Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Home, Sweet Home!

Finally, after almost three weeks, our number came up.  We got the word on Monday evening to report to Bay 6 at 7:00 Tues. morning.  The long, hot days we’ve experienced waiting, waiting, waiting suddenly seemed insignificant.  We happily went to bed early and got up a smidge before dark-thirty Tuesday morning, made our final packing preparations, including digging out an overnight bag in case we got sent to a motel for a night (we did).  We reported as directed to Bay 6 and found – another motor home in there!  Not to worry, we were told, they would be out of there promptly, and they were.  We met with the techs and went over our list.  The lead tech told us that he really did not think they would have our coach ready to stay in that night and we should be prepared to stay at least one night in a motel.  *Gulp*.  Ok, we can do this. 

We left the guys to their work and went off in search of adventure.  We’ve “seen it, done it, got the t-shirt” for most of the sights around here, including the Coon Dog Cemetery (yes, it’s a real cemetery for real Coon Dogs), the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Helen Keller’s birthplace, Swamp John’s, Tishomingo State Park, and various dams and lakes in the area.  So we just made a quick run over to Florence to the PetCo store to pick up a new type of walking lead for Jasmine.  On the way back, I caught this interesting road picture:

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By the time we got back, we found the guys already had the slide off, including the floor.  Here’s what the Castle looked like without the slide:

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And the slide:

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The new floor was ready to install:

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With the threat of rain in the forecast, our tech told us at this point that they did not want our coach to be outside at all, and to go ahead and find out about getting a motel room for the night.  He sent us to the office to get it set up.  Well, when Jim went to the office, he discovered another casualty of the recession – Tiffin no longer pays for customers’ stay at a motel.  So we got the name of a good motel in Russellville and headed off to get checked in and get the dogs settled.

We stayed at the Best Western in Russellville, about 25 miles from Red Bay.  One of their conditions for letting the dogs stay was that we could not leave the dogs alone in the room.  With the heat index still pretty high, we just decided that one of us would stay with the dogs in the room, and the other would go fetch food and snacks for the night.  Jim was appointed the “hunter-gatherer” and I stayed behind with the “kids”.  He brought back snacks and a delicious pizza which was so filling we never did get to the snacks!  We just hung out and rested.

This morning brought another early morning wake up for us.  We had a quick breakfast at the motel and got ready to get back to Red Bay to check on the progress of the Castle.  We did make a quick stop to pick up some goodies for the techs to share.  I would have baked something for them if I’d had an oven available and the weather had been more cooperative, but they appreciated the thought, anyway.

By the time we arrived at Bay #6, this is what the progress looked like:

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The floor was in, the new carpet on and the slide was back in place.  We also got a new gasket seal around the slide and new metal trim support piece across the top of the slide.  The carpet is a very close match to the rest of the carpet in the coach (there isn’t much, some under the sofa, driver and passenger seats and the bedroom). 

They guys were almost finished, just had a few items to complete, so we went to the customer lounge area and waited around.  Finally, just after lunch, we got escorted, along with our paperwork, to the accounting office to settle up.  I won’t go into full detail, but we ended paying about 10% of the total for all the work that was done.  Some of the items were at our request and not covered at all under any warranty.  But most of it was either a rework of a previous warranty fix or something that should not have happened, like the slide floor breaking. 

Another change to Tiffin policy is that they now charge $10 a night for the campground for all coaches that past the original 12 month warranty period, even if part or all of the work is done under warranty.  We ended up paying less than $700 for both the work and the campground.

We got the Castle filled with propane and fuel and got back to our site for the last night here just before the skies opened up and we were totally drenched!  Things have settled down now, and we are happy campers, getting prepared for an early departure tomorrow morning.  We’re expecting to arrive in Elkhart, Indiana on Friday to begin the fun week before the Gypsy Journal Rally begins!

Let the fun continue!


Mark and Dortha said...

I am so glad the castle is back together and ready to roll.

Travel safe and we will see you soon.


Rod Ivers said...

Even at $700, I wonder what other manufacturer would stand behind a 2008 coach like this. The rig may not be a Prevost, but the service is second to none!!! I'm fairly sure if we ever replace ours it will be another Tiffin!

Anonymous said...

Long....3 weeks, huh? So glad you're "On the Road Again"! Safe travels!

Janna and Mike said...

So glad the Castle is back together, that was a scary photo with the slide completely out. Safe travels you guys!