Tinger Dog vs. SnowDog
Welcome back to those following our journey with the Tinger Dog. Our build has gone well and we are happy to have a fully functioning unit that a lot of you have seen in our videos on our FB Page. Over the last few weeks we’ve had a lot of questions about the difference between Tinger Dog and SnowDog. Here’s our initial list of differences. We’re also going to create another blog post talking about our Tinger Dog DIY Build observations on their own.
Out of the box vs. DIY
- The largest differentiator between Tinger Dog and Snowdog is the DIY part. Tinger Dog doesn't come with an engine. You need to source it yourself, and install it yourself. This also includes:
- Installing the battery
- Running all the electrical (battery, kill switch, starter, headlight, oil sensor, rectifier/charger)
- Securing the clutch/engine
- Running the cables (throttle, brake, remote choke)
- This is one of the easiest to identify differences with the Tinger Dog. It really does look great. Tinger ATV did a nice job with the curves and it almost seems to be more aggressive looking than the Snowdog.
- This is a great addition. A somewhat rounded bumper/pull bar at the front of the machine. Very useful for lifting in and out of your vehicle, picking it back up off your trail when you can get into problems. The Snowdog currently offer this pull bar.
- We were pretty excited for this feature, and it is VERY handy. After having to take the soft cover off the Snowdog many times (engine adjustments, tightening bolts) this is a welcome addition. There are two rubber latches that you stretch out and unlatch. Once you take these off, the hood can just flip up/forward. It would be nice if this hood remained more attached (almost like a hinge). It falls forward and the only thing holding it is the LED light wire/clip (more on that later). Regardless - it’s easy to put back on.
- You need to remove the hood to add gas. This is different from Snowdog. As mentioned above, removing the hood is not a lot of effort.
- The hood is largely a hard plastic. It has a small portion at the top that is the cloth/canvas similar to the Snowdog’s soft cover. Only time will tell how this cover stands up. We have put a lot of hours on our machines, and have seen scratched/ripped/worn covers. Things happen - the Dog goes off trail, they tip. We don’t currently have a cost (or supply) for replacement hoods. The hood comes with a scratch resistant film that peels off before use (so satisfying). Our guess is this cover will get scratched, dented, and cracked.
Small battery compartment
- The battery compartment is VERY small compared to Snowdog. It is also a molded plastic slot that can only fit a specific size battery. To install/replace the battery Tinger recommends removing the hard plastic cowling (not just the hood). This is a PITA, and we didn’t do it. The battery we put in just barely fits, and it’s just barely in.
- We didn’t find any real specs on the battery, and that’s probably because the battery requirements may be different for each of the engine choices, so we went to a local battery shop and asked for one that would be good for the Honda and that would fit in the battery compartment. It worked, mostly. It’s good for 1-2 starts off a full charge, and will run the LED light w/o issue (while running). We’re not sure if the battery we picked has enough cranking amps (or capacity), but we’ll do more research here and update.
6 LED light (so many lumens!):
- This is definitely brighter than the Snowdog light, but not as bright as our LED Light Bar upgrade for Snowdog. We have to devise a mounting kit for our light bar, but baby steps. Our biggest complaint is that the cord from the light to the battery/clip is too short. It is difficult to connect and the cover displaces it easily.
- This was a common complaint with the Snowdog- the bogey wheels have sealed bearings, but the type of wheel they used had a cap that one could assume would be a greasing port. Tinger improved on the wheels, and now they’re a solid wheel, no greasing required. Also no bolts to loosen over time! This is a good improvement.
Plastic tray with drainage:
- One of the things we noticed with the Snowdog is that they chose a composite wood (MDF/HDF) plywood with a rubber membrane on top. This can swell over time with the snow and water that end up in the machine (this is inevitable). Tinger has improved on this with a molded plastic tray that is becomes part of the frame. There are two small holes at the back for drainage, but they’re a little counter intuitive as there is a “webbing” or “cellular” pattern on the tray that sits about ⅛” high and doesn’t allow all the water to run back to the holes.
Different hitch and towing hook for sled:
- We noticed that the hitch is a little different than the Snowdog. We’re not confident it’s better. It’s held in with a small cotter pin that can get lost/bent very easy. We displaced this hitch on our first trial run.
- The sled is very similar to the Snowdog sled, but with some little improvements. The steel frame inside the top edge of the sled is very solid, and features a welded tab that looks much stronger for towing additional sleds. The sled is also about an inch longer than the Snowdog sled.
Improved balance/weight distribution
- This was a manufacture declared improvement. We’re not convinced this is the case just yet. We have noticed that the engine sits farther forward - giving you a bit more room in the back, but also cutting down the room available in the engine (making tight squeeze for thing like the battery, hooking up wiring, adjusting bolts, installing the engine). The Tinger Dog definitely is still easier to turn right than left similar to the Snowdog.
Aggressive track geometry:
- As mentioned - the Tinger seems to have a higher front, producing a more aggressive track. We haven’t had the opportunity to measure to confirm.
Choice of engines (Honda, B&S, Predator, Kohler)
- If we had a dollar for everytime someone asked for a Honda option with the Snowdog, we’d have at least enough for a full tank of gas in one of our Snowdogs or Tinger Dogs. This is probably the most interesting thing about the Tinger Dog, but the trade-off is that there’s some assembly required. We tested our Tinger Dog with the Honda GX390 engine and were impressed by how well it fit. We didn’t need to make any adjustments to any of the plastics to make it work, and the bolt pattern on the frame matched perfectly. The only issue we had was with the instructions telling us to drill out the engine mounting holes to accommodate the supplied mounting hardware. We chose to purchase smaller diameter bolts instead.
Both machines are a great product to get you outside. Some may prefer the engine options, other may prefer the years in the market & supply chain behind Snowdog. Let us know if you have any questions. As Canada's largest Snowdog AND Tinger Dog dealer - we'd be happy to help you find what's right for you!