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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Trip–2014: Little Rock and Red Bay, AL

We have dubbed this trip as indicated by the title.  We left Victoria about noon on last Wednesday, and traveled about 550 miles to Little Rock, AR with an overnight stop at a Wal-Mart in Marshall, TX.  Our plan is to stay in Little Rock and take care of our granddaughter, Rachel, through Sunday at noon, and then drive to Red Bay, AL, where the Bus was manufactured, to have some upgrades and maintenance work performed.  We will then travel to Perry, GA to attend the FMCA Motorhome Showcase from March 17 to 20, 2014 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry.  When this rally ends, we will travel (slowly) to Sevierville, TN to attend a TRVN Tiffin Rally from March 30 to April 6.  After that, we will find a route to travel back to Victoria.  We expect to be home around mid-April.

We arrived at the North Little Rock Riverside RV park at about 1:00PM on Thursday.  We met our daughter at the Day Care where Rachel attends a few days a week to pick her up, and to see if she remembered us from our visit at Christmas.

We opened the door to where she was playing, and she ran to us saying “Pappaw, Gammie” over and over until she reached us and ‘hugged our legs!!  We took her to her house to see her dad, and then picked up her backpack and the three of us drove to the Bus. 

She stayed with us on Thursday through Saturday nights, and on Sunday, we met her Mom and Dad at the Purple Cow Malt Shop for lunch and handed her back over.  While she stayed with us, Mom and Dad spent a lot of hours unpacking boxes and putting stuff away in their new house……. a task that was hard to do with her under foot.

During the two days with Rachel, we went shopping for her, and ate out a couple of times.  We also spent lot of time just playing and visiting with her in the Bus.

Here are some pictures:

Patsy and Rachel playing with a game at Chili’s Restaurant………


Rachel looking at pictures and playing videos on Patsy’s cell phone….


One evening, Rachel found Patsy’s “hello Kitty” night shirt and decided she was going to wear it to sleep in (also holding her new purple bunny!….


We bought her a hair band that looked like purple glasses on her head,but she often decided to wear it as glasses!!!…..


Patsy got a couple of pictures of Rachel when she was laughing in the car………


Rachel will be celebrating her 3rd birthday in two weeks.

After we left Little Rock at 1:00PM on Sunday, we drove to Red Bay, AL.  Our destination was to Custom RV Inc., in nearby Vina, AL.  This is the shop of Brannon Hutcheson, an ex-employee of Tiffin that has opened his own shop to make repairs and modifications.  We had an appointment for Monday, so we spent the night in front of his shop, where he has 50AMP hookups for RV’s.

He showed up at 7:00AM on Monday, and got started on our list.   He took care of 8 jobs, some of them extensive, and finished in 4 hours.  While he was working on our list, Patsy and I went to the Tiffin Service Center to pick up some parts, and to try to make arrangements to get two items (dash a/c not cooling and replace a 110v breaker on the Gen Set) taken care of by their mechanic technicians.  We filled out the paper work for “express maintenance”, and then went back to Brannon’s.

Brannon had us completed by 1:00PM, and we headed into Red Bay to find a campsite with hookups at a self-service campground just down the road from the Tiffin Service Center.  After we got set up, we got a call from the Service Center to show up at a bay door at 7:00AM on Tuesday morning.

While we were in Red Bay, we went by the Tiffin offices to meet with the National Sales Mgr, Jerry Williamson, a guy that I met when we were buying the BUS.  He had volunteered to provide some Tiffin items for the TRVN rally, and I needed to pick them up.

As we walked into the plant area, we saw an old Tiffin motorhome parked behind the Security Office:


On Tuesday morning, we were up and ready to go before 7:00AM……. two (2) days in a row!!  We were in front of our bay at 7:00AM, and went right in.  The techs got on it right away, and we paid our bill and were on our way back to our self-serve site by 11:00AM.  This is the best visit in terms of getting stuff fixed fast that we have ever experienced!  Plus, the cost was right!!

We have run into a lot of fellow RV’ers that we know while we are here.  In this park, our neighbors are Joe and Jan Dabney, who are in the Lone Star Allegro Tiffin Club.  We are going out to dinner with them tonight!

With Brannon’s help, we found out that we needed an upgrade package to our remote IR system for use with our DISH receivers that we recently got installed in the Bus recently.  I found what we needed on Ebay, and ordered it using Brannon’s local address.  It is due here on Thursday, so we are going to hang around until it gets here.

More later……………

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