Florida ATV riders have the enviable ability to enjoy their vehicles all year long due to the favorable climate, but that does not mean their lives always comply. There are many times when an ATV can remain idle for weeks or months because of home or work commitments, a move, or other complications.
Instead of tripping over the machines during this down period, you can use a storage facility. Storing vehicles gives people more space in their garage as well as an opportunity to maintain the vehicles and make repairs so they are ready to ride when the time is available again. Here is how to make certain your ATVs are ready and safe in storage for months at a time.
Be a Responsible Owner
It is very easy to neglect care when ATVs are in use. Vehicles that are always at camp or on the trail every weekend are usually not as well maintained as needed. A great time to catch up on care work is just before you put the ATV in storage. Start with a complete cleaning that includes the undercarriage and the radiator, and also replace the air filter.
Once the machine is clean, you should perform maintenance. Change the oil, make certain everything is tight and no bolts are missing, and check all fluid levels. Freshen or drain and replace fluids as needed. Grease all of the components and make any additional repairs that you have put off during the riding season. You will also need to clean any ATV trailers, too.
Prepare It for Storage
Many storage facilities will not accept vehicles that contain fuel because of the fire risk, so ask what your storage facility requires before delivering the vehicle to the facility. Drain the fuel from the ATV if required. If not, fill the tank completely and add a stabilizer to prevent condensation in the tank due to temperature extremes or high humidity.
You will also want to connect the battery to a trickle charger or battery tender to prevent it from discharging completely. Remove the battery and store it at home if electricity is not available in the storage unit. You should do this for any ATV left idle for more than three months, even in warm weather. If it will not be idle that long, simply disconnect the battery before leaving the facility.
Another concern is rodent infestation. A stationary vehicle is a tempting home to many critters, and storage facilities cannot prevent all risks. Block the exhaust pipe and any other opening where a rodent could enter and build its nest.
Choose a Storage Facility Carefully
The safety of the ATV relies on the quality of the facility where it is stored. Choose only gated facilities with adequate lighting and modern surveillance systems. The facility should allow 24-hour access, so the vehicle is available whenever it is wanted. Look for covered storage to reduce the amount of exposure the machine has to the elements.
Check Available Insurance Protection
Ask the facility operator about the insurance the contract allows for the stored vehicle. Even the safest facility is at risk to Mother Nature, so be certain any current policy will protect against flooding, hurricanes, and other acts of nature. There should also be protection for the ATV in the event of fire, vandal, and theft.
Do not rely solely on their coverage. Check with a homeowner's policy to determine how much it covers. Many policies limit vehicle claims to $1,000 even if it is a total loss. The value of the machine can easily exceed this amount if the ATV is newer or upgraded. Consider purchasing ATV insurance or maintain any current policy while the vehicle is inactive.
Once your ATV is maintained and ready, stop by Delray Storage. We offer a secure facility with 24-hour access and supervision. Contact us to learn about the types of storage we have available to see if this is the right option for you and your ATV.