Winterizing your summer toys

As winter approaches you start to prep your home and vehicles for inclement weather. You clean gutters, fix drafty areas and make sure that your emergency kit is stocked. You also store your summer toys. RVs, motorcycles and boats need to be prepped for winter too, just to make sure that they are in top condition to start the summer season next year.

In order to winterize your RV, motorcycle or boat, there are a few key areas that you need to pay special attention to.

Winterizing your summer toys in Alaska:

  • Motorcycles: With motorcycles, you are most likely going to focus on fluids. Make sure that brake fluid is topped off and the brake lines are clear. Give your bike a fresh oil change and check the tire pressure (and tread wear!). Now is also a great time to make sure that the engine and throttle are performing properly. If anything sounds “off,” take it in for repairs so that the motorcycle is ready to go when those first warm days arrive. You should also top off the gas tank. If your tank is less than full, ice crystals can form in the tank and cause expensive damage.
  • RVs: Prepping your RV for winter is a lot like prepping your daily commuter for winter. Make sure your RV has a full tank of gas, oil change and a check of the vital engine systems like spark plugs, etc. Make sure the fresh and gray water tanks are emptied and that the tires are checked for pressure and wear and tear. The interior of your RV should also be thoroughly cleaned and while doing so, check for any drafts or broken window seals. Before you seal up your RV until summer, add a dehumidifier or desiccant crystals to help absorb harmful moisture and help prevent mold damage.
  • Boats: Like an RV, you have to prep both the interior and exterior of a boat for winter. For the exterior, check for cracks in the hull and scrape off any barnacles or other marine life that made your boat its home for the summer. If you have an outboard motor make sure to flush it with fresh water and that all the water is expelled. Inboard motors need to be refilled with antifreeze, so make sure to consult your manual for the proper mixture. The interior of the boat should be cleaned and wiped down with some type of vinyl protectant to help keep it from cracking in the cold. Make sure that your cover extends below the water line of the boat and that the cover is snug.
  • Insurance: It may seem like you do not need to keep insurance on your toys during the winter, but it is a good idea to maintain a year-long policy. If someone is injured on one of your toys while it is being stored (even if they are trespassing) and you have no liability coverage, you may be forced to pay damages out-of-pocket. Also, if a warm day comes along and you feel like taking your bike out for a spin and even just filling up the gas tank on the RV, you should have collision coverage. You may also get a discount for continuous coverage.

Winterizing is proper maintenance for your toys and proper maintenance includes insurance. If you have questions about a policy on your motorcycle, RV or boat, make sure to talk to the insurance professionals at J.C. Morris Insurance in Anchorage, AK.  Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle, and they live right in your area, so know first-hand what your insurance needs might be.  You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more about the insurance products they offer like auto insurance.

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