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Old 06-23-2021, 05:18 AM   #1
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Our first Class A 2016 Suncruiser 38Q

I’m John and, along with my wife Cynthia, will be completing the purchase of a 2016 Itasca Suncruiser 38Q today. We sold our Jayco Redhawk 29xk, so we’re adding a little over 6 feet in length along with a WHOLE lot more comfort and refinement! We’ll be on here asking questions if we can’t find the answers already. Our new coach is beautiful and we plan on having it a long time. Glad to be a Winnie owner.
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Old 06-23-2021, 03:54 PM   #2
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Congrats on acquiring the new to you rig! We're on our 8th rig in 40 years and have totally fallen in love with our 2016 38Q! The 38Q has been the best hands down. Its truly our second home and we love to travel in it. Initially we had a few "bugs" in the rig but worked most of them out in the first year. As she ages a bit we've had to make some repairs and replacements (new washer most recently and a broken rear slide drive block) which to some extent go with the territory. But for the most part she has been a reliable workhorse to sustain a comfortable RV lifestyle.

All the best with your new rig!
Joe
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:19 AM   #3
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Thanks Joe! We’re excited to have it and looking forward to all the travels ahead. We’re hoping most of the kinks have been worked out on ours, just under 15k miles, but know never to be surprised.
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Old 07-04-2021, 04:58 AM   #4
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We've sort of been running the wheels off ours with about 12,000 miles per year. We have about 60,000 on the rig since it came out of the factory. We've done a lot of east coast to out west (coast area) runs, and a couple of northern border and to the Keys types of trips. Most travel though is in the SE US. Seems we have ants in our pants and just can't sit still??

I've been getting the rig ready for a trip to the San Francisco area from here in west Georgia in Sept/ October. Will be about a 5000 mile round trip run. I do occasionally whimper and cry a bit when I fill the gas tank - especially in California-but maybe I'll outgrow that weakness someday. Yesterday I changed the transmission fluid for the first time and I have been pretty religious about changing the motor-oil myself every 6 months or 5000 miles.

The F53 chassis has been virtually perfect. Its never had a failure nor has it ever been in the shop except for 1 time when I had the front bearing lubed and the alignment checked. Right after I got the rig Ford had to re-flash the ECM due to a programming glitch. Took all of 15 minutes with a computer hookup at the dealer. Most all the bugs in the first year were related to the coach. As I mentioned earlier the washer's control board and electric system went nuts requiring a new washer, and the bedroom slide drive blocks had to be replaced when the slide went crazy, and the front heat pump decided it was done so we had to change it out-- all in the last year. I did replace the 4 house batteries with 4 new AGM's a few months back. But these things happen and it goes with the territory.

Our experience has been- especially here in the heat of the south- that its not a great rig for boondocking. The design's natural cross ventilation is not too good- its hard ventilate and to move air in and out of the rig to keep it comfortable. And listening to the genny running all night isn't much fun. Thus it needs a good hunk of power for the 2 heat pumps to keep it comfortable in very hot weather. In addition the residential fridge does do a number on the 4 AGM's over a 12 hour period-- if you can get that. So we no longer boondock in this rig. So we pretty well keep her tethered to a 50 amp circuit wherever we land.

But we do soooo love traveling and residing in this rig when we are on the move. Can't wait to get her back on the road again soon! Looking forward to hearing of your travel and rig experiences. Joe
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Old 07-04-2021, 07:45 AM   #5
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Keep up the good work Joe! We just took delivery of our ‘new to us’ Suncruiser! We’ll be spending the next week or two getting used to the systems and getting comfortable with their operations. Planning a few short trips this summer before heading on our Southeast beach tour, October 8th through November 20th. We’re hoping late spring to do our first West Coast trip! We are planning some overnight boondocking, so we’ll keep an eye on the temperature and plan accordingly with the AC. I guess it is a lot to ask the house batteries to keep us and the fridge cold overnight.

We’re hoping a lot of initial issues have been worked out over the first 5 years. Less than 15,000 miles on our coach. We do understand the ‘normal’ things will come up. Obviously the tires are a few years from their 10th anniversary! We’ll also be seeing how the original house batteries hold up. Speaking of tires, do you still run the Michelin or have you switched to a different size and brand? We do have an RV business we trust to do a good job on anything major, fingers crossed that doesn’t happen for awhile!

Safe travels, hope to meet you on the road sometime.
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Old 07-04-2021, 01:28 PM   #6
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You will probably get through at least one night without running the genny to keep the fridge up. Assuming you still have the original AGM's, just don't go below 50% charge.

Our last boondocking adventure was around the corner from you in the Smokeys at Smokemont last fall. All the shade was a savior, but we still had to run the genny 2 hrs. in the AM and 2 Hrs. at night before they closed down the generator hours to get the batteries back up.

You're like me with the tires. I did change out the front steer tires to Toyos and have been pleased with not just the lower cost, but we found the ride so much better than the Michelins. I plan on buying 4 rear drive Toyos after our trip to the west coast.

The Toyos I went with are M154 265/75 22.5. Can't say enough good about them so will stick with them when I do the rears. They are unbelievably close in size to the Michelins and generally folks speak highly of the Toyos on these forums.

2 safety modifications I added were the Safe T Plus steering damper (maybe yours already has it?) and the Tyron Tire system on the front wheels. A front blow out is my biggest nightmare and I want some level of peace of mind? Been through rear blow outs on a class A dually before and other than being startling I found it manageable. I just don't feel that way about the front steer tire blow outs though. The Safety T Plus also improved handling quite a bit and I don't have to work the wheel as much as when we got it out of the factory.

Another "no cost" and easy modification that greatly improves F53 handling is called the Cheap Handling Fix, which may have already been done to your rig. The link to it is here if it has not yet been done to the rig.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f23/chea...fix-72335.html

Well didn't mean to ramble so much. Hopefully we'll see each other at an RV park someday and share war stories about our respective rigs! Holler here if you need anything!

All the best and safe travels. Joe
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Old 07-04-2021, 04:59 PM   #7
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Absolutely agree on the safety on the front end. Our last, Class C, we had a RoadMaster Reflex Stabilizer and it made a huge difference. It will be one of the first things we add. Not familiar with the Tyron, I’ll check it out. The Toyos are my top choice, thanks for that info. I think the original house batteries need to go, went down to storage today and interior lights were pulsing and not enough juice to fire the generator. Like I said, I kind of expected this and will feel better with fresh batteries before we travel.

I’m about to check out the easy fix, I like cheap!
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Old 07-05-2021, 05:33 AM   #8
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I shopped all over for good AGM's to replace the factory installed batteries. I found the best deal for me was Duracell's (same group and amp hours). They were about $175 each a few months back when I did them and picked them up at SAM's club. At the time about 5 months ago it was the best deal I could find for that group size and amp hour AGM. I went ahead and changed out the chassis battery at the same time as it was getting up there in years.

Here's the link to Tyron Bands.
https://tyron.com/

There is another good option called Retro Bands which can be bought through NIRV. Tyron's are less expensive and folks rave about Retro Bands as likely being more superior. My wallet told me to use the Tyron Bands. I've also seen a recall on Retro Bands but I'm not sure where that stands.

https://www.rettroband.com/

If you do go to a steering damper take a look at Safe T Plus. The folks that make them are located in Tallapoosa just west of Atlanta.

https://www.safe-t-plus.com/

I had mine installed at the Safe T Plus factory as they are just an hour away. Only took about an hour to install. But they can be purchased and installed elsewhere. Folks seem to love having the folks at the factory install them and my experience with them was awesome! You can pull in and boondock on their lot , get it installed and be out early the next morning. You may be able to drive down in 1 day and get back home the same day?

The CHF (Cheap Handling Fix) as its called really made a difference on mine. I did front and back myself- took about 30 minutes to make the change on the front and another 30 for the rear. No special tools needed- maybe a jack to help position the bars and the proper sized wrench. Some folks buy link extensions and add them- I went with the original bar and only moved the hole setting and its worked quite well. My experience was a radical handling improvement -- but check first as the previous owner may have already made the change as it is so popular and well known for F53's.
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