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Old 10-16-2011, 06:46 AM   #1
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Journey VS JourneyExpress: Pros/Cons?

Good morning everyone. We are new here. We are considering the move from a Heartland 5th Wheel back to a class A and are only considering the Winnebago product. We've had Holiday Ramblers in our past, so we have Class A experience. In looking at the various models and options we are trying to decide between the Journey & Journey Express, their bottom line fits our budget the best. Wondering what pros/cons everyone here might have to offer? Thanks much for any feedback and we look forward to hearing from folks

Patti & Doug Doty
Port Republic MD
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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They are both very nice coaches. The main difference I see is the length and the wheelbase. As I have previously stated, I am not thrilled with the way our Journey Express drives in crosswind situations and I, like others have noted, believe the short wheelbase and long overhang in the rear adds to the difficulty in maintaining good control of the vehicle in the winds. Therefore, I would think the Journey, with the longer wheelbase would drive somewhat better than the Express with the shorter wheelbase. At the advice from Freighliner, I added a Safe-T-Steer device to my steering arm but it has been in the shop and I have not had a chance to drive it any distance or in any wind to see if it helped.

Both models have a Freightliner chassis, Cummins engine, and Allison transmission. All these parts are of high quality.

As far as the coach goes, the fit and finish on ours is great. I am very pleased with everything Winnebago did building the coach. The materials and choices of components are great.

Like all new coaches, I have had some issues that the dealer is working through. The biggest issue has been a compatibility problem between the Coleman air conditioner compressors and the Onan generator. The A/C units work well on shore power and generator power when parked. They will not operate when the coach is traveling down the road. Winnebago and the dealer have decided that there is a grounding issue in the Progressive Dynamics controller and they are changing it out next week for me. The other issues have been generally tweak this, adjust that issues that I actually could have taken care of myself if it were not in warranty.

I don't think you could go wrong with either coach. I just preferred the shorter coach for maneuverability and parking. We have been able to put about 3000 miles on the coach and love living in it. If I can get a handle on the handling issues, I will love this coach.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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We were ready to buy a 34Y but for 2010 they made it the Express with the Allison 2500 trans instead of the 3000 which restiscts the gross weight. They also dropped the drinking water filternand other "niceities". Then they put the Journey on the Magnum Chassis with the ISC engine. I spoke with a Feightliner rep and he said you'll like that long wheelbase much better.
Well we are very happy with the 40L, but the 34Y still looks good.
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:02 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

I can't help with your choice between the two but we've been happy with our Winnie.

Best of luck...

Rick
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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My experience with our 2010 34Y has been very positive. I have driven it over 20K miles in almost 18 months. We have not experienced any driveability issues with the 35' length and have driven in all kinds of weather all across the country. We are averaging 8.5 to 9.5 MPG, pulling a 5000# toad. My normal driving style is 60 to 65 MPH with the cruise control set.

We bought the 34Y because we loved the floor plan, and got most all of the amenities that we had in the 06' Meridian. The Allison 2500 trans is not the only restricting part of the weight of the coach, the Freightliner chassis is. The 2500 trans is a six speed redesigned by Allison for the lighter chassis. The Cummins 6.7 ISB is a very capable engine, and delivers better HP and torque than the 5.9 had, and is delivering the same or better MPG.

We didn't need or want a 39' or 42' coach, and didn't want to pay for the extra space that we wouldn't use. The 35' with the full wall slide gives up plenty of space to live and relax, without limiting us on getting into the State and National campgrounds that we like to visit.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:50 AM   #6
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Our previous coach was a 2003 Itasca Horizon, 32', and we loved it for vacationing. It had all the power we needed, the Allison 3000 transmission, and a huge cargo weight capacity over 5000 pounds. We usually got around 10mpg, and occasionally over 11. But, going full time, we needed something bigger.

We really liked the 34y, loved the size and layout, but were wary of the engine/transmission combination, and the cargo capacity. The full Journey model was out of our price range. Then we saw the Journey Express 39n. (2010 and 2011 models only, dropped in 2012)

The floor plan was perfect, I needed an office (could convert the bunk bed space), extra storage, and decided the engine/transmission would have to do. We traded in our Horizon in June 2010.

We have been full-time since August 2010. The differences we have found, compared to the full Journey model, first our model is about 5 inches shorter at 39' 11". The cabinets and furniture is a little bit on the cheaper side, but still pretty nice. The basement storage on the full Journey is much bigger, the engine/transmission can haul and pull more in theory, but with the extra stuff they put in the full Journey model, our available cargo weight might even be a bit higher.

Our rig might not be as quick starting from a dead stop, but it gets up to speed just fine, tows our Jeep with ease, drives and handles very nicely, and gets 9-10mpg consistantly.

We have had a year of working out the bugs, our dealer has done an excellent job of fixing all the glitches, and we absolutely love the floor plan. I would have liked the full Journey model, but the price was a huge consideration, and floor plans available just don't provide me with an office space like the 39n does.

If the floor plan works, I think any Winnebago product is a good decision. The only real negative, we are still fighting, is the Norcold refrigerator. Sore point with me, a $3500 refer should last longer than 14 months! I would say, if given a choice, go with a residential refer.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:29 AM   #7
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I just went through the same decision tree between the 40 and 34 journey. I am new to RVing and I was a bit intimidated by the 40 size. Also heard that larger coaches restricted at certain camps. I am over 6 ft so king size bed was a must. Also a mid coach tv across from coach important. The 34 has alot to offer in a compact package. I bought the 34 and am very happy so far. Did add the water filter ($300). Can't go wrong with either. I find the 34 pretty easy to drive. Have had no issues handling or with any systems yet. Good luck!
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