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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:
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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:
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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 !
Attached Images
File Type: jpg squirrel.jpg (60.1 KB, 7 views)
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:25 PM   #15
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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 !

Wow!! OK there has to be more to this story. Do tell!
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:52 AM   #16
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Now that we're on this topic

Back in 1970 my new wife and I headed for Banff National Park with the old canvas-top pop-up. It was September and we were warned about snow. We cuddled in for the night but it got cold, so we opted to climb in the car for the rest of the night (no room to snuggle)
Right about day-break we heard a noise and we peaked up over the dash to see a big old bear crawling into our tent trailer. He could smell the peanut butter from the night before. Apparently the young husband, played by me, did not have the where-with-all to clean up our mess.

I tried to beep the horn to scare him off and he looked at me as though to say "Ya, right! I'll get right on that"

I left the car running for the heater, I had 2 windows cracked for ventilation.
I heard a clicking from the horn and not much else.
it was a 1961 Chevy Belair, 6 cylinder with a generator, as opposed to an alternator. As most of you know generators don't charge very well when idling, especially when there's an added load. Yup, you got it, the battery was dead.

We got a boost from a fellow camper and the honeymoon continued
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryJ View Post
Back in 1970 my new wife and I headed for Banff National Park with the old canvas-top pop-up. It was September and we were warned about snow. We cuddled in for the night but it got cold, so we opted to climb in the car for the rest of the night (no room to snuggle)
Right about day-break we heard a noise and we peaked up over the dash to see a big old bear crawling into our tent trailer. He could smell the peanut butter from the night before. Apparently the young husband, played by me, did not have the where-with-all to clean up our mess.

I tried to beep the horn to scare him off and he looked at me as though to say "Ya, right! I'll get right on that"

I left the car running for the heater, I had 2 windows cracked for ventilation.
I heard a clicking from the horn and not much else.
it was a 1961 Chevy Belair, 6 cylinder with a generator, as opposed to an alternator. As most of you know generators don't charge very well when idling, especially when there's an added load. Yup, you got it, the battery was dead.

We got a boost from a fellow camper and the honeymoon continued
Classic story! Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Wow!! OK there has to be more to this story. Do tell!
So, yes, real squirrel in that picture. It is a horse's head I saw on Amazon and had to have. It has a hanger attached to the split rail fence. Squirrel stands up in it to eat food. I pack bread with peanut butter inside into the nose. Very funny to watch !! These guys eat us out of bird seed and corn, even with a "squirrel proof " feeder. We have a limit on how many can reside here at one time. Red squirrels are a big no no and are dispatched quickly. Grey's are allowed if no more than 6. After that, the have-a heart goes out and, if they are lucky/smart they go in it to be taken elsewhere to live a long life. If none are caught... well.. they are sent to live in squirrel heaven with the aid of a .22
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:06 PM   #19
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OH ! Speaking of squirrels, we saw many black squirrels at Robert Moses Park in Massena, NY. I looked it up and they are grey squirrels, but have genetically evolved to the black color. The black squirrels are somehow outdoing the greys for food and mating rights and will become more common than the grey squirrels eventually. We saw our first, here in Vermont in the Fall. Apparently they are common in Ontario and pockets of the States. Some cities and college campus' have released them and have sizable populations and they are common in D.C. as well. Who has seen them?
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:48 PM   #20
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This may sound strange but rags soaked in vinegar keeps critters at bay. Rags soaked in vinegar keeps critters out of gardens. I place bowls of vinegar rather than mothballs in my camper when in storage.
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