Wednesday, January 28, 2015

RV packrat

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Have you ever heard of rats that are afraid of light? My husband seems to enjoy turning our RV into a light show. He started with some Christmas lights this year and now is on to stringing the rig with ribbons of LED lights. When I complained about not being able to see the night sky because of light pollution emanating from our motorhome, he said it was necessary to keep pack rats from climbing up into our engine compartment at night and building nests, chewing wires and pulling out insulation. I’m all for saving our engine from long-tailed vermin, but I don’t think we need to turn a dark, quiet campground into Times Square. Am I being unreasonable? I can’t help that I’m turned off by lights. I prefer the night sky.
--Shedding lights in Why

Dear Why:
Working out the kinks in a relationship is an ongoing challenge. Something new is always popping up, and you have to deal with it. In most cases you can find some common ground. I would try to find that happy medium in this case.

 As for the pack rats, that is a very real threat. A couple lights under the rig at night in pack rat territory would be cheap insurance. They can cause expensive damage if they choose to move in with you. However, you would not need a light show. The LED strips are a great idea. They do not draw much juice and put out plenty of light.

If you are in Why, Arizona, you might want to consider a small string of lights to run at night. You could wait until you both retire for the night and fire them up. Not so many that might annoy the neighbors, but just enough to annoy the pack rats. A couple cheap solar yard lights will also do the trick. Let the sun charge them all day, and throw them under the rig at night.

If you are moving on a regular basis, it will most likely not be a problem. Staying put for a while might find your rig very inviting for several critters. If you end up going with the Broadway look, my suggestion would be to consider the neighbors.

 --Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


MrTommy said...

Hey now! This is something I might give a try. We had vermin chew up a huge chunk of our hood insulation in Mina, NV. And it only took them three days to move in. I like the solar light idea. We usually ring our camp site with solar yard lights anyway (for visual effect - you know). We could just take one or two of THESE and "re-purpose" them.

Anonymous said...

Harbor Freight sells some great motion sensor LED solar lights that come on when the rats, cats, etc. go under the RV, car, trailer, or whatever. They are easy to use and pretty cheap, price wise that is.

Jeffrey said...

I purchased a boatload of LED rope lights for my house during the XMas closeout several years ago, and roll them out around my Class A Georgetown when we will be in one spot for more than a few days. We've never had issues with rodents, but we did have to deal with a curious fox in Idaho who tried to make off with the loose end of my rope lights.