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Old 09-17-2018, 06:03 PM   #1
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Our 1st MH -

Looking at a 2002 Journey 39. Any commentary on this Model, this model year, or just commentary in general - .

Of especial help would be any Winnebago owner who lives in the Huntsville AL area and would be willing take a pre-peek for us (its’ a 6 hour drive from our home) and/or can recommend inspector(s) (both chassis and coach) to us.

Many, many thanks.
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:27 AM   #2
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Some general things to look for:

1. Date code on the tires – Any tire over 10 years old should be replaced. Most owners seem to replace at 7 years.
2. Look for evidence or water leaking into the interior. Pay close attention to the windshield area. Caulk around the exterior rubber windshield molding is a clue. Water stains on the bottom of the front curtains are another clue.
3. Roof to sidewall joint seal. This is a bi-annual inspection. Failed caulk here can lead to the fiberglass roof ripping loose.
4. If you have dual pane side windows, look for foggy windows.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:40 AM   #3
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I have a 07 36G. It is a great coach, have had minimal problems. Very pleased and would not hesitate to own another. I would have it inspected by a pro for piece of mind.
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:01 AM   #4
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I would suggest a air pressure leak test to find hidden water leaks. I used Sealtech. Many dealers have it now , our test cost $250.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:30 PM   #5
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Hi,
Other than checking all the things previously stated which are very important, what do you know about driving such a big RV.

What do you know about diesel motorhomes? There is a lot to driving these RVs if you have never driven one before. What about air brakes, they are different than hydraulic brakes? What about a jake brake?

NOw I'm not trying to discourage you but like I recommend all those that are starting out you shouyld start with a smaller coach and work your way up. I started with a 24 footer, then a 31 footer, then a 33 foot Class A and now I have a 35 footer and they were all gas units. Another words what I'm stating you must crawl before you walk.

Good luck and make the right choice.

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Old 09-21-2018, 01:15 PM   #6
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TOM NC - you make a lot of great points. I am going to stick with the Diesel, but am cutting back to a 36’. I have already lined up classes to get the basics, and my 2 best friends own Diesels, so I have help there. We have rented several 28 to 34 units, so I do have some actual driving experience. Although I understand the rationale, Personal circumstances dictate that I become a fast learner, don’t have the years needed to ‘trade up’.
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Old 09-22-2018, 12:58 PM   #7
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I have a 2002 36 ft. Journey and have had no problems at all. I live in northwest Fl and recently made a trip to Montana and 12 other states on the same trip. Over 5000 miles. Then two trips to the Smokey mountains of Tennessee N Carolina and Georgia. Good times so far.
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:40 AM   #8
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Aganit,

Sounds like you had a great trip and you should however, was this your first diesel motorhome?

Do you spend $200 for an oil change? Do you maintain the coach yourself? Those are the questions people who want a DP for a first motorhome should answer. How about air brakes, do you apply the brake going down a 8% grade all the way down?

It amazes me how many people( first timers) know all there is too know about motorhomes. I have had 4 motorhomes and still learn things I didn't know and I'm going on 80 years old.

Enjoy your travels!
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:29 PM   #9
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Aganit,

Sounds like you had a great trip and you should however, was this your first diesel motorhome?

Do you spend $200 for an oil change? Do you maintain the coach yourself? Those are the questions people who want a DP for a first motorhome should answer. How about air brakes, do you apply the brake going down a 8% grade all the way down?

It amazes me how many people( first timers) know all there is too know about motorhomes. I have had 4 motorhomes and still learn things I didn't know and I'm going on 80 years old.

Enjoy your travels!
"$200 for an oil change, WOW! If I try, I can spend about $75 on my oil change. If I try and SAVE, I can spend around $50-$60, depending on just what's on sale and if I'm in the right place at the right time. But, our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 3GD with the CAT C-7 330HP, only uses 19 quarts in an oil change, WITH FILTER. So, not a bit expenditure there.

"Do you apply the brake going down an 8% grade, all the way down?"
What exactly do you mean? Are you asking about applying the service brakes (foot pedal) or, are you asking about applying either an EXHAUST BRAKE or a COMPRESSION BRAKE (AKA "JAKE" brake) for the full distance of an 8% grade? If I was a betting man, I'd just about bet my house that about 99.9999% of the diesel drivers on here utilize one or the other, depending on which they have when descending long and steep grades. They most likely STAB the service brakes if and when, speed is gained but needs to be rapidly slowed so the E/brake can do its job.

As for "first timers" "knowing all there is to know" about diesels, well, some THINK they know all and some don't. Experienced diesel drivers, as in did it for a living, then jump into motorhomes for the first time, will have somewhat good background to base their driving on. But, for folks that have been in VW bugs for most of their life and jump into a 40' diesel coach, well, those are the ones that in reality, need a bit of coaching so they pick up GOOD habits.

Some folks are more mechanically inclined while others, are not sure how to tie their shoes at 50 years old. I call the latter the "Nintendo Era" folks. I had to teach many Nintendo era people how to drive larger fire trucks in my career. You'd be surprised at how many asked what the THIRD PEDAL IS FOR.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:37 AM   #10
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.......It amazes me how many people( first timers) know all there is too know about motorhomes. I have had 4 motorhomes and still learn things I didn't know and I'm going on 80 years old.

Enjoy your travels!
I certainly don’t think I know all there is to know, which is why I am researching endlessly, asking stupid newbie questions across as many forums as needed, and continually discussing with hubs how we will be using our MH. We have rented multiple units (Class C, TT, 5th wheel) to even get to the decision that a Class A is absolutely what we want. Additionally, EVERY recommendation, until yours, has been to get a diesel.

I wouldn’t say I am mechanically inclined, but I am smart, I can learn, and I will learn. That’s what classes are for. I am not afraid to admit I don’t know, and I have the skills needed to accurately research and get the answers I need. If I am going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a MH, spending a few thousand to learn how to drive and maintain the thing seems a good investment.

I think its’ wonderful that you have owned 4 RV’s and are still learning/traveling at 80. Unfortunately, my time is more limited, and I have to (at least) make the effort to get it right the first time..... or as right as can be.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:32 AM   #11
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We've had our 02 Horizon, 36LD for over 15 years, and it has been and continues to be a great RV. I do my own regular maintenance, including oil changes, which run about $100 or so. Folks talk about the higher cost of an oil change compare to a gasser, but remember, the oil change interval for a diesel is 15,000 miles or more. Run synthetic, and send an oil sample off the Cat or Blackstone Labs once a year, and for $12 or so, they will tell you not only if the oil is suitable for continues service, but you will learn a lot about how that engine is wearing.

I wouldn't be scared off by a 36' or even a 40' diesel as a first motorhome. If you pick a good one, you can save yourself a lot of money and aggravation. Sort of "buy your last one first". Why spend all that money moving up 2' every few years? And what about all the inevitable little things that need attention? Just about the time you do all that,, you find yourself want something a bit larger; a bit quieter in the cockpit while driving.

Take an RV driving course (Lazydays in Seffner, Florida offers them free to anyone), or go to an FMCA Rally, etc, and sit in on the Freightliner and Cat classes. Free, and very informative.

Good luck, and have fun on the hunt.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:29 PM   #12
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Aganit,

Sounds like you had a great trip and you should however, was this your first diesel motorhome?

Do you spend $200 for an oil change? Do you maintain the coach yourself? Those are the questions people who want a DP for a first motorhome should answer. How about air brakes, do you apply the brake going down a 8% grade all the way down?

It amazes me how many people( first timers) know all there is too know about motorhomes. I have had 4 motorhomes and still learn things I didn't know and I'm going on 80 years old.

Enjoy your travels!
Tom This is actually my 2nd mh after a 5th wheel, and it is my first diesel. No i don't do my own service, i pay from $250-$500 depends on where i take it, and what i need done. I try to never apply the brakes on a stiff downgrade and i'm still learning also. I am 74 and hope i am able to still travel at 80.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:38 PM   #13
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Must have missed something, can't find a post where a first timer claimed to know all there is to know about motor homes.
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