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Old 12-21-2015, 12:50 PM   #1
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Starting our search for a Meridian or Journey

We are retiring this coming February and planning an extended trip starting around Sept 2016. To me the Meridian or Journey 32T or 34H 2003 - 2007 fits the bill nicely. We have had only one other MH an older 27ft Cl A gasser affectionately named Leaky Lena.
The 32 fits beside the house, the 34 will present a challenge, but I'm sure I can come up with something. We are fine with shorter coaches ride and lack of amenities - and prefer the compact size and parking flexibility.
It appears the 34 has a better flow to the bedroom while the extensions are retracted. I am seeking feedback from 32T and 34H owners on the plusses and minuses of each. I am aware the 350 CAT will pull the hills faster. I plan on towing about 5,000 lbs - car and trailer.
Thanks in advance,
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Grandpa19 View Post
We are retiring this coming February and planning an extended trip starting around Sept 2016. To me the Meridian or Journey 32T or 34H 2003 - 2007 fits the bill nicely. We have had only one other MH an older 27ft Cl A gasser affectionately named Leaky Lena.
The 32 fits beside the house, the 34 will present a challenge, but I'm sure I can come up with something. We are fine with shorter coaches ride and lack of amenities - and prefer the compact size and parking flexibility.
It appears the 34 has a better flow to the bedroom while the extensions are retracted. I am seeking feedback from 32T and 34H owners on the plusses and minuses of each. I am aware the 350 CAT will pull the hills faster. I plan on towing about 5,000 lbs - car and trailer.
Thanks in advance,
I just bought a 2004 Meridian 34H 2 weeks ago today and I can say it is longer then 34ft so make sure YOU measure bumper to bumper.... We have ours stored here at home and it just barely fits. But it does fit..

We have not been out yet we are still loading it and figuring out how things work... In fact I have a question I am about to ask about changing the (House Air Filter)........ Best of Luck and enjoy LeeB

We have not had it out yet
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:12 PM   #3
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our meridian 34b is 35 feet 6 inches.
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:28 PM   #4
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our meridian 34b is 35 feet 6 inches.
The specs say 34' 9". So the 32 T must be longer than the spec 32'8".
I think I have 33' 2" behind the gate so maybe neither will fit as is.
I supposed I could back over the neighbor's fence
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:29 PM   #5
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Our Journey 34H is @35'6" from one extreme to the other lengthwise, that is from the tip of the front to the rear most part of the rear ladder. I had to "stretch" one bay in my 36' garage so I could get it inside and be able to walk around it.
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:45 PM   #6
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i owned a 2006 journey 34' 350hp.... it was over 36' with the mirrors and trailer hitch...
when you say faster than ??? what??? I also had a 2014 33' excursion 300 hp

the 350 pulled the same trailer as the 300 hp up the same hill... mph faster

the 34 journey was nothing short of a disapointment on the ride quality...

it rode smooth as one would expect on a smooth road...in fact very very smooth and quiet... unless you were riding in the rear bed..

but once on one of the ruffer hiways in so-cal that all went away...

horrible horrible horible is my discription...thought the thing was gonna come apart on the 210 from onterio to the coast

the 34'r had a nice lay out... but the dinnette made me feel like we were eating in a play house...

the other thing to watch out for is paint clear coat checking and peeling...

the 34'r had the slobber tube leak more oil than a old harley

as you can tell.... i didn't keep it long
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:48 PM   #7
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seems to me that I read on here that there is a few journeys with the bigger motor??? 400 hp ??


pretty sure the better way to go would be a county coach???
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:38 AM   #8
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34 is actually 35ft 40 is actually 39 ft maybe forest city is in another country, go figure
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:17 AM   #9
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We bought our 32T new in 2002. Since then we have put on 194,000 miles using it 3-6 months per year. It has never been towed and only once ended on the side of the road with a broken serpentine belt.

It required only 2 major ($3000 +) repairs. Head gasket leak and a lift pump and injector pump. The injector pump was my fault as I kept running it thinking it had bad fuel filters.

Handling: I weighted each wheel, adjusted load and check tire pressure. It handles great except when strong side winds are blowing. I've had it up to 75 MPH + and can let go of the wheel.

I tow a 03 Suzuki XL 7 loaded with un mounted spare and other equipment that weighs in over 4,500 lbs. The coach has a 275 HP Cummins with a 5 speed tranny. It been in every state, climbed every grade I asked it to.

The coach with the slides in is totally functional except for 1 side of the master bed due to the slide up against it.

I've done many upgrades and at 72 years old we plan to keep it till health prevents us from going. We plan another 9-10,000 miles in 2016.

It has been a great coach and I would recommend it to all. It is a 32 foot and does not have the floor space and amenities of a 40 foot. However it is very functional has exceeded all expectations and given us great memories and experiences.

PM me and I'll give you my home phone and will try to answer your questions and concerns
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:01 PM   #10
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We purchased a 2004 32T with the 300hp Cummins and Alison 6speed. We looked for months after selling our Safari Trek. We bought it used and flew to San Diego to pick it up. Drove up 395 in severe cross winds north of Kramer Junction. We actually passed another rig that had pulled over because their awning had blown open. We felt the winds but still was not uncomfortable to drive. Pull a 4,000lb trailer over the Sierra Nevada regularly with no issues. We go up about as fast as the other MH's towing. Love the layout and yes it easy to maneuver around. There is one for sale at Amack's RV in Woodland Ca. Not sure where you are located. Good luck on your search. There are motorhome inspectors you can hire to check out something out of state.
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Old 12-23-2015, 04:46 PM   #11
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We're on our third season in our new to us 2004 34H with the 330hp CAT C7 and we absolutely love it. We did look briefly at a 2002 32T but settled on the 34H because the DW love of the floor plan. We towed our Toyota Highlander behind with a dolly and cannot even feel the extra weight. We added a basement TV under the entertainment compartment, cut the fan shroud window to help keep the rear radiator and CAC clean and extended the crankcase breather tube (slobber tube) to the end of the rear cap. The previous owner installed Koni shocks and a Safe T Plus steering stabilizer with what looks like a larger front sway bar.
I replaced the plastic radiator surge tank which had cracking from UV and was leaking, both belts and have replaced both fuel filters twice and the air cleaner recently. She's been very easy to maintain so far. Let us know if you'd like additional info or photos...

Cheers and Happy hunting.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:51 PM   #12
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We bought our 34H new in Seattle and drove it back to So. Cal, so the first trip was 1000 miles as light as it will ever have been. The ride is no different than any other Freightliner chassis, but there are lots of things that can be done to help it dramatically. First you dump the Sachs shocks that are the lousiest shocks on the planet. The Koni FSD's took care of all the bounce and sway I had, and there are more mods to make it even better.

It has excellent flow and access to everything but the lower drawers in the bedroom when turtled up. The 34H is a pretty popular layout and often hard to find, but the 32T is even harder since there weren't that many made. I know several with them and they have no plans to replace them. I have done allot of mods to the coach: 1/2kw solar, SeeLevel, T-145 batteries, Magnum inverter/ Charger, HDTV swaps, and lots of misc. wiring, and have found this layout extremely serviceable.
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:11 PM   #13
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Great feedback all. Keep the comments coming. Has anyone used a catch tank in the slobber tube?
I have seen several threads on suspension improvements on the Freightliner chassis that seem to overcome the shortfalls related to the short wheelbase.
The only experience I have had in a similar vane was on my GM based previous MH. The front coils were undersized and came with internal air bags. When the front end changed lanes going over a bump at freeway speed I decided and upgrade was in order and called a local spring company that sold me the correct springs to use without bags. That and good quality shocks and airbags for the rear axle for towing made all the difference in the world.
We will check out a 32T later this weekend. It is the early one with a 5 spd and older FI arrangement, so I am not interested in buying it, but it will be an opportunity to see the floor plan in person.
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Old 12-25-2015, 01:10 PM   #14
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Great feedback all. Keep the comments coming. Has anyone used a catch tank in the slobber tube?
I have seen several threads on suspension improvements on the Freightliner chassis that seem to overcome the shortfalls related to the short wheelbase.
The only experience I have had in a similar vane was on my GM based previous MH. The front coils were undersized and came with internal air bags. When the front end changed lanes going over a bump at freeway speed I decided and upgrade was in order and called a local spring company that sold me the correct springs to use without bags. That and good quality shocks and airbags for the rear axle for towing made all the difference in the world.
We will check out a 32T later this weekend. It is the early one with a 5 spd and older FI arrangement, so I am not interested in buying it, but it will be an opportunity to see the floor plan in person.
DO YOU KNOW THE WHEEL BASE ON THE 32?
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:53 PM   #15
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The 32 has a 190" wheelbase, the 34 a 208" and the 36 a 228".
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:09 AM   #16
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I extended the slobber tube at least 12" and angled it down. I have no residue whatsoever on the coach of the car and very very little coming from the CAT to begin with
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:09 PM   #17
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DO YOU KNOW THE WHEEL BASE ON THE 32?
190" on the 32T and 208" on the 34H
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:27 PM   #18
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We looked at a 2002 32TD today. It was the only local 32T or 34H we could find. The 2002 32TD has the 300HP Cummins and 6 speed Allison so it fit the bill on that regard. The only 2 issues I could see were. 1. The amount of below deck storage. 2. It had the Alice in Wonderland tea cup table with 2 chairs. I would prefer the dinette. Especially since the slide floor would require 2 chairs with unequal legs to work when the table is extended.

I'm leaning toward the 34 now since the table is on the non slide side and more options on where to place the dog bed.

Stay tuned. My story may change.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:10 PM   #19
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We looked at a 2002 32TD today. It was the only local 32T or 34H we could find. The 2002 32TD has the 300HP Cummins and 6 speed Allison so it fit the bill on that regard. The only 2 issues I could see were. 1. The amount of below deck storage. 2. It had the Alice in Wonderland tea cup table with 2 chairs. I would prefer the dinette. Especially since the slide floor would require 2 chairs with unequal legs to work when the table is extended.

I'm leaning toward the 34 now since the table is on the non slide side and more options on where to place the dog bed.

Stay tuned. My story may change.
In the below deck storage I removed the entertainment center thus giving substantial more storage.

I put Koni shocks on the front. I removed the uncomfortable couch and installed 2 swivel recliners. I've done many more upgrades to make our "small" coach more functional.
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