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Thread: Rats! Part Deux

  1. #1
    Long Hauler Paul & Deb's Avatar
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    Rats! Part Deux

    Well, I have had a change of thought here.

    Recap: a few weeks ago I found a rats nest in my Onan generator housing which is mounted in my front compartment. It was fresh and I had no evidence of rats anywhere else in the trailer. The nest consisted of nut shells from my neighbor's macadamia nut tree, some twigs and, primarily, pieces of foam material. Initially I thought the foam was insulation material torn off of the generator case.

    My plan was to disassemble the "generator box" as it prohibited me from removing the generator cover and completely clean out and inspect the generator before I started it. I had no idea if wires had been chewed or nesting material got into sensitive areas, etc..

    Fast forward to now: I was able to get the box apart, remove the cover from the generator and completely clean out all the material. Man it was everywhere! I used my air compressor to blow everything out along with a vacuum cleaner. It is now clean and there appears to be no damage or chewed wires or anything .. wow, is that lucky! before reassembly I ran the generator and it runs fine. That also helped dislodge some small pieces and blow them out.

    Now that I can get a good look inside the generator I realize that I no longer think the foam material is native. None of the existing insulating material in the Onan or associated with the outer generator box has the same type of foam.

    So I am totally stumped as to where it came from. I realize the rats could have brought it in but I've looked all over the area and I don't see anything it could have come from near by.

    I guess I'm wondering, from those who may have more experience with rats, how far would rats bring material to make a nest? I always thought they just got stuff right where they nest. I mean they're not like birds who fly all over to pick stuff up!

    Also, any wild guesses on what this foam could be from would help me figure it out. It looks so familiar.





    Paul "Poppy" and Deb Cervone
    2022 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    2021 Imagine XLS 17MKE - SOLD ; 2015 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS - SOLD
    2016 GMC Denali 3500HD SRW Duramax/Allison CC 4x4; Tire Minder TPMS

  2. #2
    Long Hauler LCBoyer's Avatar
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    Looks like foam from a packing case. Pack rats roam over quite a distance
    2018 Freedom Elite 24FE, 2 Yorkies, and my wife MARILYN, HAM call K0LCB. Traveling around this great country, making friends and seeing lot of beautiful and interesting places

  3. #3
    Rolling Along kevinpo's Avatar
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    Hello,
    They will carry stuff from at least 50 yards away. I had quite the nest of deer hair in less than 24 hours on my engine air filter. I carry a couple of large rat traps after being driven out of camp by a large rat a few years ago that chewed all the insulation off my AC unit in the engine compartment of my truck. I use peanut butter for bait.

    Regards,
    Kevin

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    King Pin
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    Paul, the foam doesn't look dense enough, but is there anyway that it could be from pipe insulating foam?

    Jim

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    Long Hauler Paul & Deb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCBoyer View Post
    Looks like foam from a packing case. Pack rats roam over quite a distance
    That's why it looked familiar. Sure, I can see that. They also use that kind of foam for custom cases for cameras and things. It maid me wonder and I ran out the the trailer. I keep a special hard case to carry my quad copter in the pass through compartment. Luckily it is secure and I was fairly confident they haven't been anywhere in the trailer other than the front compartment. It makes sense since this happened in the weeks leading up to Christmas when many people are getting packages and they throw the stuff in their recycle bins, etc.

    I wish I could find the "smoking gun" but it doesn't look like I will. I have searched my property pretty well for sources to no avail.
    Paul "Poppy" and Deb Cervone
    2022 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    2021 Imagine XLS 17MKE - SOLD ; 2015 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS - SOLD
    2016 GMC Denali 3500HD SRW Duramax/Allison CC 4x4; Tire Minder TPMS

  6. #6
    Long Hauler Paul & Deb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TucsonJim View Post
    Paul, the foam doesn't look dense enough, but is there anyway that it could be from pipe insulating foam?

    Jim
    Yeah, good thought but it is pretty soft. I took my sample and went to a piece of pipe insulation I have attached to the wall in my garage to protect my car door and I doubt it's pipe insulation. It's not firm enough.
    Paul "Poppy" and Deb Cervone
    2022 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    2021 Imagine XLS 17MKE - SOLD ; 2015 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS - SOLD
    2016 GMC Denali 3500HD SRW Duramax/Allison CC 4x4; Tire Minder TPMS

  7. #7
    Site Sponsor JCR GD's Avatar
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    Poppy, it looks like the foam air filter in my lawn mower.
    Jim (& Sharon)
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  8. #8
    Long Hauler Paul & Deb's Avatar
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    The good thing here is that I can confidently close up my generator and reinstall the sound box and I'm ready for my dry camping beach camping next week without worry.

    Just another question, I have been behind my pass through storage walls many times but my memory escapes me .... is there anything under there like this foam? How about around the water heater? I don't think so but I thought I would ask.
    Paul "Poppy" and Deb Cervone
    2022 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    2021 Imagine XLS 17MKE - SOLD ; 2015 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS - SOLD
    2016 GMC Denali 3500HD SRW Duramax/Allison CC 4x4; Tire Minder TPMS

  9. #9
    Long Hauler Paul & Deb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCR GD View Post
    Poppy, it looks like the foam air filter in my lawn mower.
    Yes, I can see that too! My Honda generators had similar filter material I think. I did check the Onan air filter and it is nothing like that and in a secure housing. I don't have a lawn mower myself. I don't think I have any gas engines with an air filter.
    Paul "Poppy" and Deb Cervone
    2022 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    2021 Imagine XLS 17MKE - SOLD ; 2015 Grand Design Reflection 337RLS - SOLD
    2016 GMC Denali 3500HD SRW Duramax/Allison CC 4x4; Tire Minder TPMS

  10. #10
    Seasoned Camper
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    Don't recall seeing anything like that foam behind the access door in the belly. For that matter, anywhere else in the trailer either. Suspecting it's an import.... Maybe he was insulating yer gennie against the cold months!

    Glad you got it cleaned up and out. How bad was it getting the gennie shroud out?
    Chris & Honey & Mugsy
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