With an amphibious ATV, you can go places that you’d never dream of tackling in a regular off-road vehicle. There’s also more cargo space than a UTV, but with payload capacity well below that of a truck or SUV, it takes some planning to pack for long excursions. What exactly do you need, and how can you carry it? Here’s how you can simplify your packing list and make sure you have everything you need without compromising your Argo’s performance.
How Much Can My XTV Carry?
Next to the driver’s seat, there’s a plate listing your Argo’s specs, including the maximum cargo capacity. This number is valid for your vehicle with factory equipment. If you add accessories, you will need to account for their weight in this total. Most common accessory weights are listed in your vehicle owner’s manual. You can also find the weight for each accessory listed in its installation manual. Tracks do not count as part of the payload since they support the vehicle and not vice versa.
Water cargo capacity is based on buoyancy. You can still cross water while loaded down near the land capacity. However, the water level must be below the top half of the hull.
What Do I Need to Carry?
There’s plenty of information out there on equipment and supplies you should carry for specific environments, whether you’re going into a desert, a forest or a snow-covered mountain. While this is a good place to start, there are some things you should keep in mind when packing for a trip in an amphibious ATV.
Redundancy is key if you want to have a safe trip. Always carry at least two ways to navigate and two ways to communicate with the outside world. For long excursions, add an extra day or two worth of food. This gives you a little extra leeway when dealing with unexpected breakdowns and hazards.
While the flat bottom of an XTV makes it less likely that you’ll break something on rough terrain, it’s always good to bring some tools and supplies for breakdowns. Make sure you have everything you need to remove the firewall, fix a tire and check the air filter and spark plugs. Duct tape, bailing wire and zip ties are great for temporary repairs.
Going to cross water? You need waterproof clothing and gear. Along with a bailing bucket, paddle and life jackets, consider picking up some waterproof containers for your gear.
Traveling in a group isn’t just safer, it means you can spread rarely used items across several vehicles. This includes extraction equipment like jacks and tree savers.
Considerations for Winter Travel
Batteries have less charge capacity in cold weather, particularly if they’re rechargeable. Switch to disposable batteries, or bring some spare batteries and plan on more frequent charging.
Plastics and carbon fiber can turn brittle in low temperatures, making metal the best choice for everything from boxes to camera bodies. Likewise, look for screens and equipment made specifically for low temperatures. Professional memory cards are designed to handle temperatures as low as -25°F.
Condensation is a major issue as electronics are moved from the cold outdoors to warm tents and cabins. If these electronics are first in a plastic bag, the condensation will gather on the bag’s surface, not on lenses and LCD screens.
Expanding Your Argo’s Cargo Capacity
The rear cargo area of your amphibious ATV can seem massive when compared to a UTV. However, with the right accessories, you can extend that space even further.
HuntMaster models come with a front rack from the factory, but these can be added to any Argo. This rack holds up to 50 lbs, but it will prevent you from folding down your XTV’s windshield. Argo also makes a rear rack that uses the trailer hitch for support and can carry up to 50 lbs. This rack doesn’t fit 2020 and newer models, nor does it work with the Aurora. It also blocks other rear-mounted accessories.
The spare tire holder lets you bolt an extra wheel and tire to the back of your XTV. It mounts in the same spot as the outboard motor bracket. Switching between the two only takes a few minutes, but it does require tools. Pick the one that best fits your needs and install it before you go on your trip.
The gas can holder has a spring-loaded arm carries gas containers up to 16 ½ inches long and 11 inches wide. It uses existing holes for the bumper and hitch supports and doesn’t interfere with other accessories.
Need to move a lot of cargo? Consider getting an amphibious trailer. These trailers can cross the same water and terrain as your XTV, and they can carry up to 1,300 lbs.
Gear Up for Your Next Off-Road Vacation
Whether you’re considering an Argo, you want to add accessories to your XTV, or you need help with repairs, visit Shank’s Argo. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. Want to check out our current inventory, or schedule a test drive? Visit us online at www.shanksargo.com.