I was talking to a friend of PPL Motorhomes, who told me a story about one of their most memorable RVing ADVENTURES. I capitalized “adventures” because apparently that’s exactly what it was.
No it didn’t involve a fire, or an explosion, but one of the most feared creatures any RVer. The mighty, skunk, the Polecat; Mustelidae. Apparently, one night as they were nestled cozily in their trailer, their dog, Whiskey Steve pawed at the d0or indicating he needed to go outside. Of course there was no way of knowing his clandestine purpose, he’s a border collie and smarter than most 2 year-olds, or so they thought. Apparently he wanted out, not to be a good dog and relieve himself, but to nab that polecat he smelled from RVs away and was now just outside of the door.
One whimper, door swings wide and 15 seconds later Whiskey Steve slams back into the door, head first. Polecat=3, Whiskey Steve=0. Yes. It was his third time. Luckily an immediate wash took care of most of the smell. Which was a relief. Given any time to dry and you’ll be in for 3 to 6 weeks of residual odor. Which, according to wiki, is summarized thusly,
These glands produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals such as methyl and butylthiols traditionally called mercaptans, which have a highly offensive smell that can be described as a combination of the odors of rotten eggs, garlic, and burnt rubber. The odor of the fluid is strong enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers and can be difficult to remove from clothing. Muscles located next to the scent glands allow them to spray with a high degree of accuracy, as far as 3 metres (10 ft). The smell aside, the spray can cause irritation and even temporary blindness and is sufficiently powerful to be detected by a human nose up to a mile downwind. Their chemical defense, though unusual, is effective, as illustrated by this extract from Charles Darwin‘s Voyage of the Beagle:
Dirty defense. I’ve smelled it and “burning rubber” is that’s pretty accurate. So what’s the lesson here people? Dogs at parks should be on leashes, always. Even an animal with the pedigree of a border collie, who has been proven to know over 335 individual words, isn’t smart enough to outwit instinct. Keeping them leashed keeps them safe and the rest of your RVing neighbors form smelling Skunk for the next 3 days.
Are there any good “skunk-out” methods or products out there for pets? I’ve tried the tomato juice bath and it doesn’t work as well as we’ve been lead to believe. I’ve even tried apple cider vinegar and that just smelled like rotten apples.
So, here’s the call, if you know how to help out your fellow RVers with their skunk encounters, leave a comment or call RV Nana at PPL motorhomes. I’d really like to hear your opinions.