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The perfect grill cover for south Florida

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    The perfect grill cover for south Florida

    So every 5 years or so my grill gets a little scrubbing. (Weber Summit Platinum B4 circa 2005)
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    Okay, I might have stretched the truth - this time I replaced the cookbox, lid, burner tubes, igniters, and Flavorizer bars, among other things. The cart and wheels are original (but not the hubcaps!), though.

    Most of that is courtesy of Weber, by the way. They have never failed to impress me. Very nice ladies with Chicago accents are always super helpful and friendly. Often, when replacing parts under warranty, they comp one that isn't (like Flavorizer bars, which are super pricey and semi rare for this model).

    So now I'm looking at my cover - a Weber cover, and it's just not designed for south Florida. The vents are perfectly designed to funnel water inside. The cover is not breathable at all, so it traps moisture. It's black. It shrinks and becomes extremely difficult to get on and off the grill.

    All the covers I look at aren't screaming "this is the xlearly superior one". There is always a fatal flaw. Some are missing UV protection. Some use questionable fabric outer shells, or some use questionable fabric inner liner. I don't get it - they make car covers that are really good - super soft inside so they don't scratch, but breathable and and the inner liner doesn't soak up moisture. Outside they're pretty good at repelling water, and they're usually nice and light. Rain is vicious here. About 15 percent of my patio is under a roof, but it rains sideways here. And when it's not, it's so humid it might as well be raining.

    But no one seems to use that idea for grill covers. Grill cover fabric (or worse - canvas or PVC) is usually stiff and likely to get brittle, crack, and fail. Or it's too thick to allow water to evaporate inside out. Or the construction is poor.

    My OCD kicked in, and I've been toying with buying bulk weather proof/breathable fabric (either Gore-Tex 3 layer, eVent 3 layer, or something with similar qualities) and making my own cover. Then I remembered I can't sew and my wife doesn't really sew. Plus, I'm concerned about dorking up the seams and compromising the water repellent integrity.

    So I looked online - the Weber cover is out. Classic Accessories covers get okay reviews, but are blasted for lack of UV treatment. Some people like the Khomo covers. None reveal a particular brand of outer shell or water repellent technology - and that means it's usually not great - just some spray treatment of unknown origin.

    Nothing on Amazingribs.com was particularly helpful (that I could find, anyway).

    Do I need to learn to sew with some high quality Gore-Tex like fabric I buy? Because I am starting to have flashbacks of 7th grade home economics and some stupid toy frog sewing project.


    So, for the best and brightest BBQ brothers and sisters - what is the perfect cover? Keep in mind - it's super hot, super humid, the sun is a killer down here, and rain is not fun for things outside, even if they have a bit of overhead roof. (For hurricanes I do move the grill inside, though, especially since I will need it for the next week or two until the power comes back.)

    Thanks,
    Bruce


    Attached Files

    #2
    I end up not covering mine, my rationale is that covers tend to lock condensation under them, against the metal that takes a long time to dry out. If my grills and smokers get rained on, soon the sun is out and dries them off. I used to cover religiously but found this to be the way to go for me. Plus, bees get under covers too and that's uncovering a surprise no one wants. When I started conversing with Meathead I ofund out he doesn't cover his either. The only real downside is the sun fades your plastic parts and withers any stickers or decals on your grill/smoker. I still opt to not cover. I do realize for some folks this option is just out of the question. You could always just get a nice small heavy duty tarp, although that is much less sightly if that matters to you. They make tarps in silver, dark brown, camo, not just bright blue.

    Comment


      #3
      Blautens you question is a great one for not just South Florida. We have a lot of humidity here in the Atlanta area also. I am going to have a custom cover made for my Rectec and I notice my Weber S470 cover is starting to show wear. There are some custom grill cover Mom and Pop shops out on the web and I am going to use one of them. They are not to pricey and are willing to work with you to get you what you want. I just have to decide who I want to deal with. When I do I will let you know on this thread.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Aaron 'Huskee' Lyons View Post
        I end up not covering mine, my rationale is that covers tend to lock condensation under them, against the metal that takes a long time to dry out. If my grills and smokers get rained on, soon the sun is out and dries them off. I used to cover religiously but found this to be the way to go for me. Plus, bees get under covers too and that's uncovering a surprise no one wants. When I started conversing with Meathead I ofund out he doesn't cover his either. The only real downside is the sun fades your plastic parts and withers any stickers or decals on your grill/smoker. I still opt to not cover. I do realize for some folks this option is just out of the question. You could always just get a nice small heavy duty tarp, although that is much less sightly if that matters to you. They make tarps in silver, dark brown, camo, not just bright blue.

        Good point. On a similar theory (that I can always get stainless steel cleaned up) I have gone without a cover for months at a time, particularly as the Weber cover started to shrink. But the amount of sideways, torrential rain we receive doesn't make it practical - the rain gets into the cookbox, down the drip pan, and flushes the pan into the cabinet and then the patio.

        I'm fortunate that while my patio is only 10% covered, it's all screened, so no worries about bees or wasps. Covered up it is also less tempting for my 3 year old to push the starter, pull the knobs off, etc.

        I see your point, but I gotta cover it up. It's like walking past my closet and seeing a shirt out of order...I have to fix it or I will think about it all day. (Everyone hangs their shirts in order of color, left to right, light to dark, right? Or am I alone on this one?)

        But I like your logic.
        Last edited by blautens; September 20, 2014, 09:23 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Marauderer View Post
          Blautens you question is a great one for not just South Florida. We have a lot of humidity here in the Atlanta area also. I am going to have a custom cover made for my Rectec and I notice my Weber S470 cover is starting to show wear. There are some custom grill cover Mom and Pop shops out on the web and I am going to use one of them. They are not to pricey and are willing to work with you to get you what you want. I just have to decide who I want to deal with. When I do I will let you know on this thread.
          Wow, I'm jealous. I looked at a couple of custom cover makers, and they were not cheap - $200 at the minimum. And there was nothing to go on except some bad pictures in the book at their shops. But they have all the business they want with all the boats and houses on the intracoastal, so they don't need to impress poor old me.

          And you're right about the weather there. We have an office in Alpharetta I visit, and my brother has lived in Cumming or Alpharetta for 30 years or so now, and there is no ocean breeze to cool that heat. I try to visit in the fall.

          I went with the Ravenna from Classic Accessories. Amazon should deliver it Monday. Which is too bad, because this is a rainy weekend, and I'm on the patio a bit today (a butt in the smoker), I sure would have liked to look at it. Plus it was only $54 or so, and most of the reviews say it's better than the Weber cover, and I don't expect any of them to last forever.

          Do post the details on your custom cover, though. Get the name of the fabric if you can - I find that industry is fascinating - Gore (makers of GoreTex) being a real ballbuster, apparently (being sued in EMEA and the US for it, too), to fend off competition, but there are a couple of newer brands (eVent being one of interest) that are interesting. All of it used to be hard to buy for individuals, but getting better, thanks to the interwebs.

          Good luck!
          Last edited by blautens; September 20, 2014, 09:26 AM.

          Comment


            #6
            I live here in S. Florida and was introduced to a mildew/water resistant Tarp. I am having a upholstery shop cut and stitch it (custom job) to fit my grill. The guy who made my grill has been using them for years. They are a yellow mustard color but no name on the inside. Ill find out and let you know but so far it works real good

            Comment


              #7
              In the off-season (which they probably don't have in FL) some boat shops can do a pretty good job with a lot of their good mildew resistant material, while I haven't had a grill cover made, I have had several tops made. I'm not sure how to make it breathable though.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by blautens View Post
                Covered up it is also less tempting for my 3 year old to push the starter, pull the knobs off, etc.

                I see your point, but I gotta cover it up. It's like walking past my closet and seeing a shirt out of order...I have to fix it or I will think about it all day. (Everyone hangs their shirts in order of color, left to right, light to dark, right? Or am I alone on this one?)

                But I like your logic.
                Good point on the knobs & kids. And about the shirts...lol. My shirts usually get hung up or folded. That's the extent of it for me!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by blautens View Post
                  I see your point, but I gotta cover it up. It's like walking past my closet and seeing a shirt out of order...I have to fix it or I will think about it all day. (Everyone hangs their shirts in order of color, left to right, light to dark, right? Or am I alone on this one?) But I like your logic.
                  Wow bl, does OCD enter this equation anywhere?? Or are you just anal? I can relate to that but I have a lot of entropy in my closet and life!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I am using the Weber covers on all of my Webers. Living in MN, We do not have quite the extreme summer weather FL gets so they have done fine.

                    I like the way the interior of your Summit looks. How did that all happen courtesy of Weber? My Genesis is in need of flavorizer bars, and possibly a burner tube. The front one does not have the perfect blue flame anymore, it does have some orange to it so for next season, it will get a refresh like you did. It would be nice if Weber would foot the bill for even some of it. How did you go about that process?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I cover my grills, hang my shirts however they land and my jeans, eeeeeh I can't be bothered. LOL! Hang shirts by color........ HAHAHA! I bet Blautens keeps his left foot socks away from the right foot one.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ernest View Post
                        I bet Blautens keeps his left foot socks away from the right foot one.
                        That's not a bad idea!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jmeier64 View Post
                          I am using the Weber covers on all of my Webers. Living in MN, We do not have quite the extreme summer weather FL gets so they have done fine.

                          I like the way the interior of your Summit looks. How did that all happen courtesy of Weber? My Genesis is in need of flavorizer bars, and possibly a burner tube. The front one does not have the perfect blue flame anymore, it does have some orange to it so for next season, it will get a refresh like you did. It would be nice if Weber would foot the bill for even some of it. How did you go about that process?
                          First - yes, I have a few ADHD and obsessive compulsive issues. My sock drawer would be a complete disappointment to all, though, but my excuses reference that drawer are completely valid. (And besides, my long time therapist, Jack Daniels, said "f--k it, they're just socks, leave them alone!")

                          So....grill parts (some pics included) - the original lid, while perfect on the outside, was rusting on the inside. Brushing it down with the wire brush eventually didn't help it was rotting through. And the liner wasn't removable. It felt like a waste, but I couldn't keep it once it started to drop chunks of the steel liner when you closed it. I called Weber, spoke to a very nice lady with a delightful Chicago accent, asked her the best way to fix this, and she asked for pictures (which of course I had and could email quickly) and within a minute of getting them she said that was in need of replacement - and placed the order for a lid under warranty replacement. While I was at it, I told her I needed to buy some new items (burners, etc.) and the only thing she charged me for was igniters. Very similar to my other experiences with Weber. Well worth the extra money for that level of support. And I love the Chicago accent - everyone I talk to there has it.

                          I didn't know the cookbox was perforated then, though. A bunch of small parts come right away, but the lid comes freight, which took a while. So I went to replace the tubes and igniters and other things and give it a thorough cleaning, since the lid replacement could certainly be the last item, and then I saw the holes in the cookbox. I hate going back and bothering them again, but I did - I emailed her the photos, and within an hour she emails me back and says no problem - a new cookbox is coming freight under warranty.

                          When I went to do the cookbox, I did a few other things, basically took it completely apart, frame, panels, everything, and made sure each item was refurbed or replaced. For a 10 year old grill that lives outside in south Florida, it's really in good shape, I suppose. I wire brushed and sanded the igniters and painted them with high heat bbq paint (outside only) in an attempt to keep them in one piece for more than a year. I took the plain galvanized heat shield and wire brushed all the surface rust off it and sanded it smooth and painted it black also. Just as I was putting it all back together, I noticed similar rusting on the manifold and wire brushed it and primed it and painted it, too. I also wire brushed and painted the bottom tray and drip pan holder. I took off the doors, handles, back panel, etc, and used degreaser, Brillo, and stainless polish to clean them all. I replaced every brittle plastic washer and rusty fastener, save for 2 that I just cleaned. For the enamel painted burner control panel I ever so gently used degreaser and Brillo pads, then polishing compound (gently) to take out any light scratches, then waxed - all the black gone, 99% of the print and markings still there.

                          Back to the Flavorizer bars - I love Weber, but I think those bars on that model were a bad design. All welded together with a cross bar to cover the crossover tubes, they are very difficult to scrape clean - debris remains in the corners and closed ends, around the welds, and they corrode much quicker than plain ones do. After the first set fail, I worked extra hard to maintain the second set, to no avail. They might have tanked quicker, even. I knew my Flavorizer bars were kind of rough when I called the first time (I didn't know exactly how bad), but I didn't mention them, as I did not want her to comp them, they already did that once, doing it again wouldn't be right. But I also could not afford to buy them at the moment ($228), plus their design irks me, I couldn't spend that much money on those bars knowing their inherent design flaws.

                          So I contacted the 3rd party source of choice for heavy duty Flavorizer bars (RCPlaneBuyer on eBay) and he agreed it's a bad design, and said he gave up on making them like that - plus they are labor intensive. Great guy - super detailed perfectionist, and very astute. We chatted for a couple of weeks about some of his design ideas and my design ideas, and he said he came up with something he thinks will be good, but still welded together. His material is better, too, and ironically, he's far cheaper. I honestly don't know what the new ones will look like - he thinks he has a better idea, and given his reputation, I'm looking forward to trying it.

                          BTW, one solid, rainy week with the Ravenna cover, and the grill has never been this dry. I even took it out from under the roof part of the patio - just screened in where it sits. The material is really water repellent and light, and the structured vents are not allowing water in. Who knows how long any part of that will last, but so far I like it, especially for the money.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Ernest View Post
                            I cover my grills, hang my shirts however they land and my jeans, eeeeeh I can't be bothered. LOL! Hang shirts by color........ HAHAHA! I bet Blautens keeps his left foot socks away from the right foot one.

                            The more I think about this, the more I think you have a point, sort of. I am not now, but I *should* be keeping track of left and right socks. But only because I should be alternating them each time so they wear more evenly.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I love following this Bruce. This is a great thread man. Thanks for sharing.

                              Comment

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