You've come to the realization that storing your ATV, motorcycle, bicycle or extra car in the garage over the winter is a bad idea because – well, you just don't have room. You don't want to be climbing all over the smaller vehicles or bike all the time and you need the space. A storage unit is a great idea. Fox Den Store-It has secure storage units in a variety of sizes. Our staff will be happy to help you figure out the size unit that is right for you.
Now that you've decided on storage, here are some things to take care of before you put your items away until the weather improves.
Remember to talk to your insurance company about putting items in storage. Some insurance companies will reduce part of your premium while it's in storage.
Keep it clean
We can't emphasize this enough. Wash it, wax it, vacuum it and here's why. Every tiny bit of grime is going to sit on the finish of your vehicle and work its way into the finish. You're going to have twice as much work getting it ready in the Spring if you store it dirty.
Take it for one last drive – before the drive to put it away – and wash it, dry it and wax it.
For motorcycles, some experts recommend covering the chrome with a thin layer of WD-40, others recommend waxing the chrome. In any case, you need to protect it from the inevitable condensation.
Vacuum the inside of your car, your RV, your boat and the floor of you ATV. Otherwise, you'll be grinding the dirt in the next time you get inside.
Remove anything that a mouse or rat might think is food from your car. That means take the snack crackers out of the console area, remove that go-to granola bar in the glove compartment and even lip balm and breath mints might be considered tasty snacks. When you are vacuuming get the crumbs on the floor, on the seats and between the seat cushion and the seat back.
You may be thinking there's not harm in leaving that stray French fry until Spring, and the three mice that decide to snack on it and build a nest may make you think otherwise.
Do not leave the emergency brake or parking brake engaged. This will cause uneven wear on the brake pads because of the pressure and in some older model cars may cause the brake pads to fuse to the rotor.Some experts recommend taking the windshield wipers off, so they don't make a mark on the windows. Crack at least one window so a bit of fresh air can keep getting into the vehicle.
Once your vehicle is clean and dry and in storage, utilize a car cover to keep it perfect until Spring.
Electric or not
Fox Den Store-It does have units with electric service for an additional fee. You can remove your car, boat, ATV, or motorcycle battery and keep it on a charger in your unit or drop by and put them on a charger. Otherwise, unplug the battery in the vehicle and drop into your unit a couple times during storage and start it up. We keep the extra-wide service aisles plowed so you need not worry about not being able to get to your unit.
Top it off, too
Fill the fuel tanks and add fuel stabilizer. You want to make sure there is no space in the fuel tank to allow for condensation which might cause problems in the Spring.
Top off the other fluids. Change the oil and the oil filter. You don't want an old filter to sit in your vehicles when there could be particles that are in the filter because when you start it up – the residue has got to go somewhere!
Make sure you have the proper air in the tires and that includes filling the tires on your bicycle if you are storing it.
Make sure you lubricate the chain on your bicycle and the advice about cleaning it applies to your bike. Dirt sitting on the finish will pit and cause wear on it.
Be proactive about rodent deterrents
Irish Spring soap, dryer sheets, moth balls, lavender or peppermint oil will keep the mice away. If you don't want them trying to get into your cabin filter through the engine, put some materials inside the engine compartment to act as a deterrent.
Stuff dryer sheets (new, not used) into the exhaust pipes of your car, ATV or motorcycle. If you are storing your motorcycle saddlebags, put dryer sheets or soap inside the saddlebags.
Do NOT use bait in your unit. You will attract mice and there is not telling what they will do before they take the bait and get trapped. You want to keep them away, not attract them!
Call Fox Den Store-It today and we can give you information about unit sizes and pricing. Don't spend another winter without the full use of your garage – or worrying about items you aren't using until Spring.
Photo by Davids Kokainis on Unsplash