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Old 10-15-2018, 11:08 AM   #1
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Input from present owners of 2013/14 Journey/ Meridian 34B, Please

We are contemplating trading up to a diesel pusher and have narrowed down our choices to a 2013 or 2014 Journey/ Meridian 34B. We presently have a 2013 Sunstar 27N and have finally decided we can no longer live with all the handling, ride and poor fuel economy and braking issues of the Ford V10 F53 chassis.
I am hoping for comments from some present owners of a 2013/14 Journey/ Meridian 34B about fuel economy, ride and handling and things we should be aware of during our buying experience.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmeow3200 View Post
We are contemplating trading up to a diesel pusher and have narrowed down our choices to a 2013 or 2014 Journey/ Meridian 34B. We presently have a 2013 Sunstar 27N and have finally decided we can no longer live with all the handling, ride and poor fuel economy and braking issues of the Ford V10 F53 chassis.
I am hoping for comments from some present owners of a 2013/14 Journey/ Meridian 34B about fuel economy, ride and handling and things we should be aware of during our buying experience.
Re: fuel economy. Don't expect much of a difference in fuel economy between a V10-F53 chassis and a diesel pusher. Typically you are going to see from 7-9mpg, with the 9mpg from a good tail wind on level ground.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmeow3200 View Post
We are contemplating trading up to a diesel pusher and have narrowed down our choices to a 2013 or 2014 Journey/ Meridian 34B. We presently have a 2013 Sunstar 27N and have finally decided we can no longer live with all the handling, ride and poor fuel economy and braking issues of the Ford V10 F53 chassis.
I am hoping for comments from some present owners of a 2013/14 Journey/ Meridian 34B about fuel economy, ride and handling and things we should be aware of during our buying experience.
The ride and handling will be much improved. DEF is not a big issue and give the engine a bit more HP. On the flat I have see my 40U give over 12mpg. Average, lots of mountain and hill country driving is over 8mpg.
Breaking is not a problem with the disc air breaks. Air Force One breaking system works fantastic for the towed.
I just installed the AirFlow Detector V-Spoiler on my coach. Might get better fuel mileage, but better handling in wind and with passing trucks is supposed to be one of the perks. A cleaner towed is another hope for.
The slide rails were a big problem for these years. Make certain that the issues have been corrected.

The Blue Ox TruCenter is a big plus. When crosswinds are strong it is less effective.
I hope these insights help.
Happy trails,
Rick
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
The ride and handling will be much improved. DEF is not a big issue and give the engine a bit more HP. On the flat I have see my 40U give over 12mpg. Average, lots of mountain and hill country driving is over 8mpg.
Breaking is not a problem with the disc air breaks. Air Force One breaking system works fantastic for the towed.
I just installed the AirFlow Detector V-Spoiler on my coach. Might get better fuel mileage, but better handling in wind and with passing trucks is supposed to be one of the perks. A cleaner towed is another hope for.
The slide rails were a big problem for these years. Make certain that the issues have been corrected.

The Blue Ox TruCenter is a big plus. When crosswinds are strong it is less effective.
I hope these insights help.
Happy trails,
Rick
What was the issue with side rails? And what years did the issue exist?

The 2013/2014 34B that we are interested in has the Maxum Chassis.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:07 PM   #5
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All three slides on that were were Schwinteck, or the original in wall system. If the rails on the side are black and have little swirly or "S" tracks in them, they are probably the original Schwintech and I would be surprised they lasted that long on the full wall slide.

If any are silver, they were replaced with the higher torgue Schwinteck. If they are thin rails with straight up and down teeth that stand about a half inch away from the side, the coach was upgraded to the new PowerGear SlimRack system, which would be the best find.

We have the Schwinteck still on our 2013, but not on the full wall. They see OK on the smaller slides, but can give you fits on the larger, heavier slides. You can always have them upgraded to SlimRack.

We have the 2013 Meridian 42E tag, so probably a little bit different ride, but you will love the pusher; the air ride, the brakes, the quiet and just the general robustness of the Journey/Meridian! Ours has been a great coach. We have the 400 hp 8.9L ISL and get 7.5 mpg pulling a JKU Wrangler and I typically drive the speed limit. Without the Jeep I have got as high as 9. Air brakes will impress you with the stopping power they have.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for the information on the slide rails. Now I know what to look for.
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:25 PM   #7
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Bought our 2013 Itasca 34B new 5-1/2 years ago. Have put 43k miles on it since then. Once spent 2 months on the road in it. Great coach for my wife, me and our two Golden Retrievers. We moved up from 2008 30’ Holiday Rambler gas rig. Night and day difference. Smoother more comfortable ride, spacious with slides out, pass-through basement sliding tray is very handy, much quieter having motor and transmission 20’+ behind you rather than sitting right atop them in our gas rig, we like having the dining table with chairs instead of a banquette. Good quality finishes, furnishings and cabinetry for a small diesel pusher. It is also nice being able to get into both “Class A only” RV parks as well as into tight National Parks campgrounds.

As others have stated, fuel mileage is only slightly improved. We put 9k miles on the HR during round trip from AZ to AK and averaged 8.2 mpg. On flat roads in the 34B, not towing, we have gotten just over 10 mpg driving between 65 & 70 mph. Towing our lifted heavy Jeep Wrangler, in mountains, we get about 7.5 mpg. Which brings up another handy feature of the 34B over the HR - a 100 gallon fuel tank that can be filled from either side of the coach.

X2 on Schwintek slides. Rear set on full wall slide were replaced under warranty several years ago. Front set was not, but likely will be in a few weeks - with us footing that bill. Both sets on bedroom slide were replaced, under warranty, just before our 2nd trip. Schwintek was new system in 2013 models and we early buyers wound up doing the factory’s R&D work. That Schwintek system would not keep us from buying another 34B, but there are better slide systems out there.

Overall, we are very happy with our 34B. Would be nice having more than 340 HP in the mountains, but then I have never owned any vehicle that couldn’t have benefitted from more power.

Good luck to you.
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:14 PM   #8
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Better MPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by al1florida View Post
Re: fuel economy. Don't expect much of a difference in fuel economy between a V10-F53 chassis and a diesel pusher. Typically you are going to see from 7-9mpg, with the 9mpg from a good tail wind on level ground.
We had a Vista 30T with the V10 Ford Chassis and got about 5.6 mpg. We now have a 2013 Itasca Meridian 34b diesel pusher and it gets about 9 mpg.

One other item related to fuel. We have found it much easier getting diesel than gas. We now use the truck lanes and never have problems with maneuvering like we used to have with the gas stations.
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:43 AM   #9
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I have a 2013 Journey 36M I purchased new. I had a Ford v10 on the F53 prior. I echo the comments made above. Truck stops for fuel work out great! You did not purchase the rig thinking of fuel economy or mpg I suspect. But I get about 9 as an overall average. I have had only one issue. Had to replace the serpentine belt and it was covered by the Freightliner Warranty. Did have an issue with remote key fob. But polished the contacts on the door and all is well again. Ride, handling, turns, braking, performance, reliability, and all are much improved over the Ford. Dealer upgraded slides for me prior to purchase. My Journey is my fourth class A and is the best I've had. I'll travel about 20K this year. Good luck with your purchase decision.
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