The Weird History of the Wienermobile RV
You’ve likely seen the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile RV either in pictures or in person. And, depending on your age, you’re probably singing that song right now. You are, aren’t you?
Well, even if you’ve never heard of the Wienermobile, the history behind the rolling Oscar Mayer RV is a weird and interesting story.
Let’s dive in!
What is the Wienermobile RV?
The “Wienermobile” is actually a fleet of six vehicles on a mission. They’re not just any vehicles, though. In fact, they’re 27 feet of engineering deliciousness. Deliciousness and vehicles don’t often go together, but Oscar Mayer makes it happen.
These six vehicles are shaped like massive hotdogs in a bun. Oscar Mayer uses these unique vehicles for advertising their products within the United States. In the 1950s, Oscar Mayer used the Dodge chassis to hold the oversized hotdogs. But by 1969, they were building new Wienermobiles on a Chevrolet motorhome chassis.
Wienermobile RV drivers are “hotdoggers.” And you must be a college senior getting ready to graduate to be eligible for the position. Of course, Oscar Mayer prefers people with a BA or BS in public relations, journalism, communications, advertising, and marketing.
A Hotdogger only performs their duties for one year. During their employment, they drive around promoting the company and being a presence on social media. In addition, they hand out lots of great swag, such as Weinermobile whistles.
Snagging a Hotdogger position is quite an accomplishment. For example, 7,000 people applied in 2018, and Oscar Mayer only accepts 12 each year.
History of the Wienermobile RV
The first Wienermobile came on the scene starting in 1936. George Molchan portrayed “Little Oscar” and visited stores, schools, orphanages, and children’s hospitals in the massive frankfurter.
However, it was parked for the duration of World War II due to fuel rationing. As the 1950s came around, they were back on the road and now with a few more Wienermobiles. Then by 1995, the Wienermobiles had grown to 27 feet long and 11 feet high. Finally, in 2004 they added a voice-activated GPS and a horn that plays the Wiener Jingle in 21 different genres.
Now on to a bit of weird history in the life of the Wienermobile RV fleet. If you thought the Wienermobile happily drove down the road problem-free, you’d be wrong. It’s even had a few run-ins with the law!
In 2007, an Arizona police officer stopped a Wienermobile with the license plate “YUMMY.” The plate came back as stolen out of Columbia, Missouri. The officer detained the driver. Eventually, law enforcement discovered that Oscar Mayer failed to notify police when they’d obtained a replacement plate after the original plate had been stolen off the Wienermobile. The police released the Wienermobile and driver once they cleared the story.
In 2009 the Wienermobile made a failed attempt at turning around in a cul-de-sac and hit a homeowner’s deck. The driver accidentally moved forward when they thought they were in reverse. Sadly, the hotdogger destroyed the deck.
Lastly, in early 2020 the Wienermobile RV was yet again pulled over. This time the driver had failed to obey the “Move Over Law.” The law requires drivers to move over a lane when passing an emergency vehicle pulled over with its warning lights on. In this instance, the Hotdogger was issued a warning.
Can You Rent the Wienermobile?
Yes! You can rent the Wienermobile RV from AirBNB. In fact, the Wienermobile can accommodate 2 people and even comes with a mini-fridge stocked with hot dogs! To spend the night in a famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile will set you back $136. The Wienermobile AirBNB is located in Evanston, IL.
How Many Are There?
There are 6 total Wienermobiles currently in commission. And, you may be surprised to know that their fleet of 6 can make up to 1400 stops in a year! In addition, each Wienermobile has 2 “hotdogger” drivers.
How Fast can the Wienermobile go?
If you’ve ever wondered just how fast the Wienermonbile can go, the answer is a blazing 110mph! In 1988 Race car driver Al Unser Jr. sped around the Indianapolis Speedway and, while completing a few laps, clocked in at 110mph. Now that’s a speedy hot dog!
To Wienermobile or Not…
It’s often the unique marketing strategies that are the most effective. The Wienermobile has certainly been quite successful in creating a buzz over the years. Have you had the chance to see one of the Wienermobile fleet vehicles?
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Tuesday 23rd of March 2021
Saw it in January, on I-65 while on our way south to Daphne, AL! Thought it was privately owned by now; had no idea that OM still sent it around for PR. Think it had Wisconsin plates.