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You've actually answered your own question without even realizing it. Your problem is that you are obviously shopping the low end of the spa cover market. Unfortunately, most people do it, so you are certainly in the majority. The problem is that everyone expects to get high quality in the low end of the market. That will not happen.
At $350 to $400, this means that you are actually spending around $300 or so on the cover. The rest is shipping. $300 is decidedly low end in this business. Most cover manufacturers offer covers of various quality in order to appeal to folks in various market segments. Unfortunately, the majority of folks choose the low end and wonder why their cover lasts for only a couple of years at best.
I try to talk my customers into better quality covers. I have reasonable success. The cover that is currently on my tub is a very high quality cover that is about ten years old now. It is a bit faded from the weather and sun, but it is not waterlogged (double wrapped, hermetically sealed inserts) and the stitching is in great shape. In fact, it is triple stitched in key areas for strength. I was willing to spend the additional money for this cover. Unfortunately, you would have to be willing to spend an additional $200 for this level of quality. Are you willing to do that?
: We're going on our 4th spa cover in 11 years. All have been the
: traditional foam core, non-walk-on type. If I had replaced the first
: three before I became throughly disgusted with quality and before I
: was heaving a heavy load, we would be going on our 6th cover. At a
: cost of $350 to $400 a piece, they should be lasting ALOT longer than
: they are!
: The first thing that starts to go at about 1 year is the stitching. By
: 1.3 years, the stitching on the center-inside seams is mostly undone,
: and it's waterlogging and mildew is getting on the inside soon after.
: Then it starts weiging too much. For all the engineering and mfg time
: that goes into each one (not to mention consumer cost,) it's an
: absolute crime that the local dumps are seeing so many of these
: things! What a waste, at all levels! My new spa guy told me the
: stitching is going because it's not marine-grade thread. The old spa
: guy, whom I bought the last two from, said they deteriorate when the
: pH gets to low. I know it's not from too much chemicals, because I
: have an ozonator, so I keep the Bromine low.
: The pH has gotten low at times but I don't believe that that can cause
: such fast deterioration in products that are supposed to withstand
: the spa related conditions. And warranty! I could make a career out
: of my knowledge of warranties on all kinds of products, not to
: mention my past career in manufacturing. Even a 7 year warranty on a
: cover gives me no joy, because they all fall apart due to "wear
: and tear" which isn't covered. And then there's shipping one or
: both ways on a warranty. That's a complete joke! So why the heck, in
: this high tech day and age, can't somone make a cover that has seams,
: stitching, amd hinging that actually, really lasts for at least 7
: years if not 10, and make covering and foam that doesn't saturate
: with water??? I guess I've known the answer all along: planned
: obsolescence and greed. The same thing that is the downfall of the
: American auto manufacturers; and why our family spends more money up
: front and drives Toyotas. Sure wish I could find the Toyota of Spa
: covers! Know of a cover that will last 10 years, guaranteed, with no
: customer service hassels or shipping costs? Or am I basically looking
: for Hell to freeze over?
PLEASE NOTE: We are Roberts Hot Tubs Inc. (manufacturers of traditional wooden hot tubs)! If you found this webpage through a search engine while searching for a different brand of spa, we are not them! We simply appeared in your search due to that name being talked about on this particular web page. The phone number below will reach Roberts Hot Tubs, not the manufacturer of the brand of spa you're searching for. This is a public forum and you're more than welcome to post a question asking for contact or other information for a particular brand of spa. Almost certainly someone will be able to assist you.