Bummer about the Winnie, hope it didn't totally ruin your trip. My parents have been RVers for decades and literally every time they went anywhere with their truck+fifth wheel, something broke and they were stranded dealing with it for a while, plus the unanticipated $$$$. I had a small 17' travel trailer that I used for a hunting camp for years and that was fine, but I never ever had any interest in dragging that thing across the country. If I take a vehicle, it's my extended cab 4X4 truck with topper and futon bed built up on a platform above the wheel wells, with gear underneath, and a nice big tent for the kids/guests, motorcycles/kayaks/etc. on a flatbed trailer.
Tow your Winnie up to your favorite hunting area and set it up on blocks, then drive in to visit it once in a while!
Welcome home, and kudos to your friends (they're keepers too!).