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Old 11-15-2022, 07:55 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Default My One Man Flip Shelter - Eskimo Eskape 2400 Build & Accessories

I've been running my Clam Yukon TC for years now without any problems. Last year I took a seat out and converted it to a one man shelter and fell in love with the utility of it. So I decided I would buy/build a new flip for this winter and give my son the Yukon. I think the actual sled shopping started back in August. I still have a couple of accessories to add, but it's almost done. So I figured I'd post it up to give others ideas for their shelters, or maybe a bit of help if they're shopping for a new one themselves.
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Old 11-15-2022, 07:56 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Choosing the Shelter

I knew I wanted this shelter to fish solo. But I didn't like any of the one man flips that were typically only 35 or so inches wide. Units like the Clam Scout, Legend, Kenai, and X100, Eskimo's Wide 1 Series, and Otter's Hideout were all too small for me. Their tubs won't hold the amount of gear I bring out. Their fishable area won't allow for my electronics, and they all have a front door so you have to either flip them up to get out or trip over you're electronics. Basically, they just don't work for me. The only thing they have going for them is their weight...but I have a workaround for that. Anyways, below are the stats for various one man shelters I made last Spring when I first became interested in a new project.



So crossing all the one man flip shelters off my list left me with the smaller two man units. There's an old saying that you should size your flip shelters one man more than you will actually need (2 man for a single person, 3 man for two), and I agree wholeheartedly with this. So starting with the dimensions on my old Yukon TC as a reference, I researched all of the offerings from Otter, Clam, and Eskimo.



Wanting to keep the weight down as I knew I would be hand bombing the shelter a lot, I quickly narrowed my choice to three shelters:

I started off almost assuming that I would get the Otter. But Otters are notoriously heavy because of their tubs. And to be honest, I think the other manufacturers are catching up to them. I started digging deeper and liked the Nanook. It's almost 25lbs lighter than the Cabin and has more headroom and fishable area. I've seen them in person though and they have *really* short tubs...I was worried stuff might fall out of it.

The last one I took a hard look at is the one I eventually went with...the Eskimo Eskape 2400. On paper it looked like a contender, with the most fishable area of the three and the largest footprint overall, the most headroom, and the widest tub to hold more gear (width over length works better for my gear). The only thing hanging me up on it was the weight...lighter than the Otter but still considerably heavier than the Nanook. But reading through lots of forums in the US, it became apparent that a lot of people don't use the seat that comes with their shelter to save weight. They'll sit on a bucket or bring a folding chair. Considering the big steel bench the Eskimo comes with, I was pretty sure it would easily be the lightest if I omitted it. Once I made that decision, there wasn't anything left to debate. The Eskimo seemed to suit me better in pretty much every regard.

There was one last detail that confirmed my decision...price. The Otter was going to have to come from CMX Outdoors in Swift Current, at a price of around $1,600 delivered. The Clam I could pick up in Edmonton at TFH for $1,100. The Eskimo just happened to go on sale at Cabela's for $900 right as I was ready to buy. Sold!
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Old 11-15-2022, 07:56 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Eskimo Eskape 2400 Advantages

Having now assembled the entire shelter, I thought I would put the things I like about it here, before getting into the accessories.

1) When I did my comparison of double hub shelters, I really liked the esthetics of Eskimo's IQ fabric. Eskimo's StormShield fabric is supposed to be an upgrade over IQ, but I prefer IQ. The Eskape 2600 gives you the individual swivel seats and StormShield fabric in a similar-sized package if you prefer.

2) The side doors on the Eskape are biased towards the tub, unlike the Nanook's. That means you're not disturbing your electronics, heater, or whatever you have set in front of you against the front wall if you want to enter/exit the shelter.

3) The weak spot on most shelters is the hinges. On the Clam and even the Otter, these are a single plate the poles attach to. Over time, the bolts always seem to work loose as the poles twist...even with pozi-lock nuts. The Eskimo has double-plated brackets that are vastly superior to the other two. These were a big selling feature for me when I saw them.



4) The frame appears to be really good quality. Eskimo uses square tubing like Otter, and the push button pole retractors are an improvement over Clam's (which look like they will break in short order in -30*C and Otter's (which force you to depress the button with ungloved fingers).



5) The tub is much better quality that I was expecting. It's much beefier than I remember the tub being on the Nanook. And I couldn't honestly say it gives up anything to the Otter, which is a known strong point of Otter's shelters.

6) As is common, Eskimo wins the windows game. There are no less than six windows in the Eskape 2400...and all can been seen out of while seated. I was hoping the windows had zippers on the sides like the 2600 to really block out the light, but no such luck. Still the velcro lines up well on mine to close the light out effectively.

7) The Footprint. I really like the footprint on this shelter. The tub is ever-so-slightly shorter than the Nanook or Cabin, but it's much longer when set up (which is where it get's it's larger fishable area from). Below are pictures of it compared to my Yukon TC, which is about the same size as Otter's Cabin...big difference!!!





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Old 11-15-2022, 08:19 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Seating

As mentioned previously, the steel bench seat in the Eskape 2400 is a boat anchor. It comes in it's own box and is listed at close to 31 pounds.



When I weighed the box, the seat looked to be closer to 33 pounds. Going back to the table above, omitting this seat would make the Eskape 2400 far and away the lightest shelter I was considering. But what to do for a seat?

I had a couple of options. One was to go hard core and just use a bucket or tri-fold Eskimo chair I already had. The chair only weighed 5lbs...a weight savings of 28lbs. Nice. But not something my back was going to tolerate for any length of time. And I plan on logging a lot of hours in this thing. Having the chair outside the tub also reduces the fishable area, which I didn't want.



The other option was to use the other seat and bracket I removed from my Yukon last year. The Clam seat with the cushions weighed 13.6lbs...still close to a 20lb weight savings over the original steel bench.





The Yukon's tub was slightly taller than the Eskape's tub and the chair sat higher on the Eskape's floor, so I had to make a bracket to get the seat to sit at just the right height for hours of sitting.





I mounted the seat in the middle of the tub, as that's the setup I have in the Yukon and I like it. But I'm also going to drill another set of holes offset to the left so that I can accommodate a new cot I just picked up. I'll use wing nuts to hold the bracket to the tub so that I can change the position of the seat easily.
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Old 11-15-2022, 08:30 PM
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Twisted Canuck Twisted Canuck is offline
 
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Very nice looking rig, great write up. I like the seat and cot option. Will you ever come home once you get that set up??
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Old 11-15-2022, 08:41 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Hyfax Runners

A set of runners were in order, as I plan to pull this shelter behind a sled quite often. I has an extra set of Otter Hyfax runners laying around, and decided to use them. Otter makes the best runners hands down. Clams X-Series runner rit is good, but their basic runner kit is hot garbage. Eskimo's are a flimsier U-shaped runner that won't last nearly as long as the Otter. And for the same price as Eskimo's 60" Sled tracking kit for the Eskape 2400 with three runners, you can get Otter's kit for the Magnum and get six runners...it's like two for one and a better product to boot. Just cut 7" off the Otters and they will be the same size as the Eskimo runners. tter runners are like Franks Hot Sauce...put that $&%^ on everything!





If you can, grind down the hyfax bolts that protrude into the tub. They can be hard on gear over time. I also like to use a mat in my tubs, and these bolts can chew through a mat in only a couple of trips.



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Old 11-15-2022, 08:41 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Twisted Canuck View Post
Very nice looking rig, great write up. I like the seat and cot option. Will you ever come home once you get that set up??
Maybe...
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Old 11-15-2022, 08:50 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Tub Liner/Insulation

If you've ever been out ice fishing in a flip shelter and it's really cold out, you'll know the tub can frost up pretty bad even if the shelter itself is toasty warm. A mat in the bottom can go a long way towards reducing that. It also helps retain heat in the shelter the same way foam tiles help when laid on the ice. Canadian Tire stocks this foam mat which was a perfect drop in for my Otter Resort, and also fit nicely in the Eskape with a bit of trimming. I'll get to the other accessories in a bit, but you can see in these pictures how the accessories on the ends hold the mat in place. The trimmed bolts from the runners also act like little nibs on floormats, which is why you want to trim them down with a grinder. I can barely feel the ones in mine under the mat now.









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Old 11-15-2022, 09:04 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Battery Tray

Next to one pound propane bottles, nothing has a propensity to rocket around a tub quite like a battery. Clam, Otter and Eskimo all offer a solution. Otter's and Clam's are quite similar and favor the use of a typical 7 to 10Ah battery. I run Clam's in my Otter Resort and it works fine. Eskimo's also works fine for those batteries. But being a subsidiary of Ardisam along with ION Ice Fishing, the Eskimo is also made specifically to accept ION 40V auger batteries with a power adapter. I have the new Alpha Plus with two batteries, so this setup saves me having to bring a separate Dakota Lithium to power my shelter.



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Old 11-15-2022, 11:46 PM
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58thecat 58thecat is offline
 
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When are you taking orders? Can I preorder mine for next year

Hell of a job!
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Old 11-16-2022, 07:40 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Originally Posted by 58thecat View Post
When are you taking orders? Can I preorder mine for next year

Hell of a job!
You want one for the Boss while you fish outside?
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Old 11-16-2022, 08:00 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Wiring & Switches

I decided to run pretty much the same electrical I have in my Yukon, which means I needed three switches. Switch panels of all sorts are available on Amazon, and I decided on a three switch panel with 4.8A USB chargers so I can watch YouTube fishing videos on my iPhone all day if I'm tip up fishing or camping in the shelter (which I plan to try). It also has a digital meter so I can monitor the charge on the battery.



The three items I needed a switch to control are my Vexilar Glo-Ring, my Clam tub lights, and my Otter Shelter lights (more on each later). After running the wires to the panel for the lights, wiring was pretty straightforward. The switch panel comes pre-wired so that you just need to connect the positive for your accessories and then connect it to your power source. You will need a busbar for the negative leads. I bought this one, but it's really much more than you need...four posts is all I needed. I mounted the busbar underneath so it was out of the way. I also made a little plate for the Glo-Ring to mount to the side of this panel and then zip-tied it down so it wouldn't swing around. I had to crazy glue the mount after it broke in the Yukon, so I wanted to make sure it was more secure this time around.





Once all the wiring was done on the panel I took it to the sled and connect the wiring for the lights, trimming those wires so that I didn't have a bunch of excess to deal with. The Starboard panel just sits on the tub under the bracket for the poles. I put one more bolt along the other edge of the tub to keep it solid.



I did take the protective plastic off the Starboard before using the jigsaw to cut the hole for the switches in the panel, which scuffed the panel up a bit. Whatever, this is turning out way too good anyways...
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Old 11-16-2022, 08:06 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Vexilar Glo-Ring

Just a quick note about the Glo-Ring...don't buy it. It's overpriced for what it is and you can easily make something better/brighter using a waterproof UV LED light strip from Amazon. I normally use my RIDGED Light Cannon to charge my glow lures as it works much better.
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Old 11-16-2022, 08:06 AM
Walleyedude Walleyedude is offline
 
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Awesome project and write up!

I can see how having the right gear, and more importantly, having it setup properly, is a real game changer for fishing effectively and in comfort. It's making me want to get into ice fishing again. I've got a couple years to go before the kids sports will let that happen though...
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Old 11-16-2022, 08:11 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Clam Sled Lights

I installed these on my Yukon and found them quite handy when you want a bit of light on the ice, but don't want the shelter lights shining down the hole. They're really easy on the eyes when you're fishing in the dark, and they don't direct much light down the hole. In the Yukon, I directed two onto the ice and the middle one into the tub. But I found I never used the one in the tub...I just turned a light on or used the light cannon if I was looking for something. So in the Eskape, I directed all three outwards onto the ice where I fish.

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Old 11-16-2022, 09:33 AM
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Excellent write up.

I went down this exact same road 2 years ago. I went with the Eskape 2600 as the 2400 was not available at that time. Sat in a Clam and as usual I was not impressed with their fabric. Looked at Otter but cost to get it here and the seat bar down the middle of the tub was a big no for me. The seat system in the 2600 is a much better design IMHO.

I run only one seat in mine, have an Otter Sidekick console I made a light weight collapsible support that fits in the tub for. Have led light strips on the overhead shelter bars and currently waiting for lights to go on the tub. I used the Eskimo hyfax on my tub, runs 5 of them. They have performed flawlessly last 2 years in some not so nice conditions. Still look in fantastic shape. Also added the Eskimo spreader bar storage system, keeps the spreader bars secure whilst transporting.

I run a homebuilt battery box to power my lights and keep phone and Bluetooth speaker charged up. Not ice fishing if Bowie, Pink Floyd or Pearl Jam are not playing.

Not sure on the overall weight as I leave everything in the tub (Big Buddy, cooking grate, JawJackers, Sidekick and shovel) and I can one man the shelter into the box of my truck with out too much trouble.

Only thing that has caused a multitude of swears on occasion is the release for the bottom ground pole. As I use the original seat position in my shelter, my ice hole tends to be close to the side of the tent bottom. Darn fish tend to splash water around and when it is cold, the water freezes in said release making it darn near impossible to depress. To the rescue is my small propane torch. Short blast to the metal pole and release will free up as ice melts. Does not take much.

Otherwise, shelter has withstood high winds, hand bombed out of the truck numerous times, cold days and fast trips across the ice behind the quad and snowmobile without skipping a beat. Sits in the box of my truck 24/7 in winter and other than a bit of sun fading on the cover, it looks good as new.
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Old 11-16-2022, 10:30 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohninAB View Post
Excellent write up.

I went down this exact same road 2 years ago...
Thanks for the feedback. The Eskape flip shelters really do deserve a look by anyone in the market. The 2400 and 2600 are essentially the same, with the 2600 having the swivel seats and the StormShield fabric. I don't care for any of Eskimo's solutions for seating, but I would take the individual seats over the bench. The bench is too short to lay on and it takes away sooo much storage in the tub...and it's way too heavy.

It's good to know about the potential problem with the release for the bottom pole. I'll have a dead stick setup right next to one, so I'll be sure to bring a torch to fit on a 1lb bottle in case I need to free it. I think that would be a problem with any brand, as they all have a plastic fitting of some sort around the release. Heck my old Yukon is just bare poles and they freeze up from time to time. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 11-16-2022, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AlbertanGP View Post
You want one for the Boss while you fish outside?
Maybe I will order two in case we have a squabble!

Hope you haul it to cold lake so I can see this beauty firsthand.
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Old 11-16-2022, 12:06 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Otter Pro Universal Light Kit

I'm a bit hesitant to recommend these as their price has shot through the roof this season. But I had an extra set in a package from another tent and they work so well, so I decided to stick with them. Be aware though that there are any number of less expensive lighting options that will work just as well. I used these from Amazon in the Yukon and they work great. In the picture below, you can see a single pair of Otter LEDs in my Resort on the left and on the right are the Amazon lights in the Yukon.



I didn't want to have any shortage of light in this shelter, and the Otter Pro Universal LED Light Kit like most kits includes a dimmer switch. So I decided to go with two kits (four lights total...you can daisy chain up to six) oriented above my head when seated. I also mounted the dimmer switch on a pole release located right beside me for easy access when I need to turn the lights on quick to land a big one.







Be sure to leave enough slack in everything so the poles can slide closed and you can fold the shelter over.
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Old 11-16-2022, 12:07 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Originally Posted by 58thecat View Post
Maybe I will order two in case we have a squabble!

Hope you haul it to cold lake so I can see this beauty firsthand.
Absolutely will bring it. The Otter Pro X-Over Resort won't fit in a standard bed truck.
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Old 11-16-2022, 12:13 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walleyedude View Post
Awesome project and write up!

I can see how having the right gear, and more importantly, having it setup properly, is a real game changer for fishing effectively and in comfort. It's making me want to get into ice fishing again. I've got a couple years to go before the kids sports will let that happen though...
I had a fifteen year void in my fishing career when my kids were growing up. Rep hockey all winter....Spring hockey through June....camps/power skating/dryland all summer....it never ended. Good times though, and my kids are better adults for it.
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Old 11-16-2022, 06:33 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Rod Holders

The Clam Four Position Rod Holder is a non-negotiable must-have in all my shelters. The rod tubes are smaller in diameter than most made for use on a boat, making them the perfect fit for ice rods. I've used other rod holding solutions in the past. But nothing has come close to these, so now I just go straight for them. They also work great on sleds with the ClamLock system.

Because I mounted my rod holder on the back of the tub, which has a slight taper, I had to make some modifications. Installing the holder stock would have resulted in the rods tilting outwards in to the cover and caused broken rods in short order when closing the shelter. So I drilled out the rivets for the bottom arm of the bracket and moved it to the top using longer bolts. This had the effect of standing the holder vertically so that the rods stand straight up and don't lean to the outside now. Securing the bottom of each rod tube individually also helped to tack down the tub liner to keep it from moving.







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Old 11-16-2022, 06:56 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Cup Holder/Tray Table

It's always handy to have a table where you can set bait, drinks, your Iphone, loose hooks, pliers, or whatever else might otherwise get lost in the bottom of the tub until you really need it in a hurry. Clam definitely has the most offerings in this category. I've run their Center Console for years in my Yukon. It works ok, but it's often hard to find the right spot for the foldout leg not to collapse at the most inopportune time. I've started using Clam's Corner Console recently, placing one at each end of my Resort, and have been happy with them so far. It can hold pretty much everything mentioned above...all at the same time . It's surprisingly large though, so it's good that it stays tucked in a corner. But it essentially sits level with the tub, so it'll be easy enough to place the cot over it when overnighting. The pole brackets still fit fine when using it and actually help to secure it to the tub.

I wanted to try Eskimo's Universal Tray Table, but couldn't find anywhere with one in stock. So I went with Old Faithful.





On the off chance that this corner console doesn't give me enough storage, I'll add another ClamLock Base Plate to the tub and use the ClamLock Shelf from my hub shelter accessories. I'm pretty sure the corner console alone will suffice though.
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Old 11-16-2022, 08:12 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Dead Stick Rod Holder

I've been using Otter's Adjustable Rod Holder for years. There weren't many alternatives until recently. The Otter likes to swing randomly as it's wing nut comes loose. But the biggest drawback I found was trying to pull the rod out of the holder quickly to set the hook. Because the rod holder isn't really fixed, it's a chore to get a rod out of it. And getting split grip rods out quickly is almost impossible.

So I set out to find something better because a for a lot of the species I fish for, a dead stick is the best choice for my second line. Liking how Clam's rod holders held my ice rods, I decided to try their ClamLock Single Position Rod Holder. I initially planned to mount the base on the outside of the tub. But once I got it, I quickly realized that wouldn't work. What I ended doing was mounting it on top of the corner console. I rotated the base inwards slightly so the dead stick hole wouldn't be too close to the edge of the tent. When I'm done with it, or if I'm not using a dead stick, the rod holder can be tucked out of the way in the storage net below.







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Old 11-17-2022, 09:56 AM
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fish99 fish99 is offline
 
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great info here thanks. i am thinking about purchasing a flip over shelter and was wondering
when on the ice at your fishing spot how long does it take to set up the shelter.
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Old 11-17-2022, 10:14 AM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish99 View Post
great info here thanks. i am thinking about purchasing a flip over shelter and was wondering
when on the ice at your fishing spot how long does it take to set up the shelter.
  • Extend the poles and flip the shelter over....10 to 15 seconds.
  • Set up your heater and electronics...30 seconds.
  • Fish!

This is assuming you have already punched your holes. But it is much, much faster than a hub for hole hopping. Compared to setting up a hub, a flip shelter is literally the time it takes to extend the poles and flip it over.
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Old 11-17-2022, 10:26 AM
Hunter Trav Hunter Trav is offline
 
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Hell of a nice job you've done there!! I will definitely have to keep that Eskimo in mind when I finally replace my old flip over. Thanks for the excellent write up!!
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Old 11-17-2022, 11:34 AM
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Love it. I'm now unsatisfied with the Frabill pop up ice shelter I have and need a flip shelter.
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  #29  
Old 11-20-2022, 12:29 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Storage and Coat Hooks

The Eskape 2400 actually has decent storage in it's cover to begin with. There are three mesh pockets, including a relatively long zippered one on the back wall. Still, it's nice to have a place to hang coats, hats and mitts out of the way when fishing.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, makes coat hooks. And they are all pretty much the same. Use whatever you can find, or whichever are cheapest if you have a selection. I went with Eskimo's when I was ordering their battery tray anyways.

For overhead storage, Otter more or less has the market cornered with their Storage Hammock and 3-Pocket Cargo Net. Both work well, but are made to work in shelters as large as Otter's Resort. To get them to work properly in the Eskape 2400, be prepared to cut the bungee cords down significantly to tighten them up. This is particularly true with the Storage Hammock so your coat or whatever else you put in it doesn't sag onto your head. Installing these is easier after the frame is assembled but before you put the cover on, to get everything just right. Be aware that the Storage Hammock does make accessing the only vent on the Eskape 2400 a bit more awkward as it's located above the hammock. You can also use the windows for ventilation if required.



I also decided to run a cargo net under my seat to hold smaller odds and ends like propane tanks and batteries. I was going to cut down some 4" ABS to hold 1lb propane bottles, but the net will work plenty fine. I went with Clam's Small Cargo Net as it's designed to work in shelter tubs, and the nets I had lying around were too tall.





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Old 11-20-2022, 12:38 PM
AlbertanGP AlbertanGP is offline
 
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Ice Anchors

I was pleased to find that Eskimo put four beefy grommets in the skirt of the Eskape 2400. Still, I've had my Yukon start moving on my when I wasn't seated and the Eskape is quite a big larger, so I wanted something more. So I decided to install Clam's Ice Anchor Kit. This kit provided two anchor points on the tub itself rather than relying on just the fabric cover to hold the shelter in place. So now I have six ice anchors I can use to hold the shelter in place when overnighting. Everything stores neatly in the rear zippered mech pocket out of the way.







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