The latest mods to my 2018 400

Hi Folks, these were mods I completed after posting the ones in the “Mods/Upgrades while social distancing” discussion which is now closed.

Spring 2022:

- As seen on the Forum, I built my lighter torsion box version, of the fold down table

 

- Added my own version of the spice rack. (Another Forum steel)



- Added a desk lock mechanism to the drawers to ensure they can’t open while traveling. It locks all three drawers at the same time.

Note the 2018 didn't come with the bottom two drawers. Those were an earlier mod.



Summer 2022:

- Added latches to the upper cabinets like the newer models have. Sooo much safer. 



- Added a stainless-steel cutting surface between the sink and stove. Actually, added it because a bottle fell out of the upper cabinet pre-latch mod and chipped the edge of the counter.  It was a simple fix but turned out to be one of my favorites because to don't have to worry about a cutting board or putting a hot pan on the counter.

The blue padded mat on the sink was there as a stop gap to protect the glass top incase anything fell on it before the latches were added however I kept it as insurance when opening the cabinets for the first time after traveling. 



- Modified my truck to provision for the addition of the battery-to-battery charger. 

I included a solenoid with a switch in the cab so I could turn off charging if needed. IE: If the batteries were getting too hot.

Solenoid on the bottom of the screen and fuse beside the positive connection. The nut at the top left corner is the connection to the cable going to the back of the truck.



- Added a RedArc BCDC 50-amp battery-to-battery charger for my current 2-100 AH Battle Born Lifepo4 batteries. It will prioritize solar to charge the batteries only supplementing with power from the TV if needed. Alas I don't have a mounted solar panel, so in my case it simply provides power from the TV. I do however still use the BCDC solar converter feature with the addition of an external Andersen connector for my solar blanket when stationary. 

I mounted the BCDC on the outside of the frame yet still close to the batteries to improve heat dissipation. A safety feature of the BCDC is that it will reduce charging output if it starts to overheat, and I wanted the full 50 amps as much of the time as possible.   It's 100% waterproof so no issue there.


Fuse to protect the BCDC from a battery short on the right. 


Anderson plug for the solar blanket.  



- Added a drawer within a drawer for better access to utensils below to the top drawer. Only opened part way in the picture but it will open all the way to the back exposing the entire bottom of the drawer. (Yet another super amazing idea from the Forum members)


Spring 2023:

- Added the IRV Water Pump Controller (IRVWPC), to the water pump to reduce vibration noise and conserve battery power.  



I also added an isolation plate between the pump and wall, which I found acted to amplify the pump vibration. (You can see the sensor for the IRVWPC to the right of the pump)



- Added a 12v outlet to the driver side access panel to power my macerator

 

  Fall 2023:

- I use a backup camera which I found was not very useful at night, so I added a 3200-watt LED light bar to the back of the trailer to provide better lighting when backing into a site at night.



- Noting the batteries heating up while charging via the BCDC I added cooling fans to my custom battery platform leaving even more room for storage than the original 210 AGM battery layout. (Newer model 400's batteries are now boxed in the center of the trailer bed.)



- To control both the Fans and backup light from the TV I also added a 4-channel remote control which only uses TV provided power as I only need these when connected to the TV. It also saves on the parasitic draw of the batteries. I will most likely add the digital level to it as well.



- Moved the internal fridge fan I added last year into the freezer door and added magnets to hold the door open when I’m getting things out of it.

 


Spring 2024:

- Just plain tired of trying to redirect the airflow from the Coolcat registers away from the thermostat and my legs when sitting, so I modified the existing air deflector using a 4” PVC pipe cap to redirect the air up the hall instead… I hope!  If it works, I'll add another one to the vent by the door. 

This mod may also be of some use to those with newer 400s where the vent by the bed is pointing right toward your head.  

 



- Lastly as because I’m just too cheap to buy one (especially when you add the 36% conversion cost from CDN to US dollars.) I made this wood floor mat for the bathroom/Shower. I don’t know how the purchased one do it, but I found the shower floor uneven. So, leveling the matt turned out to be a PITA... I mean an unwelcome chore.

If I ever have to replace it, I'll make the standard flat plank version. The grid version looks good and works great but took way too much planning, time, effort and material to make.



- The only other mod I think I'll make is adding some diamond rubber sheet to the beam at the front of the undercarriage as no amount of stone guard spray stops the chipping/rust.

Well, that's probably the last of the mods for this baby. Eighty-two mods later I'm done!
I hope there is something in there you can use to make your trips that much more enjoyable.

Happy Trails Everyone!

AndreO
Ontario, Canada
2018 Tab 400
Ford F150 2.7 Lariat

Comments

  • berggerbergger Moderator Posts: 946
    Outstanding job!  You are certainly more skilled than I do!  So a general question since you have one of the first model years of the 400.  Overall how is it holding up?  Any general wear and tear repairs you've had to make on it?  And specifically how have the exterior plastic trim pieces that cover the wall and roof seams held up?  So far we've bee very happy with our 2021 400, with the exception of those plastic trim pieces.  Again, great job! 
    2021 T@b 400 BD  "Vixen Gail" 
    2018 Nissan Titan Pro 4X "Big Bird"
    Leadville Colorado
  • vhollowvhollow Member Posts: 70
    I too applaud your ingenuity and industry! Thank you for sharing your results!
  • AndreOAndreO Member Posts: 66
    @bergger,
    Thanks

    The original plastic trim on the outside cacked within the first few months. NuCamp replaced them no charge under warranty and had no issues with them since. The cracking was because they tighten the screws down too much. Plastic will flex with temperature change. You can actually check that they are not too tight yourself very easily. Check around the wheels too! Mine all cracked and was able to apply epoxy on the back side to re-enforce those.

    I also had the floor issue which Nucamp also fixed... twice! Other than that, I have the usual sagging ceiling above the bed. Never been fixed and likely never will be. It is just a poor design and would really have to be addressed properly in the build. Glue will never flex enough to hold on the ceiling. For example, running one of the aluminum structural supports where the joint is to screw into and using an expansion fitting.

    Had issues with the fridge door shelves breaking due to insufficient support. I fixed that by building them up with some epoxy. I don't think the 2021 has the same fridge however you may want to check yours anyway.

    Some of the yellowish epoxy was to replace the broken pieces others to re-enforce to prevent future breakage.  


    There are a number of, let's not say issues that you should address for longevity. 

    Probably least noticed are the BIG holes where the pipes etc. enter the trailer from the underside.  Perfect for mice to enter and not so easy to access once built. Surprising to me that NuCamp didn't address those as they built the units as it would have been so easy at that time. But I guess it would cost even more to buy.

    Others for example, putting a cover over the exterior Coolcat vent. (Keeps water and bugs out when not in use) Mine stay on even while driving.

     
    Covering the 4 access holes in the side of the frames as water sprays up from the wheels and starts to rust inside the frame.
    I started with this and cut and used "No More Nails" tape to attach to the frame. 3 years and they are still holding strong!


    After painting.
     

     

    Also found that the way they attached the Coloplast under the trailer at the front funnels water up under the edge of the frame. There was significant rust under there by my second year. I had to take the aluminum trim off and drop the bottom to sand, paint and apply rust coating. Then put on some rubber weather stripping to help prevent most of the water penetration.

    All in all, I am very happy with my 400 noting as with any home bouncing down the road there is just no substitute for your regular close inspections and prompt maintenance. Let's face it, it's no secret that most dealers don't care and do the very least possible to get paid.  Nobody will make the effort or care the way you will. 

    The good news is there are loads of posts on the forum tackling such items. Not to mention, in my experience, a really helpful community to boot. 
    AndreO
    Ontario, Canada
    2018 Tab 400
    Ford F150 2.7 Lariat
  • berggerbergger Moderator Posts: 946
    Thanks for the info!  We've been very happy with ours as well.  I noticed cracking on our trim after 2 1/2 years of use.  NuCamp sent me several pieces of replacement trim.  Not all of it but enough to replace the cracked ones.  I actually was able to reattach the loose pieces and add another screw here and there to secure the old trim.  But this past fall I noticed it coming loose again.  Checking the screws has become part of my spring time check up on the trailer.  Maybe this year I'll actually pull the broken pieces off and replace it with the new stuff.  As good as the trim looks I wish they would come up with a better and more robust design for it.  Or just finish it up like they do on the clam shell model.  

    After a packrat got into our trucks engine bay a few years ago, thank god not the trailer, I went around and sealed every tiny space I could find on the frame and underbelly.  I also installed some Sea Biscuit Designs cover plates for the openings in the frame.  So far the coroplast belly cover on ours has held up well with no broken screws at all.  I did notice on the 2024 model they are now installing the coroplast under the axle instead of wrapping it over and covering up the axle. Maybe this makes a better seal?
    2021 T@b 400 BD  "Vixen Gail" 
    2018 Nissan Titan Pro 4X "Big Bird"
    Leadville Colorado
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