A new recreational vehicle can provide you and your family with a lot of fun and excitement. While you may take your 4-wheeler through creeks or the desert sand, excessive use can become abusive on the motor, tires, and actual body. With an ATV, or 3 or 4-wheeler, proper maintenance is key for ensuring your vehicle operates well. Using the following parking and storing for winter tips, you can protect your investment and ensure a safe, reliable adventure on your ATV.
One of the most challenging aspects of owning an ATV is a storage location. A garage or outdoor shed, with lock, are the best options for deterring theft of your ATV. However, this location may not be financially feasible. Your next best option would be to rent a storage unit. In most areas, storage facilities are available for rent on a monthly basis. While this is an extra expense, it is a smart investment for protecting your ATV when you do not have a garage.
No matter if you are using your own garage or a storage unit rental, park your ATV on a utility trailer for easy transport to and from your location. Utility trailers sales offer the easiest method of loading and unloading your ATV. Also, ensure your garage or storage unit offers adequate space for parking your ATV and your utility trailer. Although it sits on top, the utility trailer will be longer and wider than the actual ATV. Measure the trailer before parking to prevent accidents.
When parking and storing your ATV for winter, you must clean the ATV properly. This will prevent possible deterioration of your paint and mechanical parts from excessive buildup of dirt, water, or mud.
For best results, wash the trailer and ATV. Utilize a DIY carwash stall or your pressure washer at home to hose off chunks of dirt and mud. Use a scrubbing brush to remove stubborn areas full of debris. Be sure to rinse under your ATV and the trailer. Lastly, dry off both your ATV and trailer to prevent rusting due to leftover moisture.
In most cases, a light car-washing soap and a pressure spray are sufficient for cleaning your 4x4 vehicle.
Servicing your ATV is imperative, as well, before storing for winter. Use the following tips before locking up your ATV:
- Oil – Change your oil and filter while the ATV is still warm. Old oil should not sit inside your engine, since it contains acidic properties that may erode the mechanics.
- Fuel – Allow your engine to run for 10 minutes before running a fuel stabilizer through the lines. This will protect your engine when in operation and during the storage phase.
- Battery – Remove your battery and store it in a temperature-controlled environment. If using a heated or cooled garage or storage unit, unplug the battery to prevent corrosion from the battery acid.
- Tires – Your tires will most likely deflate during storage. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this, but inflating your tires to the highest pressure possible when storing is helpful. Also, consider placing a digital air pressure gauge near your tires as a reminder to check the PSI, or Pounds per Square Inch, of air pressure before venturing out on your ATV. Each ATV manufacturer offers their own recommended PSI, so consult your owner's manual for specific levels.
Placing emphasis on the actual utility trailer before storage is also wise. Spend a few minutes inspecting all nuts, bolts, hinges, and floorboards. If you are using a trailer with lights, inspect the electrical wiring and bulbs. Replace bulbs, if necessary.
Your ATV is a great vehicle for an off-road adventure full of dirt and debris. However, cleaning and maintenance is imperative for protecting its value during the winter season. Using this guide, you can prepare your ATV for storage in a safe, effective manner.