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Old 02-08-2016, 01:40 PM   #1
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06 Meridian

I am looking at purchasing a new to me 2006 Meridian 39k. This will be my wife and I's first pusher. does anyone have any advice or experience with these coaches? Any particular items I need to be concerned with? Current owner has all past receipts and service records. I have read all the pros and cons with the basement air but have not found very many other topics. Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you all in advance
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Old 02-08-2016, 02:07 PM   #2
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I just recently had an 05 36 ft Horizon with basement air and liked it better that my newer 011 Meridian's 3 roof air. units. You did not say what engine, but I had a Cat and now have a Cummins. If a cat make sure you manage the road draft tube. I installed a Racor filter on the road draft tube, so as not to get the oil vapor in the radiator and cause it to plug up. If a cummins engine, I believe they have (or May have) a filter installed on their engine. You can contact Freightline and I think they can tell you from your ViN
The Allision transmission is wonderful and will serve you well. I would check the dates on all the tires. If the coach is from the South anything over 5 years old makes me nervous. I strongly recommend "Toyo" tires. I had them on my last coach and just had them installed on the 011 Meridian. If you have any specific questions, you can PM me.
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:37 PM   #3
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I would pull on the rubber gasket around the windshield and look for rust on the frame. If there tell them you want it fixed. It will eventually crack the windshield.
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:50 PM   #4
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If the engine is a Cummins, there is a 104 micron fuel filter located on the inside of the passenger side frame rail just above the right rear air suspension bag. Fuel goes through it before it goes through the primary fuel filter at the back of the RV by the after cooler (CAC). That filter is a devil to replace but it needs to be done every 2 years or 20K miles.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emac View Post
I am looking at purchasing a new to me 2006 Meridian 39k. This will be my wife and I's first pusher. does anyone have any advice or experience with these coaches? Any particular items I need to be concerned with? Current owner has all past receipts and service records. I have read all the pros and cons with the basement air but have not found very many other topics. Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you all in advance
Well Emac,
We have an older, sort of sister ship version to that coach. It's an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT. You're more than likely looking at a Freightliner chassis with the CAT either 330 or 350HP motor. The Cummins option was, according to the brochure for that year/model/options, was the 300HP ISB and, only for the 32T model.

The coach itself is a very nice coach. It has very well built cabinetry, and normally good attention to detail on/in the interior. That engine/chassis will have what's called the "Exhaust brake" equipment so, a bit of a study on that will help you with your driving habits, especially when down hill running. If properly used, it will extend the life of your normal service brakes by thousands and thousands of miles.

In the '04 years, the Horizon and the Vectra were close to the top of the line models for both Winne and Itasca and, with that, those two models provided a SLIDE OUT generator on a tray. The Meridian and Journey of the same year, did not. But, on an '06 and, a 39' model, I'm not sure if you'll see a slide out gen or not. If so, you're incredibly lucky due to the fact that if and when any break-downs or service happens, having that generator on a slide out SERIOUSLY cuts down on labor costs for repairs etc. It's not a deal breaker but, is sure handy in those situations.

And yes, CAT, did put the exit to what's called the "Slobber tube" or otherwise known as the "Blow-by" tube, right next to the middle of the oil pan. Well, based on the operation of that slobber tube, it can deposit an oily film onto the CAC and Radiator fins, due to the action of the engine constant drive fan. And, when those fins get oily, they collect dust, dirt and debris that's picked up from the roadway and deposited in them.

When that happens, that seriously impedes air flow through both of those units and, hence, you'll potentially see a rise in engine operating temps, especially during grade climbing in higher ambient temp weather.

CAT and or Freightliner, has implemented a "kit" for taking the exit of that slobber tube and, putting it farther back towards the back of the coach, so that whatever fumes and oil residue is way less likely to be deposited on those fins.

Now, one thing that can pretty much guarantee that there will be little to no oily residue from emanating from that tube is, making DEAD SURE that there is the correct amount of oil in that engine. And, most likely, I'd bet my house that, your engine will require a maximum of 19 quarts with filter change.

Other things to look for:
1. Roof to front/rear cap and, gutter seams. Winne and Itasca both "glued/caulked" the roof to the side gutter seams as a securing method. If the caulking/glue is cracked due to age, it needs immediate attention. And there's much debate on here pertaining to that subject.

2. It's a widely known fact that, in a few years of Winne and Itaca production, the windshield frames, behind the glass can get pretty rusted due to poor workmanship and sealing from the factory. Sometimes, the rubber weather strip can be peeled back and, it may or may not, reveal this condition.

3. The overflow/pressure tank on the rear, top of of the radiator is a plastic. It often does get weather checked and cracked to the point it will actually start to seep out of the seams. It's regularly exposed to both the elements and, engine heat and cold. So, check out that little tank and note its present condition. If it needs or, will need in a short time, replacement, you're looking at, around $130 or more, and that does not include labor which, for that replacement, can get a tad expensive.

4. The air dryer is often overlooked, due to the fact that it normally runs for many, many thousands of miles without giving any signs of need of service. If the records show that it's been serviced within the last couple of years, it's still got some life left in it, based on conditions it's had to work in.

5. Check all the batteries. The standard Inverter/Charger that came with those coaches is the Dimensions 2000 watt modified sign wave version. For the most part, they've performed well and, do a pretty good job of providing good house electricity when called for. In the previous years, as in my '04 and even most of the '05 versions, both Winne and Itasca DID NOT provide for chassis battery charging, while on shore power.

But, the later '05s and, the '06s were equipped with what's called a "Trik-L-Start" component. That little black box, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, is not a battery charger. It it connected to both sets of batteries, house and chassis through the Auxiliary start solenoid. It's job is provide the chassis batteries with SOME of the charging that is intended for the house batteries. If and when it sees a .5 V difference between the two sets of batteries, it jumps into action and, siphons off some of the charge and sends it to the chassis batteries. And, it will only put a maximum amount of 5 amps into them.

And, speaking of that Auxiliary Start solenoid, it also is responsible for not only linking the two battery sets together for augmented engine cranking but, it links the alternator to the house batteries for charging while motoring down the road. You can check it's operation very easily by, at the "One-Place" panel in the middle of the coach, press the toggle switch for checking the battery voltage/condition for each set of batteries. Read the voltage for the house batteries while the engine is NOT RUNNING.

Then, start the engine and let it idle for about 30 seconds or so and, while it's idling, press that same toggle and re-check the house batteries for a reading. If it's up considerably higher than it was without the engine running, that auxiliary start solenoid is doing it's job. IF you don't see any voltage upgrade after you've started the engine, that solenoid is most likely in a non-op condition and, needs immediate attention. And, if that's the case, you'll find that solenoid, on that model coach, behind a panel, after opening the latch, just above the generator. You'll see nomenclature pertaining to that solenoid and house battery disconnect solenoid, right in front of you when you open that gen access panel.

6. The basement air on these coaches is basically a residential air conditioning unit. About 98% of the owners of this type of unit, prefer them over the roof airs. Some are not so happy. But, in any case, if you check the one out in the intended coach and, it's making some noise, it might be a simple bronze bushing that Coleman and one other maker of these units installed as a fan bearing. It can be replaced without too much trouble for a cost of around $20.00 or so, with a permenantly lubed bearing.

There are other items and things to look for but, that will get you a good start at examining this coach.
Scott
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:13 PM   #6
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All, thank you very much for all the information. I guess I should've given a little more info on the coach. It does have the cat c7 350hp. Also is original owner ( big plus in my mind). Has been stored in doors when not in use its entire life. I have read about the slobber tube fix as well and it has been done according to the owner. I will look at the other items listed above and welcome any other thoughts.
Eric
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:55 AM   #7
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Meridian 06

We have 36G, has the engine fan bearing been replaced? Also look at oil pan, it might be rusting and need replacement. The basement air ducting leaks. I've tried repair ours many times. Always change your filters. I spend 1-2K per year on maintenance and new parts. We have over 100K on ours now.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:48 AM   #8
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We bought a 2007 Winnebago Journey 39K version of it last year (Sister model to your Itasca). We bought it mid-last year with 39K miles. Love the floorplan. We haven't taken it out for a trip yet. We have replaced most of the furniture and am working on getting all the maintenance up to my standards. While not "new", it has all the features we need at a much more affordable price. Expect to spend some time crawling around, over and under the unit for awhile to get familiar and take care of any details. Most things we found were minor and well documented by others. Read all the forums and it will help greatly. There are multiple Winnebago forums, a Freightliner chassis forum, a Cat engine forum and an Allison Trans forum. All have provided me with lots of information. This coach is our first DP as well. We have had a Class C and two travel trailers before this, but this is a whole different ballgame. Air brakes and suspension, Hydraulic slides and levels add a bunch of new things to learn.

Biggest non-maintenance problems I have had so far are:

- Needing to re-caulk the roof to sidewall seam (half done, will continue in Spring)
- Front Hood (glue between fiberglass and metal needs to be re-don)
- Kwikee Step motor gave up the ghost a week ago, got replacement on amazon.
- Upper Windshield rubber trim has shrunk a little, will replace. I don't see any rust when looking upward from the front hood with a borescope. Will add the urethane caulk to the top of the windshield to fill the place where water can collect as a preventative when I replace the rubber trim, again waiting for warm weather.

These are all common problems and the people on these great forums give us plenty of how to' on these.

JAY
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:58 PM   #9
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Well unfortunately the deal fell through with the Itasca. Back to searching for another coach. If anyone has any leads send them my way. Thank you all again for your help. I'm sure I will be reaching out when I find something else.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:45 PM   #10
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Well unfortunately the deal fell through with the Itasca. Back to searching for another coach. If anyone has any leads send them my way. Thank you all again for your help. I'm sure I will be reaching out when I find something else.
Boy, just when I had my list out your deal fell through. Well, the list was very short. We have a 2004 39K and it is a great unit but like other RV's some things have malfunctioned. If you find another 39K don't hesitate to ask specific questions about that model.
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