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About a week ago we made our annual pilgrimage to Red Bay, AL. Red Bay is the home of Tiffin Motorhomes and we like to re-visit the service center from time to time (hey, it's not that bad here, really!)
On this trip we had several items which were pre-planned such as having our entrance steps replaced at the Tiffin Service Center and having our annual maintenance on the coach performed at Bay Diesel (a local shop in town).
After getting up on the ladder and taking a closer inspection, I decided it was time to replace all four of our slide toppers as well.
The largest expense was replacing all six of our tires on the rig, but it was also time to replace the four tires on the Honda Fit.
A bit of background explanation is needed here as to why the steps are being replaced to begin with. Our coach originally had Coach Steps by Lippert as OEMs. It seems that the Coach Steps had a little problem with a main bolt breaking which allows the steps to drop and swing freely possibly causing serious injuries to someone who might be using them at the time. It turns out that this wasn't such a small problem as NHTSA got involved and forced a safety recall for certain model years of MHs (not just on Tiffins). If you have this step on your MH, you might want to check with the NHTSA site (for Tiffin, the recall number is #15V-880), or with your coach manufacturer for the recall.
The involved Tiffins are as follows:
2007-2010 Allegro Bays
2008-2015 Allegro Open Roads and REDs
2008-2015 Allegro Buses
Any of these rigs manufactured between May 25, 2007 and December 18, 2014 are involved in the recall.
The "fix" which Lippert was allowed by NHTSA was to install a bracket beneath the fan gear (beside the motor) which would catch the assembly WHEN the bolt broke. I wasn't too thrilled by their solution, so when I heard that Lippert was giving a $200 credit if the end user wished to get rid of the old steps altogether and have the Kwikee brand of steps installed, this is the option I chose.
Our next pre-planned order of business was to have our routine chassis, engine, and generator annual service work performed at Bay Diesel. I've used this company every year since we purchased our coach when in Red Bay. I don't necessarily think that they do any jobs FAR better than another business could, but I like the idea of being able to be in the bay (and under the rig) while the maintenance work is actually being performed. It gives me a chance to observe their work and ask questions at the same time.
I've already come to realize that anything on a MH chassis is expensive, but the replacement price for this pipe floored me. Just the part itself was over $700. WHAT!!
Chris Morrow is the owner of Bay Diesel and advised that he had seen similar breaks on Allegro Buses.
|"low tech" bead breaking procedure|
Your Tire Supply. I had always had a very slow leak on my right rear inner tire and I attribute it to the valve extension on that tire. Access to fill all of the tires is now quick and easy.
Not directly related to the motorhome, but a part of our cash outlay while in Red Bay was the replacement of all four tires on the Honda Fit. We had these installed at the Costco at Barnes Crossing near Tupelo, MS. The tires had over 62,000 miles combined driving and towing.
Well, that completes our list of planned, and unplanned, work done while we were in Red Bay. Here's a re-cap of the actual costs.
Replace Steps (after rebate credit): $345.36
Flex Pipe Replacement : $355.00
Routine Coach Service : $323.63
New Coach Tires : $2958.25
New Honda Tires : $496.53
New Slide Toppers : $1058.46
Misc. Tiffin Store Purchases : $ 77.44
GRAND TOTAL $ 5614.67
Hopefully, a few of these larger ticket items will not need to be replaced for several years. I mainly wrote this post for folks new to the RVing lifestyle or those thinking of becoming fulltimers someday. The purpose is to show the need to budget for items such as these (and more) because repairs and sometimes modifications need to be done.
Thanks for stopping by to take a look!
Glad you had the VIP treatment at RB. So sorry we missed you this trip. Looking forward to reading more blogs....you guys rock...and roll.ReplyDelete
It's okay Marty. I know that we'll all come home to roost one day. LOLDelete
New tires on the coach ... check ... did that last November. Will probably head to RB next summer to get a few things done, including the steps, before we move further west and the distance becomes greater.ReplyDelete
This was the least busiest time we've ever seen while in Red Bay. The actual time at the Service Center moved along very quickly.Delete
All good information, great write-up and you are right, all things that will need to be taken care of by all motorhome owners at some point, well hopefully not the exhaust thing but you just never know.ReplyDelete
Dave & Diane
Yep, these big beasts are expensive to own, but you have to keep them up. I think using the factory service centers is the best idea, lots of money but you know it's been done right.ReplyDelete
I am going to switch to Toyos too next time, Michelins are too expensive and after just four years I'm seeing hairline cracks developing. Frustrating on such expensive tires.
I like the black toppers, they look great! Obviously Karen picked them out, ladies are much better at color coordinating than us guys! ;c)
We're pleased thus far with the Toyos. Our size went from a 275/80R22.5 to a 295/75R22.5 to be a comparable size and I actually like the looks of the Toyos better. Time will tell, but they were over $1100 cheaper than the best price I saw for the Michelins.Delete
No, Karen did not select the black color for the toppers. A guy parked next to us in Red Bay was getting ready to have his replaced and suggested the black color. I'm glad he did, because I was going to re-install the same color we had.
Slide topper look good!Delete
I'd say you did well getting out of there at that price considering all the things you had done. Didn't know the exhaust pipe crack was that common. Our repair at an MHC Kenworth shop cost us $1200. I like your number better. Thought you'd have the hot water heater anode maintenance and wash/wax on your list... :)ReplyDelete
Now Randy, I was trying to remain silent on the whole WH anode rod incident. LOLDelete
well guess I should call about my steps to see if they are in the recallReplyDelete
Great post Steve showing the costs one does get into on the road. We put Michelins on Winnona in early 2011 and so far see no problems at all but will replace them at 7 years regardless just as you did. I think that's a good call. Thanks for suggesting Toyo. Let us all know how they continue to perform.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sherry. I'll try and post an update on them after about a year (if I remember, LOL).Delete
It was nice seeing you all again. Sorry you couldn't stay with us llonger.ReplyDelete
Excellent post. I'm facing many of these issues as well..ReplyDelete