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Old 04-25-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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Looking at 2003 Journey

Looking at a 2003 Journey 32 foot for first Class A. Stepping up from travel trailer. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated, especially things I should look for on inspection.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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Have a 2003 Journey DL 36GD been a great coach, cross country 2times and we spend the winters in it in Florida. What to look for?? Well ya just have to make sure everything works or the price should reflect the things that don't. Know how to tell the production date of the tires. There realy not prone to leaks and the sidewalls are Vectrolite, no lowan, so delam is never an issue. I had a Blue Bird before this coach, no comparison, but I still like the Winney. Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:39 PM   #3
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A 32 ft Journey is most likely a model 32T. Most 32T owners who have posted on this forum say they really like that size and configuration. Do a search for Winnebago 32T's and you should bring up a wealth of information to consider.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:55 PM   #4
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I have always really liked the journey/meridian platform. IMO they are an excellent diesel motorhome.

I have also always been concerned with a design parameter that needs an offset of dead weight to balance the chassis. You do realize there's a literal ton of weight on the front end of the 32 footer, right? I don't know a lot about that particular model so perhaps some owners can speak to this. I do know it was made for a short time and discontinued. I do not know how many were built.

Based on this and the cost and complexity of a diesel chassis I would look to the 34 or 36 model to offset those traits and to take advantage of the extra carrying capacity, as well as more stable handling and ride.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:17 AM   #5
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We bought our 32T new in 02. 12 years and 185,000 miles later it run as good or better than the day we picked it up. Expect to keep this coach for another 12 years and 185,000 more miles.
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post
I have always really liked the journey/meridian platform. IMO they are an excellent diesel motorhome.

I have also always been concerned with a design parameter that needs an offset of dead weight to balance the chassis. You do realize there's a literal ton of weight on the front end of the 32 footer, right? I don't know a lot about that particular model so perhaps some owners can speak to this. I do know it was made for a short time and discontinued. I do not know how many were built.

Based on this and the cost and complexity of a diesel chassis I would look to the 34 or 36 model to offset those traits and to take advantage of the extra carrying capacity, as well as more stable handling and ride.
The front axel GAWR of my 32T is 9,350. The actual is approx. 8,500 loaded.

The real axel GAWR of my 32T is 15,000. The actual is approx. 14,350 loaded.

I am satisfied with the handling of this coach. When no wind is present I can actually take my hands off the steering wheel @ 65-70 MPH. The suspension is stock with the exception of Koni's on the front axel.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RandyMWV View Post
Looking at a 2003 Journey 32 foot for first Class A. Stepping up from travel trailer. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated, especially things I should look for on inspection.
We went from a 1973 Winnebago Brave to towing a travel trailer for a few years and landed in a very well maintained 2004 Journey 34H. Bought a year and a half ago, we've been taking it out two to three times a month ever since.

Take that 03 up on the freeway with the sound system off and listen to her. Should be nice and quiet. Check the gauges and info center, making certain everything is copacetic and in proper order. Tire dates and maintenance records should be up to date as well.

Best wishes on your step up Randy...
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:23 PM   #8
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Another item to look for is water leakage. Sometimes the older class A's will develop a leak from the roof, or where the cap and roof overlap. Nothing major, and a simple fix, but worth checking for.
Where to find any evidence is inside front cabinets around front windows.
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Old 04-27-2014, 07:37 AM   #9
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You do realize there's a literal ton of weight on the front end of the 32 footer, right?

Quote----------------

I have been under my 34 footer and a 32 footer. I saw no difference. The generator mounted up front, The fuel tank mid, between the frame etc.
Not saying there isn't but I sure didn't notice a difference of this ton of weight you are referencing to.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:55 AM   #10
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You do realize there's a literal ton of weight on the front end of the 32 footer, right?

Quote----------------

I have been under my 34 footer and a 32 footer. I saw no difference. The generator mounted up front, The fuel tank mid, between the frame etc.
Not saying there isn't but I sure didn't notice a difference of this ton of weight you are referencing to.
It is my understanding that there is a 2000lb steel plate somewhere on the front end of the 32T. Perhaps I'm mistaken. I was told it is there to balance out the chassis.

My gut reaction is that it is dead weight, so I would rather pick up a couple more feet of coach length and put that extra weight to better use as a design element. I'm not saying the smaller coach isn't a nice motorhome, hell I have a shorty myself. I'm just sharing my opinion on the whole issue - and that's it, just my opinion. Some will not care and that's fine too.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:54 PM   #11
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It is my understanding that there is a 2000lb steel plate somewhere on the front end of the 32T. Perhaps I'm mistaken. I was told it is there to balance out the chassis.
Quote.
So you really don't know for sure, Just repeating what you were told.
It seems some owners of a 32 footer could clarify this real quick.
However Charlie Tuit's weights given in above post give credence to your statement.
His front weights loaded are 8500# Mine loaded are 7300#
Tuits rear 14,350, mine 15,700.
His coach weighs 22,350, mine 23,000, of course mine has the heavier Cat engine and tranny
either/or, there are many happy owners of the 32foot journey, I am certainly a happy 34 foot owner.
Of course its good to share opinions, and if you are correct, I have learned something new.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:15 PM   #12
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I don't know if I have a steel plate counter balance. I know my cab area has a steel floor above the front wheels. The weights I gave include my 250 lbs and my SO's much less weight. All heavy items, tools, etc. are loaded to the front.

The original poster asked about concerns about the 32T. I hope my endorsement helps his task of choosing a coach.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:06 AM   #13
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32T

We purchased our 2004 32t a year and a half ago. After selling our previous Class A (Safari Trek) and researching several brands and lengths, we decided on Winnebago Journey, preferably a 32 or possibly a 34. We looked for several months before finding our coach. The coach handles well and we like the length. There are not many out there, so if you like the coach and the length and after checking the condition and operation of everything-- buy it.

NO regrets here
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:05 PM   #14
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Many thanks to all who responded
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:56 PM   #15
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I have an 03 Journey 36DL. Good coach, no real problems (knock on wood).

1.) The VDC Unit on the coach went, which caused an erratic air gauge and buzzer to sound but did not effect operation. Seems to be common due to bad cold solder joints but not a show stopper.

2.) The plastic antifreeze overflow tank started spider cracking so I had to change out. Common due to age.

3.) Theres some sort of gasket above oil filter where pan is that developed a drip. Had to have gasket changed out. Not a big repair.

4.) I personally feel the basement ac can not keep up during high heat and humidity. I added roof air to supplement and its the best thing we did.

There is a lube point on top of engine thats hard to access but you have to make sure you lube it annually. I also change engine oil every 5,000 miles.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:18 PM   #16
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Thanks

Thanks so much to all who replied. We looked at the coach and drove it this weekend and we struck a deal, will pick it up in about 3 weeks! IRV2 is a great resource!!
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:24 PM   #17
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Pics or it didn't happen...
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:19 AM   #18
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Congratulations
Happy and safe travels, you made a nice choice.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:26 AM   #19
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Like always make sure the tires are in good condition, even if there's lot's of threads on them they shouldn't be more then 7 - 8 years old.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post
I have always really liked the journey/meridian platform. IMO they are an excellent diesel motorhome.

I have also always been concerned with a design parameter that needs an offset of dead weight to balance the chassis. You do realize there's a literal ton of weight on the front end of the 32 footer, right? I don't know a lot about that particular model so perhaps some owners can speak to this. I do know it was made for a short time and discontinued. I do not know how many were built.

Based on this and the cost and complexity of a diesel chassis I would look to the 34 or 36 model to offset those traits and to take advantage of the extra carrying capacity, as well as more stable handling and ride.
Cj,
When I read this answer, I too became a bit puzzled. You see, it would be fairly hard to "hide" a 2000 lb. weight on the front of chassis. You see, the weight of the C-7 CAT, 330 HP engine in our coach, is 1295 lbs. I'm not being argumentative here, and, I'm always willing to learn. But, like I said, that kind of weight would not be easy to just stick on a chassis some place. If someone who, might have a 32T happens to know of that weight and placement of it, I'd sure like to see it just to satisfy my own curiosity.
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