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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had to take some time off work for eye surgery and by the second day I was going shack wacky with boredom.... so I thought I'd add some lighting to my flipover. I've tweaked a few other parts of it in the past, so took some photos of the whole deal to share. Hopefully someone else gets some ideas from this.

A year or two ago, I was looking for a one person flipover shack that would fit in the back of my SUV. I found a Clam Trapper in the bargain cave. It set up fast (the poles don't extend), and I installed 4 eye bolts as hitch points to use the hitch I already owned, but there were some shortcomings:

1) Connecting the hitch to the sled required laying in the snow or parking lot.
2) The included folding camp chair was uncomfortable (and a PITA to set up with gear laying in the sled).
3) Condensation in the (small) tent was annoying.
4) My heater took up too much space in the tent.
5) It wasn't possible to use as a windbreak on warmer days.
6) Having to remove & replace my rods in a case made me crazy.


The easiest change was made after the first trip - a strip of rubber flooring from Princess Auto to line the bottom of the sled. The goal being to try to prevent gear from sliding around. The next change was stitching a piece of velcro on the outside of the tent so the door could be left open without flapping around inside.





I'd read favourable numerous reviews from people installing Reflectix in their flipovers, so thought I'd try it. I ordered a 4'x10' piece from Amazon.com and installed it from the rear of the sled, up the rear of the tent along the ceiling to the door. At first I used foil tape to just tape it to the back of the sled, but some advice from this forum (thanks again Upnorth!) saw me changing it to be clamped into the exterior plastic edge trim that secures the tent. Much nicer! I took my time installing it and carefully cut slits in the Reflectix for the velcro tabs of the tent to be pulled through. After I cut a slit in the Reflectix, I lined either end of the slit with a small piece of foil tape to discourage possible ripping. There were a couple spots I damaged during storage in the summer, so I put a spot of foil tape over those, too.





This leads into the lights I installed most recently. You'll see in the previous photo how I installed the lights on the ceiling and the floor poles. I bought a strip of adhesive-backed, water-resistant white LEDs and a coil of 1" clear PVC tubing from Amazon. I soldered 18AWG wire to each of the LED strips, slit the pvc lengthwise, stuck the strip of lights to the poles and then wrapped the lights with a length of PVC. I zip tied the ends of the pvc to keep it tight, wrapped the wiring in loom and ran the loom down the left side of all the poles to keep them out of harm's way (I'm right handed).

I installed a length of lights and pvc on either side of the floor pole, to put on a seperate switch from the ceiling lights:



The power source for the tent is enclosed in an 8"x8"x4" PVC electrical box. Wanting as tight a fit as possible on the side of the box facing the ice, I drilled holes just slightly smaller than the loom to press it through. I drilled a hole in the opposite side of the box (facing the rear of the tent) to allow for some air movement in it. I also installed a pair of switches from Princess Auto and 2 wire quick connection for my 12v battery charger to connect to - the goal being to be able to charge the battery without having to disassemble anything.



The battery is a 12V 9Ahr sealed unit from Amazon. It's the same sort your flasher uses. I considered using a distribution block, but decided a couple of merritts and some electrical tape was too straightfoward to second-guess. The battery is supported by a Clam battery bracket, with a couple pieces of foam to keep it tightly seated. The PVC box and the Trapper's sled were drilled using the battery bracket as a template, so the bolts run through the sled, through the box to the bracket, keeping the entire assembly tight.



Note that I had to use a dremel to cut down a couple raised lips on the inside of the cover panel to get it to fit over the battery.



I wanted to run a smaller heater, but didn't want to have to take it out of the sled if I could help it. So I set to building some sort of holder for the propane tank and heater. I had a butt connector for agr perforated pipe leftover in my garage and it just happened to fit. So one evening I trimmed it with a pair of aviation snips so that the little buddy heater would sit snugly in it and not twist. I angled the heater towards the rear reflectix and bolted the new heater holder to the sled.





I really hated starting and ending my fishing trips fooling around with the hitch on the ground, so I bought a pair of Otter hitch pivots. Unfortunately, the Trapper's tent extended too far past the hitch points on its sled, so they wouldn't work. I built a pair of extensions from a couple pieces of scrap metal. The hitch pivots drag a bit through the snow, so I'll likely swap them out for some homebuilt straight extensions when I buy a larger flipover.



The extensions and hitch pivots allowed me to fold the hitch over like this, so my days of laying on the parking lot are over!



Notice the modified travel cover - I hired Norwood Tent and Awning (thanks again Upnorth!) to add some material to the original Clam cover so that I could fit it tightly over a boat seat. I had bought the seat from the bargain cave in the summer thinking I'd use it either on the boat or the flipover. I emailed Clam customer service and told them that I wanted to add a seat and a windbreak pole, like in a Scout. A really helpful staff member named Thayne not only supplied me with parts diagrams from a couple other models of flipovers, but went further to give me a custom list of nearly all the hardware I'd need to install the seat. It folds out forward and can be entirely removed with 1 spring pin.



The last bit to explain is rod storage. I really struggled with this until it hit me - a flower planter (my version of Dave Genz's hamper/hopper, haha). I picked up a 32" long planter from Rona and bolted it to right side of the sled. I lay an old hand towel in there and my rods have been safe so far. I had to notch the inside edge of the planter so that it wouldn't interfere with the seat's forward tilting action. I didn't take a photo of it, but the rod holder I use is a Catch Cover "Multi-Flex Rod Holder w/c-clamp mount" that I got from Reeds a couple years ago.




That's all, folks! Hopefully this gives someone some ideas on how to do things better than I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Whoops, here are the properly sized images of the contents of the PVC electrical box and the dremel-cut cover. If a moderator would be willing to please change out those little images with these, it would be much appreciated!



 

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Thanks for sharing. I have an ol' school dave genz fish trap, gonna start tricking it out. I like the flower box idea. Does anybody know what they used to do to keep the wind from blowing underneath the tent previous to having doors on the front?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That reminds me - I put a length of metal chain through the frabic sleeve along the lowest tent pole. This gave it a bit of weight to keep the tent close to the ice. I put a few stitches through the tent on either side of the chain as insurance to keep it from wiggling out.
 

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Yes, very well done. I just added similar lighting to my Otter. The planter is very smooth, great thinking!
 

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Jeebus that is not a mod, that is a whole new design lmao.

Nicely done and great explanation of what you did!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the kind words everyone. This might sound cheesy, but even though I haven't used the shack with the new lighting yet, the best thing about that project has been that my daughter (now 8) took an interest in helping me set them up and is begging to go with me on an early morning trip to Lake Wpg :D

I was skeptical that we could both fit in the little flipover, but she insisted it would work, so we laid out a dinner plate on the floor to mock up a hole and it proved she was right. Looks like we're going shopping for a snowmobile helmet!
 

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Thanks for the kind words everyone. This might sound cheesy, but even though I haven't used the shack with the new lighting yet, the best thing about that project has been that my daughter (now 8) took an interest in helping me set them up and is begging to go with me on an early morning trip to Lake Wpg :D

I was skeptical that we could both fit in the little flipover, but she insisted it would work, so we laid out a dinner plate on the floor to mock up a hole and it proved she was right. Looks like we're going shopping for a snowmobile helmet!

It's not cheesy! It's cool! Take the darling fishing! She's 8 today, Tomorrow she'll be 28. I hope she catches a nice fish! My daughter has come with me since she could walk. Now she can only come if n when she finds the time. Beautiful memories...
 

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Excellent mods there. I am assuming the cool socks in the photo were not yours after all. :)

Seriously, I have a 3 man Kingfisher which is nice for the extra room when we go out but lighting is always troublesome. You've got some great ideas here that I think I can use and the workmanship is terrific.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Excellent mods there. I am assuming the cool socks in the photo were not yours after all. :)

Seriously, I have a 3 man Kingfisher which is nice for the extra room when we go out but lighting is always troublesome. You've got some great ideas here that I think I can use and the workmanship is terrific.
Haha, I wondered if anyone would catch those! That's a great idea to apply the lighting to a pop-up. I imagine containing the battery with switches, charging ports, etc in a plastic ammo box so that it can sit on the ice without fear of water getting in, and ammo box would have a handle.

You could mount a 12v cigarette adapter like this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U4ZZPK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_8?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

And then use a 12v male end as the feed to your lights, so it's easy to plug in & unplug.
 
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