Time to Say Hello & another 320 is on Order

Hello,

Have been following this forum for several months and found the range of topics with informed member discussions/answers very helpful as I begin the 'travel trailer new buyer' learning curve. This is one of the best User Forums around . . . interesting, polite, informative, and mostly on-topic discussions. The forum was a factor in my selecting the TAB 320 S.

Thanks to all contributing members.

My camping days were many years ago. A combination of tent and back of pick-up truck camping for young family weekend adventures or fall deer hunts. Then we got the boating bug and shifted to trailer sailboats and finally to an in-the-water recreational tug style 6-Knot “getting there is the adventure” boat. With 30 some years of boating on boats that had basic RV systems (electrical, plumbing, heat, cooking, refrigeration) am feeling confident the transition to travel trailer adventures will go smoothly. Plus I've even got a few years of trailer towing experience . . . enough to know 'surge brakes' are a pain, proportional controlled electric brakes a blessing.

A deposit was placed yesterday on a 320 S with pitched axle, 15-inch wheels, and the boondock platform. Hope to hear factory confirmation before the holiday and am planning for a mid-March delivery. Almost purchased an on-the-lot 320 S Boondock. Decided on an order to get the Alde 3020 (high altitude mode included) as most of my western state adventures will be near or above 3,500 feet. Ordering also allowed getting just the boondock package items of most value to me. . . . function over styling.

Like so many members have noted on their own trailer searches I started by researching/viewing A-Frame products, was surprised on seeing a TAB, then shocked on seeing the MSRP, so continued a wide and long search for smaller size light weight trailers. As the search progressed the 320 and 400 remained on my short list. Other brands came and went while TAB remained with only the order of which one is best for me changing (frequently).

Having towed boats in the past it was important for me that all possible travel trailers be well below my tow vehicle maximum rating for CGVR, Trailer GVW, tongue weight, frontal area resistance when fully loaded for camping.

Many of the forum threads are discussions about selecting/using a tow vehicle that places the tow vehicle near, at or above it's rated limits using just trailer dry weight data. That is a scary approach.

RV Safety & Education Foundation, [RVSEF] has real world rig weight data that suggests 50% of the travel trailer rigs on the road today are overloaded on at least one specification; CGVR, TV rear axle, trailer axle, or tongue being the most common problems. All impact vehicle life and performance and can be a real safety issue in an emergency. RVSEF web-site is rvsafety.com

Below analysis was done for each of the trailer brands/models on my short list. 320 was of course the lightest but even then TV rear axle loading is pretty high. I don't expect a weight distribution hitch will be needed but have budgeted on rear axle helper springs if TV leveling is needed. Was also surprised how quickly the TV cargo weight increased as more 'might need' items get thrown into the TV. All the other short list trailers were similar to the TAB 400 numbers . . . not that much heavier for their increased volume.

After all the dealership visits, web research, and personal analysis which more and more became a method to convince myself the higher MSRP would be worth it the final decision came down to . . .

Quietly sitting/being in a 320 S. Working my mind & body through a daily routine, do I feel cramped or not? Then I discovered if my shoes are off I Can Stand Up Straight (within a small range of space) and all of a sudden the 320 felt right.

Very hopeful I've made the right selection for me (most adventures will be solo).

Am over budget, But if I don't spend it the kids will . . . . .

TV with 320 and 400 Views



Possible Air Flow


Possible Frontal Drag


Home base will be Washington State.

Bye for now.



2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

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Comments

  • Smullis7Smullis7 Posts: 214Member

    Welcome!

    Sheila and the Mullis Pups (Winston, Morgan, Leroy & Dakota)
    M@bel M@y, my 2017 T@B Outback Max S (silver w/black trim), towed by Maude Myrtle, my 2016 Jeep Rubicon Hardrock.



  • ericnlizericnliz Posts: 3,900Member
    @MuttonChops, First of all...WELCOME! Like the name "Mutton Chops", made me laugh as I had several high school friends that had them at the time. You should have your trailer in time to join us for the 2nd annual Washington State East Meets West Rally at Lincoln Rock. You can pull up the page if you go to the left hand "Categories" & scroll down to Events & News. Browse through & you'll find the highlighted page to the Lincoln Rock site. Not sure what is left available at this time, as some ares filled up quickly. Sounds like you don't mind "boondocking" & last I checked, there were quite a few spots remaining in the "tent" (dry camping) area. There is water & restrooms available there & they are pretty spacious sites adjacent to the river. You folks are more than welcome to join us if the time frame fits your schedule. Last year was a blast & this year looks even better. At any rate, again, welcome!  :)
    2016 T@B MAX S-aka: WolfT@B
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Spokane, Wa.
    Eric aka: Lone Wolf  


  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 93Member

    @ericnliz, Thanks for the reminder on the Lincoln Rock meet. Have booked a site on A-Loop. For late May lack of electrical hook-up should not be a “we really need A/C” crisis.


    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,649Member
    MuttonChops welcome!  It is always interesting to see how someone arrives at a TaB decision.  Many are sold on the cute factor and jump in with both feet.  Some ponder every scenario wanting to make a perfect decision.  Looks like you used science!  I am sure no one here has presented 2D Airflow diagrams before - I love it and look forward to more!  You are going to love your TaB!
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 500Member
    @MuttonChops, welcome to the forum, the t@b family and congratulations on your trailer. Adventures await. And not least of all, happy t@bbing!
    2017 t@b sofitel(Dr@gonsFly)TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • rkj__rkj__ Posts: 292Member
    edited December 2017
    Welcome, and congratulations.  

    I love this post.  Are you a mechanical engineer?  I enjoyed your methodical and scientific approach to trailer selection.  


    2016 T@b 320 CS-S - 2008 GMC Canyon - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • RatkityRatkity Posts: 3,191Member
    Wow! I enjoyed your scientific observations as well. I have the GMC Canyon with tow package. My T@Bitha has another home and I tow a toy hauler - complete with weight distribution and anti-sway.  It also weighs 5400# loaded with an intentionally heavy tongue weight.

    During cold winter days, I pine for the Alde system. It never failed to get me warm and even get a little too warm at times with minimal effort and battery consumption.

    I am sure you made an excellent decision and will find that you nearly forget the 320 is there! Remember that as you absentmindedly head for the drive-thru lol.

    Congratulations! I hope to hear more of your adventures in the future and, of course, all the purchases (Amazon Prime) you make prior to the arrival of your new camper.
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha T@B from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a T@Bluver at heart)
  • booboo Posts: 631Member
    Looks like you have done your homework. A very intellegent and informative post.
    We have owned a 320 S for about two years and I am perfectly satisfied with it. I don`t like having more than is needed to have a good camping experience. Our camper is easy to pull and set up. It is perfect for two adults and a dog or small child. My wife has shown interest in the 400 but, I really don`t think it is necessary. I think we should be satisfied with what we have. Different size campers have their pluses and minuses.
    When we are at campgrounds and see people pull in with those gigantic rigs and it takes them one to two hours to set up, I feel better about my teardrop. We can have it set up with awning in twenty minutes. Yes, the big ones are like a home away from home but, I don`t think they are worth all the trouble. On top of that, they have to have a $70,000 diesel truck to pull them.
    There is good reason teardrops are so popular.
    There is no "perfect" anything but I think the teardrop is a good compromise for two people.
    Good luck with your new purchase and happy camping.
    Learning how, and how much to pack is the trick.
  • ericnlizericnliz Posts: 3,900Member
    AND....What better reason? ;) :rofl:
    2016 T@B MAX S-aka: WolfT@B
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Spokane, Wa.
    Eric aka: Lone Wolf  


  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 93Member
    rkj__ said:
     Are you a mechanical engineer?
    Nope, not a mechanical engineer.  Was technical trained and worked as a manufacturing engineer.   Real 'design' engineers mechanical/electrical are at another level of knowledge and imagination.
    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 19Member
    Although tongue in cheek, RKJ may have been brutally forthcoming with his assessment. I also lean towards analytical so what your drag analysis made me think about is how that difference in drag coefficient actually translates. The obvious affect of drag coefficient is the affect on gas mileage. So....making some assumptions:
    Let's say that a typical camper will haul their trailer 5,000 miles a year...
    Let's say that your Colorado will average 18 mpg while towing (not likely)
    Let's say the Colorado would average 12 mpg pulling the Falcon.
    Assuming $3.00 per gallon gas, you will spend about $830 per year hauling the T@B and $1,250 per year hauling the Falcon.
    Cut to the chase, the lower gas usage towing the T@B will pay back in a bit over 21 years........... assuming a $20,000 Falcon and a $29,000 320...(I'm guessing more?)
    There will be less stress on your truck hauling the T@B but arguably the truck is more than capable of handling the TLF-20....
    The draw of the T@B is very strong.

     
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 93Member
    @tabiphile, Yep just doing a $$$ comparison based on the different possible MPG impacts brings us to a very long return on investment for the T@B.

    I'll have to work on increasing the towing miles per year.  :)

    On the plus side once the purchase price impact/shock is over the monthly cash flow will be lower operating the lighter smaller unit.   And it will be far easier to seek out those secondary forest service roads towing 15-feet instead of 20'something.

    The human mind seems to work fine ignoring some facts while focusing on others.
    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,292Member
    @MuttonChops last year this time L@dybug was on order, and I was carefully shopping for necessities and a few toys. I’ve used almost everything, except for emergency gear. Thus year I’m pretty happy with what I have going, so that in itself is a huge savings!  =)
    2017 T@B Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander L@dybug ("Bug" aka my esc@pe pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 19Member
    On the plus side once the purchase price impact/shock is over the monthly cash flow will be lower operating the lighter smaller unit.   And it will be far easier to seek out those secondary forest service roads towing 15-feet instead of 20'something.

    The human mind seems to work fine ignoring some facts while focusing on others.

    Given that you do have an appropriate TV with 4 wheel drive (not AWD without a low range) and the benefit of a higher ground clearance than the typical wagon/mini van...you will be able to carefully get to places that most folks need to avoid..
    WRT to tow length, a few extra feet do not make a bit of difference except when you are backing up. The shorter rig will test your backing skills. When towing, as long as you are paying attention, wherever your truck gets through your trailer will follow...as long as you don't put the wheels off the road. It's pretty unsettling to see your trailer tipping off the road.
  • 2DogsPawd2DogsPawd Posts: 6Member
    I thought I was bad... I look at everything when searching. Spent a year or so researching the RPOD... and then right before I went to drop a deposit... I saw these and backed up a minute. I love people who think about their purchase and how it will work for them. It's a lot of money to not be sure or to have buyers remorse.
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 371Member
    Wow, love the air flow graphics!  There was a thread a few months ago when we needed wind tunnel data...looks like you came close.  Where did the airflow data and relative drag charts originate?

  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 93Member
    @pthomas745.  Glad you enjoyed the air flow graphics.  Those were created with a free on-line simulation program at www.flowillustrator.com  the program makes a bunch of assumptions so the results are an indicator of what might be happening real world - - is fun to play with.

    Drag chart is my creation.  The primary equation is the standard Drag Equation (see Wikipedia) that uses a drag coefficient based on an object's shape and the frontal area of the object.  Frontal area is easy to calculate but for drag coefficient I had to make/use several assumptions.  I also factored in weight and then normalized the data to a simple trailer area & weight so the chart takeaways are:
      - -  Higher speed has a huge impact on drag (as everyone knows)
      - -  Relative difference between trailer models/makes can be seen
    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 371Member
    @MuttonChops, thank you very much for description of the graphs and charts.

  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 500Member
    @2DogsPawd, which model are you looking at? 320 or 400? If 320, then S, CS, or Boondock? Or hybrid with some of this and a little of that? Whatever you might decide, please look closely at build quality, then at product development and most of all, customer service. I personally don't think anyone builds their product better, is as quickly innovative or takes care of their customers better. When we attended Ucamp 17 last summer in Sugarcreek, Ohio (birthplace of all t@bs since 2010) we were welcomed with open arms, and immediately enveloped by this ever so unique family. It feels like that, family. You can buy cheaper products, but IMHO, non better.
    2017 t@b sofitel(Dr@gonsFly)TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • 2DogsPawd2DogsPawd Posts: 6Member
    320 -CS.. When I initially started my Rpod LOVE.. I found their amazing face book page. It is an amazing family and although  I have since made the decision to go another direcrion I still read it. Its nice to see a comoradari and people so willing to help out one another. If there is an issue, there is someone willing to help out or offer up the how to. So that is important to me. I am also planning to make a visit to NuCamp factory in Ohio this summer as I pass thru the state on my way to Mi. I just saw one for sale here locally in this forum... and man the timing just isnt right for me now, but she is a beauty.  It wont take long for them to sell it. Thanks for the post I will be lurking through out and learning all i can. 

  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 500Member
    @2DogsPawd, if you can time your trip to Sugarcreek for the week of July 16-21, the uCamp 18 gathering will be taking place.you can meet many dozens, if not hundreds of people who own t@gs and t@bs. Hear from them how they feel about the quality and customer service. See how all of them have adapted their rv to fit a personal style of camping and use. Those are the people who won't tell you what you want to hear, as a dealer might, but will tell you the truth. Good luck.
    2017 t@b sofitel(Dr@gonsFly)TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,649Member
    @dragonsdofly - we did just that and talked to different owners, took pictures, and dreamed.  We were able to plan out exactly what we wanted as a result of those visits and this forum.
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 500Member
    @SAM, glad to hear that and good to know. I'm especially pleased you were able to act on what you learned, and the result was your t@b. Wonderful wishes for great adventures to you! Happy t@bbing!
    2017 t@b sofitel(Dr@gonsFly)TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • jkjennjkjenn Posts: 4,384Member
    Congrats @MuttonChops !!

    Jenn Grover | 2015  T@b S Max Silver/Turquoise Trim | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk v6 | Nights spent in T@b: 148 | Pittsburgh PA

  • ericnlizericnliz Posts: 3,900Member
    @MuttonChops, Congrats! Just in time to attend the Lincoln Rock Washington State East Meets West Rally!
    2016 T@B MAX S-aka: WolfT@B
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Spokane, Wa.
    Eric aka: Lone Wolf  


  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 93Member
    ericnliz said:
    Congrats! Just in time to attend the Lincoln Rock Washington State East Meets West Rally!
    Yes indeed.  Already have a spot, Loop-A annex.
    2018 T@B 320 Spitched axle
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
    Craig - - Puget Sound, Washington

  • ericnlizericnliz Posts: 3,900Member
    I'll see you there...just follow your nose...BBQ Pit Barrel will be fired up! =)
    2016 T@B MAX S-aka: WolfT@B
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Spokane, Wa.
    Eric aka: Lone Wolf  


  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,292Member
    @MuttonChops Hooray on your new Tab 320S! Nothing feels better than bringing one home, except camping in it! According to my records there are three other sites in A Loop from the gathering, so you'll be surrounded by new friends. I know that they are all from the "wet side" of the mountains, too, so you will meet new people to camp with closer to home! We are looking forward to meeting you! And yes, the pit barrel will be a big draw!

    Another Forum motto...pictures or it didn't happen!  =)
    2017 T@B Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander L@dybug ("Bug" aka my esc@pe pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
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