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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ten Items I Love On The Journey

RVs come in all shapes and sizes with features (or without) that fit a buyer’s lifestyle, budget and intended  use.  Sadly, there is no perfect RV, no matter how good they are, there are always compromises.

When we were shopping for a diesel pusher, there were a few ideas we had about what we wanted.  Of course, we were driven by price, wanting to get the most bang for our buck.  We we pleasantly surprised to find our Journey waiting for us on a dealer’s lot. 

Originally we wanted to “spec out” our diesel pusher, to get it built exactly as we wanted it.  We were ready to wait the eight to ten weeks it would take to manufacture it.

The Journey, however, caught our eye.  It had most everything we wanted, a couple of compromises were needed but overall it had almost everything we desired.  This was to be our full time rig.  The biggest plus for me was the engine, it was one of the very last Cat diesels built before all the strict emission controls required by the EPA and that alone saved us almost $20K over the next model year’s sticker price.

Now having lived with the Journey for five years and having driven it over 50 thousand miles, we have formed some pretty solid opinions on what we like (some we love) and a few other things that we are not as fond of.  So to help those that may be RV shopping, here is a list of the 10 things we love about the Journey and for us, would be must haves on another RV purchase.  In descending order:

Number 10 – Basement Air Conditioner


Winnebago’s basement air conditioner works really well for us, it is quiet, and doesn’t drip down from the roof like a roof top unit does.  We have used it in many types of heat and it has always kept us cool.  We have not used it in Arizona in the summertime, from what I’ve read, they don’t quite do the job in extreme temps, but that is why we don’t go to those places in the summer.

Number 9 – Air Compressor Manifold Connection


Under the hood is this connection where I can attach a hose and air chuck to inflate my tires, or other inflatable goodies.  I do have to run the diesel engine to power the compressor, but it is a minor issue and topping off a tire every once in a great while, it is better than carrying a portable compressor when storage space is limited.

Number 8 – Chrome, Heated, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors.


You can’t have enough visibility all around your RV and having large mirrors on each side that not only are heated should the need arise but can be adjusted at the touch of a button is great.  Having them chromed is an added bonus, bugs splats and dirt wash off easily and there are no worries about chipped paint.

Number 7 – Rear and Side Cameras



Again, you can’t have enough rear and side views and the rear camera is a blessing.  Not only does it give me a view behind me and of the tow car, it has a microphone that I can turn on to hear Marti’s words when she directs me backing into a campsite.  It also has infra red capabilities so I can see in the dark.  The side cameras work when the turn signal is engaged on a side.  The dash screen automatically turns from the rear view to the side view and that picture remains as long as the turn signal is blinking.  When the turn signal clicks off, the picture returns to the rear camera.  I can also manually turn on a side camera should I need to keep a good view of a side backing or maneuvering in a tight spot.

It is nice to have the added safety of seeing the full side of the Journey with the side cameras, they enhance the somewhat limited view of the mirrors alone and eliminate blind spots.

Number 6 – Automatic Basement Door Locks


A little rocker switch by my entry door and I can lock and unlock all the basement doors.  I also have the ability to do that with my key fob.  What a time saving device this is.  A loud click and I know all is secure, or open, whenever I need it.

Number 5 – Automatic Leveling Jacks


Perfect for a lazy man like me that doesn’t like to use his brain or his back (putting leveling blocks under the wheels).  A push of a button and the computer takes over and levels the Journey.  A minute or two and we’re good to go.  When leaving, another button is pushed and the jacks automatically retract.  The brand of my jacks is HWH and they have been very reliable.  I check the oil level in the reservoir once in a while and give the cylinders a light coat of silicone spray about once a month.

Number 4 – Full Body Paint


This was something we were going to pass on if we had ordered a new motorhome, but the Journey already had an eye catching paint job.  Because we got such a good deal on the purchase price, we took it with the paint.  After five years, I’m glad we bought it because it looks as good as the day we bought it.  It seems to stay cleaner, too.  Our previous motorhome didn’t have full body paint and the white fiberglass yellowed with the exposure to sunlight, no amount of waxing and cleaning kept it looking like new.

Number 3 – Quiet Diesel Generator


We have the Onan 8 Kilowatt Diesel Generator and it is a real workhorse.  It provides all the power we need when we need it.  In the hot summer months, we run it driving down the road to power the basement air, when we boondock we run it, and it is so quiet, you can barely hear it.  It takes minimal maintenance to keep it running in perfect condition, the best thing you can do for it is to run it.  I change the oil (3 qts) and filter every 150 hours and the fuel and air filter annually.  At the three year mark the coolant was changed.  All’s well and it now has 1590 hours on it.

Number 2 – Splendide Washer/Dryer


I love this thing.  Insert a small load of clothes before you go out for the day and when you come back, they are done.  Sure, sometimes, they may be a little wrinkled, but if I need it, we have an iron.  Since I no longer dress in suits, I don’t worry if my t-shirt doesn’t look like it is military starched.  We can do an entire set of bed sheets in one load, or a couple of bath towels, face clothes and dishtowels in a load.  All in all, it is so handy, especially when you have grandkids staying with you.

Number 1 – Dual Fuel Fill Doors



This is so handy, having a fill on either side of the Journey.  It takes away issues of fuel pump accessibility, fuel stations are hard enough to get in and out of as it is. They have saved us lots of time, too, not having to wait for a particular pump.

So that’s my top ten really nice to have items on our Journey.  In a future post, I’ll list the ten no-so-fond-of items.  If this was too boring or technical, here’s a couple of pictures of our new lovely ladies to enjoy.



and Rebekah.


Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Great post. Looking forward to the next ten. But I really love those pictures at the end.

  2. Okay .. I know that post took a lot of brain power. I'm going to give you a comment that doesn't take much. Sandi said it all. I "really love those pictures at the end." Anyway, I'd rather hear the positive than the negative side. It's better than ranting!!

  3. Great post! We love our Splendide too.

  4. I do miss those automatic compartment locks and so second fuel fill:)

  5. interesting top ten..don't know if Paul and Mary would agree with your number 10 though?..can't wait to see your other list!!

  6. Agreed. Great post. We have 9 out of your 10 items and feel the same way...although I had a "moment" when I realized Rick could hear me when directing him into a site if he turned the speaker up! LOL! We just do hand signals so it wasn't THAT important :)
    Would love to try out your basement AC. We have rooftop and although it works well, it sure is noisy. Quiet AC might remind me of a house :)

    Looking forward to your not so favorite things :)

  7. very interesting...looking forward to the other 10 :) gorgeous wee ladies you have there...

  8. i was wondering what Marti's list is and if the dishwasher is on it?

    Great post!
    Katy in NH

    1. I've been her favorite dishwasher since we bought the Journey... ;c)

  9. Enjoyed this post and will be interest in the other 10 not so favorite. Choosing an RV is really about compromises. We chose smaller to get into most any place we want, but had to give up a few things, like washer/dryer and basement air, in order to have enough storage space!!

  10. Most of this list is in our top ten too; now for the other ten.

  11. We like our basement air because it is quiet but we have needed to be in Texas and New Mexico in the summer- does not quite get the job done.

  12. Since we are entering the full time phase in five days and planning on finding a newer motor home, we really enjoyed this post! Looking forward to your "bottom" ten list.

  13. Wish I had one of those built in air compressors. Levelers would probably be #1 on my list. I'll also enjoy seeing the other list. :)

  14. Enjoyed the list.
    I must have missed this along the way (like that's a stretch) but what age is the Journey? I guess I'm curious since I'm not sure when the diesels in North America started using the ad blue stuff.
    It was already being used when we came here in 08, and I remember VW decided not to release one whole model year because there was some mix up with the technology.

    Just nosey of course.

    1. The Journey is a 2007 model equipped with a 2006 built engine. Engines built in 2007 had to have upgraded pollution control devices that required Ultra Low Sulpher Diesel (ULSD) fuel, which isn't commonly found in Mexico (if we visit someday).

      The latest diesel engine pollution requirements went into effect about 2010 which require even more pollution equipment the and the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF).

  15. As fellow Winnie owners, we especially enjoyed this post. We share many of your "loves" (even #10). We had to check our mirrors to see if they are heated. They are, but that's one feature we don't ever plan to use!

  16. I realize this is Ancient history – – – From an inquiry you posted in 2008. But I was looking for "the rest of the story" . . .
    Buy the tow dolly or rent – – – and then the question of returning empty from Oregon. And now I see from your photo that you are Towing 4 down. What did you decide on the tow dolly back in 08? I am still tried to solve the quandary. Thanks . USN ret– – – We didn't have to spend as much time at sea as the coast guard . I always found any mattress much more comfortable than the bottom of a foxhole. I did work on Governor's Island – – – nice place.