Being on the road full time in our motor home continues to be a great life style. We enjoy the freedom to go on a whim to interesting places, and the minimal upkeep of a smaller living space. But every abode, whether sticks and bricks or rolling house, requires maintenance. Imagine for a moment loading a fully functional small house on a tractor trailer and driving a couple thousand miles down not so great roads — feels a bit like a minor earthquake. Things get loose, and engines need some care.
Thus, we find ourselves in Red Bay, Alabama, home of the Tiffin factory, for our semi-annual checkup and some minor warantee work. Given the season when many RVers (snowbirds) are heading south for the winter, including lots of Tiffin owners with the same plans as ours, the service campground is full with spill over into other sites around town. So here we sit among about 90 of our fellow travelers waiting our turn to get into a service bay — approaching 2 weeks and counting!
What to do with time in a small Alabama town (in a dry county)? Actually, quite a lot.
Well, we missed the Rattlesnake Saloon (out of County) the last time through.
This time we made the trip with good friends. Because of its unique location in very rural Alabama, you park your car, climb into the back of a pickup and get taxied down a steep dirt road along a small cliff. The saloon is built under a large rock overhang – good food and assorted beverages.
And we enjoyed the live music entertainment!
While we didn’t visit on this trip, we did last time…the Coon Dog cemetery is a one of a kind.
Wonderful canine friends have been interred here for many years. It is the only such memorial to these remarkable dogs.
Daisy was just one to many markers – the flag was behind her metal cutout head stone.
With time to spare while waiting our tour, friend Hugh offered to take me for a round of golf…..given that I was in college the last time I was on a golf course, I agreed as long as I could ride in the cart and just take pics! No lie, he played a pretty good round finishing not far over par………
Many of the folk that work at the Tiffin plant and service area also provide services after hours. Since we accumulated a significant amount of soil coming through the west Texas oil patch, it was time for a good coach cleaning. It needed a wash, wax and roof treatment, done for a very reasonable cost, and productively occupied a Sunday afternoon. She came out looking brand new!
The other ‘must’ to do while here is the factory tour. This was my second time through and with so much to see it was especially valuable. First time is simply overwhelming. This time I knew what to look for to better understand how our home on wheels was put together. Here are some assorted pictures to give just a sense of the scale of this operation.
Starting with a truck chassis…..
….to building furniture…
….and stringing wire harnesses together … (each length of wire is printed every 6 inches with all the info telling what it does, where it goes, on what coach)….
…when the sides go up, and the roof goes on, it begins to resemble a motor home..
They go offsite to a paint shop, and at the end of the line they start looking pretty sharp!
True to Tiffin’s reputation for first class customer service, at the end of the tour you can take a self-guided tour back through any part of the process. And, many folks come here to watch their coach being built. It is remarkable, the free access that Tiffin provides to their facilities.
They’ve come a long way from the very first Tiffin RV…
Lastly, I can’t forget to mention the campground ‘mascots’. They provide a very effective alarm clock, going off, persistently, about 4AM each morning…..
We’ve thought of assorted names for them, but will pass on repeating them here in what I assume is polite company….
With our work nearly finished, it comes time to plan for departure and the trip to the next stop. In our case, that means a longish run to our winter quarters in Florida with maybe an interesting stop or two along the way……..more good times chasing this fun life style!
Stay tuned for more glimpses down the road……..