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Friday, July 8, 2022

Chewy - Chewy - Chewy - Chipmunks!!!

This happened a couple weeks ago, but I'm finally getting around to writing it now. 

We all like taking off into the woods and getting back to nature. And nature should be just like that, NATURAL. And we humans are guests in their natural habitat.

We hit the road in our big huge obnoxious machines...

And we drive down picturesque country roads...

And we set up our big RVs in their natural habitat...


Look how CUTE they are???


These little buggers have learned to adapt when we come into their habitat. They watch us carefully, and slowly they begin to realize that we could be a source of easy FOOD! 

And that is just what happened. 

We were camped up at the National Forest at a beautiful campground. The volunteer host at the campground has been there for 6 or 7 years now at the same site. He hauls up 40 lb bags of peanuts and feeds these little rascals. Both chipmunks and squirrels. Some of them are the same ones that come back year after year. He can tell one female with the scar on her leg. He has fed them so much and made them so de-sensitized to their natural cautious instincts. As soon as he opens the compartment door on his camper, they come scrambling from the woods in every direction to come and get their free food.

He also puts out hummingbird nectar and get swarms of hummingbirds that come flying in overhead as you sit at his picnic table. It's pretty amazing.  You sit at his campsite to visit, and it's virtual plethora of wildlife coming in for the free food! 

Oh yes,

we thought it was funny. 

We thought it was cute. 

See the video below:

These little buggers have the run of the entire campground. We thought being down on the far end, we would be safe from them. But no, even 10 campsites away they descended upon us in droves, begging for more food. They came right up onto our shoes and crawled on our pants legs and begged for more food! Even right with our dog there by us, they knew that the dog would not ever be quick enough to catch them. They descended on us for 4 days.  We were shooing them away.

We are not talking about one or two. We are talking about 3-4-5 at any given time in our campsite by our camper, begging us for food!

In conversation with the guy next to the host, he's not too happy about it. He paid over $5,000 to have his vehicle towed away and repaired. He now sets out a bucket of mothballs underneath his RV and hangs mesh bags of mothballs underneath his expensive newly rewired truck. 

It seems these little critters, as well as pack rats and mice, have a proclivity for chewing on wiring underneath vehicles and rvs. There is something in the chemical makeup of the wire coating that is said to have a soy product in it. Whatever it is, these little stinkers aren't satisfied being full enough of peanuts, they need to eat the wiring on vehicles!

And we found out the hard way... when we hooked up to leave after 4 days, the tail, brake and signal lights on one side of our Saturn were not operational!  We tow the Saturn behind the motorhome, and double check all of the brake, tail and signal lights before leaving.

They even chewed right through the protective wrapped loom coating of our wire harness!

The Darling Little Critters chewed right through the wiring 
and destroyed all of the connections
 from front to rear along that side of our vehicle.

Just look at them little stinkers and what they did.
 We could have easily had a fire.

We had no idea these little creatures
 were so busy underneath our Saturn.

Some wires were chewed entirely through. 
Why would they chew on the copper?

We patched it up as best we could to get home. Steve also did a cursory check underneath the motorhome to check through the wiring there. Everything looked good and we were able to make it home unscathed. 

Once we got home, he completely replaced the wiring on that side of the Saturn. And then from there he did a detailed inspection underneath the motorhome. We avoided any further catastrophe, thank goodness. 

I know, I know, I know. We were in their territory. But these weren't just normal little chipmunks. Cute little Chip and Dale, my ass!

We did not confront the host as to the problem, he has been feeding them for 7 years, we aren't going to change him. He is aware of it via the next door camper.  

When we were traveling out west, we ran into folks who had wiring eaten by desert pack rats. They swear by laying ropes of blue lights underneath their RV and vehicles, it deters them. I am not sure we want to use precious battery power when boondocking to put on lights all night.  Besides, these critters were out in the DAYTIME.  We need to find other ways....

But... we now bought mothballs and will regularly set them underneath our vehicle and our RV when we camp and see if that deters any of the little stinkers.  I am going to look into some repellant sprays to mist around our rig and vehicle. 

If you have any other suggestions, please post in the comments below??

But we are NOT going to go back to that particular campground again!


  1. Love your comment on Chip and Dale....you're my kind of person!!

  2. Pack Rats are nocturnal animals and bright lights alone do not stop them but they are scared of Flashing Lights. To save your Battery you can purchase Solar Powered String Lights that have the Flash Mode.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your repairs.

    It's about time.

  3. That guy has created one major problem!! We've had pack rats in the bay of our Country Coach while camped in Oregon along the coast, we've had rabbits destroy the wiring to our generator in the Country Coach while parked in our backyard in North Ranch. Pack rats are a severe problem in the southwest and we have friends who have used lights with good success. We looked at a Safari in Billings, MT on Wednesday--it had been used and abused.

    1. We will try some of those hints. Sorry about your Country Coach when that happened. So? You're looking for a motorhome again?

  4. Oh man, and we have a few around here that chew off the flower heads on my plants, cute my ass is right! Sorry they rained on your getaway and glad Steve got it sorted and fixed up.

  5. My only suggestion before I got to the end, is don't go back to that campground. I love seeing wildlife close up but there is a limit. And this guy has pushed it too far.


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