Sunday, January 23, 2011

Red Bay, Coach Mods, Elvis

We arrived in Red Bay, AL on Wednesday afternoon and parked our motorhome at Custom RV where we had an appointment for the following day. Custom RV is owned by Brannon Hutchinson. They have a couple electric/water hookups right there for their customers, which is really nice. Once we were all leveled and set up, we took a short tour of Red Bay (it was actually bigger than I thought it would be), got something to eat and went back to the coach.

That evening, we had a visit from Chris Berry, woodworker extraordinaire, to take measurements and remove our TV "box" in the bedroom. Chris was to rework the box and turn our flat screen into a new door for the cabinet.

Rick going over our list with BrannonThe next morning started early, but it was 8:00 AM by the time we were all set, in the service bay and work started. First on the list was replacing our Norcold RV refrigerator with a residential refrigerator. They removed a window in the living area, then used a forklift to remove the sofa in front of it. Once the old refrigerator was removed from it's space, the fork lift took it the rest of the way. The new Whirlpool was delivered the same way. Apparently, this is a very popular upgrade as evidenced by the "Norcold cemetery" in Brannon's garage. We are very happy with the result. That may be an understatement. I am thrilled with my new fridge Smile

1-Starting to remove the sleeper sofa2-Sofa placed on forklift3-Out with the old4-Norcold Cemetery5-In with the new6-Installation complete7-Inside fridge side8-Freezer side

Along with the refrigerator, they vented our microwave/convection oven to the outside, installed a ceiling fan in the bedroom, added 2 additional electric outlets for me, replaced our outside porch light, ran some auxilliary brake wire and tied it into the dash and a few other things. They worked until almost 8:00 PM. The attention to detail and the all-around professional workmanship of Brannon and his crew was wonderful. We would highly recommend them!

The same can be said for Chris Berry and his beautiful woodworking skills. He delivered our TV and cabinet that evening and we are very pleased. Chris Berry installing new cabinetThe TV itself is framed and made into the door. The door is on a piano hinge and the space inside is now wonderful storage. We have the DVD player on the bottom and our wireless printer on the shelf. Nicely contained and out of the way.



Because it was so late when they finished up, and because it was snowing and sleeting, we spent a second night at Brannon's rather than drive in that mess. Yes, the Red Bay weather is just as frightful as it is in the rest of the country! Smile

Friday was our appointment with Bruce Deaton of Custom Paint and Body. Because the micro/convection vent required a hole cut in the side of the coach and then a vent and vent cover installed, all that had to be painted to match. We also asked him to do a few touch up spots for us where there were scratches on the slide edges and chipped paint on the edges of a couple of the bay doors. He did the sanding and priming on Friday. We have to return at 6:00 AM Monday morning for the paint job. Yes, I said 6:00 AM!!!! Bruce works from 6:00 to 2:00 Monday through Friday and says he loves it. He gets off early enough to still have a life with his family.

We checked into "Camp Red Bay", the Tiffin Service RV  Park on Friday afternoon. We'll remain here until our painting is done and a couple other things taken care of. I ordered new windshield drapes from the Tiffin Store when we arrived. They are made by a seamstress right here in Red Bay and should be ready Tuesday or Wednesday. I've also asked Chris to make me a couple little end tables. By the time we leave here, we'll have spent a little money, but it's becoming "our" coach.

Saturday we went on a search for Lazy Boys. When Brannon's crew removed our sofa to get the refrigerators in and out, we told them not to put it back in. We don't like the 2 sofa's. One is plenty. What we really want is a couple comfortable recliners. We ended up in Fulton, MS and Tupelo, MS (Red Bay is right on the AL/MS state line) but could not find what we wanted in stock. Ordering would require a 4-6 week wait and we anticipate leaving in a few days. We'll continue to look as we head south. If we have to order, we'll make arrangements to have the chairs delivered to Nashville where we can pick them up when we head north in March.

After a short stop at Wal-mart for a few supplies, we headed back to Red Bay. Before leaving the city limits of Tupelo, however, we happened upon Elvis Presley's childhood home. It was getting late so we just stopped long enough to take a picture of the house and marker, but the compound is now huge. Elvis BirthplaceElvis MarkerThere's a large museum with walking trails around the grounds, even a

lake. I wonder how many other little houses were swallowed up to make room for this site. The tiny little house didn't appear to be any bigger than our motor home. With a nice fresh coat of white paint, it probably was in much better shape today than it was when Elvis was born.

Once home, we ate dinner and watched a little TV. I'm not sure what we'll do today, but I imagine we'll find something :)  I hear there’s a couple of good football games going on Smile


  1. All we can say is "Wow!"....should be a whole new living area with all the bells and whistles. Did Rick get the automatic trikke opener installed yet..ya know..pops out near the rear of the motorhome ready to ride....ha!

    WTG on all your improvements! Be safe...Mike and Kathy

  2. It's exciting making the coach "your own" huh???

  3. loved the converted tv cabinet and will keep that in mind...

  4. I too love the TV cabinet idea and am totally with you on two sofas. Wonder why so many coach manufacturers put them in? Sounds like you've been taking care of a lot of business.

  5. That's a LOT of changes! I can't wait to see it all done. Congrats on getting YOUR home the way you want it. I'm with the others, why do they put in two couches. Great post!

  6. Very Cool. Love the TV cabinet. Thanks for posting pics.


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