Over and over again we’ve been told that RVers are incredibly friendly and helpful.  We learned that to be true this week.

There are a number of internet forums that cater to motor home owners. I have been posting various questions on one of them for a while and always manage to find helpful people to guide us as we stumble along.

Taking an absolute shot in the dark, last weekend I asked whether anyone would be at the Tiffin plant this week while our RV was being built.  One of the folks on the forum responded that he would be there since he was getting some work done on his RV.  He said he’d try to find our rig on the line. Another RVer happened to see my request, found this blog, and saw our post that contained our build schedule.  He provided the build schedule to the other owner before I could even respond.

For the remainder of the week, we received photos of our RV as it made its way through the various build stations.

Another owner who had watched his own RV being built back in November saw my request and sent us the pictures he had taken, and someone else sent us a link to a very cool time lapse video documenting an entire build from start to finish.  I’ve embedded that video below.

Now we can share Barney’s build with all of you!  The photos start about mid-way through the build, but I’ve added some from the other owner who shared his pictures with us.







I like that the entire RV is a disaster, covered in cardboard, tape, and random debris, but someone took the time to hang some artwork!!!  🙂

Tiffin builds all of the cabinetry and paneling for every one of their RVs in-house.


These photos also show the difference between having the slides out versus having them in.  So when we’re parked at a campground, we’ll extend the slides giving us lots of space.  When we’re driving, the slides will be pulled in, making the space much narrower.

Slide out (notice you can see the artwork)
Slide in (you can no longer see the artwork).
The dining table area doubles as a work center. On the far left of the cabinet, just under the counter top, is a keyboard pullout tray and you’re supposed to put your printer or other computer devices in the cabinets below.
The upholstery has a certain “Grandma’s condo in Boca” feel to it.







RV manufacturers LOVE themselves some swirly paint. It’s sordof a “more cowbell!” thing. Apparently, you can never have too many swirls on an RV.

Jason and Nikki Wynn are young fulltime RVers who partnered with Fleetwood, another manufacturer, to encourage design changes that would appeal to a younger demographic of RVers. They have a whole series of videos about their proposed changes and you can really see the difference in interiors.  I really like our model, but I’ll be interested to see what happens over the next several years as the number of “location independent” young fulltimers increases and presumably seek less ‘beige on beige’ and swirly paint and more muted and modern designs.

Here is that time lapse video (credit – David & Brenda Bott) showing an entire build from start to finish.  What amazes me is there is almost no automation.  Everything is built and installed by people, not robots.  It is also incredible just how many people are involved.

…And I wonder how many times those people get distracted and forget to screw something in.  Oh well… I guess we’ll find out.  🙂


It looks like next week’s work is mostly quality checks, minor repairs, cleaning and inspections. Soon after, Barney will be on his way to the dealership for their own quality checks and installation of some after-market stuff we’ve ordered.

We’re gettin there!!!

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    • Yeah, sometimes I worry about the color scheme being a little weird, but I think it looks pretty good! We’ve actually never seen the colors in person. We ordered it completely blind. Nothing like taking a chance and hoping for the best, huh? 🙂

      We also may need some of your sage advice for upkeep on the exterior. We should probably at least TRY to keep it looking nice… at least for a little while. It would help if we weren’t so lazy. 🙂

  1. Well, it was a slow day at the hospital today so I mainlined all of your blog posts. 🙂 Instead of responding to every single one as was my initial instinct, I’m just leaving you an extra long response to this one.

    First, I miss you, you’re hilarious. Second, a few of my fav gems (in no particular order): Barney (just the fact of the name), cornhole get off my lawn, more cowbell, and f*cking craigslist.

    Also, for what it’s worth, you are actually doing the rational thing – everyone else (myself included a lot of the times) is doing the irrational thing. My gf and I have fantasies of living out of a truck and traveling around the national parks…though I currently love what I do for a living, so that would be hard to give up. (Also…debt..) But I totally get the “spend as much time outside as possible” thing – I moved out to California to do just that. It worked. And it’s fantastic.

    LOVE your list of stuff you want to do. National parks – so many of those are on my list as well or I’ve been (Bryce = amazing). If you don’t have Death Valley on your list, put it on there dammit. I went recently and was blown away. Food – in addition to all the amazing ones you listed, I’m adding another, because, you know, I can do that, right? When you make it out to California, go to Tomales Bay for oysters. They literally catch them hours before you eat them and they are amazing. Also let me know because I’ll join you. Then we’ll go wine tasting.

    Well, until I have time (hopefully after the next year) to spend even more time outside and travel , I will live vicariously through your blog. xo

    • Hey! We are DEFINITELY going wine tasting when we get out to California. You guys can take Kevin for oysters while I sit in the car…He loves em, but I’m pretty sure they’re an abomination. Blech. 🙂

      I did not have Death Valley on our list just because we hadn’t gotten that far in the planning yet, but we are taking any and all suggestions. Speaking of which, I have been loving your photos from out there and really can’t wait to see more of the west coast.

      Stay in touch and we’ll be seeing you before you know it!

  2. Great post and have a few questions, did you get the Summo suspension? Did you get the 6 speed transmission, what problems have you had with the 36LA? I’m looking at the same coach as I have previously owned a Bounder 35k with the exact same floor plan. I do like the 34PA but I’m looking to economize where I can so its a 36LA

    • Hi Steve,

      We did opt to get the Summo springs and from what we can tell so far, the coach handles great (as first time RVers, we don’t have much to compare it to, but we haven’t had any issues with handling). As far as I know, all 36LA’s now come with the 6 speed transmission standard, so you don’t have to worry about that. We were really impressed with how the transmission worked in the mountains of Tennessee. As soon as we hit the brakes coming down a hill, the transmission would downshift and slow us down. It gave us a lot of confidence about going into parts of the country with major elevation changes and not ending up with a runaway bus.

      As for problems, we haven’t started full timing yet, so we’ve only got about 1000 miles in so far. Most of the issues have just been minor shakedown issues – loose connections, etc. We did have some vibration as the result of a some loose bolts on the heat shield over the exhaust system, but it was quick and easy fix. No surprises given the complexity of what we’re dealing with. We love the layout and we are almost fully moved in and have lots of room to spare. The storage space is really impressive. To that end, I would strongly suggest upgrading to the 26,000 pound chassis. It gave us a lot more CCC than the standard version and was well worth the additional cost (I think $1200). They don;t advertise it as an option, but we heard about it on the forums and asked and they said no problem. I think it’s the same chassis as the PA.

      At this point, we’re really happy! Once we start moving and really get some miles in, we’ll post another article about the rig itself. But so far, so good. 🙂

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


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