October 26, 2013 Lorraine’s report
Howdy folks, yes it's time to write the blog. It's Saturday afternoon, and we are happy to be spending time at the rig. It has been a busy week here and we are enjoying a quiet day home.
So this week has been busy; Chuck has talked to a lot of people and has taken care of getting the rig worked on. Lots of work has been done on the rig, and we will have more still to be done. Hopefully, it will all end this week??
Last Sunday was another quiet day at home. Chuck worked on a few things and I took it easy. Dinner was roast beef with gravy and potatoes.
Monday found us going to the carpet store and picking out the replacement for the carpets. Charles and Trevor said they would do installation for us, so we were off. We could do anything, but no Berber when doing the carpets. It is hard to install and it ravels really badly if pulled they told us.
Tuesday I got my hair done. I'm letting it go to it's natural color; that means in time, it will all be gray. That is IF I can let it go and not color it any time soon. Ann here in Red Bay has done my hair before, and I wanted to see if it will be like my Mom's hair. She had all white hair and it was really pretty. I hope it looks like hers did, it was a nice color.
Chuck did stuff around the coach, and Trevor ripped out the kitchen carpet to start the replacement under the kitchen table.
Wednesday, Chuck found a new microwave, like the one that gave up on me last year, and he installed it for me. I really liked the old microwave that came with the rig, and wanted one like I had before it gave up the ghost.
We took the rig over about 3 pm to Trevor's and he and Charles started and finished the carpet in the bedroom. We were there until 10 pm. It was a very long day for me, but I love the new carpet. Trevor made us a big runner that we put down the center of our walk way, and I really like the look. He also made a piece of carpet for under my kitchen sink.
While we were at Trevor's, we got a call from Tiffin for us to go into Bay 32 at 7 am. So we got home to this spot at 10:15 pm and had to be up and over to Bay 32 at 6:50 am. They had 2 guys that worked in Express that would work on our rig. Not much leeway, but it needed to be done. Sure made for two very long days for us.
So Thursday we were up and over to Tiffin to see what they could get done in 3 hours, but we were there longer. They worked on our rear driver's slide, the dishwasher, checked all seals, and they were good.
When we got home, we went into Russellville to the WM. We were going to get a new TV for the back bedroom, but they were sold out and the next nearest town was down the road a bit, so we let that go. We ate at Speedy Pigs, a BBQ; it was okay, not great, but not bad.
Friday, Chuck and Charles worked on the deflector they had been working on. As I said before, we had a bit of work to be done.
Today, Charles and Trevor showed up here about 2ish and finished the microwave. So, we've had the microwave replaced, fixed the slide in the bedroom, replaced the carpets, replaced all the lighting with LED's, got a new wind deflector, a new kitchen sink drain, new stove burners, a new fog light, new florescent lighting under the 4 cabinets, fixed the kitchen chairs, new wood pieces above the valances on the driver's side, as well as cutting down on of the valances and the dishwasher adjusted, as well as all the little things Chuck has taken care of by himself.
We still need to have done: the wet bay, HWH hose replacement, rear slide roller replacement, and paint issues which need to be taken care of at Bruce Deaton's. These still require us to be on two list's at the very least, besides Bruce's. It could be worse, but thankfully, we are getting it all taken care of. Since we don't get back here, very often we had a bit of a list we needed to do.
So, this week Jag & Bev, Doug & Nada, and Mark & Chris are coming, We hope we are once again, On the Road, but who knows?!
This past week the guys that work in the office at Tiffin said 170 people came in to the service area to be worked on. Watching the rigs from across the street where we are, you can see everything that's happening. Several days they were putting rigs here, and all over, even as far away as 100 miles. I don't think we could have picked a worse week than the one we did!! But, that's how it goes. Until next time,
Hugs to all...
10/26/13 Chuck’s report
Yes, we are into our week here in Tiffin Mecca, Red Bay, along with over 150 others Tiffin owners. We are all here for the same reason, getting work, repairs and changes done to our coaches. This place is overfull, they set a record last week with the number of folks checking in, almost 170 coaches. They only have 96 full hookup sites, about 15 electric only and 30 dry camp sites. Of course, not all the folks who were here the previous week are finished so that really created a hardship for some of the new arrivals The gal at the front desk told us there were some folks who had to go over 100 miles away to find a campground with any open sites.
They told us this is the prime time for snowbirds heading South, I would have thought it would have been after Thanksgiving. They said it is already getting cold by then so a lot of folks want to be South before the cold weather sets in, sounds like a good idea to me. I don’t think I will be back here in mid to late October again, I’ve learned my lesson.
Last Sunday the place we are staying is closed for business so I took the time to wash the bugs off our windshield and washed our car. We also got a deal on some new burner parts for our gas stovetop and I changed them out also.
I was surprised to receive a call from Trevor Nichols, one of the ex-Tiffin employees who now run their own shop and do repairs/changes on motorhomes. He wanted to come over and talk about our work list and see what/when he could help us with. He has a current Tiffin employee, Charles Colburn, who works for/with him afterhours and between the two of them they can do almost any repairs needed except for fiberglass and paint. We agreed to have him do some of the items on our list and as he was leaving he said he had to finish up changing out a carpet for a different customer. Wait a minute, you change carpeting too, we asked? So we moved that from our maybe list to our lets do it list.
We just hung around the rest of day, I accomplished a couple of other items and Lorraine made a good beef roast for dinner, yum. But we have got a plan now to get some of our work accomplished.
Monday we went over to McKinney's, a place that has lots of new and used Tiffin parts in his warehouses. We we looking for a new microwave, parts for our sleep comfort bed and parts for our front door lock assembly. We got prices from them and compared them to new prices at the Tiffin store and decided to only get the foam insert pieces for the bed as their prices weren’t good on other items we were looking at.
Just for example, we found we could purchase a new replacement microwave at the Tiffin store for $375, a used one from McKinney for $325 but without any guarantee except if it didn’t work we could replace it with a different one until we got one that worked fine. We also checked in the scratch and dent place and they had about 8 of them that had been removed, repaired and were only $150 with a full guarantee. It wasn’t a tough decision for us, we went with the repaired one with full factory guarantee but didn’t pick it up yet.
We also went to the carpet store here in town to pick out the carpet Lorraine wanted installed. We only had a short list to choose from because Trevor said not to pick out a Berber type as they aren’t good in a motorhome.
After we got back to the rig, I removed the stuff from the front of the driver’s slide area so Trevor could remove the carpet. He had already picked up the carpet from the store and needed the front piece for a template to make the new one with binding along the edge. It wasn’t too long before he came over and pulled up the old piece and headed back to his shop. He also took our our kitchen chairs with him to tighten them, he said the original ones were all built with screws that were too short and causes them to be loose over time.
Lorraine and I then removed all the stuff we store under the bed and put it in our car so when they got ready to do the carpeting in there we would be ready. We also had found a new pillow top cover for our select comfort mattress to go along with the new foam pieces we bought so we tore the bed apart and installed all the new stuff and reset the air pressure for each side.
We were ready for dinner after all this so we headed out to one of the local restaurants in town then called it a day. We had kept the old mattress top just in case we didn’t like the new pillow top but we both slept really well that night, maybe from all the running around and work we had done, I don’t know, but we put the old one in the dumpster the next morning.
Tuesday Lorraine had an appointment at the salon to get her hair done. I returned to the store and got a few parts I needed. While she was there I was able to replace the broken fog light on the front and also replaced the wiper washer hoses. I then tore all the drain lines out from under the kitchen double sinks, the catch basins inside the sinks were tarnished and we couldn’t get the shine back again. Of course, I had to make a trip to the hardware store for parts, it never fails; whenever I work on plumbing, I can count on at least one trip to the hardware store.
Later Trevor came back to install the carpeting in the driver’s slide and we put desk back in place over the new carpet. He also had the new LED lights we ordered to replace the fluorescents lights under the cabinets in the kitchen and bedroom. And he brought back our kitchen chairs, they are now solid once again. After he left, I put the stuff I keep around the desk back in place, we’re really getting some things done now.
Wednesday morning I headed over to pick up our new microwave. I didn’t have too much problem removing the old one and installed the backing plate for the new one. I couldn’t seem to get the new one aligned properly because I had to hold it with one hand and attempt to put the screws in with the other so I asked the guy parked next to us for help. Even with both of us working on it, we couldn’t get the long holding bolts aligned and started. Later Trevor and Charles stopped by to see if we were ready to go to his shop for the bedroom carpet and Charles gave the microwave a try. Darn if he didn’t get it aligned on his first try, he said he had done lots of them; I sure didn’t see what magic he used but that must have been what it was.
We got the rig ready for travel and headed across town to Trevor’s shop. We got there about 2:30 and he and I started by tearing the bed frame apart then he started removing a section of the carpet. We were unable to get the biggest piece of the bedframe out the door so I worked on removing the carpeting from it in the front of the coach, boy do they use lots and lots of staples when they install the new carpet.
Soon Charles got off work and come over to help, he started by removing the hardest section, the part on the step over the motor. I was still working on removing the old from the bedframe, lots of staples. By now, Trevor had cut the new piece for the part he was working on so he installed it. It was about this time that I got a call from the Tiffin service center telling us we were on the schedule to get into a repair bay at 6:50 the next morning.
Charles then cut and installed the new piece on the step, I was still removing the old from the bedframe, lots of staples. Trevor pulled out the curved section around the tile and I was able to help him a bit before they took time out for dinner. I continued removing the old from the bedframe, lots of staples.
After diner they finished up installing all the new carpet in the room and on the now clean bedframe. We then installed the bedframe and put the mattress and stuff back together. By the time we got back site it was 9:30 and we had to back in our site in the dark. With Lorraine guiding, we managed to get back into the same area, the boards under the jacks didn’t even have to be moved.
We made up the bed, finished cleaning up and got things ready for our trip to the repair bay in the morning, we knew it would be a short night. But next morning at 6:49 we were in front of the bay door, ready when they were.
Now the express repair bay we were assigned to are only for three hours of work, we knew we would be done before noon. But they had some problems while working on our slide out, it didn’t close correctly. They worked on it for about 90 minutes before their boss finally figured out the wall of the coach had a bow to it and it needed to be straightened and braced. The two techs worked on this for over 4 hours, took a lunch break and continued working on it for another 3 hours. When they were finished, the slide now closes but it is misaligned, the paint stripes don’t match up on the rear of the slide. I didn’t notice this until left the service area and got back to our site. By then the service center was closed, I need to return and see what they can do about this on Monday, hope it doesn’t turn out to be a big repair.
After we finished setting up the coach, we decided to head to Wal-Mart to see what they had for a replacement TV for the bedroom, we are thinking about changing it out while we are here. But they didn’t have the one we wanted in stock so we left without getting a replacement TV. We are still debating on whether or not we are going to replace it.
While in Russellville, we headed over to the Speedy Pig BBQ place for dinner. By now we have worked on the coach for 16 of the last 24 hours and we were getting tired. After we got back to our rig, we were ready to just veg out until bedtime.
Friday morning Charles came by and changed out the wind deflector on the front door. This is a plastic piece that was broken in a couple of places and was getting pretty brittle. I thought the whole door had to come out but he showed me how they replace it without that much effort. I think I could do this next time it come ups but it’s always easier to watch someone than it is to actually do it.
Lorraine found a bit of water under the kitchen sink, the work I had done on it the other day needed to be redone, correctly this time. And after two more trips to the hardware store, I think I’ve got it this time.
Later Lorraine and I headed out to explore the area a bit. There is a Smithsonian Museum exhibit here in town and today was the last day. We went to the library first and saw the quilt exhibit going there then walked over to the Smithsonian. It was about working in the US over the past 200 year or so, showing the changes in machinery and technology. It wasn’t up to the Smithsonian standards we saw in the museums in Washington DC., this one was mostly just pictures with headings and such. I guess it will be going to 6 different towns here in Alabama; Red Bay was its first stop.
They also had a display about famous folks from Alabama. I guess the most famous from the area is Tammy Wynette, the country singer. She went to school just a little ways away but calls Red Bay home. She has returned to live in the area a couple of times and still comes by to take part in parades and such. And there were a lot of band that made records and such in Muscle Shoals, Lorraine took a picture and I’ll probably add it later on in this blog. Click on the picture to expand and maybe you can read their names.
Later we drove over to Belmont, Mississippi. One of the other owners told us about a good Mexican restaurant there and suggested we try it for lunch, it was good and not too expensive. And we found the gas prices in Mississippi was about $0.20 cheaper than in Alabama too, ONLY $3.09. I can remember pumping gas as a teenager for $0.17/gallon during a price war at the time and that included all taxes. Guess that really shows my age.
Trevor and Charles came by again that evening to get some measurements for a the wood trim that goes around our new microwave and a couple of new wood pieces we wanted installed on the driver’s side slide out walls where the wallpaper has pulled off the wall. I asked them their opinion about the work done on the slide and they agreed it wasn’t a good job and needed to be redone. Shoot, that mean I will probably have to get on another list in order to get back into a repair bay.
Saturday I changed out a couple of burned out light bulbs on the coach tail lights. One of the bulbs was broken and really gave me a fit getting it one out but I finally got it and only cut myself once. Just about the time I finished, along came Trevor and Charles with the wood trim for the microwave and the front slide. After a quick trip back to the shop, they managed to get everything finished for us, unless we change out the bedroom TV that is. We thanked them for their excellent work and will spread their names when we talk with folks that need work done here in Red Bay.
Now all that we have left to do is bring our coach to the paint shop place on Monday afternoon so he can store it overnight so it’s good and dry when he starts work on Tuesday morning at 6:00. We can stay overnight in the coach inside his shop but it’s a paint bay and smells like it. We decided to get a hotel room for the night instead, in Fulton, Mississippi.
We also are on the list for the weld shop to replace a HWH jack hydraulic line that is routed too close to the engine muffler and another list to get the floor of our wet bay replaced. And after I talk to them about the issues on our last repair, we’ll probably get on another list. So the best we can probably hope for is to get out of here next Friday, another week here in Red Bay. Oh well, we have to be somewhere I guess and I can’t control Tiffin’s schedule either so here we’ll be.
The weather this week has been a mixed bag but at least it hasn’t rained. We had a bit of wind a couple evenings, nothing bad but with the cooler temperatures it was cold enough for a jacket. We had two nights with a slight freeze and last night it got down into the high 20s, now that’s cold for us. The guy parked next to us is from Florida and he has a jacket on even during the day when the temperatures have been in the upper 60s and when I kid him he just says, “I’m a Florida boy”. But the temperature today has gotten into the mid 60s and the forecast is for warmer temperatures, just a bit below normal of 70 daytime and low 60’s at night.
We don’t really have any travel plans for this week, just a slight hope to be on the road by the end of the week. We have a month to travel from here to California so we don’t plan on having long travel days and not too many in a row either. Just a nice, relaxing, 2300 mile trip across the country.
Now to add a few pictures, we didn’t explore much so I don’t have many to go through.
Sunset in Red Bay.
A tree with lots of color and of course an Alabama cotton field.
Changing the carpet in the bedroom of our coach. First, Trevor tears everything out.
Remove all the old carpet, bare floors.
Charles installing the carpet on the step over the motor.
Finished installation, the step over the motor and the area in front of the cabinets.
Had enough carpet left over for a nice floor runner that Misty likes.
Added wood to the ends of the driver’s side slide - -
to hang Lorraine’s knick knacks.
Some of the quilts at the quilt show in the town library.
Tammy Wynette display and a dress of hers.
The Smithsonian Display in town had a picture of Ketchikan, Alaska, where Lorraine was raised.
Info about the country band, Alabama, and some of the artists who have recorded in nearby Muscle Shoals.