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Old 06-28-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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Newbie with 2001 Journey questions

Hi all, I have just bought a 2001 journey DL 36 cat 330 diesel Allison transmission and have a few questions.
1. The HWH 310 Series manual says : Push the "ON" button, Push a RAISE (up arrow) button to extend jack pairs according to lit yellow lights. "ALWAYS LEVEL THE VEHICLE FROM SIDE TO SIDE BEFORE LEVELING THE VEHICLE FRONT TO REAR". Extend jack pairs accordingly until all yellow lights are out. After the vehicle is level, the jacks not used for leveling may be extended until they touch the ground.I have another separate sheet which says "Push down button for rear jacks, when jacks touch the ground push down button for front jacks. Level front to rear then use side to side buttons to complete leveling". HELP!! which is correct??.
2. After storing the jacks when getting ready to move should I turn the power off on the HWH panel and then back on again before pressing the rabbit button to activate the air ride buildup, then turn off the HWH power?.
3. I have a pushbutton selector pad for the Allison transmission which has a "mode" button. The instructions I have state "By turning the "mode" on, the transmission will shift into the next highest gear sooner, allowing for smoother shifts and improved fuel economy". Another little booklet refers to a "secondary shift schedule" for improved fuel economy. Should I use this assuming it was programmed at the request of the OEM (whatever that means).
Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Golfinscorp View Post
Hi all, I have just bought a 2001 journey DL 36 cat 330 diesel Allison transmission and have a few questions.
2. After storing the jacks when getting ready to move should I turn the power off on the HWH panel and then back on again before pressing the rabbit button to activate the air ride buildup, then turn off the HWH power?.
3. I have a pushbutton selector pad for the Allison transmission which has a "mode" button. The instructions I have state "By turning the "mode" on, the transmission will shift into the next highest gear sooner, allowing for smoother shifts and improved fuel economy". Another little booklet refers to a "secondary shift schedule" for improved fuel economy. Should I use this assuming it was programmed at the request of the OEM (whatever that means).
Thanks in advance for your help.
I have auto level in HWH but if doing it manually I would do side to side first and then front to back.

On the second point, you should leave the HWH panel on and let the jacks fully retract. Otherwise you will be driving along and get a jack down warning light. Reason is the contact that tells you the jack is up and ready to roll is not at the uppermost point of retraction. So if you shut down the system just as the jack passes this contact point its likely that the jack will drop a fraction of inch and hit the contact. Many of us have learned this the hard way by suddenly having that buzzer on and trying to figure out what in the heck has happended.

One your third point I turn on the mode and leave it on all day. I like the shift pattern better and if I don't have it on, and I am in rolling terrain with cruise control on and forget to turn off the retarder I slow on a uphill and I get a big jerk as it downshifts. Does not happen as much with mode on. I don't believe you will notice much fuel savings with the mode off. You just have to do what is most comfortable for you. Mode on or off is not a big deal.

Bob
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:03 AM   #3
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I have found that leveling is a multi-step exercise ... and it depends on how long (measured in nights) that I intend to stay.

Step 1:
I look at the pattern of the yellow lights before I start leveling ... I start with the jacks that are most out of level first ... generally it is a side ... (sometimes it it the front or rear) ... I make sure that these jacks have both touched the ground and lifted the coach some (generally one of the lights go out, too).

Step 2:
Now run the opposite jacks until they both contact the ground and barely begin to lift the coach.

Step 3, 5, 7, ...
Open the bathroom and shower door to see how far we are out of level (can I tolerate the doors behaving like this for our stay here???)

Step 4, 6, 8, ...
Tweek the jack pad based on the lights and the swing of the doors

If we are staying in a spot for more than a couple of nights, I take a lot of time in getting us level because I hate to have the doors swinging from being off-level.

One other hint. Whenever I am parked on grass I always put some sort of block under my jack pads. Reason: I was parked on grass in a Montana RV Park. The ground was seemed okay but I later found out it was pretty wet under the surface because my jack pad went into the ground and would not retract ... I had to crawl under my coach on my belly and with a very small shovel dig the pad out before the jacks would retract. If this were to happen again I could retract my jacks and then dig out the block of wood after I had driven out of the site.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:21 AM   #4
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I have found that the mode button does very little except in situations where I am driving on a highway that is across rolling hills where the transmission is shifting between 5 and 6 frequently.

I generally drive in the 60 to 65 mph rage ... so for about 99% of my driving the transmission will shift from 5th to 6th at about 56 or 57 mph and stay there.

We have now driven our Journey more than 70,000 miles ... I no longer worry about the mode button ... the only "shifting" that I am concerned about is downshifting on long grades to keep the RPMs above 2000 on long climbs to keep the engine temps in the normal range.

Enjoy your Journey ...
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:26 AM   #5
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The jacks raising and lower part have been covered pretty good so I will respond some to the mode button.
It really is no big deal if you have it on or off, however I always turn mine on.
It shifts to 6th gear at 55 mph, without it on it shifts about 58 mph.
The quicker shift pattern from standstill, I like also.,
try it both ways.
Just a side note about your retarder.
When you use it to retard downhill dont be surprised if you see some rpms in the 2500 range.
It is programed to 2nd gear.
It will sequencially downshift as speed drops.
Congratulations on your new coach, you picked a good one.
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:27 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the advice and for the endorsment of our MH choice, it's pretty intimidating with a library of manuals which sometimes appear to state the same thing differently. I'm sure I will have lots more questions as we go along. Thanks again.
John
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:40 AM   #7
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originally posterd by Golfinscorp
3. I have a pushbutton selector pad for the Allison transmission which has a "mode" button. The instructions I have state "By turning the "mode" on, the transmission will shift into the next highest gear sooner, allowing for smoother shifts and improved fuel economy". Another little booklet refers to a "secondary shift schedule" for improved fuel economy. Should I use this assuming it was programmed at the request of the OEM (whatever that means).
I use mode all of the time per recommendations of Allison and Freightliner. I also like the affects noted by RCtime. I see a small positive change in fuel mileage on the instant economy readout if mode on or off.

My Journey is a 2007 w about 25k miles. Been sitting for a few months taking care of medical problems but excited to start adding to that number in a few days.
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:03 PM   #8
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Response and additional Question Re; Extended Service Plan

Olive & All
Thank you so much for your responses. I am sure we will enjoy the Journey when I get used to the many systems this one has. I really am a total newbie MH owner and welcome any help offered. I do have a freightliner chassis and would love to get to SC sometime. We were there earlier this year visiting Charleston as tourists, staying in hotels, and loved the place. I am sure when we get used to the coach we will look at joining a Winnie chapter, it will take a little while to get familiar with it all and we will experience a few local trips before venturing too far I think.
I have been offered an exclusionary Extended Service Plan with Phoenix American through a local RV service company (the diamond plan) for $2900.00. Is this a reliable company? and is the price reasonable?.

Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.
John
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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You will find a lot of helpul info here John. Also never hesitate to call Winnie if you have a problem or question. They are always very helpful with suggestions and troubleshooting. The owner relations number is 800-537-7742 then opt 1 for the service dept. Have your serial number ready for them.

If you didn't buy from a dealer or if the dealer didn't register you as the new owner with Winnie you can do that on their website http://www.winniebagoind.com. There is a link on the left side for second owner registration. You can call and do it also.

I'm sure I speak for many welcoming you to the Winnebago family and wishing you many happy years of travel.
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:10 PM   #10
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Golfinscorp:

Welcome to the forum. As you've noted, you will get lot's of help from the many wonderful members we have on our forums.

I cannot recommend the Freightliner folks at Gaffney enough. Their motorhome chassis service center there is certainly top notch. While I have done much of my own service, I now plan a trip from Virginia to either Myrtle Beach or Charleston once per year so I can stop going or coming at the FCCC service center in Gaffney. They do great work at reasonable prices and they know that chassis better than most.

I can't tell you anything about the extended service plan. I generally don't use them and prefer to set some $$ aside for repairs. The CAT/Allison combination is pretty bullet-proof if you maintain it well. However, stuff on any motorhome can and will break and only you can decide if you want the insurance. Just read the fine print to make sure they don't exclude things that will leave you with a big repair bill in spite of what you paid for the service plan.

Enjoy the Journey and don't hesitate to ask questions. Also, come often to share your RV experiences.
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