All Because of a Dog: Greg & Donna Schultz WIT Member Spotlight

All Because of a Dog: Greg & Donna Schultz WIT Member Spotlight
How one Winnebago couple fell in love with Travato vans.
By: Noel Fleming & Chris Miller

If you are a member of the Travato Nation, you have likely met Greg and Donna Schultz at a rally or interacted with them online. This couple enjoys the Winnebago Travato vans so much that they trade in their current one for a new model every year. They are currently on their sixth Travato and have gotten to experience many new features and updates over the years. But when did their love for these vans start? We asked fellow Winnebago owners Noel and Chris to find out. 

Finding the Right Adventure Vehicle

The search was on. Donna Schultz sat poised at her laptop. Motivated by a small Shih Tzu who inspired great love, she began her quest for an RV. She and her husband Greg were experienced motorcycle enthusiasts. They had traversed the country feeding their love of adventure while traveling on two wheels. However, the couple’s mode of travel was about to change, in order to include their pet Mr. Mister in their escapades.

As motorcycle tourists, the Schultzes were well versed in packing wisely, optimizing available carrying capacity and traveling nimbly. When considering RV options, a van suited their travel style. Identifying Class B as their preferred type of RV enabled Donna to fine-tune her search and scour the internet efficiently. 

After comparing the value of used vehicles to new and sizing up a variety of competitors in the RV industry, she honed in on the Winnebago Travato and located one at a dealership four hours from their home. An investigative road trip was soon to follow. Seeing the Travato in person confirmed their online assessment. The floorplan, quality of finishes, and price point all combined to match their criteria. 

That was 2015–the year their love of Travatos began.

The Beginning of a Travato Love Story

The Schultzes personalized their van, and Mr. Mister was one happy canine camper. The product was ideal for their needs, but it was the people behind the product that cemented their relationship with Winnebago. 

Greg and Donna have witnessed again and again Winnebago’s desire to hear the voice of the customer and to use the data throughout the design process. They identify the ongoing dialogue between designers and consumers as a key factor to the product’s continuing success. 

Greg notes one particular example with a satisfied smile: On his 2016 Travato, he had installed a mod exterior light located near the black and gray waste tank valves. This light is now a factory installed standard feature on all Winnebago class B camper vans. Travato owners affectionately refer to this feature as the GSDL (Greg Schultz Dump Light).

Like every buyer of a new RV, Greg and Donna considered available options, weighing the value and price of each. One inexplicable, priceless option that comes with a Winnebago is not listed on any window sticker— community. 

Noel and Chris hanging out with Greg and Donna.

Becoming Embedded in the Winnebago Community

The Winnebago International Travelers (WIT) Club encourages connections on the road and believes in the power of the mobile community. WIT is open to all Winnebago owners and boasts a growing membership of about 16,000 RVers. 

Every year, the WIT Club orchestrates Winnebago’s Grand National Rally (GNR), a gathering in Forest City, IA, that celebrates the Winnebago brand and their owners. Greg and Donna have participated in three GNRs to date and plan to attend more in the future. They relish the opportunities to deepen friendships and gain knowledge.

The WIT Club also serves as a gateway to smaller special interest subgroups. One subgroup, The Winnie Bs, is open to owners of all Winnebago Class B products. The Schultzes, two self-described independent travelers with little former interest in group gatherings, are now deeply embedded in the community. 

They marvel at how invested they have become. Their travel itineraries are established by using group gatherings as anchor points, happily criss-crossing the country to attend a variety of rallies. In the upcoming weeks they will be eating lobster with friends in Maine and whale watching at a meet up in Oregon. 

The camaraderie takes many forms as members solve problems, complete mods, and plan trips together. The group serves as a chosen family—inclusive, diverse, and like any family ... full of shenanigans. Long lasting friendships continue to deepen, even as new members join the mix. Donna chuckles as she recalls friendships that have been born from RV ownership, and the list of friends continues to flow, as she shakes her head in astonishment and gratitude.

Since purchasing their first RV, all because of a dog, the Schultzes have purchased five more Travatos. Currently traveling in Travato number six, they happily share reflections of past travels and plans for future ones. 

Over the years, they have enjoyed thousands of miles together with Mr. Mister. Though their beloved pet is no longer with them, “the human pack” that he helped to create continues to enhance their journeys. Thanks to one small dog, they travel the country in a compact coach with an expansive community.

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User commented on November 26, 2021 10:24 AM
May I ask what O’brien 3 wheeled bike that is?