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Old 10-07-2018, 08:49 AM   #1
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Looking at Journey/Meridian 36G, 2005 thru 2007

Hello...new poster here,
I'm nearing retirement and looking at my next RV to own for the next 10-12 years and the next 75K to 100K miles in the $50K to $75K price range in great condition. I've never owned a diesel but I've read a lot of posts here and I've narrowed my search to a 11 to 13 year old 36G with relatively low mileage. Will a very well maintained 2005 thru 2007 Journey/Meridian 36G CAT350C7 with 35K to 50K miles already on it fit that requirement, or should I be planning to buy another RV sooner than 12 years/100K miles?
BTW, I'm an engineer and experienced RVer, currently own an 02 Adventurer 35U Ford V10 which has served me well, albeit with the typical HWH issues, minor clearance light leaks, and other nagging little issues we all deal with...I think.

Thanks in Advance, Love this Forum,
Bob
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:38 PM   #2
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Bob,

We have a 2004 Meridian 36G. I love the floor plan. The one thing we had issue with is overheating as the radiator faces to the rear and between it and the charge air cooler sandwiched with the radiator collects a bunch of road grim. It is a day job every 6 months to clean it with a Extreme Simple Green and Dawn. Our HWH was repaired at their facility in Moscow, Iowa and is flawless now. One control box shorted out and two pistons were bent on the jacks and the nylon slide guides were replaced on the big slide.

I wish the generator was mounted on a slide.

We are going to run this one until the wheels fall off. Lots of information out there on these machines. CATS are a good engine, just keep up on maintenance and you should have lots of trouble free miles. Mine is a 330 HP.
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:27 PM   #3
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Thank you very much I appreciate it. I too love the floor plan, CCC, tank capacities, and overall length. One other question I have relates to your basement air....is it able to keep up when it’s 90+F outside? My Adventurer has trouble with anything above that temp...it basically runs full time and struggles to maintain 72F inside.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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I like the air in the basement. That said, we use the window day-night shades to keep it cool inside. The air runs all day in temperatures above 90.

This year we are going to have outside sun shades made at our winter location to block more of the sun. We tested temporary shades last year and were pleased with the results.

This is our third motorhome and first basement air. The air ran just as much in our other units, Hurricane and Bounder, so I’m not concerned. I have an ATV jack if time comes to have to have it serviced by regular heating and cooling guy.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:59 PM   #5
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We’ve got a 08 Journey 39Z. First RV for us. It’s certainly been a learning experience. Just spent $5k to get it to drive properly.

Here’s part of my story:

Hello all,
I joined this group because I enjoy building, repairing, making stuff work again... just about anything mechanical. Thanks for the opportunity to learn and share.

11 months ago my wife and I purchased a 2008 Winnebago Journey 39Z with 69,000 miles on a Freightliner XC chassis (remember that). We felt it was in very nice condition and had pre-buy inspections completed before we exchanged funds.

This was our first RV... I had never driven a motorhome before so I had nothing to compare it to. The first few months we drove to local parks and began to learn the ins and outs of RVing...

I immediately started learning that there was plenty for me to tinker with and make improvements. With no prior driving experience to fall back on I quickly felt like these things should drive better than mine did.

I’ll try to keep this short but I feel others can benefit from my experience.

First enhancement was a SuperSteer 100 bell crank. Fixed resistance issue in steering.

Replaced what I felt was the original shocks Koni FSD Gold. Improved the ride.

Installed SuperSteer Motion Control Units in air bag supply lines. Improved rocking drastically.

Installed Source Engineering rear sway-bar. “Helped” the handling of the coach... “Helped”...

Was talked in to purchasing the Bilstein Shocks by Source Engineering and their airbag Comfort Control Units in air bag supply lines.

In June we took our first big trip from Arkansas to Colorado via Oklahoma and Kansas. I got home and immediately started more work on this coach. I decided that if what I just experienced on that trip was the way these things drive.... NO BODY WOULD WANT ONE!!!

Pulled the Bilsteins off back on with the Koni, personal preference. Back to the SuperSteer MCUs.

Installed 1 3/4” front sway bar and adjusted all tire pressures for actual axel weights (new tires basically aired to max pressure by Michelin dealer��).

Thought I had it licked until a trip up to Minnesota and back. No such luck. Started reaching out on forums for advice and received everything you can imagine ...

Oh yea, ride height incorrect. To high, adjusted that.

It just didn’t steer properly. Driving was tiring. Of course I was told that’s what they do just learn to drive it. I didn’t buy that.

This coach had a Safe-T-Plus unit on it. After talking to STP factory I pulled it off and sent it back for evaluation. Defective!!! Bam! I finally solved the handling problem.

In the mean time I scheduled a front end alignment in Belton MO with Transwest Truck, Trailer, RV. On my up I experienced the same old crap. Sawing the wheel and lots of wandering...

And now the rest of the story....

On the way to Belton MO, I called ahead and requested the lead tech drive the coach when we arrived. After a quick highway speed test drive the technician felt like we were chasing the rear end. Tail wagging dog. Back at the shop it didn’t take long for him to determine the rear suspension’s bushing were shot allowing things to move around.

Several $$$ later.... wow what a difference!!! Handling 80% Improvement but.... I still felt there was something else not quite right.

I asked them to inspect all front end parts for wear. It all looked pretty good. When I got home, I crawled underneath it and looked it over while my wife gently moved the steering wheel. Components looked good but it looked like there was play in the steering shaft to the gearbox.

Quick call to TRW support and my next step was adjust the lash in the steering gearbox. That all but eliminated the play in the steering wheel. CAUTION this is a delicate process, too much and you can mess up the gearbox.

So today I hope to drive the coach and see if I’ve finally got it fixed. Of course replacement of front end components would also help but I think they’re okay for now (more $$$$).

Transwest fixed the rear end but I did everything else. I swapped the shocks several times before the wife told me she liked how the Koni shock rode.

Read... Digest... and Remember...
Maybe my journey will help someone else.

Including a picture of the rear suspension so you can see all eight bushings and hardware that was replaced (thank you Jason).
JK


MONEY WELL SPENT

A phrase we like to hear!

Whole Assembly Balance for Bus-Motor-Homes from Centramatic

Had four Centramatic Wheel Balancers installed today.

I went to the Loves Travel Center in Alma AR I-49 Exit 24. Ask for Lee.

What a HUGE improvement in the ride and handling. I had the beads. When the tires were separated from the wheel they found globs of beads stuck to each other on the sidewall. They weren’t just rolling around inside of the tire waiting to go to work.

Amongst the other handling and ride issues I was trying to sort through, I just knew the tires weren’t self balancing as advertised.

I’m tickled to death how that changed the ride.

After the tires were separated, the beads were vacuumed out, remounted on the wheel, I had the tech place them on the balancer to check how much weight they need and if they tracked true. Centramatic says you want less than 8 ounces. I guess more than that it makes the balancers work harder. My worst was 6, best was 4. We didn’t balance them just wanted to know what we’re dealing with.

I’m glad I went front and rear with the Centramatic, my wife will tell me if the back is smoother BECAUSE she pointed out several times that it vibrates terribly in the back... ��

Update, gave the wife a ride today. She’s happy with the way it rides, sounds, and handles...
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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Posts: 2
Smile Love my 2005 Journey 36G

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVVT View Post
Hello...new poster here,
I'm nearing retirement and looking at my next RV to own for the next 10-12 years and the next 75K to 100K miles in the $50K to $75K price range in great condition. I've never owned a diesel but I've read a lot of posts here and I've narrowed my search to a 11 to 13 year old 36G with relatively low mileage. Will a very well maintained 2005 thru 2007 Journey/Meridian 36G CAT350C7 with 35K to 50K miles already on it fit that requirement, or should I be planning to buy another RV sooner than 12 years/100K miles?
BTW, I'm an engineer and experienced RVer, currently own an 02 Adventurer 35U Ford V10 which has served me well, albeit with the typical HWH issues, minor clearance light leaks, and other nagging little issues we all deal with...I think.

Thanks in Advance, Love this Forum,
Bob
We love our 2005 Journey 36G. As others have said, the floorplan is excellent. The bathroom is huge (for an rv), with toilet separate from sink and shower. We found that the build quality of 2004 and 2005 year models was significantly better than succeeding years. Ours has the four door Norcold fridge/freezer and just the overhead microwave/convection oven. The three big drawers below the cooktop, where a conventional oven would go, are absolutely indispensable for storage. And the convection oven works perfectly for baking and roasting.

We paid $62,000. for the coach in late 2015, with 27,000 miles on the odometer. It does not have full body paint, and I removed the fading vinyl decals. I am going to have to get the lower half re-painted, as the clear coat is failing. On close inspection, the paint does have some of the ‘crazing’ or hairline cracking inherent to Winnebagos of this vintage, but It does not seem to cause problems and is invisible from five feet away.

We have the Cat C7 and tow a 2007 Honda Pilot four down, loaded with two kayaks and three bikes. It cruises very quietly at 65 all day long, averaging 8.5 mpg. Big western US mountain passes slow us down a bit, but still offer no problems.

We did add a Steer Safe system, which improved the lateral stability during cross winds and with semis passing. It is the best imho.

Basement air is simply awesome! We have spent many days in the nineties and have no problems keeping the interior cool. And the system is much quieter than roof air.

Winnebago as a company is terrific with excellent customer service, as is
Freightliner.

As you can imagine, we highly recommend 2004-2005 Journeys
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVVT View Post
Hello...new poster here,
I'm nearing retirement and looking at my next RV to own for the next 10-12 years and the next 75K to 100K miles in the $50K to $75K price range in great condition. I've never owned a diesel but I've read a lot of posts here and I've narrowed my search to a 11 to 13 year old 36G with relatively low mileage. Will a very well maintained 2005 thru 2007 Journey/Meridian 36G CAT350C7 with 35K to 50K miles already on it fit that requirement, or should I be planning to buy another RV sooner than 12 years/100K miles?
BTW, I'm an engineer and experienced RVer, currently own an 02 Adventurer 35U Ford V10 which has served me well, albeit with the typical HWH issues, minor clearance light leaks, and other nagging little issues we all deal with...I think.

Thanks in Advance, Love this Forum,
Bob
Bob, not to long ago we had free access to the brochures of earlier models. This RESOURCE is not available for the coach you are looking for. I simply wanted to see how it was equipped.
DP's are not the fright to maintain as many like to believe. Belts and fluids are maintenance requirements in any case. The air dryer and filters are different for the DP.

Fear not in buying an older, well maintained DP. At 50 to 100K miles they are just getting broken in. Checking the suspension and front end bushings is always a wise thing to do, along with the condition of the radiator fluid.
Happy trails.
Rick
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Servants On Wheels Ever Ready. Best job we ever paid to do . (full time volunteers)
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:17 AM   #8
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Winnebago product info

You can access complete catalogs on 04 and 05 Journeys at Winnebagoind.com. You can also download the complete,nans exhaustive parts catalog for each model...great for tracking down that odd part here and there.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:28 AM   #9
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I second the inspection on the suspension parts.
Reasearch the type of suspension and get to know it’s parts so you can be very specific when you talk to the mechanic looking at it. Freightliner shop inspected mine and gave me the green light. It just cost me $4100 to rebuild my rear suspension because the bushings were worn and or deteriorated. I hadn’t owned it a year, Parts don’t wear our that fast...
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdie View Post
You can access complete catalogs on 04 and 05 Journeys at Winnebagoind.com. You can also download the complete,nans exhaustive parts catalog for each model...great for tracking down that odd part here and there.
You are correct, today. Yesterday there was a glitch in the Winnebago Resource site and these were not available. Good for the Winnebago site master.
Nice coach!
Rick
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Servants On Wheels Ever Ready. Best job we ever paid to do . (full time volunteers)
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:29 PM   #11
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We bought a 2006 Journey 36G w/ 45k miles from RCD RV Sales in June. Ours has the 350hp CAT and every option Winnebago offered. I pulled down the 2006 brochure and went thru the option list and everything listed it had. The coach was stored inside (it showed) and had all 2017 date code tires. RCD wanted 79K for the coach and considering it was in immaculate condition with all maintenance records, we agreed to their asking price if they would install a combo washer /dryer (worth 2k).

Admittedly the basement air can be a little noisy at night when it kicks on but nothing all that bad.

Absolutely the best decision we could have made. The 350 CAT has plenty of power and 36ft seems to be the perfect size for maneuvering. We are very happy with it!

It is sleeping in it's warm winter bedroom right now waiting for spring :-)

We are approaching retirement or at least semi-retirement and plan to travel a good bit.

I am considering installing HWH Active Air on it but need to decide if we want to go bigger first LOL! While we love the coach, a 43' Tag with 4 slides and a King bed would be REALLY nice :-) We are primarily RV resort types and not so much boondockers so who knows in 5 or so years.......
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVVT View Post
Thank you very much I appreciate it. I too love the floor plan, CCC, tank capacities, and overall length. One other question I have relates to your basement air....is it able to keep up when it’s 90+F outside? My Adventurer has trouble with anything above that temp...it basically runs full time and struggles to maintain 72F inside.
Any RV will really, really struggle to get the inside temp down to 72F with over 90* temps outside. Unless you cover your windshield with something insulating and have your day/night shades down on the other windows.



Getting the temp down to 78* is very doable. With the outside temp at 90+ the AC will dry the inside air very nicely so it will feel much cooler.



I know everyone is different, but at 72* and nice dry air I must have a flannel shirt and long pants on.
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:57 AM   #13
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My choice was an 04 Horizon. Cummins 8.3 with rear radiator, IFS. Bought in 09 with 25K on it, 82K now. Pretty much trouble free. It was not much more then, than your budget now.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
Bob, not to long ago we had free access to the brochures of earlier models. This RESOURCE is not available for the coach you are looking for. I simply wanted to see how it was equipped.
DP's are not the fright to maintain as many like to believe. Belts and fluids are maintenance requirements in any case. The air dryer and filters are different for the DP.

Fear not in buying an older, well maintained DP. At 50 to 100K miles they are just getting broken in. Checking the suspension and front end bushings is always a wise thing to do, along with the condition of the radiator fluid.
Happy trails.
Rick
Look here: Winnebago Resources
2005 Journey
2004 Meridian

You get the idea.

Anyway, I'm subscribed to this post. We are looking to find a Journey/Meridian 32T in the future. We want pre DEF and DPF, and have a preference for the Cummins, but would not rule out the Caterpillar.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVVT View Post
Hello...new poster here,
I'm nearing retirement and looking at my next RV to own for the next 10-12 years and the next 75K to 100K miles in the $50K to $75K price range in great condition. I've never owned a diesel but I've read a lot of posts here and I've narrowed my search to a 11 to 13 year old 36G with relatively low mileage. Will a very well maintained 2005 thru 2007 Journey/Meridian 36G CAT350C7 with 35K to 50K miles already on it fit that requirement, or should I be planning to buy another RV sooner than 12 years/100K miles?
BTW, I'm an engineer and experienced RVer, currently own an 02 Adventurer 35U Ford V10 which has served me well, albeit with the typical HWH issues, minor clearance light leaks, and other nagging little issues we all deal with...I think.

Thanks in Advance, Love this Forum,
Bob
Here's one in your price range:
Used 2007 Itasca Meridian
36G Diesel Pusher RV for Sale at MHSRV
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:21 AM   #16
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I wonder if the OP is following this any more?
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Servants On Wheels Ever Ready. Best job we ever paid to do . (full time volunteers)
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