Review

Crashing uCamp and Thoughts on the New T@b 400

  • July 23, 2017

Rocky in Sugarcreek

What do you on a humid, overcast Sunday afternoon in July? You crash the inaugural Ucamp event in Sugarcreek, Ohio, of course! After catching Nathan Brown’s photo of his  T@b set up at Winklepleck Grove, I decided I might try to swing by and say, “Hello” to the early arrivals and meet some of my online acquaintances. I swung by Akron, picked my nephew and his girlfriend, and away the three of us, and Rocky, proceeded towards Sugarcreek.

As we approached the grove, I noticed that several T@bs were already parked and set up and more arrived in the short time were were at the campground.  nuCamp picked a splendid venue for their first event. There is a nice sized large pavilion and playground towards the front of the campground and I heard that the bathhouses were on their way. The sites seemed more than adequate in size. They appeared to be larger than the sites at the state park campgrounds where I have stayed in Ohio some trees were spread throughout the campground.

In addition to meeting some fine fellow T@bbers, I had the privilege of getting a personal tour of Steve and Karen’s T@b 400. Steve and Karen were the very first owners of a T@b 400. Steve was buys going over details with another couple during most of the tour, but Karen was extremely knowledgeable and really made an effort to point out all of the fine details. I should point out that there were 5-6 adults in the T@b 400 at once!

Thoughts on the T@b 400

Overall, the T@b 400 is the quality build that I expect from nuCamp. It is evident that they have gone to great lengths to pay attention to detail and have taken advice not only from Steve and Karen who beta tested the 400, but from forum members, as well. I am really disappointed that I forgot to take photos.

  • Things I liked:
  • The large inside AGM battery
  • The installed inverter
  • The flooring – very nice!
  • The layout
  • The bathroom is a very comfortable size
  • The subtle mood lighting throughout the 400
  • The electronics panel
  • The fact that it has the Alde
  • The new door
  • The location of the axle
  • The bathroom fan and skylight
  • Storage
  • Fabric accent around the window by the bed.
  • White ceiling

What I would like to see changed

I loved the birch in Steve and Karen’s model. Evidently nuCamp has decided to go grey, instead. This comes down to the debate between the Euro and Ohio craftsman décor. Personally, I do prefer the Euro décor, but I am really concerned that grey will make it feel too dark and make the space seem smaller. If I could give one piece of advice to nuCamp it would be to bring an internal design consulting group and create 2 distinctly different interiors, but keep it light, to help open up the space. I think an interior designer could take the 400 to the next level and I think there would be strong enough interest in both décor options to sell them and not loose money.

The other major change I would like to see nuCamp make is in terms of the outside. I expect that they are mostly selling to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. The retro decal/almost Route 66 look of the current decals have zero appeal to me. I would love to see some more modern looking graphics. I think there is an opportunity for nuCamp to partner with a graphic designer and maybe a sign shop to sell a unique line of high-quality graphics, and maybe even wraps. I am still pining for a “woody” look, a National Parks edition, or something similar. Truck Camper partnered with Woolrich and Airstream with Eddie Bauer and Pendleton, maybe nuCamp could partner with L.L. Bean, Lands End, or another similar style for a National Parks edition.

I would still like to see some interior design improvements, including an Ultraleather offering. Pet owners have grown to love Ultraleather because of the ease of cleaning up the surface from muddy paws

On Controversial Items

The fridge is very deep, so while it is not a big fridge, it holds a lot of food. Steve and Karen really had a tremendous amount of food packed away. With the large AGM battery and the higher efficiency of the 2-way fridge, nuCamp made the right choice forgoing a three-way fridge on the 400.

Some seem less than thrilled with the Alde because they find it overwhelming. I must admit that the Alde is one of my favorite parts of the T@b. It is extremely efficient, keeps the T@b cozy, and heats up water very nicely. I am glad that they have stuck with the Alde and I think the fact that Airstream has started installing the Alde validates the decision. Alde USA is improving their US offering, and I think in a few years everyone will realize how ahead of their time the folks at nuCamp were when they moved to the Alde.

Would I buy a 400?

Maybe. I expect that nuCamp will eventually come out with an Outback version, which might be more practical, for me. I am not sure there is enough clearance on the current model for some of the boondocking that I do. If I were planning to spend a significant amount of time on the road, again, however, I would be seriously considering an upgrade. The closet is awesome.

Closing Thoughts

I liked the 400 significantly more than I thought I would. Overall, however, I am blown away with the quality offering nuCamp has in the 400 and how they have been able to grow at such a rapid rate and still maintain both quality and first-rate customer service. nuCamp should be proud of their new trailer. I cannot wait to see what they do next!

  • Doug Stalnaker

    How did the AC in the 400 perform?

  • Ed Landrum

    If you think at is a nice trailer you should look at Little Guys 400. I rented a Nu Camp 400 and can say Little Guys blows it away. There was a lot of quality issues with Nu Camps trailer

  • The JennCast

    It wasn’t on but Karen was very happy with it’s performance.

  • The JennCast

    Ed, I have been less than impressed with the LG Max but promised Chris Baum I would look at it first hand. I think the axle placement looks very unbalanced and rear approach angle will likely be problematic.

    I am curious what you are basing criticisms of the 400 on? Karen and Steve’s was an awesome unit and everything I saw was very high quality. Also, no owns a Max, yet. I am sure both will have some bugs that get worked out over the next 2 years.

  • Ed Landrum

    The door didn’t latch right because it was falling apart after I tightened every thing back up I found it still didn’t close because the striker is to far from the door to work right. We couldn’t lock the door properly. We had problems with the counter extension only to find it had plastic hinges. ( now that’s quality). We were told don’t put things in the cabinet above the sink because they don’t latch and will fall out( counter had previously been damaged). The push latches for other cabinet stick so you have to bang on them to get them to work. My favorite was when we got back to the rental place and the mirror had fell off the back of the bathroom door because the screw was only in the door about a 1/8 of a inch because it’s so short. I rented this camper because I was seriously thinking of buying one but after renting it I’ll get something else. Definitely not the quality I saw in other Tab models.

  • The JennCast

    Ed, I think this was one of the early models and it had some issues. It might even be one that was owned and replaced – worth checking out because their was an owner who had some issues and they purchased from Beckley’s. I can’t remember the whole story, but I think they might have received a brand new one to replace it. It would make sense that Beckley’s might work out a deal to buy it and rent it. It’s too bad they didn’t bother to fix it if that is in fact the case. Steve and Karen’s was every bit, if not more the quality I see in my own T@b,