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Fish On! Guide Service

Crank down fish house "do's" and "dont's"

32 posts in this topic

I had seen a suggestion regarding the topic of do's and dont's when it comes to crank down fish houses, so here it is.

This is personally my first season with a wheeled fish house and likewise, many of you will make the purchase on a shack this season as well.

This thread is designed for folks like myself who are new to the crank-down fish house game and could use as much information as possible to make our trips both safe and successful. Please give your insights and feel free to post as much information as possible.

Starting out- don't forget to bring a quality jack and spare tire!

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Make sure your front crank down is all the way up before moving your vehicle/fish house. Check your trailer lights the day before you plan on leaving.

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Lock the door when you're driving down the road. Don't get your face any closer than you have to when cranking it down.

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Be careful to not let go of the crack when cranking up or down. That thing will come around and hit you hard.

Make sure to pressure wash in spring to get the salt off.

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Couple of things come to mind right away. When setting up drop your tounge first, then the rear wheels. Lift your wheels first, then your tounge weight when leaving.[ pretty basic] As a wheelhouse owner for the eighth season I can tell you I have never drilled a hole inside my house yet, and it still smells new inside. I pull up, mark my holes, pull ahead 10-15' drill and clean holes,back STRAIGHT BACK, and drop her down and fish!But, some can't back straight or feel they have to crank on the wheel one way or the other so thats somthing they'll have to get for themselves. But doing it this way eliminate any two cycle oil/gas smell in the fabrics,carpet, bedding,ect. As well as the occasional oops from the power auger against the wall or floor.

You may also want to consider running a small exhaust fan in the window when you are cooking too. It will get rid of a lot of inside moisture which sticks to everything when you cook. Good Fishing

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Be careful to not let go of the crack when cranking up or down.

I try hard to not drop my beer when doing so, but you need help, good buddy. grin

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Lock the door when you're driving down the road. D

Good call my door will giggle open too.

I'd say look at leaving before setting up. It gets tough to pull a house away after you have stayed there for a few days - especially if there is not much snow for traction.

Also set up close to a drift so you can bank the house

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I don't have a wheel house but I did see what happens when you don't have enough tongue weight. We were following a wheelhouse that was headed for LOTW and I made the comment that the wheelhouse was to low in the back and was swerving back and forth. We followed it for a couple of miles and I think the back end bottomed out causing the tongue to come off the hitch and then it really started to swerving and finally the chains snapped causing it to launch off to the right and went at least 20 feet in the air and when it hit the ground some 50 to 60 feet later it totaled flatten it out and by the time we went by we could already smell the propane. About 10 miles down the road we finally caught there friends who were also pulling a house and told them the bad news. Make sure that you have enough tongue weight.

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Be careful to not let go of the crack when cranking up or down. That thing will come around and hit you hard.

Make sure to pressure wash in spring to get the salt off.

I tried not to laugh...but ROTFLMAO!

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Make sure to grease the piviot points often, otherwise they can rust and your arms will not operate smoothly. Also I like to spray some wd-40 on all the winches, cables, and moving parts often, keeps them moving nice. check air in the tires, lug nuts, and any other equipment, seems to always go wrong when your way out on the ice.

And only drive as the conditions will allow on the roads!

Be safe and good luck!

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put little pieces of wood under each corner of the fish house if you are leaving it out for a while or else it will freeze to the ice.

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if it is going to warm up some crank it up...don't have to move it just crank it up if you have a dark colored house it dose not have to get that warm for it to freeze down ....not that it has ever happened to me .....

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I used my house for the first time this deer hunting season and noticed that the winches were a bit tough to crank after having traveled down soupy roads. Do any of you use any type of travel cover to place over the winches while the unit is in travel to prevent snow, salt, debris etc from getting into them? Anyone know of a place that a guy can purchase covers for these?

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Make sure to grease the piviot points often, otherwise they can rust and your arms will not operate smoothly. Also I like to spray some wd-40 on all the winches, cables, and moving parts often, keeps them moving nice. check air in the tires, lug nuts, and any other equipment, seems to always go wrong when your way out on the ice.

And only drive as the conditions will allow on the roads!

Be safe and good luck!

I would like to add to this post from something I found out the hard way this year, when you make your shafts cut shallow spiral type groove in them which will act as grease channels, because when I did mine I didnt do the machining and the person that machined mine down never gave it a thought and it ended up costing me alot of time this year when I went to lower it down last week it wouldnt go, so I ended up heating the heck out of it with a torch for about 15 minutes and spraying WD in there to get it to loosen up and 4 hours later when I got it off I discoved two little dry spots that the grease never made it to and guess where it rusted? I grease it every fall and spring and this still happened

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My cousin purchased an Ice castle model, he had problems with bad bolts you put in after it gets winched up. So, after I purchased one last year, I went to higher grade bolt. I am not in any way ripping on Ice Castle, I love mine!

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what would be the best way to get the wheels up if you are to brake a cable going from your winch to the spring and you don't have a spare cable to put on?

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crank the good side up all the way and then the tongue and then get a jack under the bad side and crank it up and put the pin in for travel mode. use good 3/8 cable and you shouldnt have any problems.

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I think your more apt to have a weld break than a cable.

Bring the welder with in the storage box grin

Make sure your propane tanks are full and your batteries are charged in case you get stranded out on a bigger lake and have to stay an extra night or day due to snow or something.

bring extra gas for the generator grin

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As far as swaying goes. We learned a trick from King Crow (the place where we bought our house from). Pound a shim into where the hitch goes into the receiver on the truck, to keep it from starting to sway. I guess if there's a little bit of sway, it'll keep getting worse.

With my house, I have to keep all the weight towards the tongue. Even 2 batteries sitting in the back will make it go out of control.

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I pull up to a spot, pull the catch covers, open all of the windows and door, and drill the holes before dropping the house. Then, I drop the house onto the slush piles. The piles act as little wind barriers at each hole, as well as keeping those pesky crappies from sliding under the house grin

I should mention that I also bank the house. The fish house is my winter cabin, and I've spent 3-4 days in it and I'm yet to get stuck down. Cranking the wheels has always popped it loose.

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my friends think im crazy when we pull up, drill the holes, drop the house and try to get all the slush out and clean the holes. Then I start a process of getting snow. Not slush. And putting it down the hole and packing it around the holes. Taking the water and splashing it up the sides. I have had to prove this to my buddies but now they are beleavers. I also bank the house. If done right, you clean the hole once right after this process is done and never touch the ice scooper again for the rest of the weekend. I might add I wear a thick pair of rubber gloves that come up to my elbows to do this. Time consuming but worth it imo.

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Do you guys "break" the house free from the ice if you're going to stay for an extended period in a given location? ie, staying for a week on LOW and not moving for that entire time, but say at day 3, crank the house up to break it free from the ice and set it back down?

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I have, and it takes the work out of longer ice in problems later. Kind of like preventative maintenance.

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We bought a couple 4x4's and cut them up into 18" lengths. When we lower the house we put 4-5 of these lengths on each side and 1-2 under the tongue and then bank the snow around the house when possible, if there is minimal snow to bank with we will drop it flat and monitor the conditions.

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