Reader James G writes about a troubling hazard of travel in many parks and mountain areas:
Beware the move by Mercedes and a lot of other automobile manufacturers to use biodegradable or "green" materials in things like wiring and hoses. Very attractive to rodents.
Ex-wife's Prius was totaled due to rodents damaging wiring harness in so many places that it couldn't be repaired and something about the foam in the seat cushions made for a comfy home until they died inside the car and not all the carcasses could be found.
Mineral King trailhead used to be notorious for marmot damage and the advice was to screen off the bottom of your engine compartment with hardware cloth or chicken wire. But mice can get through even smaller stuff.
One would hate to be all the way out at White Mountain and have to be towed back to civilization because the mice trashed your wiring.
Short of dipping your van into a vat of bobcat piss, Honda sells a capsaicin-impregnated duct tape for wrapping wires and hoses. At least think about the problem and consider mitigation or at the very least a disaster recovery plan.
DIGLLOYD: I had been pondering this very issue recently.
See my discussion in Beware Rodents Chewing Wires and Hoses.