Saskatchewan

'It horrified me': Mortlach couple finds mouse droppings, skeleton in used RV

A couple from Mortlach bought a used fifth wheel, a 2004 Keystone Laredo, from Regina's Village RV on Aug. 8. Two days later, they discovered mouse droppings in several hidden parts of the trailer.

Trailer was purchased on Aug. 8 and returned less than a week later

Robert and Carol Kohl found these mouse droppings when they removed a drawer from a side table in the RV's bedroom. (Submitted by Carol Kohl)

Robert and Carol Kohl were excited as they hit the highway to take their newly purchased previously owned RV on its maiden voyage.

"We were really happy," Carol said. "Happy that finally we got something we could move in and there was room for our little dog to run around in."

The couple from Mortlach bought the used fifth wheel, a 2004 keystone Laredo, from Regina's Village RV on Aug. 8. The next day, Friday, they set up camp at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park.

Carol said heavy rains hit the campground that night. On Saturday, they decided to turn the furnace on to help warm the trailer up and alleviate the dampness. The fan turned on momentarily, but the heater wasn't working.

Robert took the furnace cover off and, hidden inside, around all the wires, he found mouse droppings.

The Kohls were worried there could be more rodent residue in the RV, so Robert took off a panel from the refrigerator. Inside were more droppings.

Carol and Robert Kohl returned the fifth wheel to Village RV and received a full refund. (Submitted by Carol Kohl)

He made his way through the RV and kept finding mouse droppings as he cracked open panels. When he removed a panel from a cabinet in the living room, he said he found a mouse nest and a skeleton.

"It horrified me," he said. "I actually slept in this thing with all this mouse infestation in it?"

The Kohls spent a sleepless Saturday night in the RV, with all of the windows open and then returned it to the dealership on Monday. The company gave them their money back, but the couple said they would like more compensation to make up for the incident.

"It would be kind of nice if they would have at least given us the fuel back that it took to take the trailer back to them," she said.

Village RV general manager Dwight Carson confirmed that the Kohls returned the camper and there was evidence of mouse filth.

He said the company apologized and refunded their purchase immediately. It's the first time he can remember anything like this happening to a vehicle that rolled off his company's lot.

The couple said they reported the soiled RV to the province's consumer protection division, but the agency told them the refund was sufficient compensation.

Afraid of health problems

Robert said he couldn't sleep for days after finding the mouse remains. He's worried about potential health problems that the feces might cause.

"The furnace fan actually did run and was pushing air through the trailer," he said. "Was there any dust in there that I might have breathed in?"

Carol said there was no sign of any mouse activity in the main console of the trailer when they bought. There was also no smell. She has a warning for anyone in the market for a new RV.

"When you buy used there's always a chance that something's not quite right," she said.

SGI said it dealt with about 900 claims related to rodent infestation in 2018.

About the Author

Brian Rodgers is a videojournalist and producer with CBC Saskatchewan.