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Need a 12 space, but not sure about brands

I was looking for a budget flight case and ran across an ad for a Cavin RW12 Road Warrior for $200 bucks. It looks new but then I noticed the ad didn't say anything about being ATA certified. I could get a Road Runner or Gator brand at Guitar Center which I think are ATA certified for just slightly more. Or a ProX ATA. I have no experience regarding the quality of cases. I was wondering if anyone could please shed some thoughts of what might be the better chose of the three brands?

  • Cavin
  • Road Runner
  • Gator
  • Pro X Case

Thank you.


dvdhawk Mon, 06/08/2015 - 11:27

The Carvin RW12, certainly looks like it has all the requirements to be ATA certified - if you intend to fly with it. There are usually loads of used flight cases on eBay in the So Cal area that are "Local Pick-Up", probably Craigslist too - if you're really looking for a bargain. You should be in a hot-spot for that kind of thing.

I have flight cases by Anvil, Calzone, RoadReady, Gator, Viking, L&M, Star, Cabbage, OSP - and the truth is, they're all essentially the same. The primary difference ⅜" plywood, or ¼" plywood. You might also like the lighter moulded SKB for flying. You might want to look into something with latches that can be zip-tied shut . Bear in mind, the airlines and/or TSA may need to open them to inspect the contents.

I've also got a bunch I've built myself from Penn-Elcom and TCH hardware, that have been equally durable (20-25 years). That's always an option if you're reasonably handy. Chances are though, you can find a deal locally that will spare a lot of wear and tear on your hands and save you money.

waveform Mon, 06/08/2015 - 14:07

Thanks guy. Thanks for the details dvdhawk.

Now that look, I don't think the Carven is ATA. The ad is [=""]here[/]="http://sandiego.cra…"]here[/]. The corners only have single rivets.
I ended up ordering a [[url=http://="http://proxdirect.c…"]Pro X U16 19 deep[/]="http://proxdirect.c…"]Pro X U16 19 deep[/] for $230. (SKU: T-16RSS) from distributor called That price included shipping.

I had called the manufacture (Pro X) asking why their distributor is selling the T-16RSS for so much less than guitar center's Gator and Roadrunner, and they said when you buy from guitar center you're paying for their name. The materials all come from the same factory's sort of goes with what you mentioned about them all being about the same dvdhawk. I don't know about all that but the corners on these Pro X seem to have more rivets in them, looks better built. They also come with a lifetime warranty.

On a side note, I guess the ATA thing is really just an old standard from the 60s or 70s, I forget the story the guy explained, but getting the certification costs the company thousands and most of the lower end company's like Gator and RoadRunner don't do it. They just follow the same standards but don't actually put them though the test. Which is fine as long as the manufactures quality control is good.

Kurt Foster Mon, 06/08/2015 - 14:15

i hate GC (Bain Capital / Mitt Romney can F.O.). the way they price things is very deceptive. but if you must shop there my experience with them has been, if you can determine what the MSRP list price is (not what they are selling it for which is normally 10 to 15% off) and then take at least 30% off MSRP .... they will usually go for it ........ you have to be ready to walk out if they won't. i have had them stop me at the door and say "O.K".

many times i have gotten even deeper discounts than 30% (up to half off list!). it depends on how much biz you do with them and how well they know you and again, how willing you are to take a hike.

dvdhawk Mon, 06/08/2015 - 18:59

100% agree with Kurt, across the board.

For waveform and anyone who stumbles across this thread later, here's a link for [=""]TCH Hardware[/]="http://www.tchweb.c…"]TCH Hardware[/]. Their "[[url=http://="http://www.tchweb.c…"]Zip Clamp[/]="http://www.tchweb.c…"]Zip Clamp[/]" corners are the greatest thing EVER for the DIY case builder. You don't have to worry about getting the clean miter - or the extremely difficult tight radius bend. The Zip Clamp serves as both the corner brace and the tongue & groove corner itself. (I wish I would have thought of it.)

And here is the [=""]Penn-Elcom[/]="http://penn-elcom.c…"]Penn-Elcom[/] link. Their "[[url=http://="http://penn-elcom.c…"]Lid Maker[/]="http://penn-elcom.c…"]Lid Maker[/]" and "[[url=http://[/URL]="http://penn-elcom.c…"]Base Maker[/]="http://penn-elcom.c…"]Base Maker[/]" extrusions are a real time saver. They reduce the number of pieces in a 2-latch lid from 23 to 15 and give you a nice solid sidewall to the lid - but they do take a little more measuring / planning ( to compensate for having no offset - compared to the "Double Angle" extrusion style lid ).

waveform Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:55

I got my [[url=http://[/URL]="http://proxdirect.c…"]Pro X case[/]="http://proxdirect.c…"]Pro X case[/] the other day.
Regarding the weight, now I understand why people sell their flight cases. It's almost 80 lbs just the case. Then when you mount your equipment in it, forget it. The caster wheels alone feel like they're 10 lbs each. I don't know how these tour guys lug this stuff around. Anyway, it looks like a very well built case, all the rivets and insets looked flush and lined up perfect. Can't beat the price. I'm just shocked at how heavy it is with everything.