Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fabric Building - Mid Winter Report. How's It Holding Up?

RV Inside!
    Well, it's snowing here in the Northeast. Again. Not as much as in the past, but enough. A few months ago I completed assembling my fabric building to house my RV and helicopter. I was (and still am!) concerned about snow and ice loading on the roof. Since the company does not publish any snow load numbers, we are left to our own devices to figure out what is safe. So far, I haven't had any issues. However, since it was put together in the cold weather, it really never became taut enough. I believe that is why it's accumulating more snow and ice than it should. Hopefully, I can adjust it when the weather gets warmer. Will it hold up?

It's Snowing Outside Now!
When it snows, I have been going out when accumulation is around 3 inches and pushing the snow off from the inside. The distance between the roof supports is about 8 feet and you can see a a distinct bowing of the fabric between them when there is any snow or ice on the roof. It is pretty easy to take a pole broom and gently push up, first at the bottom by the walls then further toward the top, to get the snow sliding off the peaked roof. When it's icy like freezing rain or sleet, it does not slide off as easily. While doing this it became VERY obvious that the first two sections (front and back) were not tight enough compared with the center sections. I believe that is caused by putting it together in the cold. It didn't shrink any more after it was put together like it would have if assembled in hot weather and then exposed to the cold. Hopefully, I can tighten it up this spring or summer.

Beats This Method, Hands Down!
Regular rain has NOT been an issue at all. Even torrential, frog strangling rain has had little effect on the fabric or frame. However, I did find a pinhole where the cover was folded tightly in the box. I'll fix that with either a patch or some tool handle liquid rubber. Even though it will be an easy fix, there should NOT have been any holes in the cover at all. It is brand new from the factory after all. Other than that, it has been faring quite well. The zippers are easy to open, even in the coldest weather and close back down without undue strain. The frame has not shifted at all, so the tie-downs I "engineered" are working well. So far. We have experienced some pretty high wind loads recently and I did not reach OZ.

For the price, I am quite pleased, with the notable exceptions during assembly phases 1 and 2, and maybe 3 as well!,  a few parts issues and a terrible, out of date manual. If I purchased one now, I would do many things differently. It would have been MUCH easier if we hadn't attempted to follow the steps in the manual. Even IKEA is better and that's knowing that my Swedish is non-existent!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Glad to know it's holding up. If I'd been "home" for the first snow the year I put mine up it might also have survived. I had no plans for that scenario though. We don't do winters in MN anymore since we are fulltime RVers now.

    1. Dan,
      Good thing NY winters are no Comparison with MN winters! So far, so good!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

  2. Replies
    1. Roger,
      I Hat spell check! All fixed. Many thanks,

      Rich "The Wanderman"


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