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Rubbermaid Arbor Post Mailbox Post

Reviewing: Rubbermaid The Arbor Post  |  Rating:
mustangsally82 By mustangsally82 on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 11 | Yard & Garden Expertise:
Image for Rubbermaid Arbor Post Mailbox Post

I hate this mailbox post. I can't believe I paid nearly 80 bucks for it, either.

I went out to check my mail one day and my mailbox was lying on the ground. It was still attached to the log that had served as its post for several decades, but the log itself had been broken off at the ground level. I was mad that whoever had run into it hadn't fessed up, but I live in a very rural area and it's often easy to get away with these things since no one actually sees the crime being committed.

I headed to Lowe's to buy a new post. I'd never had to buy one before, so I spent some time in the mailbox aisle. I had intended to buy your standard 20-dollar wooden post with a crossarm, but this box caught my eye. I owned the mailbox that was pictured on the box, and I thought that it would take the guesswork out of trying to line everything up and figure out if my mailbox would fit.

The box said that it had a "below ground mounting system" included, but the post itself is black plastic. I was a little hesitant to pay this much money for a piece of plastic, but as a single woman I can appreciate when a product saves me time, which I hoped this one would do.

Boy was I wrong. I got this home and found the instructions to consist of one page with text and illustrations on both sides. I'm a pro at putting together furniture, so I tried to approach this with a positive attitude.

The pieces included the long plastic post, two pieces that went over the post and formed the platform on which to mount the mailbox, a board to hold the mailbox on the platform, and a few pieces of wood that made the stake (the "below ground mounting system" that the box so proudly touted!). It looked simple enough.

The first problem I encountered was that the mounting board was too small for my mailbox. Keep in mind that my mailbox was the same one that is pictured on the box for this mailbox post. I was able to use some of the boards that were on my old post, but for $80 bucks I shouldn't have had to do that. The board had to be attached to the top piece of the mailbox-mounting platform, so that when everything was finished the mailbox could be placed on top of the board on the platform and screwed into it from the sides.

The first step was to get the wooden stake in the ground. It was about 18 inches long and I had to screw the second piece of wood to the side of the stake before putting it in the ground (I'm guessing this was because it was too expensive to include a solid stake of the desired width to fit snugly inside the plastic post). The stake and the smaller piece of wood formed a 90-degree angle which would be used to anchor the plastic post.

I got the stake in the ground and slid the components of the platform that would hold the mailbox onto the bottom of the post before I put it down over the stake. Then I had to screw the plastic post into the wooden stake. This was difficult as there were no pre-drilled holes. I can see how different people would use different heights when installing this post, but a series of 6-8 pre-drilled holes along the bottom two feet of this post could have gone a long way in saving me some elbow grease.

Next I raised the mailbox arm to the desired height and screwed the bottom part of it into the post. This was hard to do because the plastic arm piece with the board attached to it was above the bottom piece, so I had to do everything with the post standing upright and while holding the top piece out of my way. I was thankful that the holes were pre-drilled, at least.

Then I screwed the top piece of the crossarm to the bottom piece. This was easy enough except that in some places I had to back the screws out and readjust them because the plastic didn't line up evenly all around. I was excited, however, because the last step was attaching the mailbox itself.

It went on okay, but as soon as I attached it the post began to lean towards the road in the direction of the new weight that had been added to it. I began to wonder how a plastic post could hold up a metal mailbox, and I really wished I'd gotten the $20 wood post instead.

I tried shoring up the bottom edge of the plastic post by putting flat rocks underneath the front edge. It didn't help. It was a few more weeks before my brother-in-law could come and help me fix the mess I'd made. He got a board that ran the entire inside length of the plastic post and that fixed the problem.

I try not to think about what my neighbors thought as they drove by and saw my rickety post, and I know I'll never buy one of these kits again. The only thing that was positive about the whole experience was that instead of getting one bag of hardware/screws with the kit, I somehow wound up with two identical bags, so I had twice as many screws and nails. I know in some places I used more than the instructions specified, just to try to shore up the stupid post.

Don't waste your money on this one. It's overpriced and a pain to put together. I can't wait until someone runs it down so I can replace it!