Michael Vreeland (20733)
Virginia State Director
Well, time for another Legacy magazine, where does the time go? It has been a great summer – several rallies attended and hosted the Virginia State Rally at Candy Hill Campground in Winchester, Virginia so a fun packed summer. But we are rapidly approaching the time to “Head em up, movem out” – what TV show was that from? – and head south for the winter. However, my southern trek will be delayed.
Part of all of our RVing enjoyment and ownership is travel and seeing new places. Unfortunately, there are also less than fun things we get to experience – traveling issues and RV repairs. I have had my share like so many of you, but I have experienced an unusual one I figured I would pass along. I have a 2014 Dutch Star and on the slide wall facing the passenger seat I have the remote for the day/night shades. I noticed the wallpaper above the remote holder was really rough – felt kind of like rust under the wallpaper. However pretty sure wood does not rust so started investigating. I took it to a service shop, and it appears the bracket on the top of the slide has cracked at a weld joint and allowed water to leak in. So, it was not rust after all – it was rotting wood. Based on the service shop they needed to pull the slide out and replace the wood on the side and top of the slide. After I heard this, all I could hear was a cash register drawer opening knowing this was going to cost a bunch. So, I started calling around and no one has the necessary stuff to pull a slide so I would need to go to factory. I call Newmar at Nappanee and the earliest I could get in was the first week of December this year. That meant a good five-month delay but I had no other options so December it is. The only upside was the service guy there indicated they would not have to pull the slide to fix so that was good. Since I was going to be there for that repair, I figured it was time to do some preventative maintenance. So, I added stripping all the caulk off the roof, cleaning it up, and re-caulking. I had this done in 2018 when I had a leak from the shower plastic dome thingy. Evidently something had fallen on it and cracked it causing a water leak. Since I spend winters in Florida, I know the sun does a number of the caulk so better me to pick the repair time than have a failure pick the repair time. Also, I am having them check the slide rollers and replace as necessary. After that I should be good for another 10 years. Guess it is all part of the RVing experience.
Now for another one of those experiences we all get to enjoy – mouse in the RV. Somewhere between the Tri-State Rally in Elijay, Georgia a non-NKK rally in Sevierville Tennessee, or maybe even locally at Ashland, Virginia I picked up a mouse. I noticed the dropping, so I went on a mouse hunt and found evidence of mice mischief. My paper towel roll has been chewed along with some toilet paper and the varmint even tried eating his way into a container that held dog cookies. Fortunately, most of the “food like stuff” I have is in some sort of container, but mice can be pretty persistent. The next day I did not see any evidence of mice mischief, so I thought maybe he had gone. To verify I left a small piece of dog cookie on the counter overnight. Sure enough, the next morning it was gone. So, I pulled out my trusty mouse trap and got it ready to set up for that night. Later that day it was dinner time for the pups, so I went into the dog cabinet to get their food and we met, mouse eye to human eye. The first thing I thought of “is there such a thing as an attack mouse?” I kid you not he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. I slammed the cabinet door and got ready to face my foe. I put on some gloves and glasses in case he was an “attack mouse” – did not want him to eat my eye and so I could see him to grab him. Well, you can imagine how well that went. I whipped open the cabinet door, reached in with my gloves looking for the mouse, we met eye to eye again and he was off. Jump to the floor and scooted under the cabinet. I tried to grab him a couple times but all I got was air. Of course, when he jumped to the floor you would have thought I was an Irish Step Dancer. After the excitement calmed down, a thought went through my mind – “what if he had jumped on me”? I suspect I would have screamed like a girl, continued my Irish Step Dancing, and no doubt would have wet myself. Thank God that did not happen. Although after thinking about that I thought I heard Marcy laughing, it would have been quite a show. Well human technology won out and I caught him that night. Humans 1, mice 0!!! Now comes the taking stuff out of the drawers, washing it, and putting it back. Did I mention how much I had washing dishes – oh well it had to be done.
I was feeling pretty good about my intellectual prowess conquering my arch enemy – the mouse. About a week later I noticed the mouse dropping again. I wonder how that could be then I thought maybe I should not have celebrated so much because his ghost is haunting me. I wish it had been his ghost, but the mouse dropping were real so back I went to my mouse hunting gear and pulled out my mouse trap. I again had to pull out all the silverware and again wash everything and clean out the drawer. I did mention how much I really hate washing dishes didn’t I? This time I wrapped all the silverware trays with saran wrap except for one set of silverware for me. This will stop him from dropping in the trays and I should be good till I catch this varmint as well.
It did not go as well as the first hunt. Mouse #2 was smarter – I could not catch him over a couple days. By then I was at the Virginia/North Carolina/South Carolina rally. So not having any luck with the mouse trap I got some of that sticky stuff you lay out. First let me tell you that sticky stuff is REALLY sticky. I did not have a shirt on and was looking at the package and was trying to take it apart. Well, as luck would have it the sticky pad slipped out of my hand, I went to grab it and it landed on my stomach. Well, this is a spoiler alert – if you don’t want something stuck in your mind eye, that will haunt you for years, skip to next paragraph. You have been warned. I have a relatively hairy chest and of course stomach. Well did I mention that sticky pad is really sticky? If you have ever seen one of those videos of a hairy guy (the ones I saw makes me, think they are related to a Wookie given the amount of hair) who decides he is going to get a waxing; well it is hilarious and worse, yet you can actually feel the pain when the wax is jerked off. A similar problem, that green sticky stuff was a real challenge to remove. I did get it off but not without tearing up some. So, I put the sticky pads in the bay and next morning I found a mouse stuck to the pad. Wow that was terrible! I did not like that stuff and how the mouse could suffer. So having a soft heart I walked over the hedge and carefully (as I could) peeled off the mouse and let him loose. I hope it lived. So, I tossed the traps and sticky pads figuring I was finally done. Well imagine my surprise two days later, I found mouse dropping in my silverware drawer AGAIN. So AGAIN, I had to wash the stuff, wrap it in saran warp. I mentioned earlier that I really hate washing dishes and I still do not like doing it.
So, what to do for mouse #3 – that’s right a third mouse. So, I went to the local Walmart’s in Mayberry and voila I found a humane – yes humane – mouse trap so I bought it. That night I placed the trap in the silverware drawer to see how it works. To be honest I think those mice are smarter than we think. I suspect they know how much I hated washing dishes and kept going into the silverware drawer to leave their droppings for spite. Next morning sure enough I caught the mouse, whoopee! I will include a picture of my humane mouse trap with the mouse looking out at me so folks will know what to look for. So now what. I initially thought of going over to Tom & Gloria’s RV which was two spaces over and putting Murry the mouse – that’s right I named him, we had become very close after all – in one of their bays so Sugar (their little bitty dog) would have a playmate. If Sugar and Murry were set on the ground, they would almost be eye to eye. But I suspect Tom, Gloria, and of course Sugar would not have appreciated my gesture, so I didn’t do it. Now Tom owes me a drink. Instead, I took Murry to the woods and released him. The only downside may be Murry who was a real dickens to catch may mate with a Mayberry Mouse and the offspring may end up being so laid back that things will not go well for them. Oh well, that is Murry’s problem. Bottom line the “Mouse Hunt” series is over – I hope.
I am looking forward to getting my RV repaired and heading south for the winter and rallying with my fellow Newmarians down there. So, to all please travel and be safe – I want to see your smiling faces in my travel and hope to be able to sit and swap some lies with you. Rally On!!!!!
Safe travels to all and Happy RVing. I can be reached at beagleRV@gmail.com or 540-809-9830.