As an ATV owner, finding the optimal storage solution is crucial to safeguarding your off-road investment. Whether stored in a garage, shed, or even on a porch, it’s vital to shield your ATV from rain, snow, sun exposure, and other outdoor elements that can degrade its lifespan.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 6 clever ATV storage ideas to protect your vehicle from the elements and deter theft. From DIY storage racks to weatherproof covers, read on for tips to ensure your ATV is stored properly for years of continued use.
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1. Invest in an ATV Storage Shed or Garage
One of the best options for protecting your ATV is storing it inside a shed or garage. This shields your off-road vehicle from rain, snow, sun exposure, and other outdoor elements that can reduce its lifespan.
A dedicated ATV storage shed is ideal if you have the space. Look for one tall enough to easily roll your ATV inside without ducking. Avoid sheds with low clearance doors. You’ll also want enough depth and width so you can conveniently walk around your ATV for maintenance access.
For security, choose a sturdy shed made of thick, weather-resistant materials like galvanized steel, wood, or heavy-duty resin. Good ventilation with louvered vents prevents moisture buildup. And a shingled asphalt roof protects against rain and snow accumulation. Insulation will help moderate interior temperatures in very cold or hot climates.
Shed placement is also important. Install it on a level gravel or concrete pad, avoiding low spots where water can pool after storms. Face the doors away from prevailing winds and cold winter weather.
You can customize the interior of your ATV shed for optimal storage. Install shelves to hold gear and parts. Peg boards keep tools organized. And work benches make maintenance easy.
If you don’t have room for a shed, storing your ATV in the garage is the next best option. Just be sure to use a waterproof ATV cover inside to protect from condensation and chemicals. Park over a mat to catch drips and protect the floor.
Storing in a locked shed or garage adds critical protection from theft. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing your ATV is safe from sun, rain, snow and other elements when not in use.
2. Build a Custom ATV Storage Rack
If you’re handy, consider making your own ATV storage rack for the garage or other covered area. This gets your vehicle up off the floor to protect from moisture and makes it easier to access. A storage rack also conserves floor space.
For sturdy support, construct the frame from heavy-duty steel tubing or thick lumber like 2x4s or 2x6s. Plywood decking gives you a smooth surface to roll the ATV on and off. Make sure to size the rack appropriately for your ATV’s wheelbase and weight. And incorporate tie-down points to secure your vehicle.
Elevated storage racks are often built between 2 and 4 feet tall. This lets you easily work around the ATV for washing, maintenance, or installing accessories. Ramps make loading and unloading easy. For extra protection from dust or wind-driven rain, you could add side and rear walls. Just be sure to include some ventilation.
If storing the rack outside, definitely cover the top with a waterproof tarp or roof. You can even fully enclose the sides with poly sheeting for maximum weather and dust resistance. Just take care to secure the covering against gusty winds.
Pro Tip: Add removable wheel trays to your storage rack to protect tires from UV damage and dry rot.
3. Use an Outdoor Storage Cover
Your ATV will spend plenty of time outdoors between rides. Protect it from the elements with a water-resistant outdoor storage cover.
Look for durable fabrics like vinyl, polyester or canvas that are UV treated. This prevents sun damage to the seat, body plastics and tires. The material should also repel rain, snow, bird droppings and tree sap while still allowing humidity and condensation to escape.
Match the cover size to your specific ATV make and model for the best fit. Some also include cut-outs so you can access the tailgate for loading cargo.
Secure the cover with integrated straps or bungee cords. This prevents billowing in the wind, which can scratch the paint. And a lock provision lets you thread a cable through the cover for anti-theft protection.
Outdoor ATV covers conveniently roll up for quick removal when it’s time to ride. They’re much faster to use than a tarp. Just take care to install it promptly after parking your vehicle.
4. Try a Hitch Haul Dirt Bike/ATV Storage Cart
An interesting option for small garage spaces is storing your ATV on a hitch-mounted dirt bike cart. This lets you keep the ATV readily accessible but up off the floor.
These storage carts utilize your truck or SUV’s receiver hitch to haul the ATV. Heavy duty steel construction securely supports ATVs weighing up to 250-500 lbs, depending on the model. Locking swivel casters make it easy to maneuver the cart by hand once unhitched.
The low ramp simplifies rolling your ATV on and off. Be sure to secure it tightly for transport with ratchet straps, chains or wheel nets to avoid damage.
When not hitched, the cart makes accessing your ATV for maintenance or cleaning a breeze. No more struggling to roll or start it in a crowded garage. Positions like this also prevent flat spots from long-term parking.
Storage carts work best for lighter 2-wheel ATVs. And your vehicle needs an appropriate class hitch to handle the tongue weight. But it’s a convenient way to save floor space while keeping your ATV mobile.
5. Use Your Trailer for Storage
Owning a trailer for transporting your ATV gives you a built-in storage solution. Take advantage of it to protect your vehicle from sun, rain, snow and other outdoor conditions.
The key is parking the trailer somewhere secure and stable:
- Level ground to prevent shifting or tipping. Concrete or gravel ideal.
- Wheel chocks prevent rolling.
- Frame tie-downs secure it in windy conditions.
- Hitch lock deters tow-away theft.
For extra security, install a trailer camera to monitor it remotely. And an audible intrusion alarm will alert you to break-ins.
The enclosed metal construction keeps your ATV safe from weather and prying eyes. Trailers also provide plenty of room for gear storage. Just be sure your ATV is strapped down inside so it stays upright.
With some preparation, trailers make very convenient long-term storage. Keep the tires properly inflated and the battery on a tender. Consider adding insulation and ventilation fans for comfort when accessing your vehicle.
6. Store on Back Porch or Deck
While not ideal for long term storage, parking your ATV on a covered porch or deck keeps it handy for quick weekend getaways. Just take steps to shield it from the elements.
Try positioning against the house, under eaves, or against a porch rail to stay dry. You can also build a simple roof with a tarp, canopy, or metal carport over your parking spot. Use tie downs to secure covers in windy conditions.
Ensure good drainage so rain runs off your parking surface. Wood or composite decking is preferred over porous concrete. Use a plastic underlayment or moisture barrier below the ATV to prevent rotting boards or rusty exhaust stains.
Beware that porches and decks don’t offer much security for your vehicle. So consider adding motion-sensor lighting or cameras to deter potential thieves. Locking your ATV’s steering and disabling the battery will also impede tampering or joy rides.
Storing on an open porch has its challenges. But with the right preparation, you can keep your ATV clean, dry and ready for adventure.
Finding the optimal storage solution is crucial to protecting your valuable ATV investment. While outdoor parking offers convenience, storing inside a locked shed, garage or trailer provides superior protection from theft, sun damage, moisture, and other environmental threats.
Carefully consider your climate, property constraints, and ATV’s size before choosing the right storage approach. Ample weather and dust protection will keep your vehicle looking its best. And proper tie-downs, wheel locks and battery maintenance will have it running smoothly when adventure calls. With proper care, your ATV will thrill you on off-road journeys for years to come.