I’m always on the lookout for recreational vehicles that stand out in the crowd. It’s not often a new RV interests me but clearly Bowlus is here to change that. The Road Chief Terra Firma is an art piece you can take off of the grid, and I absolutely adore it. If only it weren’t so expensive.
The pandemic has many people feeling the cabin fever and wanting to get out. So it makes complete sense that the RV industry is seeing skyrocketing sales and manufacturers like Bowlus are launching astonishingly appealing campers. If you haven’t heard of Bowlus before, don’t worry, I hadn’t either.
Thankfully, the company has a handy explainer about its history. The original Bowlus was created nearly 90 years ago by aircraft engineer Hawley Bowlus. He may be best known for his work on Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. He also had extensive experience in building gliders. Bowlus’s first travel trailer was the result of an idea to build a trailer to transport flight crews. What’s amazing is that the Bowlus you see today is practically a photocopy of the old one.
Its exterior design already had me gushing, but check out the interior of this thing.
The interior is inspired by yachts; Bowlus wanted to emulate the feeling of a lazy afternoon with its colors and materials. I’d call it a success. I just want to post up next to a lake with one of these and waste an entire weekend.
It’s packing a bit of a technological punch, too. The trailer comes equipped with an 8kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery so you can spend some time completely off of the grid. However, that time off of the grid cannot last too long as liquid-holding capacities are quite low. You’re allotted only 19 gallons of fresh water and 21 gallons of grey water.
The Road Chief also comes equipped with HEPA air filters, water filtration and UVC lighting for surface sanitizing. A more amusing feature is the ability to GPS-track the trailer, as if anyone would be dumb enough to try to get away with stealing something so eye-catching. I joke, but it is pretty neat. Owners can also control HVAC remotely, which makes it nice for our furry friends.
The coolest thing about this trailer to me is its weight. All of that luxury only adds up to a 3,200 pound empty weight. So this thing can be towed by a vast variety of vehicles.
Not so cool is its $265,000 price tag. Bowlus does offer a couple of cheaper versions, but even the cheapest Endless Highways model is a whopping $190,000. At that price, it better be towable by almost anything. It costs more than some houses.
Still, I’m glad it exists, and if I ever see one glamping you bet I’ll talk the owner up.