How To Store An ATV In Your Garage The Right Way!

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The Joy of Off-Roading

Admittedly ATV off roading is not for everyone. But when you get hooked to riding ATVs, you stay hooked. The thrill of pure clean air on your face and the excitement of dirt & mud splattering on you and your ATV is pure joy. Before you know it you are buying your first ATV. The only worry; How To Store An ATV In Your Garage?

Do not worry. You do not have to leave your precious ATV out in the cold or even keep it in a public storage location. An ATV can be stored in your own garage. 

In fact, the best place to store an ATV (or even two), when the outside world is blanketed in snow, is your garage. You just have to do it the right way!

To store an ATV in garage, the right way you need to:

Prepare your ATV for hibernation by

  • Deep Cleaning
  • Oil Change
  • Emptying Plastic Fuel Tank or Topping Up Metal Fuel Tank
  • Topping Up the Antifreeze
  • Lubricating all moving parts such as chain, sprocket, gears, etc.
  • Inspecting & Replacing damaged parts
  • Ensuring the battery remains charged
  • Inflate the Tires and keep them off the floor
  • Keep your ATV covered.

In addition you also have to consider

  • Does your Garage have enough storage space?
  • Should you double storage space by investing in a garage lift?
  • Is your garage climate controlled?

So in this post I am going to take you through the process, step by step. If you store your ATV in the garage the right way, it will be ready to roar in spring without a hiccup!

All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

ATV, short for All-Terrain Vehicle, is like a tough motorcycle that you can ride off-highway. You get on it by straddling it, much like you would straddle a motorcycle, snowmobile or jet-ski. 

ATVs have handlebars (not steering wheels) with a thumb throttle. The front brake lever is generally located on the right handgrip and most ATVs now use automatic transmission

Though ATVs can accommodate two riders, most people prefer to ride solo. Like motorcycles or snowmobiles, ATVs require you to use your body for maneuvering the ride.

ATV riding is a great sport and a good workout too, as you have to maintain good balance and posture on the seat as you navigate tough terrain. It is a stress buster and the thrill & excitement releases endorphins, to give you a “high” and happiness.

By the way, there is UTV (aka SxS) too. UTV behaves somewhat like an ATV but is designed like a car. So you can have your partner sitting beside you and you are in some sort of a cage. UTVs are gaining popularity with the older generation, who want the thrill of off-roading with a little less physical strain.

Is your Garage big enough?

ATV’s come in a range of engine capacities. They start at 50 cc for kids and can go up to even 1000 cc which are of course humongous. Most ATV enthusiasts tend to use machines in the 400 – 800 cc range.

Of course the dimensions of the ATV owned by you are very important when you want to store the ATV in your garage. Do you have the space? According to a detailed study done by boostATV most ATVs are between:

  • 45 – 50 inches wide (average 47.4 inches)
  • 80 – 85 inches long (average 82.9 inches)
  • 46 – 52 inches high (average 48.9 inches)

Another important point to take into consideration is whether you will store the ATV in the garage with or without the trailer. ATVs can be transported from home to trailhead by truck (if you have one) or on a trailer (if you use a SUV).

Of course even if you use a trailer for transporting the ATV you do not have to store it on the trailer.

ATVs can also weigh between 220 – 1170 pounds. You can add another 50 – 60 pounds to that for the fuel and any additional accessories.

Prepare for ATV Hibernation

As winter approaches, it may be time to store your ATV in the garage. But to do that you have to prepare the ATV for long term storage.

Deep Clean

I am sure you clean your ATV after every ride, especially if you have been mudding. But now you have to do the cleaning a lot more thoroughly. Follow these steps.

  • Cover the intake box and exhaust with plastic bags so that water does not get in
  • Rinse the quad thoroughly, especially the hard to see nooks & crannies. Wait till all the dried mud has softened.
  • Use a power hose to clean. Use detergent, washcloth, sponge or a soft brush but make sure all the mud is off the ATV.
  • Give the ATV another good rinse and dry it off with towels.
  • Apply some polish to the leather seats & plastic parts.
  • Clean the Air Filter
Oil Change

This is also the time to change the oil. You have been using your ATV for a while now and anyway an oil change is due. Do it now, before storage, rather than later. Used oil can get acidic & corrosive to the engine.

Empty or Top Up

If your ATV has a plastic fuel tank then you must empty the tank before storage. When gas is stored for long in HDPE fuel tanks it permeates and breaks down the plastic/

On the other hand if you have a metal fuel tank, top up before storage. The gas will ensure the metal tank does not rust or corrode inside.

Top Up the Antifreeze

Make sure the antifreeze in the radiator is fully topped up before the ATV is stored. Of course since you will store the ATV in your garage, which will not reach freezing temperatures, this action is not very critical. You might want to add some Radiator Anti Rust though.

Rust Protection

All exposed metallic parts that could rust should be lubed. This includes the chain, drive shaft, U-joints, CV joints, suspension, throttle cable, brake cable, and clutch cable. 

I suggest you get this Maxima Chain Wax Ultimate Chain Care Aerosol Combo Kit, (Pack of 3)

Inspection & Replacement

Check out all components that are showing excessive wear & tear, especially rubber & plastic parts. This is certainly a good time to replace them.

Battery

If you do not do something about the battery in your ATV, it will most likely die when stored for long. To ensure that does not happen you can 

Remove the battery and put it on Battery Tender 800 (available at Amazon – click pic below to order).

Leave the battery in the ATV but use a CTEK Smart Battery Charger (available at Amazon – click link below to order)

CTEK (56-865) US 0.8 12 Volt Smart Battery Charger
Tires Off the Floor

To begin with, inflate the tires to full capacity. Anyway over the long storage period the tires will deflate gradually. In other words the contact area between the tires and the floor will increase as storage time passes. 

When storing ATVs for several months you should seriously consider lifting the ATV on blocks such that the tires are not resting on the garage floor at all.

Cover

Even when your ATV is stored inside a garage, it is best to use a cover as a protection from dust or minor hits, such as from a ladder. A cover will also protect the ATV from UV from direct sunlight. Use a breathable but opaque cover rather than a plastic one.

Store an ATV in your Garage

Once your ATV is ready for hibernation, storing it in your Garage may seem pretty straight forward provided you have adequate storage space.

Space

The dimensions of a standard three car garage is 32 feet wide and 22 feet deep. So it can easily accommodate even large SUVs (typically 16 to 17 feet long). Sedans are even shorter (typically 14 to 15 feet long). 

In comparison an ATV would be around 7 feet long. So the depth of the garage is obviously not a constraint. In fact you could even park two ATVs in a line, one behind the other and still have space.

Ideally if you have a three car garage but you park only two vehicles, say a sedan and a SUV, then you have more than enough space for the ATVs and other things that you may want to store such as surfboards or camping gear. 

ATV Storage Lifts for Garage

If you and your family are really really into powersports and you have more machines than your garage can handle, the solution is to go up. 

Use the vertical space in the garage (bet you didn’t think of the third dimension). Invest in a Powersports Lift and double your storage space immediately.

Superlifts from Canada has 3 models but their 1000 model is perfect for homeowners.

It is not just for ATVs. You can store almost any powersports toy ranging from ATV, snowmobile, motorcycles, dirt bikes, and even a golf cart. The best part; you can move it around even when it is fully loaded.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the best place to store your ATV for the winter is your garage. Of course you have to do it the right way.

Prepare your ATV for hibernation by

  • Deep Cleaning
  • Oil Change
  • Emptying Plastic Fuel Tank or Topping Up Metal Fuel Tank
  • Topping Up the Antifreeze
  • Lubricating all moving parts such as chain, sprocket, gears, etc.
  • Inspecting & Replacing damaged parts
  • Ensuring the battery remains charged
  • Inflate the Tires and keep them off the floor
  • Keep your ATV covered.

In addition you also have to consider

  • Does your Garage have enough storage space?
  • Should you double storage space by investing in a garage lift?
  • Keep your garage damp free and at a comfortable temperature all year round.

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Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.

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