About Us

Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Monday, October 26, 2009

Finished in Red Bay

This will be the only post for our three days in Red Bay.  When we arrived, our thought was that we would spend some time driving around the area looking at the fall colors, since they really seem to be turning.  However, we rarely left the campground except to run into town for supplies.

On Saturday, I replace the bulb in the porch light, but it took a while since all of the auto parts closed at noon in Red Bay.  I finally found the bulbs at Piggly Wiggly.  I also dismantled the TV control box and put in an A/B switch so that we could use the new omni-dimensional antenna or switch back to the old batwing by using the switch. 

The rest of the day, we visited old friends that we have made either on our visits here, or on the road.  Sonny and Barb, who we met at a Texas SC rally in Murchison, TX a couple of years ago, were parked across the street from us.  Cindy and her husband, who we met when we were here watching the Bus being built are also here.  My new buddy Robert, followed us here from Tellico Plains, and we spent some time together.  Pat and Jodi are new friends that we met here, and I got to meet Hollis (2XR), who I have communicated with over the TRVN many times.

Sunday was a really nice sunny and warm day.  After waking up late and having a late breakfast as ‘brunch’, Patsy decided that we needed to wax the front of the Bus.  That took most of the afternoon, and we spent the remainder sitting around the campground visiting.  Patsy walked out to the entrance of the campground and took this picture:

At the Campground 002

On Monday, we got a lot accomplished.  I went to the Tiffin office and met with Jerry Williamson, the National Sales Manager, whom I had worked through issues before.   We talked about an issue that came up with the Aqua-Hot heater system at Tellico Plains on some coaches.  He was very interested, and started looking into it.  Fortunately, I don’t have the system on my Bus!!

I then talked to him about my roof leak in a slide, and he agreed that it should be covered under warranty, and helped me get that message to the service center.

Lastly, we discussed an email that I had sent to him last week about the leveling jack system on the Bus.  We eventually included Danny Innman into this discussion and they convinced me that I should let them install new 15,000lb jacks on the rear of the Bus in place of the 10,000lb jacks.  Jerry had already got approval from Bob Tiffin for Tiffin to absorb the cost of this upgrade.

I then went to the Service Center the work scheduled, and all I could get was a slot in the Express Bay… a concept here for people who show up without an appointment, and have less than six hours of work to get done.   We got in at 3:00PM and out by 4:30PM with two techs working on it.  They found a couple of screw holes in the roof of the slide (from the manufacturing process), and sealed them. 

Since we already had an appointment for November 30, 2009, we agreed that we would return then to have the ceiling in the slide replaced and the new jacks installed, and since the jacks are in short supply, they put my name on two of them and set them aside.  That will give me time to make sure that the leak is really fixed.  Here are a couple of photos of the techs working on the leak:

At the Campground 004

At the Campground 005

We also got a chance to mail my buddy, Mark, a new shipment of lights for his upgrade to the ceiling lighting in his Phaeton.  Check out his neat work on his Blog.

We plan to leave for home tomorrow morning.  It is about an 850 mile trip, and we expect to arrive on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rally’s Over, Headin to Red Bay!

On Friday morning, we got up and packed the Bus to hit the road again!  The rally was not over until Saturday morning, but we needed to get to Red Bay and get in line for the Express Bay service for repairs to our slide leak, since we did not have an appointment. 

I wanted to stay at the rally until after 10:00am on Friday so that I could attend an open forum on technical topics about Tiffin motorhomes.  I did, and it turned out to be a good session. 

We headed out about 11:30am, and took another owner’s advice and took some back roads used by truckers.  It worked out well. 

The weather sort of cooperated.  We left with 70 degree temps, and along the way, it got up to the mid 80’s.  As we got close to Red Bay, it was getting down into the 50’s again.  The trip was just under 300 miles.  We also got into a little rain along the way.

Here are some photos along the way:

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Our route took us through Huntsville, AL, and the space camp:

Tellico Plains to Red Bay 020

We arrived at the Allegro campground in Red Bay, AL at about 4:30PM, and got the last full hookup site for the night.  Even though it was cold, we wanted to wash the Bus before we parked in our site. 

When I went into the office to register, there was a guy standing there talking to the host about directions,…… taking up the guys time while I was in a hurry, so we could start washing the Bus.  When he finished his conversation, he looked at me and said ‘Hey, how are you doing?  Do you remember me?”  I didn’t have a clue……. and told him so!  He wouldn’t tell me his name, but I finally listened to the voice and figured it out.  It was Wayne Milne, an RV’er from New York that we had met up with several times in Alaska during our Summer 2005 trip!  He and his wife, Nancy, were in the campground in their Newmar Mountain Aire motorhome and had toured the Tiffin factory….. trying to see how the better half lived!!

The Milne’s had plans to leave Red Bay on Saturday morning, so they came by the Bus to visit after we finished washing it and got parked.  As I remember, he never offered to help with the wash job!!

Here’s a photo of the Milne’s in the Bus:

The Milnes 001

They are on their way to Florida for the winter, and since we are planning a January trip to the large RV show in Tampa, we may meet up at the show, or drive to where they live to visit! 

Wayne, here is the registration form for RV parking at the show

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fireman’s Breakfast, Coach Tours, and Another Fun Day

Thursday began cold and early for the men in the group.  I think it is a tradition with the SE group, where on at least one day, the men get up and prepare breakfast for the group.  We started at 8:00am (7:00am CDST), which is the earliest I have been up and out of the coach since I had to deliver it to a repair bay at Red Bay!  It may be cold every day at this time, but I wouldn’t know……. I just know it was very cold and windy this morning! 

Most of the guys showed up and worked well together.  I think most of us were helpers, as it is clear that there are a few guys that really carry the load.

Here is the first picture that I took as I walked up to the pavilion where we had our meeting. 

Fireman's Breakfast 001

I think the KOA misrepresented the campground facilities to Skip Wathen….. the leader about what they had for a rally room.  He said that he expected walls, doors and windows…….. as well as a heater with a thermostat!!!!

The following are pictures that I took as the morning progressed.  Here are hearty soles cracking about 20+ dozen eggs for scrambling.

Fireman's Breakfast 002

I would like to post names with the pictures……….. but I just ain’t good with them.  I will post the names that I do remember.  The following are Nat Hardee(Echelon), center, Robert Ruff (Netfootin), on the right dressed by his wife to look like he just flew his open-cockpit plane in from Alaska, and a guy who was doing most of the work, whose name I regrettably don’t remember.  Their job was to break the yokes, which was not easy!  I even took a shot at it.

Fireman's Breakfast 004

The following photo shows some of the cooks.  They were frying bacon, sausage patties, and link sausage.  The only one I can remember the name for is the guy standing on the front end of the table with the tan shirt and ball cap …..  He is JB Stock(JBStock).

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Here are some more guys manning the cooking grills………

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Shortly before 9:00am, the ladies began to show up for breakfast……. plates in hand!

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Patsy soon joined the ladies waiting to eat and visiting:

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The following photo shows the food line beginning to get ready for serving,,,,,,

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…… and shortly after we opened it up for eating……

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Here is Patsy with our breakfast plates.  It was a very good breakfast:

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Here is a picture of Skip Wathen  (Backdraft) addressing the group.  He and his lovely wife, Marcy, (in the second picture in the yellow shirt) are the real strength (along with a couple of other board members) of the SE region of TRVN:

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The guy in the white jacket in Skip’s picture, is Alan Rueben (Sidekick).  I met Alan at Brannon’s shop in Red Bay, when I was getting my BrakeSwitch and TV antenna installed on the Bus.

Breakfast was over at 10:00am, and the coach tours started.  The tour consisted of about 8 motorhomes whose owners agreed to show the modifications that had been made to them to give ideas for other owners to consider.  Patsy and I opened our Bus.  For Patsy and I, the tour continued until about 2:00pm.

At 4:00pm, Skip Wathen, a retired firefighter, gave an instructive program about fires and specifically what to be thinking about to survive fires in a coach.  It turned out to be a full day.

Although the rally is not over until Saturday morning, with a potluck dinner on Friday night, Patsy and I are planning to pull out and head to Red Bay for a water leak.  We plan to leave early enough to arrive at the service center by 6:00pm Friday.

Tue & Wed at the Rally

Tuesday was the first day of the rally, and we spent the better part of the day watching folks roll in and hook up.  We met some of them and visited while the campground filled up with Tiffin coaches. 

Tiffins at KOA 004 Tiffins at KOA 002

At 4:00pm, we attended the “Meet and Greet” where couples gathered to introduce themselves, and to get verbal information about the rally.  When all the discussion was over, we had a dinner with ‘finger foods’ that everybody brought to the gathering. 

On Wednesday, Patsy and I used the CRV to tour another couple of areas.  First, we went to a small town called Croker Creek, TN that advertised a couple of craft and tourist shops.  After that, we drove back on the Cherohala Skyway to take a turnoff that we skipped on our Monday tour.  It took us to a waterfall called “Bald River Falls”.  The following are pictures that we took on the drive.   The first are of Llamas with their little donkey buddy that we saw on a small farm on the way to Croker Creek:

Cherohala Skyway 029 Cherohala Skyway 014  Cherohala Skyway 024  Cherohala Skyway 029

Here’s a house that was on the farm:

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As we drove toward the falls, we took pictures of the scenery:

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The above was a little waterfall that we saw on the way to Bald River Falls……. The following are pictures of Bald River Falls:

Cherohala Skyway 087 Cherohala Skyway 080 Cherohala Skyway 083

The pictures of Patsy and I were taken by the couple in the following photo……. newly weds, who we met at the falls:

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The next pictures were taken on the way back to town from the falls….. mainly along the river next to the road:

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Cherohala Skyway 114 Cherohala Skyway 116

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Along the skyway, we continued to see motorcycle riders…….. both coming and going:

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Tomorrow, there is a “Firemen’s breakfast” scheduled in the morning.  This is where the men prepare breakfast for the group!!!!!