ATVs are made to take a beating and we give that to them regularly on the trails and other venues. But we also try to keep them looking new, not only so they look good but because cleaning them helps them last longer and increases the resale value when it’s time to upgrade. If you’re lucky, you’re storing your toys in the garage, an enclosed trailer, or some other form of protection from the elements. But not everyone has that option and sitting outside in the rain and sun can age an ATV very quickly. This is the exact concern that Dowco was addressing when they introduced the Guardian ATV Covers years ago. Now they’ve improved the system and released Dowco Guardian Trailerable ATV Covers.
So ultimately, making an ATV cover doesn’t seem like a hard task. Take a quality material that is waterproof and blocks UV rays from fading your prized, off-road possession. Line it with something that doesn’t scratch and form it into the general shape of an ATV outline in a few different sizes. But if you want said cover to stay in place while you haul it down the interstate at 70 miles per hour, well that takes a little more creativity.
The Dowco Guardian Trailerable ATV Covers are made from heavy-duty polyester and are lined to protect your ride from scratching. It protects from all of the aforementioned elements and is easy to install. Once placed over the ATV, you tighten up a pull-rope around the bottom of the tires. Then, secure the strap around the middle of the ATV. To secure to a truck bed or trailer there are several velcro flaps that tiedowns can be run through. There is even a pocket designed for use with Dowco’s alarm system. A would-be thief risks setting off the alarm when removing the cover.
Dowco sent us the XL size cover to evaluate. It’s a bit roomy on the 2014 Honda Rancher DCT but it works well. Check the measurements on Dowco’s site to ensure the best fit. I would keep in mind any upgrades you plan to make. We hit interstate highway speeds of 80 MPH (all in the name of research!) and the cover stayed securely in place throughout the course. We ran tiedowns to each of the 4 corners. There is also a fifth tiedown slot on the lower front of the cover, near the brush guard/winch mounting area. With so many options we knew our Honda wasn’t going anywhere and nothing Mother Nature could reasonably send was getting inside.
The new Dowco Guardian Trailerable ATV Covers are available in 3 sizes to ensure a good fit on whatever model you have. They are also available for Side-by-Sides and UTVs in model specific fits. Dowco has been making powersports covers for over 30 years and has several different types to meet your needs. The covers have a 2 year warranty so you know you’re getting quality here. The Dowco Guardian Trailerable ATV Covers start at $189.99 and can be ordered directly from Dowco at http://www.dowcopowersports.com.
Like many of you, I frequent several large ATV communities and groups on Facebook and other sites, looking at pictures of your rides, great deals and various information. Unfortunately it’s rare to not see a post from someone about a missing ATV or UTV, stolen right out of their backyard. Powersports thefts are prevalent everywhere. Lockstraps creator Jeff Cranny had a similar experience in 2009 when his motorcycle and gear were taken right out of the back of his truck. It was following that experience that the idea of Lockstraps was born.
At a glance, Lockstraps are just tie-down straps with a combination lock carabiner replacing the normal hook. If that’s all you take away from them then you have sold yourself very short. They are much more than that.
Let’s start with the carabiners. Each end of the Lockstrap features a carabiner, allowing you to securely anchor each end of the strap and anything its be routed through. The carabiners are made of #64 hardened/heat-treated steel. The loops are big, 6 inches by 3.5 inches. A 3 digit combination lock means you don’t have to keep up with another set of keys, yet makes the lock quickly accessible when you need it. You can set your own combination and change it anytime.
The strap is 1.5 inch wide, heavy-duty nylon; and thicker than any other strap I’ve used. Galvanized steel rivets used have a working load of 500lbs and there is an extensions on one end of the cable to keep the carabiner from direct contact with your toys to prevent scratches to your paint of plastics. Now when I first showed Lockstraps to a friend of mine his reaction was “That’s cute” as he pulled out a pocket knife, threatening to make quick work of the nylon. That’s when I pointed out the steel cable embedded in the middle of the strap, from one end to the other! In our tests, we found that it took a set of steel snips to be able to cut through the braided steel cable. Despite the cable Lockstraps are very flexible and easy to manage.
The Lockstrap tie-down is 8.5 feet long. The also have a 24ft version and a 2ft version each with only one carabiner. The 2ft version is perfect for locking your helmet to your ATV. You can also purchase the carabiner alone for endless other security uses, like securing your existing straps.
Sure, with the right tools, someone could still make off with your prized possession, but ultimately there are few things you can do about a determined thief. Lockstraps will thwart the opportunistic theft and delay a fast getaway for the more prepared thief. Very few items will have a better return-on-investment. We use Lockstraps religiously now as one of our tie downs. It offers peace of mind for meal and hotel stops as well as just being at home. The Lockstrap tie-down is $39.95. The 2ft model can save your $200 helmet for only $24.95.The 24ft Universal strap runs $44.95 and a stand alone carabiner is $15.95. To see more applications for Lockstraps and to order your own check out http://www.lockstraps.com.