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#3326414 - 08/18/13 08:27 AM Tower Blind From Sportsman's Guide Review
HOOK
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 05/01/99
Posts: 15754
Loc: Rutherford County, TN

Offline
Critique on DIRECT OUT DOOR PRODUCTS
10’ Hunitng Platform and Box blind Kit.
On a scale of 1-10 it rates a: REALLY?



I ordered this product from The Sportsman’s Guide advertised as Big Game® Trophy Box Tower Stand. The Manufacturer is Direct Outdoor Products. The price I didn’t feel was too bad but, that’s before I had it in hand. The shipment came in several boxes. The first thing I noticed was that the instructions were extremely vague in nature and very difficult to follow. The reason being was the diagrams were printed too small to read or identify. The parts list was so small I actually needed a magnifying glass to see it. None of the parts were not individually numbered or identified. As a matter of fact they all came mixed in a single bag. Another issue was I had way too many of one part and had to end up going to the hardware store to purchase what was missing. It was stated you could assemble the kit in just a few hours…this turned into several days. After I put the tower together I had it out for one day and it rained. I was amazed to see that after only a single day of rain, the next morning, the entire tower was rusting, and not just a little bit. The product is advertised as having a Powder Coat Finish. Whatever that is supposed to be it is completely useless. Every arm, nut, bolt and tube (Inside and out) had rust on it. It was so bad I even had some rust stains on my concrete driveway where it was sitting. I immediately called the manufacturer and this was exactly what I was told by the supervisor. “Yes we are aware our steel rusts. We make it out of the cheapest material we can. This way we can move our savings to the customer and sell it cheaper. If we used high grade material it would just cost too much.” And then he laughed about it and told me there was nothing I could do. The first thing I did was go buy a half- dozen cans of spray paint to paint that amazing powder coat finish. Then I bought a can of self-expanding spray foam and filled every end of an open arm, leg, or tube to prevent any further entry of water. My question is….Should I have to do all this to protect a brand new outdoor product? NO! I contacted Sportsman’s Guide. They said I could box it up and send it back, but too late. I don’t have the required pictures of the rust damage cause I already painted it. And I don’t want to spend 2 days taking it apart, putting it in 3 huge boxes, and paying $150.00 to ship it back anyway.



Next came the box itself. Putting it together takes 2 people. One in, and one out. The plastic is thin, cheap, and extremely flimsy. Putting it together was not that difficult but time consuming. It is FULL of design flaws. Don’t over tighten bolts as the plastic WILL break! When put together each corner as space bulging out between the spaces of the screws. I filled these spaces with foam which actually strengthened the corners. It was the same for the top. I put caulking over those spaces. OK, the useless removable top. Why? I mean really? Why? This would not work with the little bungee cord system they had so I bolted it in and foamed it in. The 4 shelves they boast about were not useable as they would not fit inside the walls so they are in the trash. The windows are made out of cheap thin plastic and as the top, will not cinch down with the supplied bungee cord system. Even if it were to work the windows do not seal, there is no overlap in the roof to control rain drip so in short what will happen is every widow will leak and allow water inside. I did the best I could and devised my own system of utilizing Velcro.

Attaching the box to the tower was a nightmare. The directions suggest you attach the box before you raise it. I have no clue how you can do that without breaking it. The plastic is so flimsy you can’t push a bolt through it. So this again takes 2 people, one inside and one out so the plastic doesn’t bend and break which will happen. Also be aware that the box is NOT square and does NOT fit on the tower very securely. There are only eight attachments welded to the tower to attach the blind. Two little metal tabs on each side to bolt the box to the tower. Another issue is once you have it in…the box does not set inside the tower edging. It floats about a 1/2 “above it. Really? Yes Really! So you have open space completely around the bottom of the box. To add insult to injury the tower platform is an open steel weave. So all this open space is really good for letting the leaking water from the windows through, and letting all kinds of flying stinging critters to nest, and not to mention it’s LOUD. So…another fix I spent even more money and put in a floor to help prevent the majority of it.

Once up I hardened the tower using additional ground stakes and ratchet straps. So the one good thing about the setup is the tower is actually very stable. YAY! So long story short… You get what you pay for.
My overall analysis- I would not waste my time.
On a scale of 1-10 I give the quality of the box a solid 3. The tower I give a 9 for stability (SO FAR), but it looses points for rusting and the lack of attach points for the box so it ends up with a 6.

****Note- Sportsman’s Guide does NOT allow you to post comments or ratings on products. What is posted …is posted by them base on comments customers survey they supposedly send out. The Manufacture website has a place to post comments there which I did….It was promptly removed.
_________________________
Everytime I see you....there you are.

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#3326422 - 08/18/13 08:40 AM Re: Tower Blind From Sportsman's Guide Review [Re: HOOK]
dralarms
6 Point


Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 827
Loc: athens, tn

Offline
Wow, thanks. I was fixing to order one. You saved me 5 big ones.
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