Best 320?

We are looking to purchase our first camper. We have a 2022 Highlander Hybrid (v4). We are on the West Coast, in Northern CA. Will this Toyota be ok to pull a 320CS-S B? I would also like to hear the pros and cons about keeping the cooking outside.  And why are members recommending pre-Covid models rather than the newest ones?

Comments

  • SlackersSlackers Member Posts: 281
    edited January 21
    Which model to buy depends upon how you camp.  We have a clamshell (w/ outdoor galley) and love it.  Taller people may want the longer bed length offered by the S.  If you travel more rugged terrain (but not extreme) a Boondock will offer more ground clearance.  Can't comment on the newer (post-Covid) models.
    2019 Tab 320 CSS, 2019 Ranger TV, OH
  • jbajorjbajor Member Posts: 81
    I had the same question and then found the best of all worlds!    
    https://www.ultimatetoys.com/towables/ultimate-camper/
    I am in SF Bay Area and would be happy to show it to you.

    Ultimate Toys Teardrop Camper
    Volvo XC-40
    SF Bay Area, California
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 3,149
    edited January 21
    We have a 2013, and it's definitely the best one...

    When we first considered the Tab, our first camper ever, I thought the kitchen outdoors would be the way to go. My DW said no, that was wrong. So of course we went with the Maxx with the indoor kitchen and toilet. And she was right.

    The indoor kitchen makes it a lot easier to be inconspicuous stopping, on the side of the road, or at a rest area, when making breakfast, or just stopping for coffee. This is how we travel, sometimes avoiding campgrounds. If stopping at a Walmart to spend the night, you're self-contained and need not 'look like you're camping' - ie: the 'proper' way to take advantage of Walmart parking lots. 

    And of course, if the weather's miserable, it's easy to get dinner going inside. (Otherwise we don't use the inside kitchen, we use the campfire.) One time, we had to wait out a wicked downpour for an hour, too dangerous to stay on the highway, so we got into the Tab and made supper!

    As to the four cylinder Toyota (I didn't know they made a V4), we pulled ours with the 4-cylinder Tacoma for 8½ years, and it was fine, slow going up some mountain passes, but not terrible, if we were patient! Note that our 4-cylinder was a standard transmission, so we could regulate the strain on the engine and transmission.

    We upgraded to a V6 Tacoma last fall, and we're loving it. Makes a difference towing, not a big difference, but it seems to be less strain on the truck.

    Realize too that the base weight of a Tab may be 1600lb, but that doesn't include the battery, the propane, spare tire, the water, etc. I would say ours, when loaded, is close to 2400 lb, and we're very conscientious about loading 'light'.

    HTH! Good luck!
    Chan  -  near Buffalo NY
    2014 S Maxx
    2011 Tacoma 4cyl ... edit: 2022 Tacoma 6cyl - oh yeah! 

     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya - Pull Dreem
  • Yoshi_TABYoshi_TAB Member Posts: 155
    edited January 21
    Hi, 

    We picked the indoor kitchen for most of the same reasons as @ChanW.  Like many who have the indoor kitchen, we cook outside all the time unless the weather is really bad.  To us, those few times to have the ability to cook inside out of the weather is the beauty of having the indoor kitchen.  The other main reason we selected the S model is because it has a slightly larger bed.  May or may not be a difference for you.  If you go to the various Facebook TAB forums who will find hundreds of posts with the same question.  I don't mind the indoor/outdoor debate, but the one comment that always bugs me is when people say the inside will smell.  Of course, if you cook fish all the time or whatever, it's possible. Just like a house, if you crack open a  window...it's not a problem.   If indoor smells where really an issue, every RV (with indoor kitchens) would have that issue.  Just how I see it.  In regards to quality, that is a difficult question w/o getting actual data from NuCamp or dealers.  Many people come to this and other forums because of problems, often operator error or unfamililarity so it'sreally hard to gauge.  Maybe call a few dealers who do repairs..maybe they will provide some insight on what they see.  My "gut" is there is no year that has more issues than others.  But I have no data to support that.  We have a 2021 and have about 11000 miles with no issues.  Best wishes...
    2021 TAB 320 BD
    2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Southern Maryland
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 3,149
    (BTW, my comment about the 2013 being the 'best' was definitely tongue-in-cheek!)
    Chan  -  near Buffalo NY
    2014 S Maxx
    2011 Tacoma 4cyl ... edit: 2022 Tacoma 6cyl - oh yeah! 

     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya - Pull Dreem
  • kottumkottum Member Posts: 154
    Everyone definitely has the best 320, until they get something different.  Then that is the best one.

    Get the one you really like, not what somebody else likes, and it will definitely be the best one.
    Douglas and Cheryl both Navy Retired
    2022 Tab 320s Boondock/2021 Honda Ridgeline BE
    Minnesota and Arizona
  • RogerCRogerC Member Posts: 23
    edited January 21
    I can add my experience to the quality concern and I'm fairly certain in my case it's not 'operator error' nor 'unfamiliarity' as suggested above.   

    We've taken our 2021 320 Boondock on two road trips.  Our first trip the rubber insert that fills the center section of one of the black handles used to manually push the camper fell off somewhere along the way.      

    The second trip was a 5 day journey up the California coast.  After the first 3 days, we started parking the camper in a hotel parking lot and booked rooms for the next 2 nights in order to get a good nights sleep.  The seat cushions are so uncomfortable sleeping in the Tab was miserable.  When we sat at the table for meals, after about 10 minutes everyone was looking for bed pillows to sit on.  

    No warranty in this case because we bought the camper from a private owner.  I'm afraid I'm starting to understand why he sold it after 6 months.  Sadly, nuCamp support has had no interest in helping.  
    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock / 2022 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Sport / Idyllwild CA
  • AnOldURAnOldUR Member Posts: 912
    edited January 21
    I have a (bad?) habit of reading negative reviews before making any purchase. The thing with doing that is to realize that there will always be people who will never be compatible with the product. That doesn't mean that their concerns are not legitimate. What they do is to give you subjects to research further.

    We got to where we are by luck @Darrylagreen , but by researching here, you are way ahead of us. Our experience with our 2020 320S is similar to @ChanW and @Yoshi_TAB. We make an effort to keep our [email protected] as clutter free and simple as possible. Everything from a quick stop for lunch while on the road to a one night stay at a Harvest Host can be done without setup or tear down being necessary. There are things that you will not be aware of without relying on the experience of others. This forum is a great place to find what should work for you without having to experiment as much.

    ... why are members recommending pre-Covid models rather than the newest ones?
    The one thing that would stop us from buying one of the newer [email protected]'s is the cassette toilet. We spent over 20K miles on the road last year and never had to move to dump our black tank (and we use it for all the numbers). You will get different opinions, but if you're like me, dumping over 40 pounds of raw sewage into an open toilet or hole in the ground is something I would never do or expose others to. That leave you with dumping at a dump station.

    With a cassette you have a 5 gallon tank instead of 8. Both need a half gallon or more liquid and treatment chemical before starting. So with the cassette you need to dump a lot sooner and more often. Dumping a cassette at a dump station is equally as safe and clean as a black tank if you're using the Americanizer. You just have the additional step of removing the cassette. Without the Americanizer, your risk a mishap increases. With conservative use, we can go a week or more without dumping our 8 gallon black tank. Is it fun? No! But it is clean and easy.

    I would also like to hear the pros and cons about keeping the cooking outside.
    If you have the outdoor kitchen you won't have the ease of indoor facilities for a quick lunch break or inclement weather. With an indoor or outdoor kitchen you still have the option to setup at your campsite picnic table and not be limited to inside your trailer or the space at the back of your [email protected]'s clamshell. We do the majority of our cooking outside, but wouldn't give up the indoor option.




    Stockton, New Jersey
    2020 nuCamp [email protected] 320S * Jeep Wrangler

  • DanaDana Member Posts: 24
    I bought a 320 css after camping with a friend who has a 320 inside kitchen.  Too squishy for both of us to cook inside.  I much prefer my outside kitchen with more room to move.  Plus.....its camping!!  But to each his/her own!
  • kottumkottum Member Posts: 154
    On the post covid Tab 320, we have one built Feb 2022.  Overall quality excellent, I added sealant all around the bath to ensure water tightness.  

    After years of dealing with and carrying a stinky slinky to empty black tanks, the cassette toilet operation is simple and absolutely clean, no additional gadgets needed.  Love it.  

    The cushions, like all bed mattresses, will work for some and be hated by others.  They all find a solution to suit themselves.

    Indoor kitchen or out?  We use our Tab primarily for travel, rather than vacations staying in one spot for a couple of weeks.  Our mostly simple meals are usually prepared indoors.  Or a combination, steak on the grill and veggies inside.

    If set up somewhere for longer periods, cooking larger meals outdoors is good, either with some sort of portable kitchen device(s) or campfire. 

    Both Tabs with indoor or outdoor kitchens remain popular after many years of production.  So both are good.  And if not good enough there is even a Tab now with indoor and outdoor kitchens right from the factory.  Who says you can't have it all?


    Douglas and Cheryl both Navy Retired
    2022 Tab 320s Boondock/2021 Honda Ridgeline BE
    Minnesota and Arizona
  • gulfareagulfarea Member Posts: 453
    @AnOldUR I am with you on the cassette toilet! At my age carring a heavey sloshing cassette box around with urin and poop is way harder than hooking up a stinky slinky! To each his own! Art
    2019 TaB 320 S Boondock Edge
  • kottumkottum Member Posts: 154
    The cassette box has wheels and pull-out handle, like luggage.  I'm 77 years and there's nothing to carry around, nothing to hook up.  

    I rinse mine out if there is water available, if not the the outdoor shower is right next to it.  Or just empty and slide back in.
    Douglas and Cheryl both Navy Retired
    2022 Tab 320s Boondock/2021 Honda Ridgeline BE
    Minnesota and Arizona
  • jbajorjbajor Member Posts: 81
    kottum said:
    The cassette box has wheels and pull-out handle, like luggage.  I'm 77 years and there's nothing to carry around, nothing to hook up.  

    I rinse mine out if there is water available, if not the the outdoor shower is right next to it.  Or just empty and slide back in.
    +1 on Cassette!  It truly simplifies the entire process!!!  Just don't overfill it.  Add some treatment after emptying and it is all easy peasy.  It pulls like a suitcase.
    Ultimate Toys Teardrop Camper
    Volvo XC-40
    SF Bay Area, California
  • Pretzel14Pretzel14 Member Posts: 10
    I am a solo 72 year old camper with a 2022 320s Boondock and a 2021 Highlander Hybrid (4).  The four considerations that cinched my decision to buy NuCamp, after months of reviewing other trailers and RV's,  were quality build, ability to tow with my existing Highlander, cassette toilet and inside kitchen.  I made the right choice.

    After 16 months, I've been blessed to have made trips as far as the Badlands and Black Hills, Smokies, Savannah GA, Florida and others.  Temps ranging from 100 F(Badlands) to 16 F(last week Lake Erie).  Hot days I cook outside on my single burner Coleman or camp fire. Cold days I use the inside kitchen range or microwave if on shore power.  When campground facilities aren't close or available, the cassette toilet and gray water tank makes it sooooo easy to empty, either partially or full.  The Highlander Hybrid does just fine towing, I've become friends with the slow lane.  Though winterized, I still camp but bring along jugs of water.

    I've read and reread this Forum, and have made some improvements and changes to the trailer.  I upgraded to firmer seat cushions, and changed out the kitchen and bath faucets.  I added a table mount to the entry way, and easily move the table from its original mount depending on what I'm doing for the day.  I take along a portable dvd player that I either use HDMI cable  to hook into the system or play on batteries.  I sleep N-S driver's side, and use a Thermarest cushion for added comfort. 

    I haven't had any warranty related problems.  Between the TV and the Boondock, I've never come close to storage or space problems, but I am solo with no pets (yet).  The solar is an added bonus, greatly appreciated.  Sometimes I throw my canoe on top of the Highlander.

    Before I purchased, I realized I wanted a RV that I can use for weekends AND detach and then use the TV to explore.  I wanted to also fill a rather large travel bucket list.  Years ago I inherited a 70's Apache fold out hardside that we used with the kids, so I had some previous experience to help in my choice.  Then I targeted my priorities, and  the 320s came out on top.  I'd do it again. No hesitation.


    2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid -  2022 320s [email protected] Boondock "[email protected]"
    Keep your nose in the wind and your eye along the skyline.
  • pakpak Member Posts: 95
    We have a cs-s 2017 year. We aren't over 5'9" so the interior height and bed size aren't an issue. We like cooking outside however we have had to improvise to get the cook top to be more efficent when the wind is blowing. We have yet to buy side curtains for the clam and I think it is a good idea especially camping in the rain. Bugs can be an issue after dark and in damp conditions. We live in Eastern Wa but are from Alaska and our trip back to Ak was rainy and buggy both through BC, Yukon and Alaska. Pretty much expected. We don't boondock much so the clearence is not an issue. Our [email protected] has a black tank but I certainly can appreciate the advantages of a cassett system. My tv is a Ford f-150.
  • Maple_GeekMaple_Geek Member Posts: 149
    We have a 2022 320S and love it. I don't know if it's been mentioned but the 320S has a significantly bigger bed area than the CS. We rarely use the indoor kitchen but it's nice to have in a pinch when the weather is nasty.
    I'm 6'0" tall and the bed was a deal breaker for me. The CS is nice but not for us.

    On the cassette toilet front, I'm so glad I don't have to deal with lineups at campgrouds when leaving. Being able to dump in any toilet doesn't bother me at all and is so convenient.

    That said, buy what's right for YOU, not what's right for most people.
    2022 [email protected] 320S Boondock
    2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Instagram: [email protected]
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