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Old 02-24-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
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Hi, I'm new to this site. A friend recommended that I could perhaps ask some questions here.

I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a Journey 34' with just the basic Cummins ISB and the Allison 5-speed (2500MH?).

Some friends who are into RVing are telling me that the combinaton may not be adequate to pull mountain passes without a tremendous strain. They're telling me that "it's just a pick-up truck engine."

I'm planning on a Jeep Liberty as a toad. Again, the MH is only the 34 footer and I don't plan on loading it down too much. I'll be travelling extensively out west where there of course are a lot of mountains.

I'm guessing that most of you are going to tell me that more power and torque is better. However, is there anybody out there who may be using this combo that's satisfied with the set-up?

Does anybody think I should bag this until I can find a good deal on the optional Cat C7?
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:22 AM   #2
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Hi, I'm new to this site. A friend recommended that I could perhaps ask some questions here.

I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a Journey 34' with just the basic Cummins ISB and the Allison 5-speed (2500MH?).

Some friends who are into RVing are telling me that the combinaton may not be adequate to pull mountain passes without a tremendous strain. They're telling me that "it's just a pick-up truck engine."

I'm planning on a Jeep Liberty as a toad. Again, the MH is only the 34 footer and I don't plan on loading it down too much. I'll be travelling extensively out west where there of course are a lot of mountains.

I'm guessing that most of you are going to tell me that more power and torque is better. However, is there anybody out there who may be using this combo that's satisfied with the set-up?

Does anybody think I should bag this until I can find a good deal on the optional Cat C7?
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:17 AM   #3
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Well, if you're not in a hurry going up hills, you'll be OK. In their day, they were the cat's meow, a lot better than what we had before they came along.
There will be folks passing you going up the hills but that 5.9 will get you there.
What year?
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:26 AM   #4
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hi gunny, thank you for responding.

It's an '06 so it'll be a 300 HP. Yeah, I guess it'll be like 30 MPH going up mountain passes?

I suppose the trade-off will be that it will get better MPG? ...or maybe not if it's working so hard to get up grades.

I don't know what to do. Ya hate to be so underpowered but maybe I can get a lighter toad.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:45 AM   #5
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My prior coach was an '00 Journey 34' with the 275hp 5.9ISB Cummins. I tow a Saturn SW2. Been up and down the mountains of Pa, and W Va with it, and we always got where we're going. Yes, it will slow down somewhat going up the hills, but I found it adequate. Worst grade would slow it down to 35mph. When on the open road, it's got plenty of get up and go.

The plus is you will pull at least 1-2 mpg better than the Cat C7. I would get 10+mpg on that setup on the open road.

If it's a good deal, and you like the coach, then go with it. The Cat option costs an additional $14K. One could be pretty patient for that kind of money.
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:58 AM   #6
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Thanks, Don. Good information!

So you're getting somewhere between 7 and 8 MPG with your C7? You don't feel any lack of power with the C7, right? What's the slowest you've ever climbed a grade with your new coach?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:19 PM   #7
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bago--

Only had it out once since I got it in November (been hibernating until next month to go south).

I took it down to Pa thru the mountains, where on my 275 hp Cummins I would slow down to maybe 40-45 at worst, the C7 will stay at 60-65 but have to downshift from 6th gear to 5th. Note my old coach did not have the electronic 5speed Allison (had a 4speed hydraulic Allison) and would not downshift until speeds really reduced. I would guess with the additional 25 hp and the 5speed electronic Allison you will do better than I did on keeping your speed up somewhat.

So far the Cat is giving me just under 8mpg.

I figured if I was ordering new (which I did) I was going to go for the bigger engine, but there are tradeoffs as per my prior post.

I had my prior coach for 5+ years and was quite happy with it.
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:47 PM   #8
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I have a 2001 Journey 36ft. It has a Cummins ISB 275hp and I am very satisfied with it. It gets around 10mpg, fine up and down mountains and has been relatively trouble free. We tow a Honda Accord(3200lbs.) Give it a good test drive, have it checked out by a good diesel mechanic. If you like it and the price seems right then buy it. Best wishes, Art
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:19 PM   #9
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Don-- Yes, that $14,000+ trade-off for the C7 is something to think about, for sure! Thanks again!

Art-- Thank you for the feed back! I'm beginning to think I'll be okay with set up.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:19 PM   #10
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bagowannabe--

Please keep us posted on your decision. Maybe in the near future you'll change your name to 'bagoforreal'.

Good luck on your decision and your purchase!
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:58 PM   #11
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We have a new 06 Meridian with the 300hp. Cummins with the Allison 5 speed.
Just completed a trip from Ohio to Fl. (Jan.) and back this week going through the West Virginia mountains on 77. Here is what I can tell you. We averaged for the entire trip 10.9mpg pulling a Tracker Conv.(2000pds) traveling at speeds averaging 64mph. On the steepest grades on the way down with very little wind the coach did very respectable slowing down to 48mph on the steepest grades. On the return trip just Thursday with very high winds (gust to 50mph) the coach slowed down on the steep grades to 40mph. Very few trucks ever past us. The Allison is a great tranny and is a pleasure to use. On cruise control the Allison just takes over and makes driving a true joy. I would not hestitate at all to pull the trigger on a 34. Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:23 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by fun time:
We have a new 06 Meridian with the 300hp. Cummins with the Allison 5 speed.
Just completed a trip from Ohio to Fl. (Jan.) and back this week going through the West Virginia mountains on 77. Here is what I can tell you. We averaged for the entire trip 10.9mpg pulling a Tracker Conv.(2000pds) traveling at speeds averaging 64mph. On the steepest grades on the way down with very little wind the coach did very respectable slowing down to 48mph on the steepest grades. On the return trip just Thursday with very high winds (gust to 50mph) the coach slowed down on the steep grades to 40mph. Very few trucks ever past us. The Allison is a great tranny and is a pleasure to use. On cruise control the Allison just takes over and makes driving a true joy. I would not hestitate at all to pull the trigger on a 34. Good luck. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Did you get an early 2006? The Brochurefor the 2006 36G shows a Cat 7.2 with a 6 speed as standard. I didn't think the 5 speed allison was available for that year model.

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Old 02-24-2007, 07:02 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bagowannabe:
hi gunny, thank you for responding.

It's an '06 so it'll be a 300 HP. Yeah, I guess it'll be like 30 MPH going up mountain passes?

I suppose the trade-off will be that it will get better MPG? ...or maybe not if it's working so hard to get up grades.

I don't know what to do. Ya hate to be so underpowered but maybe I can get a lighter toad.

Thanks again! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Shoot!

You'll be just fine with that new of an engine. 300hp will do you a good job. Made an assumption that you had a 225 or smaller, they get the job done too, just takes a little longer.

A lighter toad will help, a little but I wouldn't be concerned, enjoy it.
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:11 PM   #14
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Don, "bagoforreal" lol, I like it! Yeah, I'll let you know what I decide. Thanks again.

fun time, that's great news! good to hear. I appreciate the report.

Jim, I bet I know what's going on with fun_time. I think he has one of those "SE" models. That's another alternative I've been thinking about too. They actually make a "special edition" Meridian that is sort of a stripped down version with an ISB and an Allison 2500 5-speed. The SE comes in both a Journey and a Meridian and also both in a 34 and a 36 foot floor plan in each model. I've been looking at those as a possibility too as well as this one year old Journey which I'm contemplating.

gunny, good to hear! Thanks again!
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Old 02-25-2007, 05:03 AM   #15
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bago --

One other thing to consider, is to purchase a coach with a pre-'07 diesel emissions setup. The new engines (manufactured beginning 1-07) add about $5-10K cost, and potential maintenance costs yet to be proven.

I ordered mine early (in '06) to get an '06 engine.

So a leftover on the lot, or a 1-year old coach may be a great way to go.
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:17 AM   #16
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Exactly, Don. That's the reason I'm trying to line something up now rather than waiting.

Actually one dealer I talked to said that there are a few remaining factory "allocations" that can be ordered with the old engine. Evidently they have a few chassis' left at the factory that can still be used to in which to make a MH. After that allocation is used, then there will be no more 2007s made and they will be gearing up for the 2008 model with the new engines.

Thanks for bringing that point up.
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:33 AM   #17
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My two cents on CAT C7 and fuel mileage/perfrormance.

New I got about 7.5mpg towing a Toyota RAV4 and near gross weight on the rear axle. But after the initial PM and valve lash adjustment that jumped to 8.5mpg. One of my friends in in our local WIT chapter with an '05 C7 Journey like mine crossed 20K miles and his 2nd PM and valve lash adjustment. He says it's pulling stronger now than ever before and he's getting between 9 and 10mpg depending on how many hills he encounters.

I personally enjoy the fact I can go 55mph up the steepest grades fully loaded.

In short it gets better with age/mileage/maintenance.
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:58 AM   #18
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o'man, Jon, now ya got me drooling for the C7! You mean that I can get almost the same MPG with a C7 than the ISB?

Oh gee, now I gotta think about this some more.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:38 AM   #19
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For all of my miles during 2006, approximately 6,000 I averaged 8.1 miles per gallon with our new Journey. Mostly flat driving around the midwest here, going through the mountains in Kentucky to get to a couple of races.
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Old 02-25-2007, 11:39 AM   #20
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Decisions decisions....................
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