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Glockwinger

Ice Castle Wheel Well Cover Project

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Sooo, what do we ice fishermen (and ladies) do when we are thinking about ice fishing but there isn't ice yet?  PROJECTS! 

 

I have been thinking about getting side skirts, or wheel well covers for my 2005 Ice Castle (she's almost ready for collector plates by now...)  Anyway, I started looking into it and there are places that will make them that snap on for about $200.  I happened to do a Google search for marine vinyl and hit on JoAnn Fabric's site.  They had a 50% off coupon toward one item online.  So my thinker gets thinkin'.  

 

So I go to the Elk River fabric store and find Arctic Vinyl, crack resistant down to -30 Fahrenheit .  Only color they have is Forest Green.  No issue since my house is dark blue.  I buy 7 yards at $19.99 per yard, some outdoor UV thread, and a heavy duty Denim needle for my wife's sewing machine.  Remember that 50% off a single item coupon?  Oh yeah, $50 bucks for the fabric!  I already had  a couple rolls of 1" wide adhesive 3M hook and loop at home.  

 

So I cut the heavy vinyl down to 86" long and 44" tall, which allows the vinyl to lay on the ice and be able to put snow on it to stop drafts.  Then I stuck a double wide layer of hook and loop to the vinyl.  I included some pics of the project.   I ran out of time, but the next step will be to sew the hook and loop to the vinyl.  After that I will clean the siding on the Ice Castle and stick the hook part on the siding and will use some flat pan head screws to assist holding the hook tape on.  

 

Pretty excited to keep the wind out without trying  to bank behind the wheel assembly!  Due to the online coupon I only have about $70 invested since I already had the hook and loop tape.  I'll post more pics of the hook tape installation and the finished project when I get that far.  

 

Wanted to pass on the info about the coupon in case anyone else would want to make some wheel well covers too!

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Edited by Glockwinger
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They could be but in a well insulated house they wouldn't need to be. For the most part I just want to keep the wind from coming in my holes. It's a tough spot to keep banked. I might have to see about making a set of these, wonder if my wife would sew them for me?

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Since the wheel well area is not a heated area, I am more concerned about blocking the wind like Hawg said.

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I have been looking into doing this as well.  I think you're going to regret having the extra fabric on the bottom for snow to sit on.  I understand the concept but I think you're going to have problems with it freezing down.  I would just leave it flush with the bottom edge of the shack.  I also don't know about the hook and loop tape holding, I think snap buttons like those on a boat cover would be more suitable in the wind, cold, and weight of the banked snow. 

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Yetti, I figured I would give it a shot with hook and loop since I had the product.  I can always add snaps later if it fails.  I agree with the freezing down part.  Some of the pro made ones are longer so that is where I got my idea.  I figure I can try  it and can always make them shorter later.  Once I install them on the house I will get a better idea of if it work or not with the weight of the fabric.  worst case scenario I add snaps.  Thanks for the input.

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I could see freezing being an issue if you leave it out all winter for sure.  We pull off the lake every weekend and many portables out there have a flap touching the ground just like your talking about with no issues freezing to the ground(for weekend use).  All depends on usage.  I would think if your leaving it out there all year, just pull the covers inside when you leave.  Laying on the ground would definitely make it easier to bank though.

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37 minutes ago, YettiStyle said:

I have been looking into doing this as well.  I think you're going to regret having the extra fabric on the bottom for snow to sit on.  I understand the concept but I think you're going to have problems with it freezing down.  I would just leave it flush with the bottom edge of the shack.  I also don't know about the hook and loop tape holding, I think snap buttons like those on a boat cover would be more suitable in the wind, cold, and weight of the banked snow. 

i actually purchased the insulated $200 ones found online.  The snaps held up for one season and then were done for.  So last year i did the hood and loop.  I found some rolls of the "industrial strength" type online and had someone sew them onto the covers.  then i took the other side and glued with extreme weather super glue to my fish house.  Then i took good old Flex Seal and went over both edges.  Lastly i put one stainless snap on each corner to help hold in place.  It worked like a dream last year and this year with the house being in the weather all summer it all is holding up well.  We will see what happens when we hit the ice again though for season 2 of my quick fix.

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I had mine tandem axle, had the snaps pop riveted in stead of screws, also had the rear bumpout window done, had the wheel wells done in white to reflect the sun not absorb the sun to retain heat and melt the snow banking, my fabric thru my appolster'r is garunteed for 5 years, its boat tarp material, wheel well covers window bump out cover, snaps installed. 350.00

I see a tendency to frees in at night, Ive ssen many of partables skirtings freez in when the sn gose down. I had mine made to the bottom of the frame.

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2 hours ago, Glockwinger said:

Thank you all for the input.  I'll probably end up cutting off the excess.

Or you could sew in a few loop handles in the corners and one in the middle?  That would give you some leverage to pull up on the fabric if it does freeze in.  I've had the skirt on my Eskimo freeze down solid quite a few times and once you get a corner started it's actually not that hard to pull up, a handle would make it much easier though.  Just make them long enough that they won't get covered by your banking (like 12").  

 

Something like this (without the plastic handle).

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Edited by YettiStyle

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Whats it made out of?  Be careful not to go cheap with what you screw on to the side of the house.  Don't want to end up with rust stains.  Keep us posted on how the hook and loop works.  May end up going that route myself.  Looks like its on sale for half off at the fabric store right now even without a coupon.

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Moon, It is on sale online without the coupon, but was not on sale in the store.  The very nice clerk pointed out the coupon to me once I mentioned it was on sale online.  

 

I hopefully will have some time to work on it this weekend and will provide an update with pictures.

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Posting from the deer stand with my son...I've got a lookout!

 

Got the stitching done on the covers using my wife's denim sewing machine.  (Didn't know there was a difference until she told me).  Anyway, here are some pics.  Not the straightest stitches, but I was going for functional...and it was my first time sewing thick .

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Stuck the hook portion to the fishhouse.  It is really sticky!  Had to reposition some and it pulled hard.  Before installation I scrubbed the sides of the house down for better adhesion.  Put a double row of the hook tape on.  

 

Then the moment of truth!  The covers fit perfectly!  I have not cut them off yet.  My wheels stick out past the sides of the house which is why there is a bump in the fabric.  I think they will work great!  

 

 

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