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Old 04-22-2007, 09:55 AM   #1
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We've been lurking for awhile and have learned so much here. We traveled FT many years ago with a 5th wheel, preparing to go FT again, but this time in a Winnebago. Fell in love with the new '06-07 Journey 36', but a neighbor in our community is selling their 2004 39K. Although we thought we were a year or so away from hitting the road again, this may prompt us to go sooner. We are still working through the deal, but would appreciate any advice on what to look for specifically related to the '04 Journey, any particular issues to be aware of? We have all the specs on the coach and thanks to this site, we found the service parts list. Appreciate any advice and input.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:55 AM   #2
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We've been lurking for awhile and have learned so much here. We traveled FT many years ago with a 5th wheel, preparing to go FT again, but this time in a Winnebago. Fell in love with the new '06-07 Journey 36', but a neighbor in our community is selling their 2004 39K. Although we thought we were a year or so away from hitting the road again, this may prompt us to go sooner. We are still working through the deal, but would appreciate any advice on what to look for specifically related to the '04 Journey, any particular issues to be aware of? We have all the specs on the coach and thanks to this site, we found the service parts list. Appreciate any advice and input.
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:09 AM   #3
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Check and see if the air duct for the basement A/C has separated at the seams. It has been a problem that is easily fixed; but if left alone will loose the conditioned air before it gets to the coach.
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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Fishin ...

We have a 2004 39W (two slides instead of three)

We have really enjoyed our coach ...

I had a alignment right away ... weighed it (fully loaded) and set the air pressure according to tire manufacturers specs (in my case 92 pounds) ... that helped driving stability

The mileage improved slightly after about 25,000 miles.

We had several manufacturing "glitches" that took about 18 months to iron out ... nothing major ... only a nuisance ...

We have 44,000 miles on our rig ... we are generally in our rig about 6 months a year ...we have been in about 30 states and 4 Canadian provinces with it ...

We have been to several WIT rallies and one WIT caravan.

Is the kind of info that you were looking for?
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:23 PM   #5
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We have a brother of "Ernie the Journey", a 2004 Journey 39W with 34,00 miles on its Cat 330/Allison 3000MH setup. We have owned our yet unnamed Journey since November 2006, put on about 3,000 miles, and are the benificeries of the previous owner's meticulous care.

The only issue we have had is the loss of coolant out the surge tank overflow tube, and, after replacing the radiator cap, pressure testing and tightening all the hose clamps, finally Freightliner replaced the plastic surge tank last week. We are traveling to Yuma, AZ on Thursday and will learn if that final fix did the trick.

Otherwise, the 2004 Journey is a great value for the dollar and it is a great example of Winnebago's offering what we ask for.

Get one now!!
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the feedback. Much appreciated. It appears the current owners have kept excellent care of the coach, only 7000 miles on the 350 Cat and kept under cover. But other than an extensive tour, we have yet to inspect it thoroughly. We are hopeful this will work out well for both parties.

We've spent the weekend trying to find out as much as possible on-line about this year and model, (actually months of homework), and we are so ready to take it on the road.

We've been to dealers and shows, read hundreds of posts and brochures, trying to educate ourselves more about Winnebago products in general. We plan to contribute back to the board what we learn. We'll remember what it's like to be on this side of experience.

With less than 7000 miles, if the engine maintenance documents are in order, do we need to take it to a mechanic for an inspection?

Any specific advice for when we take it for a test drive for the first time? We have the checklists to refer to, but this is very different from pulling a 5th wheel.

Thanks again and we'll keeping reading.
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:03 AM   #7
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There have been a few service campaigns/recalls by Winnebago and Freightliner. Call Winnie with the serial number and freightliner with the last 6 characters of the vin and they should be able to tell you if all have been done. The ones I remember were seat belts by Winnie and exhaust connection and some reprogramming of the info center by Freightliner. Can't remember any recalls on the Cat, but might be worth a call to Cat to check.

Troublesome points - the '04 Sony color backup cams are failing early. If it hasn't failed already, plan on $225 for a replacement from rvcams.com. The tailpipe hanger bracket is also a common failure (mine was still under warranty). Someone recently mentioned a NAPA replacement that is more sturdy, but my factory replacement has been OK. Slip under the back, the hanger is just upstream of where the chrome tip attaches to the exhaust pipe.

The original info center supplied by Freightliner was almost unreadable. There was a limited time opportunity to replace it for, I think, $75. It's more expensive now, so if it wasn't replaced, find out the replacement cost cause you're going to need it.

There may have been others, but that's all I can remember for now - if it was expensive, I would have remembered.

We love our Journey - it's a lot of bang for the buck!
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:20 AM   #8
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As Tomsm said, the engine information center display is useless and my best advice is to replace it. The retrofit module now costs $278 but it is worth every penny and the hour or so it would take you to do-it-yourself. The only PIA problem we've had was a stuck check valve in the hot water line. It took the better part of 2 days to locate both of the valves, remove them, and with great ceremony throw the guts of the valves into the sea of Cortez, and of course, reassemble everything so nothing leaked. Also, I removed the flow restrictor in the shower and we enjoy the results. It's a great coach and we love ours.
Best regards,
Larry
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:53 AM   #9
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Reading the above posts reminds me of one recall on our rig ...

It had to do with the way the propane tank was supported with brackets welded to the tank ... my tank now has two large metal bands around it to ensure that it stays in place ... so you could check to see if the propane tank is held in place with welded brackets if it has bands around the tank ...
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:04 AM   #10
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Ski is right on with the propane tank issue. It was a formal recall so if it hasn't been fixed it should be fixed at no cost. Our 39W was already rectified at the factory before shipping.

One point that you may want to look at very closely is the CCC. Our 39W was great - lots of CCC - about 3500 with 4 x 154 for people weight in the calculation as well as a full tank of water. We had flipped a coin over a 39W and 39K and the W won because DW liked the washer/dryer in the bath area rather than the bedroom. A year later I looked at a 39K and was surprised to see that the CCC was WAY under the 39W. That could make things tough if you are fulltiming. You might want to check before you buy since that is something that can't be undone after. We are downsizing from our Ambassador in the next couple of weeks (have a park model in FLA now beside our MH lot) and don't need a 40 ft 10 inch monster any longer. When we got home last Wednesday I was startled at what we took out of the basement, the closets and shelves (we had to empty it in preparation for the trade). I tried to imagine what it would be like if we were fulltiming. Ouch (but in our case there are 3 of us).

The front tires of the 39W and 39K seem to be a limiting factor - the maximum weight rating in 2004 for the XRVs was exactly equal to the front GAWR - 10240 lbs off the top of my head. No cushion and that will be more critical in the 39K with a somewhat lower CCC. About a year later Winnie started ordering a bolstered chassis with 1500 lbs more capacity on the rear axle of the 39K - and I think they had to do that for a good reason.

You might also look under the MH. If it was not undercoated and delivered in the winter (like ours was) then you could find severe rust and you might want to think twice. If it was not delivered in the winter and if it was undercoated at the factory there should not be a problem.

Don
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:36 PM   #11
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Here's some additional things I can think of not mentioned by others so far:<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Get up on the roof and inspect the roof to sidewall seams looking for cracks in the caulk and any maintenance repair they have made. You have to press on the roof just above the sidewall/gutter to be sure. The regular maintenance is to do this inspection every 6 months. Needing to re-caulk is fairly common.<LI>Look at the boots on the steering linkages. There is a FL service bulletin for a bad batch of boots for some XC chassis built in calendar year '04.<LI>See what specific maintenance beyond lube, oil filter they have had done on the engine. A CAT C7 at 3 years w/ 7000 miles is just about due for PM level 2 including valve lash, fuel filter, air filter, etc. I just had mine done and and also had the ECU re-flashed/updated with the latest software. Between the valve lash and ECU update I'm getting better performance and mileage.[/list]A well taken care of used coach with all the bugs worked out is worth it's weight in gold.
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:29 AM   #12
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Good suggestions on checking for WIN and FL recalls and service bulletins, based on coach and chassis numbers.

In reviewing the owner's maintenane records, note transmission filter/fluid changes -- is it Transynd fluid? If not, plan on having it changed. At an age of 3 yrs the engine coolant is due for a change. The air dryer filter element is also due for a change I think. On the Freightliner Owners Club YAHOO discussion group is a "knowing your chassis" document which is a good reference to operation and maintenance.

(I am assuming this Journey has the FL chassis; I know there were a few in this timeframe that were built on Workhorse chassis...you're own your own there)

The recommended oil capacity for the C7 has been lowered from 22 qts to 19 to reduce crankcase venting blow-by.

You should think about new batteries, and if not already installed plan to buy a Trick-L-Start chassis battery "maintainer."

Good luck
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