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You can probably identify Airstream’s iconic silver bullet travel trailer anywhere. But did you know that Airstream wasn’t the first aluminum RV? In fact, Wally Byam was an employee of Bowlus before he set out to create his own line of trailers.
Although Bowlus isn’t as much of a household name as Airstream, the quality, craftsmanship, and innovation are top-of-the-line. Let’s look closer at what makes these travel trailers unique!
What Is Bowlus?
Bowlus is an RV manufacturer that makes top-quality aluminum travel trailers. These trailers are a beautiful combination of functionality, luxury, and innovation.
Bowlus recently made history with its new release of the Bowlus Volterra, the world’s first all-electric RV. But Bowlus trailers aren’t for the casual weekender. They range from $159,000 to over $300,000.
Who Owns Bowlus?
The company first began in 1934 when Hawley Bowlus made the first riveted aluminum travel trailer. But during World War II, production ceased because of the classification of aluminum as a critical strategic metal.
Fast forward several decades to 2011-2013. Geneva Long grew up with a vintage Bowlus. While attending the Wharton Business School, she gathered a team who began reimagining the Bowlus and RVing experience.
Too many RVs were of poor quality, and Long focused intensely on changing this reality and increasing sustainability and innovation. The craftsmanship became more like yacht quality than RV quality through her leadership.
In 2013, a 24-foot Bowlus was completely redesigned with a full bathroom, heated floors, a birch interior, a fully electric refrigerator, and high-capacity AGM batteries. Long and her team had breathed new life into the Bowlus brand.
Bowlus continues to emerge with new technologies, innovation, and design. In 2020, the company launched the Bowlus Power Management System, allowing up to two weeks of off-grid use.
In 2022, the company launched the Bowlus Volterra, with the first application of AeroSolar in the RV industry for a complete all-electric RV. During her tenure as owner and CEO, Long has been named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30.”
Where Are Bowlus RVs Manufactured?
Bowlus has its headquarters in Oxnard, Calif., just outside Los Angeles. It’s about 45 minutes south of Santa Barbara and 30 minutes west of Thousand Oaks.
The harbor at Oxnard is the closest access point to Channel Islands National Park. In addition, the city hosts the California Strawberry Festival.
What Makes a Bowlus Trailer Unique?
Bowlus manufactures aerodynamic and lightweight travel trailers, making them easy to maneuver and tow. The monocoque design is something you’d find in an aircraft or supercar. It’s one-of-a-kind in the RV industry.
If you want to camp off-grid, Bowlus has created trailers capable of off-grid living for up to two weeks in any season. And you don’t have to sacrifice modern conveniences.
Air conditioning, heated floors, purified water and air, unlimited hot water, and high-speed internet connectivity come installed as part of the design.
The Bowlus Lineup
No matter which Bowlus trailer you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll receive top-notch quality and craftsmanship. This isn’t a fiberglass or laminated trailer. The Alclad 2024 T3 aluminum will last for decades.
Plus, the sustainability focus of Bowlus means the seating is 13% cooler than leather due to the PVC-free polyurethane product. It has CertiPUR-US foam in the seating and bedding and sustainably grown organic products throughout the interior.
Let’s learn more about the lineup.
Length: 27 feet
GVWR: At only 3,500 pounds, you can tow this with your SUV.
Features: The full kitchen has a two-burner cooktop, composite countertops, a 12 Volt fridge/freezer, a microwave, and three storage cupboards. In the living space, the sofa and armchairs of the dinette convert to provide two additional sleeping spaces. The Bowlus Heritage comes standard with a 2-kilowatt-hour lithium-iron-phosphate battery.
Floorplan: It has two rear twins that you can convert into a king bed. The shower, toilet, and sink are split along the back hallway. In the front of the unit, you have the kitchen, dinette, and sofa.
Starting price: $159,000
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Length: 27 feet
GVWR: 4,000 pounds
Features: If you have pets, you’ll love the pet-flex features, like the slide-out bowls. Bowlus also uses HEPA filters for clean air and a two-stage water filtration system.
The Bowlus Terra Firma comes equipped with one 8-kilowatt-hour lithium battery rather than a 2-kilowatt one. These upgraded features, additional shelves, and a large kitchen drawer set the Terra Firma apart from the Heritage trailer.
Floorplan: Like the Heritage, the Terra Firma has two rear twins that convert into a king-sized bed. The center and front layouts are also the same as the Heritage. The upgraded features make the Terra Firma unique.
Starting price: $285,000
Length: 27 feet
GVWR: 4,000 pounds
Features: No matter if you’re at the campsite or traveling down the highway, the industry-first AeroSolar Solar System can charge the Volterra Battery Management System, which provides 17 kilowatt-hours of lithium iron phosphate power.
The induction cooktop is an upgraded feature in the kitchen, while the 50-gallon freshwater storage capacity has a 150% increase from the Terra Firma. It also has fully-vegan interior seating and 100% linen duvet covers.
Floorplan: Like the Heritage and Terra Firma, the Volterra has a rear bedroom with convertible twin beds. The middle of the unit has a split bathroom, and the front has the kitchen, dinette, and sofa. All three lines have the same floorplan.
Starting price: $310,000
Keep in Mind: You think your RV is cool? Then you need to see these 5 coolest RVs in the world!
What Customers Are Saying About Their Bowlus RVs
When you spend that much money on a travel trailer, you want to make sure that you’re going to love your new purchase. Many customers over the years have written to explain how wonderful the entire purchase process was and how much they enjoy their new Bowlus.
One happy customer writes, “You have no idea how excited we are about our Terra Firma Edition! The new HEPA Filter with UVC means clean air – a brilliant idea and a true blessing. The built-in dog bowls for our dear Charlie are beyond adorable. Bowlus, you thought of something for all members of our family!”
Another satisfied customer says, “We don’t usually write testimonials, but after our first month in our Bowlus, we just had to let you all know just how happy we are with our decision. What a breeze to drive and operate.
The continuous hot water and super large shower is the perfect end to our day. Our beautifully appointed cocoon of a bedroom delivers us a consistent perfect night’s sleep. Our only regret was waiting five years to buy a Bowlus – our biggest mistake ever!”
Finally, an eco-conscious customer raves, “It seemed wrong that we’d visit the National Parks with some RV gas-guzzler while we ran a generator that drowned out the wildlife, so we were so excited when Bowlus announced its all-electric move.
The Volterra doesn’t disappoint. It impressed us beyond belief (and we are both in tech). Besides all it does, it is so stunningly beautiful we swear our blood pressure drops each time we enter it!”
Is a Bowlus RV Right for You?
If you’re in the market for a high-end, luxurious travel trailer that’s eco-friendly and leading the industry in innovation, a Bowlus might be right for you.
Not everyone has the budget to spend $200,000 to $300,000 on a travel trailer. But for the niche of customers who want to travel in style with upgraded features like clean air, water filtration, and a two-week off-grid capability, Bowlus answers the call and sets the bar high in the RV industry.
Would you consider a Bowlus travel trailer for your camping lifestyle?