How do we like our new motor home?


Our grandson loves it!

Our grandson walking beside it in the campground.

Usually, we get inspired to write our posts. Since we’re sort of “hanging out” and waiting for the birth of our second grandson, not much to write about. Our adventures have been plenty of time with our precious grandson. And even more time preparing for his sibling. Due date is August 15. But our first grandson appeared 5 days early…..we actually hope second grand baby arrives late, and on August 19….more on that later!

Anyway, oh yes, it’s working out great! So what do we really like?  BTW, these are photos I took for our grandson’s parents. And then that helped inspire the post. Sorry for the poor quality – he’s not still for very long!

1) Our new motor home is nearly toddler proof! He loves spending time with his Mee-maw and Pee-paw (how those names come out of grandma and grandpa, but it’s what he calls us) in our motor home. When his mom saw one of these pictures, she said he’s “tarzan” and I will say, he loves OUTSIDE. Yep that’s about his favorite word.

2) The living area. A full sized super comfy leather couch and two leather Euro chairs with ottomans. We really only need one, as Bill prefers the couch and I prefer the chair. Before, we had a small couch that wasn’t that comfy and the two chairs were my size. As Bill said, the furniture was “dainty.” Not made for a man 6’2″. I honestly don’t know how he did it, other than he really likes the life style.  Of course, our grandson loves the euro chairs and ottomans!

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3)  The kitchen!!! Wow, so many new things for us to enjoy: residential refrigerator so LOTS of room for all our home cooked meals; ice maker (Bill has to have his glass full of ice); freezer drawer on the bottom; and, water filter and cold water spigot (it’s on the inside so that’s a bit of a bummer). We have a slide out counter/drawers for more counter space, for when we are both cooking and for bigger meals. So much storage in two pantry areas and plenty room for all our pots, pans, bowls, etc.

His mom said he looks like Tarzan in this picture! He loves exploring and seeing the new places he can crawl into!

4) Dining area.  Our grandson learned to sit in a “big boys” chair with us. So the high chair is now ready for his sibling.  We really like the table and chairs. AND a bonus, there is a computer compartment beside where I sit, so it easily becomes my “office!”

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Note the chair in the back ground. It’s covering up the light switches. Not sure why the switches are at toddler level!   Our grandson really likes his grandpa’s scrambled eggs. He’s digging them up!

5) The king bed and bedroom. We sleep like babies on our all foam mattress. We also have a ceiling fan. We like to sleep in a cool and dark room. So we’ve got it! Our 5th wheel had a short queen and no way to make it dark once the sun came up. Well, we did finally improvise and hung a blanket over the window each night and kept the doors closed. Sometimes it got a bit warm….

6) The “bathroom” situation is so much better. We can each do what we have to do without interfering with the other. In other words, we can both get ready for early church at the same time and get out the door by 8:30. That’s a big deal! Before, I used the campground bath house!

7) We have tons of storage space! Now we regret getting rid of some of our belongings, but not really. We were used to living in an extra light RV so we had to keep it simple. We still will benefit from not being overloaded. And now that we know not only our grandson loves it, but now our son-in-law can’t wait to take a trip with us. So I guess all that storage space will come in handy for their things…and babies come with a lot of “things!”

Life will really be grand when we get our new washing machine installed.  That is our one huge disappointment that ours didn’t work after being told by the previous owner it did; and then, all the time spent trying to repair it while at the Tiffin Service Center was wasted. We will have to wait until we make it to a better location with a Camping World close by to have it installed. Tentatively, that would be in October when we hope to spend a month in Myrtle Beach. But all our plans are really made day by day….

So closing thoughts, as we count our blessings for this lifestyle, come from a blog I just read. I’m taking WordPress’s Blogging 101 to work on my personal spiritual journey blog, Lifetime Of Forgiveness. I am having a hard time finding time to blog on our travel adventure blog, let alone work on it (also because of limited wifi)…But I am enjoying reading lots of other blogs of new bloggers that are sharing about their journeys in life. Many are young, some are aspiring writers in high school, many are college students, some in the midst of their careers, many are looking towards retirement, or like us, in our retirement years. One of my favorite new bloggers is just 18, her name is Jessica (maybe that helps) and we share the same faith. She reblogged the below blog today, so I want to do the same. And as I looked at my pictures and our new home, I couldn’t but help notice how perfect it is for us! (Click on notice for the full blog or read the excerpt here – and the bullets are mine):

  • I noticed that your hair has a hint of red to it in the sunlight.
  • I noticed that you’ve been thinking a little more today.
  • I noticed how you organized your bookshelf.
  • I noticed that you woke up earlier today than normal.
  • I noticed your shirt.
  • I noticed the color of your nails.
  • I noticed the kindness of your words to that person.
  • I noticed how hard you tried last week.
  • I noticed your bookmark was in chapter 12.
  • I noticed your eyelid was quivering during dinner.
  • I noticed the smell of your new lotion.
  • I noticed you’re becoming stronger.
  • I noticed you went a different way today.
  • I noticed you wanted to talk.
  • I noticed your smile.

“What do you notice about those in your life? Some of the most gripping verses in the Bible describe the ways that God notices us. When you rise, when you lie down, your hair, your tears, your heart, your words, your desires, your needs, what’s in your pantry, where you climb, where you fish, what you eat, your hiding places, your home, your work, your gifts, your joy, your love, your efforts, and on and on.

“Part of being more like God is to give others the gift of noticing. It’s one of the simplest, yet most powerful actions we can do to fortify relationships and bring people together. In fact, it was the very first thing that God did when humanity hid itself from him in the Garden of Eden. God noticed Adam and Eve were hiding (Genesis 3:9). This was the first step toward bringing them back into relationship with him.

“Notice those you care about.”

Tiffin RV Service in Red Bay, Alabama – The Beginning


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The case cover that holds all of our manuals

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!

Red Bay RV Park

Red Bay Self Service “RV Park”

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!

This is where we parked for our time at Red Bay.

This is where we parked for our time at Red Bay. We’re on the right side with our car in the middle. There is a church behind us, but the steeple looks cool over the “Self Service Office!”

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.