Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mr. Fixit and the Phaeton Has Issues

Elkhart, IN     High:  55   Low:  43

Our Tiffin has been terrific for two years...There have been some little things, nothing major. Eldy makes regular inspections checking everything out around the windows, doors, slides. He checks for a screw loose..haha...Sparky's got a few loose, but those can't be fixed! (Glad SHE said that!) Little things have come loose, a screw here and there, floor tiles loosening in a couple of places. Nothing we couldn't fix ourselves or live with where we felt we needed to make a trip to Red Bay. Until now....

We have noticed the floor starting to separate underneath the living room (the big slide) outside.

We have a gasket that seems to be shifting and pulling away from a corner on the outside wall.

We have a slide that is slowly rubbing the paint off where the gasket seal is supposed to protect that.

We have a battery tray weld that broke that holds the battery tray in the bay. We are looking for a possible local repair for that. The water heater won't stay lit on gas, but does fine on electric power.

Most of these things are going to have to be addressed in Red Bay as warranty issues, particularly the floor separation, which they tell us will be a one day job. We called Tiffin in Red Bay and there are no appointments available for three months, but you can come and get in line for repairs. Eldy has been checking the forums to see what the wait looks like.  A couple of days ago there were 157 coaches waiting at Red Bay for service! The boondocking sites were completely full. People were waiting to come in...  Sigh! We're thinking it might be better going in January when the snowbirds have already landed for the winter.... In the meantime....

Eldy's son, Brian, came by to help Eldy drain the water heater and replace the anode rod, something you should do at least once a year. It's an expensive rod, about 14.00. It's an easy job, too, but you want to have the water heater turned off and the water cooled down a bit before draining. Eldy had shut the water heater off a couple hours earlier for the purpose of draining the heater. It's a good thing he did, because both the guys forgot to release the pressure valve before draining. As they unscrewed the anode rod fitting, the water came exploding out with a year's worth of crud---all over Eldy!  Had the water not been cooled down, he could have been scalded! Here's what the anode rod looks like after a year of doing its job.

The guys got the job done....and the bay door chain and door closer fixed. A self-tapping screw had broken off in the screw hole, and the chain had fallen off, so that the wind COULD have caught the door and slammed it wide open...It's sort of a safety chain, just like on your screen doors at home. Brian helped Eldy whip through these projects with his ideas and suggestions on how to fix stuff. Thanks, Brian!

The third fix-it project for the day is ongoing....the steering wheel table idea, thanks to helpful information from Paul Dahl, R Sanity RV Adventures. We found an inexpensive accent table with a 20" diameter (9.00) at Bed, Bath and Beyond, (not found at Walmart, Michael's, JoAnn's, or Hobby Lobby). After seeing the screws of the legs were penetrating the top-- a manufacturing defect--Sparky decided on a bigger circumference table top-24"-- from Lowe's for a little more thickness, a nicer table top, and a little more money (17.00). We'll show photos of the final table project when it's complete. It was a productive day today...And oh, yeah! Sparky got a nice haircut! (When Mama's happy, everybody's happy! says a relieved E.) I'm happy!


  1. Replies
    1. And that's the best it looked for about a day. Once you wash it, it seems like you can never get the style back the way the hairdresser did it! Phooey! But thank you! :-)

  2. Always lots of projects, nice to have Brian there to help!

  3. A few little repair jobs are always waiting for when you are fulltime, just like a house and we had had our share of them in 7 years.

  4. Oh my this seems like lots of things Red Bay needs to take care of for you but such a wait. Maybe you should make an appointment for every month of the year and then just cancel the ones you don't need. Sorry to hear about these things. BUT I'm amazed that Eldy finds loose screws. I don't think David and I have ever even looked for loose screws. Guess we'd better add that to our list.

  5. Nothing like a good project. . .hope your Red Bay experience is an easy fix. . .


  6. I think it's marvelous that you had two years of almost no problems. Seems like most rigs have problems every year. That's why Red Bay is so busy. Good luck getting things fixed. I had to ask Jim about our water heater but he did that just last May so we're still good to go on that one. Love the hair cut. But you're right. After I wash it there is no way I can make it look like the stylist did.

  7. Ah, the when to go to Red Bay challenge. From what we have learned, an appointment helps speed along a major repair like the slide, but you will still be in the general queue for all other repairs unless you make a second app't., say a week later, maybe in the express bay. Tile work is done in another bay, etc. We ended up going with no app't. in April for mostly a new slide floor, but discovered we also needed new cap rails (which luckily for us did not also require a trip to the paint bay because our rails are all black). Then while you are there under warranty the list of little things you decide to have done seems to grow each day! We were there 19 days and while that seemed like a crazy long time, we had everything on our list completed and the final bill was zero, incuding the stay in their giant parking lot with hook-ups. We had friends go with an app't. in August thinking it would be slow but they were just as busy even with the boondocking area backed up. Bottom line: whenever you choose to go, be prepared to enter the vortex of Tiffin Time and don't miss a trip to the coon dog cemetary!

  8. What do California Tiffin owners do? We considered a Tiffin, but found the Alfa first and have had some work done on it at the best Alfa place in Southern California. It is on the way to our daughters in San Diego so it has worked out.

    Love the haircut. I liken my last one so much that I had Craig take pictures from all angles that I will take along the next time I need a cut. I'm hoping that if I show it to the Gal, or Guy that is doing my cut, they can get it some what the same. I may be dreaming.

  9. Yes, ditto on the seriously cool haircut!! So. I didn't know that a Tiffin was a Phaeton. I hope you get it all spiffy and perfect, just like the haircut!

  10. Great haircut; Mui made one of those steering wheel tables too ... haven't gotten around to blogging it yet.