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Guide to Visiting Tiffin Properties for Dummies
The purpose of this document is to help any and all, to understand, how the place works. This is written from a Tiffin Motorhome owner’s perspective and my experience in going to Red Bay, and spending several days wandering around Tiffin Facilities.
Allegro Campground – Is located on the old Red Bay Airstrip (Latitude: N34 degrees 27.3916, Longitude: W 88 degrees 9.0507).
If you’re in your motorhome then you will be staying at the Allegro Campground. First thing you want to do is stop at the office and register in. The office is open 7AM to 8PM. We have been there several times and have enjoyed the Campground hosts every time, they are great representatives of the Tiffin team and will bend over backwards to help and assist you any way they can. If you are just visiting and taking a tour or just staying overnight, there will be a fee of $10 for parking. If going in for repairs whether scheduled or emergency, the parking fee is waved providing you’re in for warranty work. If you getting repairs but they are not covered by warranty, and then expect to get charged for the nights you use the campground.
The campground has the capacity to park 133 motorhomes. Some of these however will be dry camping (40 spaces). If memory serves me right, they have 93 parking spaces with full hookups (unless your there during the winter months). During the winter, they shut the water off all except a few locations. This means that you may have to occasionally have to leave your parking spot to take on water depending on how long you it takes to get in and get the repairs done.
During check in, if you are there for repairs, the campground hosts will also give you a packet. This contains some forms that you must complete. One of the forms is asking you to tell them what is wrong with your motorhome (a work list). This helps them decide where you need to go inside the shop as well as the extent of the necessary repairs. Campground Office No. is 256-356-.2769.
Emergency Repairs are considered to be those that are necessary to make the Motor home livable. I.E. Furnaces won’t turn on, Windshield leaking bad, Water heater won’t work. They will do their level best to work you in as fast as they can.
Drive Up Repairs – Rule of thumb here is “can the repairs be completed within 3 hours of shop time. One could have a dozen small items and because they are small and easily fixed, you could get in and out in short order.
Over 3 hours Work Time &8211; This may take some patience before you are assigned a slot into the repair shop. But the key is patience. We always have our repairs done as we are passing through either going or coming depending on the time of year. Their slow time is usually after the snowbirds have gone south and last until they start back north. In other words, during the extreme weather months at Red Bay. The Holiday period is not the time to try to get repairs performed in IMHO. We have never had to wait more than 7 days to get in, and usually we are in after 4 days. Sometimes we have just a few on our list, other times we have a dozen or so. Keep in mind though, it depends on how much work is involved in repairing the items that govern the time it will take.
The amount of work is estimated during and after reviewing your repair list with the individual (Norris) who goes over it with you, once you complete the handout from the Campground during check-in and you have turned it back in.
Hint, if you arrive in the campground in the early morning, and get the paperwork filled out. You may get lucky and (Norris) will review it that day, which helps you get in the repair facility in a shorter time.
To summarize, there are scheduled repairs (when someone has made advanced reservations for a specific date to come to Red Bay for repairs. Otherwise, all other repairs are made on a fist come – first serve basis. These are slotted and scheduled based on over or under 3 hours of estimated repair for the work list on that particular motor home. Again, have a little patience and enjoy what Red Bay and the surrounding area have to offer.
Next to the Campground Office is a Laundromat with a pay phone. Next to the Laundromat are separate shower/bathroom facilities for Pilots and Copilots.
Next to the Shower/Bathroom facilities is Campers Choice. They carry a good selection of RV supplies and be sure you tell them you are an Allegro Club member should you choose to buy something.
Immediately behind or North of Campers Choice is a rather large metal building that is the home of the Allegro Club and 3 Window Repair Bays dedicated for the repair of windows. Also in the same building is where Tiffin stores re-sale RV furniture, that prior Tiffin Owners have had removed and they have replaced with different furniture. Should one be interested in perusing this furniture for possible purchase, contact Jesse Vess at Ext. 3214 (office in repair facilities)
The Repair Facilities – Is located immediately to the north of the Runway/RV parking. One can easily walk from their parking spot to the repair facility. This is a new shop. In the middle of the shop one will find a set of doors to the right and a set of doors to the left. The right set of doors is the entrance to the customers lounge. The left hand set of drawers allows or entrance to the shop offices. This is where Wade Humphries, Jesse Vess, DeRay Hester, etc., have their offices. Anyone having anything to do with repairs, repair painting, parts, etc. are housed in this building. Access to the repair bays is through either the Customer Lounge or the Repair Facilities Offices. Note: I think there are 36 designated repair bays, however some are reserved for huge tear downs, one has an RV jack system, and another is welding only.
Customer Parts – Tiffin has a customer parts counter just as one enters the repair bays area via the office. If you desire to pick up some parts, be sure and tell them if you are an Allegro Club member and they will make them available at dealer cost. The other parts counters are for the repair technicians, so try and keep those clear for the worker bees.
Repair Bays – When your time comes to go to the Repair Facility, usually Norris or one of the camp hosts will advise you what time and the Bay Number you have been assigned to. The Bay Doors have a large number above them so they are easy to identify. Remember though, there are repair bays on the opposite side of the repair building from where you are parked. So if you don’t see the Bay, chances are it’s on the other side. If you’re in for windshield or glass problems, these bays are on the end of the Allegro Club Building immediately adjacent to the Repair Bldg. They work from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. If the don’t get you done, you will no doubt return the next day for the finishing touches. This is, unless you have something specific like glass issues and then you will be assigned a different Bay, but they always notify you. Once you are completed, the technicians turn in the paper work, this takes a couple of minutes, and then you are required to go in and see one of the girls sitting outside of Wade’s office and settle up. You will be charged for any work not designated as Warranty. Also for any parts or materials etc. you have authorized or ordered.
Tiffin Plant Facilities – Located downtown, if you can’t find it, just ask someone or take the time to review the Red Bay Maps we have in this same category of the Library. When one crosses the tracks, you will notice a sign asking that you check in at the Guard Station (Left Side). He will direct you to wherever you want to go.
To the right is the supply building where all of the supplies for the plan are located. A little further into the plant on the left is the Main Office Bldg. This is where the Tiffins and staff offices are located. Just walk in and look around, they don’t mind. If you desire to talk to a specific person, then just ask them to direct you to the appropriate office.
Bob Tiffin is renowned for having an open door policy for his customers. You will find him a pleasant man and very interested in what you as a customer think of his products or your ideas for improvement. The last time we were there my wife wanted to talk to Bob about coming out with a front end kitchen design. So off we went to Bob’s office. She explained in detail why she thought it would be a good thing. Bob smiled, told her they had one on the drawing board and then picked up the phone and had R & D bring in a draft of their version. They perused it together and then he gave her a copy of it for her information, making sure he clarified it was a “work in progress”. What other company CEO, would take the time and make that kind of effort for a customer. Needless to say, she thinks he walks on water.
In a portion of the office building is where the old repair facility used to be housed, it is now home to the woodworking shop. Where the entire cabinet work etc. is constructed.
Tours of the Production Facility – If you are in Red Bay, and have a little time, take the tour you won't be sorry. It always amazes me that they will allow their customers this type of access to their employees and operations. Please be considerate of their operations, the safety of their facilities, and respect they do have a job to do, which is a production line to manufacturer motor homes. Red is the tour director and does a fantastic job of taking you through the plant and explaining each step in the process and answering all your questions. Information for the tours at the campgrounds office or the guard shack if one has interest.
Paint Shop – Tiffin purchased a former mobile home factory just outside of Belmont, Ms. (6 ˝ miles) to the N/W and converted it to a state –of –the – art Paint facilities for giving their motorhomes a full body paint job. In fact, at the time of this writing Tiffin is not building anything but full-body paint motorhomes.
Material and Drapery Shop – This shop falls under the responsibility of Jesse Vess, it is located a few miles south on State Line Road. They fabricate all of the drapes, blinds, valances, bed spreads, pillow cases, shams, etc at this location. We have been there several times to not only see how the work is done, but had them make some custom thing to match our existing décor. They are lovely folks and their leader is Tanya.
If you are interested in anything, just go in and see Jesse Vess and tell him you would like to speak with Tanya about some things. She will come in and see what you need and tell you whether or not they can do it. The price will come later from Jesse. You will end up paying for this work at the same time you settle up for the repairs to your unit.
Want to weigh your rig or towed?
The Dog Food Factory (Sunshine Mills) is directly on the left as you make the right turn off of 24 to go to the Allegro campground. The digital freight scale is, or used to be, on 24 hours a day. They don't seem to mind folks using it to weigh their vehicles, as long as they don't interfere with any trucks.
Okay, Where the heck are the scales; You ask?
Drive past the aforementioned house about 100 yards and look to your right (by this time you'll be in a big parking lot) you will see a large one story long building with a scale in front of it. They have no problem with you bringing your motor home by to be weighed. Tiffin weighs every new motorhome they build there just before it goes to the paint shop in Belmont.
Approaching the scales (from the campground) you will see a digital sign at the front of the scales that will give you your gross weight. If you want individual wheel weight you will have to pull each individual wheel on the scale one at a time. If you want the scale master to provide you with a print-out of your weight it will cost you $5.00. If you desire, then pay $20.00 for the individual wheels.
Submitted by Mike Sundberg - 3/03/07
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