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Ice Castle vs Firebrand vs Yetti

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I was wondering what the weight of a firebrand or a yetti fish house is at an 8x20 tandem. I want to know how much less aluminum fish houses weigh compared to having a steel framed one like an Ice Castle or a Glacier. I have not been able to find any specs online about this.

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 The weights of the Yeti's are listed online and look to be about 20% lighter. That being said, from what I am hearing the literature on the weights of the aluminum houses are differing greatly from the actual scaled weights.

Edited by rl_sd

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An aluminum shack is only going to save you a couple hundred pounds on something of that size.  Aluminum is stronger than steel but also more brittle so to overcome this manufactures add more metal to their aluminum frames.  Other than the frame everything else such as interior finish, batteries, fridge, oven, TV's will all weigh the same between manufactures.  I have an 8x16' Yetti that weighs 4,200 lbs.  The reason I got the Yetti over a steel shack wasn't because of any weight savings but because of corrosion.  The advantage of aluminum's weight savings really only shines in bare-bone smaller shacks, not a 20' tandem. 

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3 hours ago, YettiStyle said:

An aluminum shack is only going to save you a couple hundred pounds on something of that size.  Aluminum is stronger than steel but also more brittle so to overcome this manufactures add more metal to their aluminum frames.  Other than the frame everything else such as interior finish, batteries, fridge, oven, TV's will all weigh the same between manufactures.  I have an 8x16' Yetti that weighs 4,200 lbs.  The reason I got the Yetti over a steel shack wasn't because of any weight savings but because of corrosion.  The advantage of aluminum's weight savings really only shines in bare-bone smaller shacks, not a 20' tandem. 

Which model? Have you scaled your shack?

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19 hours ago, rl_sd said:

Which model? Have you scaled your shack?

 

I started off with just an 8x16' shell and finished it off myself.  Nothing out of the ordinary for materials inside.  Cedar T&G, front closet wall, 3/4" sandwich floor, 2 couches (lighter than factory), only 1 battery.  The only thing that I could see being heavier than factory is my 2 folding beds above the wheel wells (~60 lbs each), having 2 TV's, and the closet wall being made of 2x4's.  Weighed it on a CAT scale with only the propane tanks full and the gear that always stays inside.  I don't remember the exact numbers but it was right at 4,200 lbs with a perfect 15% tongue weight. 

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If you are thinking 8x20 tandem, the weight savings is substantial for the Yetti vs castle.  Pretty sure the Yetti has an advertised (I have no idea if it is accurate) weight of 4700-4900#, and the castles are coming in at 6-7k+.  That is the difference between towing easily with a half ton on the low end, and starting to need to think about a diesel on the high end for safety and ease of towing.  Yes, I realize that every half ton out there is saying they can tow 12k.  It simply is not safe on MN roads in winter conditions.  

 

Weight aside, quality of craftsmanship and materials isn't even in the same area code.  Even if they were dead even in weight, a full aluminum structure is going to substantially outlast a wood framed house, especially a wood house built with the lack of attention to detail as the castles.  It doesn't take long on the famous search engine to find plenty of stories about leaks, lack of insulation causing condensation, and frame flex causing gaps in the siding-creating a perfect channel for water.    

 

Another good one to look into is Legend.  Similar full aluminum structure, but a Berkon frame underneath.  

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3 hours ago, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

If you are thinking 8x20 tandem, the weight savings is substantial for the Yetti vs castle.  Pretty sure the Yetti has an advertised (I have no idea if it is accurate) weight of 4700-4900#, and the castles are coming in at 6-7k+.  That is the difference between towing easily with a half ton on the low end, and starting to need to think about a diesel on the high end for safety and ease of towing.  Yes, I realize that every half ton out there is saying they can tow 12k.  It simply is not safe on MN roads in winter conditions.  

 

Weight aside, quality of craftsmanship and materials isn't even in the same area code.  Even if they were dead even in weight, a full aluminum structure is going to substantially outlast a wood framed house, especially a wood house built with the lack of attention to detail as the castles.  It doesn't take long on the famous search engine to find plenty of stories about leaks, lack of insulation causing condensation, and frame flex causing gaps in the siding-creating a perfect channel for water.    

 

Another good one to look into is Legend.  Similar full aluminum structure, but a Berkon frame underneath.  

 

Which is also why the cost of a 6x14' Yetti is similar to the cost of a 8x17 IC... you get what you pay for. After building mine, it is crazy what they are getting for some of these new houses. I am sure that I will feel the pain when I sell my house since it doesn't have a brand name... but I will never buy a manufactured house.

 

That being said, some people do not have the time, skills, or location to build their own house and buying is the only option.......

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14 hours ago, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

If you are thinking 8x20 tandem, the weight savings is substantial for the Yetti vs castle.  Pretty sure the Yetti has an advertised (I have no idea if it is accurate) weight of 4700-4900#, and the castles are coming in at 6-7k+.  That is the difference between towing easily with a half ton on the low end, and starting to need to think about a diesel on the high end for safety and ease of towing.  Yes, I realize that every half ton out there is saying they can tow 12k.  It simply is not safe on MN roads in winter conditions.  

 

Are you really serious.......thinking about needing a diesel......what are you a diesel truck salesmen? You must not actually use a pickup Much for the purpose of towing hauling is my guess.  I don't know what's funnier this or when my buddy was worried his truck couldn't pull a 16ft aluminum Boat. I told him to use his minni van if he was worried lol.

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I have to side with LRG on the towing. Dry roads ok but  a long haul to Red or LOW can get pretty nasty with light snow, slippery roads, and a good cross wind. Experience comes into play too and I’m sure a good percentage of the guys with the shiny new huge houses and sky high trucks hardly do more than go to Home Depot for 1/2 sheets of plywood. 

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19 hours ago, Agronomist_at_IA said:

 

Are you really serious.......thinking about needing a diesel......what are you a diesel truck salesmen? You must not actually use a pickup Much for the purpose of towing hauling is my guess.  I don't know what's funnier this or when my buddy was worried his truck couldn't pull a 16ft aluminum Boat. I told him to use his minni van if he was worried lol.

 

I'm absolutely serious.  Every single person I know personally who has bought a 21'+ house has upgraded to a diesel with their next truck.  Or, they've downsized on the house.  Take a look at the Ice Castles you see upside down. I've yet to see one that wasn't being towed by a half ton, or SUV.  Towing a 11' tall sail that weighs in at 7,000+ pounds in a cross wind and ice or snow is recipe for disaster in a half ton.  I've done it plenty, and there is a huge difference once you get up to the diesel.  

 

 

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The only difference is the diesel will pull better from taking off. Stopping wise it is the one who doesn't have his electric brakes set up properly. I own a king castle and pull it with a 1/2 ton weekly on the weekends all over the state no issues.I see the difference on the road who drives truck professionally and who is a weekender.

Edited by cam7069

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On 2/23/2018 at 9:29 AM, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

If you are thinking 8x20 tandem, the weight savings is substantial for the Yetti vs castle.  Pretty sure the Yetti has an advertised (I have no idea if it is accurate) weight of 4700-4900#, and the castles are coming in at 6-7k+.  That is the difference between towing easily with a half ton on the low end, and starting to need to think about a diesel on the high end for safety and ease of towing.  Yes, I realize that every half ton out there is saying they can tow 12k.  It simply is not safe on MN roads in winter conditions.  

 

Weight aside, quality of craftsmanship and materials isn't even in the same area code.  Even if they were dead even in weight, a full aluminum structure is going to substantially outlast a wood framed house, especially a wood house built with the lack of attention to detail as the castles.  It doesn't take long on the famous search engine to find plenty of stories about leaks, lack of insulation causing condensation, and frame flex causing gaps in the siding-creating a perfect channel for water.    

 

Another good one to look into is Legend.  Similar full aluminum structure, but a Berkon frame underneath.  

 

Well ice castle uses Berkon frames along with Valley.  Both pretty good frames.  

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16 hours ago, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

 

I'm absolutely serious.  Every single person I know personally who has bought a 21'+ house has upgraded to a diesel with their next truck.  Or, they've downsized on the house.  Take a look at the Ice Castles you see upside down. I've yet to see one that wasn't being towed by a half ton, or SUV.  Towing a 11' tall sail that weighs in at 7,000+ pounds in a cross wind and ice or snow is recipe for disaster in a half ton.  I've done it plenty, and there is a huge difference once you get up to the diesel.  

 

 

Diesel dually with 8' box 1 ton  second to none for pulling and fuel economy blows the doors off a gasser! Engine will outlast the truck!!  Half tons are for city slickers that use them to commute to work and haul groceries ;)

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On 2/24/2018 at 7:00 AM, Hawg said:

I have to side with LRG on the towing. Dry roads ok but  a long haul to Red or LOW can get pretty nasty with light snow, slippery roads, and a good cross wind. Experience comes into play too and I’m sure a good percentage of the guys with the shiny new huge houses and sky high trucks hardly do more than go to Home Depot for 1/2 sheets of plywood. 

 

Not that I don't think a diesel truck is a wonderful tow vehicle because they are but I think the biggest difference in towing safety has more to do with 3/4 ton or 1 ton vs. half ton. 

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23 hours ago, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

 

I'm absolutely serious.  Every single person I know personally who has bought a 21'+ house has upgraded to a diesel with their next truck.  Or, they've downsized on the house.  Take a look at the Ice Castles you see upside down. I've yet to see one that wasn't being towed by a half ton, or SUV.  Towing a 11' tall sail that weighs in at 7,000+ pounds in a cross wind and ice or snow is recipe for disaster in a half ton.  I've done it plenty, and there is a huge difference once you get up to the diesel.  

 

 

 

Well, having overkill for pulling something is fine, but not needed. There is no need for a diesel to pull a 7,000 lb house. The reason those trucks are in the ditch is more then likley because they are inexperienced at towing with a pickup. While a 1/2ton can do it. A 3/4ton truck would be a little nicer and more than enough. A diesel is way overkill. Now if somebody prefers overkill that's fine, but a bunch of people making claims that it is needed is down right idiotic. Is there a difference pulling and stoping. Yes, but that's the difference a driver needs to accommodate for when driving. N

 

I had a guy tell me that a 1500 pickup wasn't enough pickup to pull an 8x16 ice castle........ok.....I laughed.....I asked him why he thought it wouldn't work when I hauled seed around on an 18ft flatbed trailer. 3-2500lb minni bulks on it. 7500lbs of wieght + the trailer weight and it worked fine. I've even hauled more then that with a 1500.

6 hours ago, elkrivermn said:

Diesel dually with 8' box 1 ton  second to none for pulling and fuel economy blows the doors off a gasser! Engine will outlast the truck!!  Half tons are for city slickers that use them to commute to work and haul groceries ;)

 

perfect truck to get to the bottom of the lake. Lol. If you need  to use a diesel duality for other work I totally agree/get it. However, those city slickers don't need one to pull a wheel house on a lake. 

Edited by Agronomist_at_IA

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1 hour ago, Agronomist_at_IA said:

 

Well, having overkill for pulling something is fine, but not needed. There is no need for a diesel to pull a 7,000 lb house. The reason those trucks are in the ditch is more then likley because they are inexperienced at towing with a pickup. While a 1/2ton can do it. A 3/4ton truck would be a little nicer and more than enough. A diesel is way overkill. Now if somebody prefers overkill that's fine, but a bunch of people making claims that it is needed is down right idiotic. Is there a difference pulling and stoping. Yes, but that's the difference a driver needs to accommodate for when driving. N

 

I had a guy tell me that a 1500 pickup wasn't enough pickup to pull an 8x16 ice castle........ok.....I laughed.....I asked him why he thought it wouldn't work when I hauled seed around on an 18ft flatbed trailer. 3-2500lb minni bulks on it. 7500lbs of wieght + the trailer weight and it worked fine. I've even hauled more then that with a 1500.

 

perfect truck to get to the bottom of the lake. Lol. If you need  to use a diesel duality for other work I totally agree/get it. However, those city slickers don't need one to pull a wheel house on a lake. 

 

You are right.  I should have been more clear in my post.  It isn't the motor that is the limiting factor in the half ton.  It's the extra weight, wheel base, more stout brakes, stiffer shocks, etc. that make the big difference in the 3/4 and 1 tons.  Any of the half ton motors will certainly get the load moving without a problem.  I personally don't like the gas options in any of the big trucks, so I skipped those and went straight to the diesel.  Your mileage may vary, but I do still stand by my opinion that the 7,000# range is pushing half ton limits for safety.     

9 hours ago, Down2Earth said:

 

Well ice castle uses Berkon frames along with Valley.  Both pretty good frames.  

 

Both are excellent, but only Berkon is building aluminum right now.  

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On ‎2‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 9:29 AM, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

If you are thinking 8x20 tandem, the weight savings is substantial for the Yetti vs castle.  Pretty sure the Yetti has an advertised (I have no idea if it is accurate) weight of 4700-4900#, and the castles are coming in at 6-7k+.  That is the difference between towing easily with a half ton on the low end, and starting to need to think about a diesel on the high end for safety and ease of towing.  Yes, I realize that every half ton out there is saying they can tow 12k.  It simply is not safe on MN roads in winter conditions.  

 

Weight aside, quality of craftsmanship and materials isn't even in the same area code.  Even if they were dead even in weight, a full aluminum structure is going to substantially outlast a wood framed house, especially a wood house built with the lack of attention to detail as the castles.  It doesn't take long on the famous search engine to find plenty of stories about leaks, lack of insulation causing condensation, and frame flex causing gaps in the siding-creating a perfect channel for water.    

 

Another good one to look into is Legend.  Similar full aluminum structure, but a Berkon frame underneath.  

 

Just wondering where you are getting those figures from?  The finished Yettis are 4900-5200# and the finished castles are 5900-6100 for an 8x21'.  Keep in mind I also believe that Yetti's advertised weights are a little off and lower than the actual weight (kind of like MPGs on a new car).  So the weight savings you get is 700-1,000 pounds.  That is nothing to warrant an upgrade in truck or to write home about.  And unless you are hauling your 21' foot shack out on the ice with an ATV or SxS you still have to drive your 5000+# truck onto the ice.  The weight savings between a 21' Yetti vs Ice castle will not permit you to get out on the ice any earlier in the season, at max you'll need 1" extra. 

 

I will also note that Yetti puts decals everywhere on there shacks that state "do not exceed 55 MPH".  I know Minnesota is the land of slow speed limits but here in SD that comes into play.  It is well within the capabilities of a 1/2 ton to pull 6k# at 55 MPH.  Any failures at that point is driver error. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally a Yetti guy but the notion that aluminum is a game changer with the weight savings on these large shacks is nothing but blowing smoke.  The real reason to buy a Yetti is quality, durability, and no rust.  The biggest advice I can give is to buy what you can afford. 

 

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On 2/24/2018 at 8:07 PM, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

 

I'm absolutely serious.  Every single person I know personally who has bought a 21'+ house has upgraded to a diesel with their next truck.  Or, they've downsized on the house.  Take a look at the Ice Castles you see upside down. I've yet to see one that wasn't being towed by a half ton, or SUV.  Towing a 11' tall sail that weighs in at 7,000+ pounds in a cross wind and ice or snow is recipe for disaster in a half ton.  I've done it plenty, and there is a huge difference once you get up to the diesel.  

 

 

So what exactly does that diesel engine do to help with "crosswind and ice or snow"? Nothing that's what. A truck with the same suspension, brakes etc will stop pretty much the same whether it's a gas engine or a diesel. The only thing you might get is a little more engine braking with the diesel.

A 3/4 or 1 ton gas powered truck will deal with "crosswind ice and snow" the same as a diesel powered 3/4 or 1 ton. You do realize they make 3/4 and 1 ton trucks with gas engines? 

And re whole MPG deal is a bit overrated as well. Unless you are putting  a lot of miles on the increased fuel and maintenance costs of the diesel will offset a good deal of the MPG savngs.

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5 hours ago, castmaster said:

So what exactly does that diesel engine do to help with "crosswind and ice or snow"? Nothing that's what. A truck with the same suspension, brakes etc will stop pretty much the same whether it's a gas engine or a diesel. The only thing you might get is a little more engine braking with the diesel.

A 3/4 or 1 ton gas powered truck will deal with "crosswind ice and snow" the same as a diesel powered 3/4 or 1 ton. You do realize they make 3/4 and 1 ton trucks with gas engines? 

And re whole MPG deal is a bit overrated as well. Unless you are putting  a lot of miles on the increased fuel and maintenance costs of the diesel will offset a good deal of the MPG savngs.

You must have missed this "You are right.  I should have been more clear in my post.  It isn't the motor that is the limiting factor in the half ton.  It's the extra weight, wheel base, more stout brakes, stiffer shocks, etc. that make the big difference in the 3/4 and 1 tons.  Any of the half ton motors will certainly get the load moving without a problem.  I personally don't like the gas options in any of the big trucks, so I skipped those and went straight to the diesel.  Your mileage may vary, but I do still stand by my opinion that the 7,000# range is pushing half ton limits for safety."

 

But that being said, the extra 1500# of a diesel engine is going to help resist getting bucked around, or having the house "drive the truck", so to speak.      

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4 hours ago, Lip_Ripper Guy said:

You must have missed this "You are right.  I should have been more clear in my post.  It isn't the motor that is the limiting factor in the half ton.  It's the extra weight, wheel base, more stout brakes, stiffer shocks, etc. that make the big difference in the 3/4 and 1 tons.  Any of the half ton motors will certainly get the load moving without a problem.  I personally don't like the gas options in any of the big trucks, so I skipped those and went straight to the diesel.  Your mileage may vary, but I do still stand by my opinion that the 7,000# range is pushing half ton limits for safety."

 

But that being said, the extra 1500# of a diesel engine is going to help resist getting bucked around, or having the house "drive the truck", so to speak.      

 

I might be wrong here, but it looks to me like you've never trucked or had to haul heavy loads with equipment. It sound like you went with a diesel & a heavy truck so you don't feel the load & drive it like an everyday car for stopping and going. An experianced drive shouldn't have issue and the weight is well within a 1500 limits.

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Geez... The size of the truck argument... 

 

I can’t think of anything wrong with going with a bigger truck if you can or want to.  In my experience it is just flat out nicer to have a HD truck to haul a 21 foot wheelhouse.  I’ve done it with a halfer too so I understand the difference.

 

All those “little extra” benefits of the HD rig matter in peace of mind and ride comfort.  I’ll take the less stress for a 3-5 hour trip over having to be concerned the whole time with my “trucking” skills.  And I’ve hauled a lot of trailers through a lot of snow and ice with a half ton.

 

Based on yesterday’s experience of trying to make it up the hill at the access, a few hundred lbs mattered simply for traction.  I had my wheeler in the shack and ultimately had to take it out so I could get over the crest of the hill.  I’ve already done the same hill twice this year no problem but didn’t have the wheeler with before.

 

No, absolutely not, do you NEED anything bigger than a 1500 to move a wheelhouse down a paved road and out on a plowed lake road.  But I’ll guarantee ya when you’re going long distances and going your own way, you won’t regret upsizing the truck if you can.  We would’ve never been able to pull off last weekends trip the way we did with a half ton.  And my buddies 3/4 ton gasser needed some help too.  Both of us had to rest our trucks plowing our way due to the tranny’s getting hot but the HD didn’t heat up as fast and cooled down quicker.

 

It all depends on your threshold of what’s doable as to what truck is sufficient for your needs IMO.  But I’ll take a little here and a little there if I can.

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I am not sure why any of you are trying to change Ag@IA's mind... History shows that he is never wrong regarding Nils augers or Champion generators. I guess we will add half-ton pickups and trucking experience to the list.

 

BUT... that still isn't going to stop me from adding my two cents :)..... Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. The perfect example is all of the new "half-ton towable" campers that are on the market. All of the weights are within spec of a half-tonners capabilities - but if you want to see white knuckles, through one of these 32' sails behind a 1500 with a 30 mph cross wind! Same thing applies to fish houses....

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10 hours ago, Agronomist_at_IA said:

 

I might be wrong here, but it looks to me like you've never trucked or had to haul heavy loads with equipment. It sound like you went with a diesel & a heavy truck so you don't feel the load & drive it like an everyday car for stopping and going. An experianced drive shouldn't have issue and the weight is well within a 1500 limits.

 

Yep.  You are definitely wrong.  I'd post my towing resume for you, but I just don't think that is really necessary.

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24 minutes ago, rl_sd said:

I am not sure why any of you are trying to change Ag@IA's mind... History shows that he is never wrong regarding Nils augers or Champion generators. I guess we will add half-ton pickups and trucking experience to the list.

 

I never disagreed that a bigger truck was nicer for towing things. Wanderer pretty much hit the nail on the head. Exactly how am I wrong in that a 1500 pickup can't tow the trailer? It like the argument of a 22mag and a 223 for tote hunting. They both work, but a 223 is a bit nicer to use.

 

I think your taking these discussions a little to serious.  I up for discussion, where am I off or wrong on a nils or champion generator?

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