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Author Topic: Buying a Journey DL 34HD  (Read 4431 times)

casualemt

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Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« on: March 30, 2015, 10:22:00 PM »
Hi All, a newbie here... My wife and I are buying a 2002 Winnebago Journey DL 34HD.  We have looked at a lot of class A's, and we really like the interior layout, and convience features of the Journey.  I am happy it has the freightliner chassis with the higher horsepower 330 Cat.  The mileage is at 28K, and the interior looks like no one ever used it. In a couple of days we are going to do the final inspections, check out all the maintenance records, and take it for a long test drive.  It has just been to the freightliner dealer near by and had the running gear all checked out.  My question is, what things specific to this model, or this range of models should I pay particular attention to?
I have spent a lot of time on the internet researching many other manufacturers motorhomes, most of which the companies are out of business.  It has been a pleasure to at least be able to get a ton of information from the Winnebago website on this particular model.
Any feedback on problems, shortcomings of the Journey DL 34 would be appreciated.
Rich and Carol...
2005 Journey 36G 350, Deep Blue

RGrimm

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2015, 02:25:30 AM »
First Welcome to the Forum.

We went thru the process you're currently going through - 'Looking for the perfect coach for us' - back in early 2014 and after looking and researching a lot of different brands and models we found a clean 2006 Journey 34H and purchased it.

The 34H was an ideal layout for the two of us and the right size for us. We have been very happy with our 34H.

The only real problem I had come across was issues with the front windows leaking. This is not a Journey specific problem but with all the Winnebago's with the split front window design. It seemed to be a design problem in how the window was sealed in the frame. So look for any signs of water or rust chips on the dash along the window.

I have had a few small issues with 34H such as an intermittent AC/Heat Pump Problem and a  EMS issue, they were both easily resolved by myself with some help and guidance by the many friendly and knowledgeable members on this Forum. My biggest problem seemed to be the Norcold refrig and I thought I was going to have to replace it. But after some discussion here on the forum (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,75476.30.html ) and some testing I realized that the Norcold's had a built-in defrost cycle (to defrost the refrig box fins, not the freezer) that occurred every 49 hours and would basically shut off the refrig for up to 3-4 hours. Once I understood the Refrig's operation and how to 'manage it' I have never had any more issues with the refrig not staying cold.

Let us know how your test drive goes and if you purchase the 34HD.

-Russ
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 02:27:50 AM by RGrimm »
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
Towing - 2013 Edge Limited
SMI - Air Force 1 Aux Braking
Blackhawk 2 All Terrain 10K

John Canfield

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 08:16:43 AM »
Welcome!  Good tips from Russ, let me underscore the windshield rust/leaking issue with some units.  Look carefully at the rubber trim molding that surrounds the windshield glass.  If any of it looks bulged up and not flat against the glass/front cap, see if it will pull away from the surfaces.  If it easily pulls away then that is a strong indicator the molding adhesive isn't sticking due to rust underneath.

If you do find this, not the end of the world but both windshields will need to be pulled and there is a good chance they will be broken in the process.  Dealing with the rust is an exacting process and if it is bad enough some of the frame will need to be cut out and replaced with good steel.  Not to alarm you, but just be aware of this possibly of an out of sight issue that would take a couple of thousand to mitigate.

Also, look in the forum library for a good pre-purchase checklist.  Let us know how it goes.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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casualemt

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 03:31:38 PM »
Thanks for the information.  We are going tomorrow to inspect the unit.  I have downloaded the inspection checklist and will be using it to insure our purchase is a good one. I will carefully inspect around the windshield for evidence of corrosion, as it sounds like it could be a deal breaker for me. I can handle a suprise in the hundreds of dollars, but thousands would not be a happy party...
Thanks again for the heads up, I will post how things went.
Rich C.
Rich and Carol...
2005 Journey 36G 350, Deep Blue

John Canfield

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 07:39:07 AM »
Let me clarify the molding inspection - if the molding is pulled away from the cap/glass it doesn't mean the frame is rusty, it means the frame is possibly rusty underneath.  You would need to get a ladder and pull the molding away enough to get eyes on the area.
--John
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garyb1st

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 09:22:12 AM »
We've looked at similar Journey's with two slides.  Other than mechanical and condition, you may want to consider the bedroom which I believe only has one window.  We prefer at least two windows for better lighting and cross ventilation. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

casualemt

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 08:39:13 PM »
Hi All,
Well, just returned from the dealer. I used the checklist, information I gleaned from the internet, and the great advice from the forum members that chimed in, to do a thorough inspection on the Journey. Overall I think the unit was in pretty good condition, I was a little disappointed that the salesman, after I had called two days earlier to tell him that our financing was set, and that we were coming over today to do the inspection and road test, did not have any water in the tanks, the house batteries were dead, and I ended up knowing more about the operation of the systems than he did...Anyway, I asked to see maintenance records on the rig. There was a lot of hemming and hawing the old "It just came back from freightliner and had a clean bill of health!!"  I asked to see the paperwork from freightliner, and before the end of the day, he came up with them...a clean bill of health plus over $900 in repairs...The salesman then produced a folder with a bunch of receipts for maintenance...after wading through the fiddle faddle, I found 2 receipts for oil changes, one in 2005 and one in 2006, no records of any maintenance on the diesel generator with 450 hours on it. I also found some rusty waterspotting on the trim at the top of the windshield. but I didnt really see any bubbling or rust on the outside.  The deal breaker I think is that when I drove it on the freeway, it wallowed, at first it would just kind of wander down the road, but at speed, it would start this weird undulation like the back was wiggling side to side and the front would be doing an opposite maneuver. In the maintenance records, the owner had the front end aligned at freightliner in 2013
Any idea why it would undulate like that?
Rich C
Rich and Carol...
2005 Journey 36G 350, Deep Blue

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 10:22:36 PM »
If you can take it to a good Truck Alignment shop, they can align both axles.  They will check that the steer axle and rear axle are properly aligned together.  This will normally cost around $250.  The back axle out of alignment can cause not only that problem, but irregular tire wear as well.  Auto places will align the steer axle with no attention to the rear.  Here's a shop locator for this kind of alignment;
http://www.mdalignment.com/servicecenters.php  The other thing that could cause this is tires out of round.  MD Alignment should be able to diagnose that as well.

Also, that Cat is a pre-emission engine that will only get better fuel mileage as you put more miles on it.  There are also other things with that engine you can do to get better mileage and performance.  With those engines, if something goes wrong they can quickly be diagnosed and repaired.  We usually say those engines aren't really broken in till they pass the 50,000 mile mark.  You shouldn't have any problem towing whatever you want right up any mountain.  If I could get it checked out at a MD alignment shop, and get the OK from them, I'd be all over that unit.  You didn't say how much they want for it, but if you're happy with the price, and can get the problems worked out, it should be a great unit.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

RGrimm

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 03:27:26 AM »
another thing to check is the date code on the tires (and batteries, house and chassis). Needing to replace tires right away due to age may not be an expense your want right after purchasing the coach.

Russ
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
Towing - 2013 Edge Limited
SMI - Air Force 1 Aux Braking
Blackhawk 2 All Terrain 10K

John Canfield

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 07:28:15 AM »
.. I asked to see the paperwork from freightliner, and before the end of the day, he came up with them...a clean bill of health plus over $900 in repairs....
What exactly did Freightliner do for $900?  Did any of that work address suspension issues?  Your handling issue could be due a suspension problem of some sort or tires that are over or under inflated - did you check tire pressures?
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 10:44:54 AM »
$900 doesn't buy you much in a diesel chassis repair shop. Heck, you could drop $900 on filters and fluids without actually repairing anything.

That said, that chassis shouldn't wander at all so something is wrong. Could be as simple as way-out tire pressure or as severe as a badly worn front end steering/suspension. Ask that it be taken to the shop again for further inspection.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

casualemt

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2015, 11:56:30 AM »
Thanks again all,
I pulled the plug on the purchase of the Journey,  I was really dissappointed in the road test.  Granted there were probably things that contributed to the wandering and undulating, like no weight, no water, no fuel, the tires were 110psi all around, but what am I going to do, try to fix the problem when it isn't my coach?  When I asked the salesman if he could put some water in the tank so I can check out the plumbing system, he told me that after I buy it, he would have a technician go through it with me to verify that everything works....after I buy it? I told him that I would like to know that everything works BEFORE I plunk down the $50K ..I was especially disappointed by the lack of maintenance records, granted there was 1 receipt for an oil change on the main engine in 2006, but there was no record of any maintenance at all on the diesel genset with 435 hours on it, and when I looked at it, it had oil, but the coolant tank was completely empty..The dealers stance was it was a consignment and they take no responsibility for it, and the owner wasn't going to put any more money into it, and the dealer wanted to charge us a consignment fee of $695 plus $187 for an additional fee for something the salesman couldn't tell us what it was for...doesn't the seller usually pay the consignment fee?? When we went back to get our good faith check, and explain to the owner of the business why we were not purchasing the unit, he got pretty indignant and told us we weren't RV people....I thought my wife's head was going to explode...she asked why he would say that, and his response was, RV people just think about all the fun they are going to have, and not get bogged down with insignificant details...Seriously?? I guess I'm not an RV people because I want some value for my money, I don't want to buy a coach that has not been maintained to at least a minimal degree, I want to feel safe driving down the road..I want to feel like the seller has at least taken some pride in his ability to care for a complex machine...
Alright, here is where the RV people get to take their shot...am I being unreasonable?  Is it common practice to buy an RV without any records of maintenance?  Should I have bought it without worrying if anything works on it? Should the wandering and undulating not have been a deal breaker?
The reality was that we really liked the coach, but because the dealer didn't have a hand in it, we either had to take it like it was or don't take it....I chose not to take it
Rich and Carol...
2005 Journey 36G 350, Deep Blue

PJ Stough

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2015, 11:59:23 AM »
I believe that you made the right choice.  There are lots of RVs out there for sale.  No sense settling on one you are not quite sure of it's condition.

Paul
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”--- Voltaire

John Hilley

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2015, 12:10:27 PM »
You definitely made the right choice. There are many others to choose from. You've narrowed it down to what you want, so it makes the search easier.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
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John Canfield

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2015, 12:51:01 PM »
...When we went back to get our good faith check, and explain to the owner of the business why we were not purchasing the unit, he got pretty indignant and told us we weren't RV people.....
You certainly ran into a pack of bozos.  No coolant in the gen set?  Really?  Yup, run away from the clown show.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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garyb1st

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2015, 01:06:28 PM »
That said, that chassis shouldn't wander at all so something is wrong. Could be as simple as way-out tire pressure or as severe as a badly worn front end steering/suspension. Ask that it be taken to the shop again for further inspection.

Regardless of the motorhome you purchase, I highly recommend reading the article that Gary Roamer authored titled A motorhome handling primer which you can find in the Forum Library. 

Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

don10autos

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Re: Buying a Journey DL 34HD
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2015, 05:20:00 AM »
Where are you?  I have a very nice 2001 Journey 36DL for sale-asking 47,500.  See my ad in Asheville NC Craigslist.  Tires are Michelin new in 2010.  Genset does have coolant.  You can email me at [email protected]    I am an old VW Mechanic who has been through the Freightliner boot camp and know how to service it properly.    ps: have water in the tank any you can test ALL systems!