the foam, it will make it more difficult to gain entry again.

In the construction industry (in the US), when you have a large gap to seal (think the concrete tip up or set in place panels of a building), you purchase "Backer Rod".  That comes in different diameters.  The theory is that you seal the gap and the backing material or foam inserts prevents the sealant from dropping or setting back into the crack.  If you have ever looked at a large building made from precast panels, some of the gaps are unbelievable....but with the right sealant and also the right backer rod, they last for many years.

I would opt for a nylon scrubbie or such as steel wool will rust.  NOW, admittedly, steel wool, especially the coarser grades, is a whole lot harder to chew....or so my rodent friends tell me....LOL

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Thanks everyone.  Been checking every day for any new signs, so far nothing.   I've got some of the black foam to copy what Monaco used.  Will try the scented stuff as well.  Have bait blocks around on the outside.  Several 5 gallon bucket water traps, caught one there in a outbuilding new the coach.  Have one of those commercial spring traps on the outside.  Nothing been eating the blocks or in the spring trap.

While researching for types of baits for squirrels to trap with, learned that squirrels eat mice.  That might explain the lack of mice around.  Because there should be a lot of them around since we live out in the country.  So maybe the scent of the squirrel has kept the mice away.  None the less, I need to get a book on how to contort myself into a couple pretzel shapes to get to one of the gaps I can see.

Up in the front dash/cap area there are some suspect areas, some can only "feel".  Need to invest in one of those little cameras.

Frank, I've I understand it about the frame rail covers, these are the panels that are accessed and removed from inside the storage bays?  Took the one down just forward of the wet bay and cleaned up the messes there.  Looking forward from the drive axle under the coach I can't see any gaps or holes, but take a closer look, need to crawl back there anyway to tighten an air coupling.

I know that squirrel was running back and forth between the front dash and under cabinets on driver side, so those panels will be coming off as well.

Does anyone know if the bottom of the sink cabinet can be removed?  This is a stepped or two level shelve/bottom, there are two screw heads right there looking up at me like removing them might allow me to remove that bottom and would make getting to that area so much easier, but I don't want to get in there like a bull in a china shop and tear something up that might be mounted to the underside of the bottom.

Thanks again to everyone , all good advice.

Woody Miller

09 Dynasty Regal IV 

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Woody, yes, those frame rail covers are accessed from the storage bin ceiling.  I'm not sure on your coach whether the fuel tank is just behind the steer axle like mine or mounted mid ship.  In my case the first bin behind the fuel tank had lots of gaps where wires and hoses are run.  After seeing all the other electronics and fuses hidden up between the frame rails, and wanting to have easy access, I didn't replace the ceiling frame rail covers.

The picture I showed looking down where I added a rubber gasket to fill the gap at the bottom of the PS slide was after I unscrewed the interior cabinet floor and another cover screwed to the top of the floor cover.  Once you unscrewed and removed the interior covers you will have access to the top cover covering the bottom slide centering rail.  This cover is only held in place with black caulk.  I used screws to replace this plastic cover.

Removing those cabinet floor panels will also give you access to the hidden aquahot blower and the 12 volt ground bar connections.

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