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Old 02-04-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
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Buying a Class A

I have never had an RV before and have been looking for a good used diesel pusher for the last 2 months. I found a 2005 Winnebago Journey 36g with the Cat 350 engine and Allison transmission along with a bunch of other things I was looking for (diesel generator, invertor, etc). Does anybody have any good or bad experiences with the Journey? I live in CT and the RV is in Texas so I am going to try and look at it and make a decision all in the same trip...very exciting but nerve racking at the same time!
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:42 AM   #2
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Hello and "welcome:. We are glad to have you join us and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the website and forums. Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted.
I take it that although you have never owned an RV that you have at least rented, leased or borrowed one, to know that you like this lifestyle. Winnebago makes pretty good products but more importantly is how the coach was maintained. I highly recommend you have a qualified technician check out all the systems and do a complete inspection of the coaches condition. We (members of iRV2.com) should be able to help you find an inspector. Also have the seller provide the maintenance records on the chassis. If he cannot, then have a qualified mechanic check out the chassis and drive train. I would also make it a prerequisite, to have the filters and fluids changed as part of the deal at sellers expense. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:30 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy your time here. Hope the coach your looking at works out for you. Enjoy your future travels, be safe and Happy Motoring!!!!
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Wizard
Hello and "welcome:. We are glad to have you join us and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy the website and forums. Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted.
I take it that although you have never owned an RV that you have at least rented, leased or borrowed one, to know that you like this lifestyle. Winnebago makes pretty good products but more importantly is how the coach was maintained. I highly recommend you have a qualified technician check out all the systems and do a complete inspection of the coaches condition. We (members of iRV2.com) should be able to help you find an inspector. Also have the seller provide the maintenance records on the chassis. If he cannot, then have a qualified mechanic check out the chassis and drive train. I would also make it a prerequisite, to have the filters and fluids changed as part of the deal at sellers expense. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
We agree with the Wizard regarding fluids filters etc. if not already maintained! Read study RV systems and gain a basic knowledge of systems and what is initially required to get you home safe and without troubles. We just recently purchased a used dp,and spent time and money bringing all required maintenance up to par. It is time consuming and costly but knowing you have a good system base helps with the anxiety. Do have the rig thoroughly checked by a qualified tech this will be at your expense but with every dollar. If you purchase get one of the many RV roadside assistance programs. Good luck and enjoy the lifestyle. Let us know how you progress!
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:18 AM   #5
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Do your home work and follow RV wizard advise and you will be OK. My wife and I just purchased our first Motorhome, air fare to Wisconsin from NJ and then drove MH back to NJ. My ASE and EVT background played a very important role in this whole process, we looked for over a year. Seen many that just was not maintained and priced way to high. RV wizard made a excellant point, if the seller could have all fluids changed that would be great for you, I do all of my own PM,s and repairs and know what it cost to do the PM. Take little and well thought out steps and you will be ok, I know what your going through. Good luck and be safe, wish you many miles of safe motoring. Ron
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:48 AM   #6
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I was in the same boat as you. I talked to a lot of folks and as you can see by the number of replies you get everyone wants to help. The more I investigated the more I found out that I was ignorant of what I was ignorant of. I suggest that you go to rv.org pay what they are asking to join. I did and it was the best $150 I have ever spent. (I don't get a cut or any deals. If you're starting new this is a great resource) Once you read through their book and look over their reviews of coaches go to oodle.com and plug in what coaches you're looking for. It will search sites all over the US for what you're looking for (dealers and private listings) and email you every day with up dates. Plan on doing some traveling to look at coaches your are interested in. When I first started looking I was impressed with all the flash, 4 slides, fire place, 4 TVs, etc. But with rv.org information I learned what to look for in a quality coach that would fit my needs. There's a lot of good looking coaches out there that are crap. Take the time do your research and find the ones that will fit your needs and budget first then look at your wants.
Good Luck have fun.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:13 AM   #7
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You might want to consider posting where it is located and asking somebody here if they would look at it for you before you make the trip to see it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. This coach is being sold by a small dealer in Navasota, TX and the owner has been very nice to deal with. He told me the tires had plenty of tread but were getting older so 6 new tires are being installed. He also told me his shop is going through the entire RV and all maintaince will be performed before it leaves his lot (oil, filters, etc.). I think having an inspection is a great idea though. At least then when I go to look at it I can just make sure everything works and focus on whether I really like the unit or not (and not spend time searching for that big issue). My son and I race motocross all over New England and there are 20 races on average in a season (16 of which are 2 day events) so we have been packing and unpacking at the track each day and then staying a hotels at night. So, that is the main reason I want to get one, but now my wife is getting excited about other trips with it.

So, if anybody has any recommendations for an RV inspector in TX, feel free to let me know....very much appreciated!
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Great idea Fastcar, I would try to do that, at least know if there's something obvious wrong and possibly save an expensive trip to Texas!
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:53 PM   #10
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I guess I'm the first to answer your question; we actually own a Journey. It's not our first RV, nor our first diesel pusher. We highly recommend the Journey, as it's a very well designed and built coach. We looked at them all, and it was clear to us that the Journey offered the best overall value. Service records would be nice, but certainly not mandatory if it's a good deal on a solid coach. The CAT/Allison combination is terrific, and inexpensive to maintain. Make sure the dealer does an alignment after putting tires on. Being a 2005, you'll probably need batteries soon as well. That's about it. As I mentioned, we looked extensively at different coaches, knew what we wanted ad flew 1800 miles to buy our Journey. It was better than anticipated, and continues to be a rock solid coach.

Our primary use is vintage car racing, and it's a great track base haven, and tows our 10,000# enclosed trailer with ease.

Post pictures when you can, and enjoy the ride...
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cthowards
Thanks for all the replies. This coach is being sold by a small dealer in Navasota, TX and the owner has been very nice to deal with. He told me the tires had plenty of tread but were getting older so 6 new tires are being installed. He also told me his shop is going through the entire RV and all maintaince will be performed before it leaves his lot (oil, filters, etc.). I think having an inspection is a great idea though. At least then when I go to look at it I can just make sure everything works and focus on whether I really like the unit or not (and not spend time searching for that big issue). My son and I race motocross all over New England and there are 20 races on average in a season (16 of which are 2 day events) so we have been packing and unpacking at the track each day and then staying a hotels at night. So, that is the main reason I want to get one, but now my wife is getting excited about other trips with it.

So, if anybody has any recommendations for an RV inspector in TX, feel free to let me know....very much appreciated!
Here is who we used to inspect our new to us Lazy Daze before we flew down to TX to buy it. Great guy and very detailed. Our rig was located in College Station and it appears to be close to where your unit is so he may be able to do the inspection for you.

http://www.certifiedrvrepair.com/
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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I just wanted to follow up and thank everybody for the advice. I did hire an inspector to look at the 2005 Journey in Texas and it turned out to be an absolute mess. There was delamination on the right rear, there was a leak behind the shower and all the wood in the wall was rotted out, the corian countertop had multiple cracks in it, the electric awnings did not work, the hot water heater did not work, the furnace made a lot of excessive noise, hub caps were missing, the sleep number bed had a hole in it and wouldn't inflate, lots of scrapes, etc. Also, there were no maintenance records. It is amazing when you look at the pictures and then look at the inspectors report and his pictures...very easy to hide stuff. The inspector was $300 and well worth the money...he did a great job and was very responsive and honest. So, I quickly walked away from that one.

I ended up buying a 2000 Country Coach Allure 40' with a Cummins 8.3L diesel and Allison 6 speed transmission. This coach is in great shape and was properly maintained. The owner had all the original manuals and books as well as maintenance records going back to when the coach had 10,000 miles on it. I love everthing about this coach and am glad I waited to find it. The tires are new with the last year, and all 3 batteries are new. The coach has 100,500 miles and everything works, except for the back up camera which comes in and out. I paid $55k for this coach...how'd I do? Some pics are attached.

















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Old 02-24-2012, 04:51 AM   #13
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Thanks for the update and congratulations on a great looking coach! You won't be sorry.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:10 AM   #14
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Congratulations on a great looking coach.
This thread should help others in market for used coach you did your homework and it paid off.
Have many years of enjoyment and safe miles ahead for you.
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