I went through this subforum and I couldn't find much on this topic, so forgive me if I missed an existing thread.
I'm contemplating (semi)-permanent pier to give me a much better experience than the tripod on the sloped turf of my yard, but the only place I can image from is not conducive to a full-blown observatory. We're also planning on moving in a few short years so I want something good enough until it's time to pull up and move. So a fabricated pier would be great - I can unbolt it and sledgehammer+cut the top few inches of the footer then throw down some dirt and seed when it's time to go.
I've read up on the Pier Engineering thread and have settled on a footer design, but I'm wondering about the pier itself. There are the SB and Sky Shed piers which are steel. There are the ATS piers which are 6061 aluminum. Since this pier will be exposed to the elements, something is telling me I ought to be wary of the painted steel piers and favor the power coated+urethaned aluminum one. I do plan on reusing the pier in a proper home obsy in the future, so I want it to last and not turn into a rust bucket over time. Are my fears unfounded? If price were not a factor, would one be favorable over the other, or does it even matter?