Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 4 at the Tiffin Service Center

Red Bay, AL

At the end of yesterday's blog I closed with a bit of a "teaser".   Well, as Paul Harvey used to say "Here's the  rest of the story".  The latest repair has to do with our interior ceiling.

 Our Phaeton has the normal vinyl ceiling, but the main living and kitchen area is adorned with wood trim which forms the look of a tray ceiling. In our case, the vinyl panels are four foot wide and run side to side up to the wood trim.  The section inside the wood trim is then recessed about 1 1/2 inches. The structural "beams" in the ceiling are aluminum and the AC/Heat Pump ducting is cut into the styrofoam  of the aluminum grid structure.

Our problem is that the area inside the wooden applique has begun to "droop".  At the extreme point I measured a drop of about 1 inch.  To me it felt like the ceiling material was releasing from the glue used in the construction process of the ceiling.  When conferring with our tech and his supervisor it was made clear that this would be a messy job depending upon how easily the ceiling panels could be removed.  Another element  was that we would be looking at 3 days to make the repair.  The supervisor advised us that in addition to removing the ceiling vinyl, panels, lights,  a/c ducting and vents in that area that they would reinforce the area by bolting two steel strips running front to back beyond the edges of the tray ceiling area.  We made the decision to go ahead with the repair because I was afraid of future structural problems if we let it continue, and also because an additional 3 days of repairs really doesn't matter to us fulltimers.

Our tech began work as soon as we pulled into the bay at 7:00 AM this morning.  We were very impressed with the care he took he protecting the rest of our coach and our "worldly goods" by spreading plastic sheeting around the perimeter and carpeting on the floor.

Today's blog doesn't contain as many minute-by-minute details as in previous days.  By lunch the wooden trim, ceiling panels inside the trim, lights, vents, and ducting were removed and outside the rig.  Because several panels were damaged during removal, new panels were ordered and lighting and vent holes had to be cut.  The steel reinforcing strips were drilled and countersunk for installation tomorrow.

At the end of the work day all of the protective sheeting and carpeting was removed for us to be able to "live" in the rig back at the service center campground.  Hopefully, tomorrow we'll begin to see some construction of the ceiling again.

SPECIAL NOTE: In yesterday's blog I forgot to include information about Denise and her husband Ken.  Denise worked with Karen in a dental practice in Woodbridge, VA years ago before they moved just east of Huntsville, AL.  Denise and Ken made the drive yesterday to meet us for lunch and have a short visit with Karen.  I, unfortunately, needed to stay with the continuing work on the rig, so Karen and Denise and Ken went to lunch together.  Thanks again guys for making the trek to the "center of Alabama".   LOL

Thanks for visiting our blog!


  1. Maybe they can install a nice skylight while they have it all apart!

  2. What next? Hope all of Tiffin's techs can put your Phaeton back together again.

    Just a thought, maybe while they're working on the ceiling, you can get them to install a sunroof, to make up for all the trouble! ;c)

  3. Goodness, seems like you find more to "fix" every day. Sure hope they know what is needed and how to make it work. Good luck!

  4. I remember you mentioning the problem at dinner; worth the time to get the fix done now ... hopefully under warranty or reduced cost ;-) Nice friends you have there to make the trek from Huntsville.