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Monday, February 7, 2011

The story continues........

While the prior article dealt with the beginning of the shakedown cruise for the Phaeton, the rest of the story must be told.  I will for the sake of my readers be more brief than our experience.
View of service facility from entrance.

Norris did show at our coach at 7 am as promised. We were directed to Bay 8 for the express bay and service.  However, our Phaeton had other ideas.  Upon closing the slides (4) and readying to move, the rear jacks would not retract.  Now you do not move at all when the jacks are deployed.  This is a safety precaution and much appreciated.  We endeavored upon the Tiffin techs and they responded, manually raising the rear jack, laying on the frozen ground and patiently relieving us of the faulty jack.  Upon moving the Bay 8 we encountered Robie Smith, the electrician looking for our major problem loss of electrical power.  After replacing the faulty driver side wiper arm, he could not determine our electrical problem as all was working at that moment. Hence, we moved back to our camp site for another night.  We did however, receive a call that afternoon from the Jack Shop and were instructed to stage at Bay 39 at 7am. the next morning for the jack repair.

We did as instructed, of course, and waited at Bay 39 at 7 am.  I parked the coach in the bay and Denise parked my auto behind the bay door. This proved to be a bad decision.  The jack was replaced at cost of $700. and then the tech backed into my Lexus.  Busted front bumper and all.  However, to Tiffin's credit they asked me to obtain an estimate and they would cover the costs.  What a company.  No argument in the matter.

Bay 41 was our next stop for the electrical problem, not as yet solved.  Now if you do not have motorhome experience, let me enlighten you.  If you do not have 12 volt or 110 volt you are dead in the water.  You are at a loss for lighting, heat or anything requiring electricity.  Not good at below freezing in Red Bay, AL.  While we waited in the customer lounge, "pets permitted", the tech searched our coach.  Once again all was working properly.  I visited the bay enlighting Robie about the symptoms encounted with the electrical supply.  Standing nearby was a bit older man also a tech at Tiffin.  The two techs began brainstorming the problem saying things like "remember that coach we had 2 weeks ago with the bad fuze connections", etc. Now this was refreshing.  The two techs were sincerely working to find the problem.  Fortunately Robie moved the ground cable to the battery pack and all power was lost.  YEAH!  The problem was that the cable was not crimped to the connections as required. Therefore, the intermitent short.  That was corrected and all power returned.  ONCE AGAIN, TIFFIN SAID NO CHARGE, IT WAS OUR MISTAKE AT TIME OF CONSTRUCTION.

We left Tiffin and Red Bay, AL the next day with the warm and fuzzy feeling about Tiffin and their employees.  I do not think you would get this treatment and access at Monoco, Fleetwood or Winnebago. All we had to pay was the campground fee of $20/day and we were on our way.  We survived the return to Madisonville  without any problems.

Now upon our return last evening after dark, have you ever tried to put a 42.5 ft coach with hitch and large mirrors into a 44 ft. garage?  That required removal of the tow hitch and folding of the mirrors against the coach sides to finally close the garage door. I told Lady Denise this would be a concern, but no the 42.5 ft coach was a must have.  I also must admit I love the Phaeton for the quality, comfort, looks and the great drive.  So what if I cannot walk around the coach in the garage.  I can slide under to the other side or open the bay door and loose all the heat.  Not a problem.

So, the new coach is in the "barn" during another snow storm.  We plan to take the Phaeton back to Tiffin at least once per year for a check up.  The quality of the work and the friendly staff makes all the difference. The legend of the Phaeton and Tiffin family live on.

Happy Trails,

Barry & Denise

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