Rion Greenhouse experience

12 years ago

I have seen a number of threads related to purchasing a Rion but I have not seen posts from people who have lived with a Rion for several years. I am particularly interested in the ability of the greenhouse to withstand wind and whether the polycarbonate panels fog after a couple years of sun. I live in Salt Lake and we have extended periods where the outside temp is in the 90Âs. At 4500 ft in elevation that is pretty hot on a greenhouse.

Comments on Rion experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,


Comments (22)

  • greenhouser
    12 years ago

    I have a Rion for a bit over a year now. I lined the onside (except the south wall) with Bubble Wrap for insulation. In summer I cover it with a tarp to help cool it and protect it from the summer sun. It took some work to get all the areas sealed that were open to the sky. I used foam and silicone. BTW, don't bother with silicone as it doesn't stick to plastic. It holds up to wind very well. No panels ever blew out and none are discoloring yet. They're not clipped in like the HFGHs panels. I also have a small HF.

  • jeff-n-jessa
    12 years ago

    Hi there -

    I just posted about my Rion. I wouldn't recommend it. here are some thoughts:

    - it's not easy to install (took days of work, and my hands were aching from all the tedious and sometimes difficult fits)

    - as greenhouser said, the insulation is horrible - every roof joint is basically open to the sky!

    - I've lost 2 panels and 2 of the 3 autovents to high winds. When I re-install this fall, will have to come up with a better solution to keeping them fastened.

    - It's all plastic, every last piece. Plastic breaks easily, and the worst one was when I installed the wires that hold up the roof - the hook broke right through the plastic! I still don't know how I will ever fix that...

    - the gutters are a piece of junk - never even tried to hook them up

    THAT SAID - having a greenhouse has been one of the greatest things I've ever done. Any GH is better than no GH, so if Rion is what you decide on, have fun with it!

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  • smailus_copper_net
    9 years ago

    I've had my Rion 16' for 6 years. Been plagued with problems.The window panels blow out, the door latch is weak and the doors fly open on windy days and slam against the frame. Resorted to heavy rocks in front of the doors and bungee cords to hold the vent windows shut. Last winter a blizzard finished it off. It completely broke apart, the roof is on the ground, the plastic wall supports broke off at the base and splintered, window panels are in the next county, roof vents are gone, doors are cracked, pieces everywhere in the neighboring fields. I watched the destruction from the house, helpless to stop it from wobbling back and forth, and finally collapsing. It just can't hold up to high winds unless you live in town where there's protection.

  • lostyooper
    9 years ago

    I helped assemble one a couple years ago. Plagued with problems sealing the panels. Useless in the summer heat.

    With the comments here it makes me wonder why they are rated highly.

  • ruckus1961
    9 years ago

    I Just finished Putting up a rion 8x8 hobby greenhouse today I did it in 3 days while watching my 5 month old daughter. Not sure yet have read a few negative comments. I bought the white model (should take heat better )with auto roof opener I saw the potential for roof vent problems so made a limiter on the amount the vent can open
    It gets real cold in jan and feb -20 I put it in direct sun in a semi sheltered location I am actually impressed with the over all design

  • karen_karenskats_com
    9 years ago

    I wish I could give positive feedback concerning the rion's, but quite honestly, I wish I'd found this forum before purchasing. We purchased two of the rion leanto sunrooms, which go together basically the same as the greenhouse's. These things are anything BUT a snap to put together. The parts are incredibly hard to snap together and require brut strength. The windows do not "snap" into place. They are a nightmare to get in. No matter what we did, we could not get the base completely square. The plastic parts can break and in fact, we received a couple of different broken pieces in our kits. Last winter, one of the top windows popped through after just one snowfall. The doorway is absolutely ridiculous. It doesn't slide easily, it doesn't lock, it doesn't seal... We ended up building a wood extension off the doorway and attaching the sliding door, which keeps water out of the sunroom, but still is not efficient. We're planning to just build a door for it. Our first one is 20' long and took over a week to construct. The 2nd one is 10' and we're putting it up now. It's just as hard as the first one was and as one other person mentioned, my hands and arms ache like you wouldn't believe from pushing these parts together, and I still have 4 ceiling and front windows to get in.. Not enjoying this one bit.
    These may be easy for young, stronger people to snap together, but we're in our 50's/60's, and they have been incredibly difficult for us. Would we buy another? No way, no how! Did it stand up to the winter? Yes, it did other than the window popping through.. Does it stand up to the summer heat? So far, it has. Am I enjoying putting up this 2nd one? Not even a little bit, and I'm a do it your selfer at heart and take on very difficult projects, but this one is just not enjoyable in the least..
    The one positive thing I will say is that the customer service is very good at Rion. When I contacted them about all the problems we've experienced, they did send a replacement window for the one that popped through as well as a vented window replacement (our's leaked uncontrollably every time it rained).. The manual is also a problem. It's too vague and doesn't give detailed examples. It also doesn't offer "good" tips on how to get these incredibly hard parts to fit together. As someone else mentioned, though, there are gaps all over it and the foam plugs they send to fill the gaps won't stick long term and look terrible. We are in the process of using silicone to seal all gaps on sunroom #1 as most of the foam "plugs" have popped out of place.
    Despite all the problems putting them together, we have enjoyed sunroom #1 and will be using the smaller one for a greenhouse (if I ever get it together). They do look nice once constructed, they're just a bear to get together!

  • copanolady
    9 years ago

    Karen - Do you have any pictures of your sunroom you could post? I'm reading everything I can as I'm planning to get a lean to (I think that's what I want) greenhouse/sunroom type mostly for my orchids and some tropicals. However, my house is on the water with lots of wind - not always but most days. I'm beginning to think only wood framing will stand up to wind and salt air. Would really love to see pictures anyone has of a type I'm describing. Thanks so much.

  • kleilac
    9 years ago

    Sanantonio Rose...I tried adding a link to some pictures earlier, but looks like it didn't take.. I'll try again!

    I don't know how to attach just a picture to this forum, so I'm sending a link to a web page I had sent family members showing the sunroom.. Probably more pics than you want to see, but it'll show you what the lean to looks like.

    If the link doesn't come through, it's

    Hope it helps with your decision.

    Here is a link that might be useful: rion lean to sunroom

  • organic_kitten
    9 years ago

    I've had my Rion for Three years, and I have not had any poblems with losing any of the panals. My DH and I put it together in two days, with very few issues. I am very satisfied with it, but we have little snow, so that might explain some of the difference. The weatherproofing is a pain, however.

  • KNSmith
    9 years ago

    Just came across this thread... I've talked to reps at just about every hobby greenhouse manufacturer/distributor in the country when I was doing my own research. The only competitor brand that was ever bad-mouthed was Rion, and this happened multiple times. Their products are under warranty, but when it's quite possible that you might actually have to use the warranty sometime, other options look a lot better.

    Here is a link that might be useful: greenhouses

  • kleilac
    7 years ago

    I wanted to update our experience with the Rion Lean to Greenhouses we've had for 3 years.. Actually, one has been up 3 years, the other 2 years.
    We now permanently have a clear solar blanket over the bigger sunroom/greenhouse because it leaks in so many spots despite sealing every window with silicone.. One of the front windows is taped into place because the part that holds it in kept popping loose, no matter what we did to try and fix it. The frame is looking worn. It's not pretty anymore because of the solar blanket, but the alternative is water in the sunroom every time it rains.
    The smaller one is used for a greenhouse. It's great having a greenhouse, but this one has had more problems than the first one.. One of the window panels popped through after a snow storm. We could not get it to stay in so we covered the whole greenhouse with a large tarp. Now that the snow is gone, we can't get the window to stay in the channels. We have a pole propping it up. It's the panel with the window in it, so it's heavier than the rest of the panels. Standing back and looking at this greenhouse, the roof looks like it bows in the middle.. This is only a 10' one. Shouldn't it be stronger than this? The windows also leak in this one, which is ok I guess, since it's rain water getting the plants wet, but still. Should it leak from every window?
    It works as a greenhouse in the spring, which is great. I kept all my potted plants in there until the threat of frost was over and I start new flowers and lettuce in it. It does what it's suppose to do, but it is too hot in the summer to grow anything.
    If I had to do it all over again, I would NOT buy a Rion.. They were cheaper than most, but not worth the hassle, or the money..
    Also, when I bought it, I couldn't find any negative reviews on them. Since then, I've left truthful reviews with both pros and cons on the RION website, but they won't publish it.. How many other people left truthful reviews warning potential buyers, only to have their reviews ignored!!
    I had written Rion about all the problems with the first one we put up. We had foolishly purchased both of them at once. I had asked if we could return the 2nd one. I was told they would make an "exception" since we'd had so many problems with the first one..We could send it back (at our expense) and they would "only" take 10% as a return fee. That would have amounted to $200 plus probably that much to ship it back, since each panel comes in it's own box, meaning we would have been shipping over 10 heavy boxes back. We decided to keep it and hope for the best rather than throw $400 away.

    This post was edited by kleilac on Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 8:40

  • cara
    7 years ago

    I have a 8x24 of the Rion's hobby greenhouse for about a bit over 3 years now. It leaks couple of places inside when it rain, two roof panels keep flying out and the biggest problem is i can't seem to figure out how to seal the door, it has a gap.
    It does take muscles to snag all parts, so you need/depend big' s men arm to put it together. My husband carefully check each box and pieces to make sure is there and zero damage before we put it together. I took pictures and e-mail it to rion's and fill forms and such so they send new parts. If i would buy another greenhouse it won't be Rion though.

    This post was edited by cara on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 19:49

  • kleilac
    6 years ago

    Update on our experience with the Rion Sunroom/Greenhouse. We've had our 20' sunroom/greenhouse up for 3 1/2 years with constant problems with leaks, panels popping through, etc..It's been a lot of work to keep it dry in there. Two nights ago, it collapsed. The entire top of it just simply collapsed, causing damage to our exercise pool and the furniture in the room. The frame is broken in several areas, like it just gave out. These things are supposedly guaranteed for 7 years. I've contacted the Rion company and will update as to what they will do about this.. I would absolutely NOT recommend Rion products to anyone.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our experience with the Rion Sunroom Greenhouse

    This post was edited by kleilac on Sat, Jul 5, 14 at 9:31

  • billala
    6 years ago

    I set up my Rion 8x12 "Hobby Greenhouse", the green one, over six years ago (photo below). No structural or deterioration problems, and no panel failures of any sort. The green finish has dulled, much like you get on a fiberglass boat. (The GH was new when the photo was taken.)

    Living in lower Alabama (sub-tropical), I ordered a custom kit with double doors in both ends, four vents and a shade cloth. This provides great ventilaiton - the secret to keeping it below the melting point. No yellowing of poly panels except in the south-facing doors, which stand open all summer with the unprotected side to the sun. (should have turned the panels around years ago, but too lazy.) Located in lower Alabama, it sees mild winters, hot humid summers, occasional strong thunderstorms, but no hurricanes yet.

    As noted by others, air sealing is something the factory leaves largely up to you, and it takes considerable observation and ingenuity to plug all the air inlets, somewhat akin to the structural enhancements the Harbor Freighters have to contend with. Also, as noted by others, water sealing is an ongoing process. In my case, I had water leaks under all four vents. I finally cured the leaks by taping all the seams around the vents with Nashua Waterproofing Tape (photo below). The tape has lasted several years now and still looks new, again in a sub-tropical climate.

    The Rion Hobby Greenhouse looks like a big kid's toy. But it's not. It's made very precisely, and you have to assemble it exactly as the manufacturer intends (but sometimes does not explain very well), perfectly square and level. That pesky stripping that secures the poly panels and the torsion wires across the top look easy, but are particularly tough to get right. Structurally, the greenhouse sort of hangs by it's thumbs, i.e. everything about it contributes to its structural integrity. It helps enormously if you have built many things before taking on a Rion. I would posit that a much of the trouble people have with the Rion derives from their inexperience in building things, or just plain old carelessness and inattention to detail. With all due respect, if you lack building experience, or otherwise have trouble figuring complex things out, you might need to get experienced help in setting up a Rion.

    Rion Greenhouse:


    Nashua Tape:

  • kleilac
    6 years ago

    With all respect to you, ballia, your remark that you think the problems people experience with these kits are due to a lack of building knowledge, rather than the product itself, is just down right insulting. We built our's exactly as it is intended to be built, and yes, we have building experience. Nice for you that yours has held up. Unfortunate for most others that they don't..

    Wanted to update on our 7 year warranty..Our sunroom/greenhouse collapsed in January 2014. The Rion company, which sells on a number of websites, has basically just passed us off to the Palmar Industries in Israel, who have totally ignored our claim. These things are warranted for 7 years, but ours collapsed after 3 1/2 years, and they are doing nothing to compensate us for our loss..The Rion company states that they only replace parts, not cover the warranty. We purchased this from the Rion company, not some company in Israel. This is customer support at it's worse.

    After taking the thing down (after the collapse) we discovered that parts of the frame were so brittle, they just simply shattered, allowing the entire top to come crashing down.. The plastic frames simply do not hold up to the elements.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our experience with the Rion Sunroom Greenhouse

  • pmeredith
    6 years ago

    I have a rion for 10 years it had a plastic type hinge on the single door. It failed after two years but other than that I love it it is no longer on the market we use it to put all of my container gardens to protect from winter and heat it with electric heater, it is only 5x6 ft not very big but works for us and a little seed sprouting done as well. My question is have any of you had a hinged door like mine and bought the hinges for replacement, I have the replacement dept on line,very nice, not expensive but will they work for me. Help I am tired of duct taping my door on it works but you have to replace it every few weeks. Any ideas out there.

  • thebearsare
    4 years ago

    I have a RION hobby 8'6 x 8'6. I bought it used (2 years old), trailered it across town in one piece and has been set up at my house for 6 years, so it's at least year years old. I have not had any major issues. I am in Alberta Canada and subject to snow, wind and some foul weather. I think the key was to build a solid deck platform and fix (screw) the greenhouse to deck. It's very solid where it stands. Every year I replace a few of the joint pins that pop out but other than that no big problems. One of the ceiling panels has popped out a few times under heavy snow but that was a 5 minute fix. The RION gutter system is junk and gets scraped off as snow sluffs off the roof. I had a roofer make me a real aluminum gutter and screwed that right into the plastic, which works great to fill one of my rain barrels. After 8 years the auto lourvres still work fine for the roof and window vents.

    I would love to expand my RION by a couple of panels in length (4 feet), but the new RION expansion kit doesn't fit older greenhouses like mine. If you have an old damaged RION hobby greenhouse for parts, please let me know and perhaps your misfortune could benefit us both.

    Full disclosure: I did recommend RION to some friends. They bought a newer large one and have had nothing but trouble from construction to warranty issues.

    I do mostly tomatoes, cucumbers and basil in my RION and get buckets of each every year. Will be starting my tomatoes in 25 days!

  • greenthumbs2
    4 years ago

    Too bad the word can't get out to warn others not to buy these Rion GHs. I only know one person who bought a Rion and they too have complained about almost ever problem mentioned here. I'll stick with the 8X6 HF GHs. Recently bought two to join into an 8X16' GH. I bought them to overwinter the more tropical of my plant collection. Even here in the Ocala area of FL we can get nights below freezing.

  • PRO
    Palram Applications
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    To Rion Users, past present and future,

    In October 2013, the Rion brand was acquired by Palram Applications. Many of the experiences shared here on this forum are disappointing for us to read and we empathize with those who endured them. We hope you will take the time to consider the dates of most of the negative comments and recognize that they are from a time prior to Palram Applications’ stewardship of the brand. We also hope you’ll take the time to read more current reviews on our Facebook page. Customer feedback - whether good or bad - serves as an inspiration for Palram Applications as we work to continually improve all of our brands, including Rion, in terms of quality and support.

    After acquiring Rion, we reviewed every aspect of the Rion product line and improved or re-engineered components to make the products easier to assemble and provide long-term durability. Early 2015 marked the launch of a totally new product line with significant modifications. Here are just a few examples of differences you’ll see:

    • Window and roof glazing frames were upgraded from molded plastic to aluminum and galvanized steel to offer improved strength and stability, and to prevent heat distortion and fractures due to possible incorrect assembly
    • Roof panels were redesigned to give greater flexibility when mounting panels
    • Thickness of the wall and door panels increased from 0.16” to 0.24” (4mm to 6mm) to offer better strength and isolation from wind and vibration
    • New thicker walls and doors made formerly-required glazing gaskets redundant, so they are no longer used, making assembly easier without sacrificing the sealing and weather-proofing
    • Roofing panels are now installed by easily sliding them in place during assembly; the roof no longer has to be assembled on the ground, as was required in the past

    We’re on a mission to bring the joy of personal greenhouse gardening to anyone who wants it with a line of quality, value-oriented products.

    Please visit our site online and the Rion site to learn more.


    Palram Applications, on behalf of the Rion Brand

  • Vanessa Alejandra
    3 years ago

    We've had a Rion for about ten years. Placed it in a semi sheltered area, leveled the ground and set up hurricane anchors. Anytime we expect strong winds or rain we close and latch the manual vents. The door latch leaves a bit to be desired, but it seals well enough for Florida winters. We bought a drip system and greenhouse heater and the plants are happy!

    It stood strong in central Florida until three weeks ago, when the top of a pine tree smooshed one of the corners during Hurricane Irma. Thankfully, most of the plastic pieces are intact, and the corrugated panels popped out rather than breaking. Will only have to replace one, I think.

    As far as putting it together, yea, it took four of us at times to fit certain pieces together. A well-meaning friend peeled window stickers off before install so we had no idea which was UV side :-/ But the plastic frame came together well enough, and everything fit.

    Yes, the panel inserts have gotten cloudy over the years, but I expected that. The seals aren't perfect but, again, for Florida they've been great. I'm actually impressed the greenhouse has held up as well as it has. We do plan on getting some replacement pieces and fixing it, if we can get the older pieces we need.

  • organic_kitten
    3 years ago

    We have had our Rion for about six or seven years, and I am very happy with it. I have an enormous fan in summer, and a heatrer in winter and it has worked quite well. It was delivreed here in several boxes, and hbby and I put it together except we had another couple help lift the roof on top in place. I love havin a greehouse and am chappy with my Rion