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My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - Printable Version

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My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - AMGS3 - 02-25-2018

So I decided to buy an ice house because I live in northern MN and want the flexibility to live in warm and cold climates. Ice houses (aka fish houses) are well insulated so they are quite comfortable even in -40° weather. The three main differences between these and regular TTs are the insulation, the 40,000 BTU furnace, and the manual or hydraulic gears that raise and lower the house. These are made to be towed ( on wheels or skis) onto a frozen lake and lowered onto the ice. Holes are then drilled in the ice, the slush scooped away, and the fishing commences.

So, my teenaged son and I took off Thursday morning to pick up the trailer from the dealership in Shakopee MN. I got there and did the paperwork and they were getting the trailer ready to go when we hit a huge snag. Apparently the drop hitch on my 3/4 ton Dodge ram was too low. They'd have to replace it with a regular straight hitch. Unfortunately the hitch was firmly rust-welded into the receiver. They couldn't do it there at the RV dealership. So now I need to get the firmly rusted in place receiver taken off and replaced. Then i can put the new hitch in it.  And then I can go back and get my new trailer.

At least I have all the purchase agreement, insurance, licence, and registration paperwork done.

I'll post pics once I go pick it up. Mine measures approx 7.5'×17' on the inside, has a full kitchen, toilet, and shower. I got the toy hauler version to make it easier to move things in and out of my house.

Does anyone else here have experience living in a fish house? Ice Castles ( brand) are popular in MN but Forest River, Glacier, and Yetti all manufacture ice houses too.

RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - tav-2020 - 02-25-2018

Congrats on the purchase, Angie! The hitch hiccup sucks Sad
Can't wait to see some pics!

RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - tx2sturgis - 02-25-2018


Dang good plan...I'll bring the first case!


Hey, you might want to to try soaking that receiver hitch with some PB's a spay can sold at the big box stores, local hardware stores, or places like Auto-Zone. It comes with a little 'nozzle' to help force the spray into the openings.

When I was a teenager living with my dad in Wyoming, we used to go ice fishing but we never had a shack to do it in....although we always saw several of them on the ice...

I love the way you have found an unusual solution, and just think, with an ice house parked in the desert near Quartzite, you can park it, lower it right on down, open the hatch, and do rock-hounding right from the living room!


RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - Zoomyn - 02-25-2018

Congratulations on buying an ice shantytown mansion!  I just saw rental rates go at $50/$100 weekdays/weekends for a pre-warmed, lights on and holes drilled ice fishing 'cabin' - would be a hands-on endeavor, attending to clients, but rent & tips would go along way to subsidize more man-toys along the way!

After loosing my F-150 to Minnesota ice melt chemicals eating steel from frame & suspension parts...  If your receiver/ball mount displays that much corrosion then I'd suspect every weld/nut/bolt on the hitch frame of being compromised. Not trying to be snarky or passive-aggressive but the 3/4 ton Dodge has stiff suspension, the lever of the extension from axle to bumper/hitch will amplify hammering things enough to find any weakness (just saying).

The only thing I've heard is beware mold/mildew, if Mamma's nose isn't happy no one is happy - keep it vented especially while cooking, the eleventeen pounds of bacon cooked inside will make enough fumes to also feed a small army of wee-beasties when the temperatures warm up.  Also - the hidden areas, behind built-ins, under counters & lounges etc. perhaps has a surface area larger than the bare walls and ceiling and will need to be sealed/cleaned too when wash-down occurs..

RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - johnny b - 02-25-2018

Watch out for thin ice and jealous old  farts...


RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - Low277 - 03-04-2018

Congrats on your new fish house! I live within 1 hour of Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota and there are hundreds of them on the ice and traveling the roads. It is very common to now see them in campgrounds in the summer. Enjoy!!

RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - Headache - 03-04-2018

Never thought of that! Congrats and I like everyone else will be impatient for pictures! I LOVE fishing!

RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - AMGS3 - 03-22-2018

Trailer Update-

First, thank you to everyone for all the kind words. I apologize for not replying sooner. Things health-wise and moving-wise and fam-wise have been hectic lately. I will get to your questions in the next couple days.

Ok, here's the update. I have the ice house now. I'm so relieved. It turned out that I just had them deliver it up here for $450 instead of paying to get my hitch fixed (>$700) and getting it myself. The dealership wanted me to have a ball height (measured from the ground to the top of the ball) of 22". My truck's ball was 20.5". The truck of the person who delivered it was 18". Good grief! So freakin irritating! (Ok that's all I'm saying about that for now.)

So I had the trailer delivered. Thankfully, the day I chose for the delivery was like 36° and really sunny so I got some nice pics.

I need to figure out how to resize them and I will include them in another post as soon as I do that.


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RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - AMGS3 - 03-22-2018

Here's what it looks like on the outside. The back door makes it easy to move things in and out.[Image: 199ec0fa8f1f70e532ba6c7b2730e7a4.jpg][Image: bc271e2c0aebecf86c4242289e69cbb3.jpg][Image: a5f121ebbac61298c08cdd5b138bb907.jpg]

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RE: My Ice House/Fish House adventure begins - AMGS3 - 03-22-2018

Here's more of the inside. It's amazing how big it feels inside.[Image: 702dc77ed986cc13b6472d8e51811bea.jpg][Image: 5c48a9c46ca2d6821734843d5d6151bd.jpg][Image: 623be5c8b23845d883c84668412b7999.jpg]

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