How To Keep Mice Out Of Camper (Best Methods)

How to keep mice out of camper

Looking for an effective way to keep mice out of your camper?

You’re not alone, as mice finding refuge in campers and RVs is an extremely common occurrence.

Unfortunately, mice leave droppings everywhere they chew up cupboards and cushions… and mice can be a serious health concern!

In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to keep mice out of your camper so it’ll be ready for your next outdoor adventure.

Why Would Mice Get Into My Camper?

You’ve probably asked yourself this question every time you had to clean the mess caused by mice. Mice can be really destructive as they leave their droppings everywhere and might even chew on the furniture inside your camper.

Mice prefer dark and confined places where they can relax, eat, and reproduce without being disturbed. When not in use, you likely store your camper or RV in a garage or somewhere quiet. Knowing that they won’t be disturbed, the mice may be tempted to make your camper their new home.

Campers can also provide valuable protection from harsh weather conditions and temperature drops. This is why it’s more common for mice to invade your camper in winter (and another reason you should learn how to winterize your camper properly).

Parking your camper near a food source like a dumpster increases the chance that mice will stumble across your camper and make it their home.

What Can Mice Do to My Camper?

Mice, rats, and other rodents are extremely dirty creatures that can cause lots of health issues. They carry bugs and can potentially transfer several types of bacteria and viruses that can be fatal to humans and other creatures.

Mice droppings and urine are filled with bacteria and viruses. Worse yet, some of these bacteria and viruses become airborne. Once you open the doors of your camper, you could potentially inhale these viruses and get extremely sick.

Moreover, they can represent huge damage and risk to your camper if you don’t control their infestation. Mice love to chew on furniture which could be costly to replace.

To build nests, mice and rats will start to make holes to put their nesting materials. They will chew or gnaw on cupboards and closets to find the right spot to build their nests. And they will consume and damage just about anything within reach to build their nests.

How Do Mice Get into My Camper?

Mice have flexible skeletons so they can fit through the tiniest holes on your camper. Once they get inside, the mice will spread and leave marks for other mice to come and live in your RV.

These rodents will roam around your camper, especially if it’s left unattended to find the smallest opening. If the opening doesn’t fit, they will gnaw on the sides to make it big enough for the small bodies.

Here are some spots that mice will potentially roam to get into the camper.

  • Cracks around doors are arguably the most common way for mice to enter your camper. They are able to squeeze through even the smallest cracks.
  • Pipes that haven’t been properly sealed will also be tempting for mice to explore. Metal pipes might not be properly aligned so there will be enough space for mice to squeeze their bodies.
  • Engine openings should be properly sealed after you’ve maintained your camper. At the end of the season, you’ve probably had your RV checked so it can be safely stored. Make sure that all rubber caps have been added to their original places to prevent the entry of these rodents.
  • Your floor might be rusty so there may be a few fragile spots or holes on the floor where the mice can go through.
  • Corners are weak spots that represent easy entry spots. They tend to deteriorate quickly and become more fragile with exposure to the elements.
  • Windows that are left open are inviting for mice and rats. Leaving a small crack because you didn’t close the window properly is a common entry point for these rodents.
  • Leaving food in your camper is another reason mice will be eager to make it their new home. Mice have a strong sense of smell and are always on the lookout for food. Combine that with warm and quiet shelter and you are basically asking mice to come in.

Now, let’s find out how to find these entry points in your camper.

Identifying Entry Points

The best thing that you can do to fight a serious mice infestation is to prevent it in the first place. Identifying entry points on your camper or travel trailer is the first thing you can do to control an infestation.

We briefly discussed some possible entry points above, but now let’s look at how to find these spots in your camper. We recommend you print this page (or view it on your mobile device) and check off each step as you go.

  • Use a flashlight and crawl under the RV to examine the bottom. Even the smallest holes will be big enough for a small mouse. It only takes a few mice to turn your camper into a big colony that will be extremely difficult to control.
  • Take your camper out in the sun and examine it carefully. If you see the sunlight shining through the walls and closed doors, then there are probably cracks that need to be carefully sealed. You can also use a flashlight at night with someone else outside the camper to check for cracks that need to be sealed.
  • Examine all the corners because they are weak spots that might let mice through.
  • Check out the wiring and plumbing on the RV. There might be some gaps around the metal pipes that allow mice to crawl into your camper.
  • Take a look at all rubber pipes. Rubber gets dry with time so it will be easy for the mice to break and chew. Doing regular maintenance by replacing the old pipes will secure your camper.
  • Examine all the vents and other access panels in the kitchen or bathroom. These might not be properly sealed on the outside, allowing mice to easily enter your camper.
  • If your camper has a storage area, examine it properly. Most people forget about the storage area and leave it unattended so mice will find it extremely comfortable and cozy. Check all the entry points and see if there are any holes that need to be fixed.
  • After a camping trip, clear all unnecessary items from the camper. Mice love clutter so you should make sure that there are no hidden areas where they can build their nests.
  • Don’t keep any food items in the camper if you’re not planning to go on a trip soon.
  • Regular cleaning of your camper is essential whether you live there all the time or not. Clean all the food spills and take away all the remains that might tempt mice to enter your camper.
  • Use a cleaning detergent to clean underneath all the surfaces. Wipe all the flat surfaces in your kitchen and get on your knees to wipe under the sofas, beds, and chairs.
  • Don’t store your camper in a woody or grassy area if possible. These areas are home to mice so they might find their way into your vehicle. Keep your camper on a flat hard surface so you can easily detect any mice droppings if there are any in the area.
  • Keep your camper away from water sources, dumpsters, and bird feeders as they tend to attract rodents.
  • Don’t store any pet food in the garage if you’re parking your camper there.
  • Mice won’t just eat food remains. They can feed on papers, clothes, and towels if you’re not using them. You shouldn’t use your camper for storage because mice will eat everything they can reach.
  • Use a vacuum regularly inside your camper whether you’re using it or not.

How to Mouse Proof A Camper

After identifying the potential risky spots, you should seal them. This will cut off access to your camper, effectively mouse proofing it, so you can concentrate on any rodents already inside.

Remember that mice are social creatures, so having even one inside your camper means that others may soon join them (if they haven’t already). Here’s what you can do to seal your camper and mouse proof it.

  • Use expandable foam to secure and close all the cracks. This foam dries to fill in the gaps that let mice through.
  • A steel wool and caulk mixture is a popular option to seal cracks and prevent mice. The caulk seals the hole while the sharp metal fibers of the steel wool ensure they can’t chew through it.
  • Replace all broken pipes to make sure that mice and rats can’t chew on the dry and cracked rubber.
  • Seal metal piping using an industrial sealant.
  • Use mesh screens on the vents and windows to make sure there are no openings where mice can get through.
  • Check out the old vents. Have all the old ones replaced to make sure that the new ones fit properly to minimize access?
  • Use night time lighting because mice and rodents hate light. Add some lights that automatically turn on to disturb mice so they don’t feel comfortable in your camper.

How To Get Rid Of Mice In Camper

Now that you’ve sealed all the entry points, it’s time to turn to the mice that are already inside in your camper. There are several ways that will help you get rid of mice, including:

  • Peppermint oil is a natural mouse repellent. You can use cotton balls and soak them in peppermint oil to keep the mice away. Just place the cotton balls in areas where you found mice droppings. You can also pour some of the oil in corners and holes where you suspect the presence of mice. The good thing about peppermint oil is that it has a refreshing smell that lingers so it will also fight off any bad smells caused by mice in your camper.
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  • Get a tub of used kitty litter and set it in your camper. Unlike the previous method, this one doesn’t smell very good so we recommend using this option only when your camper is in storage. Cats are natural predators so rodents will avoid them. Just try to keep the litter box next to the main entry point(s) in your camper for maximum effectiveness.
  • Another not so great smelling treatment is to use ammonia. Fill bottle caps or soak cotton balls with ammonia and scatter them around your RV. Ammonia smells like the urine of mice predators so they should tend to stay away. Just make sure that pets and children won’t have access to these bottle caps.
Clear Ammonia Multipurpose Cleaner

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  • Moth balls also drive mice away. Their smell repels mice and rats but they’re toxic to pets and children.
Original Moth Balls Lavender Scented

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  • FIll a mesh bag with cayenne pepper, mint, and clover. Mice reportedly hate this smell so it should effectively drive them away.
  • Use an electronic device that produces an annoying beep to keep the mice and rats away. The sound isn’t heard by humans so it won’t bother you even if you’re using the camper. These electronic devices are sold in most home improvement and hardware stores so you can easily get one for your camper.
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  • Live traps are an effective and humane way to trap a mouse while keeping it alive. You then just have to release the mouse, preferably far away from your camper. The downside is that you can only catch one mouse at a time, so you’ll want to set multiple traps if you believe you have an infestation.
Humane Live Mouse Trap Catch and Release (No Kill)

Humane Live Mouse Trap Catch and Release (No Kill)

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  • Irish Spring soap is said to be an effective rodent deterrent, but in our experience, it rarely works. If you have some laying around feel free to give it a shot to see if it works for you.
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Why Can’t I Just Kill Mice?

Well, technically you can… but mice are essential creatures that are a food source to several animals including foxes, weasels, bobcats, hawks, owls, and bears. Getting rid of them means cutting this food supply from a host of different animals.

Mice are found in almost every ecosystem and they link plants and animals together. Eliminating them from an ecosystem could cause an unnecessary imbalance.

This is why we prefer to find humane ways to remove and keep them away instead of killing them.

Humane Live Mouse Trap Catch and Release (No Kill)

Humane Live Mouse Trap Catch and Release (No Kill)

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Choosing Humane Solutions

As mentioned above, using a humane trap (live trap) or a deterrent is the best way to get rid of mice.

Using poison to kill mice has a negative impact on the environment. These poisonous chemicals don’t degrade and will still be present in your camper long after you’ve gotten rid of all mice and rats. Plus, the mice may spread the poisons to other areas and animals.

Moreover, it’s quite annoying to get rid of a poisoned mouse as they often hide (and die) in holes that you can’t easily detect. You’ll then be dealing with a nasty smell that is hard to get rid of.

You also shouldn’t use traps that snip off the heads of mice and rats because this means that you’re depriving animals of their food source. Although you don’t want mice in your camper, they’re welcomed to live in fields and gardens where they belong.

All of our mouse deterrents mentioned above are safe and humane and are just as effective (if not more) than killing and poisoning the rodents.

Humane Live Mouse Trap Catch and Release (No Kill)

Humane Live Mouse Trap Catch and Release (No Kill)

Price:
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FAQs

What can I put in my camper to keep mice out?

There are many different products and repellents you can put in your camper to keep mice out, including:

Keep in mind though that scent-based repellents aren’t going to stop a determined mouse. They may help a little at keeping mice out, but properly sealing off your camper is going to be the most effective course of action.

Do dryer sheets work to repel mice?

Dryer sheets may work to repel some mice, but they aren’t an effective mouse control solution. Sealing off your camper is the surest way to keep mice out. After your camper is sealed off, then you can place down dryer sheets to add an extra layer of protection (and make your camper smell good).

What scent will keep mice away?

Certain scents like peppermint oil, ammonia, dryer sheets, and mothballs can be somewhat effective in keeping mice away. But, they won’t stop a determined mouse from entering your camper. Be sure to first seal off ALL entry points in your camper then rely on scent-based repellents after that.

Does Irish Spring keep mice out of campers?

Irish Spring is another scent-based repellent that some have had success with. We don’t recommend it as the sole solution to your rodent problems. First, seal off all entry points to your camper, then you can place a few Irish Spring soap bars around your camper to help repel any curious mice.

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