How to keep mice out of an RV

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Whether you live in your RV full time or are just taking it out for a nice weekend trip, you want it to be an amazing experience void of accidents, inclement weather, and furry little creatures— that is, ones you don’t plan to bring with you. 

While there isn’t much you can do about the first two things, you can certainly take steps to prevent mice or other similar animals from invading your motorhome. We’ll tell you everything you need to know on how to keep mice out of an RV so that you can enjoy your trip in squeak-free comfort.

How to tell if your RV has mice

There are a few telltale signs that you have a mouse problem in your RV. 

A major one is finding excrement around your motorhome. Mouse droppings are small and usually plentiful, looking a bit like dark brown or black grains of rice. You can usually find them on countertops, in cabinets, in air vents, or in other small places. 

Mice also have a tendency to chew through wiring and rubber lines, so if you notice small bites on your cords or find that appliances stop working because their wires are severed, this is another symptom of a mouse infestation. 

Another sign of mice in your RV is food you’ve left out being chewed. Take a close look at any food packaging and see if it’s fully intact or if it has little bite marks. Mice like to chew through things like this and try to get at the food inside.


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How to keep mice out of your RV

You can definitely get rid of mice after they’ve infested your motorhome, but as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 

It’s best to mouse-proof your RV before it becomes a problem so that you can relax without having to go through the trouble of getting rid of already-present mice. Take the following steps to keep mice out of your RV, whether they’re there already or not:

Analyze your RV’s interior and exterior for possible points of entry and fill them

The simplest way to make sure mice don’t get in your RV? Eliminate any possibility of them doing so from the start. If you take a careful look around the inside and outside of your RV, you may be able to find some places that mice can slip into. Make sure these are covered. 

Small holes are the main thing you’ll want to look for in this step. 

Are there any small holes or cracks right next to your RV’s windows or doors? Could there be any underneath the RV, or perhaps in the floorboards? It can be tricky to spot every place a mouse can crawl into your motorhome, but the more you identify and cover up, the better your chances of preventing mice from getting in.

While this may be tedious, shining a flashlight around every part of the RV (and we mean every part) can help you find the tiniest, otherwise unnoticeable, structural flaws that could be exploited by a pesky rodent. 

Once you’ve found these trouble areas, the most important action to take is to fill them up completely. You can use a simple spray foam to fill up these holes (or caulk if you prefer) and seal them up so that mice can’t get through. Even if the holes look too small for mice to get in, don’t be fooled. Mice can squeeze their way into incredibly small spaces!


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Keep your RV clean and tidy at all times

Mice love to congregate in dirty areas full of crumbs and other small foodstuffs. You may not even be aware that you’re leaving behind any debris, but if you are, it’s vital that you clean it up as soon as possible. At the very least, clean everything you can at the end of your trip before you put your RV away for the season! 

Take out any pull-out couches, bedding, and other furniture, and wipe off any crumbs left behind. Vacuuming chair cushions is a great practice here. Make sure to spray and wipe down the kitchen and any countertops or other surfaces you used in your trip. After that, vacuum, sweep, and mop (if need be) all the flooring in your RV.. 

The insides of certain appliances are often overlooked in this step, so be sure to open up your microwave, refrigerator, stove, and any other appliance that touches food and clean them out as well. Speaking of food, it’s a bad idea to leave food in your RV long term. If you don’t think you’ll be coming back to your RV for a while and still have some food left, store it in your house or anywhere else so that mice don’t come searching for scraps.

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Store your RV on something hard, like concrete

Where you park your RV when it isn’t in use is a major factor in how likely mice are to get in. Storing it on a concrete surface or something similarly hard is great because it disincentives mice from crawling around and getting inside. They much prefer to loiter around grassy areas (especially near the woods), so leaving your RV someplace like that for weeks on end is a surefire way to invite a mouse or two. Even better than parking your RV on a concrete surface is inside a garage, if you have the option.

Photo via Unsplash

Employ homemade mouse repellent

Making mouse repellent to use in your RV may sound like a tall order, but it’s actually pretty easy, and many RV lovers swear by it. Peppermint is a scent that naturally repulses mice, so making use of this is your best bet. 

A tried and true method is to soak cotton balls in some sort of peppermint scent, usually peppermint oil. You can also use a peppermint spray. Once you have your repellent, simply place it (or spray it) around the RV’s openings, like the doors and windows. You can also use products like Irish Spring bar soap to repel mice if you would rather avoid the peppermint smell.


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Use mouse traps

Mouse traps are an effective way to prevent mice from getting in, and get rid of them if they’re already present. You don’t even have to harm the mice, either! You can set live mouse traps around your RV that’ll capture the mice unharmed so that you can let them loose away from your RV, solving your rodent problem in a humane way. If you do go this route, make sure to check the traps frequently so that you aren’t leaving any mice there for too long.

Cover photo via Unsplash

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