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Old 08-23-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
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Mud Dauber Screens

I'm looking for a good way to keep the pesky little flying things out of the horseshoe vent on the side of my RV. I thought of stuffing some steel wool in there. But I'm concerned I'll get a rust streak down the side of the RV. Anyone found an innovative way to solve this ?
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:55 PM   #2
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Bought a screen at camping world. Early summer a wasp had made a nest for itself in the screw hole for the hand rail. Looked like it was packed with sand and I was clearing it out and out stuck the head of a wasp....strange. They try and get in anywhere.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:07 PM   #3
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When I bought my new DP, they took me directly to the parts department to load me up with everything I'd need. One of the first things he took me to were the mud dauber screens which attach with springs.

I believed him when he told me I needed them and haven't had a problem after being through 44 states.

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Old 08-24-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
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Thank you for the responses. I did get the mud dauber screens - the ones that attach with springs - for the propane exhaust ports. Not a problem there.

But my Coachmen also has a horseshoe vent on the outside wall directly adjacent to the kitchen sink. That's the one I'm concerned with.

I'm thinking maybe I'll try a Chore Girl scouring pad. They're designed to get wet. So that shouldn't cause a rust problem. And a dab or two of adhesive caulk up inside should keep it from falling out while we're on the road.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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When I bought my new DP, they took me directly to the parts department to load me up with everything I'd need. One of the first things he took me to were the mud dauber screens which attach with springs.

I believed him when he told me I needed them and haven't had a problem after being through 44 states.

Rick
They make them for furnances (in our case a half round screen that fits over the output), water heaters (a square cage that uses springs to hold it over the openings and refrigerators (ours has three rows of vent holes and the screws cover each row. Our RV is parked inside of a barn and the muddaubers build nests in everything in that barn except the RV.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:21 AM   #6
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What's the "horseshoe" vent? I'm not familiar with that one!
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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What's the "horseshoe" vent? I'm not familiar with that one!
Me either, Joe.

When our RV is in storage, we have some small sections of foam pipe insulation (used to wrap exposed pipes in winter) that we cut to fit into the exterior refrigerator vents. This keeps everything out of there. I tape a big sign inside on the fridge controls that says "STOP! Remove Foam from Vents before Operating!!" Of course, this is only good when your RV is not being used.

We also have the wire screens on all exterior vents...furnace, fridge, etc.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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The owners manuals for the propane furnace and water heater state not to use anything over the flue vents or it voids the warranty. My solution to insects building a nest in the flue is to move the RV often. Why are they sold when they void the warranty you say? For the same reason you can buy a "chip" that will increase engine HP by 50%,while knowing that much HP will destroy your transmission and engine.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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The owners manuals for the propane furnace and water heater state not to use anything over the flue vents or it voids the warranty. My solution to insects building a nest in the flue is to move the RV often. Why are they sold when they void the warranty you say? For the same reason you can buy a "chip" that will increase engine HP by 50%,while knowing that much HP will destroy your transmission and engine.
I didn't have any warranty left on the devices by the time that we bought our RV. I have to say that in very few cases have I found warranties to be worth the paper that they are written on. I do understand that experiences of others may not match mine.

IMHO, many of the warranty void situations are created by overzealous lawyers. Again, I understand that lawyers are paid to protect companies from the litigious society in which we live. But I believe that there is no check and balance on that protection. I happen to believe that the mud daubber screens are a case in point.

There is no question that the screens on the output of our two furnaces get hot during operation. But we have never had a problem with them in the nearly 10 years of RVing and we used them in the Winter a lot.

In some ways, I liken the prohibition on the furnace screens to the list of possible side effects including death that can occur when you take medications. Apparently, those deaths have occurred or they wouldn't be required to be listed as a side effect. Someone who wanted to be 100% safe would thus never take that medication. But many people do take the medication and thus accept the risk. I put the screens on my furnace and accept the risk. Others many not accept that same risk.

It is possible to put on and take off the furnace screens at the beginning and end of every RV heating season. It is not a difficult job but on mine, there is a sealant that is used around the outside of the cover. In addition, we use our RV nearly year round in Texas. I could take the screens off in late October and put them back on in late March. But I've elected not to do that.

The screens for the refrigerator and the water heater seem to me to pose even less risk. My water heater screen is a cage that sticks out from the side of the panel quite a ways. Even during extended water heater operation on propane, its temperature never gets unreasonably hot.

I'm not in anyway advocating others to do the same as I do. I'm simply relating my own experience and the risks that I'm willing to take. In the for what it is worth department, I have not put a chip in my diesel. It is clear to me that the transmission is the weak point in my drive train. I'm not willing to take that risk. YMMV.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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That is logical reasoning Charles, and I tend to agree. I was merely pointing out what the owners manuals state. Since our RV is either parked in the RV garage or in-use, insects usually don't have time or access to build a nest. The one problem we did have was the range vent hood fan motor. Mud-dabbers built a tube nest from the mount to the squirrel-cage fan, when DW turned it on it burned up the motor. I replaced the motor, removed the outside vent opening and placed a screen between the wall and vent dress-plate.
I will use a bug-screen if necessary, that was once in decades of RVing.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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I have used the CW screens for the last 20 years on several trailers and motorhomes. We have wasps by the millions in AL. Never had one get in and build a nest. The chance you take not having a screen is damage to the water heater or furnace. I am not taking any chance. If it voids the warranty so be it.
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