When our homeschool group offered a free tour through the Tiffin Motorhome Factory in Red Bay, Alabama, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. After spending a year as full-time RVer’s, I knew this was a tour that my kids and I would be very interested in and we certainly weren’t disappointed!
We prepared for our tour in the Visitor’s Center where we donned safety glasses and our listening device which consisted of ear plugs and some type of radio and away we went, following our tour guide to see firsthand how Tiffin builds their motorhomes from the ground up.
Tiffin Motorhomes started in 1972 and nearly went out of business that first year when the fuel crisis hit. However, they managed to survive and thrive. Before the economic downturn, they were building 13 motorhomes a week and employ nearly 1,000 employees at their main plant and have several smaller plants in the surrounding areas. When the recession hit they dropped to three rigs a week, but managed to hang on when a lot of companies weren’t so fortunate. Now they are nearly back up to full production.
Our tour actually began in the Chassis Plant, which is not normally on the tour that is offered. We were able to see the bare bones of the production. Here the employee is putting the tires on the sturdy frame. By the time the chassis emerges from this building, it has a set of tires, a steering column and some of the wiring completed but it still doesn’t resemble a motorhome.
We wound our way through the Cabinet Plant and saw the carpenters in action before skipping the Welding Shop and heading towards the Main Plant where the chassis is transformed into a magnificent home on wheels before our very eyes. This is where the floor is put down…
the finished product…this could be yours! There is nothing roughing it about these beauties! Flat screen TV’s, rear diesel engines, steel chassis with steel basements, triple slides (and more), exterior cameras all the way around, washer and dryer combos, sleeper sofas, a company dedicated to quality and a bus fit for a king. Next time we hit the road as full-time RVer’s, I hope it’s in a Tiffin Motorhome!
This was an amazing field trip! If you find yourself in the area, you’re welcome to take a free tour through the Tiffin Motorhome Plant in Red Bay, Alabama Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m. (closed on holidays).
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