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Old 07-28-2021, 05:03 PM   #1
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Winnebago Journey vs Thor Aria

We currently have an 05 Winnebago Adventurer we are looking to upgrade into a Diesel pusher. Our budget is in the $150k-175k range and looking at used coaches. Mainly looking at 2013-2018 coaches.

Two that we do like are the Winnebago Journey 36m and also the Thor Aria 3901. The main things we need are 2 sleeping beds in the front for our kids and do not want a side bunk setup.

We have been leaning towards the ISB mainly due to cost and newer coach. I do also like the Tiffin RED but we need a 10,000# hitch and the Tiffin didn't get it until 2017. The only concern I have on the Winnebago is that it is 500# vertical tongue weight which may be a bit light on enclosed trailers. The Thor doesn't list what the tongue weight allowed is, but typically they are 10% or 1,000#, can anyone confirm?

Just trying to get more information on what you guys think on the Winnebago's vs Thor and also Tiffin. Or are there any other brands that are similar with good quality?

Any information is greatly appreciated and we are just beginning our research but do need the 2 sleeping options up front which does eliminate some coaches that only have one sofa and a table/chair.

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Old 07-28-2021, 05:39 PM   #2
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I don't own either one but I have a friend with a 2017 Aria 3901. I've worked on various problems for the owner and can tell you the construction is substandard. It's a good looker though and beautiful inside. I own a Winnebago gasser (Sightseer 35-J) and it's been nearly flawless in the 13 years we've had it. Maybe you could consider another WBGO floorplan that works better for the kids...or maybe a different Tiffin. I'd steer clear of anything Thor however.
2008 Winnebago Sightseer 35-J
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:15 PM   #3
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I did research on RV's and Motorhomes for 5 yrs before we bought our rig. I also went to Camping World and checked out all the Thors they had. From outside they looked nice. Inside they looked nice too, but I didn't like the storage space. Also my research yielded 80-90% of various RVrs on RV websites discouraged me from getting a Thor. That's not to say that there are some very happy Thor owners out there. But from my experience most motorhome owners will not even consider a Thor. Also, once you've been on this site long enough and you've noticed what motorhomes most folks here have, you will hardly see any Thors. But ultimately the choice is yours and you must do what your heart and mind tells you. We love our Winnebago Ellipse and it has Never given us a problem that we didn't solve at home or at a campground ourselves.
2012 Itasca Ellipse/Winnie Tour DP 450HP ISL8.9 TD, 43ft, Allison 3000, Freightliner Maxxum chassis lowered rail.
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Old 07-29-2021, 07:45 PM   #4
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We own a Winnebago 2015 journey 36m that we bought new. We have really enjoyed it. I have found the quality and design to be very good. We live on it for 6 months per year and like the layout. The vertical hitch rating is 500lbs We pull a Ford F-250 4 down and it does good on pulling it.
2015 Winnebago Journey 36M
2021 Ford 250
Air Force One brake
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:14 PM   #5
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We have owned an 18 Aria 3901 for almost 4 years. That being said, I'm not about to tell you it's better than a Journey. I'm also not going to tell you it's worse. We drove every DP anywhere near this price range, and for us it came down to floor plan and storage. We did have a few issues initially, mostly having to do with our inverter, which was replaced. And Arias of this vintage did have water intrusion issues in the basement when driving in the rain. These were taken care of under warranty, and we have had zero issues since. We owned 2 Fleetwood Southwinds previously. The Aria had more initial quality issues than the first, far fewer than the second. Pick your floor plan and check any coach very carefully.
18 Aria 3901-"The Wined Up Bus"
2016 Wrangler JKUR
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:26 PM   #6
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I own an entry level Thor Class A and will never buy another product from Thor.
The coach looks great on the outside and looks good on the inside but it is showing its age. The materials and workmanship are below standards set by other manufacturers. Don't get me wrong, it is serviceable, but I'll never buy another one. The only place on the web where you will find positive comments about Thor is over on the Thor Forums. Most of the folks there love their coaches.
Lt Keefer
2018 Hurricane 29M
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:21 AM   #7
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Thor used cheap crap. Don’t waste your money go newmar or tiffin
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:50 AM   #8
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We looked at one Thor, top of the line tag axle. Dealer had it in the service bay, on the way from Indiana almost everything had fallen from the ceiling and broke. It was a mess. But we found this to be true of almost all new rigs. Good luck.

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Old 07-31-2021, 08:51 AM   #9
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My DW & I bought a 2016 Thor Quantum Class C in 2018. Sent it down the road without us 20 months later! The Ford chassis was the only thing that didn't have problems. Squeaking going down the road like a back seat full of styro-foam ice chests rubbing together! Wall covering wrinkling, water intrusion from top, bottom and inside. Poor factory seam sealing outside, warped slide letting road spray come in and run down the floor and last-but-not least shower started leaking with water running across floor on our last trip! Gel-coat started fading within weeks, vinyl interior started chaffing/peeling and nicked easily! It just never stopped! We traded it on an Itasca (Winnebago) Meridian 36M while in Yuma 2 years ago. LOVE the 36M!
Pat, Becky & Katie (our Silky Terrier)
E. Wenatchee, WA
2014 Meridian 36M
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:25 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the responses. Think we will steer clear of the Thor.

Now we have it down to 3 models. The Winnebago journey 36m and then two Toffin Phaetons either the 40qth or 36qsh.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:16 AM   #11
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Looks like jsandgren10 is steering towards a decision but I thought I'd still offer up my experience with our older 2003 Itasca (Winnebago). I consider our Sunova to be a lower to mid level entry class A.

The first thing that I noticed when looking at the model some 18 years ago was the good fit and finish. I looked behind cabinets, drawers, lot's of areas normally out of sight to see how things were put together and how cabling/wiring was run. Underneath the chassis looked good too with all wiring, cabling, hydraulic hoses, etc,, ran and mounted properly.

Unlike most owners' experiences, the coach part of our rig has been very reliable. We've never had a water leak or any issue with the construction. In fact, most of the original caulking/sealants still look good (it has been under a shed most of its life). Cabinets and drawers are not all wood but they have held up great. The furniture is still going strong as well. Replaced the carpet but only because of a leak that developed in the water pump that we didn't catch in time. Except for the toilet and kitchen faucet, all other appliances are original.

Won't be a concern for the OP but the Workhorse chassis has been the most problematic for me. Nothing too serious but it has been a pain at times keeping it up to par.
03 Itasca Sunova, Workhorse P32 with the 8.1 and 4L85-E
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Old 08-02-2021, 05:43 AM   #12
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I was looking in the same range for the 10k tow package as well. I settled on a Journey myself. The 500# tongue weight wasn’t an issue for me given we flat tow. The tow rating data is a little vague with some of the mfg. My research shows the tongue weight limitation is related to the RV rear suspension setup. It’s certainly capable of pulling the weight but the rear may droop more because the rear suspension is softer. Perhaps it could be addressed easily.

Also, my research on Thor said to stay away. In my mind the Journey is the best value in that price range. I have been through every inch of the coach and found few inferior items.
2014 Journey 36M
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journey, thor, winnebago

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