Hot Doggers (Jennifer Chow and also Donald Knoelke) in front of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Photo by Amy Winter-Hercher.

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Each year, over there is a brand-new class of hot Doggers. The compete is fierce, yet in the end there are only 12 hot Dogger spots for the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile program. Under the exact same Kraft Foods/Heinz brand, the Wienermobile regimen is operation very similar to Planters’ Nutmobile Tour.

“Last year, there were 1,200 applicants because that the 12 hot Dogger positions,” says Donald Knoelke, a warm Dogger for the Southwest region and recent graduate the the university of Wisconsin. “I was one of the ‘lucky dogs.’”

Now in its 28th year, the one-year hot Dogger regimen recruits current grads. Currently, over there are 6 Wienermobiles traveling across the country, v two warm Doggers per mobile. Knoelke has been top top the road with his partner Jennifer Chow due to the fact that June. In January, they will switch partners and regions.

“Each Wienermobile has its very own respective region,” says Chow. “So far, us have remained in California, Arizona, brand-new Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Idaho.”

Every main is a different city. Knoelke and also Chow have carried the Wienermobile to whatever from a parade to a festival to grocery stores to nursing homes. At each event, lock hand out wienermobile whistles and also have bacon and hot dog cut-outs for civilization to take photos.

“We have gone to the L.A. Auto Show, participated in a hot dog festival, went to a boys &Girls Club and helped with the Susan G. Komen race for the Cure,” states Chow.

The 27-foot-long fiberglass warm dog was developed on a general Motors chassis.


The Wienermobile is built on a GM chassis. Photo by Amy Winter-Hercher.

Prototype Source, a designer of cell phone marketing vehicles, operated with automotive designer bother Bradley to develop the Wienermobile’s chassis requirements, seating positions, interior layout, etc. The company has refurbished all of Oscar Mayer’s existing Wienermobiles.

“We take existing vehicles and also then totally gut them,” saysDorian Duke, owner that Prototype Source. “We install the fiberglass body on a new chassis. We placed in brand-new windows and also update all electrical, audio and also video. The just thing reused is the body.”

The whole procedure usually takes between 16 and 22 weeks, according to Duke.

The an initial Wienermobile dates back to 1936 as soon as Carl Mayer had an proclaiming idea because that his Uncle Oscar: a 13-foot-long warm dog automobile that would travel the roads of Chicago. With open cockpits in the center and also rear, basic Body Co. Of Chicago designed the an initial Wienermobile.

Over the years, the Wienermobile has actually gone through numerous redesigns, follow to the Oscar Mayer website. In 1952, five new Wienermobiles to be designed through Gerstenslager top top a evade chassis. The 22-foot-long warm dogs had actually a sound system and sunroof. In 1958, Brooks Stevens included buns into the Wienermobile design. After retiring from organization for number of years, six brand-new 23-foot-long fiberglass hot dogs on wheels toured the nation in 1988. In 1995, harry Bradley produced a 27-foot-long, 11-foot high GM unit with video clip equipment, a large screen TV and also a warm dog-shaped dashboard. Prototype resource started structure the Wienermobiles in 2004. The fiberglass hot dog ~ above a fiberglass bun sits on a converted Chevrolet W4 collection chassis.

Inside the mobile, there is an are for supplies consisting of Wienermobile whistles, signage, tables, chairs and a tent. Follow to Chow, they commonly have at least 3,000 whistles top top hand.

The vehicle is filled with premium unleaded fuel, follow to Knoelke. Every week is various in how countless times they have to refuel; it depends on the number of miles between cities.

When it comes to maintenance, Penske solutions the mobiles. Every 30 to 45 days, the Wienermobile is required to a neighborhood Penske shop for a maintenance check-up. “We commonly take the car to a Penske shop the has worked on the before and also is familiar with it,” states Knoelke.


Each Wienermobile features a 27-foot-long fiberglass hot dog. Picture by Amy Winter-Hercher.

Each Wienermobile is tracked through a gps system. “Our boss gets reports on our location, speeds we are hitting and also when the engine is turned off and on,” states Knoelke.

Driving the warm Dog

Driving a 27-foot-long warm dog car makes the more complicated to maneuver, obtain into tighter spaces and back up. Knoelke says it’s necessary to look the end for things low to the road due to the fact that you are sitting about 7 feet up, over the engine.

To become an ext comfortable with driving the Wienermobile, each warm Dogger completes a driver’s training course during the hot Dog High two-week training course in Madison, Wis.

So far, over there haven’t to be any accidents with the Wienermobiles this year, but there to be an incident last year in Pennsylvania. According to Knoelke, the cell phone hit part ice and also flipped turn off the road. Luckily, no on to be hurt and also the damages was minimal.

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Jennifer Chow in the driver"s seat. 

“You never understand what’s walk to take place when you go the end on the roadway driving a 27-foot-long warm dog around,” claims Knoelke. “You have people smiling and also waving. Anyone is happy to view us. We have actually the capacity to make someone’s day just by passing by.”

For Wienermobile fans, examine out the Wienermobile app, where you can track the locations of each mobile and also get “behind the wheel” in a control simulation game.