2013 USA Pacific Northwest travel blog

Red Bay, AL - Tiffin Motorhomes Service Center, Gates Rd Dry Camping

Red Bay, AL - Tiffin Motorhomes Service Center, Gates Rd Dry Camping,...

Forrest City, AR to Red Bay, AL 0 - our route -...

Our trip to Red Bay, AL from Forrest City, AR took 230 miles of mostly interstate so no pictures. The trip included a detour to Custom RV in Vina, AL to have a new refrigerator installed. We arrived at Custom RV about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday the 23rd and parked there waiting on the install Thursday. Brannon installed the new Whirlpool Thursday along with new AGM batteries for the house side and new Interstate starting batteries. He had the wrong inverter for us so we had to go back to get it installed later.

We also spent Thursday night at Custom RV, then left Friday morning to get the service on the chassis and generator. This was accomplished by about 9:30 a.m. (everything starts at 7:00 a.m. in Red Bay - we call it Red Bay time) and we proceeded to check in at the Tiffin Service Center Campground. We knew it was extremely crowded but hoped to at least get a dry camping spot in the overflow area. We were fortunate enough to do exactly that and were told we should have a full hookup in four to five days. We say fortunate because there are coaches parked in RV parks up to an hour and a half away waiting for a hookup site that were unwilling to wait in the overflow dry camping area.

We spent the weekend doing our usual in the fall - watching football. Doris did manage to get a lot of clothes washed Sunday morning before the games started while I worked on trying to get our rooftop satellite antenna to work properly. Monday dawned and we just sat and waited for a phone call for any of three things: Brannon to let us know the new inverter was ready for installation; the campground office to tell us they had a camping site for us; or the service center to call us to a bay to repair our list of items.

Brannon did call about 3:00 p.m. so we headed back out to his place. He installed the new inverter and also installed an Automatic Generator Start that will start the generator automatically whenever the battery voltage drops too low. We are now completely set up to use the new residential refrigerator, new batteries and a pure sine wave inverter that allows us to run any 120 VAC item we want without worry of it burning up as we did with the old modified sine wave inverter. The new refrigerator is 22 feet instead of the old 12 foot Norcold we had and it freezes and cools so much better than the Norcold. It was an expensive upgrade but well worth it as much as we use the coach. That completed our upgrades and left our list of things at the service center as all that was left.

Prior to our phone call from Brannon, I had met with the maintenance scheduler and confirmed that we wouldn't be here long enough to get into an express bay for our three hours of repair work. They also have a mobile "A Team" that comes to the coach and does a limited list of repairs - for instance they don't do anything that requires getting on top of the coach. I reduced my list to just those things the A Team could handle.

The main thing they couldn't do that we needed was to replace the slide topper on our largest slide. So, I got the part number of the topper and ordered it at the campground store so that we could get someone else to do the actual replacement. The computer said they had ONE in stock so I was hopeful.

Bright and early Tuesday morning the A Team came to our coach and within three hours had repaired my shortened list. One advantage to having work done here at the service center, other than their obvious expertise on Tiffin coaches, is they let you look over their shoulder anytime you wish and it is a very good way to learn how these things work and how to get to some areas where that isn't obvious.

Once they finished their work I headed to the campground store and, luckily, they had the slide topper. I then went across the street to another RV service place and they had time to install it. That was done by about 2:00 p.m. and we came back to our spot in the dry camp area. I went to the office and paid the bill for the A Team's service that morning and then checked out at the campground office. By 3:30 we had done everything necessary for us to leave tomorrow. It's amazing how you sit around this place for days and get frustrated waiting your turn and then all of a sudden everything falls in place and your done!

Anyway, tomorrow we head for an intermediate stop near Montgomery for two nights before going on to Albany, GA to visit with old friends for a few days before proceeding home.

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