Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 1 at the Tiffin Service Center

Red Bay, AL

Although our pre-paid weekly stay at the self-service RV campground comes to an end tomorrow, we are thinking about staying here for the next week.  A check this afternoon with the office over at Camp Red Bay showed very few FHU sites available.  At least over here we'll have that available to us.  After our first day in the service center it appears that we are going to need a much longer camping stay than desired.

I've decided to detail our daily experiences at the service center in the coming blogs.  Some may be a bit on the pessimistic and frustrating side, but all will be accurate.  Remember, this is OUR experience, yours may be different.

We checked in with the Camp Red Bay office on Saturday and gave them our "list" of items we needed repaired. Because we had an appointment for Monday (25th) we were given our Bay assignment number to report to at 7:00 AM on Monday. We've been to the service center in two prior years so we are familiar with the scheduling system here. For those who might not be familiar, let me summarize.  (The policy changes frequently, but this is the current system.)  If you have a rig two model years or newer you are able to make an appointment in advance.  We made this appointment back on October 1, 2012 under the previous system (as our rig is now 3 model years old).  Tiffin is doing warranty campaigns on several large projects, but those are checked when you arrive and appointments for these items are not allowed to be made in advance.  Should you just "show up" without an appointment you are assigned a service number and worked in accordingly.  Now, if you are not thoroughly confused at this point, please read further and I'll describe our first service day.

This is not our rig, but one of many in front
of the bay doors in the morning
We drove up to our appointed bay at 7:00 AM.  The doors are always closed until 7, but magically rise in short order.  We were greeted by our tech (who I have not used in any of my previous visits) and we went over my repair list together.  Ok, so far, so good. Now, it's time for "hurry up and wait".  I had forgotten how slowly things progress at the service center. I had prioritized our repair list in the order of severity and importance to us.  Silly me!

At 7:06 our tech began searching for our highest priority on the list, an interior water leak in the bedroom floor area.  In his defense, he did attempt looking at several possibilities which I suggested. He also consulted throughout the day with several other techs.  Bottom line:  At the end of the day the leak's location had not been determined and no progress on that item was made.

The next item to repair was our over-the-door electric awning which had stopped working last September and I had wired tied into position to keep it closed.  He removed that it short order a bit after 8:00 AM and I felt that things were beginning to move along.  Silly me again! I forgot how inefficient the Tiffin parts system works. When the techs need a part, an order is put in to the parts department and eventually the part(s) is brought to the tech's bay by a gentleman on a golf cart.  The problem is, not much work gets done while waiting for parts.

Well,  by now it's time for break at 9:00 AM.  It's only 10 minutes, but by the time the tech gets back from the bathroom, BSing with his buddies about what happened during the past weekend, and getting back to the job, it is in reality much longer.

Ok, lunch break is coming by now at 11:20 AM.  To his credit, the awning motor has been repaired and re-attached to the side of the rig by lunch.  Lunch ends promptly at 12:00 PM.  I really have no idea what happened between noon and 1:50 PM, but I can say that no additional items got repaired.

Well, it's now 1:50 PM and the next item involves the underside of the passenger side slideout floor where the fiberglass material is beginning to tear (possibly due to a mis-adjusted slide).  The repair for this is to rivet four aluminum panels to the underside of the slideout where contact is greatest with the slide rollers.  Apparently this is somewhat of a common problem as you can see by the description on the repair panels.

The workday ends for the techs at 3:30 PM, but as of 3:17 PM only 3 of the required 4 panels had been secured.  The 4th panel was cut incorrectly, so that's first on the list for tomorrow.
I just have to remember,   go     slow    and   take    a    breath!

The real difference between this visit and years past is that because we are now fulltimers, we truly don't care how long it takes to get our list finished.  We really have nowhere to be until the end of March, and HOPEFULLY we'll be cut loose by then.

Tune in tomorrow, for "Day 2 at the Tiffin Service Center".

As always, thanks for stopping by.


  1. I see a lot of solitare in your future. Gosh, I hope you're outta' there before the end of March!

    I hate to see a waste of perfectly good retirement days, you waited a long time to earn them.

    We're following along, no matter what. Let us know if you need us to come down and rescue you... ;c)

  2. Well, hopefully Day 2 will be more productive than Day 1, with hopefully not too many more days to follow before you're off again

  3. Hi, I hope Day 2 will go much better than Day 1.
    Sorry all is not going well.

  4. Deep breaths, deep breaths. Today will be a better day than yesterday. I'm sending all the vibes I can for an experience like ours so you can get out of there sooner rather than later.

  5. Hey Steve,

    I referenced you blog to two new readers Sunday at a rally of our local Allegro club in Houston. They are new owners and curious about RB and guys like Brannon and what they do.

    I hope they don't want to get rid of their Bus after your adventure is over!!!

    Remember, your last visit wasn't that much fun either. See you in Brunswick............. maybe!!


  6. Hey Richard, do you really have friends? :)
    Who loves ya' buddy?
    Day 2 has just been completed and will be on the blog shortly.
    If we don't get out of here by Brunswick Rally time something is DEFINITELY wrong!