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Old 02-06-2019, 09:32 PM   #1
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Camping in the woods - With critters

This past summer we where camping in the Adirondacks. Beautiful campsite right on the water. Relaxing and enjoying all the beauty of nature. This was at Moffitt Beach Campground near Speculator NY.

The camper


Looking towards the lake


After being there for 8 nights it was time to get ready to leave to go to our next stop in the Catskills Mountains. I went over the the truck and was going to check the oil in the engine to be ready for the next day. I opened the hood and was shocked!

I pulled this out of the engine compartment next to the cab heater motor. It filled an 8 gallon trash can.


The gray fuzzy stuff you are looking at is part of my truck fender insulation. The leaves, well they are from a nearby tree...

I didn't take a pic of the mess before removing it, but this is what it looked like after removing the nest.

The cab heater area


What is left of the fender mat. The mat is down on the bottom where the left over leaves are.


This nest came from one of these guys. They were having a field day frolicking around the campsite and decided to eat my truck and nest in it. .


I do not know if it was the chipmunks or the red squirrels, but they where sort of on overload this past summer.

Point in all this: Check your truck engine compartment before you head out for a long towing day when breaking camp. The leaves and nest where touching the edge of the exhaust manifold, and the high heat from the engine during towing could be a fire hazard. And that makes for a bad day camping.

We like to camp in the woods, just remember the furry friends who live there like to play tricks on the folks who come visit.

We have had members report squirrels ate up their propane hoses and I'm sure other rodents & insects have damage to ones camper, but don't forget the truck!

Happy Camping,

John
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:26 AM   #2
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Wow! I have had squirrels chew thru stuff on the roof of the house causing leaks but I have never thought to check my vehicle. Good thing you are diligent with your maintenance.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:20 AM   #3
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Yeah, I know. we have had that happen before too... I should remember to check ours too..
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
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Great reminder, but sorry to hear it. We spent $800 a year or two ago on mouse damage under the hood. This summer we are planning a trip where the truck will be left for 10 days in a known pack rat problem area. I guess "everyone" leaves their hood open to discourage pests in that area.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:32 PM   #5
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That's crazy they built that much that quickly.

My bro-in-law turned me on to "chippy fishing" when camping.
Small fishing rod (no hook) and bag of shelled peanuts.
Chum an area with peanuts and tie a peanut to fishing line.
When they start feeding cast to them and wait for the grab then reel em in.
Funny watching them hold on and amazing how quickly they learn to chew the line!
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:31 PM   #6
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Thanks folks for the added comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod Osier View Post
We spent $800 a year or two ago on mouse damage under the hood. This summer we are planning a trip where the truck will be left for 10 days in a known pack rat problem area. I guess "everyone" leaves their hood open to discourage pests in that area.
Tod, wow $800 in repairs??? What did they do, eat your wire harness?

Leaving the hood up for 10 days, what do you do when it rains, doesn't the engine get soaked? Do parts go missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enormiss View Post
That's crazy they built that much that quickly.
Yeh, fast for sure. They did that in one day! I had the hood up the day before for something I can't recall but the following day before we headed out I lifted the hood and found the nest. They were busy!
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:55 PM   #7
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Hi john,

They were in the fuse box, truck was stone dead. The mechanic was able to just fix the chewed wires (solder and shrink tube) it wasn’t that many, but the labor of getting in there was a few hours. to replace the harnesses would have been thousands (between 5 and 6K) in just parts and a couple days of labor. I was glad they were able to fix individual wires.

For the pack rats, as I understand it the hood is left open, but not all the way up. Enough to let light in, but I don’t really know. I’ll find out.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:50 PM   #8
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Wicked problem up here those little #$%#@ get into everything campers, cars, trucks snowmobiles you name it. Pretty much retune weekly checks.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod Osier View Post
For the pack rats, as I understand it the hood is left open, but not all the way up. Enough to let light in, but I donít really know. Iíll find out.
Oh, OK I can see that helping and not doing big damage to the truck.

It is like draws in a camper. It seems if the draws are left open, mice will not nest in them. To much out in the open for them. They like dark hiding places and fender insulation too
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Wicked problem up here those little #$%#@ get into everything campers, cars, trucks snowmobiles you name it. Pretty much retune weekly checks.
Back on the farm we had a mature black walnut tree in the front of the house. What a red squirrel and chipmunk magnet after the nuts... They even got into the farmhouse attic once. What a mess. Found the hole in the roof peak soffit and put flashing over it.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:40 AM   #11
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I was told that Irish Spring soap will keep rodents out of places they don't belong. Also moth balls.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:11 PM   #12
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Good luck, the bucket of death and maybe a flame thrower.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Good luck, the bucket of death and maybe a flame thrower.
Ok, now that's funny!

Yes, a bucket trap does work in deterring the little buggers when the camper is in storage. The flame thrower, well I'll take you word on it! I'm still laughing at that one.... That for sure is a deterrent.

Maybe, "Don't try this at home" applies?

Thanks

John
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:33 AM   #14
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We like to humiliate the squirrels in the yard by making them wear a horse head and dancing on the fence !
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