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Building an inexpensive wheeled ice house

Jim Hager

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Hi to all,I'm new to this web site so I'm sorry if I am to ask questions you may have already answered. I have caught the ice fishing bug and love it. I would likem some ideas on how to build a fish house and not spend $1500 on a frame. I am very mechnically inclined, but short on funds, The house I would like to build would be in the size of 8'x16'. I would use it in MN. close by the Fargo area, give or take an hr or so drive time. In time would like to have fold up bunk beds,tv,mic. but for now to build this summer and add all the fun stuff at a later date. I have seen houses that the tires roll dn,tires removed,units that are on the ice up to 5" to 6" off the ice. I've heard of people using the frame from old campers, is there any sites out there or ideas any one may have? I'm thinking of 2x2 wall, corrugated steel sidding, ????????? What works what doesn't and what not to do, any help would be great.


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Welcome to FM Jim! You should gather a ton of advice here. It really depends on what you want. I am by no means mechanically inclined, so I opted after owning 3 perm houses on wheels to buy one that is REALLY road worthy. The reason I say this is that the perms I have are great for short journey's of 15 to 20 miles, but not much more. I have 1500 or less in them, none of them are real sleepers though. Just enough to fish in very comfortably. most don't even have paneling. just lathe holding the insulation in. BUT THEY WORK. I spend lots of hours in them and have caught plenty of fish. But they are just that, short journey houses, that work great to leave on a lake for the season and just move from spot to spot. I bought a new one a month ago and spent 3 times your budget, and now have a house that is built to travel. The wheel system is tested and tried, the construction is sound, and it pulls like a dream. It is nicer than I could have ever imagined. But my others work just fine. So take your time, if you have the skills and the time, study some trailers, I have many friends who have built their own winch wheel trailers that work just fine. You can gather windows and siding and lumber and get it done for your price I think but it will take some bargin hunting in my opinion. Have fun and keep coming back here and you will have so many Ideas, your head will hurt!

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Jim, no matter what you do have a plan first. I'm in the same boat as you and will be building my house this fall, but will have to buy a frame.

The biggest thing for building a house is to have it as light as possible. When you start talking steel siding and all sorts of heavy materials, it's gonna get too big and you may need a tandem axle. Best idea is like tis said is to just keep searching the net and also on this great site, you'll get plenty of info.

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