Friday, May 24, 2019

Our Phaeton Returns to the Mother Ship

Posted from Red Bay, AL

So after leaving Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ on the 18th we began our journey east back to Red Bay, AL (AKA the Mothership) to have several items repaired, and to have our routine annual maintenance done by Bay Diesel, also located in Red Bay, AL.

We did a 5-day, 4-night leisurely drive of a bit over 1700 miles.  The trip included a stay in an Escapee's park in Deming, NM, a TX rest area overnighter, a commercial park in Santo, TX, another rest area overnighter in AR, then an arrival in Red Bay, AL on Wednesday 5/22. Should anyone care to view either our current year's travel, or travel from previous years, this link will take you to both.

Why return to Red Bay, you might ask?  Well, our summer plans included returning to the East Coast, so we thought we'd take a detour to the Tiffin Service Center to have a few items repaired.  None of these were that serious until our last night in the AR rest stop.  It poured rain all night long and we found that we have roof leaks allowing water to drip into our interior living space.  One of the spots in the bedroom was actually dripping through the LED light fixture.  That can't be good!  So repair of the leaking areas is now a top priority and we have a feeling that this will entail several days of work by an independent repair place here in Red Bay.

Why at an independent shop you might ask? Well, that's because the Tiffin Service Center changed their repair policy awhile back and now coaches which are between 4 and 10 years of age are only allowed work in "Express" bays.  That means that you can have 2 techs work on any problems for a total of 3 hours. At the end of 3 hours, that's it. If all of your items are not completed, then it'll be another trip to the "Express" bay after 60 days have gone by.

If your rig is over 10 years, then you are out-of-luck at the Tiffin Service Center.  No work will be performed there.  Fortunately many service-oriented businesses have sprung up as a result of these policy changes at Tiffin. It will actually work out better in the end as most, if not all, of these folks worked at Tiffin before starting their business and you can schedule an appointment (by date and time), unlike at the Tiffin Service Center where it's first come, first served.

Stay tuned for my next blog (which I'll reserve for completion of all work) where I'll itemize by job and costs of all work we're having done this trip.

Again, thanks for stopping by to take a look!


  1. That is some strange policy but thankfully independents have stepped up to provide service.

    Water leaks, the bane of RVs. I've been fighting a leak somewhere in one of my slide gaskets, without success. My only recourse is a trip to the WB factory service center in Iowa for a total slide gasket replacement. There are not any RV shops here in SC that I'd trust to do it right and I want to have it done correctly the first time.

    Hope you enjoy your time on the East Coast and are here long enough to get all that desert sand out of your MH. ;c)

  2. Steve,

    We just left Red Bay. The 10 year rule hasn't affected us because of the growing number of independent shops that are popping up.

    By the way, there is a "new to me" tool outlet store in Belmont, across the street from the paint shop and a little south down the highway, that as a friend commented to me, is like a Freight Harbor on steroids!! Check it out if you have a slow day.

    Enjoy your summer travels.


    1. Darn Richard. Sorry we missed you. Actually, we will be having very done at the Tiffin Service Center. Most things will be done by independent shops.
      I believe we visited that place in Belmont the last time we were here. Some good deals, some not-so-good deals.

  3. We had a similar water leak dripping through our LED light fixture, turned out to be a bad gasket between the bedroom a/c and the roof...

    1. I think our leaks are coming from the seam between the front and rear caps and the roof itself. I've caulked the heck out of these areas, but I did find some "possible" entry spots when we arrived in Red Bay. Looks as though we are going to see some interior ceiling panel work, so this might take a bit.