Spring and summer were great while they lasted. You hit the water or the road and made so many memories. Now it’s time to get your toys ready for winter.
Here’s what you need to know.
Boat Winterization Tips
Winterize your boat to help prevent damage to it while it sits during the winter, and so it’s ready to hit the water in the spring.
- Replace the engine oil. Moisture and acid can build up in old oil which may damage the engine. Use a high-quality oil per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Flush and drain the cooling water. This will prevent frozen water from expanding and damaging your boat over the winter.
- Add a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank followed by adding fresh fuel. Run your engine for a few minutes to let that work through the system.
- Use a fogging oil spray on the engine to protect against corrosion or cylinder scuffing.
- Change the gear oil, and if you see moisture while doing so, go ahead and change the seals, too.
- Grease the engine fittings to protect against rust and corrosion.
- If you’re storing your boat in a boatyard, remove any valuables to guard against additional loss from a break-in.
- Clean, wax, and cover your boat to protect against the elements.
- Update your boat insurance to reflect the lack of use over the winter months. Dropping coverage isn’t a good idea as damage or theft can still occur in storage.
RV Winterization Tips
After a long spring and summer on the road, it’s time to park your RV for the winter. Do these things to prevent damage and make sure its road-ready come spring.
- Drain and flush the water tanks to prevent bacteria growth in the water and burst pipes when the water freezes in the middle of winter.
- Drain and flush the water heater, and then bypass the water heater so you can add antifreeze to your RV. You don’t want antifreeze getting into the water heater, and you don’t want water sitting in it all winter, either.
- Drain all fresh and low point drains to prevent standing water.
- Turn on the water pump so the antifreeze you add can flow through the water system.
- Open faucets and valves on the outside of your RV and keep them open until the water begins to look pink. That’s the antifreeze. Repeat this with all of the faucets and valves on the inside of your RV, too.
- Pour additional antifreeze down the sink, shower, and toilet drains for added protection.
- Clean your RV and remove food and other perishable items as well as valuables. You don’t want food spoilage in your RV after it’s parked for a few months. You also don’t want to lose anything of value in a break-in.
- Update your RV insurance coverage once it’s parked. You may lower your premiums in the process. Don’t cancel coverage as your RV could still be damaged or stolen during the winter.
Motorcycle Winterization Tips
Before parking your bike for the winter, do a few things to protect it so you can ride it as soon as the weather warms up again.
- Check the chains and belt for damage and to make sure they have enough lubrication. If you’re not sure what to do, take it into the shop so they can do it for you.
- Get an oil change for your bike because old oil can cause engine corrosion.
- Add fuel stabilizer to prevent motor damage and ignition problems later.
- Charge your battery before storing. Consider getting a trickle charger that cycles on and off to maintain the correct charge over time.
- Clean and wax your bike before storing. Any leftover road grime could damage the paint or chrome on your bike. Don’t forget leather conditioner for the seat and/or saddlebags.
- Consider indoor storage for your bike. A heated garage is ideal, but any covered area with a tarp over your bike will work.
- Update your motorcycle insurance coverage. Even if you don’t ride all winter long, there is always the risk of loss or damage to your bike while it’s stored. Your premiums may be reduced while you’re not putting miles on your bike.
Once you put your toys away for the winter, give us a call so we can help you update your RV, boat, or motorcycle insurance. You’ve done the work to protect your toy from winter. Let us help you protect it from the unpredictable.