Bowlus® | Philosophy & Design
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Why You Won’t Find A Bowlus At An RV Dealer

When we first started selling the Bowlus, we would get daily inquiries asking which RV dealers were representing us, along with just as frequent calls from RV dealers looking to rep the Bowlus because that’s how one used to buy an RV. Even this week, we’ve had dealer inquiries from Sweden, Texas, and New York because people are trying to keep that business model fresh. However, from day one, we decided to sell direct, and we’re proud it’s just one more innovation where we lead the industry.

So why are we so persnickety no one but Bowlus sells a Bowlus? Well, first, when you build a completely different product, it takes a phenomenal amount of product knowledge, something we didn’t feel was possible in a traditional RV dealer setting, especially when you lead in technical and product innovations. Secondly, when you use products mainly from the yacht and aerospace industries, typical RV knowledge just doesn’t cut it. Thirdly, our owners are smart and incredibly busy. They just don’t have time to cruise around dealerships in hopes of finding something that might appeal to them. They know what they want and like to have their questions answered in detail and promptly.

So we instead created and ensured a process that efficiently provides you all information when you need it. We love it when customers say buying a Bowlus was the most informative and fun buying experience they’ve ever had. Our goal in our sales experience is to delight you because that’s precisely what owning a Bowlus will do.

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What Bowlus Is Right For You?

The good news is we have a Bowlus that is just right for you. While the Endless Highways Performance Edition and the Terra Firma share the same spectacular fit and finish along with the exact layout and Bowlus signature Bowlus systems, there are substantial differences that may make one edition more appealing to you than the other.

The Terra Firma shares all the same features of the Endless Highways Performance Edition, so the best way to think of the two models is more about what is in addition to the Endless Highways Performance Edition in the Terra Firma Edition.

First, the Terra Firma encompasses several pet-flex-friendly features like a remote temperature monitor, slide-out bowls, and a coordinating pet bed, so all travelers have a comfy place to rest. Next, we added a sophisticated HEPA filter with UVC along with a two-stage water filtration system. Terra Firma owners report that they love the HEPA filter with UVC for comfort and security. They additionally love how it can help control pet odors. Further, in the Terra Firma, you’ll find a few tech features like GPS tracking for an additional level of security and integrated Bluetooth brake control.

If you have been considering a bespoke Bowlus, the Terra Firma may be just what you have in mind since the interior is elevated in seating, bedding, and flooring in what we refer to as a relaxed vibe that comes with a lazy late afternoon knowing all is as it should be in the world. With comfy headboards and finishing touches with throws and pillows, you might feel this bespoke interior is just right for you. Of course, you are also welcome to bespoke your Endless Highways Performance or Terra Firma Edition, as we have for many owners, so don’t feel you are limited in any way from having a Bowlus that is perfect for you.

As you are probably aware, we sell out every year and in some specific quarters many years in advance, so if you think a Bowlus is in your future, please reach out, so we don’t disappoint you.

We look forward to answering your questions.

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Why can’t you rent a Bowlus?

Probably no other manufacturer has converted more people to the luxury land travel experience than Bowlus. So, it’s no surprise when we hear the question, “Can I rent a Bowlus before I buy?” We get it, you might not be sure you’ll love this new travel experience, and you’d like to try it on. Maybe a spouse or a partner isn’t sold, and we get that too. (Plot spoiler, they are usually the biggest bandwagon jumpers upon delivery). However, we can guarantee that we won’t ever be in the rental business because we know the industry we are in, and we are manufacturers.

As you can imagine or may know, the ability to manage a manufacturing facility has little to do with a rental business. The Bowlus teams that serve you have deep roots in their skills sets. Our skills are in bending metal with two thousand of an inch accuracy, installing complex electrical systems we have designed, managing complex manufacturing processes (yes, we manufacture over 70% of the Bowlus, so we aren’t “assemblers” like the rest of RV industry) and ensuring your Bowlus order flows through production at our ridiculously high standards and on schedule. The truth is we happen to love manufacturing (and we happen to be very good at it) so opening a side-car business of rentals just doesn’t appeal. Interestingly, not one reputable RV manufacturer has excelled in the rental RV business, although a few have tried along with retired RV CEOs.

So maybe what you’re asking is, what’s right for me? First, consider if RVing is something that will add to what you’re looking for in your life, whether it is adventure, fun, giggles, rest, or just a little spontaneity, then it’s the right thing to do. If you love beautifully designed and executed objects that make your adventurers easier and more enjoyable? Then the Bowlus is right for you.

If you’re interested in securing your Bowlus, please reach out to our sales team. They are experts at ensuring the Bowlus is perfect for you.

Adventure On!

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Feature Highlight: Tablets & Streaming In Your Bowlus®

Years ago, we had one of those fabulous studio executives order a Bowlus. We were a little concerned since the Bowlus doesn’t support a big screen TV with satellite (which the big busses enjoyed at the time). We hoped he had noticed that we had a totally different take and saw streaming as the future when he placed his order online. Happily, we let out a collective happy sigh when he emailed back to say how excited he was with the delivery. He also mentioned he had just completed a major study. The future was that movie and television watching would be on tablets and phones, so he was glad there was no big television screen that would become outdated in the Bowlus.

Fast forward, more than seven years later (or more), and the future we imagined has become the expected as many are using the device of their choosing to view their favorites. Of course, the beauty of not having just one big screen translates into having more than a few very comfortable spots to view in the Bowlus. So you’ll find magnetized anchors in the living and bedroom so you can enjoy the news or a streaming party in bed. One of our favorite spots is using the dining table for our big-screen tablet with some tasty snacks and beverages on the sofa table while using the dinette seating as ottomans.

Of course, all this is possible because of the incredible power of the Bowlus Power Management System that allows up to two weeks off-grid, along with the ability to stream whatever you’d like when you like privately. This is the technology we pioneered over seven years ago, and it’s important to know you’re buying the best in private network capabilities because your privacy matters.

You really can travel on your terms with your Bowlus.

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Feature Highlight: Bowlus® Cargo Management System

The Bowlus Cargo Management System is something you’ll find inside every Bowlus. Running down the edge of each wall that faces the aisle, you’ll notice a track that secures the clips for the Bowlus Cargo Management System.

The Cargo Management System allows you to quickly and safely strap almost anything in the interior of the Bowlus. We have owners use these for their boards, kayaks, and bikes. The front door design of the Bowlus makes for easy in and out with larger objects like these.

We also have owners using the clips to hold tea towels in the kitchen, the glasses at bedtime, or an easy way to tie up their pups while loading in their groceries. The system is lightweight but robust. So incredibly strong – it is the same system that holds in your seats while you’re enjoying a flight.

So no matter your interest or hobbies, the Bowlus Cargo Management System ensures an easy and safe way to tie down your precious cargo, so it arrives ready for you. Please send us an email if you are interested in learning more about all the features that allow you to travel on your terms with a Bowlus.

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Why is a Bowlus® Worth Waiting For?

Right around this time of year, we get more than a few angry phone calls. These callers mean well, and honestly, we can tell they usually are lovely people. It’s just that they’ve just discovered Bowlus, and they want one today. And they mean TODAY! They really don’t like the idea that a Bowlus is built to order, so they’ll have to wait. We understand their urgency. We know they have an immediate adventure vignette in mind. So we usually start with a conversation about why a Bowlus is worth waiting for. And usually, they agree. After all, quality and performance are so rarely seen in the RV industry that they understand why we won’t change a thing. Why?

When you’re in the made-to-order business, you manage your business differently. Very differently. Maybe it is because a Bowlus does not head to an anonymous RV lot. A Bowlus experience should be so much more personal. So this means for us at Bowlus, we take great care. We take our responsibilities very seriously, from the first cut of an extruded aluminum tube that creates the frame to the final quality control review. For us, it means we keep our promise. To deliver the Bowlus as you expected, when it was promised. Sounds simple? But it requires so much more out of each Bowlus team member. No one would have it any other way.

Production at Bowlus is often like listening to a symphony, where the staccato of the rivet guns grooves to the punch of the bending brakes and whirl of the polishers. This diligent orchestra of individuals who work together seamlessly to make the most incredible RV in the world is supported by a quiet team who works their magic to ensure the music never ends. It’s why we didn’t experience the production and supply shocks that have ravaged our industry. Because running a factory on a continuous build to an ordered production schedule is like nothing else. Sure it requires more discipline and organization, but what we receive in turn is knowing every facet of our work is meaningful. Nothing is wasted, and everything goes into making a very special Bowlus that has been well anticipated and expected for an individual or a family that dreams of traveling on their terms. Quite simply, there is nothing more beautiful than that!

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Feature Highlight: Kitchen Storage

A well-designed kitchen reflects a perfect combination of form and function that provides years of easy, memorable meals for daily happiness and sustenance. From a form standpoint, the Bowlus kitchen needs to fully support you while you’re traveling and enjoying your adventures that means some very unique needs that must be addressed.

The first secret to designing the Bowlus kitchen is to develop a storage plan that anticipates how the user(s) may choose to cook and entertain. Unlike your home, where you probably have a myriad of space, with a Bowlus, you have a keen appreciation that a well-designed kitchen also requires an organized kitchen. With that in mind, we have organized the kitchen around storage options. You will find two large drawers for dinnerware and cookware. You will also find three additional cupboards with three shelves to store foodstuffs and another large cupboard with two shelves for garbage, cleaning supplies, and room for pet food. Above you’ll find a cutlery/storage drawer. All drawers have hard-pull soft-close hardware, so nothing ever empties out along the way. You can also make use of the two large shelves over the counters once you arrive for quick and go items like granola bars or fruit.

Of course, not everyone sets up their kitchen the same way. However, a couple of small tips we’d like to provide include only bringing along the most likely used items first and then consider purging items that you rarely use, like the ones you’d usually send to the upper cabinets in your kitchen. However, if you’re headed to a farm and are looking to make something fresh like pies, then, by all means, bring along specialty items like the Coleman Camp Oven we use inside or a Camp Chef or Sun Oven for outdoors. If you’re looking for easy clean-up, consider using deli liners for messy meals. These will make you the first to volunteer to do the dishes!

With some menu planning, the Bowlus kitchen storage has allowed Bowlus owners a week away at a time before hit up a grocery store. Of course, it’s wonderful also to support local restaurants as you enjoy the most fabulous dining room in the country – your Bowlus!

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RV Highlight: Vehicles to tow the Bowlus® & why it’s important

Here is one towing myth we’d like to debunk: you don’t need a “big vehicle” to tow a Bowlus. We occasionally get a call from someone that says their uncle told them they require a big truck to tow a Bowlus. This just isn’t true for two reasons. First, the Bowlus is designed to be lightweight and towed by a vehicle with a 4,000-pound towing capacity. Second, the incredible aerodynamics of the Bowlus means it tows and handles beautifully in the most demanding weather and driving conditions. As a result, you have a wide range of tow vehicles that can tow a Bowlus. Even better, you probably already own a vehicle that can tow your Bowlus, so no need to have another vehicle to park and maintain.

People often ask what owners using as their Bowlus tow vehicle. Often it is a crossover like a Porsche Macan or an Audi Q5, Volvo V90 Cross Country, or a Toyota 4-Runner or Jeep Cherokee because that is their daily driver. Sometimes it is something extra like a Porsche Panamera, G-Class, or even a Bentley Bentagya. If you’re thinking about a lighter truck, several owners tow with a Honda Ridgeline or Toyota Tacoma and are very happy. Of course, there is a long list of SUVs and some minivans all capable of towing a Bowlus from BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, along with the long list of traditional domestic brands of SUVs.

We already have many owners towing with the Tesla X and now the Audi E-Tron. Not to mention we hear from others on the list for a Cybertruck, Rivian, or Bollinger. While some of the EVs promise the moon on the range for towing, remember aerodynamics plays a critical if not huge role in range. We did extensive testing when the Tesla X was released. We compared the Bowlus with a ten-foot shorter 16-foot toaster-shaped travel trailer. The difference was more than remarkable. Depending on conditions (highway, mountain, and the PCH, which can have frequent stops), the Bowlus range was 175 to 200 miles, and the smaller RV was 50 to 75 miles. So don’t think a big EV will mask the weight of a heavy RV. It won’t, and you will still be making more stops to power up. Wouldn’t you rather just get there instead?

If you’d like to know more about towing and your Bowlus, give us a call. We always delight in answering your questions.

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Tips for Navigating Full Time RVing

RV travel is one of the best ways to see the country. If you’re dreaming of selling your house, downsizing, and living full time in your luxury RV, there are many things you’ll need to consider before you can hit the road full time. Yes, you’ll want to make sure you have the right RV for you and your family like the Bowlus Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition, the right tow vehicle or dinghy, and a plan for all the amazing things you want to see and do. But before you begin your extended road trip, you’ll need to manage the mechanics that’ll make your full-time RV lifestyle actually feasible.

We’ve outlined some of the most important things to know as you’re planning your transition to having a RV lifestyle. If you take care of these things before you go, you’ll reduce the stress of having to manage the details from the road.

Home is Not Necessarily Where You Park It
A lot of people use the terms residency and domicile interchangeably, but there are some critical differences, especially for full time RVers. Legally, residency is where you live right now – it’s where your RV is parked. Domicile, on the other hand, is your legal permanent residence. In the eyes of the law, your domicile is your home base. You can only have one at a time, and you must have one to handle all the business of being a US citizen including paying taxes, voting, and banking.

Some states require you to spend 183 days in the state in a fixed dwelling – a home or an apartment, not an RV – to be able to consider the state your domicile. If you’re full-timing it to travel the country in your luxury travel trailer, having to spend half the year in a house somewhere defeats the purpose. That’s why many full timers choose to set themselves up in Texas, Florida, or South Dakota. These three states make it very easy to establish and maintain domicile, in part because they don’t have the fixed dwelling requirement. They also don’t have a state income tax, which could be a benefit for high earners.

There are many factors to consider when choosing your domicile state, and what makes sense for you may not make sense for someone else’s situation. Keep in mind that there will be pros and cons to whichever state you select. I

Regardless, if you change your domicile state when you go full time, you’ll want to cut ties with your old state as thoroughly as possible, or else you could wind up owing taxes in both locations. A dispute over your domicile state could also lead to a denial of insurance claims.

Establishing a Permanent Address
The first thing you’ll need to do when changing your domicile is to establish your new permanent address. Since you won’t have a house or apartment, you’ll likely need to use a mail forwarding service. While there are options in all 50 states, there are several popular programs used by RVers that have established domicile in South Dakota, Florida, or Texas. One is offered by Escapees RV Club. The club has several benefits such as discount programs and an online community, but one of their biggest draws is their US Postal Service licensed mail forwarding services. Escapees assigns you a permanent address in Texas, South Dakota, or Florida, depending on your domicile state. They then receive and hold your mail until you notify them when and where to send it. They can even collect packages from UPS and FedEx. They’re optional scanning service emails you a scanned image of each envelope you receive.

State Registrations Are Important Too
Once you’ve established your permanent address, you’ll need to get a driver’s license in your new domicile state. Check the laws to make sure that you don’t need a special driver’s license for your type of RV, especially if you’re driving a large Class A motorhome or towing a fifth wheel.

When you get your driver’s license, you’ll also want to register to vote. This is another key step in establishing your domicile state. One thing to consider when selecting your state is how easy or hard it is to get an absentee ballot. If you don’t plan on being in the state every November, you’ll likely want a state where you can vote by mail.

You’ll also want to register your vehicles in your new domicile state – that includes your luxury RV and your tow vehicle, dinghy, motorcycle, or any other registered motor vehicles you own. Find out if the state you’re switching to requires regular safety inspections or emissions tests. If they need to be done annually, you’ll need to be back in the state at least once a year.

You will likely still get called for jury duty by your domicile state, so when picking your state, you should consider how easy or hard it will be to get excused from serving.

Banking
Another way to establish your domicile is to start a relationship with a bank in that state. That could mean a large national brand with a presence in the state, a local credit union, or even an online bank. But opening a bank account when you’re a full time RVer is challenging. The Patriot Act requires that your bank have your physical residential address on file – and that address can’t be a mail forwarding service. You may have to use the address of a friend or family member – unless the bank requires proof that you live at the address, such as a utility bill with your name on it. There are ways to legally navigate these requirements, but you’ll need to do it carefully.

You’ll also want to consider how accessible your money will be while you’re traveling. Look for a bank that offers online bill pay and has a large ATM network that charges minimal (or no) fees.

Health Insurance
If you don’t have health insurance through your employer, you’ll need to get a plan based out of your domicile state. As you’re shopping for plans, consider the type of coverage you’ll have if you should get sick or injured while traveling. There are very few nationwide plans, so you’ll want to opt for a private health plan that has wider coverage. It’s a good idea to engage a health insurance broker to help you find a plan tailored for your situation and the people who will be covered. They can provide you with advice specific to your domicile state as well. Regardless of which health plan you select, you should establish care with physicians in your new state as further proof that it is your domicile state.

Other Considerations
While we’ve covered some of the biggest considerations for the mechanics of full time RV living, there are other things to consider. Research the laws and requirements for your top choices before you make your decision on which state to call home. Here are a few other things you can do to help establish a state as your new domicile:

  • Have all your personal legal documents drawn up in that state, including wills, powers of attorney, and such.
  • Move your stored items to the state in which you’re establishing domicile.
  • Transfer your RV insurance policies as well as the policies for your vehicles and possessions to your permanent address in your domicile state. Also, make sure that your plan covers you if you live in your RV full time. Many plans do not.
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10 Boondocking Tips You Need to Know

The ability to completely disconnect and head off grid is one of the best things about RVing. Boondocking is growing in popularity as more RVers head out to dispersed camping sites managed by the National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Department of Fish and Wildlife. While the thought of camping without any water, sewer, or electric hookups might seem anything but luxurious, when you’re in a luxury travel trailer like the Bowlus you’ll find you can still have all the comforts of home.

Here are 10 boondocking tips for making sure your off grid trip in your luxury RV is simply amazing.

1. Find the best boondocking spots
These days there are any number of apps, websites, and online communities that you can peruse in your search for the ultimate boondocking location. Make sure you look at reviews from other RVers to see what they have to say about road conditions and the safety of the location. For example, if you’re in bear country, you’ll need to take some special precautions with your food and trash.

It’s also a great idea to talk to Park Rangers. These folks are intimately familiar with the public lands they manage and are more than happy to share their favorite boondocking sites with you. Be sure to let them know if there’s something special you’re looking for, like seeing wildlife or catching an amazing sunrise.

You’ll want to check cell phone service ahead of time, either by using your carrier’s coverage map or an app that tracks up to date coverage areas. It’s better to know if the mapping app you’re using will work all the way to your site or if you need to go old school and print out directions before you go.

One other great tip is to use Google Earth or the satellite view on Google Maps to better understand the terrain where you’re heading.

2. Know your power needs
Since you’ll be running only on the power you bring with you, you’ll need to manage your power usage. As you’re preparing for your trip, consider the weather and how long you’ll be gone. For example, if it’s going to be cold, many campers save their propane for running the furnace and cook over the campfire or on a portable grill with a portable propane tank.

You can also conserve power by using battery or solar powered lights, radios, and speakers. If you’re in a Bowlus, you can be less concerned about your power consumption than you would have to be in a typical RV. With our battery system, you can spend up to a week off-grid without a generator. During that time, you can run the microwave and the refrigerator. You can even run the highly efficient air conditioner for up to two overnights

3. Bring back up power
No matter how conservative you are with your power usage, it’s always good to have a back up – which usually comes in the form of a generator or solar panels. Generators have their downsides – you need to bring fuel to keep them running and they’re so noisy they drown out the sounds of nature.

At Bowlus, all our luxury travel trailers are prepped for portable solar panels. Our panels can generate 40-60 amp hours per day depending on the weather conditions, which is more than enough to run the lights, all the power outlets in your trailer, power your laptop, and recharge your batteries. It’s also enough solar power to run many of the Bowlus’ highly efficient appliances, including the refrigerator.

4. Park Strategically
When you’re setting up your off grid campsite, you’ll want to position your RV strategically. In the summer, parking in the shade will keep your RV’s interior cooler. Keeping the shades pulled during the day will also help keep temperatures down inside. In cooler weather, do the opposite to take advantage of the sun’s natural heat.

One of the best things about Bowlus’ solar panels is that they’re portable. That means you can park your RV where you need to, but still position your panels to maximize solar energy. If your solar panels are on the roof of your RV, then the required position of your solar panels dictates where you park.

5. Manage your water usage
Managing water consumption is key to any successful boondocking experience. There’s a reason boondockers call it dry camping – you’ll want to bring plenty of water with you. Of course, you’ll need to fill your RV’s fresh water tank, but we also recommend you bring along several large 3 or 5 gallon jugs of drinking water as well. Use the water in your tanks for taking showers, flushing the toilet (Bowlus best-in-class cassette toilet is very water efficient), and doing dishes. Then you can use the bottled water for drinking, making coffee, and cooking.

If you’ve never boondocked before, it’s a good idea to dry camp at a campground for a weekend in your luxury travel trailer so you have a realistic idea of how much water you use (we bet it’ll be more than you think!). Then follow some of these tricks for conserving water off grid.
Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth.
Wash dishes once a day, which is more water efficient than doing them as you go.
Reduce the number of dishes you have by cooking in foil packets over the campfire (toss your protein, veggies, seasonings into the foil and set the packet in the hot coals or a grate over your fire). Consider using paper plates that you can then burn in your campfire.

Finally, if you’re going to be really remote, consider bringing a water purifier or purification tablets. Replenishing your supplies directly from a stream could make you sick.

6. Know your RV tank limits
It’s illegal to dump your black tank and gray tank at your boondocking campsite so you’ll need to know your RV wastewater tank limits before you go. If you’re planning on staying for a while, you may need to break camp so you can empty your holding tanks at the nearest dump station. If you’re in a Bowlus, it’s easy to transport the cassette to the nearest public bathroom.

7. Boondock with a buddy
While sometimes you want to get away from everything and everyone, you may want to take your first trip with someone who’s more experienced off the grid. Not only can they teach you the things they’ve learned along the way, but you can share supplies and spend quality time with friends around the campfire.

At a minimum, you should give your GPS coordinates and expected date of return to a friend or family member so someone knows where you are. While they’ll likely never be needed, it’s a good precaution to take.

8. Have a plan for your clothing
This one is straightforward, but it’s something to think about before you hit the road. You either need to bring enough clothes for the duration of your off grid trip or you need to have a plan for how you’ll do your laundry.

9. Pre-plan and prepare your meals and snacks ahead of time
Preparing food at home is a great way to conserve water while you’re camping (and it’s a great time saver too). Doing the prep work at home means there are fewer pots and pans to scour at your campsite. It also eliminates the last minute trips to the store (which could take hours depending on where you are) for that one missing ingredient. We recommend you make a meal plan before you go (including all the condiments!) to be sure you have everything you’ll need. Then, store it in your RVs fridge in glass containers and you’ll be ready to heat and eat!

One other great tip is to pre-wash your fruits and vegetables so they’re ready to grab and go.

10. Take time to really enjoy nature
Presumably, one of the reasons you want to boondock is to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Make sure you pack camp chairs and plan to spend some time sitting around the campfire and just soaking in the sights and sounds of nature.

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