Photo Credit: Phil Chambers
When you have a vehicle as cool as the A-Team van, it’s not exactly something that you want to leave out, exposed to the elements and in plain sight. This is especially true if it is an actual replica A-Team van that you have painstakingly worked on to recreate each detail. Whatever your hobby vehicle, whether it’s a van, trailer, auto, or something else, you have multiple vehicle storage options, each with its pros and cons.
Garages for vehicle storage
If you have a garage on your property, of course it is a natural first choice for auto storage. It’s nearby so your vehicle will be readily accessible, and you can also use the garage as a work space to fix up the vehicle with all your tools and supplies close at hand. However, the garage will not always work out, and has several downsides to consider:
- Using a garage for long-term vehicle storage takes space away from your primary cars, which you may prefer to park in the garage.
- Not all vehicles will fit in a garage, so if you’re interested in trailer storage, measure it up before deciding to use your garage.
- Your garage may be used primarily for storage of smaller items and doesn’t have space for this vehicle, in which case you need to decide which to store elsewhere.
Photo Credit: J Brew
Vehicle storage in the street or your driveway
The other main place you can store your vehicle at your home is outdoors, either in your driveway or out in the street. There, it will be exposed to sun, precipitation, temperature fluctuations, wind, and dirt, so it’s wise to invest in a cover if you plan to leave your vehicle there for long. Also, keep in mind that some neighborhoods do not allow certain types of vehicles, especially large ones, to be parked on their streets or even in personal driveways. Even with a typical car, you may need to move it regularly to avoid a parking violation, depending on the laws in your city.
Photo Credit: dave_7
Auto storage at a storage facility
When storing your vehicle at home isn’t possible or doesn’t make sense for you, storage facilities can provide the space you need. They can accommodate all types of vehicles, so they are an ideal resource for trailer storage and van storage.
Most storage facilities have several tiers of auto storage available. Outdoor storage is typically just parking spaces in a secure area, which does not provide your car with much protection against the elements, but is the least expensive option. If you want more protection, like for classic car storage, opt for indoor storage, which is basically like a garage on-site at the storage facility. Some locations also offer covered storage, which is outdoors but under some type of awning to provide the vehicle with at least some protection from sun and rain.
Tips for preparing your vehicle for storage
Especially if you plan to leave your vehicle stationary for more than a few weeks at a time, you should prepare it for storage before parking it. Use this car storage checklist to get your car, truck, van, or other vehicle ready to sit.
- Change the oil and filter so there aren’t any contaminants sitting in your engine while the vehicle is in storage.
- Top off the gas tank to keep the seals moist and reduce the chance of ethanol buildup due to condensation. You can also add fuel stabilizer, which is designed to prevent deterioration within the fuel system, and drive your car a few miles to work the stabilized fuel through all the lines.
- Inflate your tires to a high pressure to help prevent flat spots from developing, which is especially common at cold temperatures. This is not necessary if you plan to drive the car every few weeks. If you will leave it for a very extended period of time, jacking the car up so the tires are not bearing weight is the ideal solution.
- Wash your vehicle to remove debris that could damage the paint. Apply a coat of wax to protect the paint, especially if you will be storing your vehicle outside. In addition, clean out the inside of the vehicle to prevent unwanted odors from building up and reduce its attractiveness for critters.
- Disconnect the battery to avoid losing your charge. If you want to leave it connected, you will either need to drive the vehicle every few weeks or attach the battery to a trickle charger plugged into a wall outlet.
- Remove the windshield wiper blades because the rubber can stick to the windshield and leave residue.
- Leave the parking brake off so the brake pads do not fuse with the rotors. You can use chocks to immobilize the wheels if movement is a concern.
Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker
While car, trailer, and van storage may seem like a lot of work on the front end, doing it the right way protects your investment in your vehicle. You will be able to rest assured that when you return, everything should still be in working order and ready for you to hit the road.