Posted on March 8th, 2014 by Brenda
Well, I can officially say that we should be, if all goes well, knock on wood, we will be done in a few days.
Now it’s down to the little things. But some very important ones!
We finally were able to get all our coach sealed with silicone.
We can drive in rain now that our windshield wipers are installed and working nicely.
And our tow vehicle should be protected with the rock guard hat is now installed.
Then it was time for more testing.
First up, the bubble test. What is a bubble test you ask? Well, I had no idea so I had to ask to.
The bubble test is a test that is just what it says. It’s a test to look for bubbles from a solution of water and baby shampoo.
Yup, baby shampoo. It has the right consistency and does not leave streaks. It washes off cleanly.
A Tiffin team member first puts a pressurizing fan into the window and seals it off. This pressurizes the inside of the coach. He then puts the water and baby shampoo solution all over the coach. Everywhere. In all the cracks and crevasses.
Not that there are cracks, because their is not, but you know what I mean.
He’s checking the seals, windows and doors making sure that their are no air leaks. Any where their is a seal, or a potential opening. If their is an air leak, the solution that is sprayed on the coach will bubble up. He then seals the crack to make it air tight. (note, their are some areas that it is expected to see bubble…so air “tight” is not fully the right way to say it. Again, you know what I mean. I think.)
Once the bubble test is done it’s time to head to the rain booth.
First the water is pumped upward and the Tiffin team member checks all our basement compartments to make sure no water has made it inside.
Once he’s satisfied with that, the real fun begins. We just had to stick around and watch this.
Tucked away inside our coach, the Tiffin team member activates the rain booth.
Now to call it a rain booth is a little bit of an understatement. This is what the Tiffin team member calls “Katrina Time”.
This was pretty cool. He let’s it rain for about 1/2 an hour all the while he is inside checking out every potential leak area.
Unfortunately, he did find one. Our driver’s side window was not sealed all the way in the gasket seal. So alas, water did find it’s way inside. Not a lot but enough to make him stop the rain test, get a guy to fix the seal and re-test the seal.
It worked beautifully the second time. No other leaks were detected.
So what does that mean now for us?
Well, believe it or not, we are back at the main factory again at the final finishing area.
This is where they do a thorough deep cleaning inside getting all the factory dust out. Can’t wait for that!
This is also the area that any minor repairs that need to be done will get done before it goes to the dealership.
Nice thing is since we were here on site for our entire build, we found and fixed a lot of the little things. So there really is not much left to do.
Once they are done at this station, our coach is ready for transport to the dealership! We plan to do a time lapse of the final inspection and cleaning. Then when we are off to the dealer, if we can plan it right, we will do a time lapse of the drive to Davis Motorhomes from behind our new 45LP, our dealer. Stay Tuned and we hope you are subscribed. (Also follow us on Twitter to receive updates!)
Posted on March 4th, 2014 by Brenda
Well….we are getting closer to completion. We can taste it. Almost reach out and grab it. Alas, it’s just outside our grasp right now.
We’ve been back and forth between the main factory in Red Bay for little fixes here and there and the Belmont paint shop for fixes and finishing work there.
I must say this, yes, we have had some issues with our build. However, I can not think of any motor home manufacturer that has a 100% perfect coach build. As our experience with our current coach (our 2008 Tour Master) and what we went through with our initial break in period, we know their is always going to be something. It happens with everyone from one degree to another. The difference that we are seeing however is the attitude that Tiffin and their employees are taking. They will not have a motor home leave that we are not happy with. They will not have a motor home leave that they are not happy with. Their are a lot of inspections. A lot. We are constantly being told that if their is something that we are not happy with, they will make it right. And this is the attitude throughout the entire process. From the plant manager and supervisors to the line workers and painters. It is just amazing.
In thinking about this, it makes sense for them to ask you to speak up. It would keep the dealer repair costs down at delivery as they must pay the dealer for their time. So being here is really a major plus for both parties.
We have even been talking to other new owners that are here on the factory floor watching their new motor home be built and they are seeing and saying the same thing. Also, seeing we have some time, we also have walked the plant and watched other builds and have seen inspections and fixes for coaches that do not have the future owner watching it be built. From cabinet doors that maybe had a blemish, down to art work that was not straight, it was taken care of and was not left for the dealer or the new owner. Does this mean that the coaches are 100%? Surely no as even we have missed items that were later tagged by an inspector. So surely they also can, and do, miss things.
So to us, my friends, that is the Tiffin difference and one of the reasons why we are glad that we chose a Tiffin motor home for our new home. We are not blind to the fact we will still find things, but we surely know we are in good hands.
It’s hard to believe that a few weeks ago we started out with just a chassis.
We’ve gone through the plant getting walls and furnishings. A roof and doors. Paint and seals.
It’s amazing to be here and see the entire process. Until you see this all in person, you really can not fathom how many great people actually have a hand in the building and finishing of just one coach.
Oh, we have found the plus side to waking up so early.
The sunrises can be amazing!
Posted on February 27th, 2014 by David Bott
For those following along, it has been some time from when the 45LP coach looked like this. In fact it has been built and we are going through touch ups and fixes. We have had a few setbacks along the way right up to the end with a paint issue. And that is where the coach sits now.
So we are sorry to say, we have nothing really to talk about at this time about the build as it has not been all that exciting for a number of days. We did not do a time lapse of the final paint touch-up and buff we are sorry to say.
We think the next report will be when it comes back to the Red Bay plant for final inspections and clean up, but we are not sure when that will be. But we are getting closer each day. We hope to do time lapse of the final clean up process and then do a final reveal walk through of the coach as we talk about the experience.
We will say that at this point in the process, frustrations can start to run high as it is so close, but yet so far. We do know one thing…we never want to hear these words again…”It will buff out.” (We really need to get t-shirts made for that. :)) All in all, the Tiffin team is on it and we will bring you another report as soon as they are done with paint and it is back at Red Bay.
Posted on February 18th, 2014 by Brenda
Day 14 leads us to another day for tile work.
We are learning that the tile work is a very long process in itself.
Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!
That’s what we walked into this morning at 6am. Not a fun way to start the day. More banging with a hammer. More tiles being ripped up.
I must say though, Jose the tile guy, is very thorough and removes every blemished and cracked tile he finds. He won’t even leave one in that has a little chip that could be grouted over. It has the potential to crack down the road so he’d rather take it out now and replace it.
Now when it comes down to replacing the tile, that is a whole other beast. We were worried about the heated floor elements getting damaged and not working later. What we found out was the tile team turn on the heated floor and use a Flir gun to see the heating elements. Then they can pinpoint exactly where they can place the screws that hold the tiles into place.
They even had to work on the tile over the engine compartment door. We found that it was not sitting flush with the rest of the floor. So once the team got the engine compartment door up they worked on making it even.I must say, it was pretty interesting to see the engine from that angle. Hopefully I won’t ever have to see it again like that because that would mean that something was really wrong.
With so much banging going on all day long David was trying his best to get through the day. It is difficult to see our beautiful coach, that was actually starting to look finished, all torn up and dusty and dirty again.
Honestly, we can’t wait until this part is done.
Here’s our opinion, if you plan on coming into Red Bay, AL to see your motor home being built, which we highly recommend, skip the tile repair days.
Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!
That was our day.
On a plus note, we did get our passenger side window changed out. We noticed that when you sit down in the passenger seat and try to look out the window, you can not. The bar to open the window is very thick and obscures the entire viewing area.
Tiffin does have a direct replacement window that is a dual pane, single window. It can not open but you definitely have the view.
The plan for tomorrow is to grout all the new tile as they did not get to it today. So I don’t think anything else will be going on as the grout has to have a full day to dry.
BTW…Also a thought after pondering this tile work….To me it feels good that Tiffin chooses to go to the extreme they do with the time and expense of pulling tiles that was chipped. I mean, the guy gets on the floor with a light and goes tile by tile. 60% of the replacement were due to chips. As mentioned, even chips we would have never noticed, they tile was marked for replacement. So, to us, this showed a dedication to the product. So yes, they can improve this by looking at the tiles more closely before put down is my guess.
So I may not have a post tomorrow for you.
And now you know why.