Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 3 at the Tiffin Service Center

Red Bay, AL

Day 3 in the service bays and work continued at a better pace today. One of our items on our repair list was for the large driver's side slide out to be adjusted.  At the end of yesterday, our tech determined that the electric motor for this slide had seen better days and put in a parts order for a replacement.  We removed personal items from two bays on the driver's side to enable the tech to remove and replace the motor.

The old motor was removed and the new one bolted on in short order.

Old removed seal (note rusted metal "fingers"
The next item was for the replacement of the rubber slideout seal on this same large slideout.  The typical reason for failure on these rubber seals is water getting under the edge of the rubber where it contacts the metal wall of the MH.   Essentially the rubber seal is held in place on the motorhome by a continuous string of small metal "clips" under spring tension. This usually works well unless water gets to the metal.  When it does, the metal quickly rusts and literally breaks down into metal dust.  The seal fails and water intrusion into the slideout will eventually follow.

Fortunately, Tiffin has changed the type of seals currently being installed on their rigs. The older type used on our rig has been used by manufacturers for many years.

The new style of seal uses metal totally encased inside of a rubber channel, so hopefully should water get under the edge of the rubber, contact with the metal will not break down the holding clip.  Also, our tech indicated that he usually sees that a poor job of sealing is done when the rigs are manufactured.  He took quite a bit of effort to make sure that the edge of the rubber seal was silicone sealed.

By lunch today our slide out motor had been replaced, along with the removal and installation of a new slide out seal. We were still waiting for HHH Electronics, Inc. to return our OTA antenna which I spoke about in yesterday's blog.

Top case removed showing gears and circuit board
After lunch the antenna was returned from HHH with the notation "Bad, Must be Replaced".  Well that didn't tell me a whole bunch as I already knew that it wasn't working.  Let me say upfront that I have never liked this antenna since we first used it.  The range is just not nearly as good as the old "batwing" antennas.  I believe that Tiffin uses this style of antenna because the footprint on the roof takes up far less room than the batwing.  It's also controlled by remote control and I guess MH folks like electronics.  LOL  Personally, I was able to raise, lower, and manually turn the old styled antenna without much trouble. (Sorry, I"ll climb off the soapbox.)

Note corrosion and rust inside case
My choice at this point was to replace the entire antenna "head" at a cost of about $79 from an online source or have the antenna replaced at a higher price here.  The warranty from the company is only for 90 days.

I regularly monitor the Tiffin RV Network forum. This is totally owned and run by Tiffin owners and has NO connection to Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. so it's a great place for unbiased opinions and has been very helpful with keeping abreast and diagnosing problems with our rigs.  The forum is open to anyone and contains a wealth of information for anyone who owns any motorhome, or for those thinking about owning a motorhome. I recalled reading a thread on the forum about owner's with a similar problem.  Went back to the thread and found that I could order the entire motor/gear assembly and the amplifier circuit board for $26  from AntennaCraft, the distributor of the antenna. Once again, the TRVN forum came to my rescue.

Larger diameter of new roller on left
Our tech next went to work on making our slide out operate more smoothly.  He advised that Tiffin has recently been using a slightly larger diameter roller to enable the slide to operate more smoothly without a large rise and drop as the slide out moves into final position.  Our large slide out contains 8 rollers, with 3 of those being located closer together on the left end where our residential refrigerator is located.
The rollers were replaced and the slide out tested.  Ah, much smoother!  Plus the new motor seemed to move the slide much better as well.

It was now the end of the day and we had one other "more significant" item on our list to be addressed.  For this one, a supervisor was called in to make an inspection, and more importantly, discuss who was going to pay for the repair.  The good news is that this repair will be a warranty item by Tiffin (although our rig is now 3 years old).  The bad news is that it will probably take 3 days to effect the repair.  We are much happier with the progression of the repairs today. Sorry, but you'll have to read our blog tomorrow to find out what this repair will entail.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!


  1. Teaser, teaser. Our front driver-side slide out now operate more smoothly as well ... nice when it all falls into place. A good workday in the bay.

  2. Very interesting seeing that Tiffin continues to upgrade their product to make it better and they are upgrading your MH to that new standard. You should get many trouble free years now that those upgrades are done.

    Nice job with the photos of the old and new, makes understanding the work easy. Hope all the work goes smoothly.


  3. We're making notes from your efforts on these RB blog posts. You need to know it is really appreciated!

    1. Thanks Bill. As I said in the beginning of this series, this is an account of OUR experiences, it may or may not be applicable to anyone else.