‘Breaking Bad’ balloon funds donated to charity instead

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The “Breaking Bad” RV hot air balloon was supposed to make its Balloon Fiesta debut last October, but it’s still nowhere to be seen.

KRQE News 13 has now learned the RV may never fly over Balloon Fiesta.

The owner of Breaking Bad RV Tours, Frank Sandoval, and his wife Jackie, say the thought of owning their own “Breaking Bad” RV started out as a joke.

“It’s replicated just like the one on the show,” Sandoval said. “We never even imagined it to last this long.”

Walter White’s ride makes stops at all of the shooting locations highlighted in the iconic TV series. It’s been a hit for the last two-and-a-half years.

It’s been so popular, Frank Sandoval says the couple then made the bold move to invest in a $30,000 hot air balloon in the same shape.

“We met with the Balloon folks, they put a design together that would be wind worthy,” he said.

Sandoval says he put down $8,000 for it with Adams Balloons — a local manufacturer — to design and build it.

“What we didn’t realize at the time is there is a lot of moving parts,” Frank Sandoval said.

Take for instance the cost of insurance, maintenance, a crew and the cost of flying at Balloon Fiesta. So, the couple reversed course, shelving the idea.

“We had to put things into perspective and in priority, and we feel it would be better served to help the community,” he said.

Instead, he says they started working with healthcare for the homeless and even donated more than $3,000 to RJ Mitte, an actor on the show who raises funds for cerebral palsy research.

Sandoval says although he’s not shutting down the idea of owning an RV balloon, it won’t happen anytime soon.

“That’s not to say we’re not going to do it in the future, but as of right now our priorities are to help local organizations,” he said.

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