Be sure to sign up for the weekly RV Travel Newsletter, published continuously every Saturday since 2001. Click here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

No Cover This Winter - I Bought A Big Fabric Building! - Was It Worth It? Part - 2

 Well, let's start off by saying this installation session did not go as well as I would have liked. Instead of a fully functional, completely covered fabric building, I have a frame. Anchored to the ground with one end attached, but not well. That end panel took 3+ hours to get on! Why? Why was this so difficult? I followed the instruction manual carefully and measured at least twice for each step. That's when I discovered some issues with the manual/instructions and the contents of the kit. I'm not saying NOT to purchase, but be aware of the problems BEFORE you get in too deep.


The manual I had downloaded from their website was one version, the one in the box was another. The pictures don't always match the instructions. That's really not all that terrible. The instructions really need to be rewritten to include the changes in the kit contents. The worst part of it? The manual is often NOT in the order it should be. So, for example, it says to do one thing and in the line AFTER it says to do something else BEFORE you do the first thing! Sometimes multiple sentences down. That's an issue, if you are trying to put it together step by step. I must have read through the manual 25 times and I still had problems remembering the steps.

Sometimes the instruction manual would explain how to do something that wasn't there. For example, there is a wind brace mounted on a diagonal across the end two arches. Good idea! When you put the end/door assemble on it says to remove the wind bracket bolts and slide the end of the brace through the slit in the end fabric. No problem, sounds simple. Except there aren't any slits! It never mentions you have to cut them yourself. It's an easy thing to do, but scary when you have to take a leap of faith and decide to do it yourself! There ARE three slits in the fabric to accommodate the top center rail and the two side rails. Of course, after putting the center one together, the other two will not line up. They were several inches off. Why???

Then there was the turnbuckle debacle. On either side of the end fabric installation there is a place to hook a turnbuckle that you tie the rope that goes through the door/end. It's already installed in the end panel, but you have to be able to pull it tight enough so when you tighten the turnbuckle it snugs the door down and prevents it from rolling over and off the frame. Good luck with that. The rope is almost impossible to get tight enough and the fabric slides off the frame as you pull on it. In any case, the slits in the fabric that WERE precut would not line up at all. After much angst and stress, we managed to get it close enough to put the bolts back in and snug it down.There HAS to be a better way. And if there is, it should be in the manual or at least online in a FAQ or TIPS section on their website.
In order to close the zippers on the two roll up doors at this end, the frame had to be pushed in from both sides and manipulated until it wouldn't break the zipper. This was all AFTER we measured, as the manual tells you to, 22 feet across from vertical to vertical. We were EXACTLY at 22 feet on each set and the diagonal measurements matched. So, what was the problem? I still haven't figured it out. Maybe when I start putting the other double door end panel on I will find it's a bit different and fits better. Who knows, maybe it was a manufacturing goof.


Well, this is now going to go into a THIRD week. Stay tuned...should be fun to watch us try and finish this in the rapidly dropping temperatures and significantly colder weather!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

www.thewanderman.com

6 comments:

  1. Wow Rich! It sounds like a mess. I hope it all works out. I have been thinking about various RV cover ideas but have not settled on a plan just yet. I'll keep thinking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter,
      So right. It's not neccisarily the quality of the kit contents (they are fine, especially the "sturdiness" of the frame, but rather the difficult to follow instructions. I am sure once I get past the initial install, the next one will be much easier. That being said, what's so hard about fixing the instructions on a product that sells so well?

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. It looks like the instructions were written by the same people who were the ones manual for my camper. Good luck on the rest of the assembly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ubknown,
      Like 1980's Japanese stereo instructions!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. Be glad Ikea didn't build it. They'd supply pressed tin for wrenches and pictures for instructions. No Words

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thomas,
      If the photos in the supplied manual were better, much of the issues I have had would be eliminated. if it was an IKEA product, likely the name would be unpronounceable as well! Strombemitberfmik or somesuch!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

Thank you for your comment. Our moderator checks each one to make sure we keep the Spammers away. So the comment will likely not appear immediately.