Tiffin Service Center, Red Bay, Alabama


My Map This Year

This map from RVillage of the campgrounds/resorts we have checked into so far, 2016. To see our travel map live to zero in on each location, click here.

We’ve looked forward to returning to the quaint little town of Red Bay, Alabama. It is the home of Tiffin Motor Homes, and claimed by Tammy Wynette.  It is on the border of Mississippi and close to Tennessee. We really enjoyed our time here last year.  If you missed our posts, click here.

This year, we only had a short list of things we needed repaired  at the Tiffin Service Center (TSC). We also had a list of things to buy from the Tiffin Parts Store (they sell to us at wholesale prices). Of course, we only had a few things to go over with Bay Diesel and A/C, Inc. concerning the engine, generator and how the RV steers and bottoms out when going over railroad tracks, on concrete roads and bridges. We hoped all this would only take a week or less. And how great, it only took three four days for all the service, but since it was the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, we were more or less stuck in Red Bay an extra three days. And then the fourth day happened, more on that later.

It's really just a huge parking lot with full hook ups! The camaraderie is exceptional!

It’s really just a huge parking lot with full hook ups! The camaraderie is exceptional!

Upon arrival to Red Bay, we checked into the TSC. There was room for us to park our Tiffany (our new name for our motorhome in honor of our tween red dachshund we had for 14 years) in the Allegro Campground, which is right in the midst of the TSC. It was going to be more convenient for us, although it would have been a little cheaper had we stayed in the Red Bay Self Service RV Park less than a mile away. The protocol to sign up for service is to provide your VIN, mileage and have a list of what you want done.  Most people don’t have that ready upon arrival, so they give you until 7 pm the evening you check in to have all the required information. Here are two snapshots of our front view from our window:

Here is our short list of repairs we turned in, which grew just a little once we got into the Express Service Bay:

1. Steps recall (we received a letter advising us of this but they also noted it upon arrival)
2. Entrance light panel to LED
3. Slide switches sticking
4. Slide maintenance
Once we got into the Bay, we then added:
5. Kitchen sprayer
6. Repaired key fob and add new batteries. There was a little rust inside which was why when we changed the batteries they didn’t work.
7. Carbon Dioxide & Propane Alarm (it went off while in the Bay)

We set up and knew we might as well go shopping to buy all the little things Bill needed to make some repairs himself. Just for information, Bill has been a handyman his entire life. He’s just handy like that. But this RV has been a bit intimidating and he has not wanted to do much maintenance. But he will make all the minor repairs as needed.

Here was our list of things he knew we would buy and a few things we needed to check on while there:

  1. Shower dome cover (we had a leak a few months back and did get the leak stopped but needed a new dome.)
  2. Door & drawer latches
  3. New grill for stove and rubber stops
  4. Refrigerator latches
  5. Replace toilet sprayer
  6. Water filter system O-ring
  7. Buy door latches
  8. Look for Shower towel rod
  9. Latch on door above bed
  10. Windshield wipers
  11. Dirt Devil wand
  12. Clear tabs-doors and our glass cutting board
  13. Sanitize fresh water tank solution
  14. Mud Dauber Screen (we had to go else where)
  15. Check our fire extinguisher

Then we added these things as we looked in the store and in other’s motor homes:

16. Robe hooks
17. Door slides
18. Insert foam filters for air conditioner vents
19. Dirt Devil Vac Cleaner Bags
20. Pine Power
21. Stove Grommets
22. Towel bar
23. Toilet Floor Flange Seal kit

I was in and out of the store at least 14 times over 5 days. The list changed daily and for some reason, I picked up several wrong things and had to return or exchange them!

Bill got busy right away and began making some repairs. I even helped with some. We worked until dinner time on our day one. This was a full day which we ended with a short walk.

We walked over to the Red Bay Self Service RV Park to see how crowded it was. We met Sheila, sitting outside of what looked like our twin! So of course, we began talking and were joined by her husband, Billy. They also had the MCD Wheel Covers, like ours. We’re still on the hunt to find a Glide Trac to repair the right passenger wheel well damaged by our blowout. We ended up spending hours with this couple, we even had to move inside as the rain came. We love looking at modifications others have made so we stole many of their great ideas and began to implement them by lengthening our shopping list! They recommended a business in Vina to see if we could get a replacement for our Glide Trac. We became fast friends as they educated us on a number of things. We do hope to see them again one day as we exchanged our contact information. Little did we know, we’d be parked next to them on Friday!

Wednesday, the next morning, Jason knocked on our door at 8 am to go over our list for the TSC. We should get in the next day, Thursday he said. But we already had an appointment at Bay Diesel so he noted it on our paperwork. We offered to change that appointment, but as with all things in Red Bay, no problem! He was pretty certain we get into an Express Bay on Friday. That was music to our ears!

Then we ran out to the business in Vina but they were unable to help us with the MCD Glide Trac. But they had the Mud Daubers the Tiffin store didn’t carry and we needed. And we found a new gadget we definitely are putting on our 2017 shopping list, See Level RV Gauges. This gives you the percentages of your tanks: our fresh water, gray, black, and LPG (propane) not just how many 3rds as we now have.  We monitor how full, or empty these tanks are at any given time.  Knowing the percentage will be a big help.

We returned to Tiffany and Bill continued to work around her.  Then I got in my two mile walk. I reminisced about our trip here last year when I walked by this Pharmacy. I really enjoy this quaint city, with a population of more than 3,100 according to the 2010 census. I really feel safe here, but there was a scary situation while we were here last year.

IMG_2785

About this time last year, this pharmacy was under siege, buy a lone gunman. The Pharmacist saved the day!

Red Bay was first known as Vinson’s Crossroads. The most likely origin of the town’s name was its location amid what was at the time a large stand of redbay trees. The first post office was opened in 1887, quickly closed, then reopened in 1890. The town was initially located on Gum Creek but at some point early in its history was moved one and a half miles southwest to its current location.
The town was incorporated in 1907; sources differ about the date. Also in 1907, the town became a stop on a branch of the Illinois Central Railroad. As a result, it became a lumber cutting and shipping center. (See here for more.)

Last year, a young man was having some sort of psychotic break and took the Pharmacist and several customer’s hostage in the Redmont Pharmacy pictured above. We were heading to the Tiffin Factory for a tour when we saw police cars set up around the perimeter. We were detoured and later learned what was going on. It made national news and the Pharmacist was a hero! She calmed him down, got him to release the customers and just let her remain with him. She asked what he needed and of course, it was some sort of drug. She said she had something to calm him down and he accepted. Little did he know, she pretty much gave him a tranquilizer and he fell asleep, allowing the police to come in and arrest him and rescue the very calm Pharmacist. When we went to church on Sunday, we learned why she was so calm, cool and collected. She had her entire church and every other believer in Red Bay praying for her and the situation! It was exciting to see her back in church when we went on Sunday.

Thursday, we were up early to take Tiffany to Bay Diesel. We were so impressed with the service and education we learned from the owner, Chris, last year. We decided if nothing else, we would come back her to have him service our engine and generator. Here was our list with his answers in caps:

Seafoam conditioner (for mountains) YES
Antifreeze? NEXT YEAR
Change oil in generator YES
Service radiator YES
Out of Algaecide. Keep using since had water in the fuel when bought. YES, just if it happens again.
Front end? He’d check it out. And in the end, he put on Spartan Drive Axle Shocks (2 of them) and Magnum 4-Bag Front (2 of them) AND a Safe T Plus Steering Stabilizer.

BayDiesel

Tiffany ready to go for a test drive after installation of the shocks and stabilizer.

We were there nearly all day. It was so worth it! Bill said it was like driving a new bus.  We also received the phone call to have our bus in Bay 32 at 7:00 am the next morning. It was hard to believe how smooth things were going.

999Express Bay

We’re snug in Bay 32 for Express Service.

We were so pleased with the team that was assigned to Bay 32. They were very conscientious workers. They had no qualms about our few add-ons. But it took forever for them to get some parts needed. We were there from 7:30 until 2:00! We were only charged for less than three hours labor.

Switch panel

We were so pleased with this change. We now have a kill switch to turn off this switch panel of lights.

Once we checked out of the TSC, we had to also move out of the Allegro Campground. We moved around the corner to the Red Bay Self Serve RV Park. And were next to our new friends. We had hoped to join them for an adventure, but we never could match our schedules.  We ended up hanging out in our new location. Bill kept productive and he was so happy to finally be able to wash the bus from roof to the tires.

Self Service Park

Bill washing the roof. You’d never know he is afraid of heights. So proud of him as he conquers his fears!

We attended First Baptist Church of Red Bay on Sunday. It was another wonderful service and was a blessing to see the Pharmacist was there as well. We missed our friends who spent the day in Sheol. We had wanted to join them, but we wanted to attend church first. Bill can always keep himself busy polishing the bus or the car.

My mission became fixing our GPS output. As the navigator, I liked to look at the GPS on the TV screen. We had met a couple over a year ago that had wired their GPS up to the TV above and between the driver and passenger. I had commented it seemed dumb to me to have a TV there. Then they shared how they used it. We had our wired to do this last year while in Red Bay. And it worked fine until we left Fredericksburg on May 10. Oh how I missed it. I was able to contact him via RVillage. We sent a number of emails, him trying to help trouble shoot it. We ran out of options, I needed to test it on another TV. So off I went to the Allegro Campground to find someone to help us. And sure enough, there was a electrical engineer helping someone else with his outside TV. He had what he called a “boondock” TV and agreed to come over later to help. And success. It was a simple setting that I had already changed. Oh it’s so wonderful to be around so many talented and helpful fellow RVers!

Fixed GPS

Bill is learning a few more things from our Electrical Engineer friend after the GPS now works on the TV.

We ended up becoming friends with the neighbors on our other side. We enjoyed sharing stories. We really didn’t do anything special over the holiday weekend. We felt we had honored those who gave their lives for our country while we were in Chattanooga. Not that we didn’t try to find something special to do. I did manage to keep my walking up, clocking over 8 miles total and not counting all the times I was in and out of the store!

Finally, Tuesday morning it was time to leave. We were up early, excited about our upcoming adventure to Land Between the Lakes (LBL) in Cadiz, Kentucky.  We had made reservations, which we rarely do. We just knew we were headed there and nothing could stop us now….We were just about ready to roll when Bill noticed a puddle of water neat the toilet. Good news, it was clear water. Bad news, it was water. A quick assessment determined it only leaked when flushed. To make a long story short, Bill decided he would prefer for the experts to fix it. So back I went to the TSC and filled out the paper work to get back into the system. When we didn’t hear back from anyone by noon, we knew it wouldn’t be done this day and we HAD to leave the next morning. Bill reluctantly began to disassemble the toilet and I found the manual. We called the company and they helped us trouble shoot the problem. So back to the Tiffin Store where they had ALL the needed parts! Bill had it fixed within an hour. But it was too late to head to Kentucky. It was a very stressful and disappointing situation. But the GOOD news was that it happened here where we bought the parts at wholesale and Bill saved us a few bucks!

Finally, Wednesday, June 1, 2016, we headed out of Red Bay and towards LBL. And it felt like a new vehicle!  Wouldn’t you know, the GPS decided the best way there was going to be on roads similar to Mississippi 23! Bill said no problem, he could now handle the drive like a pro!

IMG_2901

Ok, not as narrow as Mississippi 23, but notice no berm? No problem!

…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

20 thoughts on “Tiffin Service Center, Red Bay, Alabama

  1. When you’re on the road, do you just look ahead a week or two and determine which church to attend? Do you try to find a specific denomination, or just pick one that seems to fit your theology?

    How are you able to serve the Lord when traveling so much?
    How are you able to do the “one anothers” when traveling so much?

    It seems you’d be a lone sheep wandering the fields looking for pasture?
    Isn’t that ripe for an attack by the evil one?

    These are questions my wife and I have as we consider full-time RV.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for asking such great questions. We are headed to church with family right now. Let me give it thought before we answer!

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    • Before I answer your questions, we didn’t choose to do this! It really just happened as we were seeking a solution as to how we could spend time with our daughter and her husband as they began to have children. We lived in Florida and they were in Virginia. The main reason I never wanted this type of lifestyle was because we learned from experience, shared here, how important being plugged into the Body of Christ via church membership is. We are still members of our church, but we are in an “inactive” status with them. We honestly believe our Lord has directed us this way and He is with us as we travel, guiding us along!
      You asked: “When you’re on the road, do you just look ahead a week or two and determine which church to attend?” We prefer to drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and never travel on Sundays. It has happened once or twice due to circumstances beyond our control. One of the first things we do when we get to a new area is search the web for churches close by. In the beginning, we tried to find churches closely aligned to either Presbyterian PCA (conservative) a southern Baptist or an independent fundamental Bible Church. We have been members of three churches in our marriage in each of these denominations! As time has gone on, we started to notice a pattern as we prayed over our selection, looking at their statement of faith and their affiliations. Somehow, we discovered First Baptist Churches are in nearly every town or city. And they are usually very closely aligned with our beliefs. When we attend, one thing we feel we will do is be an encouragement to them as we blend into their praise and worship. The Lord always gives us the Word we need to hear that particular day!
      How are you able to serve the Lord when traveling so much?” We serve the Lord wherever we are, seeking Him to direct us. We have been at the beside of several family members and friends as they face the diagnosis of cancer. One friend in particular was away from the Lord, but through prayer time with her and loving her where she was (we had to travel to get there), she returned to the Lord and now is faithfully serving Him. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
      How are you able to do the “one anothers” when traveling so much?” I’m not sure I understand this verbiage. But I think the answer above it might also answer this?
      It seems you’d be a lone sheep wandering the fields looking for pasture?” We’ve been married 41 years. We met in a ministry, but after marriage, we slowly fell away. Sadly, we divorced after 13 years. Miraculously, we remarried a year later and that’s when we really committed ourselves to the Lord and each other. This blog also started as a marriage blog and we share all this in this blog. We joined the church the Lord used to help us in our reconciliation and now we have never not belonged and been willing worker bees. My job moved us three times to different states in those nearly 30 years so that meant we were members of three churches. We prayed over where to attend and join. We never grumbled or complained – there are always many in churches who don’t like this or that about the pastor or ministries. We kept our eyes on the Lord and had good relationships with our pastors. There was a time we felt we might want a change – but the Lord said NO. That pastor ended up leaving and shortly thereafter, the Lord put us on the road! We are very grounded in our theology. We pray together and read the Bible daily together with a devotion. This may not be for everyone. We get encouragement from Ecclesiastes 4:11-12 “Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” We see us as having a threefold cord with the Lord as our partner. We’re not wandering, we’re very purposeful. One day we will settle down, we think. We do know the Lord will use our experiences to help us not only find the right church again, but to be able to share what we’ve seen about those churches who are growing and those who are shrinking.
      Isn’t that ripe for an attack by the evil one?” See our above answer! He is attacking everyone. We allowed him to destroy our marriage once. We’re now much stronger and wiser. He does try to sneak attack us but we have each other’s back. And we have relationships with believers all over the country. They are watching us…and praying for us. And we for them!
      I sure hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask any other questions.

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      • One of the first things we do when we get to a new area is search the web for churches close by.

        I think we would probably look ahead and make sure there is a valid option before deciding where to stop.

        We are reformed baptists (http://arbca.com/), so would look for that first, SBC second, and Calvary Chapel third. We have been involved in all three during our marriage.

        Serving the Lord

        I was thinking more along the lines of an actual ministry in the church. For instance, I sing in the choir and my wife helps with the toddlers, nursery, VBS, etc.

        We would be sad about giving those up, knowing that there’s really no way to do those things if we were full-time RV.

        We have looked into “full-time RV” ministry organizations, so that may be an option for us.

        One Another

        There are many “one another” passages … “serve one another,” “admonish one another,” “spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” “love one another,” “confess your sins to one another,” “encourage one another,” etc.

        It would seem that many of these require a close-knit fellowship, a family-like relationship, a bonding and interweaving of lives … which is lost if one does not stay put long enough to form bonds with fellow believers.

        We are thinking that we may try to do a combination of full-time RV with extended stays in two locations … our home state of Arizona and ??? somewhere to spend the summers. That way, we could indeed form and maintain bonds.

        We pray together and read the Bible daily together with a devotion.

        As do my wife and I.

        I wasn’t asking questions to be cynical. It’s because I DO see you as people of faith that I asked you these questions … I want to know how other REAL Christians handle these issues that are a concern to my wife and I.

        I sure hope this helps you.

        I does.

        I appreciate you taking the time to answer, and for being open and honest in your responses.

        My wife and I are very attached to our home church. And, we are very much interested in full-time RV in a couple years. Reconciling those two seemingly-conflicted positions is a challenge for us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your reply back. Ah, love the “one anothers!”
        Oh trust me, I was VERY attached to many people and was active in ministries in our churches. The first two times we had to move, we were given a very nice going away party! And we still stay in touch via FaceBook with my closest friends. We worked with the youth there and our daughter was the same age (we did the Pioneers in AWANA). Now I’m friends on FaceBook with many of those young men who are now dads. Then our second church needed a marriage ministry for young couples. Our daughter was now a teen so it worked out (thank you Lord!). Then our 3rd church, we’re now older, so I began a visitation ministry while Bill led a Mercy Ministry where they did small house repairs and yard work for the elderly and/or indigent. We did each of these nearly 10 years. Oh, and I did VBS and helped in the nursery. Our last church began to have problems with the Pastor (he subsequently left the ministry and said he’s now very open to everything ….) and Bill was the chair of the Deacons. He could see the issues but the Elders didn’t….long story short, the Lord gave us peace it was time to move on….When we go back, I hug each dear friend harder! But music ministry? That’s another thing!!!! I can’t sing, I lip sync as my heart weeps for JOY….
        So in essence, we’re each on our journey and our Lord will make a way! There are “Campers on Mission” and many other RV ministries. We love running into them and sharing what the Lord is doing around the country!!!

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  2. Glad you were able to get all your repairs completed. It’s always a good feeling. It is so nice to have a handy husband while living in a MH. There is always something that needs to be repaired. Thank goodness for Youtube videos to show how to do almost every repair. They have saved us thousands of dollars. Enjoy Kentucky!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, we appreciate all that people share on YouTube!
      We’re learning there is so much to see and do in Kentucky. We plan to spend lots more time there this summer.

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  3. Thanks, Deb, especially for the testimony about the Saints’ prayers
    providing the Christian pharmacist the peace, wisdom, and strength of the Lord during the hold-up! Praise Jesus Christ, our Life!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you went to red bay. I have a Tiffin Motorhome and never have visited red bay. I would like to have some repairs done in 2017. I was so concerned about needing an appointment 1 year in advance. It seems red bay is so busy. I’m glad you got repairs done swiftly on your RV. I hope we do to. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • They don’t make appointments, it’s always on a first come first serve basis. At least for now! I wrote extensively about our time there last year with a number of different posts. It is definitely a unique experience, and a very quaint town. It is rather overwhelming for first time there. The signage to get to the Tiffin Service Center/campground isn’t very clear. It is rather overwhelming for first time there. We also found out that GPS wants to take you to a different place! Once you drive around it, you’ll see it is easy to get around. The streets weren’t built for all the MHs that visit there, but you will be made to feel welcome-once you arrive!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love to read about your experiences and the stories that you learn about along the way. Stay safe and have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thank you Eugenia! We mainly want to chronicle our journey to help us remember where we’ve been, what we’re seeing and learning along the way! It blesses us that others are enjoying our travels.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. […] so glad Bill can control the steering wheel so much better after the repairs a few weeks ago at the Tiffin Service Center. Otherwise, he would not have been able to keep us on the road a number of times. Especially that […]

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  7. […] What a deal, so now we know to stock up! Again, I did write a number of posts about our time here, start reading by clicking here. There really is no need to write a park review as our time here is not really in an RV Park, but […]

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  8. […] had planned to spend a month in Gulf Shores, Alabama with friends we made last time we were at the Tiffin Service Center in Red Bay, Alabama. We called the couple a few days before we made the reservations in Fort […]

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  9. […] southern hospitality! We really enjoy visiting Alabama any chance we have. And you may remember, Red Bay, Alabama is where we take our motor home yearly for routine […]

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