Tiffin Factory Tour

“You can’t buy happiness…but you can buy an RV, and that’s pretty close.” by an unknown author

Kevin and I didn’t start our day with the decision to attend the Tiffin Factory Tour.

Kevin and I like to eat local foods so we decided to look at the local farmers market in Red Bay. The google phone map brought us to the Tiffin Factory instead of the local farmers market at just the right time for the factory tour.

This picture below is the Allegro Visitor Center with a 1976 motorhome out front. The motorhome has a green shag carpet and a green/orange color scheme inside. I remember these colors being very popular in the 70’s.

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The tour started out with a short video from the Tiffin family. Tiffin makes 12 motorhomes a day. Tiffin is going to start making a Class C & a Fifth Wheel soon.

We saw motorhome ceilings, wires, slide outs, bathroom showers, sinks, water tanks, batteries, wood, rv roofs, lighting, furniture and more. We watched how things were cut, sanded, glued and nailed into the right place in the motorhome. I liked seeing the type of material that was put into my rv.

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A motorhome before the paint job

The picture below is me by a motorhome chasis prior to going into the factory assembly line. IMG_5481

I’m glad we went on the tour its interesting to see exactly how a motorhome is built.

Happy RVing!

Next, Tiffin Service Center

Vicksburg Mississippi

“the war can never be brought to a close until the key is in our pocket.” by Abraham Lincoln

“Vicksburg is the nail head that holds the South’s two halves together…Vicksburg is the key” by President Davis

While camping at the Ameristar Casino RV Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi

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Vicksburg National Military Park: Abraham Lincoln considered Vicksburg to be “the key” to winning the war. By late summer 1862, only Vicksburg, Miss., and Port Hudson, La., blocked the Unions control of the Mississippi. Vicksburg was the stronger and more important post. Basically, he who owns the supply routes wins.

In the National Military Park, we saw the Memorial Arch, a short film, Shirley House, U.SS, Cairo Museum, Vicksburg National Cemetery and more. The Military park has a 16 miles drive with a self-guided tour, cell phone tour or a paid tour.

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The city of Vicksburg was under siege for 45 days. Some citizens lived in caves during the siege.

Grant crossed the Mississippi River at Bruinsburg on April 30 then moved onward to Jackson then back to Vicksburg to win the Mississippi River. I’m a former Army soldier, I’m fascinated with the strategies these talented military men used to win the war.

The Vicksburg National Military Park isn’t as peaceful and contemplative as the Little Big Horn Battlefield. Vicksburg was less crowded. I’m glad we stopped to see this National Military Park.

Happy RVing!

Next, traveling onto The Tiffin RV Factory in Red Bay, Alabama.

National Park Stamps for Vicksburg Military Park

Red River National Wildlife Refuge

While camping at the Shreveport Elks Lodge #122

We visited the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Shreveport, Louisiana. Kevin and I saw several exhibits at the visitor center. The Alligator Gar was interesting. It lives in the Red River. It has a long snout with sharp-looking teeth. These fish rarely attack humans.

 

A friendly staff member told us how she uses a compound bow to fish for the Alligator Gar in the Red River. She fishes from a boat and is able to see the fish in the water. She also stamped our blue goose national wildlife refuge book.

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On our morning walk at the refuge, we spotted a turtle, Northern Cardinals, Northern Mockingbirds, Pink Primrose wildflowers, Indian Blanket wildflowers and a new bird life lister called a Spotted Sandpiper.

Happy RVing!

Next, we moved to Vicksburg, Missouri to explore the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Shreveport Louisiana

Camping at Shreveport Elks Lodge #122

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On our way to Red Bay Alabama we stopped at the Shreveport Elks Lodge #122 in Louisiana. The elk members here are friendly to travelers. Even though all 6 of the camping sites were filled a fellow member named Jimmy helped us find an 110 electric outlet and a nice place to park. We were given a tour of the facilities and a free cocktail. It’s such a friendly place that we decided to stay another night to avoid the rains and explore Shreveport.

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The lodge amenities: A good size pool with slide that opens late May, swim team, home cooked meals on Wednesday nights, most Wednesday nights entertainment, lunch on Tuesday, meal on Friday nights, outside deck area, bbq’s, non-smoking lounge, smoking area, relaxing room, commercial kitchen, 6 rv parking spots with electric & water for $15.00 a night and more.  The lodge has almost 900 members.

Happy RVing!

Next, Red River National Wildlife in Shreveport, Louisiana

How I spent my birthday

While camping at Grapevine Elks Lodge in Grapevine, Texas

Birthday Breakfast: It was my 53rd birthday so Kevin and I went to breakfast at the Old West Cafe in Grapevine, Texas. This place is perfect for us. The western decor is interesting to look at. The waitress was friendly and had a good understanding of the menu. The coffee was hot and the restaurant has flavored creamers. I had a meal called the cowgirl. It was one egg, one sausage, grilled sourdough, strawberries & bananas. Excellent!

Farmers Market: After breakfast, we drove to the seasonal outside farmers market on 325 S Main St Grapevine, Texas. The farmers market is one row of vendors in the Town Square Gazebo. We looked for Texas grown vegetables but the vendor had mostly out of state stuff. We sampled Texan made bacon, Texan made cheese and cantaloupe/honeydew at the farmers market.

Storm Warning: I looked for a hike but a storm warning was in effect in the afternoon so I watched Twin Peaks and Guardians of the Galaxy on tv. I’m looking forward to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 soon.

Geocaching: An easy geocache was in walking distance so Kevin and I went on the hunt to find it. I like the feeling of accomplishment after finding a good geocache. It was a good hunt.

Birthday Dinner Meal: My first idea for my birthday dinner was to split a cheese burger at the elks lodge with Kevin but they don’t service food on Saturday nights. I ended up at the Cotton Patch Cafe. I tried a few southern dishes for my birthday and I wasn’t disappointed. My birthday dinner was fried pickles with ranch dressing, chicken fried steak/gravy with garlic mashed potatoes and a margarita. I had a slice of chocolate peanut butter pie from Judy’s Pie store. Excellent Birthday!

Happy RVing!

Grapevine Seasonal Outside Farmers Market

Local Farmers Markets

Food Spotting 

Local Cafes we’ve experienced on our travels.

Camping at our Elks Lodge

Camping at our Elks Lodge in Texas

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This is our camping site at the Grapevine Elks Lodge. We pay $20.00 a night. We have electric & water hook-ups and plenty of social opportunities. The lodge has a drawing & meal on Wednesday nights.  Thursday nights is Karaoke nights @ 7. Friday night is a nice dinner & dancing.

Kevin and I attended the Wednesday night meal. It was chicken parmesan, meatballs, pasta, 2 different salads, and 2 different desserts. The volunteers were friendly and helpful.  I’m happy to be part of this lodge.

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Grapevine Elks Lodge #2483

Lodge #2483 began in 1971 in Hurst, Texas. Kevin and I were given a tour of the lodge when we joined. The kitchen area looks clean and efficient. The dance floor looks like fun. A new outside area was recently added. It looks like a good place to relax with a drink or meal outside.

Members Only Park

This is the members-only park we have access to. Joey (our yorkie) likes to sniff at everything in the park. lol

If the weather is nice Kevin found a few places we could go on our morning walk up the street. I’m involved in several Fitbit challenges this week. I love it! It keeps me accountable. My daily goal is 10,000 steps a day.

Overall, the Grapevine Elks Lodge is a great place to join the elks. The location is near the Globe Life Park in Arlington where the Texas Rangers play baseball. The lodge is military veteran friendly. Kevin and I both served in the Army. The members are friendly. Whenever we enter the lodge a member takes a moment to talk. I’m very happy with our membership here.

Happy RVing!

BPOE Membership

We joined Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in Texas. Our elks membership is something we have discussed for several years. We visited several elk lodges before deciding on the Grapevine Elks Lodge in Texas.

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The members greeted us with enthusiasm. They answered any questions we had about the elks. If you’re interested in joining we would love to help.

Happy RVing!