Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Suddenly Homeless

Leaning Winnebago

Notice the lean?

If you’ve missed our Facebook updates, let me catch you up on the past few days. While crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Saturday, one of the rear springs on the Winnebago broke … really loudly. I was driving, and it scared me so badly that I think I let go of the wheel and covered my head for a split second. When we pulled over to recover our wits and figure out what happened, we discovered we had no cell phone reception. Luckily, we managed to limp 15 miles down the road to the Pioneer RV Park in Quincy, California.

These kinds of things only ever happen on the weekends, so it was Monday before we could make any calls to arrange for the repairs. Fortunately, we’ve got about 33,700 miles on the Winnebago – another 2,300 miles and we’ll no longer be covered by the warranty. Unfortunately, getting to the closest certified repair facility required an 80 mile tow to Reno. I’m just grateful the tow was also covered by the warranty!

I worked at a towing company in college, but this was my first experience having one of my vehicles towed. Getting our leaning vehicle/home up onto the flat bed was no easy task! Combine that with the driver’s concern about low hanging wires and bridges along the route, and it made for a long trip. To top it off, there was only room for the driver, Jake, and one other person in the cab of the tow truck – so I was on my own while Rod and the dogs hung out in the community room at the campground. (Thanks so much, Wes and Diane, for your hospitality!)

Winnebago on Tow Truck

It's a tough place to park ...

Winnebago on Tow Truck

... but once you're there, the gas mileage is fantastic!

Two hours later, and a few more grey hairs, Jake and I delivered the Winnebago to Reno. Scott, our service rep, was kind enough to help me arrange for a rental car (Hertz is pet friendly!), so I packed up what we’d need for a few days and drove back to Quincy to pick up the boys.

The word is that the parts will arrive in a week, and it will probably take another day or so until they’re installed and we’re as good as new. Until then we’re driving a nice little cross-over from Mitsubishi and staying in hotels.

After nine months of living full-time in the Winnebago, we have some mixed feelings about parting with our rolling abode.

As we see them, the benefits are:

  • More space to spread out in the hotel room.
  • Finding parking for the car is much, much easier.
  • Reliable Wifi.
  • Free continental breakfast.
  • We discovered that Buster has outgrown his compulsion to bark at oncoming traffic in the car.

That being said, we’re feeling a bit displaced. These are the things we miss most:

  • Not listening to hear our hotel neighbors through the walls.
  • Being able to make the food we want, when we want it.
  • Calm dogs – all of this change has Buster pretty jumpy.
  • Having a bathroom that travels with us.
  • Not having to pack and unpack every time we move.
  • Sleeping in our own sheets, in our own bed.
  • All the stuff I forgot in the Winnebago (like the cord that allows me to transfer pictures from my camera to the computer).

Every once in a while we talk about taking a break from the Winnebago and doing a vacation rental for a week. Now that we had to move out for a week, I’m thinking the grass was greener on the other side. We’re rolling with it, but we’ll be happy to have our home on wheels back.

Tomorrow is the end of our Zyrtec Parks Unleashed Giveaway! Enter today to win a $50 gift card and have a chance at the grand prize – a Samsung Galaxy Tablet computer.

If you think we’re pawsome, recommend us to your friends! One quick click of those buttons on the left is nearly as good as a big, sloppy kiss – helping us grow our audience and ensuring we can keep delivering the quality pet travel stories you love. Thanks for being wooftastic!

  • […] it’s true. A few weeks ago the Winnebago was in sudden need of repairs and we found ourselves homeless and without a vehicle. I’m not ashamed to tell you that mild panic set in. We needed a place […]

  • Abigail says:

    If doing this was easy, everyone would hit the road


  • Melspetpals says:

    Wow. I had no idea that you guys had such a harrowing experience. Yuck! I have often wondered if you ever wanted a break from the RV, I guess I have my answer – yes and no. :)

    I imagine Buster was thrown out of sorts. Most dogs like their regular routine, but Shepherds especially. Not to mention all those sounds going on next door right?

    Anyways, so glad you guys are safe and that the RV is fixed. Have a nice trip back east. Pennsylvania, snow and the holidays = beautiful. :)

  • Good to know Hertz is pet friendly. I usually rent from other agencies that are closer and more convenient for me. After signing the acknowledgement that there will be no smoking and no pets I drive right home and cover the seats with sheets…..if you get my drift :)

    We are glad it all turned out ok with the Winnebago. I am glad to hear more of the story and to learn it was still covered by warranty. I guess you were lucky in that respect.

    Now that I am ending the big work on our blog revamp I hope to be able to stop by more :)

  • Pup Fan says:

    Whew… how stressful!  Hope that the Winnebago is back up and running soon.

  • VizslaDad says:

    Love the way you both solve problems in such a positive way. Best of luck. I gave up on transferring pictures via cable and just remove the memory card from the camera and stick it in one of the computer USB ports or the dedicated CF port. You can get a little converter plug that makes it really simple. Soon you’ll be singing “On the Road Again.”

  • I hope you are in your home soon! You sound like you are keeping your spirits up. And I’m glad you are okay. Keep us posted.

  • Oh Man! Hope the RV gets better soon.

  • Angela Watts says:

    Glad you’re still covered, I can’t imagine what it costs to get an RV towed 80miles. Hopefully you and the guys all do ok til you get your home back.

    I was just recommending your page the other night to my mom for a friend. She asked if I’d ever heard of the Thundershirt and if it worked. :P

    • The tow truck driver said the tow would have cost about $1,200, Angela! I nearly fell off my seat – thank goodness for warranties!

      Thanks for the recommendation – I hope our review of the Thundershirt comes in handy. And, as further evidence, Buster is wearing his right now. Being away from “home” was making him anxious.

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart says:

    What an ordeal. Sounds like you’re coping pretty well, though. Hugs all around.

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