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Thread: Solar Cover Reel - Rocky's 3A or 5A?

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Solar Cover Reel - Rocky's 3A or 5A?

    Looking to pick up a solar cover reel on wheels for our first season. We have a 16x40 rectangle fiberglass w propane heat and located in New England. I intend to use a solar cover and I've read great things about the Rocky's reels. Is the 5A worth the additional $80/90 over the 3A? Will the 3A suffice?

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    JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover Reel - Rocky's 3A or 5A?

    I have a 3A and it works just fine. I believe the only difference is a longer handle and lockable caster wheels on the 5A. My reel sits in the landscape rock behind my pool deck when not anchored over the pool, so the locking wheels don't do me any good. Longer handle is insignificant in my opinion as well, especially with the thin 8mm cover I use that is very light.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Solar Cover Reel - Rocky's 3A or 5A?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    I have a 3A and it works just fine. I believe the only difference is a longer handle and lockable caster wheels on the 5A. My reel sits in the landscape rock behind my pool deck when not anchored over the pool, so the locking wheels don't do me any good. Longer handle is insignificant in my opinion as well, especially with the thin 8mm cover I use that is very light.
    Thanks... and you find that the 8mm cover is adequate?

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    JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Cover Reel - Rocky's 3A or 5A?

    I have only had my cover for one season, which is short, of course. It worked very well for keeping the heat in the pool. Regardless of thickness, they all prevent evaporation and cooling at night. The only reason I can think of to get a thicker cover is to have it last longer, maybe it's more durable. From my standpoint, I'd rather have a lighter cover that may or may not last as long as a thicker cover because it's easier to handle for myself and my family. I'm hoping to get 3 seasons out of it. We'll see how it holds up, especially because I didn't winterize it very well this year...
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Jun 2016
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    San Jose
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    Re: Solar Cover Reel - Rocky's 3A or 5A?

    I am planning to install the reel myself and researched a bit about rocky's reel system.

    Here is what I found,
    3A is good for covers upto 40' length (both 3A & 5A come in 2 widths 20' and 24')
    5A is good for covers upto 50' length. Also, 5A has more clearance to hold lengthier covers. 5A has bigger casters (4' versus 2' in 3A)
    Other than that, I couldn't find much difference. So, it really depends on pool size I guess.

    Recommended cover thickness max is 12mm itseems.

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    Rochester ny
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    Re: Solar Cover Reel - Rocky's 3A or 5A?

    On the subject of 3a vs 5a- I went with the 5a for 3 reasons - one- it has a bit more clearance and should I ever get a much thicker blanket I’ll be prepared, two- it has the bigger casters which are not only easier to push around and Prior to buying I looked at the casters and I can find them on replacement parts sites should they break. And third- I can anchor should I decide. I may not need to but I’m ready. I’m happy with it - but the instructions are a bit challenging. So are the videos - they don’t seem to make much sense- it will say 3 inches and they measure out 7 or 10. My only frustration with this product. Aside from that - so far it’s the best system (and we’ve had a few) that we’ve had. If you believe that you get what you pay for, spend the extra cash and have it be the last one. 10 year warranty- worth it. I’ve broken so many plastic ones over the years in 3 or 4 different pools. If anyone has any great suggestions to send back to Rocky’s regarding their instructions and videos - pls do so. It will make it better for those who buy in the future. Thanks !

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