As a lot of you know, we ran into major issues with a coach we ordered that arrived so poorly that we did not take delivery. (Read about it HERE if you are not up to speed.) We will not harp on this however and will focus on what has been much to long in coming… The ordering of a new coach, and thus our new home!
After all our searching, visiting, reading, and talking with others, we narrowed down our choice to three companies… Tiffin, Newmar, and Entegra. It is good to note that each of them had coach versions in the price range we wanted to be in. Of course they all have pros and cons and as such, our choice surely does not fit all and surely will vary among buyers.
The title of this post of course gives away whom we went with after this long search and many talks with many manufacturers. Tiffin Motorhomes! Their are many reasons for this choice, but it really came down to only a few key reasons in the end. First…Floor plan. Second…The company. Third…Feeling at home. And by that we mean not only in the coach, but with the company.
FLOOR PLAN… Of the three companies we were considering, Tiffin was the only one that had a floor plan that fit our lifestyle and that we could somewhat modify slightly to make it fit even better. If you want to really be able to do some custom work, seek out Newmar, however, for us, their floor plans had kitchens and bathrooms that were too small. Entegra will not change a thing and had the most limited floor plans and storage of the three. Tiffins 45LP has the best use of space and offered us the most storage inside as well as in the cargo area.
Tiffin did look to help us make some slight changes to the coach, but needed to be careful in what they said they could do based on not wanting to disrupt production. We do totally understand this and we can appreciate the fine balance they walk in wanting to be able to please the customer, but at the same time not hurting overall production. We were told however, that when are coach is being built, if they are able to make some changes while in production, they will try as they do not like to use the word “no”. But some changes have already been OK’ed ahead of time. So we are off to a good start.
COMPANY… In thinking about the company, there’s no company that made us feel more at home, more welcome, and whom went more out of their way to talk with us than the Tiffin Motorhome Corporation. This is not something we say lightly mind you. We visited a lot of manufacturers and did followup calls during the past four months. (Has it really been that long?) It was the Tiffin company that seemed to really care about the questions we were asking, that listened to our needs and requests, and actually talked to us, in length, about what they could or could not do in regards to our needs. Yes we were told that somethings could not be done, however before they would say that, they did take the time to look into it first. And because of that, we have no problem being told no as they came up with the reasons.
We not only met with the national sales director who was, and is, a great help during these talks, but a number of the Tiffin family members including the Founder Mr. Bob Tiffin himself who sat down with us for a chat. Not only that, we happened to run into Mr. Tiffin in Santa Fe, NM two months later as we were walking around Old Town and he remembered us and we continued the conversation.
The Tiffin company is more than just about the Tiffin family members themselves, but more about the “Tiffin Family” in the sense of the workers. Their is so much pride given to the product that we had seen first hand during our factory visit that helped to make our choice to choose Tiffin to build our new home. As we walked through, we were not only seeing happy workers, we were greeted by many of them even as they were working the line. As such, we were made to feel at home.
FEELING AT HOME… The third reason we mentioned we chose Tiffin was the at home feeling and as mentioned above, that started with the Tiffin company itself. Everyone was great as we walked the plant and offices during our visit. We were even asked if we wanted to go to lunch to chat more. Of course we did, who wouldn’t, and it was the first time we had the pleasure of trying fried green tomatoes. A company going out of it’s way to make you feel welcome, is just amazing to say the least. We truly feel that if we ever have an issue that they will care as much as they did when the coach was built. After all, we have the pride of an entire town behind us. The town of Red Bay, Alabama.
The above few shots does not really tell the story. But the feeling of being at home inside the 45LP is what was the final reason we made the choice. Out of all the coaches we looked at. Out of all the manufacturers. The TIffin’s had the floor plans that gave us the “at home” feeling we were seeking. The 45LP feels more like a high end NY apartment than a coach. We say NY apartment only because of the size. (Ok, that was an attempt at a joke.) But really, it gave us the feeling of an actual home. It was warm, welcoming, and very functional in space and features. And yes, we will need to make some changes to make it fit us just a little bit better. But not a lot of them. And Tiffin did say they would help where they could.
So in closing… Whom did we end up ordering from? After talking with several Tiffin dealers, we choose to go with Davis Motorhome in Memphis, TN. We worked directly with Mr. Danny Davis himself though the ordering process. Not only did he make it a very simple process, he was clearly the most upfront, direct to the point dealer we spoke with. We did not need to go back and forth to work out a deal. He did the best thing he ever could do with us…He offered us his best offer right from the start. To us, that said a lot. We look forward to working with Davis Motorhome. If looking for a Tiffin, give Danny a ring and tell him we said hello.
We also are very much looking forward to returning to Red Bay and the Tiffin company for the build process of our new home. We will be there every step of the way, learning, laughing, making new friends, and feeling as part of the family as our new home takes form. To all at Tiffin…we will see you in February and look very much forward to becoming part of the family.
To all our readers, thank you for all your notes of support. Your thoughts and prayers. And mostly for just being with us on this journey. We, of course, look forward to bringing you the build process from start to finish and updates even before that.