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April 23, 2014

How to Clean Your Grill to Kick off the Season

Filed under: Grill Covers — Tags: , , , , , — ProbusOnline @ 10:56 pm
There’s something about warm weather that makes the outdoors and cooking go hand-in-hand. But before you take the lid off and fire up the grill, you should give it a thorough cleaning first. After all, good grilling is clean grilling, and the first cleaning at the beginning of the season is the most important one.

Step 1: Grates

The grates are one of the most important parts of the grill because it’s the only thing preventing your food from directly touching the heat source. Have dirty grates, and your food will taste dirty, too. But take the time to clean them thoroughly and correctly, and you’ll be one step closer to being crowned Master Chef of your neighborhood.

Start by removing them entirely and letting them soak in warn, soapy water for 15 minutes. This allows the water to work its magic by softening up caked-on crud, making the cleaning process a lot easier. Once they’ve had a good soak, take a wire brush to them and really scrub. Your goal is to get every single thing off that’s been hibernating there over winter, so you’ll need a bit of elbow grease.

Charcoal grill

Charcoal grill

Step 2: Heat Source

Most grills are either charcoal or gas, so we’ll take a look at how to clean both the proper way.

Charcoal Grill

The great thing about charcoal grills is all you have to do is give it a quick clean each time you use it and you’re good to go, including just brushing out the ash. However, after it’s been sitting for the entire winter, you’ll have to be a little more thorough. Hopefully, you took out any bricks or wood before packing it up, as they’ll need to come out anyway.

Next, scrub out all the other gunk until it’s crystal clean and then wash with soapy water. Not only is this a necessary step in getting it ready, but it’ll make post-grill cleans a lot easier. Lastly, you may want to touch up any spots with paint, but make sure it’s clearly marked as “grill safe”.

Gas Grill

Gas grills have a “clean” knob; ignore this. What the “clean” setting is good for is preheating the grill so when you actually get to cleaning it, the job’s a lot easier. Your grill should also have a barrier above the burners in the form of metal plates, lava rock, or briquettes. This area should be well scrubbed, too, for the same reasons listed in the charcoal grill section.

Gas Grill

Gas Grill

Step 3: The Rest of the Grill

Make sure it’s not possible for your grill to heat up (mostly a concern with having an “on” gas grill) and take the rest of the parts out, again soaking them in warm, soapy water to loosen up the grit. While the parts are soaking, inspect the rest of the grill for the following:

  • Clear burners so nothing blocks the flow of gas
  • No food caked onto ceramic briquettes or lava rock (replace if there is)
  • Any caked on food inside the grill, or any dirt on the outside; clean down with soapy water
  • Once you’ve got all the parts cleaned and free of soap, re-assemble your grill back together. You can pat it dry, but it’s just as easy to let it air-dry, too. The only thing to keep in mind is let it heat completely before you cook on it, just in case you missed rinsing off a soapy spot or two.

    Now that you’ve got a super clean grill, the only thing that’s left is getting a DuraShield grill cover for those rainy or windy days. The last thing you’d want is for your hard work to go to waste, and a DuraShield cover can avoid that. Plus, we’ve got free shipping to the lower 48 states, so there’s no reason not to get one today.

    April 9, 2014

    Getting Your Patio Furniture Ready for Spring

    The warmer months are here! Although this winter seemed like it would never end and the warm weather lagged behind the official start of spring, the mercury is slowly creeping up everyday. This means it’s time to spend more time on our patios, basking in the sun and warm breeze that hits your face. Before you relax, though, you’ve got to make sure your patio furniture is set to be sat upon.
    Patio Furniture Cover

    Patio Furniture Cover

    Plastic Patio Furniture

    This is probably the easiest type of patio furniture to clean, as plastic doesn’t rust and its durability helps it last for years. Take a minute or two to swipe off any clumps of dirt, grass or other debris so the actual cleaning is easier, and then prep your solution: a cup of vinegar, a gallon of water, and a couple of tablespoons of dish detergent (use less if you’re using liquid detergent).

    You can also occasionally use a splash of bleach for stains, but regular use will eat away at the plastic and cause it to degrade. A handy alternative is to go with baking soda, which provides a grittiness that’s great at scrubbing. And if you’re still not pleased with that, just paint it another color!

    Wicker Patio Furniture

    This is also an inexpensive, yet durable, material used for patio furniture, and cleaning it is almost as easy as plastic. Attach a soft brush on the end of your vacuum and clear away any loose bits, and then use a mild oil-based soap (e.g. Murphy Oil Soap). Make sure you use a soft brush to avoid damaging the wicker, and wet it with water first. You don’t have to fully clean it that often, but it is a good idea to hose it down every couple of weeks to maintain it.

    Classic Accessories Veranda Patio Lounge Chair Cover

    DuraShield has the perfect covers for you patio furniture to make sure it stays safe and protected over the winter months.

    Teak

    Closely related to wicker in terms of cleaning methods is teak, and all you have to do is use the same oil-based soap and soft, damp brush.

    Aluminum

    This metal is pretty laidback in terms of maintenance and durability, but that doesn’t mean you get off scot-free. The most important thing is to keep an eye on chipped or peeling paint and touch those up right away, as this helps to seal it and prevent corrosion.

    If the aluminum is painted, just use soap and water to clean it, making sure to dry it completely as opposed to letting it air-dry. If it’s not painted, use a metal polishing paste and avoid baking soda at all costs; the scrubbiness of it will slowly destroy the unpainted aluminum.

    Wrought Iron

    Many homeowners love wrought iron because of its elegance and ornateness, but it comes with one major drawback: it gravitates to rust like there’s no tomorrow. One common way this is combated is with manufacturer’s applying rust-resistant paint to it, which you can buy to touch up yourself.

    Patio loveseat cover

    Cover your veranda loveseat with one of DuraShield’s patio furniture covers.

    Another way of keeping your wrought iron patio furniture looking good is to sand down any rusty bits as soon as they crop up. This isn’t particularly fun and it’s a task that requires patience and dedication, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than tossing away rusty furniture and buying a new set. To clean it, just use water and a mild dish soap.

    Now that you’re armed with everything you need to know about cleaning patio furniture, it’s time to take a look at DuraShield’s selection of patio furniture covers. We know it’s the time you’re taking your covers off, but you’ll never find as good a selection now, and nor will you have to worry about getting one in the fall. Find the right one for your needs and enjoy free shipping to the lower 48 states.

    March 27, 2014

    Protecting Your DuraShield Goods from Springtime Flooding

    Now that spring is officially here, it’s almost warm enough to take your DuraShield cover off your car, ATV, boat, motorcycle, golf cart, barbecue grill or patio furniture. But before you do, remember that one of the quickest routes to needing a new any of the above is wrecking it with flooding. Take the following precautions to make sure your valuable gear doesn’t get waterlogged, and you’ll be able to put your DuraShield cover on them again next season.
    Classic Accessories OverDrive PolyPRO™ 3 Car Cover

    Classic Accessories OverDrive PolyPRO™ 3 Car Cover

    Cars, Motorcycles, Golf Carts and ATVs/UTVs

    One of the worst ways to damage a motorized vehicle is with water. The mechanical and electrical parts inside need water like a fish needs dry land, and the two should be in contact as rarely as possible. Water can very easily lead to rust, which will weaken the entire integrity of your vehicle and lead it to breaking down much sooner than it should.

    Protect it at least parking it on an incline so water can do its natural thing: find the lowest space possible and spread out there instead of in your car, golf cart or ATV/UTV. On a regular basis, run your hand under the seats to check if water has crept in, take off the spare tire to check for moisture there, and, for cars, run the A/C with the windows up and sniff for mildew or mold.

    Boats

    It may sound silly to read about how to protect your boat from water damage precisely because they’re meant to live in water, but it’s a real risk that’s always present (especially with saltwater).

    Regularly inspect the traps under the sinks, sea cocks, strainers, and holding tanks for any hiding water, and remove it as soon as possible to ensure they’re protected. These areas should stay relatively dry, and it doesn’t take much to keep them that way.

    Barbecues and Grills

    Your barbecue or grill should be washed regularly to avoid ashy buildup, but not draining and letting it dry properly can lead to big and expensive problems down the road. And as with vehicles, saltwater and chlorinated pool water are especially big concerns.

    For ocean side grilling, try and keep the cover on as much as possible. It won’t form a perfect seal, but it’ll be pretty darn close. To complement that, regularly inspect and clean the grill, taking time to scrub off any rust that’s developed and coating it in oil to prevent more from building up.

    If it’s pool party barbecuing you’re after, the chlorine can be a real killer (or bromine, if you use that instead). The biggest precaution you can take is not setting your barbecue right by the pool so the chlorine/bromine vapors have a harder time sneaking in, and repositioning the grill upwind to further combat the vapors (as well as inspecting and cleaning it regularly).

    Classic Accessories Villa Patio Table and Chair Set Cover - Round Tables

    Classic Accessories Villa Patio Table and Chair Set Cover – Round Tables

    Patio Furniture

    Generally, keeping patio furniture from being water damaged isn’t a problem if it’s made of plastic, only if it’s made of wood or metal. It’s also relatively easy to protect it from water damage because the form of patio furniture naturally lends itself to water running off, not collecting on the tops and sides. But you should still tilt the furniture after a heavy rainfall to avoid water collecting, and spray it a protector for that extra boost.

    When it comes to whatever valuables you’ve covered in a DuraShield cover, water damage can easily undo everything the DuraShield cover has protected. Take no chances and browse our selection for the DuraShield cover that’s just right for you, and enjoy free shipping to the lower 48 states.

    March 12, 2014

    Getting Your ATV Ready for Spring

    The recent days of warm weather herald one thing: spring is on its way. That means it’s time to uncover the ATV or UTV and take it out for a ride. But first, there are a couple of things you need to do to make sure it’s in good working order.
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    Make Sure There’s Enough Fuel in the Tank

    If you’ve been following our tips on how to get your ATV/UTV ready for winter, you’ll know that prepping the fuel tank and filling it fill of gas is one of the things to do. However, an ATV/UTV that’s been sitting in your garage over winter has been largely unattended, and there are a number of things that could have happened:

  • Fuel leak from small, unseen damage when getting it ready for winter
  • Holes or pinpricks somewhere along the line caused by mice, cats or raccoons
  • Insects or water finding a new home
  • General dirt or grit making its way in there
  • Either way, you should check the fuel tank by draining both the tank and carburetor, and then filling the tank with fresh fuel. You may not have enough fuel on hand to fill the tank entirely, but what’s in a jerry can will do until you can.

    Are the Tires Inflated?

    So, your fuel tank is full and good to go, but unless your tires are firm and inflated, you’ll be going nowhere fast in a hurry. Start with a visual inspection of all four. If they look okay, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are; it can mean all four are equally flat. If this is the case, give them a light kick or squeeze to check. They may appear okay, but a bit more air in the tires—and be careful of how much you inflate them because replacing burst tires is a lot more arduous than just slowly inflating them—is probably a good thing after a full season of non-use.

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    Air Filter and Oil

    Now that your ATV/UTV is majorly good, you have to look to make sure it can run smoothly and without overheating or clogging up. Depending on how well you take care of your ATV/UTV the rest of the year, a complete oil change may or may not be necessary. The same goes with changing the air filter. Take a look at it to see how grimy it is. You may be able to get away with just cleaning it off, or you may need a new one (the latter especially goes if you do a lot of desert riding where fine particulate matter can quickly clog it up.)

    Battery and Brakes

    It would be awfully terrible to get in the middle of a great ride and either not be able to stop or have it stopped for you. Your brakes and battery are two of the most important things to make sure you’ve got ultimate control over how long your quadding session goes, so run quick tests to make sure both are in top shape.

    Miscellaneous

    Some of the other things you should be looking at include:

  • spark plug (doesn’t necessarily have to be changed every season)
  • drive chain, to make sure it’s not worn, warped, bent or broken in any spots (also doesn’t have to be changed every season or year)
  • steering rods to see they’re straight and firmly secured in place
  • hand grips
  • fan or radiator so your ATV/UTV doesn’t overheat
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    Now that you’ve got your ATV/UTV in great working order, it’s time to take a look at DuraShield’s line of ATV and UTV covers to keep it that way when you take a rest. Our covers come quickly and of high quality, and there’s free shipping to the lower 48 states.

    February 27, 2014

    Car Safety in Extremely Cold Weather

    The recent return of the second Polar Vortex has caused temperatures to plummet drastically, which isn’t such a big deal when safely ensconced indoors. But what happens if you take a drive out far and your car breaks down—would you be ready to spend the night in really cold weather and make it out in one piece the next morning?

    Before the Cold or Storm Arrives

    While weather forecasts aren’t 100% reliable, they do give enough indication of impending doom and gloom, and this is your chance to do the smart thing and pre-empt it as much as possible. Start by building an emergency kit with the following items:

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  • 1. Sand and/or Salt: Just in case you ever run into a slippery patch of snow, it’s always a good idea to have something that can provide a bit of grit and traction for your tires.
  • 2. Snow Removal Equipment: This can be as basic as a window scraper, or as elaborate as an extra shovel and pair of boots stowed in the trunk. Snow has a way of building up very quickly, and there’s no other way of describing going out there in sneakers than to say it sucks.
  • 3. Food: You can’t predict how long you may be stuck in your car, so stock up on 2,000 calories of non-perishable food, like granola or energy bars and trail mix. Try to choose food that’s high in protein because that’s what your muscles are made of, and they’re the things that’ll keep you warm.
  • 4. Water: You may be able to go days and days without food, but going without water has a much shorter time limit. Make sure to stow water in plastic bottles that won’t break—don’t use glass bottles—and wrap them in blankets to minimize the chance of them freezing.
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  • 5. Blankets: If you can obtain or afford goose-down blankets, that’s the best option for you keeping you the warmest in cold weather. Otherwise, stick to wool for its breathability or fleece for its moisture-wicking synthetic properties, and try to avoid cotton blankets. Fire blankets are also a good idea.
  • 6. First Aid Kit: A good first aid kit has a mixture of bandaids, gauzes and wraps, antiseptic solutions or ointments, painkillers, tweezers and scissors, eye patches, thermometer, and many other items. For your car, also include a seatbelt cutter.
  • 7. Candles and Flashlights: It gets dark awfully quickly in the winter, and with it, a tremendous loss of heat and awareness. But stocking up on candles, deep cans to hold them in, and strike-anywhere matches (stored in a waterproof container), as well as wind-up flashlights, is always a smart idea.
  • 8. Whistle: As loud as you can yell for help, it’ll become ineffective quickly because a) the wind can overpower your voice, and b) you’ll lose your voice if you yell for help long enough. But remember the scene in Titanic where Rose used a whistle and that caught the rescuers’ attention? Whistles work.
  • 9. Maps: There’s almost nothing better than Google Maps, but it has two fatal flaws—it needs an electric or battery-powered device to operate on, and it needs reception for GPS. On the other hand, paper maps will never run out of batteries, and you can use them in the remotest, GPS-lest locations.
  • Although it may be tempting to take the DuraShield cover off your golf cart, boat or motorcycle, keep it on for a little while longer until it warms up from the cold weather. Our covers are made of a breathable fabric that’ll keep the elements out, and just in case you don’t, take a look at our selection and enjoy free shipping on everything to the lower 48 states.

    February 13, 2014

    Top Reasons It’s a Good Idea to Cover the Car During Winter

    Filed under: Car Covers — Tags: , , , , , , , — ProbusOnline @ 3:11 pm
    Depending on where you live, winter can be anywhere from a chillier version of spring and fall, or a brutally cold stretched-out season of snow and ice. If it’s the latter, it may be a good idea to store the second car with a DuraShield car cover in the garage until spring.
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    1. Cold Weather Can Cause Car Fluids to Thicken

    The transmission needs to be able to run quickly, smoothly and efficiently, and cold weather can hamper that. When fluids thicken, they travel through the various tubes and pipes more slowly, which makes it harder to reach the places it needs to. Always check oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, and antifreeze to make sure they’re flowing well.

    2. Wipers and Windshield Fluid Can Go Haywire

    Windshield washer fluid is available for sub-zero weather, which means that enough antifreeze as been added that it remains in liquid form below the freezing mark. However, ice or snow that’s already on the windshield doesn’t have antifreeze on it, and may refreeze to the glass. Further, the wipers themselves can get destroyed by constantly coming into contacting with sharp ice when it tries to clear it. Tip: clean off your windshield as best as possible before using the wipers.

    3. Tires Can Become Under-Inflated

    There are special tires for winter that adapt much better to freezing temperatures and don’t lose their inflation quite as quickly as others, but regular tires will at a rate of 1 psi for every 10F temperature drop. It goes without saying that winter tires are the best option but if this isn’t possible, it might be better to store your car instead of risking a devastating accident every time: those four tires are the only patches of contact you have with the ground.

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    4. Spark Plugs Aren’t as Sparky

    The spark plug is an essential part of the car responsible for ignition and getting your car to go. During warm weather, your spark plug usually operates just fine, but it’s during the colder months that it can start to run into trouble. Starting the car becomes harder, which means that all parts have to be in optimal condition to reach a baseline that’s lower than summer.

    5. Shivering and Struggling Battery

    Just like the spark plug, a battery prefers warmer weather to colder weather for ideal operating conditions. This doesn’t mean that a battery will refuse to work in cold weather, just that it’s a lot harder. First, get the battery tested to make sure you’re driving with a good one. If you do, try and store it as much as possible in the garage where it’ll be a few degrees warmer. It’s not ideal, but does help a little. Remember that batteries’ sweet spots are the 30-90F range, and dropping below the freezing mark can make it harder to start.

    At DuraShield, we believe a car’s longevity lies in proper maintenance, which is why we’ve crafted a line of car covers that protect it from the elements. Each cover has a high-quality fit to it, and they all come free of shipping.

    January 29, 2014

    Snowmobile Tune-Up Tips

    Filed under: Snowmobile Covers — Tags: , , , , , , — ProbusOnline @ 10:35 pm
    Now that winter’s in full swing and the DuraShield snowmobile cover is off, snowmobiling is one of the most popular outdoor sports. But as with any other machine, a snowmobile needs regular maintenance to keep it looking good and operating smoothly.

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    Battery

    Nothing can kill a snowmobiling excursion faster than a weakened or dead battery. It can also make the trip turn deadly if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, with a quickly-setting sun and frigid temperatures. Regularly check the battery’s electrical connections and voltage level to make sure it’s operating at a good level, as well as checking its electrolyte level and removing grimy residue. If you’re going out on a long or far-away trek, it’s a good idea to pack an extra battery with you, just in case, because coconuts are awfully hard to locate in a snowy forest.


    Drive Belt

    One of the easiest parts to check, the drive belt is also one of the most quickly forgotten about until it’s too late. Look under the hood and check for frays, cracks, and other signs of wear-and-tear. If any of this is present, replace the drive belt, or you could be facing pieces becoming embedded in the clutch, part of the speedometer cable torn off, or even grinding the crankshaft seal and blowing the whole engine. Always carry a spare drive belt for a quick and easy change.

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    Track

    You’ll have to lift your snowmobile to thoroughly check the track, but it’s a necessary step. There are five main things to check for: studs (shouldn’t be poking through); sliders (no wear or deterioration); clips (straight and unbroken); lug nuts (properly tightened); and idlers (present and unbroken.) If you don’t get these parts in good working order, there’s a good chance your track will leave you on the trail.


    Spark Plug and Starter Rope

    Without either of these parts in good condition, your snowmobile will have an extremely tough time starting up. The spark plug’s firing end should be clear of fouling (wrong fuel-to-oil ratio), melting, breakage and deposits. Extra spark plugs are easy to get and even easier to carry along, so there’s no excuse for not having a spare set with you.

    The recoil starter rope, on the other hand, should be taut, unfrayed, and gives good pull and recoil. If not, this handy guide tells you how to fix the recoil starter rope so you’re not left scrambling once you unload your snowmobile.


    Steering

    While not as essential as maintaining the above parts, the steering is no less important as at best, it’s a big hassle overcompensating and at worst, it can be lethal. The wear bars/rods take a lot of abuse, skidding over sticks, ice and everything else the snow hides. Keep them balanced and responsive by checking on them regularly by feeling for round rods; they should be at least half there.

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    If the wear bars aren’t replaced when needed, the ski can also get worn away and get so thin, it’ll snap in half- not a ride you want to encounter any time soon! Check for the alignment, too. If the ski’s misaligned, figure out why it happened so you can get to the root of the problem. Are the steering rods or tie rod ends bent? If so, make sure to thread the ball joints pretty close to the steering arm to keep them strong and less likely to break.


    Now that you’ve got a snowmobile that’s in great working condition and are ready to take it out, make sure you have a DuraShield snowmobile cover to wrap it up when the temperature finally goes down. Our selection has a cover that’s bound to be right for you, and there’s always free shipping to make things easier.

    January 16, 2014

    Winter Motorcycle Riding

    Just because temperatures are low doesn’t mean you have to put your motorcycle away until the tulips poke through the earth, but it does mean you have to adopt a different riding style.
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    Dress in Layers

    Winter is cold enough on its own, but when you add wind speeds in the double digits, it’s like taking a polar dip when the polar vortex hit. Start with base layers like long johns and a thermal shirt so they’ll both keep you warm and wick away moisture that can turn cold in a hurry. Next, add mid-layers like a wool shirt or sweater that have a higher collar than the thermal shirt so air will be trapped between the layers and heat up.

    Top it off with outer gear, donning a hardshell jacket like Gore-Tex for maximum warmth and wind-blocking. Wearing Gore-Tex boots also adds breathability and waterproofing, two things important for a comfortable ride. If you find your Gore-Tex boots slip a bit, you can add grippier pegs to compensate.

    Finally, pick out lobster mittens that are lined and well-insulated, a neck warmer that fits snugly between your coat and helmet, and a fog-free face shield.

    Prep Your Bike

    The colder the weather, the colder- and harder- the tires. And for safe driving and maximum stopping time, motorcycles need winter-appropriate tires that can handle cold temperatures. Although driving can help warm up the tires, regular ones still stay hard and translate to decreased stopping time. Your tires are two tiny patches connecting you to the ground, and skimping on ones that don’t have the proper tread and resistance is a death risk.

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    Watch the Road

    It’s never more crucial than in winter to see how the road actually looks. The freeze-thaw cycle causes its own havoc from the road constantly expanding and contracting, but the bigger problem is snowplows coming along and tearing up the asphalt, leaving cracks and potholes that can easily trip you up. But after every trip, make sure to clean your bike off for salt to minimize corrosion.

    Keep Back

    Stopping time is increased in the winter, and especially important in motorcycle because it’s uncovered. In ideal and dry conditions, it takes a good rider about 85 feet to stop at 35 mph. And with an average car measuring about 16 feet, that’s 5 car lengths…and snowy or winter weather increases that. But the faster you go, the more distance you’ll need to maintain between you and the car in front of you.

    Mind the Weather

    If it starts snowing or the roads are frozen, keep home. There’s almost no occasion that necessitates using your motorcycle in bad weather, and there’ll always be another day for you to take your bike out.

    Whether you’ve stored your motorcycle for the winter or have tuned it up for cold-weather riding, make sure you put a DuraShield motorcycle cover on it. Our selection has something for everyone, and there’s always FREE SHIPPING to the lower 48 states.

    January 2, 2014

    Batten Down the Hatches on Your Boat

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    There’s no denying that for many Americans, winter has arrived, and has announced her entrance with a roar. Cold snaps are whipping across the country like a January wind, and life seems to be frozen under a thick layer of ice. And while it would have been best to already have stowed your boat under a DuraShield cover for the winter by now, it’s still not too late to protect it.

    Clean It Off

    Before you do anything else, take the time to thoroughly clean your boat from top to bottom, including the deck, hardware and trim. Apply a coat of wax to the topsides to keep them nicely sealed, treat any blisters (on fiberglass boats), clean all the windscreens, and let all the canvas dry completely.

    Engine Maintenance

    Fill up the tank with gas and a little bit of gas stabilizer to minimize the chances of condensation build-up. To make sure everything runs through the system well and all the additives reach the gas that’s been left resting in the fuel lines and engine, run the motor for 10 or 15 minutes. You’ll also want to flush out your coolant system with water to get any residual gunk out, and then add antifreeze. Lastly, do a run-through of all the engine parts to see how they look: hoses, belts, clamps, strainers, and thru-halls.

    Boat Covers

    Classic Accessories Lunex RS-1™ Boat Cover

    Head

    Next on the list is flushing out the head with a healthy amount of water and pumping out the holding tank. When you’re done that, finish by running a non-toxic antifreeze through the intake lines, y-valve, macerator, discharge hose, ice makers, A/C pumps, sump pumps, fish wells, bilge pumps, and shower.

    Oil and Lubrication

    You’re just about done! The final step in winterizing your boat is to drain the oil and filters on the stern drive, inboard engines, outdrive gear case or outboard lower unit, and four-stroke outboards, but to do this when the engine’s warm so you maximize the amount of sediment and impurities that’s flushed out. A warning sign: if the oil you’re draining looks milky, that’s an indication that water’s crept in and there might be loose or leaky seals that need to be tightened, repaired, or replaced.

    And to make sure nothing rusts or tightens up until warmer weather arrives, lubricate moving parts like hinges, latches,
    push-pull switches, linkages, ratchet mounts, bow rollers, and sterndrive gimbal bearing and engine coupler (on sterndrive boats.)

    A boat cover support keeps your cover from sagging.

    A boat cover support keeps your cover from sagging.

    Take It Inside

    Last step: store your boat in a cool, dry place (like your garage), and make sure you’ve got a DuraShield cover on it. It’s not a good idea just to throw a tarp over top because they don’t breathe and can trap moisture inside, leading to rust and a shortened lifespan.

    When you winterize and store your boat, make sure you check out our selection of boat covers so your water rider is in fighting form when the ice thaws. Every cover will arrive in new condition with great warranties, and there’s FREE shipping to the lower 48 states.

    December 19, 2013

    Twas the Night Before Christmas

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    It’s a little hard to believe that Christmas will be here in exactly one week, but one of the biggest days of the year is almost upon us. In honor of Christmas, here’s our variation on one of the most popular Christmas stories.

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    Twas the night before Christmas when all through the garage,
    not a creature was stirring in the front yard montage.
    The snowmen watched over the child with care,
    in hopes that a DuraShield cover soon would be there.

    You see, Mr. Jones left his car quite uncovered
    and water and moisture o’er the gas tank had hovered.
    “I’ll take it outside,” he’d sworn up and down,
    “and keep it like new, my fresh Lincoln Town.”

    But days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months,
    and not once did Jones give more than two grunts.
    He sat and he loitered and he let the clock tick,
    and the poor missus though she’d married a brick.

    When lo! What was that? There arose such a clatter,
    Mister and Missus went to check out the matter.
    Away to the window they flew like a flash-
    or would have, had Mister not forgotten the trash.

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    .

    The fresh fallen snow lay deep, crisp and even,
    hiding the fact that neighborhood kids’d been thievin’.
    The last string of lights – too high to be reached -
    shone red, white and green, like candy canes each.

    But scant as they were they shone what was there,
    and what was there was a man dressed in red, with white hair.
    “St. Nick?” asked the Joneses, “Santa Claus, is it you?
    “Have you come to our house on foot with your crew?”

    Santa smiled and chuckled and jiggled his belly,
    chubby and plump like a bowlful of jelly.
    “Yes, Mister! Yes, Missus! I’m here on Yule Eve
    to check on your car, see it’s good ‘ere I leave.

    “I’ve heard rumors and tales and episodes strange
    that your Lincoln Town Car was close to catching the mange.”
    Mr. Jones looked quite sheepish, his cheeks were bright red,
    he stuttered, he stumbled, he felt a strong dread.

    .

    .

    “It’s true,” he admitted, “my care was quite lax.”
    “Aha!” shouted Missus. “I’ve got me the facts.
    He never washes or vacuums or waxes or cleans,
    and the Town Car – once new – looks like crushed jellybeans.”

    Santa Claus grinned and looked over his specs,
    adjusted his hat and brushed away falling flecks.
    “It’s fine,” he said, “not a worry to have.
    I’ll fix it right now with what’s in my bag.”

    With a brandishing flourish he opened his sack,
    gave a hop, took a twirl, ran there and ran back.
    “Look,” he cried, “at what I have here.
    A DuraShield cover that won’t disappear.”

    Santa grinned with great glee as he handed it over,
    and said, with a twinkle, “It’s great! But moreover,
    it keeps cars clean and safe over winter
    so when spring arrives, there’s no rust-caused frame splinters.

    .

    .

    The Mister and Missus, overcome with great joy,
    trembled with pleasure at their grand new toy.
    “Thank you, Santa,” they said, “it’s a gift that just fits.
    On the Lincoln it goes, and it’ll stay there- no quits!”

    With a wave of his mitts, Santa turned and departed
    to give DuraShield covers to more on his chart.
    He knows, like the Joneses, there’s just far too many
    car owners sans covers who won’t spend a penny.

    This Christmas, be wise, be prudent and smart,
    get a DuraShield cover for your poor golf cart.
    While you’re at it, buy one, buy two or buy three,
    with shipping to the lower 48 states that’s free.

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