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Old 02-24-2008, 10:56 AM   #1
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We're finally at the point where we have narrowed down our upcoming purchase choices to a used Journey or Journey DL. Now I'm stuck between the differences in the motor size.

I've read both sides of the arguments regarding the HP necessary to tow a dinghy four down and to get through the mountains (that's the plan anyway). But I haven't been able to get a good grip on what really works on the road.

Your thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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We're finally at the point where we have narrowed down our upcoming purchase choices to a used Journey or Journey DL. Now I'm stuck between the differences in the motor size.

I've read both sides of the arguments regarding the HP necessary to tow a dinghy four down and to get through the mountains (that's the plan anyway). But I haven't been able to get a good grip on what really works on the road.

Your thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
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I will simply state what I would do if it were me starting my search for a used Journey today. I would look for a two/three year old coach with 350 motor and full body paint.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:23 AM   #4
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We have a meridian 32t with 300 hp cummins, pull a jeep and do just fine.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #5
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I have owned both the Cummins 5.9L ISB and now the CAT C7 engines in a 34H Journey. Here are my observations on one engine vs. the other.

The Cummins (usually 300hp and 660 lb-ft of torque) is an effective engine for most all driving applications. Going up mountains at a respectable grade the coach will slow down to 35-40mph. If towing, it may slow down a little more, and of course sooner. It will get 1-2mpg better than the larger CAT engine. You are limited to 5,090 lbs towing weight with the Allison 5 speed 2500 series transmission.

The CAT engine is rated at 330 hp (3126) or 350 hp (C7). Both engines develop 860 lb-ft of torque. It will clearly pull the hills and mountains better than the smaller Cummins, and will maintain 55-60mph climbing a respecable grade, even when towing (maybe except when towing at the maximum towing weight). It is rated to tow 10,000 lbs with the Allison 6-speed 3000 series transmission

If you are looking at the 34' or 36' size Journeys, I believe either engine will suffice, with the above limitations. If you are looking at a 39' Journey, then I would definitely go with the larger engine.

Having had both engines, I prefer the CAT over the Cummins as it improves driveability. But both engines will get you where you're going.

If you come across an excellent deal on a used Journey with the Cummins engine, and you only plan on towing a small toad (mine is 3500 lbs), don't sweat the engine. Both Cummins and CAT are excellent engines.

One note -- try to stick to a minimum of the 5-speed Allison transmission. In 2000 they used a 4-speed.

Another note -- Winnebago and Itasca did equip some 32' Journeys/Meridians with the 300 hp Cummins ISB and the Allison 3000 series 6-speed transmission. If you have this setup, the coach is rated to tow 10,000 lbs.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by littlebaler1:
We have a meridian 32t with 300 hp cummins, pull a jeep and do just fine. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

littlebaler1, Welcome to the forum! I just noted that was your first post. Great place for any questions you might have.

On some of the 32' Journeys and Meridians, Freightliner used the 300hp Cummins engine with the Allison 6-speed transmission (vs. a 5-speed). This is really a sweet combination for optimized fuel mileage.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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littlebaler1;

Welcome to the forum & the Winnebago Industries Owner,s Forum. We are happy you found us. Post often and fill us in on your motor home experiences. Don't be afraid to ask questions as our members have lots of experience & are willing & happy to share.

Just for your information, we have a Winnebago Chat on Tuesday nights at 9 PM EST. Please feel free to join us if you wish.

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:59 AM   #8
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I can only talk about the 2006 journey 36 we own. We have the 350 cat with 14,ooo miles and we tow 4600 lbs. It is so smooth going down the road, on the big hills it is a little under powered but i'm never in a hurry to get over the top. So for a 36 or bigger i would go for the larger motor. Don
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:25 PM   #9
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Be sure to check the weights on the sticker in the bedroom closet. One of the big problems with the ISB is towing capacity. The brochure for my '04 with the Cummins lists GVWR as 27910# and GCWR as 28000#. So, if you load the RV to the max, you have a whopping 90 pounds of towing capacity. I think this is due to the transmission they used with the Cummins. In later years, I believe they changed to the 3000MH transmission and this became a non-problem. If looking a '04 or earlier, check that weight sticker...
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
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Welcome - I'm kinda new too, but everyone is very helpful. We own an 02 Journey 36DL with the 330 CAT. It is an outstanding combination with the 6 speed Allison 3000 tranny. We pull a cargo trailer loaded to 7800# and pack the basements to near max weight. We have traveled throughout the midwest, south and out west (AZ) to winter each year with NO PROBLEMS except for some overheating issues due to a dirty radiator. Before buying, crawl under the coach rear and inspect for oil residue contamination on the underside to the rear of the engine. This should tell you if the "slobber tube" has been extended far enough to prevent breather blow-by from entering the radiator. Other than that, the coach has served us fulltime for 3 years. Good Luck and Happy Trails.

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Old 02-24-2008, 04:15 PM   #11
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I think you will find aftermarket material to upgrade the HP and increase the mileage up to 25% can be found for the Cummins. That cannot be said for the Cat.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:49 PM   #12
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My 06' Meridian has the Allison 3000 and the ISB 5.9. I am rated to tow 10,000 pounds. I pull my Wrangler like it's not there. And I am getting 9 to 10 MPG towing the Jeep. With the M3000 my CCC is almost 4 TONS. Yep, she works just fine..........
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:57 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pusherman:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by littlebaler1:
We have a meridian 32t with 300 hp cummins, pull a jeep and do just fine. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

littlebaler1, Welcome to the forum! I just noted that was your first post. Great place for any questions you might have.

On some of the 32' Journeys and Meridians, Freightliner used the 300hp Cummins engine with the Allison 6-speed transmission (vs. a 5-speed). This is really a sweet combination for optimized fuel mileage. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Thanks, I have enjoyed reading the forum, particularly places to go. Our Meridian is set up with the 6 speed although im such a slow driver I rarely get into sixth gear very often. we try to stick to the back roads. We bought it new in 2005 after lots of research but since then I haven't kept up with all the changes. Starting to think about a 40 footer for a little more room. I will post some pictures someday when I figure that out. Thanks
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:18 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SargeW:
My 06' Meridian has the Allison 3000 and the ISB 5.9. I am rated to tow 10,000 pounds. I pull my Wrangler like it's not there. And I am getting 9 to 10 MPG towing the Jeep. With the M3000 my CCC is almost 4 TONS. Yep, she works just fine.......... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

SargeW is correct. Towing weight has to do primarily with which transmission is in your coach. Winnie and Itasca installed the 3000 series 6-speed transmission in some 32' Journeys/Meridians with the 300hp ISB engine. This setup is rated to tow 10,000 lbs.

If you only have the 5-speed 2000 series transmission you are limited to 5,090 lbs towing weight.

I have edited my prior post to reflect this clarification.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:57 PM   #15
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I have 32 journy DL 300 ISB 3000 trans and pull a 32 foor 3 axle race trailer about 9000 lbs. gets up to speed good and runs down the hwy good but the hills are like I have the parachute out but never has been hot. Pulling a small SUV I can"t tell if it"s behind me like SargeW said. It would be nice to have a 400 at times!!!
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:02 PM   #16
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I'm almost embarassed to join in this conversation, but I will anyway. Long ago, and far away, I went from a 300 cubic inch Ford six , with camper and two-horse trailer to a Ford 400 cubic inch v8, same load. The mileage improved about 30% with better pulling power, etc. My formula is lower cubes: more throttle and less mileage; Big cubes: less throttle and better mileage.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:30 AM   #17
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There is more than engine size when you go from the Journey to the Journey DL.
You can download brochures from the Winnebago website in the year model you are interested in.
The DL series has a lot of ammenites and extra standard equipement than the Journey series.
I have had my 2002 journey DL only a few months now and totally pleased with the coach and the Cat.330/ Allison 6 speed. It goes up hill pulling my CRV like a Billy goat.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:42 AM   #18
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Thanks to all that have posted here - your input confirms what my gut instincts told me in the first place, bigger is better...

Hope to see you all on the road soon!

Mark
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