Tiffin Motor Homes, Allegro Service Center continued

Allegro Tiffin Service Center

Allegro Tiffin Service Center

We have learned a number of very valuable lessons while in Red Bay. And we’re finding out we have to write things down to remember them, so here is our short diary. We know we will be back here for our service annually, if possible, and don’t want to forget this experience.

We have made many new friends and learned many important things about operating our motor home, and how to maneuver the Tiffin Allegro Service Center.

This is a brief diary of the work performed:

May 19, 2015 – arrived from Walnut Creek RV Park, Troy, Alabama. Checked into Red Bay Self Service RV Park located at 717 4th Street Northwest, Red Bay, AL 35582 (telephone number 256-668-0526).  Went to the Allegro Service Center (which also has the Allegro RV Campground on campus) to sign in and gave them our list of “20 items” we needed to have repaired. We were told someone would come see us the next day to go over the list.  ADVICE:  Bring your VIN and odometer if you are “off site.”  We had to go retrieve them and was back before they closed at 7:30 pm. You are given a booklet, “Guest Guide,” with all the information you need to survive your time here. However, it looked like it contained TMI so we didn’t read it and later realized we needed it! For one, if you take the Tiffin Factory Tour, there is paper in the booklet to take to the tour hosts and have them fill it out. They will reward you with one free night of camping.

May 20, 2015 – at 8:00 am, Norris (a 40 year employee with Tiffin) knocked on our door to go over our “list” which at the time contained 20 items, but we added 3 things over night.  He was a real blessing to talk to as we were still overwhelmed from the trip to Red Bay the day before and maneuvering around the Self Service RV Park (we didn’t know what we were doing when we pulled in there) and checking in.  He put our minds at ease and assured us all will go smoothly. And it really did!  About 2 hours later, we had another Tiffin employee bring us a sheet to put in our window showing the three things we needed repaired under the 10 year “Good Will” warranty.  And finally about 1 pm, we had another technician come and talk further about our “list.” We were told it would be about 3 weeks before they could get to us. We said we would be gone two weeks and would leave the RV. He asked us to leave the ignition key and if things opened up, they would bring it over and start the work.

May 21, 2015 – June 7, 2015  We left our RV at the Red Bay Self Service RV Park, paying $300 total for 3 weeks with for full hook up. Normally, it’s $20/night, but you get a discount for longer term parking.  We drove up to Illinois to spend time with Bill’s mom, brother and his family. We had a great time, but were anxious to get our RV fixed up and back on the road.

On June 4, 2015, we got the phone call that they brought our unit over to the Service Center to begin looking it over.  Our Technician was named Shane (same as our son-in-law), so we liked him immediately! He talked to Bill for nearly 20 minutes going over the list again. We said we would be back there on June 7. He said good, bring our home to Bay 34 at 7 am. We are not early morning people….

Monday, June 8, 2015

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We pulled into Bay 34 at 7:03 am, yawn! It wasn’t easy, but we were so excited to start the work, we made it, but had an issue with one of the automatic jacks. And since we didn’t look at the “Guest Guide,” we weren’t sure where Bay 34 was! The provide a nice color map so you can see the best way to arrive at your bay.

Shane showed us the few minor things they had started to work on as well as an inspection to see if we needed these problems repaired: Cap Rails replaced, Tank Floors replaced (wet bay issue) and Slide Out Floors repaired. We do need them all fixed/repaired. And all would be done under the “Goodwill” program. This was the very reason we bought a Tiffin!  Bob Tiffin stands behind his product and gives a 10 year guarantee on the structure of his motor homes.  We spent the day hanging out inside our RV and even ate our breakfast while they worked.  We invited them to join us, but maybe if we had fresh donuts they would have had one or two! How nice we were allowed to not only be in the Bay, but inside our “home” to help oversee some of the smaller things we needed repaired.

BillIMG_6142 and I took turns “getting out and about” so I used my time to take a nice walk around the complex and into the neighborhood. I loved starting out by the cow pasture! This is a very diverse town….we also hear the roosters crow each morning.

The main issue this day was to figure out what was wrong with the washing machine, but there were so many items on our list, we were there all day, until 3:00 pm. The washing machine had bad intake values, so they were ordered. On the previous Thursday, Shane had also ordered a new panel for our light panel board as you enter the home. Bill talked to the factory rep about our “moldy-looking Diamond Shield, which was not a promising discussion.

The technicians installed an air duct in the closet; figured out the dryer had a 15 amp circuit breaker instead of a 25 amp (now we know why it kept “popping”); put in new sensors in the thermostats; put on new wiper blades; fixed water filter cover in the refrigerator; tried to fix the electric steps; attempted to fix the latching system on the bay doors. They scheduled work for a new navigation system, to add Maxx air covers, and switch our satellite system from Dish to Direct TV. We were exhausted at the end of the day!

Bay 40

Day 2, Bay # 40 Going up on lifts

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 – We’ve now learned the routine is to get a phone call by about 3 pm the day before and you are told to arrive at a certain bay by 7:00 am the next day. As we said, we are not morning people and try to not have any early morning appointments….  We were hoping all our work will be done in a few days…. This day was to fix the jacks that weren’t leveling. We were starting to have problems with the air bags filling up, but they couldn’t find that problem. But they discovered our exhaust pipe was about to fall off, repaired the muffler strap and replaced our two exhaust tips. This was a short day in the bay.

Since we couldn’t stay in the coach, this was the perfect time to take the Tiffin Factory Tour, from 9:15 to 11:00. We really enjoyed it and will write a separate blog about it. We got a phone call as the tour was ending (at 11:00 am) that our rig was finished in this bay. There was no more work scheduled for the day, so we went to Bay Diesel to see about getting them to service the diesel engine. They were booked.

Tiffin Factory Tour

Allegro Visitor’s Center

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bay 17

Bay 17 – Cap rails being replaced

Time for our first “good will” warranty work, to have our cap rails replaced. These rails finish off the roof panels and join the walls and roof together.  This would be an all day job and we couldn’t remain inside the rig, or even in the bay. So off to take a hike! We went to Tishomingo State Park, near Belmont, MS and enjoyed a wonderful 4.16 mile hike that took 1 1/2 hours! It is right off the Natchez Trace Parkway, which was on our motorcycle bucket list to ride. Oh well, we are getting over that chapter in our lives and are enjoying our motor home adventures!

We are also enjoying getting to know the technicians that work hard to do the best possible job. They are carefully screened before they are hired.  This day, we had a veteran from the Army working on our rig. He service two tours in Afghanistan. What a privilege to meet him!

We had a change of heart about the Diamond Shield. We looked at other products, but decided to go with what Tiffin had been using. So the Diamond Shield Representative came by our camp ground and removed our moldy product. We were fortunate as it came off without any damage to the paint. We think part of the reason was it had been sitting in the hot sun.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 

Bay 32

Bay 32

Wanda is the woman to get to know. She arranges all the Bay assignments and keeps the Service Department busy.  We got to know her because we kept having so many issues. And we were VERY glad we were here to get all these problems resolved.  We also let her know our very pregnant daughter has been patiently waiting for this process to be over so we can head to Virginia and help her out.  So we are doing all we can to help keep the service moving along, without being obnoxious….Wanda  saw we were staying “off site” so she suggested we move onto the Allegro Campground, which is where the Bays are. So we moved over!

Our next work assignment was to report to Bay 32. We hoped to figure out why our hydraulic system was not working properly. When we start the motor home up for the day, there is an “air leaking” sound and it takes longer than it should for the air bags to full up. What an education we are getting about owning a motor home! So we reported to Bay 32. We had hoped the parts would also be in as this bay was set up to finish the washing machine and install the light switches panel as well. But that wasn’t going to happen. They thought it needed a new valve. In essence, nothing else was accomplished.

So off we went to Bay Diesel & A/C, Inc., 1127 4th Street Northeast, Red Bay, telephone: 256-356-8803, to get the engine and generator serviced. They were booked but said if we just dropped it off for the day, they would get it done. That worked for us as we wanted to see the Red Bay Museum. It opened at 1:30 and we were done by 2:30. We thought we would get a phone call from Bay Diesel when they were done. We decided to go sit in the Service Center Lounge and wait – it’s so interesting talking to others who are also having service done. We have made some new friends and the environment is perfect! But by 4:00 pm, we decided we would just go to Bay Diesel as they certainly would be done soon. Long story short, we arrived to see our motor home locked up behind the gates and no one around. We called the telephone numbers on the business card – no answer.

Bay Diesel

Locked in at Bay Diesel

We panicked a little….this is our home, our dinner was in the refrigerator and it was where we planned to sleep for the night. We called Tiffin for some help, but they didn’t have any other phone number. So we decided to try to find the police station and ask for their help….after all, this is a small town. We saw a police officer on the way there and he helped us out. We got a hold of the owner and he sent an employee to let our motor home out! He said just come settle our bill the next day. We sure love this little town and were very pleased with the work done at Bay Diesel!

Friday, June 12, 2015 – 

Diamond Shield Bay

Diamond Shield Bay

Today we hoped to get the Diamond Shield (Bay 44) installed in the morning and then go to the Muscle Shoals location at 12:30 to have our wet bay floor replaced. But we got a phone call to report to Bay 40 to have our hydraulic system repaired.  We actually had a hard time getting the motor home aired up to drive the short distance, and it was noted as a priority to repair. Fortunately, Diamond Shield could hold off for a short time. In the end, it took until the end of the day for Diamond Shield to be put on and it was discovered the hydraulic issue was a computer programming problem. It was allegedly fixed while in Bay 44. We later learned they were not able to fix it via the computer program. ;-{

We took the weekend off, sort of, and were able to enjoy the area. So stay tuned to see if we ever get everything fixed and finished…..our daughter is checking on our progress every day!

Here’s a few photos of the Allegro Campground, located right at the Service Center. Note the blue sky and it is HOT and dusty. Otherwise, for the price (free if you have a new one, $10/if you are having warranty work, and $20/night for older out of warranty homes.  There are about 90 full hook-ups but some have to just have electricity or even boondock. It was fully packed last night.  There’s no doubt, it’s so convenient. And social. We are learning so much from experienced owners.

I think it’s time to stop this very boring blog and move on to a blog about the fun we have also been having! This week was exhausting, harder than when we actually worked our 40 hour work weeks! We did do a few fun things, but the stress of getting the bay’s assigned and trying to make sure everything was done properly hampered too much fun! But all in all, we have loved meeting so many fine people who work at Tiffin and do their best to provide quality motor homes!