15 Tricks to Actually Keep Mice Out of Your RV (No Irish Spring Soap!)

Once you see that first mouse poo in your camper, it’s hard to think of much else besides the fastest way to get rid of the problem… especially when that bar of Irish Spring soap you dutifully put everywhere is covered with teeth marks!

Whether you’re prepping your RV in spring or the cool temperatures of fall are pushing the mice in, having mice in your camper can be infuriating! Attempting to block all the entrances of your camper can be hard, and fully getting rid of them can feel even harder.

Don’t worry though, I’ve found a ton of options that are NOT Irish Spring (just do a search on a Facebook forum or google… EVERYONE mentions it!).

Here we go!

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Top options for getting rid of mice in your RV

A combination of preventative and active measures is best, but doing at least one of these should help a lot! If you’re doing this in prep for winter, then be sure to check out my winter RVing tips here!

  • Plug in electronic repellant
  • Store all food/paper products in plastic or glass
  • Grandpa Gus spray deterrent
  • Copper Mesh TIGTHLY packed at pipe/wiring entrances
  • Mouse Blocker Foam
  • Undercarriage lubricant
  • Fresh Cab in all cabinets
  • Coyote and fox pee
  • Mess free contained traps
  • Collars around power + water/dump hookups
  • Greased entrances
  • Cornmeal + baking soda
  • Cedar Oil + panty liners
  • Use predator control (aka… a cat!)
mice just eat irish spring soap

Before we start – an actual physical barrier is the only fool proof way to keep mice out!

Deterrents tend to be a much easier, cheaper fix so we tend to look there first. However, if you want to take care of your RV for the long term, it’s best to spend the time and do it right as soon as you can. This means to physically blocks all holes leading from the outside!

Some people create custom steel/steel wool “collars” to place around each wire/tube while others use a simpler method, such as a special spray foam. Vent holes should also be covered by a fine by strong mesh!

Electronic repellants (Plug in for indoors, solar powered for outdoors!)

The easiest option as there are no sprays or work involved, these work by emitting a certain frequency that drives mice and other pests crazy. It seemed in less than a week, most mice clear out of the area and stay out.

This 6 Pack of Ultrasonic Pest Repellers should be more than enough to cover the space you need – make sure to do one per space as the frequencies cannot penetrate the walls!

This solar powered repeller is motion activated and is a great option for extra outdoor protection at your seasonal campsite or storage spot!

plug in electronic repellant to keep mice out of camper
via amazon.com

Keep your dry foods and paper goods stored in plastic or glass

Cereals, crackers and chips are some of a mouse’s FAVORITE snacks (or… atleast in my own experiences) so make sure to store your bags of dry food either in a larger plastic tub OR in small plastic containers of their own. If they are airtight, this is even better as your food will stay good longer and there will be WAY less smells to attract mice!

See also
DIY Sliding Bin for Outdoor RV Storage Compartments (pics included!)

The same idea applies to your toilet paper/paper towels etc – mice love how easy it is to tear apart these items and use them for bedding. Make sure you store them off the ground and in a bin (or just bring them in for the winter!)

store food in containers to prevent attracting mice

Grandpa Gus Spray Deterrents (peppermint and cinnamon essential oils)

This option is WONDERFUL because it leaves no chemical smell (only uses essential oils!) and is pet/kid safe. Besides RV’s, I’ve seen people use Grandpa Gus products in places like their barns and dog houses too… all without any fuss from the other animals!

Use the Grandpa Gus Spray on the entrances/exits of your camper. Make sure to spray a little extra around any problem areas you’re aware of (such as where wires and pipes come in). For extra potency, soak some cotton balls with the spray and put them in something with restricted airflow (such as these tins J.H. used) so that the smell stays longer!

grandpa gus spray with peppermint and cinnamon essential oils to repel mice

Copper Mesh – won’t rust like steel wool

Steel Wool is a popular, budget friendly option, but I wanted to focus on copper mesh since it doesn’t rust and, because of the way it’s woven, gets stuck in the mice teeth so they can’t chew through it near as easy as steel.

Plugging every hole under your camper with copper mesh is a great way to prep for long term storage over winter – it’s very durable and won’t run out of scent. The most thorough way to use this solution is to go under your camper with a flashlight and plug every hole with a mesh spray/tape combo.

When looking at the underbelly, make sure to check near wiring, hoses, pipes, and tanks as these are common places to have small holes (and mice can squeeze through something the size of a dime!)

I love that this copper mesh set includes a packing tool!

use copper mesh instead of steel wool to keep mice out of camper wont rust
via amazon.com

Pest specific spray foam mice won’t chew through…. very often

Spray foam is an easy way to fill in all the little gaps that are too annoying to do with the mesh, especially when there is a mouse specific one! There seem to be mixed reviews about the effectiveness, so I’d recommend pairing it with the mesh if possible (stuffing the holes with mesh then spraying a layer of foam as a sealant).

Here is Tomcats foam mice barrier spray that has pretty decent reviews – it’s trimmable and paintable, so it’s easy to make it look nice and seal tight.

tom cat rodent spray for rvs
via amazon.com

Spray your undercarriage with special lubricant

Another idea for your mouse repellent arsenal – a special mouse repelling spray that’s too slippery for mouse to climb on! It’s non toxic and says it’s not messy, however I want to point out that you are meant to SPRAY this product on with an air compressor UNDER your camper!

So, if you have an air compressor and don’t mind scooting around your RV’s undercarriage, this undercarriage lubricant is an interesting solution!

spray lubricant for under camper
via amazon.com

Place “Fresh Cab” in all the cabinets

Every year I see mice prevention discussed in RV forums, it seems this is a hit or miss. For example, someone said that Fresh Cab was “the only thing we found to defeat every rodent” in the same comment thread as someone else who said “Nope, tried that. They chewed holes in them!”

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The Ultimate RV Camping Checklists for 2022 [9 Free Printable PDFs]

What keeps the mice away will differ for each camper… this particular method uses balsa fir oil soaked plant fibers. In an enclosed place like cabinets/winterezed RV, I expect they would last the full 90 days!

rodent repellent to keep mice out of camper

3D Printed Custom Utility Hatches

Not everyone has access to a 3D printer, but there are plans uploaded such as these that you can get printed through a variety of services.

CreativeRVSolutions 3D prints these pretty sweet custom RV Hatch covers that look like they would work well (+ there’s a ton of positive reviews to support that!) if you like the idea!

3d printed utility hatches
via CreativeRVSolutions customer review

Fake Snakes… I’m not joking!

You’re not the only one who would lose their cool if they saw what looked like a snake – apparently this works for mice too! I update this article yearly as I hear of/try new tricks, and I literally laughed out loud when I saw this comment… and the pictures to back it up!

using fake snakes to keep mice away from camper
rubber snake for mouse deterrent

Get a kitty (if one fits in your lifestyle!)

Even if your cat is the most spoiled, inside cat that ever was, just having the smell of a cat (and it’s urine!) around will be a big deterrent to mice. If you happen to have a cat that knows how to handle mice… even better!

We have LOVED camping with out cat, and it’s definitely one of the benefits we enjoy (besides his overall cuteness, of course =P)

Fox or Coyote Urine (Yes, you can buy this!)

It sounds gross, but having mouse poop in your camper is usually gross enough to motivate you to try anything! This system works just as you think – the mice smell a predator nearby and don’t tend to stick around.

With a spray system such as PredatorPee, you can line the perimeter + use the included scent tags to create a “Pee-rimiter” (LOL) around your camper. And for those squeamish about spraying it, there are also dried shaker versions too!

how to use fox or coyote pee to keep mice out of camper
via amazon.com

And if they don’t leave after a week or so… some mess free, poison free, contained traps

Sometimes you just need the mice out now and must “thin the herd” before your other methods kick in… so you have to set some traps.

I am very against using any poisons as it’s very dangerous for other animals that get into it/eat the dead mouse. Besides the fact that the mouse will die somewhere random and stink as it rots, there’s also the potential for it to die or be eaten outside of your camper and kill the birds that eat them such as owls, foxes, coyotes, and even your pets.

With that being said, these clear enclosed mouse kill traps are easy to check and ensure no grossness is able to leak out onto your RV floors once a mouse is caught.

mouse traps to use in rv
via amazon.com

Cornmeal + Baking Soda

This is one I hesitate to mention, as it’s not a very humane way to kill a mouse… but at the same time, if nothing else is working, you can’t let mice ruin your camper or your family’s health!

See also
48 Top UNIQUE Camping Gifts for Campers & Hikers | 2022

The plus side is that, unlike poison, the mice will pass due to an inability to pass the massive amount of gas created from ingesting the baking soda. You still may have to find where they died, but atleast you can feel good in knowing that nothing else will die should they find the mouse body first.

The recipe is equal parts baking soda and cornmeal (via Holly D)

Cedar Oil on panty liners

According to Dannie Martel of the North Idaho Rat Rescue, the only thing that she says works no matter what is cedar oil. Now, this method of travel trailer rodent control is listed at the BOTTOM of this list as it’s also not super humane (cedar oil causes respiratory infections in rodents that will kill them in under 4 days!) But, as you know, sometimes there’s not a ton of solutions left once you’ve tried all the “nice ways”.

Cedar Oil can be a mess to deal with (soaking into things it shouldn’t, oil stains, etc) however here’s an awesome trick – soak a pantyliner with some cedar oil and then stick it where you need!

cedar oil to keep mice out of camper for winter
via amazon.com

More tips on how to keep mice out of your camper

  • Use vaseline or aquaophor on any out of sight surfaces they might rub against – they hate getting things on their fur!
  • Top anything you can with cayenne pepper as an extra precaution
  • Use copper scrubbies with slits to keep cords safe from rodents trying to get in while hooked up
  • Use bubble style screens over exhaust ports and referigerator vents to keep bugs/mice out but keep the ariflow
  • Some people swear by LED Ropes under the perimiter of the RV
  • Soak a bowl of rice with pure peppermint oil to make the smell last longer
  • Pay special attention to the tires and jack – some people make a barrier of sorts with aluminum flashing material to prevent mice from climbing the tires and such
  • Crawl under your camper at night (with the lights on inside) to have an easier time spotting any tiny holes… just look for where the light shines through
  • Dryer sheets seem to rarely work – worth a shot if you have some, but alot of people don’t have much luck with it.

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