Gear hauling on atv for ice fishing

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Gear hauling on atv for ice fishing

by DallanC » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:36 pm

Normally, I put all my stuff in a 4x6ft sled... and pull it with a snowmobile or atv to where we fish. Last few years though, there just hasn't been enough snow to run sleds. ATVs would work just as good but frankly using either to pull the sled requires using a trailer, because the sled is so big it takes up the bed of the truck.

I wanted a solution that could just all fit in the back of the truck during these low snow years, so I didn't have to haul a trailer for hours out to the lakes. We have too much gear to fit on the ATV all by itself. I thought about building a rack of some form the ATV sits on with enough space for the sled to fit under, but that gets to be alot of weight above the center of gravity in a half ton truck. Then I started exploring rack extensions.

Googling around, I found this at harbor freight: http://www.harborfreight.com/300-lb-atv ... 69858.html

It mounts on an ATV via one of these: http://www.harborfreight.com/atv-hitch- ... 65961.html

I thought it looked like a good deal, and headed to harbor freight today to check it out. When I got there I found the advertisement is wrong, the rack is really a 500lb load limit, not 300 as per the internet! Even better! I bought it, the receiver and a couple bungee cargo net thingys. Assembly was quite easy, adding the hitch mount just as easy as removing the existing ball and sticking the new hitch on. I think it might still torque sideways so I'll probably weld it so it cant rotate (the way my atv hitch is, I can weld a flat bar to this receiver and it will prevent it from rotating).

The cool thing with this rack is it can be used on any 2" receiver. I see alot of jeepers using it now as the riser gives more ground clearance.

Anyway all setup and gtg, as a test I had my boy haul some 150lbs of bedding material and food out to the shed. worked great! I dont plan to ever have more than 150lbs on it no matter what the rating is, but it has enough storage space to haul all the extra gear we take out. I figure auger goes on the front end in the gun rack, tent goes on the back rack. I have a huge storage box we'll put on the back rack with the heater, food, tackle boxes and poles etc etc. All of this will fit in the back of the truck easily and allow me to skip the trailer. We'll give it a "on ice" trial run here in the next few days I hope!

-DallanC
Attachments
atvcargo.jpg
test run with the rack. 150lbs of misc stuff on it
atvcargo.jpg (66.06 KiB) Viewed 3729 times
DallanC
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Re: Gear hauling on atv for ice fishing

by rspeters » Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:39 pm

How did this work for you? I recently got an ATV and have been thinking about what I'll do to transport all my gear. This is one possibility.
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Re: Gear hauling on atv for ice fishing

by DallanC » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:34 pm

Works well but 2 things to note.

The single bolt I use to hold on the 2" reciever can swing around no mater how tight you make it. Luckily the rear of the atv ball hitch mount was flat, so I welded a piece of 3/8" steel on the reciever that fits flush against the stock ATV ball hitch. This keeps it from rotating now and its not permanently welded on.

Secondly, as the weight is on the axle, the basket swings up and down as the suspension flexes. I think I'll just run a ratchet strap from the rear rack down around the cargo rack and put some preload on it to snug it up. This is primarily a ice fishing set up so I dont foresee alot of bumpy bouncing where I need the suspension travel. I dont put alot of weight on the rack itself, I keep the heavy stuff on the ATV (auger, tent etc), the bulkier lighter stuff goes on the rear rack (tackle boxes, poles etc)

Other than that, it works well and I've used the cargo rack at least once on a different vehicle to haul a cooler. The only thing I wish were different is the weight were on the atv itself. Maybe I could have gone with something like this:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Auto-ATV ... t104519880


-DallanC
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Re: Gear hauling on atv for ice fishing

by rspeters » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:04 pm

Cool thanks for the help. I can see how it would swing around, sounds like your solution was easy enough.
I like that rack you posted the link to as well. I might have to look into that as an option too.
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