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Amphibious ATV Tips for Fall Trail Riding

Whether you’re gearing up for hunting season or just want to enjoy the changing leaves, fall is a great time to get out in your Argo. However, the changing weather means you’ll be faced with some new obstacles. These tips will help you prepare yourself and your amphibious ATV so you can get the most out of your next excursion.

Temperatures and Wind Chill

You may be fine walking around in a jacket, but when you’re driving your Argo, it’s a different story. As the cool air blows by you, it draws heat away from your body. If it’s 40 degrees out and you’re driving at full speed, the wind chill is around 29 degrees. At that temperature, frostbite is unlikely, but you will still have issues with fatigue and lack of circulation. Protecting yourself from the cold is easy: wear warm clothing and minimize skin exposure. A full-face helmet, jacket, and gloves will make a big difference for your comfort level.

Don’t forget that you can upgrade your Argo to handle cool weather. Simply adding a windshield to your XTV can do a lot to deflect wind and keep you warm. Adding a top is even better. If you have a model with a liquid-cooled engine, you can also add a heater.

Making Use of Available Lighting

Unless your next excursion is near the arctic, you’re going to face shorter daylight hours. It’s important to make the most of this light by breaking camp early and arriving at your destination while you can still see. Most trails close at sundown, so you’ll need to end the day early, even if you have plenty of visibility.

All Argos have front and rear lighting, giving your vehicle some visibility at night. If you’re planning a long trip, consider adding some work lights. This lets you use your XTV to light up the campsite while you’re setting up.

Maintenance: It’s for More than Just Reliability

Maintenance doesn’t just prevent breakdowns, it also keeps your amphibious ATV from being noisy. Dirty chains, worn bearings, and leaking exhaust seals make your Argo run louder, making it harder to get the jump on game. There are three areas you should pay particular attention to:

Make sure you’re on top of chain maintenance. If you have an automatic lubrication system, you still need to clean the chains occasionally to remove oil and dirt.

Inspect the seals on the axles. Water seepage is hard on your vehicle, but it’s even worse if it freezes over the winter.

Are you running high viscosity oil to prevent burn-off in hot summer weather? Switch to a lower viscosity oil to keep your engine lubricated from start-up. Synthetic oil flows well and resists burning through a wide temperature range.

If you have a liquid-cooled Aegis V-Twin or KDW diesel, be sure to check the coolant. Old, diluted antifreeze can’t protect your engine on cold nights.

Rainfall increases in the fall, and as it gets closer to winter, most northern areas experience a cycle of snowfall and melt. While the low ground pressure of your Argo keeps it from digging into mud, the surface will still be slick.

If you’re going somewhere with mixed terrain, bring a tire inflator with you. That way you can air down for mud, then reinflate your tires once you’re back to hard surfaces. Keep in mind that the built-in gauges on these devices aren’t accurate at low pressures. Instead, have a low-pressure gauge on hand to accurately fill your XTV’s tires. Argo recommends running the tires at 1.5-2.5 psi on soft surfaces. Remember to air your tires up when crossing water for extra buoyancy.

If your vehicle slides, you’re going to need to use the winch to pull it out. Now is a good time to inspect your winch. If there are any kinks in the cable, it needs to be replaced. Always wear a set of heavy gloves to protect your hands when handling the cable.

Beware of Leaves

Autumn foliage may be beautiful, but piles of fallen leaves can hide mud, branches, holes and other obstacles. If you need to cross leaf-covered areas, take it slow so you have time to react to any surprises.

Be Ready for Fall Fun

Do you want the flexibility of an Argo XTV? Is your vehicle due for some maintenance or could use a few upgrades? Then you need to go to Shank’s Argo. We’re a major Argo dealer, which means we sell XTVs, service them, and install accessories. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-81, take the Hwy 914 exit.
If you need something for your Argo, visit us at

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