Leaving your RV outside exposed in the elements means that some things can go wrong. I expected that. But little did I know that I’d have to guard against squirrels under the RV to make sure that I didn’t have any issues with my fuel ventilation hose.
On my way back from Pensacola, I filled the RV full of gas. When I say full, I mean real full. Turns out that if you overfill your tank, you can actually back up the vent lines which could cause a major issue with your fuel system. No one had ever told me that before, but I did read it in my owner’s manual. When I got to my next stop, it took me 25 minutes to put 15 gallons of gas into the RV. That was not fun.
I took the RV in for service to get whatever went wrong corrected. Turns out the issue I was having was not from over-filling the tank — it was from a squirrel that had chewed into the vent hose and placed an acorn in it. Good thing he didn’t get back up there to eat that one. It may have had a gas scent to it.
When the guy from the dealership called me, he was literally laughing saying that he had never seen anything like that before. I didn’t think it was too funny to find out it cost me $250 to get it fixed, but the boys at the shop sure seemed to get a kick out of it.
As it turns out, the hoses are made with something he likened to vegetable oil. The squirrels get up there and gnaw at these hoses and use them as hiding spots for acorns. The lady at the desk where I paid said that her pull-behind unit was nearly totaled because squirrels got up underneath and literally ate all of the hoses. Those little dudes can evidently do some real damage.
I am not quite sure how to combat the squirrels. The guy at the dealership said to wire some mothballs up under the RV. Squirrels do not like the smell or taste of mothballs and they act as a deterrent to those little critters. Now that I have the RV back, my next mission is to get up under that thing and start hanging some mothballs all around the underside of my RV. I don’t want to have something like that happen again.
But how could that acorn have gotten down inside the hose and caused my issue? I had been driving and filling up the RV without incident until I got halfway back from Pensacola. The only thing we could surmise was that the acorn got sucked down into the hose from the pressure of the gas being used. Weird.
Every day I learn something else about being an RV owner. I now know that I have to do something that I have to do something to keep the pesky little squirrels from eating crucial parts under the RV. I also learned not to overfill your gas tank because of the damage that it can potentially cause. I wonder what else I could learn if I read the rest of that owner’s manual? But then again, I don’t read the instructions of anything that I buy that needs to be assembled either. Makes perfect sense that I get into trouble with certain things.
We have decided to put up a carport out behind the house — one that is big enough to hold the boat as well as the RV. Hopefully that will keep the acorns from falling under the RV and giving those little guys thoughts about chewing on the hoses. But just in case, I’ll be definitely be putting mothballs under the RV, as weird as that sounds. Anything to keep from having to go through that again.
Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at Greg.Bartz@SummitHoldings.com.