Just finished our first season as owners of a 2015 Zinger 32QB purchased in March 2014. After extensive online research, we attended the Cleveland RV show in January to look at the various units we were interested in to narrow our choices down. We finally decided on this 34 ft. quad bunk travel trailer by Crossroads. We are a family of four, mom, dad, and two sons, 14 yrs and 10 yrs old. We chose the quad bunk due to the fact there were extra bunks so the boys could bring friends along, which has turned out to be a GREAT decision!
The dealer did not have an in stock unit after the RV show so we had to order the unit from Crossroads and wait for delivery until March. Not really a problem for us since we live in NW Ohio. The best part was they gave us the show price plus we were able to customize the unit the way we wanted. Some inexpensive upgrades we chose included the larger 8 CU ft. ref (which the Mrs. LOVED!), 15,000 BTU AC unit, skylight, spare tire, electric awning, and gas grill. Nice to be able to get the things we wanted right from the factory. The unit arrived as promised in March and the dealer agreed to store it for free until May, probably because I purchased my sway control/weight distribution hitch and a slide out awning from them.
My tow vehicle was a 2003 Ford Excursion with the 6.8L gas V10. What a beast! It was in pretty decent shape and I felt comfortable towing with it, but it was requiring a lot of little fixes that seemed to keep popping up. I was wondering how long until something major needed to be repaired. Anyways, after our first trip, and some sway/braking issues, I heard words come out of my wife's mouth that any man would love to hear: "Honey, I think we need a new truck to pull the trailer, I don't feel safe in this one!" My reply: "Yes, dear, I would be happy to get a new truck!" So, I decided on a GMC Sierra 2500 HD Double Cab truck with the 6.0 gas engine. Plenty of power to tow the trailer and seating for 6. We gave up some storage area the SUV provided but gained a pick up bed that has been utilized effectively. It's a little tighter in the PU, but an SUV was significantly more expensive and had less towing capacity. The largest SUV I could find was the Ford Expedition or the GMC Yukon with about 9,000 lbs towing capacity. The GMC Sierra can tow up to 13,000 lbs. So far, I have been very happy with this tow vehicle. I can definitely tell a difference when towing as the GMC has no problem proving a smooth and stable ride while towing. And the wife noticed this as well. Happy wife=Happy Life!
Our camping season started in May and ended at the end of September. Our mission for this season was to try some local/regional campgrounds for short trips to try out our new toy. We wanted to try state parks and private campgrounds, full hookups and electric only. Our farthest trip was a private campground to meet a friend 225 miles from our home and the shortest was a state park about 40 miles from our home. We ended up spending 20 nights in the trailer this season. All trips were between 2 and 4 nights at one location. We found the state parks to be most enjoyable, but most are electric only and we found that the water/sewer would last about 3 days if we were careful. Of course, being more frugal with these resources could stretch out our time between dumps/fill ups, but I like having the comforts of home (i.e.-my own hot water shower, flush toilet, and AC) readily available to me. This is my definition of "roughing it!"
Crossroads did a good job building this unit and we are very satisfied with the overall quality of the unit. We have had just a few minor issues that I was able to resolve on my own or with the assistance of the local Camping World. No major problems and every system on the unit worked as advertised. I was even able to winterize the unit myself with the help of the instructions and YouTube. Of course, the warranty expires in March and I hope that satisfaction continues but so far so good....
Overall, we are very happy with our purchase and are already looking forward to next year. We've learned a lot in our first full season as campers and the family memories we made are priceless.
A few observations:
1) If you are looking for a good deal, attend one of the RV shows in the winter. I've found the deals at this time of the year are pretty good.
2) Full hookups are nice but can be significantly more expensive. We will continue to do short 2-3 day trips and be comfortable with electric only.
3) State parks are a great value with large sites and great nature amenities but are usually electric only (although full hookups can be found and are a great value-book early!)
4) Private campgrounds have great amenities and full hookups but can be over twice the cost of a state park and the sites tend to be small and tight.
5) A good tow vehicle makes towing much easier. Also, scooting around campgrounds towing a trailer does get easier with practice. Having a wife and/or child assist you with parking makes a huge difference! Patience is a must!
6) We never met an unfriendly camper. They may be out there, but we didn't meet them! Most fellow campers were willing to offer advice but not be overbearing. Met some great folks.
7) Nothing like the family sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows for S'mores under the stars with a cold beverage in your hand after a wonderful day exploring the great outdoors!