Sunday, March 28, 2010

We’re in Huntsville, Alabama


Saturday, March 27, 2010                                                                                                 Lorraine’s Report

We left Red Bay today! I didn’t think we would ever get out of there, but we are here in Huntsville, AL at the Space Center RV Park. We left Camp Red Bay around 10:30 and arrived here around 1. We had been there since March 1st when we went there before it snowed on the 2nd of March. It has been cold, wet, windy and not very nice while we were there. The trees and flowers are just starting to blossom. We saw a few daffodils on the drive over and the white flowering trees are just beautiful. It is finally starting to be spring here.

Today is the first day since I got ill on March 7th that I feel a bit better; it sure has been a long haul getting over that bad bacteria I had in my system, then this awful cold. Now if Chuck would get over the cough and cold he picked up from me, then we would be doing great.

This week has been pretty quiet for us. Last Sunday we went to the only open grocery store in town to get fresh fruit and stock up since we would be without the car until Wednesday. Rick, our son, called in the afternoon, cheering up my gloomy mood; then Susy, our daughter called making it even better. Thank you both for the calls, they made my day.

Monday morning Chuck took the car in to have the front end painted so the diamond shield could be replaced. They would keep the car until 4 pm on Wednesday. We then packed the coach and went into Bay 9 to have the window replaced. They finished up by 10:30 and we waited for a call to see if we could bring the coach into Bay Diesel to have the oil, antifreeze and filters changed. They finally called back after 1:15 and said no. We unpacked the coach/set up and watched TV, since it had snowed, was cold and wet outside.

Tuesday we had to bring the coach back to the shop to have the diamond shield put back on the front end. They finished by 11 am and we then took the coach out to Bay Diesel to have all the fluids and engine checked. They replaced the antifreeze that spilled out when the hose broke in Alaska last summer, as well as the oil and filters. They also found a crack in the exhaust manifold, that will have to be fixed in Birmingham, AL, since the engine is still under warranty. That day was a nice, almost warm enough to go without a sweater day. I sat out on the porch at Bay Diesel, just enjoying the sun.

By Wednesday, Chuck’s cough and cold was getting worse. We spent the morning home, since we didn’t have a car. We went into the main office and settled up our Tiffin bill, the cheapest bill so far. Chuck then made plans to meet up with our good friends, Dave and Sandy from Minneapolis, MN here in Huntsville.

They brought the car back to us around 4 pm. I was so happy to have wheels again; we needed to go to the drug store for meds for Chuck.

Thursday found Chuck coughing hard from his heavy cold, he was very ill. He put himself on the Z-pack medicine we picked up in Mexico. I went into Russellville to Walmart for supplies. Chuck stayed home and rested, since he hadn’t been able to sleep from all his coughing at night.

I came home just before the big thunder/lightening/wind storm that dumped a bunch of rain in a very short time. I guess Rod, the camp host, had gone around the campground telling people to pull their slides in. We didn’t get that message until after the big storm had passed. That storm brought two tornados that touched down farther east of Red Bay, plus hail and heavy winds and rain. We were sure lucky here!

We watched two new movies I had picked up at Walmart. It was a very pleasant evening.

Friday was a quiet morning home. I ran errands, then Chuck and I went to pay our camping bill for here. Marcia gave us credit for two days we spent at the hotel in Russellville when the coach was in the paint shop. Chuck took the car in to have the diamond shield put back on, but Igor called and Chuck had to take it over to the paint shop to have some rough spots buffed out, then back to Igor.

While he was gone, the TV guy came in and worked on our set. It turns out we need to take the new receiver we just bought back to Best Buy and get a new one. The one we have is not working well, and needed to be replaced, at least that’s what the tech said.

We just came home from a wonderful dinner with Dave/Sandy who came up here to visit with us, before heading home to Minneapolis. We hope to go to the Space Center with them, which is the number one tourist attraction here in Alabama. Then who knows what we will do. It sure feels great to see such nice friends again. Thank you guys for coming out of your way to see us, we appreciate it!

That’s it for me….Until next time…..Lorraine

3/28/10                                                                                                                                 Chuck’s report

Perhaps a better title to this post would be “Who cares where we are now, at least we are out of Red Bay!”  Now don’t get thinking we don’t enjoy our visits to Red Bay but after three weeks it gets old - -FAST.  We did get all our planned work completed except for some tile work on the floor, we decided to hold that off due to timing, dust and the fact we were both fighting colds and didn’t feel like another day in the shop. 

Last week we had the front of the coach painted, it cured over the weekend before we got the new Diamond Shield film installed on Tuesday.  We had to put the car in yet a different paint shop on Monday to get its front repainted before getting new film on it.  The film on the car took a good beating on our trip to Alaska but they didn’t bat an eye, said their warranty would cover the painting and new film, good deal.  So we were without a car until Wednesday afternoon.

After getting the new DS installed on the coach, we took the coach in for our appointment at Bay Diesel for routine maintenance work and fluid changes.  We set around their waiting room for awhile then waited outside on the front porch in rocking chairs, felt good to set in the sun for awhile.  

I had been hearing a new “clicking” sound coming from the area of the side radiator, getting louder since Texas.  I couldn’t find the source so I asked the tech at Bay Diesel to look it over too.  Of course, they found it quickly, a broken exhaust manifold, oh sh--.  I asked who much that repair would cost and they said “several thousand dollars, depends on how hard it is to remove the bolts”, double oh sh--.  Then he smiled, asked how old the coach was, three years said I, he said it had a five year warranty on the engine that would cover this kind of problem.  WHEW!  He called down to the Cummins place in Birmingham, Al and made arrangements for the new manifold to be ordered and I called to set up the appointment for next week.  He could do the work there but they aren’t certified for Cummins repair and don’t do warranty work. 

Lorraine had been starting to feel a little bit better, even getting hungry once in awhile.  I, on the other hand, was getting deeper into my cold.  Tuesday I felt bad but good enough I could drive the coach into the shop and over to Bay Diesel but on Wednesday and Thursday I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.  I asked them to deliver the car from the paint shop on Wednesday and Lorraine left me home while she went into Russellville for some shopping on Thursday.  I was coughing so bad that I couldn’t lay in bed so I set up in a chair for two nights and medicated up much more than I like.  I think I’m on the mend now but just can’t shake this cough, maybe I should take a laxative to see if that old joke works. 

Wednesday I also talked with our good friend Dave to see what his itinerary would be for this week.  He and Sandy were in Savannah, Georgia and would start heading for home in Minnesota on Saturday.  We worked out a deal where we would meet in here in Huntsville on Saturday and leave on Tuesday. 

Friday I took the car to the Diamond Shield installer, of course he found some issues with the paint job that would require some rework.  I drove the car over to the shop, talked to the owner and they got right to work on it.  They sanded and buffed out all the spots, don’t know why they didn’t do that in the first place.  But at least I did get our headlight lenses buffed out, they took a beating on our Alaska trip too but look like new once again.  After that, we got the new film installed on the car and we were finished with all our work in Red Bay.  Or so I thought, ha. 

We bought a new Direct TV receiver and a new TV for the front of our coach and both were in place and working.  Only problem was we couldn’t get the satellite remote to work very well, very sporadic at best.  I asked one of the techs if he could take a look at it if he could find the time.  Well, he came over and checked it out while I was at the paint shop and after troubleshooting it for awhile, figured we had a problem with the new receiver “eye”.  So we need to return this one to Best Buy and get a new one this week, at least they have a 30 day, no question return policy we will get to check out. 

Saturday we got ready to leave and get back on the road again.  Both Lorraine and I commented about how good it felt to be back on the road.  We only had a couple hour drive to our campground at the Space Center here in Huntsville.  Dave/Sandy pulled in about 5:00, they had a big detour that took them quite a ways out of their planned route plus they gained an hour by coming into the Central Time Zone.    It sure was good to see our good friends once again, we first met them in Red Bay three years ago and have seen them a few time across the country since.

We visited with them for awhile before heading out to dinner where we had a good time catching up on their adventures this winter.  They left their home in Minnesota after Thanksgiving, later than planned but due to some family illness issues and spent the winter in Florida, where they had the coldest winter for the last 20 years or so.  Still, they agreed they liked the plan to sit for while in the winter, rather than move often.

The weather here has been very unsettled this week, hell, all winter for that matter.  We had a bit of snow on Monday, nice weather on Tuesday and Wednesday, a big thunder, lightening  and rain storm on Thursday, rain and cool temperatures on Friday with the sun breaking out in the afternoon.  Saturday morning when I got up, there was ice on the car windows but once the sun came out it warmed up nicely, got into the high 60s.  The forecast was for another rain storm with winds came about last night but this morning it was nice and sunny again.  Now we are back under another storm, just a bit of thunder and some rain.  I guess it is Spring but I thought we left the windy, stormy days behind back in Bellingham but they’ve been having record high temperatures with lots of nice, sunny days.  Global warming, anyone???

Our current plans are to play tourist here today and tomorrow, leave for Birmingham on Tuesday for our appointment on Wednesday.  After that we have a week before Lorraine leaves for our grand daughter’s birthday in California.  She will be flying out of Nashville on the 7th so we have to be in that area by the 6th, just not sure where we will be spending that week yet. 

I do have a few pictures to post, not many though.  Lorraine took a few on our trip out of Red Bay and some with Dave/Sandy last night so I will post some of them. 

Banners on lamp posts in Red Bay, a statue in someone’s yard in Red Bay, never did get the story behind it.

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Spring is showing in these flowering trees.

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The first pictures of the Space Center.

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Dave/Sandy’s rig, Sandy, Lorraine and Dave at the restaurant on Saturday night. 

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So with that, I’ll wish you a good day - - - until next time.

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We’re into our third week at Red Bay


Sunday, March 21, 2010                                                                                                   Lorraine’s report

It’s another wet, cold gray day here in Red Bay Alabama. I sure wish they were done with our rig so we could get out of here, but it looks like we will be here for the better part of this next week. We have had the sun come out two days this week and it even warmed up to the high 60’s.

I also wish I was feeling better, since it’s been two weeks since I got ill. I had a call on Wednesday from the Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner. She called me back with test results taken the previous week. It turned out my stomach problems were the result of a bacteria in my system, probably picked up at a salad bar someplace. At least that’s what she said. She ordered a round of strong antibiotics which I am still taking. She also prescribed a strong cough syrup for the cold I picked up in her office. I’m hoping this week I will start feeling better; Chuck too. He’s picked up the cold from me.

We spent Monday in Bruce Deaton's paint shop. Bruce did a great job on the coach. The rest of the week we were here at the campground, waiting to go into bay 9 for Chuck’s short list of stuff to be done.

We made it into bay 9 on Friday at 7:15 and were out of there by 10 am or so. We still are waiting for the window; it was suppose to be ordered, but it was lost or not ordered, any how it’s still not installed.

Chuck washed the rig since it was sunny that day. Then we had a call around 12:15 from the paint shop to bring the rig into bay 20 for painting. The young man completed painting the front end that afternoon.

On the up side, we visited with Barb/Pat before they left and also Bill/Michele from Spokane, WA before they left yesterday. Safe travels to all of you.

We still need the diamond shield installed on the rig and they need to repaint the car’s front end and install the diamond shield on it; also the window.

I hope this finds everyone healthy……until next time…..Lorraine

3/21/10                                                                                                                     Chuck’s report

It was a slow week for us as far as getting much work done on the coach.   We were here two years ago and had to adjust to Alabama work speed and and gain an understand of the scheduling here at Tiffin’s repair shop.  We had to readjust once again for this visit but Tiffin’s scheduling could sure use some help, it gets exasperating at times.

Lorraine seems to have almost gotten over her stomach bug thing but caught a cold while in the doctor’s office.  It took awhile but now I have a cold too so neither of us feels like doing much this weekend.  The weather on Thursday and Friday was nice but it clouded over and the wind picked up yesterday.  It started raining last night and continues though today which keeps us inside too.  Oh well, into each life some rain must fall - - - -

Back on Thursday, March 4th we were in Tiffin’s repair shop in bay #9 and the tech was able to get some of our work list completed.  Usually, they want you to continue with your tech until your list is complete but we had made prior appointments with Brannon Hutcheson, an ex-Tiffin employee who started his own repair shop and at Bruce Deaton’s paint shop.  They agreed to let us continue work at bay #9 when we finished with the other places, we would just have to wait until he was available. 

So from Friday the 5th thru this Monday, the 15th, we were at, or waiting for, different shops for repairs.  Our tech here worked on different coaches until we were ready to return.  Monday we finished up at Bruce’s paint shop, he had completed all our fiberglass repairs, sanded, painted, re-caulked as needed and still was under our insurance deductable.  Of course, most of the work was warranty work and Tiffin will pay for that but still we were satisfied both with his work and his price. 

After getting back to the campground I walked over to let the tech know we were ready when they were.  The Tech said he had to finish with the coach he was working on first but we would be next, maybe as early as Tuesday afternoon.  Well, that stretched into maybe Wednesday morning, then Wednesday afternoon, then possibly Thursday morning then hopefully Thursday afternoon.  Like I said, we had to get readjusted to Tiffin’s scheduling. 

The tech was apologetic, seems the owners added a few items and he had more work on some items than he thought but we were still in a holding pattern.  Finally, when he came over to our coach on Thursday Lorraine told him how unsatisfied we were over this (lack of) scheduling and asked if we could get into a different bay or something.   Amazingly, a couple of hours later  we were told to report to Bay 9 on Friday morning at 07:15. 

So once back in the bay on Friday, we went over the remaining items on our list.  We agreed not to do any tile or grout work but wanted our last window replaced and some basement doors realigned.  We had pre-ordered five windows for replacement a couple of weeks before our appointment but they made one wrong one and didn’t make this one.  It was re-ordered back on the 4th and was supposed to be ready for installation when we got back in the repair bay.  Well, it appears the gal who orders windows is out on pregnancy leave and the gal that was taking her place “forgot” to order it.  So the only work we had done was our basement doors realigned and we left the bay as unhappy campers.

I drove the coach over to the wash area and took out some of my frustrations on the dirt.  While I was working on it, our fiend Bill overheard someone say that our window was in??  I hurried back to the tech and yes, it had been ordered but misplaced.  I talked with the foreman and he will get us back in the first available service bay.  After I finished the wash job, we drove the coach back to our spot but didn’t set up, just in case we got called in for window replacement.

I took Misty out for a walk and when I got back Lorraine said we were to report to the paint shop ASAP.  Seems we did get on the paint shop wait list and they were able to work on us Friday afternoon.  The paint tech was able to finish all the repair/repaint needed on the front end so we could get the Diamond Shield installed on Tuesday after everything has had a change to dry and cure.  But of course they couldn’t install the window while we were in the paint shop so we missed the next opening. 

Monday evening Chris Berry, the afterhours cabinetmaker, came by to swap out our front Television.  We had a 32” that had been giving us trouble in the past and bought a 37” to replace it.  The removal and installation was fairly simply and thanks to prior training from our friend Mark, I was able to get all the wires connected.  He had to come back on Tuesday evening to finish up some cabinet work and add some trim pieces.   

Tuesday we made a quick trip to Russellville Wal-Mart for some supplies and I got another HDMI cable to hook up the DVD player to the new TV, hoping to make the wiring job cleaner and easier.  Chris showed up about dark, we pulled the TV and re-wired it and everything works.  He does very good work at a good price plus he used to work on the assembly line and understands how these coaches are made.  Once again we were pleased with his work and price. 

So now I have the 32” TV in the box and I will attempt to install it in the basement compartment later.  I have an idea of how I will mount it, will have to see how that works out when I get started.  Just one more item to add to my honey do list. 

Two years ago when we were here the first time, I had Diamond Shield installed on the front of our coach and the front of our car.  This is a heavy plastic film that is put over the paint and protects it from rock chips.  As we knew we were going to drive to Alaska, having this product installed seemed like a good idea. 

I asked the DS tech here to take a look at our coach and car and see what he thought of the DS.  Last week he took a  look at the front of our coach and found the original installation wasn’t correct and it had some damage also.  He agreed to replace it under warranty.  This week he looked at the car and agreed it was in bad shape and needed replaced also. 

Unfortunately, last week when he peeled off the DS on the coach some of the paint was damaged and needed to be repainted.  This has to be repainted at Tiffin but they will not schedule you into the paint shop until you are done with your tech in the repair bay.

On Tuesday he peeled the DS off the car and we found lots of “pock marks” in the paint.  He agreed to have the front end repainted under warranty also, only problem is we can’t get into that paint shop downtown until tomorrow (Monday) morning and they have to keep our car overnight.

So for this week, we should get our last remaining window replaced, Diamond Shield installed on the coach, the front of the car repainted and Diamond Shield installed on it after it dries and cures.  I think we may be able to leave here by Thursday, maybe Friday. 

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, just hope it isn’t a train coming our way.  Two years ago when we had the DS first installed, they damaged the paint twice and we had to have the front end repainted and waited until it was dry and cured each time.  They have a different tech doing this work now, sure hope we don’t have a re-occurrence like last time. 

So for now our plans are to finish up here at Red Bay then head to Huntsville for a few day.  Our grand daughter’s 5th birthday is coming up the middle of next month.  She has already been calling Nana to make sure she remembers and will be there.  Lorraine is flying out to California from Nashville and I will stay with the coach while she’s gone.  We have reservations to stay at Natchez Trace 1000 Trails, maybe I’ll get some of my honey do list completed while I’m waiting for her to return. 

So that was our week.  I don’t have many pictures but will add a few. 

Not a good picture but that’s Barb/Pat and Bill/Michele, they’ve left here already. 

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The coach taped off and being painted on the front end for Diamond Shield replacement. 

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So that was our week, hope you had a good one.

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Still in Red Bay


Sunday, March 14, 2010                                                                                                 Lorraine’s report

I just finished a week I wouldn’t wish on any one. Last Sunday we spent the day going to lunch with the gang at Belmont CafĂ©. We came home and finished the blog. Connie and Manuel made fajitas, red beans and rice for everyone, while Joanne brought her green chili cheese dip, and Sue and I brought dessert. We played pass the love; I think Mark was the winner.

That afternoon was the last time I felt good for the next week. I’ve spent the week in bed, sleeping, being ill. Chuck kept our appointments with the various workers here in Red Bay. He moved us into a motel in Russellville when they had to keep the coach for two nights in the paint shop at Bruce Deaton’s. He’s taken me to an Urgent Care, where there was just a nurse practitioner and to the ER here at Red Bay Hospital. The doctor there wrote me a prescription yesterday that helped me a lot. Hopefully I’m through this latest bout of stomach flu and will start eating again, I’m tired of Gatorade, Jell-O and toast.

In the mean time, Mark/Sue, Connie/Manuel, and Bob/Joanne were in and out getting all their work done. They all left Saturday morning, with Connie/Manuel, and Bob/Joanne going to eventually end up at Key West, FL; Mark/Sue headed home to Lake St. Charles, LA. They all enjoyed each other’s company, going out to eat, shop etc and I felt badly I couldn’t be out there with them. Next time.

We have to be here in Red Bay this week; we still have work to get done on the coach. We had one day of sunny warm weather, but I was too ill to enjoy it. Since then it’s been cold, windy, wet and just plain nasty. Kinda reminds me of Bellingham in the winter.

I want to wish Chuck’s sister, Corliss and brother-in-law, Phil a very Happy Birthday, today. We hope it’s a good day for you both.

That’s it for me….Be well……Lorraine

3/14/10                                                                                                                              Chuck’s report

Another week has gone by, this one a bit slower than the last few.  Lorraine has been sick most of the week, she went to a walk in clinic on Thursday and to the emergency room Saturday morning.  Sometimes she seemed to be on the mend then gets another round.  Sure hope she’s over it today, she hasn’t eaten much this week and doesn’t have any stamina.   She is disappointed she didn’t get to spend more time with our friends before they left but she really wasn't up to it.  

We spent two nights in a hotel in Russellville, about 30 miles away while our coach was in the paint shop.  We had an appointment with a body shop downtown, not at Tiffin’s but he does warranty work for them.  So on Wednesday we went to the shop in the morning, packed a few clothes and headed off to Russellville and the hotel.  We didn’t do much while we were there as Lorraine was pretty ill those two days.  It turned out to be a good thing we were at the hotel and didn’t have to move the coach back and forth each day as she probably couldn’t have done it. 

Friday afternoon we got the coach out of the shop and set up back at our site.  We then had our last group dinner before most of our friends left.  They had all their repairs completed and wanted to move on, can’t figure out why ,there is so-o-o much to do here in this thriving metropolis of Red Bay, Alabama.  In fact, Mark wanted out of here so bad he took our scheduled appointment at Bruce Deaton’s, had the techs at Tiffin give him one of our window replacements I had ordered and all around slowed us down so he could get ahead of us and out of here.  What a guy!!  Well, truth be told, he was able to get into the paint shop the day before our appointment and the window he got was one we didn’t need but I have to give him a bad time about it, don’t I?

So for the upcoming week we are planning on more repairs on the coach.  We are scheduled to return to Bruce’s for the final painting and buffing on Monday.   After that, I have to wait until the tech in Bay 9 gets free  (hopefully on Tuesday) and then we return there for a couple of day’s or so work.  After he is finished we wait for our turn in Tiffin’s paint shop for some paint repairs on the front end where the plastic protective shield was removed.  We had this shield installed two years ago, had a lot of trouble with the installation then and even after three tries it wasn’t installed very well.  They agreed to redo it but it will require us to stay here for probably another whole week, yea.  Sure hope we get it right this time. 

We also are changing out our front television while we are here.  We have had some problems with it in the past and we’ve already picked up the new one.  The cabinet maker is coming over on Monday afternoon/evening to redo the cabinet and install the TV.  I’m going to install the old one in the basement compartment sometime later this spring as that one has a broken cable inlet connection.  

The weather around here finally broke this week, it seems spring may have been here.  It got up to the low 70s one day but it started raining again on Saturday with a cool wind all day.  We had two good thunder and lightening storms the two nights we were in Russellville and there was some hail here in Red Bay during the storm on Thursday night.  They don’t get too many tornadoes around here but they do get some good winds, rain and hail this time of the year, guess I need to get our weather radio out and set it up. 

We are starting to talk about life after Red Bay but nothing has been finalized yet.  I did make reservations at two 1000 Trials parks, one for Memorial Day (Chesapeake Bay in Virginia) and one for Fourth of July (Hersey, Pennsylvania).  We usually don’t make reservation but for holiday weekends it’s a good idea and if we aren’t in the area, we can cancel easily.  We are considering going to Washington, DC for a couple of weeks this spring/summer but haven’t worked out any details on that portion of the trip yet.  And, we are planning on being back in Bellingham in August for our annual doctor’s visits and checkups.  Whew, makes me tired just writing about it!

So with that, I will close and add a few pictures.  I don’t have many to post as we didn’t take too many this week. 

More get-togethers with our friends, sometimes at a restaurant and sometimes in someone’s coach .

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Our coach repairs.  This is stress fractures above the entry door.

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This is manufacturing defect on the driver’s side back side, has been “repaired” twice before.

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Peeling off prior repaired paint that didn’t stick. 


Repair on the OOPS from our accident in Alaska this summer.  It took longer than expected but they did a good job.

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Stress crack on back slide cutout. 

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Our last time out with our friends, they left on Saturday morning.

The whole group out to dinner.               Mark and Sue.

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Manuel and Connie.                                Joann and Bob

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Lorraine and yours truly. 


So another week of our lives.  Until next time - - - -

Thanks  Chuck

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We’re in Red Bay, Alabama


Sunday, March 07, 2010                                                                                                Lorraine’s report

Well, we made it here to Red Bay, Alabama and have been into two shops for work on the coach already. It’s Sunday and I feel like we’ve been running forever.

We arrived here last Monday afternoon to find our friends Mark and Sue Didelot, Connie and Manuel Esparza, their friends George and Nancy Silva and Bob and Joanne Struka all here for work at the factory. We all went to Jack’s for burgers, visiting and lots of fun after we set up the rig.

Tuesday was a very cold day with snow showers and the temperature in the mid 30’s for the high for the day. I decided it was a good day to cook vegetable beef barley stew for dinner since it was so cold and windy. I called Connie and she told the rest of the people what I was doing and they would bring stuff to fill in for dinner. I got the stew going in the crock pot and Sue, Connie and I went in Sue’s car to the scratch and dent food store and into Fullton, MI to a Walmart. We got back with plenty of time to finish the stew. Ten people were here for stew, salad, desserts and Pass the Love, a good time for all.

Wednesday I woke up feeling tired. Mark and Sue came by just as I was fixing us brunch and they joined us for a late brunch. We played Pass the Love, since their coach was in a bay getting worked on. Since there was enough stew left over from the night before, Mark/Sue, Connie/Manuel and Chuck and I had leftovers for lunch.

I had called that morning over to Ann’s beauty salon for a hair appointment, and she told me to come in at 1:30. Ann had done my hair two years ago when we were here the first time we came to Red Bay, and she remembered me. She did a great job that time and again she did a great job this time; very reasonable and fast, and I like what she did.

We were on our own for dinner; afterwards, we had movie night, since I had bought two new movies the day before at Walmart. We all went to Sue/Mark’s house to watch 2012.

Thursday found us going into Bay 9 with Marion at 7 am. He and Chuck went over our list of stuff to be fixed, and then he started working. That day he changed three windows, fixed the torn wall paper, and a bunch of small stuff. We got out around three and the gang here all went to Mr. J’s for some really good pizza. We all went home early.

Friday found us going over to Vina to Brannon’s shop to have him install a new fan/vent for the microwave. He put in a new solid surface at the entry steps, removing the stained old carpet and several other small stuff we wanted done on the rig. I was very tired that whole day since I didn’t get to sleep before 12:30 and we were up at 5:30.

This is the one big gripe I have about this place. You have to be at the shop at 7 am when they open the doors to pull your rig in, then be back by 2:30ish to take your rig out, then set up again for the night, then do it all over again the next day. They work on Alabama time here.

This week will be even worse, since we will be having work done at Bruce Deaton’s place. He wants you there at 6 am, and we will probably be there four days.

Saturday, Chuck, Mark & I went into Tupelo, MI to get a new TV for the rig. We hit Best Buy, Sams’s Club, Walmart and Sears. We ended up getting a new 37” at Sam’s Club which we had to join to be able to buy. Chuck had been wanting to get me an IPod and so he bought one of those there too. We got all the wires, switches, and new Direct TV box at various places and then headed for home after eating at Mickey D’s.

Mark came over and he and Chuck started to change out wires, boxes etc. Sue had stayed home and made us all a wonderful Chicken, Sausage Gumbo with okra, rice and all the fixings. The rest of us filled in with stuff, and Joanne had ordered a beautiful Strawberry cake with strawberries/dipped in chocolate on top with cream cheese frosting; very delicious! The gals played Pass the Love, with me winning, while they guys just visited. With good food, good friends, what more can you ask for.

That was another busy week; we need to take some time off for me to rest a bit. It seems like I wake up and I’m already behind.

I want to wish my nephew, John a very Happy Belated Birthday, yesterday.

Until next time…..Lorraine


3/7/10                                                                                                                              Chuck’s Report

Another fine week has pasted, spent with friends both old and new.  We have now reached our final, planned destination for late winter with no firm plans for the rest of the spring.  I figure we will be here maybe two more weeks or so but can’t be sure as everything here is goes by “Alabama Time”.  In other words, it will get done, just not sure when.  Well, at least they don’t make many mistakes because they were in a hurry (making lemonade from lemons).

We spent last Sunday touring Vicksburg, both the town and the battlefield/museum.  As I said last week, it makes one wonder just how the world would be different had the South won that battle and probably the Civil War.  People down here in the South seem to have a more polite, gentle, friendly, laidback style to themselves and lives in general.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see that across the whole USA?

Monday we headed out towards Red Bay, part of the drive was on the Natchez Trace.  This is mostly a two lane road, no trucks or commercial vehicles are allowed and the speed limit is 50 MPH.  There aren’t any houses or businesses directly alongside the road, rather lots of trees, flowers and wildlife.  This was a very relaxing part of the trip, not like a regular highway with folks entering/exiting, passing and cutting in front of you.  We saw a couple herds of deer and one rafter of Turkeys.

Once we got to Red Bay and settled in our site, we walked over to see our friends Manuel/Connie from San Antonio and Mark/Sue from Lake Charles, La.  We stayed at Manuel/Connie’s place a few weeks back, had a great time getting to know them better and seeing the area with them.  Mark/Sue went to Alaska the same time we did this past summer, we met up with them a few times.  We have also met some friends of theirs who are here too.  George/Nancy who have their home in Coeur d’Alene, ID. and Bob/Joann who have a home in Willis, TX. All of us are here for repairs and upgrades and it just worked out that we are all here at the same time.  

As usual, when this many people get together, we eat and visit with all.  We have had everyone over to our coach once for stew and fixing, gone to Mark/Sue’s for gumbo and fixing and gone out to restaurants.  We also like to just visit, seems the guys almost always get into a teaching/learning session on our rigs.  Each of us has had different experiences and the others like to learn the techniques, solutions and outcomes to the others’ problems   And of course, the card games are almost a given!

We all own a Tiffin Motorhome, built right here in Red Bay.  Bob Tiffin, the owner, also has a large service center with a campground for folks to return here for service and repairs.  The place is really starting to get busy as the snowbirds like to stop here on their way home in the spring and on their way South in the fall.  It seems most folks also have upgrades done to their rigs while in the area too.  Some of the techs work after hours to do these, others have started their own business and do modifications and upgrades for a living.  These folks really know these motorhomes, most of them worked on the assembly line and/or in the service area before striking out on their own.  

Our appointment was for Thursday and we were ready to pull into the service bay at 07:00 as that’s when they start work.  Usually they work on your coach for as many days as needed until you are done but I already had an appointment with Brannon Hutchinson at his shop on Friday.  They agreed to work on our coach Thursday then complete our list later, after we were done at Brannon’s.

Thursday morning was a slow process with our tech, Marion, in bay 9.  We have five of the double pane windows that have developed seal leaks and have water between the glass.  I called in two weeks ago to have the new windows made and ready for us when we got here.  Well, communications on the phone aren’t the best, they had made one we didn’t didn’t need, and didn’t make one we needed.  One of them doesn’t show any sign of leakage now so they didn’t install that one, instead they gave it to Mark/Sue who needed that window replaced on their coach. 

After getting three windows replaced, the tech finally got started on our work list.  He was able to get some serious work done in the afternoon, got about 7 items completed.  We also found what may turn out to be a big issue on our basement storage compartment doors but we didn’t get into the needed repairs on them yet so don’t know what the fix will be.  That’s one good thing about returning to the factory for service, these guys know what their are doing and if they don’t, they can get someone to help how does so I’m sure it will turn out ok.

We are also getting some upgrades done while here, that’s one of the reasons we had made an appointment with Brannon.  We have a microwave in the kitchen but it wasn’t vented to the outside, just circulated air though it’s flimsy, charcoal filters.  We wanted to have it vented to the outside which, of course, required cutting a hole through the wall.  Of course, the hole has to go directly out the back of the microwave and that’s exactly where the outside light was mounted.  But after a couple of hours, we now have our microwave vented outside and the “porch light” move.  Still need a bit of body work to cover the electrical wiring hole for the light and some paint but it looks good so far. 

We also wanted to do away with the carpeting on our entry way stairs and walls.  Brannon uses solid service material (Corian), groves it so it looks like tile and glues it in place.  Our friends from Ottawa, Jag/Bev had this done on their coach, we saw it and liked it so we copied it.  Turned out very nice, Lorraine is pleased so that a good thing too.  We also had a couple of window shades that were giving us trouble repaired while there too. 

I’ve been taking advantage of some of Mark’s knowledge while here too.  He understands how to hook up audio/visual stuff and he has been re-wiring and explaining how things work.  We had to buy a new surround sound receiver, ours was giving us problems.  Mark then wired it so it works with the TV, DVD or IPOD.  We didn’t have an IPOD but it’s wired for one now.  He also put in the proper wiring for all the components for the surround sound, satellite system (Direct TV ) and the TV itself. 

A few months ago we had problems with our front TV, had to have one of the circuit boards replaced.  It appears this TV isn’t made for the rough roads and bumping a motorhome can cause.  Our plans were to replace while where in Red Bay with a bigger one.  This will require some cabinet work too but at least with Mark’s help, it will be wired correctly. 

So yesterday Lorraine, Mark and I took off to the big city of Tupelo, Mississippi, about an hour away, for some electronic comparison shopping.  We ended up buying a new Vizio TV and an IPOD from Sam’s Club.  Mark loaded up some music on the IPOD and showed us how to use it.  We like it already!  (Dave and Sandy, now we might want some of the music you have on yours)  I need to get the cabinet work completed and the TV hung this week and that job will be complete. 

For this upcoming week, we have an appointment at the body/paint shop downtown.  I didn’t have good luck with Tiffin’s body/paint shop last time we were here so I made an appointment with the shop they use for overflow.  He has a very good reputation amongst Tiffin owners plus he can do warranty work with little or no hassle.  We go into his shop, about two miles away, for 4 days, starting on Tuesday.  I’m not sure if we will get called back to bay 9 on Monday yet but they may be knocking on our door early tomorrow, we’ll see.

So the upcoming week will be more of the same, getting work done on the coach, visiting with friends, meeting new friends and of course, eating too much.  We aren’t sure when we will be done here and head on down the road or even which road we will be heading on down.  We have to start making some plans I guess but no big hurry.  Tough life, huh?

And now for some pictures from the past week. 

Vicksburg’s murals on the Mississippi waterfront.

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Vicksburg Civil War battlefield and monuments.

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Mississippi river Civil War armored ship Museum. 

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National Veteran’s Cemetery in Vicksburg.

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The bend of the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.

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Driving the Natchez Trail Parkway.  We only saw ~40 vehicles in over 200 miles.

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Red Bay city limits.   Connie, Mark, Manuel, Chuck, Sue and Lorraine.

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The whole group out for dinner. 

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Once again, eating in the coach.

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The gals playing cards.  Chuck watching while Mark works on his audio stuff. 

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A very nice mural on the back of a motorhome, probably the best eagle picture I’ve seen. 

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Richard, we saved you a piece of this, come on down!


Our stairwell, before and after.  It turned out real nice. 

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This is where our clock pulled the wallpaper loose, covered it with a piece of cherry wood, looks good and will hold the clock better next time. 


And that’s it for another week.  We had a good week, hope you did too. 

Thanks   Chuck