Your snowmobile is a huge investment. No doubt. But did you know that you could actually make it last longer? Well, it’s easier than you might think. With proper maintenance and the right care, you can stretch that initial investment and save money in the long run.
If you’re an adventurous snowmobiler, chances are you know the importance of having a snowmobile cover. Not only do they protect your vehicle from the elements and keep it looking good, but they also can increase its performance and decrease the need for costly repairs. Unfortunately, high-quality snowmobile covers can be expensive.
So if you’d like to save some money, why not make your own snowmobile cover? Here’s what you need to know to make your own snowmobile cover at home.
Initial Thoughts On Snowmobile Covers
It turns out that sometimes all you need to do is embrace a few maintenance aspects to get a lot more life out of your sled. And speaking of maintenance, you certainly can’t go wrong with a good snowmobile storage cover. So, how can you make your own snowmobile cover at home?
Well, some projects can be hard especially if you haven’t yet become the handier, more capable DIYer you always wanted to be. But making a snowmobile cover isn’t really the hardest thing.
You just need to spend some time and make it with suitable material. It will take a bit of time, as you would expect, but once you are done with it, you will be able to use it for years. Indeed, snowmobile covers are an essential part of off-season maintenance for snowmobilers.
Why You Need A Homemade Snowmobile Cover
If you’re a snowmobile enthusiast, you know that protecting your snowmobile is essential to keeping it in top condition. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in a quality snowmobile custom-fit cover that will keep your snowmobile shielded from the elements.
But if you’re on a tight budget or simply want to get creative, you can make your own snowmobile cover at home! Look, you’ve made a huge investment in your sled, so the last thing you want is to see it deteriorating needlessly even before time.
Unfortunately, most snowmobile owners often leave their sleds unprotected and vulnerable to the elements. Keep in mind that your snowmobile is not impervious to damage, and bad weather can make it more susceptible. To maintain its excellent form, you need to make sure it has the protection it deserves. And that’s where a snowmobile cover comes to play.
It helps prevent snow and ice from building up on your sled. Since it is covering the snowmobile for months at a time, it needs to be lightweight, yet durable enough to withstand all the elements. A good cover will also reduce the chances of thieves looking for an easy target.
But there’s a catch. Building a nice cover is quite a task and on the other hand, it’s not easy to get a custom-fit cover that is perfect for your sled, especially if you’re living in a small town.
So how can you make your own snowmobile cover at home? Well, in the next section, we’ll go through a step-by-step process on how you can create a good snowmobile cover at home.
Making Your Own Snowmobile Cover At Home
Get the right supplies. For best results, you will need a heavy-duty fabric, some bungee cord, measuring tape, and a few other things such as some eyelets to help secure the cover. You might also want to buy some waterproofing spray to ensure that your cover is water-resistant.
Select The Right Material For The Cover
First, choose the right material for your snowmobile cover. For the most durable material, you may want to go with a waterproof, UV-resistant fabric like marine-grade vinyl. This material is designed to last and will provide the best protection from the elements.
Don’t forget to consider the specific make and model of your sled as well. You should ideally let the salespeople know exactly what you’re searching for because there can be a few minor changes between material requirements for various snowmobile covers.
Generally, selecting better materials will help create a cover that lasts longer. Covers range in price from cheap PEVA (plastic) to pricey solution-dyed materials but the price doesn’t always equate to a better material. Also, note that anything “plastic” performs poorly in cold climates.
Polyester is said to be more resistant to weather and abrasion compared to nylon and other soft textiles. Aside from the cold, you also need to make sure the material you select can withstand slush, freezing rain, heavy snowfall, melting conditions, and inclement climates.
Another thing you should check on is weight. In general, lightweight materials are not as strong. But that is not to argue that a high-tech, super vi Polyester is always superior to a heavy canvas. Again, it’s better to let the salesperson know exactly what you’re looking for.
The same case applies when purchasing custom-fit covers. For instance, there can be a few minor changes between a John Deere snowmobile cover, a Yamaha snowmobile cover, a Gulf Stream snowmobile cover, a Rev snowmobile cover, or a Polaris snowmobile cover.
Measuring Your Snowmobile
Once you’ve decided on the material, you’ll need to get the right measurements before cutting. Make sure to measure the length, width, and height of the snowmobile to ensure the cover fits properly, then add 8-10 inches to each measurement to get the right size for your cover.
It’s also a good idea to make a few extra inches of material on each side, just in case you need to make adjustments later.
Here are some guidelines on how to measure for a snowmobile cover:
Full body covers: This is the kind that covers both the skis and the entire body. As such, they provide more protection in comparison to the half-body covers (discussed below).
When taking measurements for a total cover, start from the front of the skis to the snowmobile’s furthest rearward point.
Half-body covers: As the name suggests, these ones do not completely cover the skis, as in the case of full-body covers. If you want a half-body cover for your sled, take measurements from the front of the cowling to the back seat to get the correct size.
Once you have the measurements, you can determine the size of the cover you need to make.
Measure and Cut The Fabric
Now, it’s time to get to work! However, before you start cutting, lay out your material on a flat surface and draw the measurements on it.
This will help to make sure you have the right measurements and that you have the right shape when you cut.
After drawing the measurements, cut the material to the correct size, i.e. cutting the fabric to the size you measured for your snowmobile.
Sewing The Pieces Together
Once all of your pieces are cut, the next thing is to sew them together. To do this, use a heavy-duty thread and reinforced stitching to enhance durability.
Start by making a double-stitch seam at the start and end of each panel. Make sure to keep the thread tight so that your seams are even and secure.
After all of the pieces are sewn together, you can begin to assemble the cover. Start by pinning the side panels to the front and back panels.
Once you have the panels pinned, proceed by stitching them together. Be sure to use a strong stitch and ensure that the seams are secure for a tight fit.
After all of the panels are stitched together, you can then add the elastic straps that will be used to hold the cover in place.
So cut the elastic straps to the right length and then sew them onto the edges of the panels. Make sure to pull the straps tight and secure them with a double-stitch seam.
You’ll also need to add straps to the cover. Consider using durable material, like thick webbing, to attach the straps to the cover. This will allow you to easily secure the cover to the snowmobile and make sure it doesn’t slip off.
Of course, you can use a sewing machine to stitch together the sides, top, and bottom. But if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can use strong fabric glue to attach the pieces together.
Finally, you can finish your cover by adding a waterproofing agent such as silicone or polyurethane to the outside of the cover. This will help keep the cover waterproof, providing protection from the elements.
Put The Fabric On The Snowmobile
Now you can put the cover on your snowmobile and enjoy the protection it provides from the elements. Then secure the tarp to your snowmobile with the bungee cords.
And that’s it. You’re all set! It may seem like a daunting task, but with the right materials and some patience, you’ll be able to create a durable and affordable snowmobile cover that will keep your sled looking and performing its best all winter long.
Things To Look For When Buying A Snowmobile Cover
Well, there’s something about the cold that brings the “young at heart.”After all, who doesn’t love jumping on a sled to ride across freshly fallen snow? The exhilaration that comes with carving down a hillside is a feeling you can’t get any other way.
And a good snowmobile cover can greatly improve how long you get to enjoy your sled.
However, it goes without saying that not all covers will provide equal performance. Different quality aspects and constructions will account for varied levels of protection. So when shopping for a sled cover, there’re several important factors you should consider. Read On!
The most significant factor influencing both the price and performance of a snowmobile cover is the material used in the construction. A high-quality waterproof cover will not only provide better protection against moisture and dust but will also be resistant to mold and mildew.
Experts claim that allergies and serious respiratory problems can be brought on by mold. Therefore, the cover should ideally have three layers.
The outer layer to keep your sled from dust and elements; the intermediate layer, which should be permeable and water resistant while still enabling the fabric to breathe; and the inside layer, which should be soft to avoid scratching the painted areas or the windshield.
So make sure the material you select can withstand the circumstances it will be exposed because not all plastic covers are made to resist extremely low temperatures. Some can crack really fast. As previously mentioned, polyester textiles, are known to be more water and abrasion resistant compared to nylon or other soft fabrics.
The Weight Of The Material
The weight of the material will have an impact on the degree of protection as well. For outdoor purposes, lightweight materials are not really the best option because of their lower durability. But as stated before, that doesn’t necessarily imply that a thick canvas cover will perform better than those made of high-tech polyester and advanced technology.
The Reason For The Cover
You definitely need to consider the intended use of your cover to make the right purchase. Are you looking for a snowmobile storage cover (for summer storage) or would you like to try trailering covers? Note that not all covers are made to be used for trailering purposes.
While you may properly secure your snowmobile by using the integrated trailering strap system (normally included in trailering coverings), make sure the cover fits your sled well so it doesn’t flap and fall loose while being transported. Additionally, tension panels can help make it easier for you to customize the width for a better, more secure fit. Moreover, it is more practical if the cover includes a storage bag for easy packing when you’re not using it.
Shape and size matter. Your snowmobile will be well protected with a cover that fits snugly, something that fits properly otherwise if it is too tight, it will be hard to put on and take off. A loose cover, on the other hand, will not only let moisture and dust in but will also rip more quickly owing to the flapping.
Older sleds tend to have a different shape than newer models, so keep that in mind as well for compatibility. Also, you will realize that covers made by the original sled manufacturer serve better because they are typically made of high-quality materials and, more importantly, designed to fit well. They usually cost a little more and only cover the seat and cowl of the sled.
However, there are numerous retailers, wholesalers, and online specialists out there that sell universal coverings. While universal covers may not fit “perfectly,” they frequently offer a decent fit provided they’re well-designed and can easily accommodate multiple windshield heights. There will be a wide range in material quality and size, ranging from small, medium, large, and X-large. So be sure to ask questions.
You can also check the manufacturer’s size chart. One-person snowmobiles typically require a small-sized cover, while most two-person sleds benefit from medium-sized alternatives.
Use the manufacturer’s size chart to determine the best cover for your sled. In most cases, one-person snowmobiles typically require a small-sized cover, while most two-person sleds will be best with medium-sized covers. Still, you can go with total covers for maximum coverage.
If you’re looking for a trailerable snowmobile cover, go for one constructed from a more durable fabric to avoid tearing. Also, it ought to have straps, hooks, and an elastic cord so that it stays in place while you trail the snowmobile and other handy features and accessories such as protective anti-scratch covers, safety markings, and a gas cap opening area for access.
To assess the quality and durability of the cover, pay close attention to the seams. A good cover should basically feature double-stitched reinforced seams to ensure maximum protection and durability. Moreover, if the company has complete faith in its products, it would definitely give a warranty, so check on that too.
Recap Of The Steps
As you can see, making your own snowmobile cover at home doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. With just a few materials, some basic knowledge, and a bit of effort, you can create a custom snowmobile cover that fits your vehicle perfectly and keeps it safe from the elements.
Start by selecting the best material for the job. Most covers are made from heavy-duty fabrics such as canvas or vinyl, which are designed to protect your sled from rain, snow, and UV rays. If you’re on a tight budget, you can opt for a more affordable material such as nylon.
Once you have selected your material, go ahead and measure your snowmobile in order to create your pattern. This will involve taking the length, width, and height measurements of the snowmobile to help create a pattern that fits your sled perfectly.
The next thing is to determine the size of your cover by adding extra material to the pattern. This will ensure that your cover fits well and securely. You’ll also need to add extra material to the seams so that the cover can be stitched together.
When you’re ready to start stitching, use a heavy-duty sewing machine to securely stitch the seams together. You can also opt to hand-stitch the seams if you prefer.
Once the cover is stitched together, you can add additional features such as straps, buckles, and drawstrings to make sure your cover fits snugly.
Finally, you may want to finish your cover by adding a waterproofing agent such as silicone or polyurethane to the outside of the cover. This will help keep the cover waterproof, providing protection from the elements.
Making your own snowmobile cover is a great way to save money and customize your snowmobile to your own specifications. With a few simple steps and the right materials, you can easily make your own snowmobile cover from the comfort of your own home.
Of course, there will come a time when you need to dispose of your sled. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot of life out of your snowmobile. However, if you’d like to purchase one, be sure to consider the factors outlined above as well.