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Old 09-23-2012, 07:16 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1
Advice please? Winnebago Journey Express vs. Forest River Berkshire?

Good morning!

I'm brand new to your forum and to the concept of full-time RV'ing, and I'm excited about both.

My husband and two young sons (preschool age) and I have made the decision to sell our big 'stick house' (I'm practicing the 'lingo' ) and go on the road full-time for a year or two before our oldest goes to school.

We need at least 38 feet with as many slides as possible since this will be a full-time space for us for the foreseeable future, and we definitely want bunk beds which narrows the pool of options considerably (just as well).

We want to buy a pre-owned rig to avoid the massive depreciation that occurs when you drive off the lot and need our all-in price to be south of $150K. (This number used to be $140K until we remembered about sales tax which adds about $10K at this price point - ouch!)

We came "this close" yesterday to buying a 2011 Journey Express 39N. It meets most of our requirements, EXCEPT that there is no door between any of the sleeping quarters. A detachable curtain separates the queen bed from the bunks, and a flimsy accordian divider made of some kind of fabric separates the bunks from the living area. We REALLY want at least one door so that we can have the semblance of privacy as well as a better shot at sound barriers when we are working in one part of the RV and the boys are playing in another. I thought this couldn't be found and then we came home and got on the internet AGAIN and saw the Forest River Berkshire model. (How we didn't see this sooner is a mystery to me as I suddenly found several units for sale locally...)

They both have Freightliner chassis and Onan 8k diesel generators.

Obvious differences are
Winnebago PROs:
3 ACs compared to 2 in the Forest River
only 7000 miles, compared to 21000 in the Forest River
4 tvs (including one outside) compared to 2 in the Forest River

Forest River PROs:
4 slide outs compared to 3 in the Winnie
350HP compared to 340HP in the Winnie
already has the washer/dryer combo (needs to be added in the Winnie)
stainless steel fridge compared to wood paneled in the Winnie
Bigger shower WITH TUB (compared to corner unit in the Winnie)
ceramic tile compared to vinyl in the Winnie

Problem is, we've never heard of Forest River. Have you???

All feedback on these manufacturers would be greatly appreciated. If Berkshire is a good option we'll need to hold off on the Journey Express which looks like the only one of its kind on the market right now...


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Old 09-23-2012, 07:38 AM   #2
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Posts: 664
First off I am biased as have only owned Winnebago, the journey is a higher quality MH than the Forest river. I looked at the 2011 Winnebago on line (Winnebago has all brochures back to 1969 on line) really suprised by the doors as both of mine had wood doors. Full timing with kids I would say that the layout and size matters most. I personally would go with the biggest I could afford even it was older. My 36ft can get small when we live in it for 4 months in the winter. Remember you need lots of storage to carry your "stuff" storage is important - most fulltimers even have their towed vehicle loaded to the gills.

2012 Winnebago Journey 36M Cummins 360
2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 35 National Parks
308 Campgrounds, 1496 nights camping since 2009 and 70 K Winnebago miles
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:02 AM   #3
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Location: Astorville, Ontario
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Head on over to forestriverforums.com for more specific model feedback. The forum is not affiliated with Forest River but is made up of owners of Forest River Motorhomes and trailers. We are friendly! I have a trailer, so can't address your question directly.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Slinger, WI
Posts: 58
I don't know where you are located but you might consider a new one. At the price point you are considering it does not look like massive depreciation has occurred.

A very large deealer in Texas has about 20 in stock. The 2013 Berkshire Bunkhouse is about $164,000.

Forest River Motor Homes, Forest River RVs for Sale
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