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Old 10-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
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Itasca Meridian V series

Looking at 2010 Meridian 35Y. Anyone have any "good-bad-ugly" info.? Thanks
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #2
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The 34Y floorplan was new in 2009. Winnebago redid it for 2010 with more interior and exterior storage (from 65.6 cubic feet to 113.1 on the exterior!). If I was shopping for a 34Y, I surely look for a 2010 or newer, but you have that covered. And that's about the extent of my 34Y knowledge.

There's a few owners of 34Ys here. Hopefully they will chime in...
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
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We took delivery of a 2012 Itasca Meridian 34Y one month ago. We sought out this model since it was one of the shorter diesels that offered a 72 x 80 king bed, gas oven, large holding tanks and straight-on tv viewing. We have driven around 3000 miles towing a Honda CRV and have averaged over 10 mpg.
One concern is handling especially in crosswinds. At delivery all tires were at 105 to 110 psi. We tried to find a public scale that would measure individual weights on each wheel. So far we have not found a truck stop that has heard of such a thing. We did stop at a flying J in Florida and weighed the unit by axle and tow vehicle. The results were front axle: 8620 lbs, rear axle 17,020 lbs and CRV 3580 lbs with a full fuel tank, 1/3 water tank, empty holding tanks, driver and passenger. Not knowing the side to side weights, we reduced the pressure in the front tires to 95 PSI and the tires on the rear axle to 100 PSI. The handling seemed best with a full fuel tank, assumed to load the front axle a little bit more.
Reading Freightliners web site, they note the potential for their chassis' to wander if loaded too heavily in the rear. With a weight of 17020 lbs on the rear axle, we are at 97% of the 17500 lb rating of the rear axle. With 8620 lbs on the front axle, we are at 83% of the 10,410 lb rating of the front axle. We have very little in the storage compartments. We do have the washer/dryer (which has been greatly appreciated during our travels) located in the rear, the bedroom fan, the king the outside tv and the aluminum Blue Ox tow bar, all which load the rear somewhat but can not be moved forward
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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My pc locked up before I could ask if anyone has a suggestion for improving handling and decreasing wandering with a heavily rear loaded freightliner xcs chassis. Read one post where the author said that he added "ballast" to the front axle on his 34Y but would rather avoid just adding more weight for the sake of putting more weight on the front. Will continue to search for a public scale that will weigh individual wheel weights to see if tire inflation can be safely reduced.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #5
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You can get 4 corner weights using the CAT scales. Just find one that has a wide apron at the same level as the pad. Weigh once in the conventional manner, then ask for a re-weigh($1.00), drive off and back on the scales this time only weighing one side, with the other side on the apron. A little math will get you the weight of each corner of your motorhome. I have done this numerous times at multiple CAT scales, the attendant usually has never heard of this procedure, but they have all been willing to do it. Don't keep a bunch of truckers waiting in line, they won't be happy!!
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by market View Post
My pc locked up before I could ask if anyone has a suggestion for improving handling and decreasing wandering with a heavily rear loaded freightliner xcs chassis. Read one post where the author said that he added "ballast" to the front axle on his 34Y but would rather avoid just adding more weight for the sake of putting more weight on the front. Will continue to search for a public scale that will weigh individual wheel weights to see if tire inflation can be safely reduced.
Just to test the effect of additional weight on the front axle, try 4 more passengers as far forward as possible. Remember that fuel weight goes mostly on the front, and water/waste weight towards the rear.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:14 AM   #7
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It is the wheelbase that is important for interstate driving and crosswinds.
short 208" is going to drive bad no matter what. I know I have been driving one for 7 years
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:50 PM   #8
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Thank you for the suggestions. I will keep searching for a CAT scale with a wide shoulder. The one at the Flying J in Florida did not have a wide shoulder. I called another truck stop today in Alabama where we are now and they said that their scale did not have a wide enough shoulder. They suggested calling a moving van yard.
The suggestion of adding additional passengers for a quick check to see if that would help the coach go straight without wandering side to side so much was a good one.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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I have the 2011 34Y and discovered the rear axle was heavily loaded as well as the left side of the coach was heavier than the right side. I moved things around as much as possible and helped some. This being my first diesel pusher I have little to compare the handling to, but I am reasonably satisfied with the handling.
I also have the washer/dryer in the rear and I am sure that contributed to both the rear and left side loading issue.

My first weights were:
LF 4220 RF 3860 Total 8080
LR 8960 RR 8520 Total 17480

After moving things around I achieved:
Front 8640
Rear 17180

Second set of weights only were by axle as they could not do individual wheels.

Still heavier on the rear but some improvement. I suspect your weights to be similiar.

Good Luck,
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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Thank you very much for the comparative weight numbers. Curious if you tried fine tuning the air pressure in your tires and, if so, what air pressure you are running.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:30 AM   #11
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I have my TPMS alarm set for 90 front and 95 rear. Pressure runs about 5 pounds above that depending on outside temps. This time of the year they are pretty dynamic and I don't adjust too aggressively - way to much trouble.
I could run a bit lower if it were not for the left right miss-match in weights. I suspect I still have significant as I believe it is the Full Wall slide and Washer Dryer on the drivers side that creates most of it.
I have heard of people with worse left right weights so I guess the 34Y isn't too nad/ My largest concern is the marginal rear axle. It is very easy to overload the rear axle if you are not careful. I try to run holding tanks empty and fresh water 1/2 or less.

These weights were with water tank 1/2 or so, holding almost empty, LP 2/3 and fuel 3/4. This is the average way I run down the highway.

I talked to Winnebago about the rear axle and they seemed unconcerned about the loading as did Freightliner. Seems they almost expect Motorhomes to run overloaded most of the time.

Good Luck with your coach, we really enjoy ours even with several warranty issues we have been working through.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:44 AM   #12
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Thank you for the suggestions. I will keep searching for a CAT scale with a wide shoulder. The one at the Flying J in Florida did not have a wide shoulder. I called another truck stop today in Alabama where we are now and they said that their scale did not have a wide enough shoulder. ....
You don't need a very wide shoulder at all. All the CAT scales I have seen have had at least a 3-4 foot wide strip of concrete around the edges which is enough for the second pass. The only thing to verify is that there aren't any obstructions directly off that strip. Theoretically, it would be best if the wheels that are on the scale were centered on it but as long as you get them close to the center, you will get weight data that will be sufficient to meet your needs.

It might be argued by anyone with a physics background that you only need one set of wheels on the side pad because the design of the scales themselves don't have any bias on where wheels are placed on it anyway. I tend to believe that.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:48 AM   #13
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...

I talked to Winnebago about the rear axle and they seemed unconcerned about the loading as did Freightliner. Seems they almost expect Motorhomes to run overloaded most of the time.

...
They speak 100% BS if they say that!

If you have an accident and if it is remotely weight related, you can bet your insurance company will take a stance that is 100% opposite of any other "authority" that says running over weight is expected.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #14
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Stopped at a Love truckstop today to fill the DEF tank and noticed that the first two pads on the scale are wide enough to leave one set of tires off the scale so got the weight with both sets of tires on each pad ($10) and then only the left side tires ($2) on the second weigh. The only problems are that there are three separate pads and only the first two have a wide shoulder so had to jump out of the coach on the second weigh to let the weigh master know to record the weight so my weight wasn't included on the second weigh. Also had the toad connected so had to assume that the toad was balanced from left to right. Doing the math after adding my weight to the front left and deducting half the weight of the toad from the left side rear total resulted in front left 4340 lbs, front right 4040 lbs, rear left 8380 lbs, rear right 8420 lbs. This was with about 55 gallons of fuel, empty holding tanks, empty water tank. So was pleasntly surprised by the good rear balance and wondered if the imbalance in the front was enough to cause the wandering.
Also noted that the front tires are mounted so that the DOT stamp is on the inside of one and on the outside of the other. Is this standard?
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:59 PM   #15
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market...

Good to hear from you!

A little pre-planning with the weigh master can make that go a bit easier. Yes, you got that right about the second time around but no big deal. Personally, I would weigh it without the toad to keep it simple next time around.

OK...

Your front axle gross rating is 10,410 and your weight was 8380 so that sounds GREAT. 2K# of load available there alone. The L to R 300# difference isn't that huge and you should easily manage that with how you store things up front. A full tank of fuel may help that too.

Your rear axle gross is 17,500 and your weight was 16,800. That would make me suggest you go back with a full tank of fresh water, without the toad and weigh it again. If my math serves me right, a full load of fresh water will add 768# bringing your total rear axle weight up to 17568!

This assumes your water tanks are over the rear axle and your fuel is over the front axles or nearly so in each case. Also, did you have any "stuff" loaded yet? I hope so.

Unfortunately, this is the case we are running into with our Adventurer. We are running out of rear axle weight before front. There is not much you can do about that except not carry full water. Whether or not you carry full water is a debate amongst many over the value of burning fuel to carry water but let's put that aside for now.

It will be super important to get it weighed again with the water for 2 reasons. 1 to verify your figures and 2 to see how that affects the L to R balance. In my case, the water tank is not quite fully centered and thus adds more weight to the left side then the right which sounds good in your case.

I'm rather anal about this so I will admit that I have done several weighing of my MH. I did one the day I bought it with out anything except me, Sandee, a full tank of gas and NO water. I then did the same a week later with full water, Sandee, 2 GSDs and crates. Finally, I did one a few weeks later with it loaded for our typical use, full fuel, and water. The end result is that I only have about 300# left for my rear axle and not place up front to move what I have to.

Keep us posted.
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