Do you store
your recreational
vehicle for the winter?

Whether you love camping in an RV or riding a motorbike or ATV, prepare your favourite vehicle properly for winter storage so you can enjoy ithassle-free when the warm weather returns.

1. See that you RV has a good winter

  • Water tanks: Drain and rinse waste tanks and black-water tanks; drain the fresh water tank and empty the water lines through the drains under the vehicle.
  • Water connection: Turn off the cold water inlet valve on the hot water tank and turn the by-pass valve to the winter position.
  • Water pump and filter: Run the water pump to empty it completely, then remove the water filter.
  • Antifreeze: Pour in antifreeze and turn on the pump; turn on the taps and keep them open until the antifreeze runs through; also pour antifreeze down the drains of sinks, baths, showers and toilets.
  • Water heater: Turn off the heating switch and drain the tank.
  • Kitchen: Empty the fridge, kitchen drawers and cupboards so there’s no food that could attract mice or insects looking for a nice warm place to spend the winter.
  • Waterproofing: Inspect seals around the roof, doors, windows and pull-outs, and replace them as needed.
  • Parking: Park the RV in your garage or in a rented space.

2. Winterize your motorcycle and quad

To protect your motorcycle:

  • Fill the gas tank to prevent humidity from forming inside and causing corrosion.
  • To prevent warping, inflate the tires to at least the standard pressure suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Disconnect your battery and store it in a safe, heated place.
  • If you have a garage, store your motorcycle there for the winter; cover your bike with breathable fabric to protect it from dust and moisture.
  • If you do not have a garage, you can rent space in a storage facility or motorcycle shop to ensure your bike spends the winter in ideal conditions.

To protect your ATV:

  • Thoroughly clean the chassis, tires and plastic surfaces to remove any dirt and debris that could erode paint or varnish.
  • Cover it with a tarp that won’t retain condensation.
  • If you do not have suitable indoor storage at home, consider renting space from a garage that offers this service.

3. What about vehicle licence fees?

Notify the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) that you are storing your RV or motorcycle. You may be able to get a reimbursement of the registration fees for the months when your vehicle is off the road. Note the following conditions and procedures:*

  • A motorcycle must be placed in storage no later than September 30.
  • The storage request may be made on the SAAQ website, through their automated telephone service or in person at an SAAQ service outlet.
  • You must have the ownership certificate for the vehicle you will be storing; you will need this again when you put the vehicle back on the road.
  • Leave the licence plate on the vehicle.
  • If you store your vehicle for 12 months or more, it will have to undergo a mechanical inspection before the licence is reactivated.

4. What does winter storage mean for your insurance?

RVs, motorcycles and quads are seasonal vehicles, as are snowmobiles. Insurance premiums for recreational vehicles take this seasonal use into account. Accordingly, there is no storage credit for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, vacation trailers, fifth wheels, tent trailers or camper units. For motorhomes, a credit may be available in some cases, depending on the details of your insurance contract.

5. Talk to your insurance broker

For more about these topics, or if you have any questions about your recreational vehicle insurance, call your broker—your best source for information and advice.

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