As winter approaches, it’s time to think about safely storing your recreational vehicle—or any other vehicle that won’t be in use—to avoid damage from the harsh weather and roads. By doing so, you can keep your vehicle in good condition for spring. Utilize the following guidance to properly prepare and store your vehicle this winter.
Think Twice Before Canceling Your Coverage
- Select a proper storage location. First and foremost, it’s important to find a safe and secure place to store your vehicle during the winter. An indoor location with concrete flooring (e.g., a garage, shed or local storage facility) is the most effective option, seeing as outdoor options or locations with dirt flooring could expose your vehicle to excess moisture and contribute to significant rust problems. If you must keep your vehicle outdoors, be sure to protect it with a breathable, weatherproof cover.
- Keep it clean. Make sure you thoroughly clean both the inside and outside of your vehicle before putting it in storage. Start by removing any stray trash within your vehicle and using a vacuum to get rid of crumbs or dirt. Doing so will help deter unwanted pests from trying to invade your vehicle while it’s stored away. Next, wash and dry the outside of your vehicle to remove any dust or dirt buildup. Consider polishing and waxing it as well to reduce the risk of corrosion or rust formation.
- Take care of vehicle fluids. Having clean oil, adequate brake fluid and a full tank of gasoline will protect your vehicle while it’s in storage and will help it run smoother when spring comes. In addition, be sure to utilize a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gasoline from deteriorating in your tank or causing engine blockages.
- Check the tires and brakes. Inflate your vehicle’s tires to their maximum air pressure so that they can slowly deflate as the temperature drops. Also, don’t engage your parking brake, as it may become frozen. Instead, use chocks (wedges placed under the vehicle’s tires) to ensure your vehicle doesn’t move around or roll away while in storage.
- Start it up. While your vehicle is in storage, try to start it periodically for 10-15 minutes to get the proper oils and coolants running through it. If your vehicle has a cover on it, remove it and roll down the windows before running the engine. If your vehicle is stored in an indoor location, ensure that a door and any windows to the outside are left open for proper ventilation before starting the engine.
Although it might be tempting to drop your insurance on a vehicle in storage for the winter, this comes with financial risks. Even in storage, vehicles can be susceptible to damage. In other words, eliminating coverage during the winter could result in a lack of financial protection in the event that your vehicle gets damaged while it’s stored away. Be sure to always consult your insurance professional before making changes to your policy.
For additional vehicle maintenance guidance and auto insurance solutions, contact us today.