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Old 10-12-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
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We are looking to move up from our trusty Southwind 32V to a still-short pusher. After visiting the Pomona RV show this weekend, we still like the Itasca Meridian 34H/Freightliner w/ 350HP Cat C7 very much. Richardsons told us they had a new 2007 34' Safari Simba on one of their lots and I looked at it on their website. It also has a C7 though 330HP on the RR4R Roadmaster chassis.

Can anyone share pros/cons/comparisons on these two chassis?
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:15 PM   #2
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We are looking to move up from our trusty Southwind 32V to a still-short pusher. After visiting the Pomona RV show this weekend, we still like the Itasca Meridian 34H/Freightliner w/ 350HP Cat C7 very much. Richardsons told us they had a new 2007 34' Safari Simba on one of their lots and I looked at it on their website. It also has a C7 though 330HP on the RR4R Roadmaster chassis.

Can anyone share pros/cons/comparisons on these two chassis?
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:26 PM   #3
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Jimco.....My sister and brother-in-law have a 2004 34' Meridian and are very happy with it. They spent about $2500.00 in suspension upgrades to get it to handle better/similar to my Diplomat.

My Diplomat handles well on the RR8R chassis and I'm a Monaco fan, but friends of ours have a Cayman on a RR4R chassis and I'm not impressed with the ride.....very rough. If you search the forum, you'll see several posts on the disappointing ride of the RR4R chassis.

I hate to say it, but I think you might be happier with the Meridian. We were at the show too.....and I think Itasca improved their paint work dramatically and their coaches looked a lot nicer.

Now that you have my opinion, I'll add one more. We are also fans of shorter coaches for camping in National and State parks. I would never go anything shorter than 36'. Measure the wheel base on your Southwind and you'll probably find it's about 215". My 36' DP is also 215". That's a pretty short wheelbase and they have a tendency to porpoise and ride a little rougher. Be cautious of buying something too short.
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:03 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">... I would never go anything shorter than 36'. Measure the wheel base on your Southwind and you'll probably find it's about 215". My 36' DP is also 215". That's a pretty short wheelbase and they have a tendency to porpoise and ride a little rougher. Be cautious of buying something too short. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Amen to that Don. Been there, done that. A short wheel base gas is not so bad, but a short wheel base diesel pusher with all that weight out back can be a real white knuckle experience. We purchased a new 33 ft diesel pusher on a Freightliner and could not get it to handle after many attempts and mods. Finally traded it after 4 months.

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Old 10-13-2008, 03:20 AM   #5
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We made the mistake of purchasing a Monaco Knight 30J, with a 168" wheelbase. After trying every trick in the book, we too abandoned ship. It was just too unmanageable in crosswinds.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. I'm a sponge trying to make a decision here. Seems like everyone with experience near a Meridian 34H comes back positive. I haven't been able gather as much feedback on the Simba/Roadmaster.
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:38 AM   #7
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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 Jimco:
We are looking to move up from our trusty Southwind 32V to a still-short pusher. After visiting the Pomona RV show this weekend, we still like the Itasca Meridian 34H/Freightliner w/ 350HP Cat C7 very much. Richardsons told us they had a new 2007 34' Safari Simba on one of their lots and I looked at it on their website. It also has a C7 though 330HP on the RR4R Roadmaster chassis.

Can anyone share pros/cons/comparisons on these two chassis? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm confused....the winnebago site says the 34 has a cummins isb. How will you get one with a cat?

The cummins is the trusty old small block dodge pickup motor, but with an allison 6spd.

I'm interested in one of the new 34's as well. What kind of sale pricing are they quoting? Can I expect 25% from msrp? Are you dealing with Thompson, Altmans, or Giant? Which would you recommend?

EDIT: Okay, I went thru your other posts and realize you're looking at '06 and prior that had the cat c7. You do realize the new model with the full length slide has the isb, right?

Funny, your posts echo my thinking. We love our Itasca 31w, but thinking of going diesel if we can get a good enough deal. Ours is an 05 and immaculate as well. Are you going to try and sell yours or trade it?

We had a Southwind Storm prior, and Winnebago does build a better product, but certainly not without their issues. I do hear the diesels get a little more attention to detail at the factory, but if they're using the same monkey's then they'll probably be about the same. I can give you a list of stupid things on ours when it came from the factory. Nothing major, all fixed, but dissapointing nonetheless. The good news is that we lean that way again. Itasca vs Winn, virtually the same. The Itasca has a few nicer features standard, but pretty much the same. In our model it got dual pane windows, not sure about the Voyage, and arched, raised panel cherry cabinets, a little nicer than the winnie. Other than that, not much difference, would have taken either one. The workhorse chassis has been good tho.
Sorry to ramble. Let me know how your search is going and whether you're looking used or new.
Thanks!
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