Meeting FRED’S Replacement

Friday, May 12, 2017

We got home about 7:30 last night and spent the next two hours unloading the truck. It was so packed that we were afraid to open any door without being ready to catch something that might fall out. We had somewhat underestimated the room it would take. Tuesday when we loaded out what we thought was a lot of our stuff we were feeling pretty good about getting everything home. Really thought there would be some extra space. NOT! We barely stuffed it all in yesterday afternoon. So now the sunroom and our bedroom are full of boxes and bags of FRED stuff. We packed so fast last week that we didn’t label anything and therefore will probably be looking for things for several weeks. Oh, well.

Today we almost felt like we had gained a “free” day because it was suppose to be a travel day.  So instead of staying home and working we decided to go play. Tiffin Motorhomes in Red Bay, Alabama does something most manufacturers would not think of doing. They allow you to follow your rig from the time it enters the factory until it is complete. There are certain things you can’t do, like the welding shop, but for the most part very little is off limits. You can wander around, talk to the people working on your rig and ask questions, going in and out of the motor home as you please. Of course, you have to stay out of everyone’s way so they can work and stay out of the way of the delivery of parts to the rigs.

We have the build schedule which gives the hour by hour schedule for our rig. Since our new motorhome started in the welding shop on Monday and into the main plant on Wednesday, we decided to make a road trip back to Red Bay. The work day at Tiffin starts at 6:00 and ends at 2:30. We didn’t make it there for the start of the workday since we had a two hour drive, but were there by about 6:30. After we checked in with security and received our badge and safety glasses, we had to go find our rig. We knew where it would enter the plant from previous visits, but there is more than one assembly line. We didn’t know exactly where our rig would be when we arrived. We knew our build number, 108449, and that that should be on the parts and rig, but where was it. There were so many rigs. We wandered around looking, looking. It was so exciting when we finally spotted “108449” on a rig right at the station listed on the build schedule. They were putting the large driver side slide in place when we first saw it. We are so glad we made the trip. It was so fun to watch the building of our future RV. Everyone was very nice. They even gave us the extra pex and plumbing tubing so we have started our spare parts kit. Hope it was Ok for them to give it to us, but they were going to throw it away and when we asked they said “Sure you can have it. You’re paying for it.” They are about 1.5 to 2 hours behind schedule right now due to a problem further up the line. Hope they don’t get too far behind since we are on a pretty tight schedule. The employees seemed very conscientious. When the employees from Station 12 finished the rig they were working on they picked up their parts and tools and came back to Station 11 where we were and started doing what they could from there. The young lady said “I can’t stand to get behind and I don’t want to start Monday even further behind, so I just go to where the RV is.” As we talked to the workers, they asked questions about where we travel and what we do with our RV which allowed us to share the NOMADS story. Can’t help but think that as we talked and they got to know us a little, that maybe they were taking a little extra care of our new baby.

It was just a really good day of time spent together not thinking of cancer. Now back to the real world of sorting and organizing and being responsible.

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