What to do when you find a hole in your RV?
It's NEVER a good feeling to find a hole in your RV! Luckily the hole we found in our RV was not on its exterior but on its interior. In truth, we weren't the ones that first found the hole, our cat found it!
Recently on her first RV trip, our cat pulled a disappearing act. She discovered a perfect cat-sized hole in the shoe cubby under our stairs, which led to the underbelly of our RV. This made for an unexpected and rather stressful experience. Many fifth wheel trailers have been incorporating a handy shoe cubby under the stairs. One minute we saw her enter the shoe cubby and the next she was gone. It was like a magician's act, but there was no wonderful "abracadabra" moment. Thankfully the magic trick was short lived and she returned to us with a little coaxing and some treats. While the ordeal was relatively brief, we were left with a much harder question, how do we fix this problem?
For a quick fix, we immediately placed some craft paper over the shoe cubby so we could figure out how to deal with the problem. The problems with covering the shoe cubby with craft paper was two-fold. First we lost access to using the shoe cubby but probably more pressing was that we quickly realized with a little internet digging that the underbelly needs access to air in the rig for proper airflow. Without airflow, systems like the furnace won't work properly. So our quick fix solution was pretty short-lived.
Our pets safety is really important to us, so we needed to figure out a permanent solution without compromising the integrity of our RV systems. In order to keep the air flowing through the shoe cubby area into our rig's underbelly we looked into using mesh wire. It's a very flexible material that would allow airflow through its surface but would prevent our cat from tunneling. We could have cut the wire and attached it inside the shoe cubby but we wanted the wire to be secure and the didn't want any sharp edges to waiting to bite us or our pets inside the shoe cubby. We realized the best way to do this was to access the hole from the underbelly of the rig.
In our pass-through we removed some curtain walls revealing the inner workings of our rig. It was like drawing back the curtain. We were able to see the rather large hole and understand the construction of the shoe cubby better to securely attach the wire mesh to points that were more secure.
We are happy to report after this relatively simple fix, we no longer have any problems with our cat accessing areas of our RV that we'd rather keep her out.
If you'd like to see more about the hole in our RV and the process by which we resolved the problem, click the video link below. In this video we show you how we resolved the "escape hatch" permanently so that our RV could function properly and our cat won't be able to "disappear" again.