Friday, June 24, 2011

Gettin fixed up!

The Tiffin experience is different than most repair places.  You can't make an appointment by just calling up and saying I'll be over next Tuesday!  Appointments are made three months in advance for the following quarter of the year.  So on January first, you make an appointment for sometime in the second quarter.  I had one for the fourth week in April.

So by just showing up this week, all you can get is an express visit.  That is a total of three hours of repairs.  Even if you have a brand new coach, you have to prioritize your list and get the most important stuff done in your three hours.  Then make an appointment three months from now for the rest.  To me this is one big reason NOT to purchase a Tiffin product.

Or, make sure your dealer can fix most all of the stuff that you find wrong in a more timely manner and save the nasty stuff for the express visit.  Even now this campground is at least 60 percent full, and every repair door had a coach in it this afternoon.

That is a long explanation for you to understand what is totally wrong with me just popping in on a Wednesday and thinking that I can get it all taken care of in the morning.  But I did go talk directly with the repair foreman, explaining that all I had was a bad jack that we couldn't figure out working with the phone folks.  And, it didn't hurt that I had the phone guy with me when we went in the foreman's office either.

So he made a post-it note to get me in when there was a break!!

I was up at 6 because they start at 7 around here, and I was showered and had breakfast mostly done, in case they called right away.  But of course that didn't happen.  In fact I seriously wondered if it would happen at all today, so I walked over to the welding shop where they fix jacks and sure enough they had one coach inside and another behind it.  Eww.....

But after pouring myself a cup of coffee and walking around a bit, imagine my surprise when my cell phone rang and I was told to be at door 39 in ten minutes.  I had everything stored away and only needed to bring in one slide and roll up the power cord.

This welding shop has wheel lifter type jacks that can raise a motorhome six feet in the air.  And they almost had it up before I could jump out.  The fellow asked which jack I thought didn't work and went directly to it testing the motor.  He had a battery with the correct connector on its lead and ran the jack up and down, testing its clutching action as it parked.  Nope, jack's not bad.

So he let the coach down enough that he was right at eye level with the storage locker with all the wiring. After examining the control lead repair I had made, he declared it good too.  Now with one guy in the coach pushing buttons and the main guy with his meter on the controller, they declared that it worked too.   What the heck?

This is where the experience factor comes in, as he grabbed a hold of the bundle of wires and jerked them with a mighty tug.  The wire on the bad jack came off in his hand!  "There's the problem" he said.  Seems that these connectors are also butt jointed on to the wiring loom back up in the top of the locker about a foot back, where I hadn't noticed the connections.  Oh, I felt soooo stupid..........

I drove all the way to Red Bay for a 20 cent butt joint crimp!!  Well, and all of his knowledge having fixed a bazillion of these before.   He declared, "That ain't the first one of them I seen like that!"

So since it was suddenly down on the floor and reprogrammed for level, I asked if they could evacuate the dash AC for me too. I still  had enough time left on the repair ticket, so they did.  That took the rest of the hour and a little more.  It was down a half of a pound of freon, as the AC was only blowing 70 degrees.  When they got done, it was blowing 50!

So by about 12:30 I was back on the campsite all leveled up on the jacks with the slides out.  Entire bill was $134.  Only $38 of it was for fixing the jack, and the rest was for the machine that works over the AC.    Oh, and about $700 bucks worth of fuel to get here.  But they are experts, I need to keep remembering that....

Loyce thought tonight, that bad wiring like that should still be warranty stuff, but that isn't how it works in the real world.  They put it together good enough to last for the first year, and then all bets are off.... And the worst of it was that I complained that the jacks didn't work right the last time I was here in April, but they couldn't duplicate my problem.  Drat.........

This afternoon, I went out and rode most of the way over to Tupelo on the motor scooter just to get my mind off of all of this.  But hey,  its fixed for now anyway!

Retired Rod


  1. That repair process sounds very complicated! But I am glad that at least you got a couple problems fixed while you were there. :) Have a great day!

  2. Good to see they found the problem, eveytime I read about jack problems on a MH I sometimes am glad my rear jacks go down with a cordless drill. to simple.Have a safe trip home. Sam & Donna...

  3. Nice to have that problem fixed even though it cost a bit. That was one problem that only experience could fix and find. Talk about a needle in a haystack.

  4. Better to have the pros fix it. Glad it all worked out for you though. Stay safe.

  5. Know what u mean....I researched for a couple of years before we bought a mh and Tiffin was touted to have THE best repair service. I bought it and the one and only experience I had with them left a bad taste in my mouth. We called ahead...ended up being sent to one of their "ex" employees who had started his own business and was "really good". Found out 3 days later after we'd reached our destination in PA that maybe he wasn't so good after all...ended up with a leak coming in thru the vent over the bed. My husband had to climb up and put a tarp over it til it quit raining, then let it dry out some and repair it himself. So much for their reputation. If there's ever another purchase in my future I'm going to be checking out American Eagle. Oh well, so much for repairs. Glad ur's is done and u can be on ur way. Safe travels.

  6. Hi Rod,
    I am glad you got your problem fixed with your jacks. I have to say, we have owned 3 Allegro Motorhomes, and have had excellent service @ Red Bay. I am sorry you had such an unpleasant experience.

  7. Just for the record here, I want to make sure that everyone knows that the repair staff at Tiffin is excellent!! The place is just overwhelmed with folks needing stuff done, and it can be frustrating to get your turn at the bench.

    I was mad at myself for not being able to diagnose this simple wiring problem, as I am an electrical wiring type of a fellow and have been all my life. I should have never missed this connection, but it simply didn't occur to me that it was up there way back in the dark on top of the frame.

    Again, this is where the Tiffin fellows are experts!! They new exactly what I needed. But it had to completely quit for them to fix it, and that took the second trip!! $$$$ Grumble, grumble....


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