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RV Review: Crossroads RV Zinger Lite ZR18RK, an affordable unicorn

I haven’t had much personal experience with the Crossroads RV Zinger line. So when my buddy Josh Winters from Bish’s RV messaged me about reviewing the Crossroads RV Zinger Lite ZR18RK I was surprised. Josh sees a lot of RVs and our tastes run along similar lines. So I had to go check out his video on this unit. 

Crossroads RV Zinger

The Crossroads RV Zinger line is a rather entry-level brand of wood-framed, aluminum-skinned travel trailers. When we looked at the Grand Design Transcend XPLOR 240ML the other day, I spoke to why this type of trailer build, referred to as stick-and-tin in the industry, is less expensive to build. 

So it makes sense that the most affordable trailers in the majority of RV company catalogs are built this way. The same advantages for this style of construction in the Grand Design exist here. However, I suspect that Grand Design’s build methodology is far superior to that used in this trailer. That’s especially considering that the MSRP on this unit is only about two-thirds the price of the Grand Design. 

Not to say this is poorly made by any stretch of the imagination. But some of the overlapping seal construction in the Grand Design is exclusive to that brand. 

However, there are things that were a surprise in this trailer. Those include the pocket-screwed cabinetry and just the sheer amount of cabinet and drawer space for a trailer of this size. Some of the power outlets are pre-wired to work with an inverter. That is more than I’d expect at this price point, quite honestly. 

Not bad at all

Typically the primary reason someone considers a trailer on this end of the price spectrum is cost. Usually these smaller trailers have enough compromises in the design along with a lack of usable features that price is their main selling point. 

Heck, if you get one of these trailers and finance it through your local credit union and use it 4-5 times a year, it’s cheaper than many other forms of vacationing. And, well, it’s also your trailer and ready and willing whenever you are. There’s a lot to be said about that. 

But the Zinger Lite has a unicorn floor plan, as Josh said, where it’s an extremely pleasant layout that’s actually very usable. So price alone may not be the primary reason to consider this model. 

For example, even though there’s no slide room, there is still a dinette and a couch. And that couch has a fold-down center armrest with cup holders in it. So it’s not a bad couch at all.

To further add to the storage story, that couch also lifts up. There’s a decent amount of storage underneath. The couch also features a flip-up front panel, so you don’t have to move the couch to get at whatever’s underneath. Further, there are a surprising number of cabinets above the kitchen counter. An even bigger surprise is a very generous amount of counter space. More than I’ve seen in some larger trailers, frankly. 

What you don’t get in the Zinger Lite

If you’re buying in this price range, it’s important to know what is not included. The list has some items that I think should be optioned in if this trailer is right for you. 

For example, there are only stabilizer jacks at the rear of the trailer, but you can option on stabilizer jacks at the front. Do this. I will give Crossroads RV some credit in that the two stabilizer jacks that are included are at a 45° angle to the body of the trailer. I’ve been told that offers better stability. But, still, you’re going to want all four. 

The spare tire, too, is an option. Do get this. This rig has no tire pressure monitoring system and I suspect the brand of tire used here is MayPop. You will kick yourself if you don’t get the spare tire. Especially when the MayPop tire fails in heavy traffic—even though you had no intention of being in it—and now you’re on the side of the road with no spare. 

See what I mean? Money well spent on this option. 

Of course, at this price point you can forget things like high-performance vent fans and fancy suspension systems. But that’s OK. And if you only use it a few times a year, those features don’t make as big a difference as they would if you were a frequent flyer. 

One thing I absolutely do not like is the fact that the walls of the shower are not some form of plastic, but are just the wall boards. Yeah, yeah, they can withstand water if you’re careful. But I just prefer a plastic shower surround. Fortunately, you can very easily glue something like FRP to the walls to solve this issue. But this seems like a big omission.

What you do get in the Zinger Lite

In addition to being pre-wired for an inverter on some of the outlets in this trailer, there’s also a 12-volt DC compressor refrigerator standard. There are also usable features like a black tank flush, and the door and baggage compartment doors are all keyed alike, a good feature. 

The ceiling height is also 81” in this trailer, which is pretty surprising and opens up the interior quite a bit. However, there is an RV queen bed in here and that bed is in a pocket. So this may not work for some readers. 

The kitchen does have a lot of counter space. However, the sink is rather small and the stovetop is a two-burner propane model with no oven available. There is a microwave, but it’s a standard microwave so don’t expect to be baking biscuits inside. However, I learned to use a tripod and propane fire pit to bake biscuits. So an oven isn’t all that important, if you don’t let it be. 

In summary

There is a decent three-year structural warranty on this rig. Also, it does have a really great floor plan considering the small exterior size. By no means is this a bad choice. But the size and price point do limit some of the features—and that’s OK, too. 

For those looking to get into RVing at a price point almost $10,000 below the average price of a new car in the U.S., this is certainly not a bad choice, all things considered. 

Incidentally the last time we looked at a Zinger was when the RV Womens’ Alliance did their “Drab to Fab” trailer. That thing turned out beautifully.

*****

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Kitchen counter space
Couch and dinette
Entry-level features

SUMMARY

The Crossroads Zinger Lite ZR18RK is a unicorn floor plan that really offers a good layout in a very small, affordable and decent platform.

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Richard
7 months ago

AC right over the bed? No, thank you. Been there, done that.

Bob p
7 months ago

The bed layout is a challenge, in our TT with the “closets” on each side of the bed we have to pull the mattress down towards the bathroom wall to be able to get the fitted sheet over the head of the mattress. This bed looks like a sleeping bag arrangement only.

Steve
7 months ago

950# of CCC (4470-3520) in a trailer that can hold 722# of water in 3 tanks? Admittedly, not many will ever have all three tanks completely full at the same time, but still not much margin of safety for everything that could be stored in this unit.

Bob p
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Why would anyone travel with 3 holding tanks full??

Roger Spalding
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Bob p, Thanks for your comment. Full tanks on the highway is an accident waiting to happen. CCC is not important once you’ve stopped at your destination. At 65 mph on the Interstate, your rig’s center of gravity will be all screwed up by a full tank of sloshing freshwater, let alone all 3 tanks. Forrest Gump said it best, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Richard
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger Spalding

A “Full” tank sloshing? Don’t think so.

Tommy Molnar
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Full tanks don’t “slosh”. Besides, you may have ‘liquid’ in all three tanks but usually it’s whatever your beginning FULL fresh tank holds minus the amount that is distributed between the grey and the black and then whatever is left in the fresh. I’m sure at this point there is some “sloshing” but I have never noticed it.

Tommy Molnar
7 months ago

This might make a single person’s first foray into RV’ing a fairly decent choice. You know, help them get their feet wet. Beyond that, not so much.

Lindalee
7 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

AMEN!

RV Review: Crossroads RV Zinger Lite ZR18RK, an affordable unicornThe Crossroads Zinger Lite ZR18RK is a unicorn floor plan that really offers a good layout in a very small, affordable and decent platform.

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