We’ve sure enjoyed our time in Red Bay, Alabama. We’ve had others tell us there isn’t much to do here, but it depends on what your definition is of fun!
We will agree there isn’t much in the way of entertainment, night life, or a great selection of restaurants or shopping. But for us, we love to cook our own meals, we only shop for what we really need and between Amazon.com and Walmart, we are kept stocked. We love the Lord’s creation, there is a lot of that here.
I just read a review of the play Les Misérables in our home town. The most famous quote from this iconic movie is, “And remember, the truth that once was spoken: To love another person is to see the face of God.” (Victor Hugo). We must admit, our belief system demands we love others. So we do love people, or at least try. Some are more lovable than others….but who couldn’t love all these lovely people! They have been so patient and kind. You never hear them lose patience with any of us, but yet, so many of us lose our patience with them.
What we have found here that we’ve never found before is a WEALTH of information from other Tiffin owners. That has been refreshing. And the people we are meeting has been energizing. Everyone has a story, so talk about entertainment, just to hear some of the stories will keep you laughing or crying!
So back to our diary! We did have a technician install a hard-wired surge protector for us over the weekend. There are some jobs it’s easier and faster to “hire” out.
Monday, June 15, 2015 We got a break from the early morning assignments. This day, we hade a 49 mile road trip one way for another “good will warranty” repair. For about 3 years, Tiffin used plywood in the wet bay area, and we were one of the units that needed it replaced. Our appointment was at 10:30.
Debbie finally got to ride as a passenger (the car is not set up to flat tow as of yet) and she loved the comfort of the passenger seat. And it was a gorgeous drive in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
The location was at Kimbrough Automotive & A/C, 75 AL-157, Tuscambia, AL 35674, telephone 256-381-0797. The GPS can get you close but it won’t get you there for the last few miles. Another customer told us what to do but it didn’t make sense when we got close. So we called Kimbrough and they told us exactly what to do, but Bill didn’t hear the directions fast enough…..so he had to make his first U-turn! Now that was exciting but it put us back on the road in the opposite direction! So while we thought we’d be early, it was about 11:15 when we pulled in. They thought our appointment was at 1:30 so they were just happy to see us! Here is a picture of what to do:
They are remodeling the building so we sat in a brand new lounge that needs a bit more work. But the chair and couch were comfortable. It was about a three-hour repair. It is just amazing we are getting this work done under the “Good Will Warranty.” Bob Tiffin has a wonderful reputation. His quality of workmanship seems to be a dying art.
We arrived back at the Service Center too late to get any more work done. We still need a few little things and one more big job. But we enjoyed the rest of the day. Bill wiped down one side and the front of the coach. Debbie was able to get in a long walk and visited with the neighbors. We know we will have another early morning so we didn’t stay out late.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 – This day is crunch day! Time for our main slide floor to be replaced, so we arrived in Bay 47 at 7:00 am. We were never told how to prepare, but we heard we’d need to remove a few things. The technician helped us and then we went to the customer lounge until 11:30. Debbie walked by it to get a few pictures. It’s a bit unnerving seeing your motor home wide open! That is the back of our residential refrigerator. And the slide is laying on its side with the dirty looking canvas. The crane lifted it off. It would have been fun to watch it going on and off, but at least we saw how it came together on the factory tour!
We were told it would be done at 11:30, so we checked in with Shane, our original tech who ordered the parts for our washing machine and entrance light panel. His boss was standing there, so he arranged for it to be brought to his bay for the final touches. Oh how hopeful we are that we will be done today and can head to Virginia tomorrow. Our daughter checks on us regularly to see when she can expect us. Being 8 months pregnant and working full-time is not easy with a toddler. And we miss him!
We were able to stay in the coach while Shane and his assistant worked inside. The work was completed by 3:00. He said our paperwork would be completed in about 40 minutes, so we drove the coach back to our site and set up. Debbie put a load of laundry on – but had trouble getting the washer to work. Shane came over after giving a few suggestions via text message. But by then it was working. Debbie is a happy camper! About 40 minutes later, we went to get our final bill. We were very nervous about how much all this work would cost…..But we were so HAPPY and amazed at how low the bill was. No wonder there is so much brand loyalty! The most expensive thing was the exhaust pipe. It was a miracle it hung on until we arrived here.
We went home ready to plan our trip to Virginia. We have to go through the mountains so need the best possible route. The drive to Kimbrough was a great opportunity to practice riding in the hills and using the engine brake. And since we got up at 5:30, we were ready to relax for the evening. Actually, we were both too tired to try to take a walk. It is hard work hanging out while people work on your home!
While we were cooking dinner, we noticed the air conditioner didn’t seem to be working right. Debbie came up with lots of excuses/reasons. But Bill was concerned there was still an issue. It was one thing we had looked at – and they said it was in the sensors so they were replaced.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 We woke at 5:30. Bill didn’t sleep well, concerned about the A/Cs. He wanted to talk to a technician. But Debbie said, “It’s time to go!” It felt like they were working to her. But Bill warned about “feelings.” He said you need common sense. But nevertheless, we got ready to go. After trying to get the GPS set for our first location, Jasper, Tennessee, Bill started the coach up….and the front jacks would not retract. This was an issue we had looked at several times as it was a continuing problem since we bought it. Long story short, we spent the day waiting to get a call to bring the rig in for both the A/C and the jacks. And to not embarrass Debbie, she had to shake up a supervisor as we had not phone call by 2:00. So we had new jacks put on by 3:00 and now we have to spend another night to have the A/C looked at….will we ever leave Red Bay?
Thursday, June 18, 2015 We were up again at 5:30. We really want to leave but we would like to resolve the A/C issue. So we got ready and were ready for a phone call to be in Bay 7 by 7:00 am. But after a relaxing breakfast and time to think (and feel the A/C) we decided to leave and start heading east. So Bill went over to talk to the Shop Foreman. He said they were booked today anyway, so it would be another day. So our paperwork was processed and ready to us to settle this new bill with in 40 minutes. Bill returned home to prepare to move. Debbie went to the Tiffin Parts Store (near the laundry room) to get one more thing. The prices there are sold at dealer cost! And then she checked out with the service cashier and then again at the Campground office. The stay this last night was gratis since the jacks were a “do over.” But the jacks cost as much as the new exhaust pipe. We know it was the right thing and we feel confident we will be good to go for another year. We plan to return yearly for our annual service.
So off we headed to Jasper, Tennessee. We decided to make it an easy day to recover from the stress of the early service work and dealing with the same issues over and over. To us, it wasn’t that big of a deal as everyone is only human. We do feel we will be better customer’s next time. So our next blog will be a bit entertaining as we share how this easy 3 1/2 hour trip turned into six and it was anything but easy! And one part fell off in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. We heard there is a serious storm called “Bill” going across several states….so stay tuned!
Our final thoughts: We have learned so much these past few weeks. Several things apply to owning a motor home and the full-time lifestyle – as well as coming to the Tiffin Service Center. First, you really need to be flexible. Patience is invaluable. And probably the best attribute is to have a sense of humor! But for us, it’s also all about our faith. That keeps us grounded and when we feel so helpless and out of sorts from things out of our control, we can just trust the Lord that He is in control and somehow, things will work out for the best! We loved our time in Red Bay and can’t wait to return!