How to Store an ATV Outside
Storing an ATV outside is not optimal, but sometimes it is necessary. If you must store your ATV outside, you don't have to just let your ATV go. You can still take several steps to protect your investment. This post will tell you how to store an ATV outside the safest way possible.
Cover it Up
When you store an ATV outside, a breathable, waterproof cover is a must. ATVs may be designed for use outside, but that doesn't mean that staying outside 24/7 won't do damage.
The sun baking on it will fade and crack several of the materials. Debris from windy weather can scratch or dent it unnecessarily. Animals have free access to get on it and in it, and to poop or spray on it. Moisture in the form of rain, snow, and humidity will cause the most damage.
Besides the damage the elements will do to the frame of your ATV, you could also experience a host of electrical issues, bad brakes, and chassis damage.
Make sure you invest in a quality cover as it will be the primary defense for your ATV outside. At the beginning of this section, we specified breathable to protect the vehicle from rain and snow as well as condensation build-up under the cover.
ATV specific covers are available, and these are the best to go with as they are made for the demands of the job and specifically fit ATV shapes. As long as you get a quality, breathable, waterproof cover, you're okay though.
Protect Your ATV from Theft
When your ATV is stored indoors, it is harder to steal because you can lock it behind doors and fewer people will know you even own it. When you store an ATV outside, you're kind of advertising it to people and it's very easy for someone to either start it and ride it away or pull a trailer up and haul it off.
Thankfully, there are several chains or locks you can purchase to make it harder for someone to make off with your ATV. You can attach the chains to walls, cement, or purchased posts. Locks on the brakes make it harder for someone to steal your ATV.
A security light or surveillance camera would be a nice touch too without much expense.
Park It Smart
Where you store an ATV outside matters. If you can, hide it behind buildings so it isn't visible from the road so it is less likely to be seen by thieves. Depending on your yard and vehicles, you may be able to further protect your ATV from theft by parking it between a wall and your car.
Having your ATV parked next to a wall also provides a little protection from strong winds.
Mind the Gas
You can do two things with gas to protect your ATV. Keep the gas tank full to allow little room for condensation to buildup inside the tank and add a fuel stabilizer to your gas to further protect your gas from moisture buildup.
Tend the Battery
Batteries aren't supposed to sit idle for lengths of time or to be exposed to extreme temperatures, particularly cold.
You need to have a battery tender for your ATV, and, depending on your tender and your setup, this may or may not mean you have to bring your battery inside.
If you're going to experience extreme heat or cold in your area, your battery should probably come inside. You can purchase a different battery tender for use indoors, if needed.
Before you park and cover your ATV, clean it to get mud, dirt, dust, pollen, and oils off of it. You don't want to trap that junk under there.
For Long Term Storage
Protect the tires
For storage of up to a couple of months, you want to be sure that your tires are inflated. They will gradually deflate over time and if they sit that way it can damage the tires.
If you'll be storing the ATV longer than 2 months, you need to prop the ATV on some axle stands so the tires don't develop flat spots or crack.
Guard against animal invasion
If you store an ATV sitting outside with cubby holes, insulation, and a cushy air filter inside it, rodents will see this as prime real estate.
Plug up your muffler and airbox inlet with steel wool to keep animals out or cover the airbox with an airbox cover.
Remove the air filter and don't put a new one in.
You can also set up some traps around the ATV to keep animals from getting to your wiring.
Make sure to also follow other long term storage tips that aren't specific to outside storage.