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Otter Sled Question / Problem - Need Help


PTocko

Question

I have a small otter sled that I am using for getting my stuff out onto the lake - I tow with my snowmobile, at least that's when I have my issues. My problem is that even with the otter cover I end up with a lot of snow inside the sled - almost to the point where it is full of snow. The cover seems to fit okay, not super tight but does go around the rolled over edge and seems to be snug. I pay special attention to the front making sure it is as tight as possible up there. Last time out I ended up with buddy heater so packed with snow I could not use it - cut my trip short. Am I doing something wrong or is that just what happens when towing with a snowmobile. Any suggestions would be appreciated - thanks. Paul

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Maybe your flap on the snomo is bad??...

I have otter cabin and have not noticed that, though I do pull it behind a sled with a sort of cut off (short) flap so that negates my thought.... but still something to check.

edit - oh yeah, are you using the otter tow bar? I am.

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Flap on the snow mo is "standard" - have never heard any complaints about an extra long roost or anything. When I'm pulling I'm not going that fast anyways - 15 to 20 mph tops.

New sled and new cover - bought at the same time from Thorne Bros so there are no holes or anything like that.

Based on the responses it sounds like user error. I will make sure to "snug it up" before heading out again. Other suggestions would be appreciated.

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I've only pulled Otter sleds with ATVs and never had an issue in that regards. Probaly not the issue but, check to make sure no cracks (which are invisible when looking) are in the sled which may "open up" when being towed and under stress on impact. I have never heard of this happening to the point of filling up the sled with snow.

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I would make sure the cover is down over the sides of the tub and tight. Is there a chance you have the wrong size cover as in too large and it does not fit tight?

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I agree with others. There is no way for snow to get into a sled if the cover is on correctly. Water could conceivably seep through the cover but I doubt that much.

Is the cover still on the sled when you get to the destination and find snow inside? If so, I would agree that the snow could be getting in through the plastic of the sled.

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With all this soft snow it can be difficult to keep the snow out of the sled. Sometimes while pulling my Otter behind my snowmobile at a rapid pace I can't even see the sled at times. Slowing down helps. wink

Seriously, I've noticed the faster I go the more pressure is on the cover and it may shift a bit. I'd say secure the cover down as tight as you can, try to find a way to tighten up any slack around the exposed side of the sled. Maybe pull more of the cover over the open side of the sled to prevent snow from entering.

Make sure the long flap of canvas is upward and the cover is over that, and properly secured.

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REALLY check your sled for cracks.

Check that the cover is the right size.

Attach the tow rope to the same places where the tow bar attaches.

I only tow with a snomobile, and I have never had an issue with snow inside my otter. Normally about 2-3 feet back on a tow rope. I do have stuff in the sled which pushes up on the cover a bit, which makes the fit tighter.

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Those guys are right, normally not a problem.

Two things to add, try loading your Otter intentially "back-heavy" once-- see if you can get it to porpoise a bit, change the attitude...

Also, check with the nice folks at Otter out in Maple Lake, they are real folks, probably heard-all, seen all.

I know the real-deal otter hitch will mount upside down by mistake, not sure it would matter a hill of beans, but you gotta try something. This is a banner year for the white stuff, sure to bring out the worst in our gear.

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If it seems like the cover is on correctly but still seems loose that a small bungy cord or 2 from side to side, especially the front side can help. At times when pulling with my sled I get snow in my tub but not too much. When Im going at a high rate of speed, 40 mph or more, I always bungy mine down just so I dont lose it and have to go back for it. Never lost one without a bungy but I hate losing things on the ice. Ya never know where they will blow too. I have found several covers on the ice when its windy out.

If the cover just seems TOO loose call or E-mail the boys at Otter they are always very helpfull.

Oh another idea would be too pucker up the front by the cord and sew it a tad tighter. The new covers do fit a tad loser so the new seats will fit under them and still tuck up under the rim of your tub. Make sure the cord of your cover is pulled tight under the tub not just under the ples.

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I solved this issue (for the most part) by attaching a piece of 1/4" poly over my tow bar. It deflects the snow back down instead of up under the cover. Eliminated 99% of the snow coming under the cover. Not sure how to attach pics on here. Could e-mail if you want.

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Everyone - thanks for the suggestions. I will be going out again this weekend so I will give the above ideas a try. I am towing mine with rope so this might make a little difference - not sure why it would but maybe. I will post the results on Monday. Thanks and good luck this weekend. Paul

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I'm on the same lines as Chuck. The fluffy snow and speed is the culprit. All the fluffy snow swirling around is going to make its way under a bellowing travel cover in locations at both sides. A bungie cord or two across the cover will help a lot.

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UPDATE - First off, thanks for all of the suggestions. Hibbing - that "sheild" is very cool, unfortunately I am using a rope and not a tow bar but next year that is going on. In the meantime, I tried some other things. I used to put the bungees on before the cover, I tried them over the cover - much better. Still got snow in (but there is more snow now) but not nearly as much as before. I'm going to try one other thing - a couple of bungees front to back to keep the front really snug and that should probably do it. Even if that change does not improve anything - it is still much better and very livable. Again - thanks for the help. Good Luck! Paul

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I would take and tuck the canvas together in the back of the tub and sew it togather. This will tighten it up under the tub and keep snow out.

What size house is it? E-mail me I may have a extra old cover that is a bit smaller than the older styled ones but its in great condition.

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