2020 Tab400 with the large fridge and this vent location

Redfish24Redfish24 Member Posts: 25
Hello all,  I am about to purchase my first [email protected] 400. I have been trying to do my diligence in educating myself about the [email protected] 400..  I am looking at the 2020 model with the large fridge and no wardrobe option.   I noticed this vent location in the bed area and it generated a question.

If this is a heat vent and if anyone has this model,  does the heat coming of out there like blow right in your face while sleeping?   I have noticed that if you have the wardrobe option instead of the larger fridge then this vent is much higher up that wall.



  • N7SHG_HamN7SHG_Ham Member Posts: 939
    edited February 4
    Compromises in a small space. Lots of things are moved to accommodate the large fridge. That is an outlet for the AC (and heat pump heat if you have the Cool Cat) and it does seem to be placed to blow on your face. There is a rotatable grill on front so you may be able to point away from face.

    New buyers not familiar with all the systems in the 400 may not at first notice some of the other changes the big fridge causes.

    Besides the vent location, the Alde resovoir is moved, water pump is a bit tougher to get to under fridge, converters moved to the passenger side dineete bench area where you give up that storage. In exchange for all that you do get the bigger fridge and drawers where the smaller fridge was.

    When a unit is designed one way and then things are shuffled about without changing the size of the box, compromises are made, no free lunch...
    2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite
  • peterac50peterac50 Member Posts: 67
    That is the vent for the air conditioner. If your unit is constructed with the old cool cat, it also blows heat. In either case, we aim the unit up and don't find it disturbs our sleep. Most of the time when camping the unit cools off at night with the dometic fan in the ceiling so its not on. In an ideal world the vent would be higher or in a different place, but pragmatically its not a big deal in our experience.
    Peter and Nicki; Quechee, Vt
    States Visited Map
    2019 Tab 400; 2019 TV Honda Ridgeline
  • jameskuzmanjameskuzman Member Posts: 140
    edited February 4
    I won’t try to talk you into or out of the large fridge option, but I’ll throw a couple of things out there for your consideration. 

    The small fridge is larger than it looks because it’s fairly deep despite not being terribly tall or wide. It’s 2.7 cubic feet whereas the larger one is 3.7. Larger, but not as much as you might think from just looking at them from the outside. 

    The larger unit is a 3-way (propane, 120VAC, 12VDC) which means it’s an absorption type. This is one of the reasons you don’t get a big jump in interior space compared to the smaller one, as much of the depth is taken up by the mechanical bits in the back. This type of fridge does take longer to cool down initially, up to a full day as opposed to just a few hours for the 2-way.

    When running on 12V, the smaller 2-way is much more efficient. Somewhere on the forum you’ll find a comprehensive chart showing how much it draws, but it’s more battery-friendly than the larger 3-way. So even though propane is the more traditional choice when you’re off grid, the 12V compressor units can be just as capable, especially if you have solar or a generator to back you up. 

    Fridge space isn’t a huge deal for us primarily because we still bring coolers along. We store most of what needs to be kept cold there and either keep them outside in the shade or in the back of the tow vehicle, replenishing ice as needed. The fridge is more for convenience so that we don’t have to run out to the coolers once we’re in for the night or for breakfast in the morning. That said, lots of people like to use the refrigerator in the camper more like they use the one at home. 

    The last consideration - but probably the most important - is losing the wardrobe with the larger refrigerator. For us, the wardrobe is very important. I would not want to live without it. It’s so nice to be able to hang certain clothes, and the storage on the bottom is great for stashing laptops (when we’re work camping), camera backpacks, and other bulky items. The little netted cubbies on the side are perfect for socks, underwear, and extra towels. Yes, you do get extra drawer space with the big fridge, but for our needs, we already have plenty of drawers. I would also be hesitant to give up the under-dinette storage on the door side. 

    I’m sure there are plenty of 400 owners who absolutely love the big fridge and wouldn’t miss the wardrobe, so there’s no right or wrong answer here. Everything in a camper - even as one as great as the 400 - is a compromise.  I would encourage you to look at both models carefully and consider your personal priorities.

    Good luck!


    Jim Kuzman, Girard OH - 2019 [email protected] 400 - TV 2019 Volkswagen Atlas SE 4Motion w/ Factory Tow Package
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Administrator Posts: 2,623
    I agree with Jim above regarding space and considerations therein.  And inasmuch as the larger refrigerator might be attractive for storing more food and drinks, added space or the need for additional space will come into play down the road if you are on the road for extended periods of time.  Early on we were considering a microwave oven and after considering it and the space we’d gain by omitting it we decided to leave it out.   We certainly haven't regretted it and the added space is valuable and convenient. 

    The plastic AC grill louver does rotate and you will appreciate the added air to the rear on a hot night as it does make a difference in comfort.  
    Howell, Mi
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2016 Silverado 
  • DenisPDenisP Member Posts: 368
    Not to pile on but I totally agree with Jim and Mike.  We have had our 2018 400 for 19 months and early on I read a post about adding shelves in the wardrobe which I did and the space for us is even better.  We love the energy efficiency of the 12 v refrigerator and we do use a cooler as part of our camping.  We have a bucket list of places we want to travel to and as we check them off the ability to take a variety of clothing is essential. The balance of storage both refrigerator and wardrobe matches our needs very well.  Just my opinion your needs may vary. 
    2018 [email protected] 400 with Solar
    2013 Tundra TRD 5.7L
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,708
    edited February 5
    We love our three-way for its propane-ability.

    Its 12v option for us is pretty useless, because of the three-way's 12v high draw. Perhaps it would function better with a different alternator system in our TV, but alas, that's not going to happen... But we don't find it to be a problem to shut it off while on the highway.

    But for boondocking, the propane option is a real boon! (Pun intended?) I wouldn't want to go without it. (We have many more shaded campsites here in the east, so solar tends to be less productive)

    Just my two cents...
    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • Tundra57Tundra57 Member Posts: 564
    I have the larger fridge and it suits me best. Just me and my dog. I also camp with LOWS and it's nice to bring stuff for the guys. I don't wear anything that needs to be hung except for coats which hang in the bathroom behind the curtain and drain in the shower when wet. Don't miss the storage. For better pump etc access I made the bottom panel under the fridge hinged. I like the extra drawers by the stove.
    I use 12 v while driving to keep everything cool and propane on site if boondocking else 240 at campsite. I have enough stuff in the back of my truck without a cooler lol.
    I don't miss the storage by the dinette. I got some stuff sacks to go behind the driver's side cushions for blankets etc. I like being able to easily see the Alde fluid level and it's easy to get to for me.
    But as said perviously look at the options yourself to see which you like.
    I did not do my research when I selected the three way not realising it moved with other mods. But after a year with her I wouldn't have it any other way.

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