Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Getting Things Done in Red Bay - Sept 2016

We always have a list of things we need to get done when we go to Red Bay.  The list usually starts shortly after we leave.  Sometimes it's a matter of finding out how to fix things and other times we pay to have someone do it.

When we tell folks we are going to Red Bay often times they will ask what are we getting done this time.  It is usually is a mix of 'must fix' items, routine maintenance and things we'd like to have upgraded.  Here's a list of what we had done during our recent stay:
  • HWH touch panel replaced
  • Bathroom hallway ceiling fan not working
  • Front door hard to open
  • Water leaking out the overhead vents from the front/rear air conditioners
  • During a rainstorm water leaking through the bedroom ceiling fan 
  • Water on floor near far end of Passenger Side rear slide out
  • Water from air conditioners not draining off rear and front corner downspouts
  • Driver Side overhead lights and outlets quit working
  • Keyless entry quit working
  • Shock absorbers on all four wheels need replacing
  • Dash air conditioning not working
  • Two year maintenance on coach differential
  • Car headlights foggy, need to be fixed
  • Two bay doors dented on bottom and need repainting
  • Digital antenna old and needs replacing
  • Roadrunner wash, wax and wheels polished
  • Tow cable frayed 
  • Tow electric connector cord dry rotted
  • Rubber seals around each slide cracked and need replacing


Here's what we did for each item:


HWH touch panel replaced
We called HWH and for a replacement touch pad on the driver side console to raise and lower the jacks.  We got voicemail and finally got a return call 7 or 8 days later.  They need to go to two shifts or hire more people.
I called Tiffin parts and they had the item in stock.  I could get is sent to us for over $300 or pick it up in the parts store for $141 which we did.

Hall ceiling fan not turning
Jason (Brannon's Custom RV in Vina) replaced the switch and it works fine now.

Front door hard to open
While we had the Roadrunner parked out front of Bruce Deaton's and it was drying, Bruce came out and adjusted the door latch and sprayed everything with WD - 40 silicone spray.  Not entirely fixed but works better.

-Water leaking out the overhead vents from the front/rear air conditioners
-During a rainstorm water leaking through the bedroom ceiling fan
-Water on floor near far end of Passenger Side rear slide out
-Water from air conditioners not draining off rear and front corner downspouts

All these issues got fixed when Brannon cleaned out the a/c downspout.  The hose was crimped behind the driver side headlight.  Once that was slightly rerouted and straightened out, it immediately unclogged and discharged a lot of water that was in there.  Drains correctly now.

Driver Side overhead lights and outlets quit working
Pam hunted around inside for the fuse for the outlet on that side of the motorhome, checked out the GFI switch and finally found the breaker switch (the fuse panel under the refrigerator) had tripped.  She reset it and all the lights came back on.

Keyless entry quit working
Pam took off the corner fuse panel cover in the first bay under the Passenger Side seat.  It was secured by four screws.  She hunted around and found the correct fuse and replaced it. Works fine now.

-Dash air conditioning not working
-Shock absorbers on all four wheels need replacing
-Two year maintenance on coach differential
Took the Roadrunner over to Bay Diesel and they replaced the air dryer and checked the freon.  Works great now.
All shock absorbers were replaced with Koni shock absorbers.
Standard maintenance on the differential done at Bay Diesel.

-Car headlights foggy, look old and tired
-Two bay doors dented on bottom and need repainting
The headlights were buffed out and sprayed with Clear Coat
The bay doors were banged out, straightened, contoured with bondo and smoothed out, primed and painted.  Both items were done at Bruce Deaton's Paint and Body shop.

Digital antenna old and needs replacing
The handle on the antenna was getting harder and harder to turn and it kept coming apart.  The antenna on top of the Roadrunner needed to be raised and lower for every wash and wax and it was getting bent.  I had heard good things about the newer Winegard Razor digital antenna so we had Brannon replace our old one with it.

Roadrunner wash, wax and wheels polished.  Awning covers and arms were looking bad
I hate to pay anyone to wash and wax the motorhome so I did it myself.  I worked especially hard on the roof and cleaned and waxed it, hoping that I could prevent the vinyl top and white streaks from dripping off onto the sides of the coach.  Brannon indicated the only good way to stop that is to Clear Coat it.  Might do that one day.
One thing that caught my eye was how nice Bob and Steve's wheels looked.  Bob does his own and Steve was having Jarold (local guy) do his.  For $90 He agreed to do all four of mine so he started on mine in the heat of the day.  He finished one wheel before he gave out and I spent the better part of the next day cleaning and polishing the other three.  They came out well but it was knuckle busting hard work.  I'm glad I cleaned them well this time. From now on it will be easier to maintain and get the shine going. I used Meguiars Mirror Glaze 3 on all the arms and metal awning covers which brought back their dark sheen.
-Tow cable frayed 
-Tow electric connector cord dry rotted
-Rubber seals around each slide cracked and need replacing
We took the tow cable off and measured it and Brannon ordered a new one for us.  We did the same thing for the tow electric cord.  It was so old that it was dry rotting.  I taped it up a dozen times and the cord would crack some more.  Because of all the tape, it lost its coil.  Both items were replaced and work great.
The rubber seals are hard to get to and a knuckle-busting experience.  Brannon replaced three that needed a new one and they work well.


I didn't get pictures of all the work done but I got many of the items.  It is always good to get things fixed and do the maintenance.  While some are able to purchase new motorhomes after a few years, we are likely going to keep this and are planning on it being our one and only Class A.  We've seen a lot of motorhomes on the road that are a lot older than ours and are doing our best to make it last.

That's a look at our recent stay at Red Bay and what we got fixed while there. Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Getting Things Done in Red Bay - Sept 2016

We always have a list of things we need to get done when we go to Red Bay.  The list usually starts shortly after we leave.  Sometimes it's a matter of finding out how to fix things and other times we pay to have someone do it.

When we tell folks we are going to Red Bay often times they will ask what are we getting done this time.  It is usually is a mix of 'must fix' items, routine maintenance and things we'd like to have upgraded.  Here's a list of what we had done during our recent stay:

  • HWH touch panel replaced
  • Bathroom hallway ceiling fan not working
  • Front door hard to open
  • Water leaking out the overhead vents from the front/rear air conditioners
  • During a rainstorm water leaking through the bedroom ceiling fan 
  • Water on floor near far end of Passenger Side rear slide out
  • Water from air conditioners not draining off rear and front corner downspouts
  • Driver Side overhead lights and outlets quit working
  • Keyless entry quit working
  • Shock absorbers on all four wheels need replacing
  • Dash air conditioning not working
  • Two year maintenance on coach differential
  • Car headlights foggy, need to be fixed
  • Two bay doors dented on bottom and need repainting
  • Digital antenna old and needs replacing
  • Roadrunner wash, wax and wheels polished
  • Tow cable frayed 
  • Tow electric connector cord dry rotted
  • Rubber seals around each slide cracked and need replacing


Here's what we did for each item:


HWH touch panel replaced
We called HWH and for a replacement touch pad on the driver side console to raise and lower the jacks.  We got voicemail and finally got a return call 7 or 8 days later.  They need to go to two shifts or hire more people.
I called Tiffin parts and they had the item in stock.  I could get is sent to us for over $300 or pick it up in the parts store for $141 which we did.

Hall ceiling fan not turning
Jason (Brannon's Custom RV in Vina) replaced the switch and it works fine now.

Front door hard to open
While we had the Roadrunner parked out front of Bruce Deaton's and it was drying, Bruce came out and adjusted the door latch and sprayed everything with WD - 40 silicone spray.  Not entirely fixed but works better.

-Water leaking out the overhead vents from the front/rear air conditioners
-During a rainstorm water leaking through the bedroom ceiling fan
-Water on floor near far end of Passenger Side rear slide out
-Water from air conditioners not draining off rear and front corner downspouts

All these issues got fixed when Brannon cleaned out the a/c downspout.  The hose was crimped behind the driver side headlight.  Once that was slightly rerouted and straightened out, it immediately unclogged and discharged a lot of water that was in there.  Drains correctly now.

Driver Side overhead lights and outlets quit working
Pam hunted around inside for the fuse for the outlet on that side of the motorhome, checked out the GFI switch and finally found the breaker switch (the fuse panel under the refrigerator) had tripped.  She reset it and all the lights came back on.

Keyless entry quit working
Pam took off the corner fuse panel cover in the first bay under the Passenger Side seat.  It was secured by four screws.  She hunted around and found the correct fuse and replaced it. Works fine now.

-Dash air conditioning not working
-Shock absorbers on all four wheels need replacing
-Two year maintenance on coach differential
Took the Roadrunner over to Bay Diesel and they replaced the air dryer and checked the freon.  Works great now.
All shock absorbers were replaced with Koni shock absorbers.
Standard maintenance on the differential done at Bay Diesel.

-Car headlights foggy, look old and tired
-Two bay doors dented on bottom and need repainting
The headlights were buffed out and sprayed with Clear Coat
The bay doors were banged out, straightened, contoured with bondo and smoothed out, primed and painted.  Both items were done at Bruce Deaton's Paint and Body shop.

Digital antenna old and needs replacing
The handle on the antenna was getting harder and harder to turn and it kept coming apart.  The antenna on top of the Roadrunner needed to be raised and lower for every wash and wax and it was getting bent.  I had heard good things about the newer Winegard Razor digital antenna so we had Brannon replace our old one with it.

Roadrunner wash, wax and wheels polished.  Awning covers and arms were looking bad
I hate to pay anyone to wash and wax the motorhome so I did it myself.  I worked especially hard on the roof and cleaned and waxed it, hoping that I could prevent the vinyl top and white streaks from dripping off onto the sides of the coach.  Brannon indicated the only good way to stop that is to Clear Coat it.  Might do that one day.
One thing that caught my eye was how nice Bob and Steve's wheels looked.  Bob does his own and Steve was having Jarold (local guy) do his.  For $90 He agreed to do all four of mine so he started on mine in the heat of the day.  He finished one wheel before he gave out and I spent the better part of the next day cleaning and polishing the other three.  They came out well but it was knuckle busting hard work.  I'm glad I cleaned them well this time. From now on it will be easier to maintain and get the shine going. I used Meguiars Mirror Glaze 3 on all the arms and metal awning covers which brought back their dark sheen.
-Tow cable frayed 
-Tow electric connector cord dry rotted
-Rubber seals around each slide cracked and need replacing
We took the tow cable off and measured it and Brannon ordered a new one for us.  We did the same thing for the tow electric cord.  It was so old that it was dry rotting.  I taped it up a dozen times and the cord would crack some more.  Because of all the tape, it lost its coil.  Both items were replaced and work great.
The rubber seals are hard to get to and a knuckle-busting experience.  Brannon replaced three that needed a new one and they work well.


I didn't get pictures of all the work done but I got many of the items.  It is always good to get things fixed and do the maintenance.  While some are able to purchase new motorhomes after a few years, we are likely going to keep this and are planning on it being our one and only Class A.  We've seen a lot of motorhomes on the road that are a lot older than ours and are doing our best to make it last.

That's a look at our recent stay at Red Bay and what we got fixed while there. Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bay Doors and More Fixed at Bruce Deaton's

We prefer getting all our paint and body work done at Bruce Deaton's Custom Paint and Auto Body in Red Bay (256) 356-5695. He does excellent work, is quick about it and his prices are fair.  Plus he is a nice guy and we love seeing him and his wife Melody when we come to Red Bay.

We were there to get two of our bay doors unbent and repainted.  And we heard from some folks at the campground the best way to bring the clearness back to our headlights was to have them buffed out and redone with a clear coat.

First thing they did was take the two doors off and then pound out the dents in the bottom so it had the same curvature as the other doors.

Next the bondo and sanding work.
Then they started priming and painting the doors.  They need overnight to dry.  Bruce taped off the open bay doors with cellophane plastic and we drove the two blocks back to our campsite.  Next morning we were back at Bruce's and they put on the bay doors and finished up the prepping and painting.
After it was done, they parked it outside and let it finish drying a bit, then took off the tape.

One other thing we had done was to put clear coat on our Honda CRV headlights.  Austin buffed them out and sprayed them.
We also found out some people at the campground had gotten their headlights worked on.  With our Honda CRV being about 7 years old, the headlights were getting cloudy and not looking too good.  The solution was to get them buffed out and get them sprayed with Clear Coat.

We were very pleased with the results at Bruce Deaton's Auto Body Shop and highly recommend him.  He doesn't waste time, gets the job done right the first time, is personable and does work at a fair price.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nothing to Do in Red Bay? Here's 101 Things to Do...

Really?
Red Bay Alabama is one of America's great cities.  I love it there.
It's a small working town in the Northwest part of the state and the home of Tiffin Motorhomes.  And Sunshine Mills.  And lots of other businesses.

It is not Pensacola FL or Albuquerque NM or Detroit MI.  It is a city uniquely its own.  And we love it there.  I am always surprised to hear, "There is nothing to do in Red Bay." I beg to differ.

There are lots of things to do and see here and in the surrounding areas.  It does not have a lot of high end restaurants or like some other places, but we always find plenty to do here.  And we love to come back each year or so.

I took the time to jot down some things.  Some may appear a little redundant but not when you really look at it.  For example, breakfast, lunch and dinner at Jack's are all very different and are therefore listed separately.  But there are tons of other things to do there also.  Here's a start:
  1. Stay at the Allegro Campground
  2. Take Tiffin factory tour
  3. Breakfast at Mason Jar on the Main
  4. Take tour of Tiffin Paint factory in Belmont
  5. Get new tires or shocks at Bay Diesel
  6. Dinner at Red Bay Mart
  7. Stay at Downtown RV Park
  8. Visit Red Bay Museum
  9. Wash Car  at Red Bay Car Wash
  10. Breakfast at Red Bay Mart
  11. Visit Bay Tree Park and Heritage Park - Red Bay
  12. RV Stay at the Red Bay Campground
  13. Visit Coon Dog Cemetery
  14. Wash and wax RV at Downtown RV Park
  15. Shop at Walmart in Russelville
  16. Lunch at Sparks Restaurant in Belmont
  17. Visit parts store at Allegro Campground
  18. Say hi to Bob Tiffin in Corporate Offices
  19. Dinner at Sparks Restaurant in Belmont
  20. Tour Helen Keller Home in Tuscumbia
  21. RV stay at Custom Body (Bruce Deaton's)
  22. Lunch at Fourth Street Grill and Steakhouse
  23. Take Van Leigh 5th Wheel factory tour in Iuka, MS
  24. Ice Cream the Cardinal Shack in Belmont
  25. Dinner at Jack's
  26. Wash RV at Allegro Campground Wash Rack
  27. Lunch at Red Bay Mart
  28. RV Stay at the Detail Depot campsites
  29. Breakfast at MacDonald's
  30. Attend Annual Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day celebration
  31. Lunch at Jack's
  32. Talk to Wade in the Service Center and get him to reduce your bill
  33. Dinner at Mason Jar on the Main
  34. RV Stay at Chris Berrry's Woodshop (water and electric)
  35. Individual tour/walk through Tiffin factory on your own
  36. Breakfast at Jack's
  37. Meet with Sales Director in Tiffin Corporate offices
  38. Lunch at Piggly Wiggly Deli
  39. RV Stay at Bay Diesel (Electric Only when service not completed.)
  40. Walk through Tiffin Service Center and watch work being done
  41. Lunch at Swamp John's in Red Bay
  42. Walk through the Parts Store at Custom RV in Vina (Brannon Hutcheson's)
  43. RV Stay at the Red Bay RV Self Service Campground
  44. Dinner at Rattlesnake Saloon
  45. Have biscuits and chocolate gravy at Red Bay Mart
  46. Get fried baloney sandwich at Mason Jar on the Main
  47. Walk around campground and talk to other Rvers
  48. Lunch at McDonald's
  49. Lunch at Swamp John's in Tuscumbia
  50. Wax RV and polish wheels at Downtown RV
  51. Happy hour at Downtown RV Park
  52. Take in the sweet smell of the dog food baking at Sunshine Mills
  53. Check out Tiffin Service Center Customer Lounge
  54. Dinner at Reeves Fish and Steakhouse (between Belmont and Fulton
  55. Attend Red Bay High School Football Game
  56. Visit Allegro Club Offices in Allegro Campground
  57. Dinner at MacDonald's
  58. Visit Corinth National Battlefield
  59. Look around used parts store at Allegro Campground
  60. RV Stay at Custom RV in Vina (Brannon's - water and electric
  61. Visit tool store in Belmont
  62. Go for walk around Red Bay (Downtown RV Park to Allegro Campground and return
  63. RV Stay at the Bunkhouse RV Campground
  64. Visit Tiffin Hardware Store
  65. Get Weenie Biscuit at Jack's
  66. Visit Sherman RV in Tupelo
  67. Hit golf balls at the Redmont driving range in Red Bay
  68. Attend Red Bay Baptist Church Service
  69. Get warranty service work done at Bunkhouse RV
  70. Visit Elvis birthplace in Tupelo
  71. See the Car museum in Tupelo
  72. Shop at Walmart in Fulton
  73. Dinner Mexican Restaurant in Belmont
  74. Get eyes examined at Dr. Mothershed in Tupelo
  75. Get haircut at Sassy Salon Red Bay
  76. Visit Shiloh National Battlefield
  77. Dinner at Fourth Street Grill and Steakhouse
  78. Wash Car at Downtown RV Park
  79. Get new RV Tires in Muscle Shoals
  80. Wander through BunkHouse (formerly McKinney RV warehouse)
  81. Talk to Downtown RV caretakers (Bill and ???) and ask where Freedom Hill got its name
  82. Visit Whitten Corps Of Engineers (COE) park in Fulton and go to museum
  83. Attend Founder's Day in Red Bay (held every September)
  84. Walk over to the Powerglide plant and check it out (no longer a part of regular Tiffin tour)
  85. See Belmont High School Homecoming Parade (in September)
  86. Attend Watermelon Festival in Russelville (in August)
  87. Chat with Norris at the Tiffin Service Center about his tour in Iraq
  88. Check out the Red Bay Waterpark
  89. Walk the Hoyt Keeton Walking Trail in Red Bay
  90. Walk the Northwest Loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail (site #51)
  91. Attend local play at Spirit Bank's Weatherford Center in Red Bay (Feb, Apr and Nov)
  92. Visit Farmers Market Red Bay (Tu, Th, Sat)
  93. Play golf at Redmont Country Club - Red Bay
  94. Eat at Sonic in Belmont
  95. Visit Huntsville (day trip) Space Museum
  96. See Belmont MS annual car show
  97. Have prime rib sandwich and gelato at Founder's Day
  98. Attend Little Theater in Red Bay
  99. Walk around Tiffin Lumber and Supply Center in Red Bay
  100. Visit Space Museum in Huntsville AL (day trip)
  101. Shop at Silver Dollar discount grocery near Belmont
  102. See Friday night High School Football game in Belmont
  103. Lunch at Mason Jar on the Main
  104. Visit Red Bay Library
  105. Get RV washed and waxed at Detail Depot
There are a lot of things I failed to mention --- maybe you'd like to add a favorite that you don't see listed?

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Coon Dog Cemetery Celebration!

No kidding - we spent some time yesterday with a lot of other folks at the Coon Dog Cemetery Celebration in Northwest Alabama.  It was named after Key Underwood who lost his coon dog of 15 years.  On Labor Day in 1937, Key buried his faithful coon dog Troop at the camp where local hunters had gathered for years.  It was Troops favorite spots.

Every year since then over the Labor Day Weekend Coon Dog hunters and the curious have gathered at the Cemetery to celebrate coon dogs and coon dog hunters.  It is a one-of-a-kind place.

We heard about it from friends here at the Red Bay Downtown RV Park who planned on attending.  The details on the FaceBook page read:

79th Labor Day Celebration to honor Coon Hunters and their Coon Dogs.
Live music featuring Travis Wammack and the Snake Man Band and 
The Southern Strangers.
Buck Dancing, Liars Contest.
L.O. Bishop BBQ Available.
Souvenirs include 
T-Shirts, Caps, Coffee Cups and Magnets.
Arts and Crafts.

We decided it was something we did not want to miss and arrived about 11:15 AM.  There were only a few signs until we got there and it was off the beaten path.
We were starting to wonder if maybe we had gotten the right information.
But as soon as we neared the cemetery, there were lots of cars parked on both sides of the road.

It was about a quarter of a mile walk to the festivities, but they had a group of volunteers with golf carts who were riding up and down the road doing a shuttle service.
That was a nice touch!

Once we got the the cemetery, there were a number of booths set up
and they already had the band getting ready to play under the covered area.
The rest of the us spread out chairs wherever we could find some shade.
 Meanwhile, we had to check out the headstones.
The cemetery is only for bonafide, certified, genuine coon dogs.
"We have stipulations on this thing," said the late O'Neal Bolton, 
former caretaker of the Coon Dog Graveyard. "A dog can't run no deer, 
possum -- nothing like that. He's got to be a straight coon dog, and 
he's got to be full hound. Couldn't be a mixed up breed dog, a house dog."

The centerpiece is the monument of a couple of coon dogs treeing a coon.
Here's a group shot of our fellow Downtown RV campers.
And a photo of Bob with local friendly people Ann and Jimmy.
In fact, Ann was telling us their son was pallbearer in a coon dog funeral a few years ago which was quite an event.  She even forwarded me the newspaper article.
It wasn't long before they had the BBQ lunch line set up and Pam and I shared a box.
The line was long and the food was good!

It was a fun time at the cemetery.

We heard some oldies including Bobby Vinton, the Everly Brothers and BJ Thomas.  Travis Wammack and his band were pretty good.  It was good listening.  One guy got up and was 'moved' to do a little buck dancing (a regional clogging kind of step).  We also heard some bluegrass music and one of the most unique national anthem renditions I think I've ever heard.  It might have been a Jimi Hendrix version.

At any rate, it was another unique experience for us.  If you are in the area next Labor Day - we recommend it!
Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!