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Help with my Otter Cabin.


Vikesfan

Question

I just bought one of the Otter Medium Cabin. I was careful to follow the directions to the T when putting it together. My problem is that my poles are moving really tough when setting up and taking down the cabin. Anybody have any suggestions on what I could do to fix this and what I may have done wrong? Has anyone else had this problem with the square tubing? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Vikesfan

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I know what you're talking about. I've had the same problem with my last two Otters. After you get the poles smoothed out they work like silk, but some of them can be buggers right out of the box. When I put together my current house, I should have learned from the first one and deburred all the tube ends on the inside and out. You'll see the cut isn't perfectly clean and these edges will drag on that pole's mate. I'd recommend taking the bad ones apart ASAP because it'll just get progressively worse and they will eventually lock up tight.

After a few times out I found the bad ones and then took them out one at a time to smooth them down with some sandpaper. Some have used steel wool but I didn't have any handy and the paper worked well. I worked the poles lengthwise just using light pressure to remove the imperfections. You'll see the grooves that the burrs left. On the "female" pole, use a small piece of sandpaper to clean up the inside of the ends until they feel smooth to the touch. I spray a rag with silicone and wipe them down good to remove any residuals and grit. After they are clean I'll give them a final spray for lubrication for final assembly. Make sure to either blow out the tubes or run some water through them to throughly clean them before lubing or assembly. While holding them vertical I tapped mine on the workbench and there was quite a bit of shavings that fell through. I'm guessing some also came from the self-tapping screws that are used to secure the overhead cross-bars and eventually found their way down to the sliding poles on the sides.

It's frustrating at first, but I had to clean up three sets of tubes and now it works great. Just do it now before you're out on the ice and it won't collapse or set up because the poles are locked up. Believe me, they will lock solid if they are bad enough and aren't touched up a little.

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Spray WD-40 on the poles and move them up and down to lube all sides. It's worked great for me when I've built 3 of these houses.

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Thanks for the help LMITOUT and ChuckN. I ended up pulling the poles apart and cleaning them up with some steel wool and some silicone. Worked like a charm. I can't wait to take it up to Winnie this weekend and try it out!

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Hey! Glad to see it worked for you. They need a little TLC right out of the box sometimes, but after you get them smoothed and slicked-up they work great. You can lube the heck out of them but if they have burrs it won't matter one bit how much you put on.

Have fun this weekend! grin.gif

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