For those brave enough to face the cold, Ice fishing is a thrilling and exciting activity you can do in the winter months. With the correct equipment and a dedicated fish house camper trailer, you can enjoy your ice fishing trip in style and maximum comfort.
What Is a Fish House ?
A fish house is essentially a travel trailer with a few unique characteristics that are intended exclusively for ice fishing on a frozen lake. They are designed to keep occupants reasonably warm while fishing. Two major features differentiate them from regular camper trailers: insulation and floor cutouts.
Unlike regular camper trailers, fish houses are built with heavier insulation and for placement directly over the ice. Heat retention is measured in R-values, and while most travel trailers are in the single digits, ice fishing RVs often have R-values in the double digits, ranging from 13 to 18. The extra insulation does add some weight, which might affect the kind of equipment and accessories you will need to tow the trailer.
Probably the most noticeable part of any fish house trailer is the floor cutout – these are holes in the floor that lead directly to the ice beneath, so fishers can sit on the lake in relative warmth, While regular camper trailers are valued by the number of bathrooms, fishing houses are valued according to the number of holes – the bigger ones can have up to eight!
Choosing the Right Fish House and Trailer
As with camper trailers, the biggest consideration when choosing your fishing house is weight. The lightest, aluminum-frame ones can be in the 1,000 – 2,000 pound range when empty. But when you start adding furniture, heating and other equipment, the weight goes up fast. Medium-sized houses outfitted with the basics range in weight from 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.
Popular opinion has it that double-axle trailers provide more control for towing over snow and ice. The tradeoff of course is that stability costs maneuverability, and tandem-axle trailers are going to be harder to move around. Maneuvering inside garages and tight spaces will require jacking up the trailer and / or putting wheel dollies under the front axle. However, there is one exception to that rule: the Trailer Valet RVR series of motorized trailer movers are specially designed to move both single and dual-axle trailers.
Towing and Moving
Your trailer weight will also determine the Trailer Valet dolly you will need to maneuver the trailer into position when hitching or detaching from the tow vehicle. All but the heaviest trailers can be moved with the Trailer Valet 5X (On sale now for 20% off*). With a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, the 5X is simple to use and allows fine control over movement and positioning. (Pro tip: Many fish house vendors don’t list weight, but you can go to your local grain elevator or truck scale for a weigh-in). The best part about the 5X, however, lies in its drill-powered ability. While it comes with a hand crank, you can also power it with a drill, freeing you from the bothersome and potentially dangerous chore of cranking on the ice.
For even easier control, check out the Trailer Valet RVR5, a completely remote-controlled RV and trailer mover with a 5,500-pound towing capability and a tongue weight of 550 pounds. Substituting heavy-duty caterpillar treads powered by 4 planetary gear motors gives the RVR5 more terrain capability – which is perfect when you may be encountering snowy and icy conditions. The RVR is particularly useful for those whose fish house sits on double-axle trailers. Also, it doesn’t hurt that you can completely control the trailer movement with the RVR without having to stand outside in the cold.
If you’re in the market for a fish house, or already have one, keep in mind that accessories for moving and towing will depend on the weight, and the weight in turn will depend on the material and furnishings. Out on the snow and ice, regular movers and trailer jacks may not cut it: look for ones that are rust resistant and can grip the terrain well. Most importantly, don’t skimp on the accessories: higher-quality builds will get you going faster, so you can fish without frustration.
Trailer Valet 5X Sales Terms & Conditions: Offer valid from 2/7/2022 until 2/21/2022 11:59pm PST and is applicable to a new and non-refurbished Trailer Valet 5X only. Free Shipping only applies to delivery addresses in the contiguous United States. Discount is automatically applied to cart upon checkout. Void where prohibited. Excludes Accessories, Refurbished Units, Blackout, DeWalt and Weigh Safe products. Cannot be combined with any other promotion or discount. No cash value, non-transferable. May not be applied retroactively, combined with other offers, or applied to returns. Valid for online use only, while supplies last. We reserve the right to stop this offer at any point.