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Tips for Securing and Protecting Cargo in Your Argo

Whether you’re packing camping gear, tools or materials, proper loading can make the difference between getting to your destination and having an accident. Even if you’re used to securing cargo on other vehicles, there are a few quirks with Argo’s amphibious ATV designs you need to know to load it safely.

What Should I Use to Tie Down Cargo?

Straps don’t stretch, so they keep cargo from shifting around. They can handle a lot of weight, and their weight limit is clearly labeled on the strap. This makes them the best choice for tying down bulky and heavy cargo.

Bungee cords are elastic, so they can be stretched over cargo with little adjustment. They should never be stretched more than twice their resting length. There is no set weight rating for a bungee cord, and as they’re used, they’ll gradually stretch out and lose their strength. These cords should only be used for light cargo.

A cargo net is a webbing with some bungee cords sewn into the sides. The same rules for bungee cords apply here. By using them over strapped-down cargo, they keep small objects from falling off.

Looking for a more permanent option? You can add a universal mounting system to Argo’s 8 wheel trailers. It has a set of rails with holes for bolting down heavy equipment, including welders and generators. If you’re looking for an amphibious ATV that will primarily be used to carry tools, take a look at the Conquest Pro 800 XT-L. It comes with a 38-gallon waterproof tote that straps down behind the passenger area. Once on-site, the tote’s wheels and a built-in handle make it easy to move around.

Choosing Tie-Down Points

The hull of your XTV is basically a plastic shell. Pulling on it with a hook will damage it. Instead, connect straps to a metal component like frame rails, seat rails, and hand rails.

Likewise, if you have an amphibious trailer, you should not attach anything to the hull. The fenders have no support and will bend under pressure. Instead, attach nets and tie-downs directly to the frame rails inside the trailer.

Weight Positioning

When loading your XTV or trailer, start with heavy objects and work your way up until the lightest objects are on top. This keeps the center of gravity low, which improves stability.

For the best traction on land, weight should be positioned toward the front of your XTV. If you’re going into water, the weight should be toward the back of the cargo area. This helps balance out the weight of the engine. You don’t always have to reload your vehicle when it’s near the payload limit. Having a passenger move from the front to the rear seats may be enough to offset the weight and get your XTV to sit level on the water.

How Do I Protect Sensitive Equipment from Water and Dirt?

A tarp will keep most mud and dirt out. You can also install mudguards to deflect mud and dirt coming off of your XTV’s tires.

If you have sensitive equipment or electronics, consider buying a waterproof container or case. In general, you want something with a good IPX rating and a seal that stays in place when repeatedly opened and closed. A clear lid may be convenient for seeing what’s in the box, but it’s often weaker than the rest of the container.

What is a good IPX rating? The first number is for water protection:

4 – Protects from splashing water in all directions
5 – Protects from water jets in all directions
6 – Protects from powerful water jets
7 – Can be submerged in water up to three feet deep
8 – Can be submerged in water over three feet deep
9 – Protected against high-pressure washer jets, like those from a pressure washer

A rating of 3 or lower can barely be considered waterproof. A rating of 4 is good enough for regular cargo use, but you may want a case rated 7 or higher if you regularly travel across water.

The second is for dust protection:

4 – Blocks particles greater than 1 mm (0.04 inches)
5 – Dust protection
6 – Dust tight over 8 hours of testing

Again, a rating of 3 or lower offers negligible protection.

For Work or Play, Shank’s is Your Source for Everything Argo

Shank’s Argo is a full-service shop, which means we offer Argo’s entire lineup, as well as the parts, service, and accessories you need to get the most out of these unique amphibious vehicles. Visit us online at, or stop by our showroom at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

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