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rhinderber

Keep Mice/rodents Out Of Power Compartment

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I am looking for a device that will block the 4" round hole in the power compartment when cord is run or install out side plug for 50A power.I can't find what I need on the interweb may be asking the wrong question.

All I find is for dock lines and pig tails(What are tags)

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Go to a Marina store or any boat store and see if they have a 4" grommet. Some will have holes for inserting wires but if it is a solid grommet just take a knife/razor and make an "X" in the middle to push the wire through.  If push comes to shove and you cannot find a ready made grommet, any large piece of rubber to cover the hole and Duct Tape it into place with an "X" to push your wire through.

 

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The opening has a screw on cap to close opening when not in use. I find it hard to believe there are no products to close that opening when power cord is run through access. 

shore power access.jpg

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I constructed a device to cover the hole from some 1/8 inch fiberboard stock.  There are two pieces for the "inside" of the compartment.  Each of these pieces has a channel the exact width of the power cable terminating in a circular end that also matches the diameter and curve of the cord.  With the channels curving in opposite directions from the outside to the circular termination.  In this way the cord is inserted into each piece separately and they are turned so that the cord is fully into the channel in each piece.  When this is done, the two channels form a seal around the cord.  The two pieces are placed on top of each other and set into place over the opening for the power cord.  From the back side an additional piece holds a bolt that will be inserted through the center hole of the two pieces just placed around the power cord.  These are then held in place by putting a nut or wing nut on the bolt holding the whole apparatus together. 

I've been using this one for about 15 years, most of it full timing.  It needs to be replaced or at least the outside piece needs to be replaced.  I will likely make the bottom piece a single piece of straight metal scrap just wide enough to hold the bolt from the bottom.  The metal needs long enough to span the opening.  A nut could permanently affix the bolt to the bottom piece and then it could be inserted into the top pieces.  The wear on the bottom piece isn't from mice, it is from sliding the warped bottom piece around the cable.  Tightening the bolt has deformed the bottom piece seen in the last picture.  I can install this or remove it in about a minute.

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Well Mr. Butler you are one clever fellow, you did a stellar job solving that problem. Looks like it is held in place by gravity. My opening is on the side of the compartment so I would need to tweek your design some. I don't know why something similar isn't available at camping world or some other outlet. You should look into that.  

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Thanks all,

Just to clarify, my mouse (and other small critters) barrier is held in place with a bolt that you can see sticking up in the first photo.  The bolt is anchored in the piece shown in the final two pictures.  That piece has taken a beating from the moisture that exists outside (in this case below) the motor home.  It is warped and about to fail.  It is still holding strong enough to defeat a mouse but would likely not keep a determined snake out of the compartment if it smelled a mouse!

I will replace that warped piece with a bar of some kind.  All that is needed is something that will span the opening plus some overlap so it will rest against the underside of the floor where the fitting is located. 

In the case of the picture rhinderber posted, the piece would be located behind the wall where the fixture is located.  I would assume that there is some kind of access behind that panel as one would need to feed the power cord through that opening to the outside.  Even if it were not accessible, an anchoring bar could be mounted on the back side of the fixture by working through the opening.  I would suggest a hinge on one side on the back of the panel.  Attach a bar to the hinge and then the bolt could be attached permanently to the bar, thread it or bolt it to the bar.  The bolt needs to be long enough to go through the opening and through the two pieces of material that surround the power cord, allowing the wing nut room to catch a few threads. 

I can also imagine a way to attach a bar on the inside of the compartment kind of like barring a door to a castle in the movies.  A small bolt that would penetrate the central hole of the two barrier pieces and would anchor the two pieces.  The bar would prevent their being dislodged by any critter.  There would be no need to attach a nut in this case, the bolt would simply maintain the position and alignment of the two barrier pieces.

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Could a deck plate be modified. Could the contraption be held in place with a spring clip as sort of like those used on sheet rock walls to hold pictures.

Deck Plates

Or, find an appropriate size eye bolt, two of them.  Open the eye end and flatten to a rod like look.  Drill a hole in the apparatus that the power cable is going to go through on each side. Take the screw off the eye bolt and put the eye bolt through two pre-drilled holes in the "cover." replace eye bolt screw with wingnut.  To operate, place "cover" contraption against power cord hole. Turn the modified eye bolt until it locks against the frame of the hole. Tighten wingnuts.

Any threaded rod will do with the end bent at a right angle. (Use washers)

Hey, just thinking out loud. :-)

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The opening in the picture rhinderber posted is a deck plate with the screw in portion removed during use.  The problem is that the cord with the large plug attached has to go through the opening but when in use the only thing in the opening is the cord.  That leaves a large opening for animals to enter.  Whatever is used, it must somehow fit around the cord forming a tight enough seal to keep critters out.  There is a flip-up type fitting on the deck plate for our water hose.  It allows the end of the hose to be inserted into the water compartment and connected to the city water connection.  It has a slider that can be retracted and it closes with the hose in the gap where the slide has left an opening.  It doesn't fit real tight and the flip up piece doesn't have any way other than a weak friction fit to prevent an animal from entering.  I've never found it to fail but it isn't the most secure.  I've never seen one of these designed for a power cord, such a design could work and if the friction fit were replaced with a more secure fastener and the slide made to fit around the cord better, it would be a good solution.

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Tom, I have one of those deck plates in where my "outside" entertainment system would plug in.  Inside the compartment is the coax connector and the AC receptacle. On the floor of the compartment is a deck plate with the sliding door latch that is closed when not in use. It is big enough to put a power cable through and then the sliding latch can butt up against the cable.  I use it all the time for the ground lights and electric griddle when cooking outside.

Now for my electrical compartment I have a deck plate on the Winnebago that fits up against the edge of the compartment. The whole deck plate can be lowered by releasing two clips creating a wide opening, or there is a rotating slide cover that covers the opening when not in use and when needed the opening accommodates the power cable.  So they are out there it is just a matter of finding the right one.

Aah! Found some. Power Cord Hatch for RV

Lots to choose from.

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I have been researching this issue for all my utility ports and have located two vendors that sell devises that appear will do the job.  www.RVCritterGuard.com which advertises in Family Motor Coaching and www.SewerSock.net .  Since your power cord opening is on the side I think the Critter Guard is your best bet and is $5 less than the Sock.

If anyone has used one of these products or knows someone who has, I would love to hear your thoughts before I order one.

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