It's been a week now since we arrived here in Red Bay and
a fair amount of things have taken place so its time to play a little catch-up.
On Monday morning our first stop was the local Freighliner Shop,
Bay Diesel, for an annual Chassis Service.
This consists of the normal things like a safety inspection, then continues
with a chassis lube, transmission service, filter changes etc.
The Doodles stayed in the Coach while they lifted it so I guess they have
now earned their wings in addition to their impressive road credentials.
I took a couple of walks thru the service facility.
It consists of about 50 service bays - all quite spotless.
There are dedicated bays for specific special tasks, like slide removal,
I am still waiting my turn to get into a bay and it looks like about another week.
While waiting to get into a bay however I've been spending the time wisely and
visited a couple of local vendors for some other jobs.
First on my list was the replacement of the tankless water heater with a conventional one,
so on Thursday morning at 7am I was pulling into a bay at Custom RV.
While some would love the endless supply of hot water that comes with a tankless,
you do need to run the water a bit to get it to heat up at first. Since we
spend a lot of time dry camping and water conservation is the order of the day,
it did not fit our lifestyle so I wanted it replaced.
The conventional heater is larger so this required removing the tankless, and then
cutting the opening larger to fit the bigger heater.
We opted for the Atwood heater - more expensive than the Surburban, but its
a better quality unit. It has an aluminum tank so it is also lighter and a nice side
benefit is you do not need heater anodes so that one less maintenance task.
While at Custom RV I also had a laundry list of small repairs attended to.
They were quick, efficient, and Brannon and his crew are all ex long time
Tiffin employees so they know the unit inside and out.
Now I need to go to the paint shop to finish the job.
So Friday morning at 8am I was pulling into the paint bay at Custom Paint
and Auto Body. They do a lot of work for Tiffin and have all the paint colors on site
so the match is spot on.
Here I am in a paint bay.
The door needed time to dry and the skies were getting dark so I make myself
a custom door for the night.
I finally installed the door today.
Voila - the finished product!
Around noon time on Sunday I decided to take a nice Sunday drive with
the Doodles so we made a big loop. (check out the blog map link up on the right)
We drove north to Florence and visited McFarland Park - a nice county park
on the banks of the Tennessee River. They also have RV spaces there.
The doodles enjoyed some nice grass, and we took a long walk.
Next I headed west and picked up the Natchez Trace Parkway Southbound.
The Natchez Trace is owned by the National Park Service. Think of
the Blue Ridge Parkway and you start to get the idea.
I'll go into the Natchez Trace History in a later blog.
The ride is very pretty which many historical sights along the way.
One of them is the Bear Creek Mound, a large earthen mound built by Native Americans
a couple of thousand years ago. I would have had a temple on top of the mound.
Getting back to Red Bay, the skies were beginning to darken so it was time to batten down
the hatches once again. We've had a fair amount of Thunderstorms while here
and the Doodles are never happy when they pass thru.
Needless to say - its been booming the whole time I wrote this blog and the
two of them are once again under the dining table at my feet.
Life is tough when you are a Doodle.