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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Shakedown Cruise

We departed Lazy Days on Monday and began the first cruise in the Phaeton.  Having a late start we cruised and I mean cruised, to a campground at Madison, Fl. in the panhandle area.  A very quiet Jellystone campground normally busy in summer months.  But a good stop for tired and new owners.  We even managed to activate the satelite and get some TV time.  WOW.

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We proceded on Tuesday with plans to stop near or above Montgomery, AL.  Alas, trouble occurred near Clanton, AL.  During a downpour we lost the drive side wiper arm. I mean the arm broke in half and was flopping along side the coach.  Now a 8 ft. wide windshield does not do well with one wiper.  We limped into a truck stop and managed to stay the evening.  Not so bad except later we lost all power to the coach. I mean no battery, inverter etc.  Now that would not be so bad but no heat was a bummer.  Also, the next morning we could not bring in the two slides we deployed the prior evening.   Patience is not my best side.  But calling to the Tiffin Factotry, our coach manufacturer in Red Bayt, AL. was a great experience.  Jerry in the service department walked me through jumping the power supply and we managed to return slides and begin our side trip to Red Bay and the factory.  We had planned to visit here later but now is the time.
Red Bay is a town of about 3,000 located adjacent to the Mississippi boarder and typical of a small rural community.  We new we were in a rural area when lunch was a great buffet with a cost of only $7.50 and everyone treated us like we lived here.  The check in at the Tiffin Plant/campground was the same.  We were quickly introduced to Cowgirl who later asked us to look at her "tush".  This was interpreted to be the rear of the coach with the Zephyr mud flap.  We are planning to do the plant tour tomorrow morning and hopefully the coach will be in a service bay tomorrow.  The express bay is for those who show up without an appointment. We plan to meet Bob Tiffin if possible. He is available to all visitors and owns the company.  Where can you visit a manufacturing plant and meet the owner.  This is one of the reasons we purchased the Phaeton. 

I must mention the experience at the Piggly Wiggley.  While purchasing vittals, I visited the deli counter and ordered some luch meet.  While waiting I notice several employees working in the area.   A young woman waited on me and was dishing up food.  The other folks were working but all the while were laughing, singing, telling stories and greating customers by first name and jokes.  This so reminded me of a church kitchen with all the women working and laughing.  Therefore, I informed the group they would be my "Piggley Wiggly Church Kitchen" in the next blog article.  Now I ask you, where does everyone know you name, ask how you are doing, kid  you about your hair, nails, etc. and make you laugh at the same time.  Try that at Wal Mart.  It was heart warming to watch these ladies, happy in their work but warm to customers and with a smile on the faces.  This has been our experience with everyone at Red Bay. 

Tomorrow, Norris is to visit our coach about 6:30 AM.  I was told at check in that he is a real redneck with a chaw of tobacco in his cheek but the guy to get us in the service bays.  I will be awaiting this man with my dog and  a hot cup of coffee.  I was also told the area sounds like an airport about 7 AM with all the diesel engines starting and coaches making way to the service bays.

We will look forward to a learning experience here at Tiffin.  Keep tuned for further developments.

Happy Trails
Denise & Barry

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