4 Warning Signs to Watch for When Buying Your Next Camper - Earthkind 4 Warning Signs to Watch for When Buying Your Next Camper - Earthkind

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4 Warning Signs to Watch for When Buying Your Next Camper

By : Rita Stadler

Martha and the 3 RVs

Camping season is upon us!  This is an awesome time for our family because we LIVE for the outdoors.  I guess I should say that I live for camping, my husband lives for fishing.  My kids, however, live for anything that doesn’t involve school!

Shopping around for our first family RV left me feeling a little like Goldilocks from the story with the 3 bears.  We looked at so many campers, trying to find one that was just right.  Looking at used campers offered substantial savings, but also raised some red flags.  The first one was too smelly, the second one was covered in dryer sheets, the third one was too messy!

I noticed a few signs of mice

  • The smell of moth balls.  Often used as a pest repellent, this may indicate a previous rodent infestation.  Not only that, but mothballs don’t smell too  pleasant and can pose serious health risks.  The scent can also stay in the RV for a long time.
  • Dryer sheets everywhere.   People use dryer sheets to ward off rodents as well.  This could be another sign that have been mice in the RV.
  • Mouse feces.  If you ever find rodent droppings in anything that you plan on buying, you better think twice.  This can lead to expensive, time consuming, and unwanted work for you.

I was beginning to think we’d never find the right one when I came across a camper with a pouch of Fresh Cab rodent repellent under the sink.  Not surprising, the camper that was protected with Fresh Cab didn’t have a single sign of rodent activity!  Fresh Cab is used by many RV owners in preparation to prevent rodents from coming around, and with my experience I am going to take that as a good sign that that specific camper has not had a single mouse prance through it.


Other red flags to look for when it comes to mice in RV’s:

  • Smells – The smell of a dead rodent is a very particular kind of smell that lingers.  One of the worst places to have a dead mouse is in the heating duct.
  • Rub marks – Found along floors and the walls next to them, these are caused by the grease in rodent hair and serve as signposts marking a trail for them to follow.
  • Nests – Found under couches, seats, sinks, closets, dressers, or under the hood of a vehicle.
  • Chewed through wire and/or other materials – Look for chew marks on bedding or mattresses, and garments that may be in closets or dressers.  Check wires under the hood and in the dash to make sure that they have not been chewed through.

Making sure an RV is in good repair is just as important as making sure it has enough space and the amenities you and your family need.  I am happy to report that after two long weekends carting around the family to look at RV’s, we found one that is just right!

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