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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

No Cover This Winter - I Bought A Big Fabric Building! - Was It Worth It? Part 3

Waiting To Go Into The New Building!
    Well, it's done. Sort of. I managed to get the sides and roof up and attached. Even the roll-up door kit (only one side is included) was finished...with some difficulty! It wasn't too bad. Even with just one extra person. That's not to say there weren't difficulties. Overall, I am somewhat satisfied by my purchase. There are definitely some changes I would make to the assembly procedure and to some of the hardware and supplies that come with the kit. There were quite a few issues that had to be worked through to complete assembly. Not that any of them were insurmountable, but when you purchase a full kit, you shouldn't have to climb mountains to be able to use it.

The Messy Cut Due To Factory Slots In The Wrong Place
The main issue that made the install difficult were the poor instructions. There were steps that were backwards in the numbered sections, whole steps left out and pictures that really didn't illustrate the process properly. In this day and age, having a corrected instruction manual or even some notes/more photos on a company website is easy to do. No one is asking for them to spend more $$$ on printing new manuals, but when phone help is only available during the week and most folks are going to put them together on the weekend....well, you see what I am getting at.



After We Had To Buy Better Rope For The Doors.
When we were at the point of installing the roll-up door kit, and there really weren't any detailed instructions. Having to wait on hold for a long while before having someone from the factory explain that the instructions are long out of date and they change the product over time, does nothing to make me feel better about the company nor their product. I mean, running changes (especially to increase quality or ease of assembly) are great, but if you don't change the manual or point to a place to get a list (change-log?) of updates, all you are doing is slowing down the process and losing customers in the process. Don't even get me started on the person that answers the phone. Customer Service? What's That??

Let's just look at the hardware and kit pieces. In Part 1 of this set of articles we put on the end covers. The slits in the fabric were in the wrong place and 2 weren't cut at all! Now, after looking at the printed manual, their website and trying to figure it out, I stumbled (many days later) on a YouTube video that shows that the cuts are in the wrong place from the factory!!! This was confirmed by the factory technician later on. Why wasn't this mentioned ANYWHERE by the factory? It caused me to have to cut the fabric multiple times to make it fit, because we all believed WE had assembled something incorrectly! How frustrating is THAT!

Completed. Yes, The RV Is Inside!
I've had some snow fall here in the North East, about 2 inches a couple of times. The structure held up fine. That's a good thing. I am adding a couple of lolly columns to reinforce the roof peak rail. It may not NEED it, but probably won't hurt either. I'm STILL having problems unzipping and rezipping the zippers. It's a function of how the end fabric fits over the top arch rails, but there should be a better fit, or some advice to get it to all work smoothly. Word of mouth advertising is the BEST way to sell product. If your product is good, you have reasonable customer service, you will have satisfied customers that extol the values of your product and recommend it to other. Common Sense really.

Well, I can say that once all these trials and tribulations were done, the finished product is an 8/10. I'd like to see better closures on the corners (the bottoms have relatively large gaps). I'd also like to see a better self-healing zipper system for the doors. I had one fail. Everyone that graciously worked on this project with me wanted better rope. It's used for a bunch of things (like pulling the bottom of the fabric to the base rails. It's very inexpensive polyethylene rope, that doesn't like to stay tied and loves to "unbraid" itself. Next year I will be replacing it with better cord and perhaps some bungees as well.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

14 comments:

  1. I have had a 12x20x10 for many years in NH. Had to replace original cover once, with a thicker one. 2 years ago, I decided to get another one for my new motorhome. I had this one delivered and installed locally. Very pleased with it. Cost about $5000 and worth it! This is it's second winter and doing great. With all the windy storms we have had, this thing sure is Rock Solid! Here is a sort of time-lapse of the install: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wGebYMqw0Y

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    1. Julie,
      The cover on this one seems pretty heavy it says it's a 10 Oz. cover. At the end of the season I will be checking all seems and stitching for wear. UV sun damage will not likely be an issue since I put it up in the winter! Stay Tuned

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. You've given a great three part write up of this shelter but have failed to give your readers the one piece of information needed to decide if they want one or not. WHOS IS IT!

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    Replies
    1. Glenn,
      In order to be fair and unbiased, and since I paid for it, I kept the name to myself. I am hesitant to recommend this product without some changed in the company and hardware. That being said, if you are interested in taking a shot at it, the company is Rhino Shelters based in CT.

      Thanks,

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. After reading about your 'adventure', I think I'm more inclined to pass on this product. I see them all around our town, and most of them are beginning to get a bit tattered and weather worn. Most likely poor ongoing maintenance but I really don't want to maintain anything either . . . Just park and forget it, like it would be if I could afford a real building - and a place FOR that building.

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    Replies
    1. MrTommy,
      My feeling is this shelter will be put up for winter storage and taken down in the summer. It had multiple purposes for me. Not only as a RV shelter, but for the Helicopter as well as a bunch of motorcycles. It allows me to work on stuff in the cold/wet/snowy weather where otherwise I wouldn't have that ability.

      I agree, not a perfect solution, but the only one I realistically had.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. I built a metal one for less than that. About $3000 for materials. Bolted 2" X 2" iron frames to make it portable so that it would not require a permit to build. It is 12' W X 12' H by 41" L

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    Replies
    1. David,
      I looked into that. In my municipality, metal structure required a permit and would likely trigger a tax increase. Bummer.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  5. I put up a stick built 18’ x 42’ for my 40' coach with a hip roof for snow load, and an attic to put stuff in I will never use again. I cut and skidded the pine timber for free across the road, the cemetery was expanding. Wife’s uncle owned a saw mill and cut and dried all my framing, also for free, well a couple cases of good brew. I purchased two used wood 14’ x 12’ Overhead doors for 200 bucks to make one good one. My largest expense was 6” 5k psi concrete floor, T-111 on the walls, insulation and corrugated steel roofing 18K total, plus mine and my sons labor, FREE. 200 buck a year in additional taxes and a coat of stain sprayed on every 5 years.
    My brother owns multiple Large storage units and to put my coach in his unit at my supposedly discount 500 buck a month, the next best place is a grand plus for Nov to April winter months only but not real secure, at those prices my building is a cheap and coach covered 12 months a year when not in use.

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    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      You are definitely NOT in New York!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

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  6. Rich,
    At the end of the debacle, I'm glad to read that 2" of snow load was fine.
    Now, tell me how it stands up to 12" of heavy, wet snow. That's what destroyed mine.
    Glad to see that it got completed.
    Dan

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    Replies
    1. Dan,
      I hope it does OK! Will keep you and everyone posted...after the winter!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  7. Our similar fabric shelter was nearly destroyed by a wind storm here in Upstate NY. We had finished setting it up but had not gotten it fastened down with tent anchors yet. The wind flipped it up and over, tearing the fabric. We had intended to strap it down, but we ran out of time the day we set it up. The surprise wind storm did a real number on the tent. It was still useable, but needed new tarp.
    I would love to see similar units become available with heavy duty metal gate material (such as is seen on store fronts at the mall or cities) for secure home storage for RVs. We all read, nearly every day, about RVs being stolen. A structure like this, securely fastened to the ground, could help deter theft or vandalism.

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    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      Anchoring it to the ground is a critical step!. I mean, Dorothy's entire house got picked up and transported to Oz!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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