Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Great Visit to Tiffin

We’re getting ready to leave Red Bay tomorrow, after about 2 1/2 weeks, with everything accomplished that we came to do, including a few things we didn’t plan. But that’s a good thing!

First, we cleaned out the cupboard below our TV and had an electric fireplace installed. It provides a soft, cozy, quiet warmth to the room and uses very little power. Plus, it’s nice to look at. There was a fireplace in my 5th wheel, and I’ve missed it since I moved to a motor home. I know we’ll especially enjoy the fireplace when colder temps (like last weekend) catch up with us.


I think Don likes it!


This is the second time to spend my birthday (yesterday) in Red Bay. The first time was 3 years ago. We had a much shorter waiting period this trip, and were able to spend time with friends Jack Allen and Nell Dahl and her delightful 93 year old mom Blondie.


Jack and Nell both took RV Driving School lessons from me while they were here, after having some minor mishaps with their previous coach. We wish them the best with their shiny, new Allegro Bus with its special paint theme, and hope they have many safe, happy years in their future RV travels.


We had a pretty short list of repairs this time and were able to get everything finished in less than 2 hrs. in the Express Bay. Since our coach is almost 3 years old and out of warranty, we knew the repairs would be on our nickel. But the total bill was only $300, and half of that was for a new headlight to replace one that developed a moisture leak. We are happy campers!

Note to Jan & Bill Mains: We finally have the rear clearance lights working; it’s safe to follow us again!

We were also here for some upgrades, in addition to the fireplace:

- Roof paint/seal to eliminate oxidation and white streaks down the sides of the coach.

- Exterior wash/wax and interior detailing.

- Repair a few door dings and re-paint the entire car. “Carrie” is now beautiful again after her face lift and, with her 90K service completed recently, we expect she will serve us well for many more years.


We had a few surprises during our visit. The first one happened when Don plugged the motor home into electricity at the body shop. A loud noise announced that the transfer switch had gone bad. Darn! This was the second time on this coach. A few chats with the right people led Don to D. Ray in the Tiffin Service Center. As soon as we entered his office, D. Ray said he had a technician already assigned to come over and replace the switch and it would be covered by Tiffin. He said he’s sorry we had to replace it twice on a 2012 and we didn’t even need to return for paperwork! What a great company – we’re so glad we own a Tiffin!

The second surprise was when I pointed out to Daniel McKinney (body shop owner) a crack near the opening for the water heater.


The cracking was from the previous job of replacing the tankless water heater in May 2013. Daniel called for an inspection by a Tiffin rep, and quickly got permission to fix the problem with Tiffin covering the charge. Here’s the finished job, with the fiberglass restored,  in the process of repainting the area.


We made sure to visit with Bob Tiffin in his office, to thank him for the good service, and he said he’ll see us at the Tampa RV Show in January where we’ll be helping with the Escapees booth.

The only downside of this stay in Red Bay was that we had to spend a night in a hotel while the motor home got the roof painted. We’re so spoiled, with our DirecTV DVR, Starbucks coffee, memory foam bed, comfy chairs, etc. And we’re not used to an air conditioner blowing directly on the side of the bed, so it wasn’t a very comfortable night. But we found a good Louisiana style restaurant in the historic downtown area of Tuscumbia for lunch, and later a good steakhouse for dinner. We had a good chuckle when our GPS called the town “Too Scumbia.” We had planned to tour the Alabama Music Hall of Fame but it was closed that day.

Another friend encounter happened when we were driving through the service campground and Don saw a man who looked familiar. He said, “That looks like Lawrence Johnson.” Indeed, it was! He’s a Solo RVer friend that we haven’t seen for several years, so we enjoyed chatting over dinner with him a couple of times. Sorry, I didn’t get any pictures.

Overall, this has been a fruitful and satisfying detour along our east coast southward travels. Now we’ll be returning to the coast, starting with Savannah, Georgia. So watch for more travel reports to follow.