Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Marmot damage

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Colorado Climbing Partners section.
 

Re: Marmot damage

Postby MattGreene » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:40 pm

A few years ago marmots did about a thousand dollars in damage to my car while it was parked at a trailhead outside Red Lodge, Montana. It was definitely marmots, because when I pulled in the lot there was one under a nearby car, looking like it was giving the car an oil change. A few local fishermen that were also at the trailhead told me I wouldn't have any problems unless I left my car there for a few days. They were wrong, because I returned to my car less than 10 hours later to find the full length of every wire and hose chewed. Now I always carry chicken wire to put around my car when I'm parked at high altitudes. People look at me like I'm crazy, but so what. I haven't visited many western states in winter so I don't know how they treat their roads, but where I'm from in PA it's with salt, salt, and more salt. Even after washing the undercarriage, I like the piece of mind chicken wire gives me. I tried using mothballs, but just can't stand the smell of them so I gave that up.
MattGreene

 
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:33 pm
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Thanked: 6 times in 5 posts

Re: Marmot damage

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:06 pm

Another part of the problem is a trend toward "green" insulation (based on soy) on the wiring of newer cars.
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.p ... ent-Damage
http://rochelle-frank.hubpages.com/hub/ ... Your-Motor

Apparently, some brands are more likely to have soy-based insulation in exposed areas. Unfortunately some makes began using it in the 90s, so "newer" is relative.

Ford is big on soy-foam insulation for seats, and Subaru used a soy-based undercoating at one time.
http://www.icis.com/Articles/2010/06/07 ... asing.html

It's hard to find which vehicles have chewable components, but folks have tried to compile lists:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/automoti ... -cars.html

I would hope that eco-conscious vehicle manufacturers restrict the soy-based plastics to the insides of cars, but I don't think the "outdoor" considerations are big for them.

I have a skid plate that makes access to the engine compartment and wiring harnesses a bit harder, but determined rodents (and lagomorphs!) would find that just a minor challenge.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7604
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 736 times in 475 posts

Re: Marmot damage

Postby coldfoot » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:21 am

I keep expecting to read about damaged marmots in this thread.

At Mineral King in Sequoia NP, California, marmots are a known problem. There is even an NPS web page about it: http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/marmots.htm People with cabins there had fenced off parking spaces. We brought tarps to tie under the car engine compartments (lay tarp down, drive onto it, tie up securely) and did not have problems. I'm sure this doesn't 100% seal the engine compartment but it seemed to be enough of a deterrent. It's cheap insurance since all we needed were 8x10 blue tarps and twine.

IME mice and rodents, where abundant, will sometimes chew up ordinary rubber wires and hoses. I don't think soy-based is required.
coldfoot

 
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:58 am
Location: United States
Thanked: 14 times in 12 posts

Re: Marmot damage

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:02 pm

coldfoot wrote:IME mice and rodents, where abundant, will sometimes chew up ordinary rubber wires and hoses. I don't think soy-based is required.


True, but how do you know what is "ordinary"? Wires with soy-based insulation showed up in the 90s, and they look and feel much like any other wires.

Soy-based urethane is still urethane; it just differs in a tiny residuum that affects palatability. Soy-based plasticizers are now used to harden the PVC used in wire insulation, instead of phthalate plasticizers; but the PVC insulation still looks and feels and bends like old-fashioned PVC:
http://www.plastemart.com/Plastic-Techn ... -jacketing

All wiring is going this way.

I still haven't seen any proof that the soy residue is the "cause;" most evidence is anecdotal, with some older cars not suffering problems. Rodents tend to chew stuff just to wear down their teeth (which are always growing), and radiator hoses carry Et Glycol (which to their undoing) is tasty to many animals.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7604
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 736 times in 475 posts

Re: Marmot damage

Postby SeanReedy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:16 am

User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 732
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Santa Clara County, California, United States
Thanked: 355 times in 281 posts

Previous

Return to Colorado

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.