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TruthWalleyes

Tallest Insulated Hub

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I see an insulated hub house in my possession in the near future could use a little help from you owners.

Weekends in sub zero temps on mille lacs would simply be more comfortable in an insulated shack vs my uninsulated QF3.

I'm a real tall guy, 6'8" with boots. Currently using a QF3. I like that the QF3 has given me no problems, can handle 50 mph wind, and has even recently been flown like a kite laugh and is still in good shape -1 side's skirt. grin I still plan on keeping this, but would like to upgrade.

So, High winds, Good Durability, insulated, and MOST IMPORTANTLY - THE TALLEST HUB HOUSE.

Looking for a 3 or 4 man.

Thanks,

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I have your same dilemma. Minus the fact that I'm only 6' with boots. In the mega large hub houses the command post was the biggest. Myself and many others had extreme problems and after speaking with a warehouse guy last week at Clam the thermal material used just doesn't hold up and the stitches are week.

I just picked up the 1660 mag while I was there and I have a roll of reflectix in my truck I'm going to put in the roof as a thermal cap. There are a few threads on here about that and it supposedly makes a huge difference. The 1660 mag is super tall at 90" in the center. Clam's base camp is available in thermal material. I have no idea what their quality is and the center is 7' tall.

Good luck and let us know what you find!

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Any reviews on the switchback expandable hub house?

I like the xl4000t, and the 1600 Mag however sweet, is a little excessive and i'm not sure i want to anchor down another 2 sides.

Does anyknow know what size the 4000t and 1600Mag breaks down to.. ie- size in bag?

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The Clam xl4000 thermal posts a center height of 82" (6'10") and I'd guess the corner height is around 5'8". Here's a pic of one in someone's basement:

Clam.JPG

The fatfish 949 has a posted center height of 80" (6'8") but I have no reference to the sides. Here is a picture of a guy standing in one, but beware the "fisheye" lense distortion and interpreting height.

FF949_CoatPocket.jpg

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In the bag the 4000T is ~5-5.5ft, 18in in diameter, and weighs ~40lbs.

I've had mine in the wind on ML and it did fine as long as you stake it down good. The real problem is having someone else there to help in the high wind as it can be a huge PITA. In 99% of conditions, it's super easy to setup/take down.

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Any reviews on the switchback expandable hub house?

I like the xl4000t, and the 1600 Mag however sweet, is a little excessive and i'm not sure i want to anchor down another 2 sides.

Does anyknow know what size the 4000t and 1600Mag breaks down to.. ie- size in bag?

I had the switchback. I wasn't impressed at all in the design. The expanded side weakens the rest of the shelter because it isn't rigid. The wind pushed it all around.

The 1600 mag breaks down to a similar diameter as the other large shelters. It is very long though. A little too wide to put on the back of my truck in a hitch basket.

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I figured the switchback wasn't worth a darn in the wind, my first thought was how the wind would push against the entension. Nice idea though.

I was afraid the 1600 Mag was going to be a long one when broke down, just makes sense - there's more roof - longer poles.

So, i can't find any specs on the breakdown size of the 4000T, Is it really 5' long in the bag? My QF3 is 4'4" in the bag and that is a nice fit in the bonneville, I'm not sure i've got another 8" of space in the back seat. I've emailed CLAM - so we'll see what they say.

Last thought, the insulated fabric is quite a bit heavier than non insulated; do they increase the size of the posts for the additional weight? I can see this being a factor in high winds. Although, i will have an extendable pole to stick in the windward corner when it's real nasty.

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I've had mine in the wind on ML and it did fine as long as you stake it down good. The real problem is having someone else there to help in the high wind as it can be a huge PITA. In 99% of conditions, it's super easy to setup/take down.

I hear ya, I've got lots of practice setting up mine in the wind. I've actually never set the house up with anyone helping...I'm always too afraid they will break a pole trying to manhandle it rather than set it up the intelligent way.

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I have a thermal command post. Plenty of room, easy to set up, easy to heat and no condensation from the ceiling dripping down your neck. Like any hub style house, they are not meant for high winds. You can add anchors to the walls but they are still unstable.

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Taken down Clam XL4000 thermal fits into a duffel about 1' diameter and 5'6" long.

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I have a thermal command post. Plenty of room, easy to set up, easy to heat and no condensation from the ceiling dripping down your neck. Like any hub style house, they are not meant for high winds. You can add anchors to the walls but they are still unstable.

I've never fished out of a clam. I know my QF3 will withstand gusts to 50 with all 4 corners and all 4 sides anchored down...with a windward side window to pressurize it, it will stay up. 40mph you can keep the window closed.

Who's been out in that kind of weather with a clam? Equal results? Needless to say the QF3 was making me nervous in those winds. I was kind of waiting for the poles to just explode, but to my amazement it made it.

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Not sure how big your Bonneville is but I am able to fit my xl4000t in the back of my '04 impala on top of a sled with the seats folded down + all my gear.

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Frabill Thermal Headquarters.

Plenty of room (two roof peaks mean xtra space for tall guys smile ), insulated, and will hold up in the wind...if you use the guy lines.

I had mine out (have had a couple hub shelters in the past) in 50mph gusts on glare ice. I used 4 guy lines and anchored it down well on the inside and it performed great. I did use my truck as an additional windbreak, but the wind was still hammering the shack pretty hard. The roof popped down on us a couple of times, but was easy to pop back into place. Not sure I will set up in those conditions again (especially on glare ice. Really helps to be able to bank the house in to keep the wind from getting up under the shack), but it was nice to know the shelter could handle it. Also, the thermal feature really helps to cut down on the flapping as the fabric is heavier.

This is not a unit you want to purchase if you hit the ice solo often. I've set it up alone, but will not try that again in the wind.

Good luck!

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Been out in the xl4000t in 65 mph gusts ... As long as you anchor it down right, no issues whatsoever. A mr heater cooker on low will keep you in a light shirt all day long above zero, below zero and you'll put the heater cooker on medium. Never had to set it on high ... The coldest we've fished is -40 give or take with the windchill. While it doesn't have any condensation issues, it will still frost up on those insanely cold windy days, but you have to expect that.

It sets up easy, takes down easy ... Although if its really cold, the fabric tends to be tougher to bunch up to get back in the bag than a non thermal canvas ... But a couple of small bungees fix that up in a hurry.

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I had a Mr Heater Cooker on high and Portable Buddy heater on high.

It was plenty warm let me tell you. I was with my niece and nephew and they weren't as prepared as they should have been (despite my warnings) with proper footwear and clothing. Hence the "xtra" warmth. Would have been ok for me with one unit on high.

Having zero snowpack was problematic of course. Had to screw the anchors down flush with the ice to keep the shelter from poppin' up and down like a balloon. Even so, the wind would still blast underneath the flaps quite a bit, and that didn't help in trying to maintain the temperature.

Here's a photo from that day. Note the compression on the walls of the shelter.

[img:left]P1190203_zps50b273fd.jpg

Didn't think about the open window idea. Will have to try that should I ever get caught up in uber high winds again.

Final note: This shelter makes a great darkhouse for spearfisherman.

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I would be remiss if I didn't mention the 3 negatives that I have encountered with the Frabill unit:

#1) The darned storage bag is too stinkin' small!

This really torqued me off because the last Frabill unit that I owned (uninsulated Headquarters) had a great storage duffel. It was oversized, had a zipper that ran the length of the bag, and it came with 2 velcro straps to cinch the hub up (somewhat) tight. Collapse the unit, bunch it up, cinch it, plop it in the bag, zip it up....done.

With the insulated Headquarters they have gone back to the type of duffel with one opening on the end and a drawstring closure. This would be just fine if the bag was large enough. It ain't. Plus, it only came with one velcro strap, and that not even long enough to use but on the small part of the (collapsed and bunched) shelter. I ended up using a small ratchet strap to get that thing tight enough to shove/squeeze/cram into the bag after fishing. On the day posted in the photo above I didn't even bother trying to fit it into the case; I just collapsed it down, tossed it in the back of the truck and took care of it at home.

I realize that they are trying to make their price point(s), but Frabill (or any hardwater gear manufacturer) should know better. Help me out. Make it simple. After a hard day of fishing, the last thing I want to deal with on a cold dark night is fighting with storing my shelter.

#2) The ice screws/anchors should have a washer "stop" built into the middle of the shaft so that you don't have to screw the anchors all the way down to the handles to get flush purchase at the grommet on those days when you really need it. Eskimo designs their anchors with this "stop". I suppose the Frabill anchors will work better in the deeper hard snowpack, but I think in that type of snow the screw would push past the stop washer anyway. Pros and cons to both, but I would prefer the stop.

#3) The supplied guy line tensioning devices are worthless. The supplied parachute cord is strong enough, but good luck with the little plastic "tensioning" units that are supplied along with the lines. No good. I took Dtro's advice and purchased a few of these:

P1200216_zps7336dd24.jpg

$12 a pop at the big orange Depot store. Worth every penny. Hook, cinch, done. Simple and secure.

On a good note: the new bag carries better on your back than the old bag did. Straps are mounted in a better spot and are designed more like shoulder straps than duffel handles.

Rant complete.

Thank you for your time.

laugh

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nsnutter and buz, great reports. I am quite interested in the 4000 for it's size, it would not be too big nor too small.

Great to hear it doesn't take more than a heater/cooker to heat the double hub insulated! In my QF3 in those wicked temps i've used my sunflower and a mr heater and it could get warmer!

I figured in the extreme temps the insulated fabrics will still frost up, but not suprised there, that's not typical weather either.

I know i can't fit the 4000 in my back seat of the bonne, could be other transportation possibilities though, and the double hub is 2nd on my list.

Thanks for posting the negatives...Anchors were a given, Straps - i've already replaced mine with the rope ratchets also - helps especially in the wind for easier setup. When stuff is too frosty, i just bungee it too and toss it in the vehicle.

I think i've got enough info to make a choice. I'll have to go do a little window shopping and step into them for a final decision.

Thanks for the help and personal experiences.

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Really think you can't fit the 4000T into a bonneville through the trunk with the seat down?

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Back seat doesn't fold down. frown

Back seat width is 60" max.of storage

I could probably put it in the front passenger seat, but that eliminates a passenger. 99% fishing solo anyway.

Clam just emailed me back and said the 4000T is 64" long, 9"x9" collapsed.

Could put the hitch hauler back on too...Many ways to skin a cat

laugh

Thx again

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You could always fit it in there ... Lay it in diagonally or prop it up so it leans up toward the back window. I can fit 8' long one piece catfish rods in my Buick without folding the trunk down smile

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Considering it won't be my main portable, i'm sure i can make it work with a little rearranging. I've got a big otter sled that takes up my whole back seat now, and all my gear goes in there. Once the ice is thick enough to drive on i don't use the sled anymore, but it sure is nice to have everything melt into a tub and not onto the seats grin When i hear some good sloshing back there, then it's time to dump it out lol.

I want this insulated hub for weekend overnights and additional space for a 2nd person, so i think on those occasions i can toss out the otter sled and then it won't be an issue making it fit.

I'm ready for june and catfish!

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I think you would like the Clam. Mine stood up to some gale force winds one day just fine. Like others said, the only issue you might have is the wind coming in underneath the skirt on the side the wind is coming from if you have snow cover. I've been toying with the idea of laying a 2x4 across it in such a situation and drilling it into the ice (not through the skirt, but just so it holds it down. You could also put your slet on it on that side, but I've found the sled can start pushing into the house then. My back seats fold down on my Tauras. When I picked up my Medium Otter Pro Sled at the Farm this year, the worker told me he had no idea how I would get that thing in there but a little push and shove and 1 foot was sticking out the back and the trunk open a bit. An hour drive home with the heater cranked to high got the job done. grin

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