Author Topic: Happy with Snowdog?  (Read 975 times)

Offline Gillgrabber

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Happy with Snowdog?
« on: Oct 09, 2021, 01:39 PM »
I got the itch to buy a Snowdog last season but couldn't find one.  I sent 2 emails to the company on their website and they said they would be in touch but never heard from anyone. 
Has anyone seen them for sale this year?  For those of you who have one already would you get another?  I've found some old posts on here regarding the difficulty in changing oil so I'm wondering if the company has addressed that problem with the newer models. 
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Offline Fisherman 1

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 09, 2021, 01:53 PM »
A friend of mine has one he got 2 years ago and although you're not going to get any land speed records,  he wouldn't go back to walking for all the tea in china.

Offline Gillgrabber

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 09, 2021, 01:57 PM »
That's exactly why I want one.  At 62 years of age I no longer want to drag my gear any great distance out on the ice.  I also like the fact it will fit in the back of my truck.
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Offline Eyecoholic

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 09, 2021, 02:26 PM »
Ive had one for 2 years now. Bought used. Used to hoof it. Works great. Have gone on multiple multi mile cruises with it. Hauled multiple shacks and people. I have had it stuck once. I think any vehicle other than a pinned long track sled would have been stuck in slush I was in. That being said I unhooked my gear, DROVE the dog to better ice, hooked back up and away I went. For most conditions it is good. Deep snow with side hill and it is tough to control.

Sold my pickup this year so will be buying an enclosed trailer to haul my gear.  Perhaps a sled or tracked wheeler is in my future but it works well for me as is and with the price of everything now not sure I want to fork out big money

Few things

Get reverse. Mine was a pre reverse model. Loading would be more pleasant but Im young and 900$ for a reverse gearbox does not seem worth it.

Get a larger light bar. It does okay but when youre coming back at the end of the day it is nice to see where youre going.

Some people swear by studs in the track. I have done fine with the exception of a very icy boat launch last year which I still made it up. With a second person Im sure I would not have.  Probably throwing Kold Cutters on it this year.

PM if you have other questions. The dog gets a lot of flack on forums.and looks on the ice  :o

Offline tacklebox07

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 12, 2021, 01:31 PM »
just bought a std with reverse. It's being set up now for end of Oct delivery. At 80 it's too hard to walk the mile or so to my fishing area pulling a sled. Not fast but sure beats walking.

Offline HardH20Fishin

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 22, 2021, 12:24 AM »
Bought the standard with reverse in Jan 2021 (that model is now called the "Utility B13MER" in the new 2022 lineup) and used it a total of 6 times before the season ended. It is awesome. Be ready, though, to take some time to really learn how to handle it. Many folks reference it as "tippy" and that it has issues going sideways on hills. That was my experience the first day I used it. But then I spent time actually learning how to steer it properly. On flat snow/ice yeah you only have to push the handle bars right or left and you are fine. However, the real way to steer it is to push the handle bars left/right some, but also pushing DOWN on either the right or left handles depending on which way you want to turn. This puts pressure on the back end of the track on that side and along with giving it throttle, it turns very easily. You also have to learn to trust the momentum and your handling as you make turns, especially if on hill sides. My initial reaction when if felt like it was getting tippy was to throttle back and slow down, but that's usually not the right thing to do. If you instead push down on the handle opposite the way its starting to tip, while also maintaining the throttle (maybe even giving it a little more) while you lean that direction, the track pulls itself back that way and corrects itself. Note: the newer 2022 models you will notice have slightly wider handle bars and they mount to the Snowdog at a wider position which only adds to the effectiveness of steering by pushing down along with right/left as the wider fulcrum maximizes that downward component of the steering. It takes practice, but once I got used to steering correctly, I never had any tipping issues again.

It pulls a ton of gear. I pulled my heavy self in the first sled, a jam-packed full-size jet sled  behind that, and then my Frabill Predator (with sleeping platform and tub full of overnight gear for 3 days of camping on the ice) all at once and it hardly even noticed the weight.  No, you won't get there as fast as your buddies on snowmobiles or ATVs, but it still gets you there WAY faster than walking and the maintenance is SO SIMPLE. If you can handle maintenance on a riding lawn mower, you'll have no problems with the Snowdog. Couple other suggestions:

1- Add additional lights or lightbar. You can get an additional headlight bracket from Snowdog dealers to add the second mount (it comes with the Y-wiring harness to plug into the existing wiring). The light it comes with isn't horrible, but I went with the Harbor Freight LED ditch lights that have side LEDs too and they are almost overkill.  But I Love it. See pic below
2- I bought Kold Kutter track studs but held off on installing until I saw if it was needed. I would say for 90%+ of instances, they aren't needed. I was on Flaming Gorge twice with glare ice and the track spins a little at first, but was still able to get me and 2 sleds going fine. I'm sure they would improve things, but they really don't seem critical...at least not yet. I may change my opinion if I ever need to get up an ice boat ramp or something.
3- Regardless of if you install studs or not, definitely get the Snowdog ice skates and install them on the sled. While the Snowdog did OK on the hard ice, the first sled I had that did not have the skates did like to slide out alot. When I got the sled later and installed the ice skates, I never slid out again.
4- If you go with a non-Snowdog sled...which if fine....be sure to set it up correctly to the Snowdog. You want the sled close enough so that you are standing in the middle of the sled when comfortably holding the handlebars. Your arms should be almost at your side while holding the handle bars so that when you go to push down along with left/right, you are using our body weight and not just trying to push down from a reaching position where you can't leverage your body weight.
I first used an otter pro sled and the hitch was too long, so I was standing near the front of the sled. This makes steering a bit harder as you really have to reach far out past the sled with your arms.  When you are standing in the middle of the sled it makes it much better. Also, be sure whatever sled you use is wide enough to stand with your feed at shoulder width or slightly wider. When you learn to steer it correctly, you learn that a slightly wider stance make a ton of difference. Note: I did end up getting the actual Snowdog sled once I was able to find a vendor that had one, and I have to say I do prefer it to the Otter Pro is was using at first.
5- Get a model with reverse if you can at all afford it. It makes loading/unloading much easier, but more importantly if you ever do get stuck in some slush or deep snow, you just reverse a few feet back on the track you just compacted and then hit it in forward again. Otherwise you have to get out and pull the sled out of the hole. While that isn't very hard, just throwing it in reverse and starting again forward is SO much easier.

You can't buy happiness, but you can buy fishing gear....and that's kind of the same thing.

Offline missoulafish

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 22, 2021, 06:51 AM »
Fantastic review HHF,  thanks for sharing :)

Offline kevin1

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 22, 2021, 06:04 PM »
what are those Skates you are referring to? had our snow dog for I think 4 years now got the biggest one with reverse when they came out. really enjoy using it, sometimes I miss the power of a snow machine but not the maintenance,transportation and storage of it.
we haul the dog and a couple of shanties and sleds in a makeshift 6x10 covered trailer, and have carried it on a hitch haul a few times.

Offline HardH20Fishin

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 24, 2021, 12:55 AM »
what are those Skates you are referring to? had our snow dog for I think 4 years now got the biggest one with reverse when they came out. really enjoy using it, sometimes I miss the power of a snow machine but not the maintenance,transportation and storage of it.
we haul the dog and a couple of shanties and sleds in a makeshift 6x10 covered trailer, and have carried it on a hitch haul a few times.

They are the skates Snowdog sells. You drill through the runners and I imagine they should work on any sled though. Here's the pic from the Snowdog website:



You can't buy happiness, but you can buy fishing gear....and that's kind of the same thing.

Offline redzmvt

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 22, 2021, 11:52 PM »
I just pulled the trigger on the same one that the OP has on the other post,got lucky that a guy backed out and a spot was open.Deliveries are behind on these,like everything else.The cost of an ATV has gone insane,and I sold my old one for more than I paid for it.

I talked to a guy last winter that had one(older model W/O reverse),and said nothing negative about it other than having no reverse.He told me it would be the last machine to go through the ice,he used his on as little as 3" of hard ice.Don't need registration in WI and easy to maintain.New snowmobile prices are nuts and I am not wanting to deal with used,the same as with an ATV.Plus these are very thrifty on fuel.

As long as it goes through most everything at 10-15MPH,I will be happy.Pulling sleds/gear through almost any kind of snow just almost kills my knees.

Offline kevin1

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 23, 2021, 06:43 AM »
My thoughts exactly, gets me and my gear where I need to go. Not a glamorous as a wheeler or sled,

Offline Panfisher78

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 23, 2021, 08:01 AM »
Picked up mine yesterday.  My dealer (Michigan) has some in stock if anyone is looking.


Offline kpd145

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 23, 2021, 08:09 AM »
I use my buddies.

Its fantastic for pulling gear, I used it quite a bit last year and I am sold on its functionality.

Turning takes a bit to get used to but other than that. Its a great machine. I also will mention that slowing down on glare ice can kick out your sleds sideways potentially causing a tipping scenario, just drive slowly and slow down like your in a boat.

He added studs last year to the track and this year we may get the runners for our pull overs.

I have pulled packed sleds with passengers with no major issues as long as your careful.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, "Wow! What a RIDE!"--Hunter S. Thompson

Offline HardH20Fishin

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Re: Happy with Snowdog?
« Reply #13 on: Nov 25, 2021, 02:35 PM »
I use my buddies.

Its fantastic for pulling gear, I used it quite a bit last year and I am sold on its functionality.

Turning takes a bit to get used to but other than that. Its a great machine. I also will mention that slowing down on glare ice can kick out your sleds sideways potentially causing a tipping scenario, just drive slowly and slow down like your in a boat.

He added studs last year to the track and this year we may get the runners for our pull overs.

I have pulled packed sleds with passengers with no major issues as long as your careful.

I installed the snowdog sled skis, took 20 mins, and it competely solved the kickout issues...they work great.
You can't buy happiness, but you can buy fishing gear....and that's kind of the same thing.

 



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