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Portlis

Anyone have issues with Clam popup hubs? Or Clam customer service?

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Hey guys, just looking to see if any of you have experiences you could share.

I bought a Clam Summit popup hub style shelter at the beginning of the ice season. Everyone always claimed how incredibly easy hubs were to set up and this particular model had decent enough reviews, so I got it. It was new in box when I bought it.

Fast forward to halfway through the ice season, and I've never been more disappointed with a "major" purchase in my life. It's incredibly difficult to set up on my own. I pop up one side easy enough, but then trying to pop up another just causes the previously popped up one or the roof to go right back in. I'm following the instructions exactly, but it's not my technique or anything that's the issue... The problem is that several of the plastic bars that hold the walls and ceiling out properly are warped, and always have been. The bars on the small sides of the house, the ends with the doors, seem fine enough and keep those sides popped out. But both of the longer walls and the ceiling each have one bar that's twisted/warped and basically useless. The other 3 bars are doing all of the work to try and hold the walls up. This also makes the house basically completely useless in the wind, because even a small gust blows one of the walls or the ceiling in.

On top of this, the zippers on both of the doors are IMPOSSIBLE to close without feeling like you're destroying the house. I'm not the world's biggest guy, but I'm still a fairly strong 200 pound dude and it literally takes all my strength pulling on both pieces material to get the zippers closer to each other in order to zip it up. If you're with another person, it's doable, but if I'm alone I've basically given up on even trying to close the door flaps, which makes the house basically worthless. I've tried so hard to close the doors by zipping them up that the little zipper handle tabs that are connected to the actual zippers with a little piece of metal have literally ripped right off. This has happened on both doors. And let me emphasize that this has nothing to do with frozen zippers or anything, it's the same if I'm trying to set it up in my basement.

And if this weren't enough, the fabric itself seems to be stretching SO much that when you're in the house during daylight hours, you can actually see the fabric deteriorating and stretching more than it should because the light shines through stressed areas, if that makes any sense.

I haven't contacted Clam yet, but seeing as this item is clearly past it's return period with the merchant I bought it through, Clam is my only hope. Not sure what they can offer me, but I certainly don't want this piece of junk any more, and I'm so irritated by it I don't even want this particular model any more either.

So, anyone have any experiences with this particular model (positive or negative really), Clam hubs in general, or any suggestions etc? Thanks.

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Yep, seems you already identified the problem. My hub is 4 or 5 years old now. They definitely don't seem to have the life of some others (although I've run mine hard) You can probably expect a decade from one. The zippers still work on mine, but do have one spot that has a hiccup. The first things that seem to go are the zippers and the window start to get "foggy". I would get an insulated one if you can, mine is un-insulated. Its plenty warm with a sunflower, but a buddy heater (scrap metal if you ask me) or other smaller heaters they can get cold. My hub is the easiest house to set up I have seen. The draw back is in wind the sides do blow in without anchoring them. While it can be a pain having to load/unload everything to move, it is nice having an open floor to configure any way you want.

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I purchased a Clam 4000T hub this winter. It is pretty easy to set up and take down. I did have some sagging roof poles, but contacted Clam customer service and they explained what to do (cut about 1" off a couple of the poles) and now I couldn't be happier. The zippers are very tight. They also told me to pull in on a wall pole when I zip and that does make it much easier to zip. The customer service was great!

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Portlis,

It sounds like you got a bad house. Definitely contact Clam.

I also have a Summit. It sets up easy and handles the wind fine. Zippers are OK. My only problem has been some bad stitching between the bottom of the house and the skirt. I had to re-sew one corner. Otherwise, I have been happy with the Summit.

Good luck.

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I purchased a Clam 4000T hub this winter. It is pretty easy to set up and take down. I did have some sagging roof poles, but contacted Clam customer service and they explained what to do (cut about 1" off a couple of the poles) and now I couldn't be happier. The zippers are very tight. They also told me to pull in on a wall pole when I zip and that does make it much easier to zip. The customer service was great!

Thanks for the response. I actually do try pulling in on a wall pole to close the zipper, but I have to pull SO hard that I feel like I'm going to break the pole. Even while pulling in on a wall pole with quite a bit of force, I had to pull so hard on the zippers that the metal connecting the zipper tab to the zipper broke off.

Glad to hear their CS is good though, that's for sure my next step!

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Portlis,

It sounds like you got a bad house. Definitely contact Clam.

I also have a Summit. It sets up easy and handles the wind fine. Zippers are OK. My only problem has been some bad stitching between the bottom of the house and the skirt. I had to re-sew one corner. Otherwise, I have been happy with the Summit.

Good luck.

Glad to hear it, especially from someone with that specific model. I've been so frustrated trying to set up this house that I've actually just given up on it and I've been fishing outside this winter. I usually got about 10 or 15 minutes into trying to keep all the walls popped out before I just gave up out of frustration.

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Yep, seems you already identified the problem. My hub is 4 or 5 years old now. They definitely don't seem to have the life of some others (although I've run mine hard) You can probably expect a decade from one. The zippers still work on mine, but do have one spot that has a hiccup. The first things that seem to go are the zippers and the window start to get "foggy". I would get an insulated one if you can, mine is un-insulated. Its plenty warm with a sunflower, but a buddy heater (scrap metal if you ask me) or other smaller heaters they can get cold. My hub is the easiest house to set up I have seen. The draw back is in wind the sides do blow in without anchoring them. While it can be a pain having to load/unload everything to move, it is nice having an open floor to configure any way you want.

I'm actually pretty easy on my stuff and I like to take care of it as best I can, so that's good to hear. I was certainly hoping to get a good 5 years of use out of it before I needed to consider upgrading. The cold doesn't really bother me as much as some people it seems, so I really just like the house to block the wind more than anything. An insulated house would be great, but from what I saw they were more expensive by quite a bit AND heavier, which is an issue when hoofing it. Hopefully I can figure out the issues with this house and be a happy camper.

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Welcome to the world of clam these days,I know of a few people who have gone thru more then one clam popup in a season,and yeah c.s. helps them out gives them a new one or a discounted price on a new one,but the replacement ends up the same way again.You couldnt pay me to purchase anything that says clam on it.Good luck

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Your zipper problem might be an easy fix. You can't pull the walls tight when you anchor the house down to the ice. Set it up and anchor it down in its natural position. The zippers should work much better.

As for other problems, call Clam Corp. I went through 3 hub houses before I got a good one. They will tell you to cut a hole in the tent where the logo is located. Take a picture of the destroyed house and email it to them. The replacement house will be at your doorstep within a few days. That's how they treated me.

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I could not set up my Clam summit thermal base camp from day one by myself. POS hubs broke or cover over them bent and ball popped out. Gave it away to my son and friend. Switched to Quickfish 3. I also hated my Clam 2 man pull over fabric would not stretch all the way etc. Done with the brand

Mwal

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