In our last update we left off after getting set up at the Tiffin Service Center in Red Bay Alabama on Saturday (9/16) and starting our wait for our visit from a coordinator on Monday morning and absolutely nothing exciting happened on Sunday except football on TV. GO KC!!!
Monday morning rolled around and knowing things start early around here so everyone can finish up mid-afternoon to avoid working in the heat we were ready for a visit at 7am and just waited our turn.
About 8am Jason showed up with our list of repairs in hand to have a look at everything. Once we finished our walk he said we would have about a 1 ½ week wait to get into a full service bay. At that point I asked about getting into a express bay which gets you 3 hours in a bay with 2 service tech’s working on your rig and what they get done in 3 hours is what you get done and you can pick the order of importance and they will work off that.
Jason’s reply was that we would be borderline on getting everything completed on our list in an express bay but if that was our choice we could probably be in a bay in about 2 to 3 days. After a short consideration we opted to take our chances in an express bay. I’ll mention here that one of the items on our list was a broken tile and the tile work is NOT done in a express bay so that did not count towards the 3 hours, we knew we would have to pull over to a special bay to have the tile work done and would have to stay there overnight.
After we signed the proper papers with Jason stating we knew the rules that go along with an express bay he went on his way and we started our wait once again.
The remainder of Monday was just filled with a little walking around the service center and a drive around town but we were sort of dying with the temps being in the high 80’s and the humidity being at levels that we had not experienced in some time so most of what we did was hide where ever there was air-conditioning LOL!!
Tuesday morning (9/19) we figured we would go over to the Tiffin manufacturing plant and take a 9:30 tour, so after I was ready I went outside to chill in a chair until Diane finished getting ready and while doing so Trevor pulled up to the coach next to us to deliver a custom rug set. Oh, who is Trevor you ask?
Well, we have been communicating with Trevor since we made the decision to head to Red Bay about installing custom lights under our couch on the frame rails and under the 2 slides on the passenger side with the thought of having them done after we were finished at the service center.
Having our lights installed.
Of course before he left we got talking and he said, “What do you have going on today”? To which I said “nothing important”, to which he said, “Well why don’t you come on down to the shop right now because we have a bay open and can get right to it”, to which I said “OK”. Then I said to Diane “OUR PLANS HAVE CHANGED let’s get the rig ready to roll!!”
We can change the light from blue to a bunch of other colors as well as have them automatically change or even strobe.
Getting the lighting done pretty much killed most of Tuesday which was fine with us because #1 we figured we would have another down day during our Red Bay ordeal to tour the plant and #2 we toured the plant back in 2013 so it really wasn’t that big of a deal to do again, even though we have liked to.
Wednesday morning (9/20) we figured would be another down day but were not 100% certain so once again we toyed with the idea of doing the plant tour at 9:30 but were really wishy washy. But regardless of what you do while hanging out at the service center you just make sure you are ready for anything at 7am just in case.
Once again I found myself sitting outside in a chair at about 8am and the phone rang, it was the service center saying, “We are ready for you in bay #10”!! So we quickly this stowed everything and rolled on over.
That’s us in the express bay
While in the express bay they fixed, #1 a door latch issue. It seems something came loose or broke inside the framework that allowed the catch pin to move and in turn made us have to slam the door to get it latched and it started squeaking like a farm truck going through a corn field.
#2, we had a wall between our ½ bath and the bedroom that would move during travel at the bottom. Sometimes it would move far enough that the latch wouldn’t even hold the door shut but just a slight nudge with the foot would get it back in place and all was good.
We were told that at the time of our build they happened across some new super adhesive and figured that was all they needed to secure the wall to the floor but obviously not. So they took the base molding off and installed an anchor bracket which now has the wall solidly set in place.
Just kickin back in wait mode.
#3, we had one day shade that would not stay down. Not really a big deal to us because our windows are very tinted to begin with and we have a night shade that worked if needed. And we have an outside shade over the window plus it’s on our driver’s side so while set up in a campground if the sites are close enough together the only view was of our neighbors patio which we don’t care to see anyway.
But it needed to be fixed so they installed all new shades, day shade and night shade so everything is good again.
A picture down the middle of the service bays.
#4, the window next to the entry door and passenger seat leaked. It was an operable sliding window and right where the two windows came together while closed would let water in during a hard rain.
The view from our old window
The view from our old window
We found this out the day before we were going to leave Lazy Days when buying the coach and of course they didn’t have a window so it was going to take something like another week to get it repaired but after spending 5 months there we said screw it, we are not waiting. I just went to the hardware store and bought some residential weather stripping and stuck it between the two pieces which sealed it up nicely and that’s the way it stayed.
It wasn’t really a big deal to us because even in our last coach which had the same window we found we hardly ever opened it but of course it wasn’t right so needed to be fixed.
The good thing that came out of this is that a year or two after we bought our coach Tiffin started installing a fixed one solid piece of glass window instead of an operable window. Which meant there there was no bar smack dab in the middle of the window right where Diane’s eyes were naturally while looking out while traveling which she has complained about for YEARS!!! So of course we opted to have the new solid window installed.
View from the new window
View from the new window
The only problem during the install was the tech’s installed it without sending it to the paint booth first to have the frame painted. So when we first saw it Diane picked up on it being a flat black instead of a gloss black like it was supposed to be. Of course the techs comment was they didn’t notice it and they normally send the coach over to the paint shop to have it painted after the window is installed, (coughing and spurting out Bull*&%t).
Well that added another step to our process now having to get in line to have the window painted and everyone else we talked to at the shop said normally the window is taken to the paint shop before installation which saves time, oh well we just had to deal with it.
And they fixed the wiring issue we talked about with the heated floors.
Anyway, they took care of a couple other small little things and after about 5 hours total we were sent back to our site to wait for a tech to come out and work on our entertainment center that hasn’t really worked properly since day one. That sum’s up Wednesday.
Thursday morning (9/21) the tech showed up at our site to work on our entertainment center. If you have read our blog for a while you may remember me working on this system a couple times myself and cursing the rat’s nest of wiring and poorly designed area where all of the electronics are stored with such bad ventilation that allowed way too much heat to build up. In fact I installed a fan system to help with heat buildup that seemed to really help.
After a couple new parts and a little rerouting of wires and a few choice comments on the rat’s nest of wires the tech had everything working properly and we now have a fully operational entertainment center that we probably won’t ever be able to figure out anyway LOL!!!
When the tech left we walked over to talk with Wanda (the real brains behind the scheduling) to see if she had any idea when we might make it to the tile shop. While talking to her she got the tile guy on the radio and before we knew it we were once again packing things up and rolling, this time towards the tile shop for the next round of repairs.
We backed in next to the tile shop where we would have to spend the night. The actual taking out and replacing the tile didn’t take all that long but we couldn’t move until the thin-set and grout dried which took over.
Our home for a night next to the tile shop
And by the way, after seeing how the heated floor is installed in the coach if we have another tile break I will be taking care of it myself.
Knowing that our next step would be getting the frame painted on the window I walked over to the paint shop area and tracked down the foreman to see how their work load looked, his answer was that he probably couldn’t get to us until Monday or Tuesday, DANG!!
At that point I explained what happened in the express bay with them not taking just the window over to get painted and as soon as he heard the story and that all we had to have done was 1 window frame he told me to look him up when we were given a clean bill of health at the tile shop and he would see if he could squeeze us in even if he had to just do it behind one of the bays, so we still had hope of getting out by the weekend but we were not holding our breath.
Once the tile work was complete the tile guy said he would see us at 7AM to run the slide in a couple times and make sure everything was ok and then release us.
About then we realized how bad the grout was looking in the rest of the kitchen area compared to the new grout so we decided we had nothing else to do so I ran over to the hardware store, picked us up a couple firm brushes and we shared a good chunk of the evening cleaning grout LOL!!! Who says this RV life style isn’t all fun and games!!??
That takes us to Friday morning (9/22). I was awake about 4:30 and I woke Diane up about 6 so we would be ready for our morning visit, and at 6:30 I found myself outside shooting the bull with the Tile guy as he had his morning coffee and cigarettes before punching in at 7. It turns out he has been working at Tiffin for 35 years!!!
As soon as he punched in at 7 he came in and within 10 minutes we were cleared to move. At that point he said we could stay put if we wanted while I ran over to track down the paint shop foreman to check status.
I could not find the foreman so I headed to Wanda’s office (the brains of the operation) so see if she might have any information. At that point she got the foreman on the radio and he said it would probably be Monday, WHAT!!!!
I then asked Wanda where I could find the foreman and then went down to see him in person. Once I found him and asked what the odds were of us getting painted today he acted like he didn’t just have a conversation with Wanda and said “give me just a little while and we will get you in”. Face to face conversations are at times much better.
I didn’t even let on that I was just standing with Wanda when he said Monday and just said “great thanks” and headed back to the motorhome. Once there the tile guy said that there was another coach on its way over so we would need to vacate. Dang I was hoping to just be able to sit until we got a call from the paint shop but we ran the slides in, lifted our jacks and rolled back to our site.
As soon as I got to our site I stepped outside to check my positioning and a golf cart rolled up and asked if we had a window to be painted. I noticed he had a bottle of touch-up paint in his hand and said “why yes we do but I think it’s going to take a bit more than that!!”. At that point he realized he had the bottle in his hand, laughed and said “head over behind bay #24 and we will get right on it”. That was perfect because I hadn’t even turned off the engine yet.
After dropping it off we headed to the customer lounge and just kicked back, all we could do then was wait. But things were certainly looking up as far as us being able to get out on Saturday which was much better than we had figured when we rolled in a week earlier. To be honest we expected to be there 1 ½ to 2 weeks.
While waiting I made another trip over to the parts store that Tiffin has on site to pick up another item I realized we needed, this was the 3rd trip to the parts store during our visit and every time I go there it just meant more money spent LOL.
Actually having the parts store there is great because so many items you just can’t find any ol place while traveling so we picked up some extra latches for our refer that seem to go bad way too fast, a vent for our ceiling duct, 2 gutter extensions, a new handle for our grey tank valve and 2 new windshield wiper replacements. All good stuff.
Speaking of the parts store, during one of our shopping sprees as I was studying almost everything on every shelf I heard someone say “Dave? Diane?”, when I looked up it was Jeanne and Charlie, fellow Tiffin owners and bloggers that we meet a couple years ago in Quartzsite Arizona. It’s such a small world.
We had a nice chat in the middle of the isle before saying our “see ya down the roads” and parted with intentions of getting together for a beer or something while we were all in town but it just never happen unfortunately. With a little luck we will bump into each other again soon and we will make it happen. Oh, you can find their blog on the sidebar of our blog under “Blogs we follow”. It’s called Road Trippin’, Watkins Style.
By this time Diane and I decided it was time for a walk to check on the coach and by the time we got there they were just finishing up. So we hung around until they were done and then we were escorted to the office to settled up and get cleared for departure, YIPEEE!!! All said and done we were only out of pocket $283 so not bad with all the stuff we had fixed.
About this time we realized that we were going to be leaving the following morning and we didn’t really have a route set in stone nor did we have any reservations for a place to land once we did leave LOL!! Again not our normal routine. But a fellow on the Tiffin Forum did tell us a route that he likes to drive when coming through this area so we figured we would give it a shot so we were not overly stressed about anything. Oh, we did know we wanted to head up to Junction City Kansas.
But first things first, we have friends that were in Red Bay waiting for their new motorhome to be fished being built and we wanted to at least get together for a visit of some sort. And because both them and us have had a pretty busy schedule over the last week we decided to meet at the Mason Jar Restaurant for dinner Friday night.
We met Kathy and Mike the first time in Quartzite Arizona boondocking in the middle of the desert at a Tiffin Gathering in January of 2015. It seemed they were following our blog before ever going fulltime so it was great to meet them and we have been following there blog ever since as well. And we hooked up again while camping at Valley of the Rogue State Park in southern Oregon in May of 2015 and have not seen them in person since so it was great meeting up again. The only bummer is we didn’t think about getting any pictures!!! Dang it!!!
A link to Mike & Katy’s blog can be found on the sidebar of our blog under “Blogs we follow” and is called “Life Rebooted”. They have had some great adventures so there blog is a good read,
After dinner we said our “see ya down the roads” and went our separate ways. Until next time Mike & Kathy!!! Good luck with the new rig.
After dinner we headed home to solidify some sort of plan for our departure the next morning before going to bed with intentions of getting a somewhat early start once again.
That sums up our fast and furious side trip to Red Bay. We are a little behind on the blog at this point and we have covered over 700 miles since doing this update but we will get up to speed soon.
Saturday Morning we were up and ready to roll about 7:30 with a long day planned. We planned to make it to Junction City Kansas on Sunday so we could take a tour of the New Horizon’s 5th wheel plant so come on back to see how that all turned out.