We always wanted full tile in the front living area of our Bus, but had to settle for the tile runway since Tiffin did not offer this option at the time of our purchase. Our dealer offered to have this done for us before delivery, but being new to RVing we chose to wait. Two years later we were ready to get this done.
After some research on the TiffinRVNetwork forum it seemed there were many Tiffin workers who would do this job after hours and I selected Ricky McGee (Supervisor at Tiffin’s Paint Facility) based on some PM discussions with a few other owners.
The arrangements were made in June for a September install in Red Bay - a 1900 mile round trip for us. Ricky had a helper, Brannon Hutcheson, who at the time worked on the Zephyr line. Both have handled lots of upgrades for other owners. In fact they were finishing up a complete redo of a Monaco Windsor the day we arrived. And as some Tiffin owners know Brannon has since opened his own business called Custom RV.
We bought the tile at the Red Bay service center (parts counter) and delivered it to Ricky since workers are not allowed to do this for customers. We also picked up two rollers at Ricky’s request. Those were used to replace two glides (I think that’s what they are called) on the front part of the DS slide that went over the carpet. Since we have lots of CCC (5400) we opted to have them tile our bedroom too.
The work was done at Ricky’s home. It took the guys 2 evenings (Thursday and Friday) and all day Saturday to do the work. He offered to let us stay in the coach at night, but we thought it would be easier if we were not interrupting the process so we took a trip to Nashville during the renovation. We returned on Sunday afternoon so we were out of the coach for 3 nights.
Anyway, as a result Ricky made the cuts very snug and with the neutral grout color you’d never know it was installed after the fact. Maybe I got lucky, however, I figured if that idea failed we could always add the trim later by a local woodworker. We have not felt it necessary to do so - it looks fine to us.
Total cost was $4500. $1389 of that was for the tile which is a discount of 30% off retail (so we are told) $30 or so for the rollers - can’t remember the exact cost of those. The rest was for additional supplies (backer board, grout, corian, etc) and of course labor.
Things to Consider
Availability - This entire project almost ended before it got started. The day we arrived we learned the tile we needed was in short supply. Management had just issued a new rule - no tile released except for warranty work. This was very frustrating for me since I had talked with Red Bay 3 times over the phone (months ahead of our plan) to confirm the tile would be available. I even offered to buy it and have it set aside for pickup later, but each worker assured me I would have no problems.
So we immediately took the issue to Tiffin management. First to Jesse the Parts Mgr/Supervisor. He was not optimistic, but promised to bring it up in the morning management meeting. We felt it best to plea our case directly to Bob Tiffin largely because we did not have time to run things up and down the line, so we figured if the answer is still no then we can proceed with plan B. That being - either replace all the tile (more $$$) or just drive home.
And here comes our Bob Tiffin story. Without the blink of an eye Bob picked up the phone and called Jesse - left him a message to release the tile for us and to order more. Problem solved.
Contacts - You can get Ricky or Brannon’s contact information and a list of other workers from the “After Hours Custom Work Contact List” in the link below.
Below are a few pictures and weight info. At delivery our coach was reported to have 5400 CCC and we had not come close to using it - thus the reason we decided to tile the bedroom too.
Before the tile, but with a good amount of stuff in our bays we had 3,580 available CCC. After the tile we still had 2,660 — so the tile added 920 lbs. Details by axle:
Date Steer Axle Diff. Drive Axle Diff. Gross Diff.
Chassis 13,860 20,000 33,860
Before Sept 2006 11,700 -2,160 18,580 -1,420 30,280 -3,580
*After Oct 2008 12,120 -1,740 19,080 -920 31,200 -2,660
*We have a lot more stuff in our bays in 2008 vs. 2006. Also we had already replaced the day/night shades with the MCD shades and they are much heavier. We estimate about 40-45 more pounds. Seems like the box they came in was about 50 pounds. Fuel, propane and tank capacities were not exactly the same so we’d probably just error on the high side and say we have 2K left.