Tab 400 Reliability

Hi - we are looking at buying a 2018 Tab 400.  It's new old stock from a dealer.  The current asking price is $7k off MSRP.  I might be able to get a bit more - I just haven't tried haggling yet.  

I've been looking through this forum and found a thread talking about issues some owners had...leaks in the bathroom, leaks around the stargazer window, doors not closing, water pressure problems, entry door fit issues, etc.  It wasn't a long thread but it was enough to make me think twice about making an offer.  

This would be my first travel trailer so my experience with trailers in general is minimal to say the least.  I really like the Tab but these things are expensive and I don't want to put good money towards something that will cause me grief.

We saw the trailer today and spent a couple of hours looking it over.  The door under the sink and one of the overhead doors in the galley did not seem to fit right.  The trailer was sitting on a sloped part of the lot so it was leaning a bit to the right.  I'm hoping maybe that was the cause of the misalignment.  The screen in the front window seems to be broken and there was a line from the corner of the same window down to the dinette bench - almost like evidence of a window leak.  

Are these things that should be cause for concern?  The trailer will come with a full new trailer warranty but that just means the costs will be covered if something goes wrong.  It'll be a major pain in the behind if I have to constantly send it in for repairs.  

I would love to hear your thoughts on the reliability of the 2018 model.  Thanks very much.
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Comments

  • DenisPDenisP Member Posts: 368
    We purchased our 2018 Tab 400 July 2018. We have travelled over 20,000 miles and camped over 100 nights. NuCamp customer support has been absolutely amazing. We traded an R-Pod for the 400 and the NuCamp build quality is so much better. The durability of the 400 has been exceptional throughout our travels. 
    Your advantage is by being aware of potential issues is to have your dealer address them upfront. Have them check your trailer for any recall issues (flooring, shower plumbing,..). Vigilance early on will pay off in the long run. 
    NuCamp makes changes during model years and 2018 is no exception. 
    Any issues we had were minor and rectified without question, without cost and have not reoccurred. We love our 400 and can’t wait to resume our travels. 
    2018 [email protected] 400 with Solar
    2013 Tundra TRD 5.7L
    Massachusetts
  • AustinRoamersAustinRoamers Member Posts: 45
    We have a 2018 and have had zero structural issues. Just took it in for dealer tune up & only needed maintenance sealant. The original bathroom sink is total junk and totally out of character for the usual quality of NuCamp. If the one you are considering doesn't have the upgraded sink, insist they replace it as part of the purchase agreement. 

    The line that you mention from the window would definitely be concerning and should be addressed before purchasing. If they blow it off, I would consider that a red flag to the quality of dealer. Does the dealer you are working with have a good reputation? I'm sure other [email protected] will be happy to share their experience with that particular business. The quality of the dealer makes a huge difference when inevitable issues crop up.

    Also, if the trailer has been sitting on the lot in full sun for several years, check for sun damage (cracking, fading, discoloration, brittle surfaces).

    This is our 2nd [email protected] and we are huge fans of the quality construction and the fine people at NuCamp. 
    Kat & Sam      Austin, TX        2018 [email protected] 400           "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
  • jgram2jgram2 Member Posts: 1,533
    Good reminder @AustinRoamers. A 2018 could have come off the line in April/May of 2017, so could have some years of sitting around  on it.
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD in PDX
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback, ‘18 V6 4Runner 


  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 20
    Nucamp dealers are scarce here in Ontario.  The one we are dealing with is just outside Montreal.  The salesperson seems great and the dealership appears to have a good reputation.  I pointed out the line under the window and she said she would investigate it.  I have no reason to doubt that she will make sure it is addressed if we proceed.  

    @AustinRoamers - I have heard that the sink does not drain very well.  And I did not know it could be swapped out.  I'll ask for that.  I'll also ask that all the roof seals get checked.  
  • DenisPDenisP Member Posts: 368
    I swapped out the sink to the square sink and it was a pretty straightforward. Your dealer should be able to make the upgrade without problems. 
    2018 [email protected] 400 with Solar
    2013 Tundra TRD 5.7L
    Massachusetts
  • HalooHaloo Member Posts: 138
    edited May 24
    We spent a long time researching trailers on line and visiting dealers of different brands.  I even joined several forums and kept up with multiple threads over 6 or 7 months.  NuCamp, Lance, and Airstream are all well made premium campers.  Airstream is by far the most expensive.  After participating in forums for each brand it was obvious that every camper brand has some issues that crop up.

    We ended up choosing the 400 because of the design.  It is amazing how comfortable it is to hang out inside the 400. Yes, we have had a few little issues.  None has detracted from our enjoyment of our camper. We have even learned how to deal with the older style sink.  It isn’t a big deal for us.  It’s also not difficult to realign the cabinet doors.

    There is no doubt in our minds that if we were looking for a camper again we would choose the 400.
    [email protected] 400 | F150 | Washington State
  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 20
    This is all very encouraging.  It seems the general consensus is that everyone here loves their Tabs. 

    I agree you @Haloo.  I have also joined a bunch of forums for Intech, Airstream, Hymer, Casita, and so on while trying to decide which way to go.  The truth is, no matter how good your manufacturing processes are there are bound to be issues from time to time.  The key is how the manufacturer responds and Nucamp seems to respond very well.  
  • atlasbatlasb Member Posts: 516
    The thing I would want to make sure, is the Battery.  We have a 2018 (july 2017) and they have the big single 12 volt AGM battery in the 2018. ($500 to replace or more)  Ours only made a little over a year.  Nu Camp went to the dual 6 volt batteries in the newer 400's.  They are much easier to handle and the new ones have relocated them behind the A/C.
    The tongue weight is some what heavier than some of the newer 400's also.

    The 2018 also has the Alde 3010 and the newer have the 3020 most I think also have the Alde Flow additional tank for better hot water retention. 

    The other big thing on the 2018 is that it should have the Cool Cat heat pump and we love ours.  Sure glad we did not get the new Air 8 A/C.  The cabinet under the sink does have a unique latching system and does require some finesse to work but not a real problem.   The over the counter cabinet doors got different latches in the newer models also.

    We have yet to use the sink in the bathroom but do love the shower/ toilet.  Have not used the camp site showers since we got the 400.

    NU Camp does continue to make changes to up grade and we have owned 3 of their products and love them all.  Have never worked with a company so responsive to their owners as NU Camp and they go above and beyond to take care of their customers!  The 400 for us was the right choice!!
    2018 [email protected] 400, 2017 Nissan Titan Crew cab
  • NorthIsUpNorthIsUp Member Posts: 102
    Run the numbers through a spreadsheet and compare it to the cost of a new 400. That 2018 camper is at least 2 years old.  Check to see if there are one or two batteries. The two 6-volts hold power longer than the single 12-volt. That change was midway through the 2018 model year.  If you have the single 12-v battery, you are looking at a 2 1/2 year old model. As you noted, the doors needs to be aligned properly. It's an easy fix for them, but they may need to order new doors due to warping. Price should be way more than $7k below retail. There was a $1000 rebate for 2018 400's as the 2019's came out. The 3010 Alde was a problem at altitudes above 3000'. The 3020 Alde has a high-altitude setting to fix that problem. The problem involved an over rich propane setting that caused the 3010 to sound like a freight train chugging along and pour out black soot. There was a fix for the 3010 that involved changing the jets of the stock unit. The window screen is broken and needs to be replaced/fixed. The leak is the most serious of the things that you mentioned. I would walk based solely on that. In Nevada, I got 18% of list price based on the order forms that the dealer will show you for a 2021 model with no destination charges added.  YMMV. Love my 400. 
    Jean & Arnie  NorCal 
    2019 [email protected] 400 BL aka [email protected]
    03 Sequoia

  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    edited May 24
    OK, some of the assumptions on the 2018 models are a little off.  
    Out Tab 400 is a “late model” built in Jan 2018, and it has the Alde 3020, but not  the Alde Flow, which adds a pre-heating tank for continuous hot water.  So the switch to the 3020 was after Jan 2018, and showed up on the 2019 year models shown below: 

    Also, you can see the battery with dual 6-volt batteries was relocated to the center rear area under the aft bunk, before the 2020 models came out with the Air8, which happened during late 2019 builds, as AirBoss’ TaB400  2019 has the Air8 unit.

    Next, the original battery in 2018 was a single 12-volt AGM, mounted in the rear pax storage locker under the Bunk, but sometime after Jan. 2018 (exact month not known) nuCamp went with dual 6-volt AGMs mounted in the same area in the rear locker, but in a vapor box, which was vented to the side of the trailer.  During the 2019 year model run ( probably late 2019), you can see in the photo above, the battery was moved to the rear center area in a move to lighten the tongue weight, which was at 425-435 lbs dry, with the CoolCat up front.

    So nuCamp is famous for mid to late year model changes.  The Air8 replaced they CoolCat officially in the 2020 model year, and the Alde had the Flo system, as seen in this photo below.  While the Air8 has not been installed yet, the hole for the AC vent and Air8 slots on the rear bunk divider on the right.


    The storage locker is now limited to the pax side of the bunk as seen above, from mode/late 2019 models and on.  The photos also show the TaB 400 f,or is one piece from front to back, side to side.

    On a side note, our 2018 400 does not have a bathroom sink, factory made that way, on a custom factory order I am guessing.  I never could get why having two sinks in such a small trailer made sense.  In a larger trailer, yes, but in a TaB... :o

    In any case, the actual month/year the trailer is manufactured is on the large nuCamp label on the left side of the trailer tongue.  So all these clues are bit really needed.  Just have a look at her label.  If the Manufacturer’s label on the tongue is missing, I would not buy it, until it gets replaced, as the Vin number is on this label, and would make registration and movement across the US/Canadian border very difficult.  
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 20
    I have pics of the trailer and can see labels on both sides of the tongue but they are impossible to read.  I'm sure one of the labels has this information.  Unfortunately, the trailer is a 2 hour drive from here so I can't check for myself very easily.  The dealer is sending me the full spec sheet tomorrow so I'll have a better idea of what it has.  
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    edited May 25
    That will work.  Next time you get to the dealer, have them pull the rear bunk covers off, and have a look under the bed area.  Battery, Alde, etc will be revealed.  The covers lift up, as they are hinged for access on 2018/2019 models.  Look under the closet Locker floor, the bottom of the locker lifts up, this is your water tank pump, and outside shower cut off valve access.  

    The CoolCat AC is under the right side front dinette seat, have the dealer remove the seat top and show you how to clean the AC filter, it is hiding in there.  Newer models have a little hinged door directly over the filter area to make access easier.

    Good luck, and do let us know the month/year of the TaB, we are a curious lot here...
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • ontheroadontheroad Member Posts: 309
    @TabRookie...we live in Ontario CA and we deal with John at Platinum RV in Erin Ontario...near Georgetown (Toronto). We purchased our Tag from him in 2017 and will be ordering  a [email protected] CS-S from him before November...obviously no rush...we were hoping to see one in person as he has no stock yet..our trip to uCamp20 was cancelled and since our borders are still closed...patiently waiting...if you do follow up with him..tell him Liz sent you🙂
    Former 2017 [email protected] Max XL
    2021 [email protected] Boondock CS-S
    2018 Nissan Pathfinder
  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 20
    So I heard back from the dealer.  They brought a moisture meter into the trailer and checked the readings in a dozen or more places throughout the unit.  My suspicion about a leak in the front window is confirmed.  The meter reads about 50% humidity in the area around where the line was running down from the window and over towards the drivers side.  The rest of the trailer was fine.  She seems to think the problem is the "putty" around that area of the window.  The repair will be included in the sale at no additional charge and it will be better than new.  

    Sounds fine but the hair on my neck stands up when I think of spending this much on something that immediately needs a leak fixed.  Anybody else experience a leak in this area?  
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    Window leaks can occur anywhere, anytime.  This is true for boats, aircraft, and houses.  Sounds like the dealer is going to correct the leak and fix the streak.  They will probably bring in a dehumidifier to dry out the area of the leak.

    the TaB is not made plywood, but is a sandwich material of Azdel and a fiberglass outside skin bonded together.  So water can not get into the panel material.  The roof, front and back are a single sheet of aluminum over an aluminum frame work.  So again, nothing for water to permanently damage.

    The big issue with some 2018 Tabs units built from November 1st, 2017 to January 31st  2018, used a non Azdel subflooring, and the substitute subfloor developed separation issues.  This is why I asked what month the 2018 TaB 400 you are looking at was built.  Ours was built in Jan 2018, and developed the floor issue.  NuCamp is replacing the entire floor, even two years on, since this was a factory recall.  If the Tab you are considering is not from this three month period, then no worries.  For more info on the recall see: https://tab-rv.vanillacommunity.com/discussion/8937/underlayment-in-t-b-320-t-b-400#latest
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 20
    Thanks @Denny16.  I'm going to see the trailer again tomorrow as well as another from a different manufacturer.  I'll have a look at the manufacture date, what equipment is under the bed, etc.  
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    edited May 26
    Grand, have a good trip and report back what you find.  I feel like I am joining you on this adventure.  =)
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • atlasbatlasb Member Posts: 516
    While looking at the vin plate, check the specified weight.  The 3500# is the early 400.  We have a 2018 mfg in July 2017 and had the 3500# axle.  I swaped it out in our shop for the newer Axle that NU Camp used about a year later than our unit.  The newer axle is 3900# for the regular 400 and 4000# for the BDL version.  While the 3500# axle  was adequate, We scaled our 400 on a trip and came in at 3240#  road ready.  The new axle gives us a little more cushion.  Our Tongue weight runs fro 460# to about 525# depending if we have the bikes or not.
    2018 [email protected] 400, 2017 Nissan Titan Crew cab
  • treefrogtreefrog Member Posts: 98
    @TabRookie You might want to look at a 2021 model. There are so many changes and improvements 
  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 20
    Ok...we are back from the dealer.  Thanks for the tips from @Denny16 and @atlasb.  Pics below for reference.

    The manufacture date is March 2018 so, presumably it has the Alde 3020.  It also has a 3500 lb GVWR.  

    I opened the center compartment under the bed and it has a sealed battery compartment in the front left corner.  The box is vented to the passenger side so it seems like this has the dual 6V batteries. 

    I forgot to open the rear driver's side compartment so I can't tell you exactly what was in it.  

    Just inside the door there is a controller on the left for the Alde system, one for a Dometic system (air conditioning?) and a panel for the tank levels, lights and pumps.  

    There are two solar panels on the roof with an MPPT controller in the closet.

    As for the front window, the dealer has said that they will likely replace the entire thing.  It has the leak, the shade is broken and there is an interior seal that has come away from the frame.  

    Surprisingly, they also offered to replace the flooring because the existing one has stains in a couple places.  Probably from two years of customer boots walking through it.  

    We will also want the toilet replaced with something a few inches higher.  My wife has mobility issues and this will help her a lot.  I don't expect replacing the toilet is too difficult.  

    I wanted to pass this info along to my new Tab friends in case there is something I am missing.  As my username suggests, I am very new to this stuff.  I get a vibe from the dealer that there is room for a better price.  Given the issues above and their desire to get it off the lot I think there might be an opportunity for a great price.  

    I would love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks.




  • DenisPDenisP Member Posts: 368
    Our 400 was manufactured March 2018 it has the 2 six volt batteries, Alde 3020, Coolcat and factory solar. We feel very fortunate that it is appointed as such.  We had our Tundra before getting our Tab so the tongue weight has never been an issue. The 400 tows like a dream. 20,000 miles and counting. 
    2018 [email protected] 400 with Solar
    2013 Tundra TRD 5.7L
    Massachusetts
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    Yes, Mar 2018, the last month the 2018 model year was built.  Yes you have the two 6-VDC AGM battery configuration, which is good.  Have the dealer check the batteries, and have them charged and checked to see they keep the charge OK.  This unit has the Alde 30120, which was installed from Jan 2018 on.
    Under the driver’s side of the bunk is where the Alde is.  

    Sounds like the dealer is going to take care of you, replacing the entire front window, and the floor redone, nice.  Hope you get it for a good price, at least 25% off current list for a 2021.

    NuCamp just replaced my front opening window part, but the replacement has been lost in shipping, still trying to get this sorted.  

    You should enjoy the TaB400, we do ours.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • ealdersonealderson Member Posts: 5
    @Danny16, how did the new floor warranty work go. We have a Jan 2018 400 that needs the floor done. Not sure about having local dealer do the work. Thinking about doing an east coast trip and having Nucamp do it, because it is such a big job. Was there an issue with 2018 shower? Thanks
  • DenisPDenisP Member Posts: 368
    edited May 29
    Some 2018 400's had an issue with the water supply hoses leaking (behind panel).  NuCamp sent me replacement hoses which were an easy swap and cured the problem.  There were earlier posts about the issue. 
    2018 [email protected] 400 with Solar
    2013 Tundra TRD 5.7L
    Massachusetts
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    Yes, it depends on the dealer and the experience of the repair technicians.  Out local dealer has a factory trained technician, that visits nuCamp factory annually, and has helped them sort some issues.  So we lucked out having a specialist dealership like this close to use in Northern California, Ohio is a long way off from here.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • bellimagesbellimages Member Posts: 27
    We have a 2018 and have had zero structural issues. Just took it in for dealer tune up & only needed maintenance sealant. The original bathroom sink is total junk and totally out of character for the usual quality of NuCamp. If the one you are considering doesn't have the upgraded sink, insist they replace it as part of the purchase agreement. 

    The line that you mention from the window would definitely be concerning and should be addressed before purchasing. If they blow it off, I would consider that a red flag to the quality of dealer. Does the dealer you are working with have a good reputation? I'm sure other [email protected] will be happy to share their experience with that particular business. The quality of the dealer makes a huge difference when inevitable issues crop up.

    Also, if the trailer has been sitting on the lot in full sun for several years, check for sun damage (cracking, fading, discoloration, brittle surfaces).

    This is our 2nd [email protected] and we are huge fans of the quality construction and the fine people at NuCamp. 
    And why do you say the original bathroom sink is junk? I LOVE ours. Being a designer, I look at design and function. The sink excels on both counts. Sure the drain is a tad slow, not because it's clogged, it's just that the opening is small. Being that I boon dock a lot, I use water sparingly. So that's never been an issue. 
    2018 Tab 400
    Nissan Frontier PRO-4X (4.6 liter automatic)
    Roof mounted solar panels
  • qhumberdqhumberd Member Posts: 57
    @TabRookie We just purchased a 2019 that was about 1 year old from a private party(we are rookies too) and that trailer had been well taken care of for the one winter it was stored. Despite the dealer's promises, I would be wary of a trailer (even a NuCamp) that has so many identified problems and has been sitting outside so long. The fact that the floor is going to be replaced and a lot of systems taken out and reinstalled leads to more issues if things are not put back together well. You may seem to be getting a good deal but if problems continue you may not feel so fortunate. I personally do not want to spend my spare time looking for and fixing things, I just want it to work! Good luck whatever your decision.

    2019  [email protected] Boondock Lite

    2016 Toyota Tundra 5.7 Crew Cab
  • ealdersonealderson Member Posts: 5
    Thanks @Denny16 and @DenisP for your response. @Denny16 who is the dealer you used. Thanks
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 1,533
    edited May 30
    Vogel RV in Ukahia, California.  A very rural, Ag based area, that at one time was the center of the Redwood industry here.

    Qhumberd getting a problem free RV is always the best choice, but even a new unit can have issues.  Sometimes, what looks like a sweet deal comes along, and you go for it.  We got our TaB well below market vale, used some of the savings for the upgrades, like the new feint 2021 Tub.  Dealing with the floor is a major issue, I would have preferred to avoid, if known at the time.

    As for the floor replacement, depends on who does it.  We knew about, and had been looking at a 2019 on Vogel’s lot, and we knew what it could do in the repair department.  If the floor replacement is done right, (nuCamp is very picky about who does this), you can wind up with a trailer in better kit than a new factory build.  Any factory issues not “discovered” are corrected, and you have an almost one off custom build when done.  Replacement of the floor is not for the average RV shop or home DIY person.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 20
    So we will not be getting that 2018 400.  The dealer decided that they didn't want us to have it and have offered us another new 2018 that suddenly became available because its purchaser failed to get financing.  They plan to repair the first one and put it into their rental fleet.  I'll call it a blessing in disguise.  Like @qhumberd suggests, it was probably more trouble than we would want or expect.  

    As for the second trailer, I don't think we will get that one either.  The dealer is not willing to come down on the price at all and I don't want to pay for two years depreciation.  

    We have now focused our attention on a 2020 from another dealer.  This one has the convenience package, solar panels and a couple other things.  The best part is it's only a couple thousand more.  Seems like a no brainer.  Stay tuned.  
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