Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fran Reisner -- photographer, author, RVer

Fran Reisner with Jazzy and Sadie.
Professional photographer and author Fran Reisner began traveling the highways fulltime in mid-September 2011, just a few weeks after selling her home in Frisco, Texas (about 30 miles north of Dallas).

She bought her motorhome "only days before having to hand over the keys to my home," says the solo RVer who travels with her two rescue dogs, Jazzy and Sadie.

Recreation Vehicle: "I got a SWEET deal on a very slightly used 2010 Winnebago Adventurer, affectionately referred to as The Beast" -- 35.5’ long, 12.5’ high, and 8.5’ wide. "In high winds this baby can rock and roll," says Fran.

"With the three slides out it is very spacious, which was important to me since I'm traveling with two dogs. I've never owned an RV and went cold turkey into full time RVing."
Fran's motorhome and toad.
"The visibility is great, especially with the back-up camera and side cameras. Without the back-up camera I would not be able to see the car unless in a tight turn."

Toad: “Zippy,” Honda CRV EXL, weighs in at about 3,200 pounds. "I went with the Blue Ox system and I’m very happy with my choice." The toad added 17-feet behind her motorhome, equaling "a whopping 52-feet. "The benefit of adding the tow car is that I am now able to travel down many 'roads less traveled' without the worry about getting stuck," says Fran.

"You cannot be in a hurry in a big RV, which is just as well because I don’t want to be in a hurry any more. You also can’t be worrying too much about the guy behind you when there’s nowhere to turn off and ya just can’t go any faster. I’ll use the turn outs when they’re available, but otherwise … I’m just going to be another one of those old farts toodling down the road like I’ve got all the time in the world."

Jazzy and Sadie ready to roll.
Customizing RV for traveling companions:

"I built a portable platform (doubles as a table) that fits over the passenger seat with space enough for both Sadie and Jazzy to ride eye to eye with the 'big boys' out there.  They love it," says Fran.

"After leaving a two-acre fenced property where they could run freely, I though it might be a big adjustment for them. Not so. They're happy to be with me and jump in willingly when I ask them if they're ready to go for a ride."

URLs: Follow Fran's travel adventures by clicking on:  Journey in Focus

Book: 'The Dogs of Central Park' (Hardcover, $19.95) 2011. (Order direct from Fran Reisner at and a percentage of the purchase price goes to support animal rescue organizations.)

Photographs: Courtesy of Fran Reisner.

Read more by Julianne G. Crane at


  1. I am planning on traveling w/my aussie, and wondering what you do when you want to visit a site that doesn't allow dogs, like a museum, or a wildlife lecture. I assume I will just skip these things, but thought i'd see if you have wisdom to share. Thanks!

  2. From Fran Reisner via an email to WomenRVers:

    "Sorry I was unaware of this question until now. This is not my blog, so it was not received by me.

    "One of the many advantages of traveling in an RV is that it is a home on wheels. While plugged into electric (or running the generator) I can leave the dogs behind in the air conditioned comfort. I much prefer not to leave them for long periods of time, just in case something were to go awry with the AC, but they're perfectly fine on their own while I'm out kayaking, hiking on trails that they are not allowed on, or any other non-dog friendly places. Of course I do my best to plan much of my time in dog friendly places that I know they'll enjoy... beaches, mountain trails and such."