Long Term Outdoor Vehicle Storage
Sometimes, using a storage facility just isn't an option when we need to keep our cars "on ice" for a while. Although indoor storage units are the preferred way to keep your vehicle safe from harm, they simply aren't a practical option for many of us.
What do you do when you need to store your vehicle somewhere for a while, but can't afford or don' have access to an indoor facility? Storing it outdoors is the only other valid option, and it doesn't have to be a bad thing – you just need to keep a few key things in mind in order to ensure that your car remains safe from harm.
Choosing A Secure Location
If possible, always choose a secure location to keep your car outdoors. Usually, this means selecting an area that is enclosed by a security fence or another similar item. Basically, you want to keep your car in a place where not just anybody can gain access to it. Fences are great deterrents; most would-be car thieves will move on to an easier target when a car is locked up in a fenced-in area. Generally, the risks associated with scaling a fence – then somehow getting the car out from around it unscathed – are simply too high for most robbers.
What if you don't have a fenced-in yard, and can't put up a fence? The next best option is choosing a spot that is within sight of your front door and in a populated area. Keeping your car out back, for instance, isn't a good idea – unless there's a fence. In the backyard, a car is more "tucked away," making it a prime target for thieves. What you want to do is keep your vehicle someplace where it's easy to keep an eye on it. When would-be thieves know that many windows are facing the area where a car is, they usually move along.
Finally, a well-lit location is key. Regardless of whether you have a fence or not – and whether your car is kept in the backyard or the front yard – the presence of bright lights will keep most ill-intentioned people at bay. Motion sensor lights are great, too – especially when paired up with regular lighting. Anyone trying to sneak up on your vehicle is sure to be startled when a spotlight suddenly turns on unexpectedly. Lighting is a very inexpensive way to keep your vehicle safe when being stored outdoors.
Creating A Safe Environment For Your Vehicle
There are a few hazards that you need to be aware of when keeping your vehicle outdoors. For one thing, trees can be a problem. During a major storm, a large tree limb can come loose, crushing your car and irrevocably damaging it. Even under normal weather conditions, a weakened and old tree can randomly lose a branch or two. The simple shedding of small sticks, twigs and bark can cause tiny scratches on your car, ruining its paint job and its finish. For all of these reasons, it is best to keep your car away from trees. If that's not possible, be sure that all of the branches are well-trimmed and pruned as best as possible.
Another potential hazard to beware of when keeping your vehicle outdoors is the blazing sun. Even the best paint job can become faded and unattractive when exposed constantly to bright sunlight. Whenever possible, keep your vehicle in a shaded area for the best storage possible. By keeping it out of the sun, your car will retain its luster and look like brand new for a much longer period of time. Better yet, use car covers with high UV protection to really protect your car; your worries about scratches and fading will be completely eliminated when you invest in a high quality car cover.
Beware Of Animals
Although uncommon, it's certainly not unheard of for rodents to make nests inside of unused vehicles. Everyone knows the aggravation of having bird droppings covering their car, too. Keeping animals away from your car when storing it outdoors is tricky, especially if you live in a more rural, remote area. However, a fence can help keep a lot of critters at bay. If a fence is unavailable, using a thick car cover like the Max can keep your car free from bird droppings and other problems. Periodically inspecting your car for the presence of rodents is another smart move, especially when keeping it outside.
Keep Your Car On Your Property
Even if your neighborhood is the kind where people park their vehicles at the curb regularly, you should always try to store your unused vehicle on your own property at all times. For one thing, many cities and towns have mandated street sweeping days when all vehicles must be off the street. If you live in a region that receives heavy snow fall, your car will have to be moved so the plows can get through. If you fail to move your car under either of these circumstances, it could get towed away – and paying for an impounding is never fun.
Beyond the hassles of keeping your car off the street for regularly scheduled events and snow fall, parking it down the street exposes it to theft. Why put your car somewhere where you can't even keep an eye on it? Thieves look upon a car parked on a street for days and days as an easy target. Keeping it on the street – but in front of your house – is an imperfect solution, too. The best place for your car is on your own property, whether it's in your driveway or in a fenced-in backyard.
Take Care When Storing Your Vehicle Outdoors
The bottom line on storing your vehicle outdoors is this: you need to be extra cautious. It goes without saying that more things can happen to a car kept outdoors than to one kept safely indoors. Using a car cover under these circumstances is vital, as is keeping as close an eye on it as possible. Storing a car outdoors isn't the best option, but when you have no other choice it can be done successfully.