University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban was the honored guest recently for a ribbon-cutting, plant tour and photo ops as part of Tiffin Motorhomes Inc.’s grand opening celebration of the new production facilities for its Wayfarer Class C product.
A Class A motorhome manufacturer since 1972, the company has close ties to the Crimson Tide football program as founder Bob Tiffin’s son, Van, and grandson, Leigh, were placekickers for Alabama. Additionally, the manufacturer, which is headquartered in Red Bay, Ala., purchases the Sprinter chassis for the Wayfarer line from Saban’s Mercedes Benz dealership in Birmingham, Ala., one of several he owns.
Bobby White, Tiffin’s general manager of the Winfield, Ala.-based Wayfarer operations — Winfield is located midway between Red Bay and Birmingham — told RVBUSINESS.com that Saban asked to go on a tour because he was really interested in the manufacturing process.
“He told me, ‘I’m just a garage guy from West Virginia at heart.’ He asked some really detailed questions. There was no doubt he knew what he was looking at. I was shocked, to be honest with you,” White said.
“He was everything you would hope someone like him would be — and that’s coming from a Mississippi State guy,” he continued. “He was really down to earth, as humble as could be and easy to talk to — not at all what you would expect given his public persona as a no-nonsense coach. He was professional to the letter, but he even cracked a couple of good jokes.”
Tiffin introduced the Wayfarer to the public in January at the 2017 Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa. With a “typically equipped” MSRP of $138,000, the Wayfarer debuted with a single floorplan, the two-slideout 24QW, although other configurations are in the works.
White noted the Winfield operation — which includes 105 employees, a 250,000-square-foot production plant and a 30,000-square-foot paint shop — is producing two units per day, and so far feedback on the Wayfarer has been decidedly positive.
“It’s the right product at the right time,” he said.