Thursday, October 2, 2014

Another Tour of the Tiffin Factory

We love going to Red Bay and taking the Tiffin Motorhome factory tour.  We learn something every time we do it.

It begins daily at 9:30 AM.  We were getting the Roadrunner painted (cap ends only) at Bruce Deaton's which was near the Visitor's Center where the tours start so it was convenient.  We got there a few minutes early after grabbing some breakfast at Jack's.

We got to the Visitor Center a little early.  It is starting to be the busy season at for visitors because many stop off at the factory en route to their winter stay in Florida.
We had a good size group and had four tour guides.  Only two traded off the duties in our tour and the other two were there just in case they had too many at the start for one group.

The tour guides happen to be retired Red Bay school teachers.  They were very well versed in the history of the company and details at each stop along the way.
The first building we went into was the cabinet shop.  They cut and plane the wood here.
Then they make just about everything you can imagine.  Below we looked at ceiling trim that was cut out from a larger piece of wood that had been glued together.

As woodworkers of sorts, Pam and I find this fascinating!
We could watch this work for hours!  I like the heavy duty HVAC set up they have to do away with the dust and fumes.

The noise however, is another thing.  Very noisy in there and everyone I saw had on ear protection.

Everytime I take the tour I have a few questions.  It is hard to absorb all the work stations and what they do in all the buildings.  Today I wanted to learn exactly how they put the whole kitchen unit into place inside the motor home.  How they build the doors, put together the cupboards etc.
I asked one of the guides where they actually did this and he pointed out the first place on the tour where he saw a couple of kitchen units getting worked on.  This seems to me as one of the more delicate pieces to build because it covers such a large area of the inside of the motor home.  Lots of angles and moving parts to get squared up and plum.

Another mystery to me is building the chassis.  We have seen the building in earlier tours where they build the Tiffin Powerglide chassis.  I guess it is not anymore complicated than other areas of the motor home but it sure seems to me like it is.
It is football season and I saw more than one SEC footballs poster around the plant keeping track of who Alabama played and how they did.

From that side of the yard, we went over to the main production line and saw them take the bare chassis through the different stations.  The first area is over where they make the walls and roof from installed materials.
Heavy duty manufacturing with the computer run machinery going on here.  

We wandered through up and down all the lines and watched them cut holes in the flooring for pipes and connections, move and install the side walls and roof. 
It was another interesting time on the factory tour and I look forward to doing it again.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Randy, its been several years since we went thru the buildings...