Top tips for keeping classic cars in mint condition 

If you are about to pick up your first classic car, you might be wondering how to keep it in good enough condition so that it can compete for first prize at the Show and Shine contests in your area.

By following a few cardinal rules that collectors like Robert Bassam swear by, you’ll be able to keep your roadster in tip-top condition for the foreseeable future.

1) Detail your car once per year

This is one of the most obvious steps, but it is also one of the most dreaded. Detailing your car is a very labor-intensive procedure, as it involves deep cleaning, vacuuming, washing and waxing the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Neglect this important task, and your classic car will gradually accumulate dust, dirt, and grime, which are all things that will cause its good looks to fade.

Remember that you only have to do this once per year: put in one solid weekend afternoon of effort, and your car will look amazing for the rest of the year.

2) Keep your garage rodent-free

As much care as you put into the prior step, your effort will be for naught if your garage ends up becoming infested with mice and rats.

If they are allowed to invade its walls, they will eventually find their way inside, and they will end up chewing up the upholstery of your classic car.

While you may be certain that your garage and home does not contain rodents, it is it best to consult with a pest control expert, just to be sure.

3) Take it out / start it up once per month

If you’re like most collectors, you don’t acquire cars just so they can collect dust in your garage. You dream of being able to take them out during the summer and drive them down the main streets of your community. However, there are some times, especially during the cooler months of the year, where your car will sit dormant for extended periods.

Not starting the vehicle for a long time can be stressful on its systems, as moisture and condensation conspire to create leaks that can hasten the aging process.

By taking out your car at least once per month, you will be able to dry up any sources of moisture by heating up the vehicle.

If it is too cold outside, run the vehicle in your garage with the doors and windows open during the off-season.

4) Park them well away from other vehicles

There’s a reason why you rarely see any classic cars on the road after the first snow flies. It’s has nothing to do with with classic cars being out of style once summer is over, and everything to do with what is put on the roads once they begin to freeze.

Road salt is incredibly destructive to classic cars, so unless you have no choice but to move your vehicle, it is best to leave your baby parked in the garage until spring arrives.

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4 Means to Buying the Perfect Used Car

Are you in the mood for purchasing a used car?

If so, the most important thing you can do is take your time looking for one.

One of the things consumers (like yourself) need to avoid is rushing into buying a vehicle. When one does that, they could very well end up with a clunker, a clunker that costs them money and quite possibly their safety and the safety of those around them.

With that being the case, make sure you do your homework before agreeing to buy that used vehicle.

So, are you ready to start searching for the perfect used car?

Do Your Homework and Take Your Time

When it comes to locating the best used car out there for your needs, keep the following pointers in mind:

  1. Search – As mentioned a moment ago, avoid the impulse to just go out and buy anything on the spot. When purchasing a used vehicle, it is just that, used. As a result, you don’t know its history without asking questions and/or doing an online search to try and learn more. That said spending time on a license plate lookup is a good way to try and dig into a vehicle’s history. Find the best online resource tool to do just that, allowing you to uncover as many details as possible regarding the vehicle of interest. You should also check different online resources to see what used vehicles are typically going for these days in both the private market and from car dealers. Knowing the average price for your vehicle of interest is important so that you do not get taken for a ride financially (see more below);
  2. Money – One of the typical reasons many people opt for used cars over new ones is the idea of saving money. That said make sure you are getting what you pay for. Unfortunately, some will buy a vehicle out of their love for it (way it looks, way it drives etc.) without truly knowing what it is worth. In the end, they then realize that they overpaid for it. Go online and use the different resources available when it comes to pricing used vehicles. If the deal sounds too go to be true, it probably is.

Don’t Buy without Testing First

  1. Performance – Would you buy a new vehicle without taking it for a spin first? Given the answer is likely of course not, the same holds true (even more importance) when considering buying a used vehicle. With all that a used car could have been through over its lifetime, you want to not only drive it, but preferably have a mechanic check it out. Knowing that things such as the engine, brakes, transmission etc. are in good shape is key. If someone tries to sell used a vehicle without letting you try it out, you’re better off hitting the road and finding another opportunity;
  2. Safety – Finally, you should already know this, but be sure to never overlook the importance of safety when considering buying a used vehicle. You likely do not know if that car you’re considering has been in an accident or two. If it has, was it repaired properly? If not, you could potentially be buying something that will put you and others at risk. This is yet another reason why the vehicle needs to be checked out by a mechanic and an auto body expert wouldn’t hurt either.

If you have the itch to purchase a used car, now might be the perfect time for you to go ahead and do it.

Just remember to use commonsense when making such a purchase.

Make sure the vehicle is thoroughly checked out before you open up your wallet or purse and drive away.

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Debunked: Motor oil myths for novices

It’s hidden away and for that reason, it sometimes goes forgotten. However, like it or not, your motor oil is the thing that makes your car tick and without it, problems are going to arise.

When we talk about problems, we’re not discussing minor inconveniences either. Extensive engine damage is one issue and it will most probably mean that you can’t rely on your vehicle warranty and instead have to make a claim with a company like Omega Auto Care.

However, while it might be critically important, there are a lot of misconceptions that surround oil and just how you should manage it in your vehicle. It’s for this reason that we’ve put together this guide, as we scrutinize motor oil in-detail and highlight the many myths that have emerged about it.

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“Black oil means that it should be changed”

This is something that’s commonly stated but suffice to say, it’s just not correct. The general consensus is that you should use your dipstick to check the color of the oil and if it’s black, you should change it as a matter of urgency.

However, rather than showing that the oil is bordering on useless, the darker color instead highlights that it’s working correctly. Oil will change color over time and there’s no need to act apart from in extreme cases.

“You should change your oil every three months”

Another piece of advice which is alarmingly common is the notion that you should change your vehicle’s oil every three months, or every 3,000 miles if you happen to complete that even more quickly.

Generally, if you follow this approach you will just be wasting oil. A better approach is to check your owner’s manual, with most new cars recommending that you change it after at least 7,000 miles – a far cry from the 3,000 that has been historically documented. Failing that, just wait for your warning light to illuminate.

“Synthetic oil is just better”

There’s a couple of myths on synthetic oil, and here’s the first. It’s often said that synthetic oil isn’t just better for your vehicle, but also for fuel economy.

Well, truth be told, it’s not completely accurate. A lot of the time the synthetic claims are exaggerated and umpteen tests have still failed to prove the benefit that it has to fuel economy. Sure, it’s a more lubricated substance, but whether or not this is worthy of the inflated price is another matter.

“There’s no going back after turning to synthetic oil”

Our next synthetic oil myth surrounds the choices you have once you’ve taken the plunge. While some might suggest that you can never go back to petroleum-based oil after using a synthetic type – this generally isn’t the case. As long as the oil is of the required standard, you are able to use both alternately. Usually, these types of oil are blended anyway, so it makes no sense to suggest that they have such dangerous effects on each other.

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Give Your Vehicle the TLC It Needs

Would you consider yourself someone who goes above and beyond what is necessary to take care of one’s vehicle?

If so, you are like millions of other car and truck owners nationwide.

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That being the case, given many cars and trucks are built these days to last longer, it is a sound investment for you to take care of your vehicle. Not only will it mean lower auto insurance and registration fees down the road, but you will also save money on major repairs by doing regular maintenance.

That said where you live and where you drive both play roles in how long you can typically keep a car or truck (see more below). Between weather conditions and area roads, your vehicle can take a beating over time. If that is the case in your situation this all the more reason to be attentive to your vehicle’s needs.

So, are you giving your vehicle all the TLC it needs?

Note Your Weather and Road Conditions

Even if you don’t use your vehicle all that much, the time it spends outside (assuming you don’t garage it all of the time) and the roads it must tackle can take a toll.

With that being the case, here are some helpful reminders to preserve the life of your vehicle for as long as possible:

  • Weather – One of the things that can wear on a vehicle over time would be the weather conditions. As bad as some roads may be, your vehicle being out in snow, ice, heat etc. can be a real game-changer. For example, if you live in the Phoenix area, you know all too well how hot it can get from May to October. As such, your vehicle can literally bake in the summer sun, leading to possible paint damage and other issues. If you are considering purchasing a new BMW in Phoenix or another make or model, think about your choices. For instance, buying a black car in Arizona or other hot climates may not be the wisest choice, especially when those hot days roll around. Meantime, for those residing in rainy areas of the country like Seattle, buying a vehicle with a sunroof may not be the wisest choice. Although sunroofs provide a look and feel that many drivers like, a leaky sunroof can turn into a real problem, especially if it provides continuous problems. The best option no matter where you reside is to have a garage or even a carport to house your vehicle. In doing so, you will typically increase the life of your vehicle, saving you money when all is said and done;
  • Roads – Unless you are retired and/or you don’t have to drive all that often, your vehicle is going to come across its share of potholes, bumpy roads, roads where you have to brake often etc. As such, expect your vehicle to get a true workout. Although some contact with potholes and other road issues is all but inevitable, do your best to avoid such issues. From your tires to your brakes, how you drive on local roads and highways will go a long way in determining how many years you keep that vehicle. Lastly, make sure you know the road conditions as much as possible before setting out to drive. This is especially the case in the wintertime. Roads that appear to be safe can turn on a dime when snow and/or ice come in contact with them. By taking extra time to get where you need to go, you and your vehicle will likely arrive safely.

Regular Maintenance is a Necessity

  • Maintenance – Finally, are you one of those drivers with an avoidance of your area mechanic at all costs? Just like some people never want to see a dentist, some drivers are missing in action when it comes to taking care of their vehicles. Even if you decide regular maintenance updates (30K, 60K, 90K miles etc.) are not going to happen, at least get your recommended oil changes, have the tires rotated, and get the brakes inspected. Not only are those check-ups important for the life of your vehicle, they also improve your safety odds each and every time you get behind the wheel.

If giving your vehicle some TLC has been an afterthought as of late, drive forward with better habits this year and down the road.

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Best Motorcycle Road Trips in the USA

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Time to take a motorcycle trip! There is nothing like the great American road trip on a motorcycle; the perfect way to have a great time and experience the beauty and diversity of the country. Before you set out however, make sure you have some spare essential motorcycle parts with you in the case of an emergency.

When you are all set, these road trips offer ever-changing scenery along the way and a chance to see just how beautiful the US truly is. They are by no means untraveled roads, but these routes are worth the journey.

The Blue Ridge Parkway – North Carolina to Virginia

This drive is a breathtaking experience for anyone setting tire on the ground. Starting at the southern end of Shenandoah National Park and winding along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains all the way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the 469 miles of twisty and curvy road offers great driving at several elevations and views you can talk about all year. Lush green landscapes, old farmsteads, breathtaking vistas, and dozens of places to stop and visit, make this one of the most inviting and popular to ride.

Route 66 – Illinois to California

Since 1926, Route 66 has long been called The Main Street of America because it runs through so many inner city avenues and small-town main streets along its meandering length. In fact, the original route was a patchwork of existing roads, which ranged from brick streets and urban four lanes, to cattle paths cut across farms. There is no stretch of road more closely associated with Americana than Route 66 which covers more than 2,000 miles from Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, to Arizona and California. The miles contain a diversity of attractions including national parks, architectural landmarks roadside oddities (the world’s largest ketchup bottle, covered wagon, and rocking chair), countless billboards, motels, and dozens of greasy diners. And of course great roads to ride.

Road to Hana – Paia to Hana, Hawaii

Unspooling along 52 snakelike miles of Maui’s eastern coast, this route runs from Kahului to the town of Hana. The drive is a cliff hanger that strains many a driver’s equilibrium and often demands several stops to get your balance. Hairpin turns that wind over plunging cliffs and postcard-perfect waterfalls make this one of the most picturesque drives in the US. Without stops, and traffic pending, the trip takes around three hours, but plenty of lookouts, beaches, and other attractions along the way will likely have you making detours. The modern world seems distant, and as you ride your cares fade into a mustard colored sunset, and tensions get gently blown away in the trade winds. The road takes you to Hana’s famous black sand beaches and lava tubes.

Yes, that sound you hear is the open road calling you, and every motorcyclist needs to take a memorable trip, on an unforgettable road. And remember, taking these scenic and exhilarating drives is not about getting to the destination, it’s about the ride. So enjoy!

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Things to Look for When Choosing a Mechanic

What are the Things to Look for When Choosing a Mechanic?
Photo by CC user Interiot on English Wikipedia

Few things in life are guaranteed beyond death and taxes – and one of those things is that if you own a car, you will eventually need to find a good mechanic. Finding a good a mechanic shouldn’t left to luck. There are some things that you can ask to help you narrow your search for a qualified mechanic that you can trust in a reliable shop. Honda owners can check out Omega Auto Care, but no matter what kind of car you drive, these tips can help you find the right mechanic for you.

Is the mechanic certified?

This is the most obvious way to know if a mechanic is qualified. There are number of certifications that a mechanic can hold, including manufacturer’s certifications which confirm a mechanic’s ability to work on a particular make of car. Mechanics may also be certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE certification means that a mechanic has been tested for knowledge and skills, and also has the required amount of experience. It is important to bear in mind that individuals rather than shops receive ASE certification, and so you will need to ask about the credentials of the particular mechanic who will be working on your car.

Does the shop have reputable affiliations?

Look for a sign indicating that the shop you are considering is AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) affiliated. These shops are monitored for the quality of their service, and must use only certified mechanics. If you are not able to identify beforehand who will be working on your car, you will at least be sure that the mechanic will be certified if the shop has an AAR affiliation.

Does the mechanic take the time to explain things?

Especially if you are not familiar with the inner workings of your car, it can be overwhelming to sort through a lot of technical jargon as the mechanic explains what is wrong with your car and what it will take to fix. A good mechanic will be a good communicator, and will take the time required to make sure that you understand the details of your situation, and will answer questions to your satisfaction.

Does the mechanic have a good reputation?

Knowing that a mechanic is certified and works in a reputable shop provides a basic degree of assurance that the mechanic has the skills necessary to expertly service your car. However, there is more to being a good mechanic than simply knowing your way around a car. You want to know that a mechanic is honest and reliable, that the quotes are going to be accurate, and that the work will be completed on time. You also want to know that your mechanic is a good communicator, and a fast diagnostician. These sorts of qualities are harder to evaluate without references, and it is always a good idea to check those references. But in the end, you should be sure to talk with your mechanic and go with your gut – if you don’t get a positive feeling from that conversation, then move on.

A car is a big investment, and the last thing you want to do is entrust it to just any mechanic. Make sure you take the time to properly research the mechanics in your area to make sure that your investment is in the right hands!

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How Getting the Right Rental Car Can Totally Make your Vacation a Memorable One

Holidays are a time for fun, freedom, and relaxation, and if the vacation involves taking in the sights, the family will need the right vehicle. Let’s take Perth as an example, the surrounding areas have a wealth of treasures for the traveller, not to mention the city itself. When choosing a rental vehicle, consider the number of people, and also the space required for extras like picnic hampers or fold up bikes, and it might be an idea to hire an SUV or a minivan, which gives the group space to be comfortable.

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Sports Utility Vehicles

SUVs are the ideal choice for a holiday, as they can go off road, and can carry up to 8 people in comfort, with lots of space in the rear for those extra things we all carry. The latest generation of SUVs are powerful, handle well, and are equally at home in the city or the outback. Four wheel drive options allow the group to come off the roads and explore the countryside in more detail.

Online Solutions

If a person is planning a self-drive holiday, it is easy to source a reputable car rental company online, and if the destination happens to be WA, there is affordable car hire from Perth’s Ace Rent a Car, and with so many vehicles to choose from, they are sure to have the ideal transport. An established hire company would have a website where it is simple to book the vehicle, which will be waiting at the airport when the group arrives.

Freedom to Explore

If the family decides they want to tour the region, the vehicle needs to be large enough to accommodate the group, and any extras deemed necessary for the trip. Some folk prefer to book into one hotel, and use that as a base, while touring daily. Others want to venture further afield and prefer to stay at hotels along the way, which means the vehicle must be able to carry everyone’s luggage. It is a nice feeling being on the open road, with no timetable to follow, and no restrictions on where one can go. Explore the countryside at one’s leisure and with so many routes on offer, the choices are indeed varied.

Minibuses

If the group is anything from 8 to 12 in number, a minibus might be the best solution. Air conditioned and comfortable, people movers are ideal for larger groups, and with so much extra space for luggage, the family will not be limited in any way.

Local Knowledge

Of course, the Internet is a great source of knowledge, and one can soon find out what there is to see and do, and the rental company would be knowledgeable about the local attractions, so one can ask them in advance and they would be happy to suggest suitable venues. The wineries in Swan Valley are world class, and anyone who visits WA, simply must include a wine tour. The Margaret River region is another area for vineyards, with more than 200 wineries producing some of the best wine Australia has to offer.

Hiring the right vehicle can mean the difference between an average holiday or a memorable one, and by talking to the right company, the perfect vehicle will be awaiting the group’s arrival.

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DIY Safety Upgrades for Your Car

 

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There have been many important innovations in auto safety in the last number of years, and even if you are driving an older vehicle, you can take advantage of these new technologies with some affordable upgrades and make your ride safer.

Upgrade your Headlights

Brighter headlights make it easier for you to see at night, and make your car more visible.  They are easy to install in about 30 minutes, and contribute enormously to your overall safety.

Collision Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control

Traditional cruise control systems will keep you going at a constant speed, but the latest systems work to adjust your speed when needed to help you to maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car by slowing your vehicle automatically if you get too close.  It will also send you an alert if it senses an object ahead of your car, and will even automatically apply the brakes to stop your car if you don’t respond to the alert.  It only takes a moment to become distracted, and this technology prevents that momentary distraction from resulting in an accident.

Object Proximity Sensors

These sensors use electromagnetic or ultrasonic sensors to detect unsafe distances between your car and objects around it, and will beep to alert you.  They don’t detect moving traffic, but will definitely help you avoid hitting parked cars, hydrants or low barrier walls.

Upgrade your tires

Tires are the only part of your car that touches the road, and for that reason, no matter whether your car is brand new with high-tech anti-lock brakes and traction control or is ten years old without any of that technology, your ability to stop ultimately depends on the quality of your tires.  For that reason, tires are one of the most effective safety upgrades you can make if you want to significantly increase the safety and also the performance of your car.  Buy the best tires you can afford.  If you are planning to hold onto your car for a few years then tires with a longer-lasting tread are worth the investment.

Backup Camera System

Sadly, it is not uncommon for children or other pedestrians to be hurt by people backing out of their driveways.  Not only do back up camera systems reduce the possibility of accidents, but they also make parallel parking much easier.  A backup camera system is thus a very important and life-saving upgrade. It is easy and affordable to install a safety view wireless backup camera system.

Driving an older vehicle does not necessarily mean you cannot benefit from latest advances in safety technology.  Many of the most important safety features can be added to your car with relatively little expense or time. And given the demonstrated life-saving advantages, you should definitely consider upgrading your vehicle with these easy to install upgrades.

 

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Tips for New Homeowners During the Winter

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The winter months are notorious for snow, cold and ice. While this may be bad enough for those who have to go through it, it can present additional challenges for homeowners. If you are a new homeowner, what should you know about keeping your house in good condition during what could be the worst weather conditions of the year?

Keep the Gutters Clear

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that the gutters are keep clear of snow, ice or any liquid that may accumulate in them. This is because water can easily freeze and create an ice dam. An ice dam can then force any additional melting snow or rain that falls to move back under the shingles and into the roof. From there, it could leak into the home and get all the way down to the foundation.

Keep Pipes Clear of Water

Just like water can freeze on a gutter, it can freeze in your home’s pipes. If that happens, it could lead to cracks or even a pipe bursting. That could then lead to water damage as well as a pipe that needs to be replaced. Therefore, it may be a good idea to drain your pipes and make sure that they are kept above freezing at all times. Keeping cabinet and other doors open can help circulate the air, which may prevent water from achieving a frozen state.

Hire a Snow Plow

While you may think that you are up to shoveling the driveway when it snows, it may not be in your best interest to do so. Although you may be able to keep it clear after a small snowfall, what happens if your driveway is covered in a foot or more of snow an hour before you have to go to work?

For new homeowners, buying a snowblower may not be feasible as you may not have hundreds of dollars sitting around after you spent thousands on closing costs and other expenses. A snowplow contract is usually less than $50 a month, and you can rest assured that your driveway will be clear before work in the morning.

Buy a Winter Car

It may be a good idea to buy a cheap winter car to take the wear and tear that the winter months put on a vehicle. For less than $1,000 you can have something that will take you to work or help you get to the gym or to the store down the street. Once the winter is over, you can sell the car to get back some of your original investment.

Since you only put a few hundred or few thousand miles on the vehicle, you probably don’t have to invest in an oil change or perform any other type of maintenance on the vehicle. However, you should get it inspected before you buy it to ensure that there are no major safety issues that could put yourself or other family members in danger.

You will learn a lot about your home after spending your first winter in it. However, as a general rule, you should make sure to keep the gutters and pipes clear from snow and make sure that all drive and walkways are kept free from snow or ice that can make traversing them treacherous.

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Protect Your RV and Extend Its Lifetime

Protect your RV, as you spent too much money on it for it not to live a full life
Photo by CC user Motorhomes on Wikimedia Commona

If you own an RV, what are you doing to make sure it lasts as long as possible?

Some RV owners go out of their way to take care of their prized possessions, while others certainly could do better when it comes to caring for a sizable investment in their lives.

That said storing your RV in a safe and secure place when not using it is your best option.

Yes, you likely have a number of questions as to how to go about this, but it is actually not all that difficult to find the right storage scenario.

So, if you’re looking to protect your RV and extend its lifetime, are you ready to do your research?

Research the Options Available

When it comes to finding the solution in where to locate RV storage near me, keep these tips in mind:

     

  1. Security – First and foremost, you want a secure place to store your RV when it is not in use. Yes, you certainly have the option of storing it on your property, but keep in mind that such vehicles take up a fair amount of space. As a result, if you have a smaller home, you could find yourself a little bit crunched with a big RV on the property in the driveway or backyard. As you look at different providers to store your RV at, check to see how secure the locations are. The last thing in the world you want is placing your RV in a locale where crime might be an issue. You also do not want it in a location where there is a huge amount of traffic, making it hard to get in and out of with your vehicle. Just as road accidents for cars and trucks can prove a big headache for their owners, RV owners do not want to find their prized vehicles damaged due to an accident. One of the ways to get a better handle on how secure such RV storage spots can be is using the Internet. In today’s digital age, more and more consumers use the worldwide web to talk about anything and everything. With that being the case, you can get some good consumer feedback on what RV storage spots come highly recommended and which ones are advisable to stay away from;
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  3. Pricing – Given the fact money is tight for many people, you are probably looking at how best to save on an RV storage spot. By doing your research (a lot of which can be done online), you can weed out which storage providers are just looking out for themselves and which ones offer fair deals. Make sure you understand all the fine print in any agreement you consider going with. The last thing you want to have happen is miss something in your contract, only to end up with a bill bigger than you originally had planned for;
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  5. Weather – Last but certainly not least, you are likely wondering (perhaps even concerned) about storing your RV outside without any protection from Mother Nature. It is important to remember that RV’s are built to be durable, especially when it comes to all the weather conditions that can come their way. While you could store your RV in an inside storage unit, keep in mind that you will pay more for such an arrangement. Another option is having it outside, yet undercover. This at least protects it to some degree from inclement weather, especially snow, ice, hail etc. No matter where you end up storing your RV, weather will get to it over time, so do your best to keep it in good shape. Making sure the paint is not peeling away, replacing worn tires, staying on top of all fluids under the hood etc. are all important upkeep priorities.

 

Whether you are young or old, an RV could be your ride to many years of happiness and seeing the countryside.

That said taking care of the major investment is something you never take for granted.

If the time has come to find the proper storage situation for your RV, do your research both online and offline, looking to drive on over for the best spot.

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