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Old 07-17-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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Towing 7,500 lbs with Journey 34Y

Hello all,

New to the forum here, but got some questions for you veterans

Wife and I are considering moving from our 5th wheel setup to the new 2009 Winnebago Journey 34Y. We like the idea of a shorter DP.
This rig comes with an ISB 6.7L, 350HP, and 750 ft. lb torque, and Allison 3000. Rated to tow 10,000 lbs.
My current 2005 Chevy CCSB D/A tow vehicle will convert to our toad. Truck is around 7,000 lbs, and the most it would be with bikes, etc. would be roughly 7,500 lbs behind the Journey.
Wheel base is 208" on this coach.
I've never owned or driven a DP, so my first question is, being this is a shorter DP, how will the overall ride and handling be towing this toad?
Half the time, we will just be towing a small trailer, but a couple 2,000 miles annual trips will definitely have this toad connected and I want to know what I should expect.

Also, the dealer has an Itasca Meridian 34Y, same options and everything. Wifey likes the colors of this coach better. Salesman says on average, the Winnebago badge (Journey in our case) typically gets 10-12% MORE in resale.
Is this true?

I'd truly appreciate any insight on these questions. We're going down to look/drive it tomorrow.

Thanks all
-Luke
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:15 PM   #2
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Don't know about your towing question but the Itasca name is the premium brand, not Winnie. Another salesmans line of bull.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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First, welcome to the forum. Next, basically forget anyting the salesman tells you. In order to tow that much weight you will need to check following:
Chassis/coach manufacturers tow rating.
GCWR for the coach
Actual weight of the coach as delivered to the dealer.
Actual weight capacity of the hitch that is on the coach.

GCWR of the coach minus the loaded weight of coach = max weight you can tow.
Next it can not exceed the weight rating of the hitch or the manufacturers tow rating.

Are you going t flat tow the Chevy?
Is it towable with 4-wheels down?
You will need a heavy duty tow bar fro that much weight.

Most people opt to get down to a smaller vehicle to tow.

Ken
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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Thanks so far for the warm welcome and posts, and keep them coming!

Ken, GCWR of the coach is 39,410.
On this article: http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/output.cfm?id=2157625
It lists the coach wet weight at 24,200 lbs. There isn't a ton of storage on these models, 65.6 cu in. to be exact, so although I don't know the weight of the actual unit we may buy, I'm guessing, when loaded, we won't be much more than 26,500 lbs driving down the highway.
I will double check the weight capacity of the hitch on the coach, but it is listed at a 10,000 lb rated hitch.
I "should" have WELL over 10,000 lbs of towing capacity with these #'s, right?
I am going to flat tow my Chevy Duramax. It's a 4x4 and has instructions and everything on how to set the tcase into N when flat towing.
I plan to purchase the Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar. It too is rated at 10,000 lbs. I have a buddy who's a RV tech and does deliveries on coaches and flat tows his Dmax just like mine behind these coaches on a weekly basis with this Blue Ox setup.

I feel you on getting a smaller toad, but I love my lady, she's all dialed the way I want her, and she's paid off. I don't want to be miserable towing this truck on long trips, so we really do want to be sure this will handle it ok.
In towing heavier toads or trailers on shorter pushers like this, is it common for "chucking" or a harshened ride?

Love the Phaeton with the 8.3 ISC, but just don't think we can swing that price point.

Thanks again all....
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:02 PM   #5
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It sounds like you will be OK towing your truck per ratings. Once you start loading an RV you will be surprised at how fast the weight goes up..5# here, 20# there, 100# and it all adds up.

Hope you get everything set up to suit yourself. I know what you mean about liking a truck. We had a 36.5' 5er and thus the 1 ton dually. We have way more truck than we need to pull the 28' Silver Streak, but i would sure hate to part with that truck...I like driving it.

Ken
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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I have an '07 Itasca Meridian 34H Loaded and wet it comes in at 24,000 and change. The GCWR for that chassis is 37,000. I'd be more worried about the tow bar and the auxiliary braking system for the truck.

As to the price differential between the Journey and the Meridian, that will be the result of the deal you negotiate and how eager the dealer is to move the unit you're buying.
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #7
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That's still the small block ISB motor in the 34Y. Have looked at them and the Monaco/HR's extensively. I would only consider the two mfr's out of what's out there in the at-or-under $250K market.

I don't think you'll be happy towing that much weight. It will do it, but you'll definitely know it's back there. You would be much happier with a 4K lb or under toad, especially with the smaller motor. With a big-block, then up to 5-6K, but that's still a lot of weight. Will they tow ten grand? Yes, but performance and driveability really suffers.

The Journey/Meridian is my favorite too, nice layout, shorter length, but they are at the top price-wise. The Diplomat/Endeavor is a few feet longer which may or may not work for you (doesn't for us) but more importantly they have the big-block ISL motor, the four-bag suspension, and four slides. They are also about $50K less, but of course, not a winnebago. But something worth looking into.

Get a test drive in a small block chassis with a lot of weight behind it and see what you think. You should be able to find a club or a member local that can help you. I drove my sister's new TOUR with a Ford Edge behind, didn't even know it was there. The Edge is about 4K lbs, the TOUR has the ISL motor. It doesn't even shift down for the hills - just put the cruise on at 60 and let 'er rip. Very nice to drive. The length is not hard to drive, but it can be quite difficult to find park space to accomodate. Here in CA, there are only a handful of state parks that can take a unit of that length. What a drag that would be all the time. Certainly one advantage of the 34' length.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:04 AM   #8
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While the 34Y may have a 10,000 lb. tow rating you will definitely know that 7,500 lbs is back there. If you are going to be in the mountains it will drag you down uphill and push you on the way down. Don't even think about pulling that weight without auxilary braking for the toad. Since you mention the limited storage space ultimately you will be carrying more than 500 lbs in the truck. Stuff grows to fill all available space. Finally, you will be hauling the same weight I do with 75 less horses. I hope that you still love that truck after you have hauled it 2k miles a couple of times.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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Get auxiliary brakes for that toad! You will need them.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:58 AM   #10
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Winnebago speifications state that the GVWR is 29,410 and the GCWR is 39,410. This specification is usually with fuel and other necessary liquids to operate the vehicle. It does not take into consideration any tanks or contents of tanks. Also, how much do you, wife, kids if any, pets weight. How much do your "paper plates" weigh.

The only correct answer is to weigh everything once the MH is loaded. Since you are anticipating purchasing, I'm sure this is not a viable solution. Of course, you could pile everything in the truck and weigh it, then make a decision on MH.

Winnebago makes the Itasca. I would "assume" that many items are alike to keep manufacturing costs down.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

I liked the comment about seeing how much you like that truck after you pull it a couple of thousand miles.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:36 PM   #12
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All good comments here, thank you.
I thought it went without saying that you get the best tow bar and aux brakes out there when towing ANYTHING, let alone 7k+ lbs, so no need to mention the brakes and tow bar, that will be taken care of.
We have me and wifey and 2 dogs. No kids yet.
80% of our trips would be within 120 miles of home and with either no toad, or a little 10 ft long trailer with bikes weighing maybe 2k lbs (again, with brakes of course).
We are far from retirement, and have no plans of making this rig into a "full timer", so although I dislike the lack of storage in these 09's, I think we can make it work.

It's for the handful of times we'd take the Dmax on the longer trips that I'm asking this question. But we don't want to take the plunge from a 5'ver to this coach if it will make us super comfortable inside, but sweating it when driving/towing my toad. So your comments are helping.
Looking like if I want to keep my truck, I need to strongly consider the Phaeton with ISC and 1050 ft lb torque vs. this 6.7 w/750 ft lb.
If we want to keep it as short as possible on a DP, then the Journey/Meridian and I'll have to sell my Dmax and look into a 4k toad.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:45 PM   #13
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Manke: Winnebago brought back the 34ft DP because it is a GOOD size coach. We like ours just fine and I can maneuver it almost anywhere without concern. I did sell my GMC Sierra for the Colorado, crew 4X4. This has proven to me to be a good pair.
Winnebago Journey or Itasca Meridian, it's all good; got my Meridian cheaper than a Journey because I found a more motivated Itasca dealer. Do your homework and then deal. Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:40 PM   #14
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I have a 2004 Itasca 34 ft diesel with a 330 cat and it tows a 3,500lb Honda CR V with no problem at all. One thing you get with a Winnebago product is great tech help when, not if,you need it.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:02 AM   #15
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I have 36G Meridian with CAT C7, I tow either a Suburban or Jeep Liberty. Life is better with the jeep, it is shorter and lighter.
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