Tab 400 vs alternatives

My wife and I are looking to purchase a travel trailer prior to next summer.  My tow vehicle is a Subaru Ascent (5000lb tow/ 500 lb tongue limit), which narrows the choices of potential choices.   We went to the RV show in Hershey, PA a few weeks ago and we were quite impressed with the Nucamp Tab 400.  The quality of construction appeared to be the best of any manufacturer.    About the only travel trailer that seemed comparable was the Intech Sol Dawn.  Are there any TAB 400 owners that have gone through this comparison?  I'd like to hear the relative merits of the TAB 400 vs alternatives.   

We are in our 60's, my wife is retired and I'll be retiring in four years.   We don't need a large camper for the two of us, and we envision mostly 2-3 day excursions to the various campgrounds in Pennsylvania.  One of the features that really sold us on the Tab 400 was the hidden bunks since we have young grandchildren (2yrs and 4 yrs old) and it seems plausible that we could take them on short camping trips with us.

Any thoughts from current TAB 400 owners would be appreciated.  I did come across another interesting Travel Trailer, the Safari Condo Alto, but they are only sold in Canada (not a problem) and currently have a two year waiting list for purchase (a bit of a problem).

Comments

  • MickerlyMickerly Member Posts: 334
    We have a 320CS used primarily for weekends camping. It is perfect for us now. In approximately 3 years my wife and I will be retiring. We are looking a trailer to travel with. The 400 front runner at the moment; mostly due to familiarity and build quality. There are other trailers we are looking at. Oliver makes very nice four season trailer that pulls really well. I like our Alde heat, going back to a propane furnace would take a little getting used to. Other 'also rans' include the the 18ft Airstream Caravel/Bambi and at the end of our list is the Casita.

    When trailers have an undercut front, they become a bear to tow; a lot of drag and some bouncy unstableness. Even the lower bit of the NuCamp trailers cause this. The Intech trailers look really nice, but you may want to test pull one. Possibly, test pull a few different shaped trailers so you can feel the difference.
    2018 320CS-S
    "Just Enough"
  • kottumkottum Member Posts: 226
    edited September 2023
    We traded our too-tiny Nucamp 320s for a Intech Sol Eclipse.  We looked hard at the Nucamp 400 but the teardrop shape took too much interior space away for no good reason.  Although our Alde system worked well, it's not that way for everyone, I prefer the simple, dependable, inexpensive to maintain propane furnace.  Our Sol Eclipse tows easily and is completely stable.  The rounded front end with its forward profile sheds the wind nicely allowing us perhaps 1 mpg less fuel than the tiny 320s.  That surprised us.

    Our Sol Eclipse is remarkably spacious for a 17 foot camper, has a full awning, large shower, rear hitch for a bike rack (175 lbs), real screen door, glass windows, an aluminum frame and body cage, and high-quality materials and assembly.  There are a shorter and larger campers in the Sol lineup.  Having owned Airstream (2), Nucamp, and Intech, this is the overall nicest camper of the three by far.  I think you would be very happy with the Sol Dawn.





    Douglas and Cheryl both Navy Retired
    2022 Tab 320s Boondock/2021 Honda Ridgeline BE
    Minnesota and Arizona
  • manyman297manyman297 Member Posts: 1,185
    As much as I love our 400, I put the Safari condo F1743 at the top of the list due to weight, build quality and resale. But waiting two years wasn’t in the cards so we went with the 400. If we decide to ever upgrade we’d probably look at safari condo. They seem to be near the top in terms of build quality.
    2021 400 BD
    2020 Tacoma TRD Off-Road 
  • AnOldURAnOldUR Member Posts: 1,263
    @kottum your opinion of the 400 is similar to mine. For now we have no plans to move from our 320S, but do hit the RV shows to keep up on what's available. Age and mobility will determine if the time is right. When that happens, I hope to be able to reach out and learn from your experience if you're still around.
    Stockton, New Jersey
    2020 nuCamp T@B 320S * Jeep Wrangler

  • AUTiger83AUTiger83 Member Posts: 12
    edited September 2023
    Add Airstream Nest to your list to Google.  It was Airstream's foray into FIBERGLASS trailers.  They only made it for 2019 and 2020 before discontinuing it.   Very modern aesthetic, bright white interior (unlike the cave-like Base Camps), and straightforward floorplan.   And, again, fiberglass, so it holds its value better than most trailers. . 
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 1,576
    @RobInPA ; Gush I heard you . . .  Now Some Ramblings  . . .

    While I'm still using and enjoying a yr-18 320S . . . it is hard not to dream/consider newer trailers.  The 400 and Intech Sol Dawn continually switch places as my Number Two choice.  An updated yr-18 systems (window a/c, seelevel tank monitor, black tank would be my number one [if available].

    Sol Dawn systems and construction are very good - - - not as good as nüCamp yet far better than other non-Oliver / Airstream brands.  I almost purchased one last January, then decided to add a boat to my toy collection.

    Big pluses for Sol Dawn are:
       ==   easy to convert sleeping area (possible to arrange as permanent for a solo traveler.)
       ==   indeed a roomy layout
       ==   nice wet bath
       ==   fully welded construction

    Concerns:
       ==   No Alde!  I love the Alde heat system, as I do more shoulder season camping than summer.
       ==   Questionable pumping quality . . . tubing seems to be under sized.
       ==   Combination gray-black tank
       ==   Extra complicated Break-Away-Control system with a battery to monitor/replace.
       ==   Really poor aerodynamics . . . the sloping windshield should have been in the back
                (which would provide better aerodynamics and allow campsite viewing of the camp site
                  not the tow vehicle)
       ==  Hard to access systems; power center, under wet bath pumbing.
       ==  Wider (slightly) frontal profile

    As for 400.
        Expect the bed layout is the most concerning for couples.
        I also don't like the TeleV set-up.  I don't watch TV in bed and the viewing from the dinette
           is a real concern for me.

    For Fun a couple of comparison graphics.
    InTech Sol Dawn in blueish color.


    Estimated Air Flow.
      youtube video link . . .

                Air Flow
    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  51   Nights:  322  Towing Miles 41,200+
  • BinghiBinghi Member Posts: 255
    The 400 is a solid choice, but I think your Ascent may work too hard pulling it. The trailer is tall and catches a lot of air. Don’t know, but the same problem may apply to the Sol. We pulled our 400 with a VW Touareg for two years, then finally gave in and purchased a Ford F150 as a tow vehicle.
    2021 400 BD / 2016 VW Touareg / Austin, TX
  • AUTiger83AUTiger83 Member Posts: 12
    edited September 2023
    @RobInPA ; Gush I heard you . . .  Now Some Ramblings  . . .

    While I'm still using and enjoying a yr-18 320S . . . it is hard not to dream/consider newer trailers.  The 400 and Intech Sol Dawn continually switch places as my Number Two choice.  An updated yr-18 systems (window a/c, seelevel tank monitor, black tank would be my number one [if available].

    Sol Dawn systems and construction are very good - - - not as good as nüCamp yet far better than other non-Oliver / Airstream brands.  I almost purchased one last January, then decided to add a boat to my toy collection.

    Big pluses for Sol Dawn are:
       ==   easy to convert sleeping area (possible to arrange as permanent for a solo traveler.)
       ==   indeed a roomy layout
       ==   nice wet bath
       ==   fully welded construction

    Concerns:
       ==   No Alde!  I love the Alde heat system, as I do more shoulder season camping than summer.
       ==   Questionable pumping quality . . . tubing seems to be under sized.
       ==   Combination gray-black   been in the back
                (which would provide better aerodynamics and allow campsite viewing of the camp site
                  not the tow vehicle)
       ==  Hard to access systems; power center, under wet bath pumbing.
       ==  Wider (slightly) frontal profile

    As for 400.
        Expect the bed layout is the most concerning for couples.
        I also don't like the TeleV set-up.  I don't watch TV in bed and the viewing from the dinette
           is a real concern for me.

    For Fun a couple of comparison graphics.
    InTech Sol Dawn in blueish color.


    Estimated Air Flow.
      youtube video link . . .

                Air Flow
    I definitely agree the big window should be on the back.  I don't want a view of the tow vehicle and pedestrians on the camp street.

    Your overlay of the Dawn and the Tab 400 is incredibly informative. Surprising that the 400 has almost as much headroom, but adds additional floor space in the rear.   I guess that's how the 400 manages a dedicated bed and way more kitchen counter space.  Both are appealing choices.

    What software did you use for the overlay?  Any chance you could do a Dawn/320CS-S comparison? 
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 1,576
    AUTiger83 said:
    What software did you use for the overlay?
    Any chance you could do a Dawn/320CS-S comparison? 
    Software is OnScape CAD, web-only free version.  It is a 3D modeling CAD package.

    I only have one 320S vs Sol Dawn comparison diagram:

    {{ Note:  RoveLite has nice floorplan . . . really poor construction }}
    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  51   Nights:  322  Towing Miles 41,200+
  • AUTiger83AUTiger83 Member Posts: 12
    Thank you.  Really shows the volume difference! 
  • BaileyBailey Member Posts: 29
    This year, I also considered purchasing Horizon Sol vs Tab 400 BD. The comparison provided by MuttonChops is so awesome. Thank you for sharing that.
    I was so close to a Horizon purchase, I visited the dealer for a long tour, went back to Nucamp dealer to sit in and check out the 400, joined the Horizon Sol FB, posted FB questions for owners concerning the furnace heater, insulation, towing, etc.
    I decided on Nucamp.
    Like their overall quality of the Tab, quiet Alde heater, insulation and coziness of the Tab during cold rainy Oregon coast boondock camping, and central Oregon fall evenings, comfort in towing (Sol seems so large to tow).
    I chose to stay w Nucamp.
    By the way, Horizon FB owners response, and a local owner, tell me the heater is noisy, so much so that some owners will only stay in CGs with shore power so they can use a little portable heater, and keep the Horizon Sol heater off the entire trip. There is a very good you tube review, by Couch Potatoes, check it out.
    I still like Horizon Sol's dinette, gotta admit.
    2021 320s Boondock, Oregon
  • RobInPARobInPA Member Posts: 6
    Bailey said:
    This year, I also considered purchasing Horizon Sol vs Tab 400 BD. The comparison provided by MuttonChops is so awesome. Thank you for sharing that.
    I was so close to a Horizon purchase, I visited the dealer for a long tour, went back to Nucamp dealer to sit in and check out the 400, joined the Horizon Sol FB, posted FB questions for owners concerning the furnace heater, insulation, towing, etc.
    I decided on Nucamp.
    Like their overall quality of the Tab, quiet Alde heater, insulation and coziness of the Tab during cold rainy Oregon coast boondock camping, and central Oregon fall evenings, comfort in towing (Sol seems so large to tow).
    I chose to stay w Nucamp.
    By the way, Horizon FB owners response, and a local owner, tell me the heater is noisy, so much so that some owners will only stay in CGs with shore power so they can use a little portable heater, and keep the Horizon Sol heater off the entire trip. There is a very good you tube review, by Couch Potatoes, check it out.
    I still like Horizon Sol's dinette, gotta admit.
    I appreciate everyone's helpful insights.  I too, love that front wraparound dinette.  We decided on a Tab 400 after much consideration; I think the overwhelming theme was the Nucamp quality of construction.  We noticed that when we toured both models at the Hershey Show.  Now, just waiting on production and delivery!
  • Cheryl13Cheryl13 Member Posts: 30
    In response to the concern about the Ascent, we have found Our Ascent to be more than up to the task.  We have done 2 long round trips from Ohio to California and had no towing problems at all.  May depend on what towing package you have, but no problems here with our 2020 Ascent as far as towing.
    2021 T@B 400
    2019 Subaru Ascent
  • RCBRCB Member Posts: 186
    I too tow a 400 with an Ascent. No issues what so ever. I’ve been across the top of Lake Superior three times. Speeds generally 60 - 65 mph.

    400 - 2019
    St Catharines, ON
  • ColleenD2ColleenD2 Member Posts: 411
    Our dealer said Intech was having a lot of problems, the biggest being the axels falling off. Whoopsie Daisy. Might want to skip buying a used one if you decide to go that way. 
    2019 Custom T@B 320 U Boondock Lite-ish
    We slept in 34 states, 2 countries & counting.


  • andytabrvandytabrv Member Posts: 1
    In my trailer considerations I was leaning hard toward a Safari Condo F1743, but when I visited a dealer close to me and walked inside a Tab 400, I reconsidered.  The plusses for the F1743 is that it is more than 1000 lbs lighter, has a full Queen, and with the special countertop fold-out bed can sleep 2 adults and 2 teenagers.  But, the two year wait, the logistics and cost of getting it to the US, and the challenge of getting it serviced if there were ever any issues were problematic.  There is now an official dealership in the US in Colorado so the logistics of getting them are easier, but service would still be a challenge.

    I live in central North Carolina and like to summer camp nearby as well as go to the mountains.  The Tab 400 is better insulated.  One of the critiques of the F1743 is it doesn't keep the summer heat out very well (the ceiling can get very, very hot).  For those milder Canadian summers it probably isn't as much an issue.  But this lesser insulation also applies in reverse to cold camping.  The Tab 400 doesn't seem to have this issue.  I splurged and got the Boondock Black Canyon edition with the battery package as I wanted the tank heaters to facilitate shoulder season camping a little better.  Furthermore, the font platform and storage is so useful.  I'd worried that not having the larger undercarriage storage that the F1743 has would be a problem.  But, honestly, its

    I still think the F1743 is a fantastic trailer, but I decided a camper that I can use for a broader range of seasons was better for me.  I purchased it late last year (haven't even dewinterized it, yet) and have camped in very cold weather (20s).  It is a dream.  I debated about the fold out bunk, but my two teenagers are just too big. So, when I can drag them along, One will sleep in the twin at he fold down dinette and someone will be in a tent.  But, they aren't big campers so it'll mostly be me (and my wife in a few years when they've flown the coup).

    I'd owned a Forest River No Boundaries 19.8 before this and it was about 1000 lbs more than the Tab 400.  The weight reduction in the Tab 400 is noticeable and it tows much better (I tow with a 6000 lb towing capacity 2022 Nissan Pathfinder).  Also the build quality is night-and-day different than the Forest river.  The Tab 400 is so well made.

    To the Sol's credit, it has much bigger interior storage and the sink looks lots more useful.  Both the Tab and the F1743's sinks are pretty tiny.  I didn't consider the Sol as I was trying to reduce my weight as much as possible, was trying to avoid a top-of-trailer AC unit, and wanted a trailer I could get into smaller locations.

    Good luck with your decision as it sounds like you've done some really great research.  
    2024 T@b 400 BD  "Tabba the Hut" 
    2022 Nissan Pathfinder
    Cary, North Carolina
  • berggerbergger Moderator Posts: 946
    Good info @andytabrv and congrats on the trailer.  We've had ours for almost 4 years now and still love it.  I am constantly looking at other trailers but so far have found nothing to replace our 400 with.  As far as the ceiling and hot sun in the 400,  it does not do very well at all.  At least not in Colorado with our intense sun. It gets very hot with the aluminum roof, aluminum framing and thin insulation.  If I could change one thing on the 400 it would be to increase the thickness of the roof another inch or two and improve the roof insulation.  It needs a good thermal break for sure.  I also wish they used fiberglass instead of aluminum.  But outside of that it's a great little trailer.  I just got inside a new 2024 model and have to say it's pretty nice.  I like the new veneer, soft close drawers and the corner sink.  The improved solar and the black canyon package are very nice.  I'm also glad to see the fold away bunk is now an option. I'll have to get the wife in one and see if she want's to upgrade from our 2021.  But probably not enough changes though to be worth the cost.  
    2021 T@b 400 BD  "Vixen Gail" 
    2018 Nissan Titan Pro 4X "Big Bird"
    Leadville Colorado
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