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rgrimm 02-28-2014 02:12 AM

An intoduction a bit late
Hello –

I have actually been a Forum member since April 2013 - so an Introduction, a bit late, but as they say, better late than never.

We are Russ and Arlene from Northeast Florida. Originally from the ABE area of PA, we moved to Florida in 2006 when we retired.

Our first RV was a used 39’ 2010 Open Range TT we pulled with an F250. We traded our TT in on a new 2012 Open Range 5th Wheel in less than a year. We loved our Open Range campers. In early 2013, we sold our Open Range 5th Wheel and our F250 – life happens, its road has many turns!

We soon started to realize we missed not traveling that way – RVing, and started to look again for a new RV. This time around we focused on a small Class A, feeling it was a better fit for our style of travel. What changed our focus towards a Class A was seeing an Itasca Sunstar 27N in the MH Museum in Elkhart. So as our search for the ‘perfect Motor Home for us’ began we went in a lot of directions. We stated with the 27N that we saw in Elkhart and like so much until I realized it was only a 30 Amp unit with no 50 amp option. I have never known RV life on 30 amp as both my TT and 5th wheel were 50 amp (in reality 100 amp) and I wasn’t willing to go backward from what I was use to, so the 27N got dropped from the short list.

Next I went through the Gas vs Diesel power. My preference was diesel since that was what I was use to with my F250. But I sure could not afford new, so started looking at what I thought was the most economical way to go diesel, used FREDs (2006 -2008). We looked mostly in the Tiffin Allegro line. Then in the beginning of this year I came across a used Monaco Cayman XL, a short diesel pusher which we really liked. While I was aware of the Monaco history of bankruptcy in 2009, I didn’t rule them out, but as I did my usually research I realized that the Caymans and the HR equals that were built on the RR4R Chassis had a major rear trailing arm design flaw issue. While I didn’t rule the Monaco and Holiday Ramblers out because of the trailing arms and I looked at a few 2006/2007 units, I just walked away from them if they still had the original designed trailing arms on. What finding the Monaco Cayman did was open my eyes to the fact that there were some short Diesel Pushers out there. When I say short, my desire was to stay under 36 foot.

With the short diesel pusher now at the top of my short list (I’d say ‘our’ short list, but I don’t think the word diesel pusher is anywhere on my DW’s list) I came across a 2006 Itasca Meridian 32T DP and we almost purchased it until I found out it had a ‘branded’ title ( ‘NAM’ - not actual mileage) which will affect resell as once the title is branded it stays that way.

So that brings us to the 2006 Winnebago Journey 34H DP we found. Perfect!!! My DW loves it’s floor plan and I love it’s length, that it’s a DP (CAT 350), air suspension and it appears well maintained. We should pick it up next week. I did research the Winnebago/Itasca line and I am aware of the front window design issues that results in leaks. The PS Window is being replaced due to a crack from a stone it, so that will check and address any water leaks/rust issue on that side and I will just keep my eye on the DS window. All my research as I have gone through our Class A search process has been done on this Forum and others like it. Forums can be a valuable resource for information, as there is a lot of knowledge and experience that is offered by its members. And for the most part I have found that the majority of people involved with RVing, not matter what they tow or drive, are friendly with a true spirit to share their knowledge and experiences with others who share their passion to travel in an RV. RVers are a very special group and we are happy to once again be a part of that community.

As a side note on another aspect of owning an RV that we missed - being from Florida we enjoy going to Disney and especially Fort Wilderness during the time we owned our Open Range Campers, so as soon as we started to look for a RV again I made reservations at Fort Wilderness for early December, a time of the year we enjoy it there.

So that is our story that got us to this point.

Safe Travels.

sadrand 02-28-2014 05:15 AM

Hello and welcome. I too live in NE Florida (Jacksonville) for a few months more and will be retiring and hitting the road next fall. I also went the shorter diesel pusher route and love it.

rgrimm 02-28-2014 05:55 AM


Originally Posted by sadrand (Post 1947028)
Hello and welcome. I too live in NE Florida (Jacksonville) for a few months more and will be retiring and hitting the road next fall. I also went the shorter diesel pusher route and love it.

Richard - We are in Yulee, a little further North than you. You're retiring in August - you are really close now, congratulation. You will enjoy the freedom to travel.


Pepper2 02-28-2014 05:55 AM

Good morning and welcome from S.E. Michigan! For us short is also good. Not many worries about accessibility for us.:thumb:

Steve N Sal 02-28-2014 06:05 AM

Howdy and welcome aboard, glad to have you with us. :thumb:

Chiefbvfd 02-28-2014 06:31 AM

Welcome back and welcome to the Winnie family....:)

aschuh53 02-28-2014 07:08 AM

welcome to the fourm

TonyDi 02-28-2014 07:17 AM


MSHappyCampers 02-28-2014 07:27 AM

Hi Russ & Arlene! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you! :dance:

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless! :thumb::D

JohnRR 02-28-2014 08:22 AM

As mentioned "Better late than never".

Medico 02-28-2014 05:04 PM Welcome and glad to meet you!

rgrimm 03-13-2014 08:01 AM

An Update - On March 7th we took position of our 'new to us' 2006 Winnebago Journey 34H. We spent a few days at the Lazyday's Campground getting familiar with the systems while the dealer prepped my 2013 Ford Edge to be flat towed. I went with a RoadMaster Base Plate, a Blackhawk 2 All-Terrain (10K) Tow Bar, and a SMI Air Force One aux braking system.

We really like the layout and size of the 34H as it really is perfect for us. We found that after spending just a few days in the coach we were comfortable and it felt like 'home' to us.

On Tuesday, March 11th, we headed from Tampa back to home north of Jacksonville (Yulee, FL). This was my first time driving a Class A (other than a short Test drive) and the first time towing a car. I didn't even realize my Edge was back there relative to power (our 34H has a CAT 350), but what I didn't expect was the amount of steering I seemed to have to do to keep it straight. Before this RV, I towed a 39' TT and then a 36' 5th wheel with a LB F250 PSD. I actually found driving the 34H more stressful than my F250/5th wheel setup. So is this, I'll call it wandering, normal? I realize the 34H has a relatively short WB at 208" and it is on an air suspension, could this be the cause? Are there any aftermarket add-ons for the Journeys or similar Class A's that would help dampen it.

My driving speed was between 62 and 65 mph.

Even after a less than comfortable drive (for me the driver) we still really like our 'New' 34H, but sure would like to hear some insight on any possible remedies for the steering wandering.


JohnRR 03-13-2014 10:34 AM

Great looking unit, one of the very first things I would do with it is check the front tire pressures.

Also sometimes it just takes a little getting used to.

autofish 03-13-2014 11:00 AM

rgrimm I have a34bd does the same thing until at camp freightliner they said to keep the air psi set to the weight makes all the difference so get the rig on a scale and set tire psi.

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