Red Bay – The Final Frontier (for Tiffin owners)
This is the continuing saga of the Class A motor home 'Enterprise'. It's ongoing mission: to explore previously untraveled destinations, to seek out potentially different life forms, to boldly drive where we've never driven before! (cue theme music)
Captain's Log, Earthdate: December 13, 2020. Captain David W. Richard commanding. The difficult year of the COVID continues as we have had to drive a couple of thousand miles after the Enterprise sustained damage in the Carlisle sector of the Pennsylvania nebula. The damage to Enterprise was relatively minor but incredibly noticeable to her captain, who also, by the way, was responsible for said damage. Every time a ship takes damage it's personal to her captain, but more so when his ship is a little over a year out of the construction docks.
But even damaged, the mission must go on. Scouting parties have determined where the Enterprise will orbit for the month of January, and the crew has been able to visit friends and family during various shore leaves as we've traveled from the Florida sector and through the northeast quadrant of the galaxy via the New England wormhole. But exploration aside, it's time to head for space dock to repair the damage the Boulder Beasts of Carlisle inflicted on our ship.
My First Officer (also known as Number One, or She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) has navigated the difficult journey back to the mothership of Red Bay in the Sol system of the Alpha Quadrant. Space dock 2, also known as Red Bay Body Shop, has been awaiting our arrival for over a month, and is anxious to get us in and out quickly so that we can resume our mission of exploration. After a night awaiting our berth to become available, we're guided into space dock, and work begins immediately.
We were pleasantly surprised that our ship and crew can remain indoors out of the elements while repairs are being made. Given the coldness of space in Red Bay at this time of year, that's good news because we can sit inside a 72 degree berth for the next 3 nights while the rest of Red Bay freezes. We also save the $25 per night camping fee needed when not staying in space dock. The space dock manager is Jeff Pharr. He's already co-ordinated with our insurance company (Progressive) to review and update the previous estimate given to us on our journey through the New England wormhole. Labor rates were too low for Red Bay, and other repairs would be needed than first thought.
The local Progressive adjuster from the Tupelo expanse was David Malone, and he quickly determined that more money was needed. He cut a check that afternoon, and knowing it wouldn't get to Red Bay in time for us to sign it over, had it made out directly to the Red Bay Body Shop and confirmed it had been mailed that very day. Can't ask for better service than that.
One of the reasons the original estimate was so low was due to the damage to our American Car Dolly, and the resulting extra work needed to remove the fender due to it's extraordinary construction. What was estimated for an hour to remove the damaged fender became more than two hours because this dolly has many of it's components welded together rather than bolted on. Speaks well of it's construction, but due to it's features the repair estimate more than doubled.
Extra damage to the underside of the basement bay also increased the work needed to complete repairs. Our replacement door had been ordered a month previously from Tiffin, so it was ready to be mounted and painted. Shredded fiberglass removed repaired, and replacement strut and cover installed, then the whole area was painted Sterling Silver. After Day 2, we thought that Enterprise would be released to continue our continuing voyages, but the people in Space Dock 2 weren't happy with the feathering of the repaired area to the original area, so they kept us here another day to bring the paint up to a color change so that feathering would not be needed. Check written, we back out of space dock and enter a parking orbit for another night in a nearby campground.
The highlight on this trip, as with many trips, was meeting fellow Tiffin owners, most notably Scott McKoin in Zamboanga, Home of the Perpetual Soiree. Two nights of high-quality socializing ensued, because he's every bit as nice as you'd expect him to be. Tomorrow, our voyage into the unknown continues with a stay at Piney Grove COE campground in the Mississippi sector for 3 nights, then it's back to the always enjoyable shore leave planet of Leisure Acres in the Cleveland, Georgia expanse.
I cannot say enough praise for the folks at Red Bay Body Shop and for everyone involved at Progressive Insurance for making this very trying time completely stress-free.
This will be our last log until after Christmas and New Year's, so we want to take this time to thank everyone for their readership and friendship since our journey of exploration began. We also want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hopefully 2021 will exceed all our expectations where 2020 has failed us.
We're Dave and Barbara Richard, and we're living the ultimate retirement experience - traveling the U.S. and Canada in style in a Tiffin Open Road 36LA Class A motor home, playing golf and stopping at every weird and wacky roadside attraction we can find.