After a stay of 10 days it was time to leave Red Bay, Alabama. Consistent with our other stays in Red Bay we ended up staying there longer than we planned and left with additions to the RV that were not planned when we got to Red Bay. We went to Red Bay for one reason – to have 5 windows replaced. Tiffin had problems with the windows they put in the RV’s for a number of years – the seals in the dual pane windows would break and the windows would cloud up between the sheets of glass. Since Tiffin has been replacing the windows and only charging for the labor to take the old ones out and put the new ones in – we wanted to make sure we got this done while the free window offer was good since the cost of the 5 windows was over $1000.00 Last time we were in Red Bay we knew we had some bad ones – but did not want to wait for them to come in.
This time we called and ordered the windows two weeks before we knew we would be there. On our drive to Red Bay we decided to check the cost of two other items when we were there – a new mattress to replace the Sleep Number bed and a replacement for the combination Microwave / Convection Oven (which we do not think works very well as an oven).
We arrived in Red Bay on Sunday April 28th and started our wait. The way it works at Red Bay is the next work day after you arrive a guy comes around to go over your list and give you some idea on when you might get in. It turns out that since we were there last – they added a new procedure another guy comes around to check on the 3 big issues – roof rails (done during the first visit to Red Bay), wet bay floor (done during the second visit) and the newest one – slide floor delamination. Our hopes of a quick in and out trip were dashed when we were told that our slide floor was developing the problem. The technician said it was not bad and we could easily wait a year – but since we are heading west we really did not know when we would be able to return to Red Bay.
A little later the guy that goes over the lists came by and said that we could easily go thru a Quick Service bay for the windows and possible other things and the wait would only be a couple of days. OK that is not bad, however the way things work at Red Bay is that you do not get on the list for any of the big three until your other work is done. I understand the reasons behind the system – but it was also a bit frustrating in that we really did not know how long we would have to be in Red Bay.
After we found out that it would be a couple of days for the windows, we made an appointment with Bay Diesel of Red Bay to have our annual service on both the engine and generator. As I watched the service I noticed another Allegro Bus in their lot that
was the same model as ours, but with a difference – it had a shade awning over the three large hall windows. Once we saw that we knew we would have to see how much it would cost to do, because we knew it would help keep the coach cooler when that side is parked toward the afternoon sun.
We got into the quick service (it is funny they call anything quick service at Red Bay) on Wednesday and quickly decided to skip the replacement mattress and microwave, but go ahead with the new awning. We were out of the bay with our new windows and awning by midafternoon. We talked to the scheduler who said we might get in for our floor on Friday. We were hopeful – but Friday came and we did not get called in. We again talked to the scheduler who said perhaps Monday. It is a little frustrating that
they can’t tell us when we would get in.
Since they have to pull the slide out of the RV and lay it on the side to take the floor out we have to clear everything out of the slide. This slide out has a number of cabinets, our table which is my desk area, and lots of open area (relatively speaking) that we use for storage of all kinds. We got up Monday and moved most of the stuff off the slide to a big pile on our bed and waited. And waited. And waited some more. I finally went to check and sure enough they were not going to get us in. They have two bays doing the slide floors and if all goes well they can do two rigs a day in each bay. They had
problems with one of the rigs so they were not able to get us in. We went out to dinner and sure enough we got the call telling us to be outside of bay 49 at 6:45am Tuesday. The problem was we would have to unload our bed and then get up early to move things around again in the morning. Of course we had so much time hanging around the campground and the store that we found out that they custom make dash covers to fit. So now Serenity has a new dash cover.
We got up early Tuesday, cleared the slide off and moved the rig in front of the bay. At 7:00 they still had not opened the door (the other slide floor bay was open and they pulled that rig in), so I went to check and there was a RV in the bay. Turns out they had to let something dry and then needed to do the final adjustments. We could have slept in for at least another half hour. Between the lost sleep and the fact that Leslie had to back the rig up to the door a second time – she was not happy.
When we were in Red Bay last April they knew they were goin to have lots of slide floors that were going to need to be replaced and they were just starting the process. At that point it was taking a day or just over a day to do a single rig and they only had one crew doing the work. Since then they have perfected the process and now each crew can do two rigs a day (unless they run into problems).
They start the process by removing the slide topper (the slide topper keeps the rain off the top of slide).
They have a crane set up and they strap the slide to the crane with massive straps and chains.
Once that is done they have to take all the trim off inside the and disconnect all the wires under the slide along with unbolting the slide from the rails it rides on.
Then it was time to actually remove the slide and lay it on its side so they remove the old floor and attach the new one. It was really strange to see the area that we sit in every day float thru the air and be laid on its side.
Here is a picture of our house minus it’s living room.
They removed the old floor and then attached the new one.
View from inside as they move the slide back into position with the new floor
Then they had to reattach all the wires, put all the trim
back inside, put the bolts back in and do all the adjustments so the slide
moves in and out as it should.
The amazing part – it took them only about 2 and half to 3
hours to do the job. It took us longer to put all the junk back where it should
go (actually we are not done yet).
The old floor is a really thick sheet of plywood with a
plastic undercoating. Water was getting in from underneath and causing the
plywood to delaminate. The new floors are built without plywood using a
aluminum frame. The one on left (not ours) is one that is pretty bad (although
I have seen worse), the one on the right is the floor they took out of our
We were done Tuesday – but stayed in the campground to get
enough stuff put back away so we could drive on down the road. Wednesday we
left Red Bay for the third time and hope it is a long time until we return.