Saturday, October 26, 2013

We’re in Red Bay, Alabama


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.

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A tree with lots of color and of course an Alabama cotton field. 

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Changing the carpet in the bedroom of our coach.  First, Trevor tears everything out. 

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Remove all the old carpet, bare floors. 

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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. 

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Added wood to the ends of the driver’s side slide - - 


to hang Lorraine’s knick knacks. 

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Some of the quilts at the quilt show in the town library. 

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Tammy Wynette display and a dress of hers. 

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The Smithsonian Display in town had a picture of Ketchikan, Alaska, where Lorraine was raised.  

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Info about the country band, Alabama, and some of the artists who have recorded in nearby Muscle Shoals. 


That’s it.


Thanks   Chuck




Saturday, October 19, 2013

We’re in Red Bay, Alabama


October 20, 2013                                                                                                           Lorraine’s report

Hello once again.  Well, we are in Red Bay, Alabama.  Yes, we are waiting for our rig to be worked on.  There are lots of people here, and we are across the street at Detail Depot.  This place probably was a service station in  a former life.  The owner, Chris, has a barber shop, he has several people who work for him and they wash, wax and anything else that needs to be done to your rig.  From cleaning the carpets, the woodwork and windows, they do it all.  They can take care of anything you can bring to them.  We had Misty groomed the first day here; she really needed it. 

So last week we were in Hershey, PA.  We spent some time with Richard and Patsy, just catching up, we had lots to catch up on.  After a bit we all decided to go to the Cracker Barrel.  What can I say; we had horrible service-there, I've said it.  I don't think we have ever had that kind of service before.  The waitress wasn't very attentive, there was an accident, Patsy spilled Richards tea and we had to get some other waiter to take care of it. My food came after about 10 minutes after all three had gotten their food.  Richard & Chuck tired hard to speak with the manager; the check out person called for him, and after 10 minutes of so, the guys finally left.  The manager never came, and we think that is where the problem starts. 

Monday we went back to town and did the Hershey's tour.  We lucked out and got in with a group of people and we went along with the big group of them.  At the end of the tour, they gave you some candy samples.  Ours was pumpkin, with a bunch of spices in it.  It was okay, but I think I would have liked chocolate or something like that.  At the end of the tour, they directed you into the gift shop, so you could get your shopping done, it was fun, and I bet most people didn't leave without getting some kind of chocolate from Hershey's chocolate factory.

From there we went to over to the Hollywood Casino.  We played a bit, but no luck.  It was very hard to even get a bonus, 

And from there we went over to the Shady Maple Buffet.  What a buffet; it is 200 feet of your Pennsylvania Dutch good old home cooking. They were having steak; Delmonico steak, New York steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, the whole smear.  Of course, since we hadn't eaten anything for lunch, we had dinner.  It was wonderful, and when we left, we went downstairs to their gift shop.  If you needed/wanted anything from the PA Amish or like, they had it there.  I found a quilt and really liked it a lot, but until we get something more permanent, no go.

Tuesday, Chuck worked on the blinds while I cleaned, changed sheets, laundry and the like.  Then we left to go and see Richard & Patsy again.  Patsy provided lunch, then we went shopping with them.  Patsy was looking for a quilt and a rocker for her granddaughter.  We found one that fit the bill, and I think the granddaughter will love the nice gifts. 

From there we took off to go to eat with them.  They wanted to go to a place just down the road from the Shady Maple, Yoder’s Restaurant, so we went in and had a great meal, our last time to see them until next year in Quartzsite.  Thank you both for all the fun and great times we had with you.  See you next year.

Wednesday we left, starting on our way down to Red Bay, AL.  We stopped that night in Virginia.  It was a long day for us driving.  We usually travel under 4 hours, but that was a longer day for us.  We pulled in about 4;30,  set up and had a quiet dinner and TV.   1

The next day we started off, and it started raining.  We were going to go through the Smokey Mountains, but it was pretty wet so we kept going.  We decided we would pull into Red Bay some 7 to 8 hours later.  It rained the whole way here!  We still need to go through the Smokey's here sometime, not sure when. 

So Friday, we hung around Red Bay.  Chuck has called Chris Barry, Bruce Deaton and we waited until 1:30 for Norris to come and tell Chuck about our repairs on our rig.  We don't know when we will get into a bay for repairs, or even how long it will take.  We will just have to wait and see.  But then our life is still in jello.  All I know is we have to be back in the San Francisco Bay area for Thanksgiving, so we can have our little family get together with our daughter, Susy and Kaitlyn, our granddaughter. So far I have liked replacing all the bulbs for all our lights-they are fantastic!

So that's it for me....See you down the road....Hugs to all...



10/20/13                                                                                                                               Chuck’s report

We drove from Hershey, Pennsylvania through portions of the following states in two days:

Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia where we stayed overnight, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and even into Mississippi.  Not our normal travel days, that’s for sure.  But more on our travel days a bit later. 

Last Sunday we were in Hershey, PA. and after we wrote our blog we headed out to visit with Richard and Patsy at their campground in the Amish area of PA.  Richard had issues with the leveling jacks on his coach and I was able to watch him remove it from the coach so he could get it repaired in town.  It is a lot easier to get emergency repairs on something if you can bring it to the shop instead of driving the whole coach, that’s why he removed it.  Heck, we even watched a bit of football at their place too.  We had a nice visit with them and ended up going to Cracker Barrel for dinner. 

We were in this area for two weeks back in 2010 and did all the tourist stuff but Lorraine wanted to go to the Hershey candy factory again.  So Monday morning off we went, this time the weather wasn’t as hot as in July 2010 either.  We made the factory tour and went though their shopping area where we could buy all the different type Hershey chocolates and merchandising stuff we wanted.  But having been there a couple of times before, we got out of there without too much of their stuff. 

For dinner that evening we went to the Shady Maple Smorgasbord, the largest smorgasbord in the area.  They have over 200’ of buffet lines with 4 grills plus all the prepared salads/foods/deserts.  On Monday night they have their steak night and will cook to order Delmonico or New York steak plus hot dogs, hamburgers, pork chops and the like.  I can say I wasn’t hungry after we left there, and the food was good. 

Downstairs of the restaurant they have a large shopping area. Lorraine wanted to check out the Amish Quilts they have for sale there.  I think they said they have over 300 quilts on display, of course Lorraine found a few she really liked but we decided not to buy one until we get off the road and know where we will settle down. 

Tuesday Lorraine did a couple loads of laundry while I found a few items to work on too.  Then we headed out to see Richard/Patsy at their rig again.  We ran a few errands along the way, even stopping to get Lorraine more fresh lobster which they cooked in the store for her.  So that made us arrive at their place a bit later than planned, they had already eaten their lunch but Patsy fed us lunch anyway. 

Later we rode with them while they went back to a local Amish shop to pick up a quilt they had seen earlier.  Richard then drove us around the Amish area and stopped at a couple more shops too.  We all thought it might be a good idea to find a place to eat after this and Richard knew of a restaurant near the buffet we were at the night before.  Richard and Patsy both ordered off the menu but Lorraine and I decided to try their buffet. We had a good meal but the Shady Maple was fresh in our mind and it didn’t compare to them but this price was less.  

We sure had a good time with these two and sure hope to see them this winter back in Arizona.  Thanks for spending some quality time with us!  It was late when we left their place, I was a bit worried about hitting a deer while driving at night but luck was with us again, we didn’t even see one.  I have heard about all the auto/deer accidents back here but we haven’t seen too many deer alongside the road during this long trip, even dead ones. 

Our plans were to get to the Tiffin service repair center here in Red Bay on Saturday, hoping we could get a site with hookups in their campground.  That meant we should leave on Thursday but I didn’t want to push that hard so we left on Wednesday instead.  We were going to overnight in West Virginia but decided it was too early to stop so pushed on to our next planned stop in Virginia.  We got in late for us, around 5 pm or so but they didn’t mind, in fact, I bet there were over 15 more rigs that came in after we did.

We wanted to stop overnight in the Shenandoah Valley, Smoky Mountain Area for at least an overnight stay so we got an early start on Thursday.  It was cloudy and looked a bit like rain and the further South and West we headed, the more the rain threatened. 

About 50 miles or so before we got to the Valley, it started raining.  Before too long we were in a real gully washer, even had to run the windshield wipers on high for awhile.   It was raining so hard and the fog was so heavy we decided to not stop after all and head on down the road a bit more.  We had set up in heavy rain when we got to the 1000 Trails park in Hershey and didn’t want/need to do that again anytime soon. 

We had a tough driving trip through Chattanooga, way more traffic than I expected.  And with the heavy rain, it was really miserable driving.  And we saw a large number of folks on their cell phones or texting or whatever.  I think I had to use the air horns to get folks attention more in about 50 miles through there than I’ve used in any one day since we’ve been on the road.  I even had big rigs not staying in their lanes, drifting over into ours just like a large number of cars.  Maybe it’s the normal way for them but it sure made for a long trip for us. 

We didn’t want to stop in the rain so kept on pushing until it was either stop for the night or go on to Red Bay.  So that’s what we did, getting here a bit after 5 pm and that was after crossing into the central time zone.   The rain started slowing down and by the time we got into Alabama it was just heavy clouds.  By the time we drove across the state to Red Bay, the clouds were breaking up and we could see some blue skies. 

Lorraine had called and got us what ended up being the last RV site with hookups in town.  We found the place with no problems, just across the street from the Tiffin Service Center but had a bad time backing into our very tight site.  Finally Lorraine called the guy and we found were trying to park in another guys backyard, not our site.  We were supposed to get one of the two sites right in front, easy to get into, not the little tiny space we thought.  So we finally get in our site, set up and called it a day, a long day at that too. 

We were in Bar Harbor, Maine on the 7th and made it a two day trip when we stopped over at Brian/Sue’s place in Mass.  From there we had a sort of long travel day to 1000 Trails in Hershey then two long travel days to get here.  So we’ve traveled about 1500 miles in five travel days but did have two stops along the way.  Our normal travel schedule would have us taking no less than 8 travel days to go that far and maybe 2 months to explore.  We sure didn’t stop and smell the roses from Maine to Alabama and there were many areas we really wanted to explore.  I know we were tried of traveling when we got here but I also know we will be more than ready to leave after we get our repair work completed. 

Tiffin does not allow anyone to make appointments at their service/repair center, instead everyone is issued a number when they arrive and that number determines who gets into the repair bay, the lower number goes first.  We don’t have a large repair list and I want to get some of the work done “after hours” by the repair techs. 

Friday morning I gave our repair list to the gals at the desk at the service center and got our number.  They have over 100 sites there, a camp just down the road has 20 sites and this place has 6 sites.  All were full and there was over 35 folks who didn’t get a hookup site, just a place to park until someone finished up with their work and left.  A lot of folks finish up on Friday and leave on Saturday, therefore our original plan on arrive on Saturday.  With all the snowbirds in town, it can create some bottlenecks getting work done.  I sure hope Tiffin decides to build/staff a repair center in the West like some of the rumors talk about. 

They have a guy that shows up to review your work list and he sort of decides what lineup you and your paperwork will end go to.  They said he would probably show up around 10 am but when I checked in with the gals in the office they told me he was running a little late and wouldn’t see us until after lunch. 

But we did have the guy that checks all Tiffin coaches to see if they need any of “the big three” repairs.  Since ‘07, a lot of Tiffin coaches have had to have the floor replaced under the holding tanks, the driver’s side slide out floor replaced and the fiberglass roof radius replaced on both sides of the coach.  The first two are because of the plywood getting wet and rotting, the radius thing is because the fiberglass cracks, causing water leaks.  Tiffin will do these repairs under warranty for any of their coaches for up to 8 years.  That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to come here this time, we are getting close to the end of their warranty period for the big three repairs. After he checked us out, we only have the wet bay floor repair, a simple remove/replace that doesn’t require getting on another waiting list for the paint shop. 

While we were waiting for Norris to make his appearance, I went through the parts store and the “scratch and dent” store, just to see what was there and ask a couple of questions.  We probably will change out our microwave/convection oven while we are here and I wanted to see what they had available. 

After we got the word that Norris would be late we drove into town, I wanted to go to the body shop that will be doing some repairs on our coach.  Again the repairs are going to be covered under warranty.  I know lots of folks call Tiffin coaches bad names but I don’t know of any other RV manufacture who is doing these type large repairs under warranty on coaches that are 6 or 7 years old.  Of course we don’t like having repair issues but we are sure glad that most of them are still covered under warranty on our 6 year old coach. 

After talking with Chris at the body shop and giving him our information, we headed back to the coach.  I walked over to the store again and just as I was returning, Norris pulled up to our rig.  After a short review, we ended up getting in the shortest repair line and should get into a repair bay mid week.  Some folks have been here three weeks and still haven’t gotten into a bay so I don’t feel too bad about waiting just under a week. 

Lorraine and I then stopped by the electronic place that builds/supplies most of the electronics to Tiffin at their factory.  Our coach was built in ‘07 and I think it was in ‘09 that they started putting LED lights in the coaches.  We have toured some coaches that had all LED lighting and that’s one of the items Lorraine wanted on our rig.  I purchased 60 LED bulbs and spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening changing out the halogen bulbs with the new LED ones.  It is really bright in the coach now, Lorraine said it makes a big difference to her and she likes the change.  Happy wife, happy life as they say!!

I need to contact a couple of the repair techs who work “after hours” on customer’s rigs doing repairs and such.  I can work off items that are on our repair list for the repair bay and possible cut our stay here even shorter. 

For those who haven’t had the experience of visiting Red Bay, imagine a town of less than 3000 residents, the biggest employers are Tiffin Motorhome factory/repair center and the dog food factory.  People start their day real early, most places are going before 7 am during the week, the factory and repair place start at 7:00, pretty early for lots of retired folks.   

And there isn’t much to do in town, there are a couple of grocery stores, three restaurants, and the typical small town shops and stores.  The closest Wal-Mart is 25 miles away.  The town closes down about dark, you’ve heard “they roll up the sidewalks after dark?”, that pretty much describes this town.  And for those who want an adult beverage, they better bring it with them as this is a dry county, no alcohol is sold in any of the stores and for sure there isn’t a liquor store.  One of the biggest things to get used to around here is the attitude, nobody seems to be in a hurry or keep to a real strict schedule.  We had to get used to “Red Bay time” during our prior trips here so we sort of know what to expect but it still takes some getting used to. 

Yesterday we made a trip into the aforementioned Wal-Mart to pick up a few things.  When we got back to the car, it wouldn’t start, just heard a click from the starter.  I checked out the battery and found it was only showing about 8 volts, that’s strange.  So I had the tech from automotive bring out the tester and sure enough, we had a bad cell in the battery and it needed to be replaced. 

Well, because we were in their parking lot and they sell and install batteries, we bought a new one and had them install it right in their parking lot.  Lorraine walked over to a women’s store while we were getting it changed then we filled out the paperwork and headed home.  We got back in time to watch the Stanford football game, it was carried on one of the stations we get. 

So my plans for this week are pretty simple, get some work done on our coach.  I have to coordinate the afterhours workers along with the paint shop repairs and our time in Tiffin’s repair bays.  I have some warranty work, some repairs that need to be done and the ever growing wish list so these will be worked off by different folks at different places at different times.  I know Lorraine has made an appointment at a hairdresser in town she had seen in our prior trips here on Tuesday.  

Oh, on Saturday afternoon we got a call from the gals at the check-in office for Tiffin, we could move over to a full hookup site at the service center if we wanted.  But we are just across the street and are treated the same as if we were in the campground so we decided to just stay here, it’s the same price per night and when the coaches going in for repairs start their engines at 6:30, we won’t be around them so it should be quieter.  Only thing is we won’t be around and meet all the Tiffin owners like we would if we were in the repair campground but guess we could walk over and join them if we want. 

Lets see, the weather for the past week.  After all the rain they had in Pennsylvania last week, it was pretty humid but the high temperatures only got to the mid to high 70s, not bad.  The night time lows have been dropping into the high 40’s most nights, sometimes it only dropped to the 50s if we had nighttime clouds.  Thursday it rained on us as we made our trip here but it’s been nice weather since.  This morning when I walked Misty the thermometer read 37F but there were ice crystals on the roof of the car so we did have a slight freeze overnight.  I’ll bet it gets a lot colder up North in the areas we have been over the past three months however. 

Our travel plans are sort of on hold for maybe two weeks depending on how good I get at finding the right afterhours guy and the amount of work we get done.  After that, we will head West with no particular plans until we get to our daughter’s in time for Thanksgiving.  Just a head’s up to Dan and Wanda, we may be traveling through your area and may spend a day with you tow, if you are home that is.  I figure I have lots of time to “plan” our trip out West while we are stuck here in Red Bay.  

Now to go through the pictures and add some to this blog.  I know we’ve had lots of pictures, especially in the past two/three weeks and I will try to pare down the number of them this week, we’ll see. 


The 1000 Trails Park in Hershey, Pa.  There must have been over 200 Canadian geese in/around the lake. 

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The town of Hershey, notice the different light poles, Hershey Kisses, one wrapped, one unwrapped all throughout town.

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Some of the Amish buggies. 

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Notice the lights on these two, they have to comply with all the laws while “driving” too. 

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Lots of scooters, look like bikes but they are scooters built on bike frames. 

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More leaf colors. 

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We crossed over this bridge, Lorraine got a good bridge reflection on the second picture. 

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Entering Maryland on the left, West Virginia on the right. 

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Entering Virginia on the right. 

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And now Tennessee.  Notice the heavy rain on the left. 

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We saw lots of trees completely covered with vines, some looked like animal topiary but they are wild. 

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Entering Georgia on the left. Alabama on the right. 

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The space center in Huntsville, Al. 

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Heck, we missed the turn off to Red Bay and drove a few miles and found ourselves in Mississippi. 

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Ok, that’s enough for this week I guess.  Hope you had a good week too.


Thanks   Chuck