Bill has his own reason’s for preferring the 40′ Phaeton QTH, but for me, Debbie, it was the testimony of an owner who brought their new “used” Class A motorhome to the Tiffin RV Service Center in Red Bay, Alabama after they bought it from a private party. They planned to update a few things. While the technicians were going over their rig, they discovered there were a few recall issues. The main one was fixing the wet bay area and another was a slide floor. And at no charge, it was covered by Tiffin’s “Good Will” warranty. This made me really like the brand!
Since we were buying an older motorhome, 2010, we felt we should bring it back to the mecca (using the definition) “any place that many people visit or hope to visit”) of Tiffin. We heard good things about the service in Red Bay, but we also heard there is usually a wait. Since we were trying to meet a family obligation after buying it, we wanted all the information we could get about the process.
So first things first, we googled “Tiffin RV Service at Red Bay, Alabama.” Sadly, there wasn’t much information about it. But a few bloggers shared their experiences, which weren’t all that favorable. So far, we are thankful we have had nothing but a positive experience here.
We did find two interesting blogs about other Tiffin Owners experiences: RVWanderlust and 2toTravelPhaeton. Neither blog prepared us for the drive to Red Bay, nor how overwhelming it is when you first check in! Part of us being overwhelmed was Bill’s inexperience in driving the motor home while I was either leading us in the small towns, or following Bill on the highways.
Whenever we need to learn about something, we think it’s best to go right to the horses mouth. Since we couldn’t find the answers on the internet, we called the Service Center at (256) 356-2769. A technician in the Service Department said they don’t make appointments, it’s “first come first serve” and the current wait was anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. You arrive (must come in person) check in, and when it’s close to our “turn,” you’d get a phone call to bring the RV in. In other words, we could make a two week family visit while the clock ticked.
I also asked about camping. They have camping on site, but you cannot leave the RV there – like we would want for two weeks. The technician emailed me a list of the local campgrounds, which was also a bit overwhelming because there were so many. (I suddenly had visions that Red Bay was really a big city!) Anyway, how do you pick one that will be the most convenient, etc.? We figured we would find a place to park the RV and then just drive around and look for the “best campground.”
Thankfully, we pray every morning and ask for the Lord’s help and guidance. We actually “stumbled” on what became the best possible park for us! Somehow, the GPS went a bit haywire and I (Debbie) was leading Bill. So while it told me to go one way, I was following the signs to the Tiffin Service Center. I knew Bill was stressing out after the harrowing drive on a very narrow and winding road (for 23 miles). I needed to find a place to park….and then I saw a sign, “RV Park.” I honestly didn’t realize what we pulled into, but it turned out to be the best choice, Red Bay Self Serve RV Park! Their telephone number is (256) 668-0526 and the address is 717 4th Street Northwest, Red Bay, AL 35582. We parked here from May 19 – June 11, but for nearly 2 weeks, we were not there, just the RV. We felt safe there as there were enough other Tiffin Owners, the owners check the lot daily and it’s in a good area. Also, unbeknown to us, it is very close to the Service Center, just a few blocks within walking distance, so the Tiffin Employees can also easily come by. We’re not sure if they go to the other “off site” campgrounds, but when we said this was where we were staying, the response was, “Good, employees can come there.” And they did!
By the time we arrived to the Tiffin Motorhomes Service Center on May 19, to get our “number” the wait was down to 3 1/2 weeks! We now could easily work around this with our scheduled family trip (to spend time with Bill’s 94 year old mom). We signed in, and planned to leave in two days.
We also needed to find someone to add the tow bar to our car and take care of some additional business. And Bill needed a day to unwind after his harrowing 720 mile journey in four days! We checked into the Service Center, also known as the Allegro Campground (which has many stipulations) and were a bit overwhelmed. They gave us a “Guest Guide” that was full of everything we needed to know and more. But the main thing was that when we drove our car there, but didn’t know we needed the VIN and our odometer reading. So we had to rush back, get that and then filled out the questionnaire. We had written out our list of 20 items we wanted looked at, so we provided it to them as well. We were told someone would get up with us to go over the list…but we didn’t expect Norris from Tiffin at 8 am the next morning! And two other Tiffin employees also came to check on things to finalize our “list.” We were so impressed and ready to head out with confidence we made the right decision to bring it back to it’s birthplace!
To be continued, a diary of our time at the Tiffin Service Center. We hope and pray we will be as happy when we leave as we were when we first arrived! Or go to our Fun in Red Bay blog.
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