2023 Cincinnati daytrip

June 14

Since our Michigan trip we have kicked our toyhauler search into high gear. The Kurdzioleks are planning a fall trip to Gulf Shores and Pigeon Forge and our goal is to go with them. A couple weeks ago Donna, Buford, and I headed out on a road trip to look at RVs in Batavia, Ohio and Greenfield, Indiana. It was a fun and informative daytrip.

One of the things we learned is that since Covid RV prices have become stupidly expensive. Prior to Covid a large toyhauler would be "MSRP $100K...your price $65K". Now they are "MSRP $150K...your price $100K" for the same RV that is now of even lower build quality. The same goes for a nice travel trailer toyhauler. One of the fifth wheel toyhaulers we were specifically looking at had a broken slide straight from the factory...for only $107K. Others had trim falling off, broken doors, crooked trim, etc. Generally pitiful.

That aside, it was nice to look through them. I can look at a floorplan and get an idea of what the RV is like but Donna likes to lay eyes on it. It was nice to see what Donna liked. She doesn't like a long row of four or five seats or a TV that is 90* to the seats...nor do I. We would like to find something with a king bed, 1 1/2 baths, and a minimum of 12' garage. I prefer 3 axles on a toyhauler. The Torques we looked (371, 373) at were two-axle, although they had interesting floorplans.

Torque 371

Torque 373

Last Saturday I went on a charity ride with the Kurdzioleks and I rode the Goldwing. It was a long time since I did either. It was a blast. They bought a travel trailer toyhauler last fall but are already pondering a larger unit. It got me thinking...we need to do a bike ride and look at RVs.

Nitro 405

One toyhauler Donna and I have liked for a while is the XLR Nitro 405 by Forest River. It has a front kitchen and mid living room. Both floors are raised and this allows for a massive amount of storage space. Some possible negatives are a queen bed and a small (11') garage. We're not sure if they offer washer/dryer hookups either. I did some searching and found there was one at Couch's RV Nation in Troy, OH, just north of Cincinnati. That's not that far away. Donna and the Kurdzioleks were both up for it so we decided to go on the upcoming Wednesday. I invited my brother but sadly he was too busy. His poor Goldwing probably has an inch of dust on it.

Wednesday came and it was a perfect day. Low 70's, mostly cloudy. As we got ready to leave Buford came to the door with us and barked his excited bark because he wanted to go. It broke our hearts to tell him he had to stay home. He gets that hurt look and goes to the couch so he can watch us leave. I think he knows that orange thing with two wheels is taking us away from him.

Bedford, IN. 8:18, mileage 111,198 - We stopped at Revere's for fuel and drinks. The plan is to meet the Kurdzioleks at Farmer's Market at 9am. It feels good to be on the Goldwing with Donna and no trailer. The bike handles and responds much better without the extra load. I get to hear Donna singing in the intercom. As we neared Farmer's Market we saw a black Indian motorcycle pull from a side road. The Kurdzioleks! Mike fueled the bike and we were off...eastbound and down.

The ride was familiar down US50 through Brownstown and Seymour. All the road construction we'd experienced a few weeks earlier was gone. Donna was wearing a jacket but a T-shirt was all I needed. At North Vernon we veered north. We'll take IN-3 to Greensburg and then I-74 to the Cincinnati area. We passed a yard sale here and there and a couple Goodwills but we hadn't planned any shopping stops. We did make a potty break in Greensburg.

We got off I-74 at Harrison and started a nice two-lane route that took us through New Haven to OH-128. At the intersection of OH-128 and OH-126 we were waiting on the stoplight when we noticed the Venice Pavillion Antique Mall up ahead. What the hell...we stopped there. It was a big store. Donna found a blue pyrex bowl. Jerri found some sort of crockery.

As I was looking around I noticed a lone Hardy Boys book. Back in 5th and 6th grade several of us used to read these. When I see them in antique stores I think about collecting them for old times sake. I looked at this one. It was the first one of the series. What are the chances? I bought it. Now I have something else to look for during our shopping escapades.

Our route took us through Hamilton. We waited for awhile as a long freight train was going through town. I wasn't complaining. I love trains. One of the YouTube guys I watch, Jawtooth, often films trains here. After the traffic cleared we rode several more miles to Couch's RV Nation. I went inside and made sure it was okay for us to wander through the RVs. It was.

They had their toyhaulers on the west side of the lot. We looked at several Road Warriors and several Voltages before we found the Nitro we were looking for. I took note of the ones Donna liked. We liked the Nitro layout although its quality was horrible. A trim strip was hanging from the ceiling. Yikes. Here are the ones Donna liked:

Road Warrior 391

Road Warrior 3695

Voltage 4225

XLR Nitro 405

We checked out some of the RVs Mike & Jerri were looking at as well as some non-toyhaulers. By now it was sunny and in the 80's and getting hot. We walked back to the main building to use the restrooms and water fountains. I also got some brochures. We were getting hungry so we hit the road. We agreed to stop in Lawrenceburg and get fuel.

Lawrenceburg, IN. 14:28, mileage 111,394 - The ride from Couch's to here was the least wonderful of the ride. City streets. Stoplights. The I-275 racetrack. It was nice to be back in Indiana. We are only ~25 miles from one of our favorite places to eat...Crossroads Restaurant in Versailles.

Twenty five miles later we arrived at Crossroads Restaurant to find it...closed. What? On a Wednesday? Yes, they are closed on Wednesdays. Son of a b...... Mike suggested finding a mexican restuarant somewhere so he could get a beer. As we rode east Donna found a place in North Vernon. Las Chalupas. It wasn't bad. I was thirsty and they had Mountain Dew. I sucked down a couple large mugs of it.

We made another quick pitstop in Seymour. Mike led from here. He rides faster than I normally do so it is fun keeping up with him. Eventually near Bedford they turned onto Brown Station Road and we honked our goodbyes. When we got home Buford was happy to see us, and we him. It was a fun trip. I'll have to find some more places to ride to.

298 miles.

See you on the Highway!

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