What to Know When Using Your Truck to Trailer Ice Fishing Equipment
AllOutdoor Staff 12.16.19
Obviously, for most of your ice fishing gear (at least for the basic gear such as fishing poles and tackle box), you’re not going to need a trailer.
However, many ice fishermen and women around the world like to bring along a portable trailer shanty with them on their ice fishing adventures. The ice fishing shanty trailer can be effectively used as shelter when you go out onto the ice, and even for living space if you really want to take it to the next level.
As you can imagine, a pickup truck while towing a shack trailer during the thick of the winter with icy roads is going to require you to take a number of extra precautions, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Here are the top things you need to know when using your truck to trailer your ice fishing equipment:
Conduct Routine Maintenance
Most importantly, confirm that both your pickup truck and trailer have gone through all of the routine maintenance procedures, so they are in good working order.
Remove All Snow from The Trailer Before You Travel
Removing snow from the top of your trailer will ensure that no snow will drop down onto your tow vehicle when you apply the brakes. It also ensures that other drivers on the road are safe and won’t have to contend with snow and ice blowing off the trailer and hitting their windshields.
Put Snow Tires On Your Trailer
Many people who put snow tires on their pickup truck will not do the same thing on their trailers, believing it’s not really necessary. But if you’re going to be hauling a big portable shelter on your ice fishing trailer, you are definitely going to want to go the extra mile and buy snow tires to put on it.
Know Where Your Stopping Points Are
This knowledge is critical: You can’t just rely on your GPS. If you’re going to be hauling a major trailer with your truck, you really need to have safe places all along the route where you know you can pull over for when conditions get bad or if you have any unforeseen issues along the way.
The best way to know where these stopping points are is to travel the route beforehand without the trailer and make a note of each of them.
Have An Emergency Kit Ready To Go
This is something you should always have in your truck, even if you’re not towing a trailer. At the bare minimum, you should have a basic first aid kit, flares, water, snow boots, extra pairs of socks and boots, blankets, and fire-starting equipment.
Leave Plenty of Stopping Distance
Always travel slower during the winter and leave plenty of distance in between you and the vehicle in front of you, especially if you are towing a big trailer.
Use Trailer Brakes
Installing trailer brakes on your ice fishing trailer is one of the best things you can do to help maintain control while driving in icy conditions. Trailer brakes will distribute the braking force in between your F-150 and the trailer, which means that you will be significantly less likely to have to contend with sliding and fishtailing.
Avoid Using Cruise Control
Cruise control may be a convenient feature, but it can actually be a danger when you are towing a heavy trailer on icy roads. Essentially, you’re giving a computer control over the throttle, and you will become less engaged and alert with your driving.
Keep the Momentum Going
To maintain traction over icy roads while hauling a large trailer, you’ll need to keep your momentum going. Especially when you’re traveling uphill. So let momentum be your friend: Don’t let off the gas when going up an incline and don’t stop in any area where snow has accumulated.
Hauling an ice fishing trailer behind your Ford F-150 during the winter can be a challenge, but if you follow the above tips, you can give yourself the best chance to get where you’re going, without issue.