Saturday, May 15, 2010

Keep Those Ringtails and Rats OUT

The problem hopefully being solved: keep ring-tail cats (think raccoon-inquisitiveness and mischief) and desert rats OUT. Out of the rig and out of the car. We have been told that the rats like to chew ignition wires, and the ring-tails like to examine what is available, chew whatever they find, and leave a mess everywhere they go.

So we have critter-proofed the rig as much as we could - steel wool in the exhaust pipe, moth balls under the rig, festive rope lights and holiday lights around the base of the rig, and lights in our engine compartments.

The rig's lighting system is fairly easy -- leave the engine open and stick a light (on a daylight sensor) in the compartment:

The car is a little trickier, thanks to another desert annoyance -- high wind. So we started by sticking the same type of work-light in the engine compartment, with a stick to hold open the hood. But we had heard stories of strong gusts of wind crashing other camper's hoods into the windshield, so we had to keep it from opening too far. Enter the bungie cord (the faint blue line coming down from the top of the stick). So each night we put the light in the engine compartment, run a bungie cord through the hood latch, attach each end of the bungie to holes just under the latch, pull the hood open as far as we can, and insert a stick to keep it from closing.

So far, so good.

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