No one wants unwanted guests in their RV, especially if those unwanted guests are mice! Mice in RV underbelly are a real problem, they are unhygienic and will chew through everything and cause some real damage to your RV.
There are a few easy ways to get rid of mice in your RV underbelly and a few ways to prevent them from coming back.
I will detail all the tips and tricks in this article to keep pesky mice away from your RV.
How Do Mice Get Into RV Underbelly?
One of the first steps to a mouse free camper is understanding how mice get inside in the first place.
Don’t underestimate a mouse, if you think a hole is too small for a mouse to get through you are almost certainly going to be wrong. Any small hole is a gateway into your RV for a mouse.
The RV underbelly is especially attractive to mice as they have multiple holes for the cords into your RV like water, power and sewerage. Any gaps in your outer shell are a weak point and a doorway for a mouse.
As you can probably guess, mice are drawn to the food and water you have stored in your RV.
It also makes it easier for the mice to get in the longer you stay in one place, as they will have time to case the joint and plan their attack. You will be enticing them toward your RV with the smell of food and any food crumbs or scraps that have been dropped.
Unfortunately once the mice know that your RV has food in they will try and find a way in, and the easiest way for them to get in is via your RV underbelly. In most cases they don’t have to try very hard to get in as there are plenty of openings for them.
Even if you think your RV doesn’t have holes or gaps these little rodents have very sharp teeth and can gnaw their way in. They are also really good climbers and have sharp claws to grip onto little nooks to find a way into your RV.
Even if you do put all the preventative measures in place, don’t be shocked if the little critters still get in.
How to Tell if Your RV Has Mice
So, now you know how mice can get into your RV, how do you know if they are actually inside?
The easiest way to tell if mice have invaded your camper is to look for evidence. The easiest evidence to spot is their poop. Mouse droppings are usually the first sign that you have mice in your RV.
Pay attention to the size, frequency and location of the dropping as this can show you where they are getting in. if the droppings are really big then it could indicate that you have a rat problem instead of mice.
Another indication of mice in your RV is damage, specifically to heating ducts and wiring. It’s easy work for mice to chew through your ducts and wires, especially if it’s blocking their route. Look for chewing damage, especially if something stops working, it could be because a mouse has chewed through the power cord.
They will also make a b line for your food, so check packets haven’t been chewed or damaged. It’s a tell tale sign of a mouse when your cereal box has a hole in the bottom.
You can also find their nests, mice will make little nests made of shredded paper, fabric and other soft materials. Have a look for any damaged cushions or any other evidence that they have shredded something for their nest.
If your RV has been left for a while, then you might even be able to smell their nest when you walk in. Mice nests have a musky ammonia smell, it’s particularly noticeable in enclosed areas, like an RV or trailer.  If mice are in your RVs underbelly the smell will be stronger along the seams to the undercarriage, get down and have a good sniff if you think you can smell a nest.
If you do find any nests then this can be an indication of where the mice are getting inside as they often make their nests near their entrance/exit.
How to Get Rid of Mice in RV Underbelly
If you are unlucky enough to find mice in your RV underbelly then you will need to get rid of them. There are several different traps on the market to get rid of the mice that you can try. Here is the best method to get mice out of your RV underbelly.
1. Remove all food
The only reason mice are coming into your RV is because you have plenty of food and water. Therefore the fist step to removing mice from your RV underbelly is to remove all the food in the RV, or package it in airtight containers.
Make sure there is nothing that a mouse can eat accessible in your RV. Once the mice realise that there is no free lunch at your RV they will stop coming.
2. Kill the mice
I know in an ideal world we wouldn’t have to kill any animal, but unfortunately with an RV the trap and release mouse traps just don’t work. The best option are the kill traps. I’ve found that wooden snap traps with peanut butter bait work best.
You can also use glue traps, but you will have to be prepared to kill the mice yourself outside (I know I can’t do this).
Once all the food is removed, set up the traps with bait for a week to catch as many mice as possible. The number of traps you set everyday will depend on the size of the RV and how bad your infestation is.
Keep setting the traps up until you are confident you have eliminated most of the mice.
A cat that loves to hunt mice is also a great idea, this should deter them from your RV if nothing else.
3. Clean your RV
Clean everything in your RV/trailer. Rodents are full of germs and bacteria so you’re going to want to give everything a deep clean.
If you can, remove everything from your RV including clothes, kitchenware, bedding, mattress, cushions and anything else removable.
When everything is removed you can go in and disinfect everything, get into every nook and cranny. Inspect your camper whilst you are doing this for any signs of nests or ways they are getting in.
Make sure that you fully clean everywhere including inside cabinets and behind removable panels and hatches, including the underbelly.
Once everywhere has been disinfected you can start bringing everything back into the RV, after you have disinfected it. Thoroughly wash all your clothes, soft furnishings and use upholstery cleaner on the items you can wash.
4. Spray rodent repellent
Next spray rodent repellent around the areas you suspect the mice are getting in and around the wheels and underbelly.
Rodent repellents are actually natural products and are usually concentrated peppermint or cinnamon oil, they are really easy to make yourself.
Keep adding the repellent every other day, especially if it rains.
5. Seal the RV Underbelly
Your RV should now hopefully be rodent free and not very attractive to the mice with all the repellent and sealed food. It’s time to seal up the underbelly to make sure that no more mice can find their way in.
The mice will usually find a way into the underbelly before making their way into your living area. Therefore you need to seal up every possible gap in the underbelly.
You’re going to have to get a torch and crawl around under your RV to find any gaps. Key areas to check for gaps are:
- Behind the wheels
- Trailer frame near wheels
- Around the stabilizers
- Where any drains or connections are
- Loose screws or anywhere that can become loose
You’ll be surprised at just how many weak spots you’ll have on the underside of your RV once you get down and have a proper look.
Once you have found the gaps you’ll need to seal them so no more mice can get in, the best materials to use are:
- Steel Wool – for bigger gaps, mice can’t chew through this so its good to use to fil in the bigger gaps.
- Metal Gutter Guard – for bigger gaps, just cut to size and attach with Gorilla Glue contractor‘s glue. Make sure that you use the metal guard and not the plastic one as the mice can easily chew through the plastic.
- Tomcat Rodent Block Expanding Foam – for smaller gaps this works a treat. It can also work on larger holes, practice on the smaller ones then use your judgement regarding the bigger ones, you may not need the gutter guard.
6. Seal the RV cabin
Now the underbelly is sealed, mice shouldn’t be able to get in. but, to be doubly sure it’s always worth sealing up any gaps between the underbelly and the living area.
Use the same techniques as described above (the spray foam is particularly useful here) to seal up any gaps you found between the cabin and underbelly. These should be easy to find as you’ll have noticed them whilst cleaning.
How to Keep Mice Out of Your RV
Now you have a mouse free RV you want to keep it that way. By sealing up all the gaps and keeping your food in airtight containers you’ve already become a less attractive prospect for any mice.
To make sure that no mouse ventures into your RV you can use the following deterrents:
Keep Clean – Keep your RV as clean as possible, wipe down all your surfaces and make sure there is no food/cooking residue on the sides or floor. This will keep the mice thinking that you don’t have any food.
Keep Food Sealed – Keep all your food items in an air tight container, try not to use zip lock bags as mice can easily chew through these.
Keep Dry – Food is not the only thing mice are attracted to, water also attracts them. Make sure that there is no standing water to entice them inside.
Keep Trash Free – There is no point keeping your food locked up and your RV free from crumbs and food residue if you have a trash pile inside your RV. Empty the trash every time you are away from your RV.
Keep Your RV Empty – If your RV is in storage then make sure that it’s left empty, mice can get through air tight containers if given enough time, so don’t give them the chance. Take anything that mice can eat or make nests out of the RV if you’re not using it.
Lights – Mice are nocturnal and love darkness, keep your RV well light and you’ll deter the little critters. You can even install LED lights to the underbelly to keep the mice away.
Peppermint Oil – Mice hate peppermint oil, hence why it’s in most rodent deterrent sprays. Put some peppermint oil on some cotton balls and place them around your RV, specifically near any gaps you’ve sealed up. It will also make your RV smell minty fresh.
Mice in RV Underbelly – Final Thoughts
Preventing mice from getting in is always easier than getting rid of them. Use the techniques described above to mouse proof your RV, and you’ll become as unattractive to the mice as they are to you.