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True North Fish House

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I have the Salem Ice cabin witch is the same house, I just got it this past spring so don't have any on ice experience with it yet but camped with it a few times this summer. This is what I can tell you from first hand experience to reading the reviews before I bought mine.

The good:

Very strong frame, all square tubing with square tubing running down the center of the house. A lot of brands have angle iron floor joist and no support down the center of the house.

Rubber floor is nice protection of spills, however I covered mine with carpet because I like carpet but still have the protection from water soaking into the wood floor.

Craftsmanship seems to be a step up from the IC I've been in and I check out about 50 houses on the lot every year for the past 3 years.

Electric jacks are convenient but fingers crossed they don't have any problems but a handyman jack would fix the problem in a pinch. Also the electric jacks are very nice while camping to level it out. I timed the up and down the first time I did it was 9 minutes down 8 minutes back up. That's with lowering all the way down to the ground no wood blocks.

I really like how my truck will supply power to the house through the 7 pin trailer connecter. This way even with the battery removed from the fish house I still have power and it also gives it a boost while using the electric jacks and you charge your battery while driving. On a negative note if you don't unplug your truck and run everything too long you could run your trucks battery down.

Having a yard light on 2 sides is nice.

Bathroom is huge.

Really fits in good at campground, looks more like an RV and comes with standard screens for the door and windows.

The negatives:

From what I've been told the windows will ice up and door too. This is going to happen on any with RV style doors and windows.

Mine doesn't have much tongue weight because I have a drop down queen bed in the back so I had to do some modifications so it would pull past 54 mph without swaying. The plus side, I have a QUEEN bed in an ice house!! (With a Select Comfort mattress!)

Rubber roof at some point will need to be replaced. They say it's good for 10 years, it may go much longer?

Power cord is the type the stores in the battery compartment and will let cold air in. And same way with how the battery is vented.

Almost every other house I've been in has way more cabinets, seems like the oven area on mine has a lot of waisted space that could be used ( I have the front kitchen model).

They don't put many windows in them, IC seem to use double the windows.

I realize I have more negatives then positives but it doesn't mean I don't like the house. I actually have it set up the way I want it now and think I have the most comfortable layout I've ever seen in a fish house.

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I need to correct myself on the rubber roof. I know on the Salem RV the roof is warranted for 12 years doesn't mean it will only last that long I'm sure the fish house uses the same rubber roof however I don't know if it also carries the 12 year warranty. This is how the RVs are constructed I'm sure the fish house are the same. full-26462-51236-image.jpg

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I also got Salem ice cabin at the end of last season use it a few times for camping so far only one cold morning camping for duck hunting I like everything about it so far I have the ramp door in the back does not seem to be drafty at all seals up really nice only thing I'm wondering about are the how the windows are going to be this winter if they're going to be draft you're not I know there's a bunch of guys out there with one of these anymore info would be great

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I think JSK above hit most of the points. I have a Viking Ice made by Forrest River who I believe manufactures the True North and the Salem's. I bought mine in april so has not been on the ice but I have camped in it and have been deer hunting in it for the past two weekends. It has been down to about 2-3 degrees at night and was very windy. Furnace seems to keep up just fine. Like the quality of the cabinets. Had some sweating around one window but I have a CB antenna wire going out the window for deer season. I do have a piece of foam but it still doesn't seal tight. Once deer season is over I will remove the antenna wire. the other window has not fogged up. Will get moisture on the windows when cooks but I think that would be normal. Had some frost on the very bottom of the door but it did not stick. I think if frost became a problem a fan would help with that.

- Love the rubber flooring nice to just sweep up when tracking in and out during bird and deer hunting

- Love the electric jacks and that I can control them from inside. You will not win a race but sure seem better than hand cranking and are very nice for leveling when camping

- so far love the rv door as the screen door was great for spring/summer/fall time.

- the cushions on the couch/dinette/bunks are very firm and are comfortable to sleep on

- tows good

- the axle diameter was a lot larger than the IC which seems like a good idea

- fan above stove really pulls the air out of the cabin which is nice when cooking.

I don't really have any negatives about mine. I have had a blast making memories with my 8 year old by taking him camping/fishing and bird hunting.

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I just thought of 3 more negatives. The exhaust fan for cooking actually doesn't exhaust out of the house just pulls the air through the filter and there is no outside exhaust vent, at least that's how it is on the front kitchen model.

The electric jack on the tongue won't allow a four wheeler to be hooked to the house, the back of the wheeler will hit the jack before the ball will reach the receiver. I have posted someone else's pic I found of

a mod that can be done to move the jack back but it will be off centered because of the square tubbing that runs down the center of the tongue. Oh and you can't lower your trucks tailgate while hooked up because of the jack too. mad

full-26462-51271-image.jpg

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JSK, my fan pulls a ton of air but it has a cover on the outside that on mine you have to turn two latches to allow it to open. the latches or stops keep the flap from moving when towing.

I talked to a towing hitch company and found that you can buy a long receiver (16.75 inches from center of hitch pin to center of ball hole) and it does not decrease your towing ability. If I remember right it was $45. Puts the fish house far enough back that I can put my gate down with my wheeler in the back and have enough clearance.

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You'd probably never be able to pull something like that with a wheeler anyways. It'll squat too much and it would probably be a huge strain that I wouldn't want to put on my wheeler, even with locking out the suspension. I'd look for one of those single aluminum ski's with the ball on the top of it that then hooks to the wheeler.

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The wheeler is in the truck and used for hunting. I would not tow my fish house with the wheeler. I just use the long receiver so I can have the truck tailgate down so my wheeler fits in the truck.

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You'd probably never be able to pull something like that with a wheeler anyways. It'll squat too much and it would probably be a huge strain that I wouldn't want to put on my wheeler, even with locking out the suspension. I'd look for one of those single aluminum ski's with the ball on the top of it that then hooks to the wheeler.

A Honda 450 will tow that house like it's not even there with zero squatting. No need for a tongue ski, either. I'll make a video as soon as I can get out.

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I'd love to be able to pull my 20' salem with my ATV... but boy that seems like a tall order. 500# (dry) tounge weight. That seems like a lot for any ATV, even a sold axle.

I'd like to be proven wrong.. honestly I would.

Ripper, what do you think your tongue weighs in at?

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I pull the 20ft double axle hydraulic Dreamshak with my 06 800 Pol.

Last Winter pulled it out on the lake with no snow on the ice and no chains, did pretty well.

The only modification is the rear axle bars which have been on the machine for a few years now. Don't do any trial riding mostly plowing and towing with it.

Have towed other trailers short distances that weigh more than the fish house too.

Now a 20ft single axle fish house would more than likely put a bit more weight on the machine.

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Mine is only a 16' and it's rated at 326lbs hitch weight but because of my sway issues I decide to weigh it and it was 265lbs with 2 full 30# propane takes. If I took the tanks off I don't see it being to much of an issue for my wheeler. The situation would have to be right like little to no snow and not much of a slope to the lake because that's a lot of house to get run over by.

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Lip Rip, do you shift some weight to the rear to try and balance the house when you pull with the wheeler? 500# seems like a lot of weight on back of the atv

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Just want to comment that it is great to see a thread where the topic has been discussed and analyzed without someone saying 'Don't buy x...Buy what I have' Lots of good objective input on the topic posted.

Thanks to all of the contributers

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On my old single axle fish house it had a lot of tongue weight so I took the 100# tank off the tongue and put in the back of the house and put another hundred pounds of stuff in the back and sometimes would even throw one or two ice fisherman in the back to help lessen the tongue weight. The old wheeler was a 700 Pol with no rear shock bars and boy would that thing sag. If nothing was done to lessen the tongue weight the wheels would rub the top of the machine! 1,000 miles on it and it always towed something perhaps the shocks were shot...

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Lip Rip, do you shift some weight to the rear to try and balance the house when you pull with the wheeler? 500# seems like a lot of weight on back of the atv

Nope. I unhook from the truck, and hook right up to the wheeler.

The one thing I will say you want to be very careful about is going down sloped landings. Very slow and steady wins that race. Honda brakes will not stop (or even slow) 6,000 pounds going downhill.

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I've had no trouble with my house and a solid axle wheeler. Granted I wouldn't try it down the access as I would just drive the truck to the ice on the shore and release it there.

I'm not interested in being the first guy out so there is at least 12" of ice before I venture out with my house. I'm comfortable with the 3/4 ton on the shore with 12" just don't care to have it else where on the lake...

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