Updated: Aug 5, 2020
Mud Daubers love Liquid Propane! Its like catnip it seems. Ever notice that you seem to have mud dauber nests in those hidden compartments where your propane connects to a component? You’re not the only one I assure you. For some reason, these flying stingers are attracted to the Ethyl Mercaptan (that lovely rotten egg smell) additive to liquid propane.
I was working on a heater recently and was given quite the shock when I opened the panel and found these two nests. This type of heater does not have an open vent for them to fly into and make nests like this so the wasps found another way in.
Why am I telling you this? These bugs will find a way in and the things you might want to use to prevent it could actually void your warranty! Remember, when it comes to a warranty the decision is not what you think of the situation but what the manufacturer determines it to be. Does that sentence even make sense? Here, lets add another one:
“Modifications/Deviations – review which changes or alterations can void the warranty” –Heartland RV owners manual
So those screens that you see on the covers of heaters that prevent these little flying needles of pain from entering your rig is actually considered a modification! On that same note, they actually can cause damage. How do I know? Lets just say that my heater may or may not have melted one. Oops. Am I saying don’t use one? No, I’m saying read your manual.
Ok, lets get back on track shall we? It is important to inspect behind your panels for these components at least monthly. It truly doesn’t take much to open the refrigeration compartment to see what’s going on in there. If you do find a nest, destroy it (when the flying needle isn’t there) and clean out the mess.
The water heater is normally very accessible and an easy check. They like to build their nest in the heating/exhaust chamber. These are a bit more difficult to clean out but you can! If a nest is in there, it can affect the performance by restricting airflow through the chamber.
These flying needles (I don’t like them in case you haven’t picked up on that yet) are very crafty and will likely be a part of your adventure. A little inspection and cleaning will reduce the issue and should help you be free of them for the most part. Well, at least in your RV. Happy camping!