Help for newbie about to purchase

Hi All,

I'm in the market for my first trailer and after visiting two dealers (one Bushwacker & other the TAB) I clearly noticed the quality difference of TAB and now I'm drooling at the thought of owing the one.  Here is my dilemma.  My local dealer in Madison, WI has some nice used trailers and the new ones with the central AC.  This option seems like a big difference to me but I have no basis other than logic.  So please help answer the question...? Is the central AC under the mattress and not above worth the extra cost?? Thank you!


  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 5,875
    The increased cost you are seeing is probably due to the new model year and not due to the Air8 A/C unit under the bed since it was first introduced on the 2020 [email protected] 320’s last year. 

    There have been some reviews here on the forum about how the Air8 performs in the [email protected] 320. (I have made an assumption you are looking at the [email protected] 320 models.). 

    Verna, Columbus, IN, 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red, towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost; [email protected] Administrator
    Verna- My question is simply this. Are overhead units noisy and does the benefit of the Air8 A/C justify going with a 2020?
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 5,875
    By me saying “overhead”, my only experience has been with the home A/C units that nüCamp has used  in the past on their [email protected] 320’s that exhaust over the passenger seat next to the bathroom. 

    If you are referring to an outside overhead A/C unit, I have no experience with one of those. 

    Please perform a search of Air8 air conditioners in the [email protected] 320’s. The [email protected] 320’s seem to have mostly good reviews. (If you are not looking at a [email protected] 400, the Air8 discussions in the 400’s is a totally different subject, so be sure to read the [email protected] 320 reviews.) 
    Verna, Columbus, IN, 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red, towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost; [email protected] Administrator
  • TabberJohnTabberJohn Member Posts: 569
    I wouldn't call the under-the-mattress change "central AC". They just moved the AC from one location to another inside the cabin. The new model AC has to be installed on the floor. You gain some space inside the main cabin while losing storage under the seat.
    If it were me I would purchase a nice used 320 and save my money for accessories and mods. B)
    2015 [email protected] Max S (White/Silver) -> 2014 Ford Escape 2.0L (turbo, AWD, factory tow)
  • BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 659
    edited March 9
    @NMHMADISON, if you see a used 320 S at the dealer that you like, you might want to ask the dealer to let you turn it on and see how you feel it sounds (at different speeds) compared to the Air8.  Also, take some time to read the reviews on this forum about the Air8.  I have no experience with the Air8, but folks have had issues with it, although it seems to be with the installation on the 400.  Since the Air8 is a new addition to the 2020 320 S, only time will tell how it will perform in that model.  We have found that the wall mounted Danby has worked fine for us and we do not feel it is too loud, but others may have different viewpoints.  Again, it may be worth taking some time to search this forum using the search box at the top of the forum page (the one with the small magnifying glass) and read the comments on the performance/issues of both units.  A side question to consider is the impact on storage space dependent upon which type of A/C unit you have.
    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite; Alde Compact 3020 Boiler; 2007 Toyota Tundra TRD (5.7L V8)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)

  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 531
    From what I remember when the Air-8 was introduced, owners who tested both said there was no real difference in sound and nothing that was significant as far as performance goes. I agree with Bayliss, why not test them both yourself? You can even get an app for your phone that will record the decibels each produces.

    One MAJOR difference: the newer under dinette AC models use up the largest single storage space in a 320, the only place big enough to store things like chairs, outdoor side tables, awnings and the like. The 2019 even had an outside compartment door standard in order to access that area, and I use it all the time. Storage was already very limited on these units, not a chance I personally would have sacrificed all that space for an AC unit that is only marginally quieter at best.

    Also consider how you like to camp. AC is useless unless you have power. If you’re boondocking all the time, you may rarely use it. Mine hasn’t been turned on since I tested it the day I brought the trailer home.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (being replaced, not recommended!)
    Pacific NW
  • CherokeeCherokee Member Posts: 120
    When they moved the AC down, below seat storage accessed from the outside was lost. This is a great place to store all your setting up gear and access it without having to enter the trailer with your dirty hands. Cold air falls and the higher mounting in the older [email protected]'s took advantage of this fact.
    1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ (2" lift and 30" tires) 2019 [email protected] 320 Boondogle
  • elberethelbereth Member Posts: 79
    I’m guessing it may be too cold yet for @NMHMADISON’s dealer to be too excited about turning on an AC, but hopefully a brief sound check won’t damage anything!

    We LOVE our 2018 320, and have never actually turned on the AC despite camping up here in MN, WI, and MI, even in 90+ degree weather.  The vent fan gets a good breeze going and in all but the worst heat domes up north here, the sleeping weather is fine.  We camp almost exclusively in state and national forest campgrounds, where there are very few sites with hookups and the ones that are need to be booked way in advance, so we almost never have electricity that others have mentioned is required to run the AC.  We are weekenders, mostly, so if it’s utterly disgusting out (100+) we usually just stay home - if the plan is to spend all day indoors anyways, we might as well do that with a more comfortable sofa.  
    2018 [email protected] CS-S Towed by 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i in the wilds of Minnesota
  • MartineMartine Member Posts: 5
    Did you get your camper? I'm in Waunakee 😲and am looking at used 320 S models. If you did buy, what was your experience with the dealer in Madison? Thx!

  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 125
    Cherokee said:
    When they moved the AC down, below seat storage accessed from the outside was lost. This is a great place to store all your setting up gear and access it without having to enter the trailer with your dirty hands. Cold air falls and the higher mounting in the older [email protected]'s took advantage of this fact.
    ^^^  This.  Underseat storage, that is accessible from the outside- is where I keep my Leveling Bocks, Chocks, long stabilizer wrench, chairs, outdoor rug, Outdoor table, locks.  Sure- I guess you could put that stuff all in your TV.  Is that what owners of the new models do?  I've never used the AC ('cept in my driveway), as I pretty much only boondock.  

    Silver on Silver, 320S '19 Outback Lite
  • GatorEggGatorEgg Member Posts: 242
    We have a 2018 [email protected]  We like the ac where it is.  Since cold air falls, ac near the floor never made sense to me.  We’re Floridian and travel predominantly in the south, ac is important to us at night.  Also, I think you can find replacement units like our at the big box stores if need be.  That’s a piece of mind when any repair on “rv” specific items are always pricey.
    2018 [email protected] Boondock 320S, 2019 Toyota Tacoma Sport 4x4
    Odessa, Fl.  

  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,934
    edited May 16
    The truth is when you are dealing with a tiny trailer, and you have an AC, you will have noise. I would not take a conference call with an AC on with a trailer this small regardless of whether it was the Air8 or the window style unit that I have on my 2015 [email protected]

    There are some really nice upgrades in the 2021 and the Nautilis water system with the very simple winterization setup, the low power DC style fridge, the more spacious bathroom, plus the cleaner exterior look with fewer vents and other interruptions in the look make the 2021 model very special. There was also a change to the trim which should bode well in colder climates.

    2021 [email protected] 320 Boondock "Mattie Ross" | [email protected] Nights: 25 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk | [email protected] owner since 2014

  • DharmaScoutDharmaScout Member Posts: 12
    Just got a 2021 320S. The Air8 has three vents that nice cool air pours out of, 2 low, 1 high. Cools down inside quickly. If you're sleeping with it on, you get a nice vibration since it's under the seat/bed. It's quiet. Quieter than the Danby I had in my [email protected] But then again, I never ran it much in the [email protected] Most places I camp in summer are cool at night. I'd prefer to have a wall mounted unit like the Danby, easy controls. Not a big fan of more electronics and sensors to fail in the Air8. But, I like the cassette toilet in the 2021 model. A must have. Can empty in any pit toilet.
    2021 320S / 2018 Jeep Cherokee w/tow package / Madison, WI
  • AirBossAirBoss Member Posts: 388
    edited May 16
    Considered a "new" 2019 instead of 2020? Finding a good used rig is also a good idea as mentioned.

     I found the Air8 under the bed unit quieter, tho didn't do a Db test. Not a big fan of A/C but its a nice to have for sure. 

    For me, and FWIW, having the AC out of sight is a good thing. Didn't look at 320 too much as I wanted the larger rig. Got a "new" 2019 with slight cosmetic issue (scratches above exterior storage on psgr side), which dealer agreed to repair, and did well. Ended up getting it for about same cost as brand new 320S BD. So, there are deals out there if you're patient and do your homework. Good luck in search...assuming you haven't already purchased. 
    2020 [email protected] 400 "OTTO" (build date 08/19)
    Factory Victron Solar; Norcold 3-way fridge
    '04 Chevy Tahoe Z71 5.3L Dino-killer
    Third Rock from the Sun
    San Diego, CA

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