Winter Storage Checklists: RVs, Boats, and Motorcycles
March 1st 2021
It is that time of year once again when the fall colours overtake the scenery, the temperatures drop to below zero and the trees are bare. The time of year when we need to start thinking about winter storage options for water and asphalt toys along with summer home-away-from-home recreational vehicles.
Los Rio Storage, a family-run self-storage company which is located in Kamloops British Columbia, has extensive knowledge and experience with the ins and outs of winter storage and offers a vast range of self-storage options that will keep your belongings secure and safe during the winter months along with a checklist to assist in preparations for your belongings to be stored away until Spring & Summer.
Winter Storage Checklist
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned self-storage user, it's important to understand the best and most effective methods to utilize in preparing your belongings to be stored away from home for the months to come until the weather allows us to make use of them once again.
Boats & Watercraft
Unlike your car, boats and watercraft have many more exposed parts that can corrode over time and can easily cause some unforeseen repairs in the future if not prepared and stored correctly. As most boat owners of the area are aware, boat storage in Kamloops and surrounding areas is a vital part of keeping your craft in pristine condition until it can be returned into the water.
1. Run & Drain Your Watercraft One Last Time
By running your boat, a final time before storage allows you to observe and address any issues that may need repair or replacement beforehand. Looking for any cracks or damage to the hull, for example, will keep you one step ahead of the game and will not allow for any repairs that need to be addressed to become worse if left unrepaired.
When your boat is removed from the water, drain the water tanks, head, pipes, and bilge. Spraying the bilge with a moisture displacing lubricant and add antifreeze into the bilge and water tanks to prevent freezing.
2. Winterize The Engine & Remove Battery & Lubricate
Flush the engine and coolant system with fresh water to remove corrosion and dirt and replace the coolant with antifreeze.
Replace oil and all oil filters and keep an eye out for any milky substance when replacing the oil filter as this is an indication of water intrusion.
The removal of drive belts will avoid snapping due to tension and can be replaced once the weather goes beyond the freezing point.
Top off the engine with a full tank of gas & stabilizer mixture.
Remove the battery, charge it completely and apply a light coat of lubricant to the terminals. The battery is best stored in a warm and dry environment until Spring.
Finally, lightly apply moisture-displacing lubricant to all moving parts such as the control mechanisms, steering components, latches, and propeller. This keeps all moving parts protected and ensures mobility when you are ready to collect your water toys.
3. Clean & Remove Sensitive Materials
Scrub the entire boat down with soap and water. Remove any debris or plant matter from the vessel. After the boat is dry and clean, apply a coat of wax that will apply for further protection from environmental factors.
Life jackets, flare, fire extinguishers and everything that does not form part of the vessel should be removed along with vulnerable electronics.
4. Seal Exhaust & Cover the Boat
Sealing the exhaust prevents pests from entering and clogging the exhaust components while covering the boat will protect from the most brutal of winter conditions, dirt, and moisture.
Shrinkwrapping watercraft is another option that provides additional protection.
Having the boat covered securely will allow for easy snow removal as well if the boat is not stored undercover.
The following checklist for winterizing your motorcycle will get you back up and riding as soon as possible with minimal effort when you can ride once again.
1. Go For One More Long Ride
While most riders will not argue with the suggestion of going for one last burn before parking their motorcycle, the purpose of doing so is not just for pleasure, but for proper maintenance before storing for the winter.
A long last ride will burn out any carburettor & emission deposits that are left within your engine which you do not want to sit throughout the winter months as they will likely become tacky and possibly corrosive.
2. Fresh Fluids, Remove Spark Plugs and Oil Cylinder Walls
Many riders take full advantage of riding as much as possible during the permitted months and by doing so, it is recommended to do a full fluid change before tucking away your bike for the upcoming cold season.
Changing the fluid keeps things fresh and eliminates the possibility of older fluids becoming corrosive baths of fluids that have a high potential of destroying rubber seals.
Although removing the spark plugs and oiling the cylinder walls is not an absolute necessity, it is an additional step recommendation for bikes that will be stored for longer than 4 months for ultimate preservation.
3. Wash, Dry, Wax & Lubricate
Start by removing and washing away all debris from the entire bike including the chain and brakes. Throughout this process, take a little extra time and inspect the overall condition of the bike and address any issues that you may find.
After the cleaning process, dry the motorcycle thoroughly to prevent any possibility of corrosion and mould to form.
The next step, wax the painted areas, polish any chrome parts, and treat the leather (if applicable). Waxing & lubrication of the chain, which should be done throughout the year as well, will extend the life of the chain while protecting it during it stay in storage. The purpose of these steps, besides the protection from moisture and mould, is to save time in the Spring from doing such maintenance and will get you back out riding in no time at all.
4. Gas Treatment
For fuel injection systems, simply fill the tank with fresh fuel and add a stabilizer. Run the engine for a few minutes to allow the mixture to get through the system and the fuel injection components.
For carburettors, you can either drain the float bowls or run the engine until it is starved of fuel. Then you will want to add fresh fuel and stabilizer which will keep the tank moisture free and eliminate rust from forming within the tank.
5. Exhaust Prep & Battery Maintenance
A light spray of WD-40 at the end of the exhaust helps further protect the inner exhaust/engine from moisture. A plastic bag can then be inserted into the pipe with the remainder of the bag wrapped around the outer portion of the pipe and secured with a rubber band, tape, or zip tie. This will keep varmints, who like to nest in exhaust pipes, out of the pipe during the winter.
As for most batteries when not in use, we recommend batteries are best stored in a warm and dry location. Simply removing the battery of the bike and storing it will save the hassle of the battery freezing and having to replace it when the warmer weather arrives.
6. Use a Breathable Cover
Never use plastic to cover your motorcycle. Using plastic covers traps moisture and causes corrosion and mould. Breathable covers are quite inexpensive and will certainly decrease the possibilities of moisture causing damages to occur during storage.
RV (Recreational Vehicle)
RV storage in Kamloops is very common and preparing your RV for winter storage involves more than the water system and keeping your summer residence from deteriorating can be easily accomplished with a few simple steps.
1. RV Bath, Inspection & Rodent Proofing.
Giving your RV a detailed bath is first on the checklist. Wash awnings, wheels wells and the under-carriage thoroughly. During this process, you will want to keep a sharp eye out for any cracks, holes or openings which may allow mice, rodents, and insects from moving into your RV. If necessary, repair such rodent appealing doorways before storage.
Make sure your RV is dry after its bath and check window, door, and all seals to ensure all are in good condition or need repair or replacement.
2. Remove All Food & Defrost
Removing all food from the refrigerator and cupboards. Even the smallest number of crumbs is an invite for mice and unwanted gnawing animals and once they are in, they can multiply very quickly.
Once the food is removed, it is time to defrost and clean the refrigerator and wipe out the cupboards and prop the doors open for adequate airflow and discourage nesting of pests.
3. Removal Of Valuables, Lubricate & Cover
We recommend not leaving any valuables within your RV while in storage, whether you are storing your RV at home or in a secured facility, to decrease/eliminate thief temptation and for the fact that a majority of electronics don't weather well in extremely cold weather.
RVs, as like any vehicle, have many moving parts and it is imperative that these parts, such as bearings, steering and driveshafts, are well lubricated and keep in the best operating order possible.
For further protection from the elements, a breathable tarp/covering is strongly suggested to deter mould growth from trapped moisture. Mould developing over months can be a very serious health hazard and can destroy the interior of your recreational vehicle. Tire and wheel coverings are also available and help to further prolong the life of the wheels and tires.
Further information, tips and trick on how to prepare your vehicle for the winter months and get your RV, Motorcycles or watercraft prepared for the snowy months to come.
Find what products are offered by Los Rio Storage for all your storage needs and find the storage solution you've been searching for.
Los Rio Storage strives to ensure all your belongings, whether in their climate-controlled self-storage options or non-climate controlled self-storage options, are kept safe, secure and are accessible when you want or need access to them.
If you are looking for RV storage in Kamloops, Motorcycle storage in Kamloops or Boat storage in the Kamloops area, Los Rio has your investments covered.
To read more about how to pack your belongings for non-climate controlled storage or how to prepare other vehicles for storage in our secured facility, drop on by our Athabasca street location, give us a call directly.