Friday, January 3, 2014


Yesterday, we received a telephone call from the Tiffin service center aka hospital telling us to report to service bay four at seven o'clock this morning.  Our Bus was to be admitted for surgery and implants.  

Although the alarm was set for six, I awoke at three this morning and could not fall asleep.  My mind was a whirlwind of activity thinking of the work to be done on our Tiffin and where we are going following the "surgery."  

Seven o'clock found us sitting at the "operating room" door. At eleven minutes past seven o'clock, we rolled in and to our amazement our first 

view was of two brand new off the manufacturer's line bay/basement doors and a fender.  Yep, there sat our new implants all shiny and new. 


Dr. Ethan took a peek inside the bay door and uttered "Woah!"  What happened here?

"Well," I said, "John and a boulder had an argument. The 
boulder won.  Big time."

"I guess so," says Doc

He made the first incision by removing twenty feet of railing right above the doors on the side of the coach that was having surgery.  

Now that was quick.  I wondered if the entire surgery was going to go that smooth and quickly.    

After the damaged and very dirty rail is excised, the underlying area is cleaned and prepared for the new rail. 

Removing the doors from the rail was the next order of business.  I believe that was called a bay-doorectomy.

An exploratory process in order to locate the latch that would release the door for removal was performed.

"It is not in here"
  "Ah, here it it is, right in the center."  

"Nurse, I need the drill to remove the screw so that the latch can be removed." 

The two doctors, Dr. Joel and Dr. Ethan work well together as all Tiffin doctors do.  

"I'll push, you pull and we will slide the door down the rail."  

The operation continued.  Dr. Joel along with Dr. Ethan began to remove all the bay doors, one by one, starting in the rear and working forward to the injured doors.  Each door slides along a track in the railing.  You cannot just take a door out and replace it.    

The next part of the surgery was the fender removal.  As a result the tires were fully exposed.  

Do you see, on the right of the tires, where the frame is bent? Here is a better view. 

That part of the frame, the water tank, bay floor and wall must be surgically removed.  

A  straight  piece of frame, walls and bay floor will be welded in place.

A new water tank will be installed in the bottom space where you see the white smashed tank. Unlike some fractures, there will be no pins or rods.  

Here you see where the damage starts in the bay just in front of the tank bay.  

This bay is where all of our outdoor furniture is stowed.  

It is almost time to begin to finish this stage of surgery.  It has been a long day and the Tiffin surgeons are tired from a good day at the Tiffin Motorhome Hospital.  

They prepare to close the incision, the "rail implant."

An double sided adhesive is applied to the length of the back of the rail.  

The adhesive as well as screws will hold the rail snugly in place and provide the strength for the bay doors to hang onto and keep the incision scar from allowing moisture to enter. 

                                                                                                                                                                          Drs. Ethan and Joel apply the new rail to the cleaned section where the damaged section had been removed.                                                                                                  Look at the desert dust that was on the undamaged portion of the rail.  

We are really itching to go gather more of that dust.        
                                      The new doors are now on the hinge and the uninjured doors are back in place.  

The fender has been left off until all welding is complete.  That will make it easier for the welders to work.  After the welding comes the undercoating that came off in the battle with the boulder.  

After the welding, back to surgery to replace the fender and then we are off to the paint room.  Oh, how we would love a new paint job,  but it is not in our budget this year.  Maybe next or following year.  

Stay tuned Monday or Tuesday to learn about the welding hospital.  

Thank you for visiting the blog today.  It has been such an interesting day  that we did not wait in the nice customer lounge.  

We had a learning experience today. Now, if John will make wider right turns - waiting for any vehicle that is in the way to give him a larger, clear turning space, I will be happy.  

We did have to go get diesel after leaving bay four.  Believe it or not, another too sharp turn and fast braking.  It threw me onto the floor in the door way and I am quite sore tonight.  It took some time for me to figure how to get out of the steps. Not a pretty sight.  We will see how stiff I am tomorrow.  

John says he is done driving and it is up to me.  Good grief, in the last fourteen months with this coach, I had driven one other time.  Maybe he will reconsider, maybe he should not, maybe his bout with respiratory failure and on life support for six weeks has impaired his decision making, I do not know.  All I do know is that I have a headache.  

I am off to take some Advil.  I am trying not to be grouchy with him or show my deep concern.  Prayers are appreciated.  

On a happy note....Christmas and New Years day we spent with blogger friends, Bill and Kris Osborne of  Seeing the USA. You will enjoy their blog.  

They had their Bus in the Tiffin Service Hospital yesterday. Their slide needed a new floor under warranty.  He gave a great review of that repair. 

Thanks for visiting.  God bless you all!  

oh I almost forgot.  I took Pecan pie to Bill and Kriss'.  It was well received so I though I would share the recipe.  It was delish.

Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: About 12-16 slices


  • pie crust, partially pre-baked (learn more in this post on How To Make A Pie Crust)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 2 cups pecans (plus extras to line the top, if desired)


Partially pre-bake a pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan according to instructions, then heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon; add eggs and whisk until smooth.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the butter turns brown and fragrant. Slowly pour butter into the sugar mixture, and whisk to combine. Stir in chopped pecans, then pour filling into the prepared pie crust. If desired, line the top of the filling with extra pecans.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is set. If the edges of the crust begin to turn too brown, briefly remove the pie from the oven and cover the crust with a pie crust shield or loosely wrap with aluminum foil, then return to the oven. Once the filling is set, remove the pie and let cool completely on cooling rack, 3 to 4 hours, before slicing.


  1. Oh Nan. I'm glad you're getting everything fixed but I know how worried you are about John. I think he'll be okay once you get back out on the road. He just needs to slow down and think things through before moving. I've had to emphasize that with Jim also.

    1. I hear you Sandie. Now if he will listen....From now and for a while, I drive.

  2. If you are ever able to meet Denis and Carol Hill you will both learn how to drive your MoHo. They are the past owners of the RV Driving School and will teach you in your own unit the do's and don'ts.of driving an RV. The most exemplified statement is take it SLOWWWW! Taking your time through maneuvers is a sure way of not having accidents. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. The take it sloooowww was the problem......He tried to make a turn way to fast.....Just stinkin thinkin...

  3. That is so interesting about your repair.....we don't have a tiffin, but have heard good things from others about their service. I do feel for John....Sandi has good advise. Joe has come along way on the past 2 years...he figures folks can just wait ! Took some getting used to for him......god luck and sending prayers your way!

    I LOVE pecan pie...thanks for the recipe. Hope the Advil helps! We say, we don't hurt any worse as we have gotten older....just longer!

    1. Tiffin has nothing to hide, therefore they allow people to watch the repairs. We learn so much from the techs.

      So glad that you will be baking the pecan pie. Be sure to brown the butter, and not just to the brown stage, but a bit more. I did one, where I even burned butter in the bottom of the pan, The pie was out of this world.

      The last pie, I was anal trying to make sure I did not burn the butter on the bottom of the pan and the pie was not as good....but still good. .

  4. You have our prayers for sure. Praying that you are physical okay, and that John was just over reacting.

    Tiffin is a great company. We hope you get to met Bob Tiffin at least once. He is a very personal and understanding man.

  5. All I can say is, RV driving school. I attended a short class at Lazydays RV in Florida, but there are more intensive classes at other places. The instructor told me he would rather make 3 left turns (a circular, longer route) than a right turn that is too tight. I hope you guys can work it all out. You have survived a lot and should be able to work out the driving situation.

    1. Where is the Lazy Days in Florida?

      You are right, we should be able to work it out. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Ouch! RV repairs are the worst. We have had so many done in the last year or so that it makes me want Advil daily. Betsy and I both drive the rig and agree that slow is the key. If need be, we stop and hold up traffic until we make a clear decision. After all, we will never see those honking and yelling people ever again. Best of luck with the repairs.

  7. So sorry to hear of your accidents. I hope you will be okay.

    Lazy Days RV in Tampa, has a free driver confidence course, that you can also watch online.

    Here is the link. One thing we learned was to make sure what you needed to clear was even with your hip. There are several different segments and we found them most helpful.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Karen. I do want to take a driving course, especially since I am going to be driving the forty foot motorhome and pulling a sixteen foot trailer. John got it down to a science, but I have only driven a Ford pickup towing a 16 ft. horse trailer....a huge difference.

  8. Thanks for showing us the details on how the repairs were done, it was very interesting.

    I think everyone wants to give up driving after a fender bender but no one was hurt at least. Best thing is to saddle up as soon as possible and go for a ride to get that confidence back.

  9. Love your take on having work done. Like your photos as well. Just noticed that they came out and put the wheel cover on. Guess we will have the paint done on Monday...but not sure we want to leave if the weather is going to be as cold as they may hang around until Wed. I'll try to work on our travel blog today...and tomorrow. LOVE Reading Yours!
    Judy and Elwyn

  10. Soooo wonderful you taking step by step pics for us! We love to see things like this.... and enjoy hearing about GOOD places that do great work!

    It's good for both partners to be able to drive of course, and keep your skills current. If John is not feeling comfortable in some driving situations (like city blocks or commercial shopping and parking lots) you can do those, and let him do the rural and interstate stuff?

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  11. Thanks for the photos and details. Always learn something new when I see work done in the service bays.

  12. Wow Nan I'm surprised and pleased to hear that Tiffin will let their owners watch work being done on their coaches. I love Winnebago and they have been wonderful to us especially their tech service but we get the "insurance won't allow it" story when David has asked to watch. Good for you for stepping up to drive. It's good for all of us to be able to. I don't have the depth perception David does so he does most of the driving but we have had the slow down discussion many times.

  13. I could swear I posted a comment earlier this morning when I read this post but maybe I never hit the publish button who knows. That's great of Tiffin to allow you to watch the work they are doing. I love Winnebago but they always say there are "liability issues" just like Lazy Days. Great coverage there. I normally don't care much for repair stories but yours was great. I have the same "slow down" ahhem "discussions" and think it is always good for both partners to be able to drive the rig comfortably. You just never know.

  14. You are in the best place to get your "baby" back in shape. Very interesting to see how the coaches are put together.

    Don't feel bad, accidents do happen. I had a wreck back in Dec 2002 with my brand new 2003 MH. Hit by a lady driving at night with no lights on. $20K worth of damage and six weeks to repair.

    Make John get back on that "horse". He can do it! :c)

  15. There are manycouples inwhich the woman is the driver. Craig and I switch off ever hour or so. I also do some of yhe tight backing in because he is better at giving directions than I am. In our first year he had four rather costly encounters with objects because he cut it to close or did not check everything out before moving. I don't know how many other "almosts" there were. Now he has finally learned to slow down a bit and treat the Alfa like a big box and not lie a little car.

    I hope John will be better and will learn to listen to you more. Reading between the lines I think he might just be a bit stubborn!

  16. You are at the right place for a fabulous repair. When we toured the plant at Red Bay we were very impressed. Hope the rest of the repairs go as well.

  17. So nice to finally get things going on the repair.
    Hope your aches go away soon.
    Am sure you will do well as the new pilot.

  18. We have a fiver, and sometimes that seems easier than a big motorhome...Poor John...It's now just a matter of embarrassment..We ALL have our little "booboos". The key seems to be just get back in the saddle. I know for a fact that Dennis would be a "wet mess" if he had to sit in the passenger seat and watch ME drive...hang in there!!

  19. It looks like your repairs are being handled professionally. And I hope that you guys reach an amicable decision on the driving. I guess that part of RV'ing is adapting to new challenges. Teri has only driven our setup a couple of times and isn't comfortable doing it. We probably need to get her in the saddle a few more times...


  20. Since I don't do Googe+, I went looking for a way in to your blog several times, but couldn't figure it out. Today, I finally located the link I didn't know I was supposed to look for earlier and here I am. I really enjoyed your take on the repairs and I hope all goes well with your driving that big thing. If the road is straight and the going is good, I would take a practice run. Thank you for commenting so many times without me getting back to you. Now I will.


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