Critters chewing trailered raft? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-14-2017   #1
Montrose, Colorado
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 33
Critters chewing trailered raft?

Hello all,

I primarily/exclusively use our raft at a family cabin about an hour from our house. I've been mulling over practical storage options for it at the cabin. It's in the woods, so there are a lot of rodents - mice, chipmunks, squirrels, etc.

I had been planning to make a platform supported by iron pipes to dissuade them crawling onto it. But having a dedicated trailer for the raft and just parking the trailer at the cabin (covered in a tarp) is very appealing - much easier, hook up and go.

If I were to lug it home each time, it would sit on a trailer at my house. Still some critters, but much less.

I've heard of mice getting into folded, stored rafts, but have you guys seen/heard of critters causing damage to partially inflated, tarped and trailered rafts? And how much difference would a platform vs a trailer for storage make?

If we were to build a garage up there (we can't anyway) there would still be mice because that's what happens up there.

Thanks in advance for the thoughtful replies.

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Old 11-14-2017   #2
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 492
I store my raft partially inflated on the trailer with a tarp over it under a carport. I have rodents around but haven't ever noticed any indication of them making themselves at home on/around my boat or trailer in the last 4 years of storing it that way.
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Old 11-14-2017   #3
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 50
I've heard the biggest(maybe only) reason that critters get into stored boats for any reason is because individuals didn't clean it thoroughly and there was food/dried beer/ anything a rodent could find tasty attached to it, thus some chewing occurs.

I imagine if you take the ol' magic eraser boat cleaner and 303 to it exceptionally well before a long store you will be good.

This being said I do clean really well, dry really well and then store in boat bags on shelves.

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Old 11-15-2017   #4
Vanderwagen, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 82
I have stored my partially inflated raft on a trailer, in a garage, with no rodent issues. Granted it's in a garage but fully rodent accessible. I think there are other more hospitable spots they invade and I keep food totally inaccessible. Much as I hate to admit it, felines are a strong deterrent. I would also be content to haul a rigged raft 1 hour if I didn't always have to rig it.
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Old 11-15-2017   #5
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 360
Moth balls. Cost around $4 @ local grocery for a box that will last several years. Don't put in contact with the boat, but sprinkle on ground under trailer, maybe tuck into corners and pockets of springs and undercarriage, places where the little bastards traverse on their way to the bed - and your boat. If you can put around perimeter of the bed, that's another good place.
I use in my boat storage shed, have boats up on some leftover sheets of that chromed metal shelving (just high enough off the floor, maybe 3 inches, to permit air - and mouse circulation). Haven't had any problems in 5+ years. Also use around the perimeter of my garage (inside). Had plenty of resident rodents until the moth ball nuke, now none. Can't blame 'em for wanting to get out of the weather, but when they start chewing - or just shittin' and pissin' - it's time to employ defensive measures.
The ammonia smell dissipates pretty quickly. I renew every Fall, when doing normal winterization chores, and it's worked for me. YMMV with Colorado rodents...
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Old 11-15-2017   #6
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Every rodent hole Ive patched in the shop has been from a rolled up boat. They get in the rolled up boat for a tight spot to make a nest and since the available material to fluff it up is right there they go to town. Dont think you have a problem leaving it inflated. That said, they are bastards and their destruction knows no bounds.
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Old 11-16-2017   #7
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Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 70
I had two boats stowed rolled, bagged, and tarped on top of an outside trailer for a couple months back in fall of 2015. Ground squirrels tried to setup house there, and chewed the nylon bags, but not the rafts. One raft each PVC and hypalon, but the wrap/bag, and other items got the chewing. Figure I got lucky with that, and won't leave them so exposed again if I can help it. Just looking around town though, inflated rafts do seem largely immune.
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Old 01-24-2019   #8
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 3
Great idea with those moth balls. I've been using these as well as peppermint oil, pepper and cloves in my garage. I also read about some ultrasonic devices on pestcontrolhacks and it seems like a good idea to me. Have you tried these, guys?
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