It’s time to put away the summer toys, but first you need to care for them. Follow these tips for wintering your boat, RV, or motorcycle. They’ll be in great shape for the return of the warm weather.
Winterizing Your Boat
If you have a motorized boat, you’ll need to replace the engine oil. Old oil can pit engine parts and shorten engine life. Always use your manufacturer’s recommended oil and filters.
You will also need to drain the cooling water from the engine. Otherwise, it could freeze and ruin the motor. Flush with clean water and either remove the drain plugs or open the drain holes to ensure the water is completely gone.
Fogging oil spray can protect internal engine components from the harsh winter elements. It coats them with an anti-corrosive substance. Grease engine fittings with a marine lubricant for the same reason.
Consider adding fuel stabilizer to the tank too. Otherwise, deteriorated fuel can gum up in the engine quickly. Top up with fresh fuel and run the motor to circulate the stabilizer.
Don’t forget to replace the gear oil. Check if there’s moisture in the mix when you drain it out, as this indicates you will need new seals.
Don’t forget to remove all valuables from your boat at the end of the season. If you don’t have watercraft insurance, you may want to check into it. Otherwise, you’ll pay out-of-pocket for all losses.
Finally, give your boat a good cleaning and cover it.
Winterizing Your RV
You probably aren’t going to drive your RV once the snow starts to fly, so get it ready for storage now.
Start by draining and flushing both the gray and black water storage tanks. They can breed bacteria or freeze over the winter.
For the same reasons, you’ll also want to get water out of your water heater. Shut it off, allow it to cool, attach a water hose, and then drain. Flush out the sediment for at least two to three minutes. Inspect the anode rod and replace if necessary. Switch the valve to your water heater off before you add anti-freeze.
With the pressure off, drain the freshwater tank with the faucets open. Close the faucets and replace the plug.
Now, find your water pump and place a siphoning hose inside a gallon of antifreeze. Open the valve and switch the pump on so the anti-freeze circulates throughout the system.
Work from the lowest external valve, faucet, or drain plug, upwards. Open each one until the anti-freeze appears in the water and then close it. Repeat the process with interior devices such as faucets, toilets, and showers. Then add anti-freeze to all interior drains and close the faucets.
Don’t forget to review your insurance. Experts recommend an annual review to keep your needs aligned with your coverage.
Winterizing Your Motorcycle
Start by inspecting chains and belts for lubrication. If your tires are worn, consider replacement now.
Clean away dirt and debris from all surfaces. Treat the leather seat to keep it from cracking.
Change the oil now too. Dirty oil can corrode the engine. Add fuel stabilizer to the tank to prevent separation.
Attach a charger to the battery that cycles on and off. Otherwise, the battery will slowly lose its charge over the winter.
If possible, store your motorcycle in a heated space. Alternatively, cover it with a tarp to reduce condensation buildup and damage.
Finally, if you don’t intend to use your bike for some time, give us a call. Your may be able to buy a less expensive “lay-up” policy that only provides comprehensive coverage for incidents like theft or vandalism over the winter. When the weather warms, you can replace it with a more inclusive policy.
While there may be some adjustments that can be made to reduce your insurance expenses over the winter months, we don’t typically recommend cancelling your coverage entirely as it can leave you vulnerable and cost you more when it comes time to get back out on the road (or water!) in the spring. Give us a call so that we can discuss all of your options with you.