Bowlus® | Product Information
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Feature Highlight: Towing For Newbies

Towing anxiety can be the biggest concern to first-time travel trailer buyers. So if you feel that way, let’s get you up to speed why it’s different in a Bowlus.

First off, some towing information. Tow capacity refers to the amount of weight a vehicle can tow when pulling a trailer. Your tow vehicle owner’s manual will provide you with the amount of weight you can safely tow, or you will be able to determine your specifications by asking your dealer. You should also pay attention to the tongue weight. The tongue is a device that connects the trailer to the towing vehicle. You should never exceed your tow vehicle’s tongue weight; it will also be listed in the specs. For the Bowlus, you are looking for your tow vehicle to tow 4,000 lbs. and have a hitch weight of 300 lbs or more.

Traditionally hitching a travel trailer is challenging. Along with superb backing-up skills, you often need to break a sweat to get the hitch, weight equalization, and other equipment connected and secured. With a Bowlus, even a small adult (sub-five feet) can pull over the Bowlus and hitch it if they don’t feel like backing up. And because the Bowlus is properly weighted, the remaining cables are easy to hitch, with no superhuman strength required.

Once completing your circle check, you’re on your way to your next adventure. The Bowlus tracks easily behind your vehicle, and when entering or exiting for a fuel/power stop, you’ll never see sparks fly because of the clever 10-degree departure angle on the tail of the Bowlus. You’ll also have clear sightlines on both sides of your Bowlus using your regular side mirror, and if you’re driving an SUV, you’ll probably enjoy the clear view through the Bowlus door and out the tail eye windows. You also do not need to worry about parking since you only require two tandem spots. So there is no need to park in the Siberia of the lot for fear you’ll be blocked. Now you’ve arrived at your destination. You’ve often got the choice to “pull-through,” which means no backing up. So here’s the secret:

  1. Hold the steering wheel in the 6 o’clock position. This makes it much easier to visualize which way to steer your Bowlus. Moving your hand to the left will cause your Bowlus to go to the left, and moving your hand to the right will steer the Bowlus to the right. Want to back up straight, don’t move the steering wheel. A quick hint is to give yourself enough “room” to move back to feel free to pull forward 20 feet if you can.
  2. Use your side mirrors to keep track of your Bowlus’ movements. The Bowlus allows excellent visuals with your standard mirrors but also feel free to look over your shoulder to watch your Bowlus’ movement.
  3. Think of your tow vehicle pushing your Bowlus. Don’t think of them moving together as a complete unit. Instead, visualize the back end of your vehicle pushing the coupler (hitch connection) of the Bowlus much like you would if you were hand moving your Bowlus with the jockey wheel. If you want the Bowlus to turn right, you have to push the handles to the left and vice versa. A little practice in an open parking lot will make this all second nature.

Now you can unhitch if you want, set up the stabilizer jacks and any connections, and enjoy your destination!

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How to Pick the Right RV Floor Plan

Finding the right RV for you and your family can seem like a daunting task. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of different RV models on the market. First, you have to decide what kind of camper you want – Class A or Class C motorhome, a Class B camper van, a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, pop up, or teardrop, to name a few. Then you have to pick your favorite floor plan. Options include a bunkhouse, front living, rear living, wet bath, dry bath and everything in between. How’s a person to decide?

Like any major investment, it’s best to take the time to really think about how you want to use the unit, where you want to go, and how you want to spend your time. If the floorplan of your unit doesn’t fit your lifestyle, your camping experience will be much less enjoyable – in fact, floor plans are one of the most common reasons people trade in their RVs. Are you itching to head out for the ultimate boondocking experience, or is a luxury campground more your style? Will you be hanging out at the campground or off seeing the sights? Will you be eating out at restaurants or at your campsite? If you’re towing, is your vehicle up to the task?

The three primary differences between RV floor plans are the location of the bedroom, the bathroom, and eating and living spaces. Some models prioritize living and entertainment space, others are more focused on storage and sleeping space. We’ve outlined what we think are some of the key considerations when selecting an RV floor plan to help you on your way. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to camp – there’s just your family’s way.

Getting In and Out: Where’s The Front Door?
The main entrance to the RV may not be one of the first things you think about when you’re looking at floor plans, but it should be near the top of the list. Even in the largest Class A’s or fifth wheels, there’s only so much space, and the location of the door can really impact the flow of traffic in and out of your unit. Be wary of a door that’s in the middle (or mid-ship) of the unit – it will likely be in the middle of your living and entertaining space and can make it harder to have conversations with your guests and camping companions.

We like a door that’s at the front of the unit, like you’ll find in Bowlus luxury travel trailers. You’ll find long luxurious couches that span the length of the Bowlus’ living space, which makes for easy entertaining. The entryway to the Bowlus leads into the kitchen, which makes eating and cooking outdoors so much more convenient because everything you need is just inside the door. We also love that there’s no door rendering some of your awning space unusable.

Hitting the Sack: The Bedroom
Bedroom options vary wildly in campers these days. The biggest consideration here should be the number of people who will be regularly camping with you. Will you need sleeping quarters for four or more adults? How many kids? How many beds do you want to set up and tear down each day?

Murphy beds are popular in a lot of smaller trailers, but they’re typically located at the front of the unit and fold down into the living space. You’ll have to fold down the bed to go to sleep at night and then fold it back up in the morning so you can move around. Many RVs offer fold-out couches or sofa beds, but they’re not typically known for their comfort. Bunk beds, often called bunkhouses in the RV world, are also popular with families with lots of kids that don’t mind crawling into the often confined spaces.

We love the flexibility of the Bowlus’ sleeping quarters. Our rear north-south king size bed can provide a luxurious night’s sleep for you and your partner. Or, if you’re hitting the road with your best friend, it easily converts into two comfy twins. The couches in the living area can also comfortably accommodate two more adults.

Wet or Dry: RV Bathrooms
You have two primary options in an RV when it comes to bathrooms – wet or dry. Small campers will typically have a wet bath (basically a shower with a toilet and a sink in the same space), but those have their downsides. Dry baths (what you’re used to at home) come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes the toilet, shower and sink are all in the same room, other times you’ll find the shower across the hall from the toilet, like in the Bowlus. Space to move around, a space to store your toiletries, and privacy are all key things to think about. With doors to close off the entire bathroom space or just the toilet room, you and your traveling companions will have all the privacy you need in a Bowlus.

The Heart of the RV, Part 1: Living Spaces
When you think about your camping adventures, how do you see your family spending their time? Will you be out exploring the wilderness, the local town, a vineyard? Will you be entertaining guests in your RV?

How you’ll use your RV really dictates what’s important for the living spaces. If you’re working from the road, you’ll want an RV that has a flexible living room. Every Bowlus is designed for today’s technologically advanced work environment and has charging stations and a cellular booster. The Endless Highways Edition includes a robust router and an antenna pre-wired on the roof. If you’ll be entertaining, you’ll find the Bowlus’ living area is spacious, yet offers an intimate setting for you and your guests. We’ve even redesigned the traditional dinette so you can entertain your guests in luxury.

Keep in mind that no matter how much you enjoy your traveling companions, you’re going to want an RV that offers some private spaces. The Bowlus has multiple zones so you can isolate the bedroom from the bathroom and living spaces if you need a little alone time.

The Heart of the RV, Part 2: Kitchen
The kitchen is one area where you may think you need to go big. But stop and think about how you’ll be using the space and you may see that things like a kitchen island in your RV are overkill. Most RVers are grilling out or cooking over their campfire. Others still are hitting the town to grab dinner at a local hot spot.

If you do decide to stay in, the Bowlus’ European style kitchen shines with stainless steel countertops and has everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal, including a two burner propane gas cooktop. Outdoor kitchens are trendy in the RV world right now, and our Endless Highways Performance Edition is also outdoor kitchen ready with a 110V outlet and a propane connection for your portable gas grill.

To Slide or Not To Slide: We Vote No
One of the most common ways that RV manufacturers try to expand space in an RV is through the addition of one or more slide outs. You can read all about the pros and cons of slides in this article (summary: we’re not big fans and we’ve designed the Bowlus so you don’t need slides).

Light and Bright: Windows
Large windows and natural light make a space feel bigger. The last thing you want when you step into your RV is to feel like you’re entering a cave. That’s why we put large windows on both sides of our luxury travel trailers. We also include two amazing skylights, which are perfect for taking in the night sky (without all the bugs).

Your priorities will be different if you’re a weekend warrior or looking to live in your RV full time. But we think these design elements are what can make or break your camping experience.

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Feature Highlight: Silent Vents

When we talk about luxury, the conversation often starts with fit and finish. However, it is so much more encompassing for us. So how does the concept of silence fit with luxury? Easy, because silence is so sought but rarely attained in our lives, it is indeed a luxury.

The value of silence on our bodies and minds is impressive. It can reduce stress, lead to better sleep and even increase the production of brain cells. We also associate silence with peaceful relaxation, like visiting with nature. So that is why we designed the Bowlus to be your zen refuge with silent vents, so you’re not disturbed by an annoying fan running in the background.

You’ll find five silent vents that move air through the brass screens on the windows and the door traveling along the curved ceiling to exit that you can open and close individually to get the perfect airflow just for you. An added benefit is that these are mechanical versus electric fans is they are built to last since there are no electrical elements to fail.

When good design leads, it brings luxury to your life.

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Business Highlight: Why Travel Trailers are the Largest Sector of RVs

Did you know that travel trailers sales continue to outpace every other RV category by overwhelming numbers? For instance, if we take a very good shipment month where a total of 45,930 RVs were shipped, just 4,516 were motorhomes and camper vans. Overall, vans and motorhomes saw a decline of -24.3% in 2020 over 2019 despite the pandemic trend of camping and this trend continues. So why are travel trailers so popular?

We often have people switch from motorhomes and vans to a Bowlus. We thought we’d share their experiences with you on why they made the switch. One person harbored very specific dreams of their travel mate preparing them fancy sandwiches as they motor down the highway. They soon realized that after their mate told them to make the sandwiches (while they took the wheel), it was more than a little dangerous (not to mention illegal in most states). Other longtime motorhome fans (all in their 60’s) said it was much like owning a small plane and that you age out of the experience over time. They found driving their regular vehicle much less fatiguing than driving a van or motorhome.

Everyone pointed to the expense of maintenance (oil changes, tune-ups, engine rebuilds, etc.) of motorhomes and vans and the fact that if you had an emergency repair, you were also without a vehicle, more often than not, in the middle of nowhere. Others were bothered by the low fuel mileage they got with their motorized RV and liked the idea they could pull their Bowlus with an electric vehicle and have a 175-200 mile range. Most mentioned they started with a motorhome or van because they were concerned about backing up a travel trailer; however that was not a concern with a Bowlus since it not only handled well, it was also a breeze to back up with just a little practice. Although travel trailers require service from time to time and require you to move from your vehicle to the RV, they are undoubtedly the overwhelming favorite.

We look forward to any questions you may have.

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RV Highlight: What does Boondocking Mean & Why Do you Care?

Some people think about boondocking and feel it’s not for them. They like the idea of pulling into an RV park with all the organization and, more recently, the new “jazzy” extras. With an influx of capital from private equity, campgrounds are being elevated far beyond your usual expectations. Wine tastings, private outdoor theatres, and fancy coffee bars are popping up across the country, some with more dispersed campsites as well. So with all this going on, why should it matter that you purchase an RV with excellent boondocking capabilities?

Beyond the obvious, that traditional campgrounds just don’t appeal to everyone, boondocking (the ability to camp off-grid far from services and amenities) gives you greater flexibility in how you travel. Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about overnighting in a Walmart parking lot – nor would we ever recommend that since there are so many unique places to stay like the Bureau of Land Management’s dispersed camping options. With over 245 million acres of land, you can start by browsing the Public Lands Interpretive Association’s map to discover your hidden gems of the west. To learn more, visit the Bureau of Land Management website.

So when we dig into the Bowlus mantra of “traveling on your terms,” boondocking allows you to happily skip over the Benjamin Franklin idiom that “guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days” because, with a Bowlus, you will be pleasantly escounced in your luxurious home away from home with five-star bedding and well-appointed en-suite making you the perfect guest for friends and family for an extended visit. Want to stay longer than a few weeks? No problem, run an extension cord to a standard household outlet, and you can charge your Bowlus in three to four hours.

So along with being the ultimate guest you can also stay at all those cool out of the way spots that make you crave nature when you have the best RV for boondocking. Download the Bowlus Guide to How to Find the Best of Off-Grid Camping Locations to start planning your first Bowlus adventure. Here’s to enjoying our big beautiful country while you visit friends and family in style!

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Charging Your RV Battery With Solar

If you’re one of the many campers who love to park your travel trailer in scenic off-grid spots, the length of your stay is often limited by the life of your RV’s batteries. With no shore power hookups in sight, you could use a generator to power up your rig, but even the quietest models will overwhelm the sounds of nature – and that defeats one of the big selling points of boondocking. So what’s an innovative RVer to do? It’s simple, go solar and let the sun be your RV’s battery charger!

RV Solar System Components
RV solar panels work just like the ones on your home. They soak up energy from the sun and create the power you need to run your off-grid life. There are three types of RV solar panels on the market today. With monocrystalline solar panels, each cell is a thin wafer of pure silicon crystal. These are the most efficient, and most expensive types of panels you can buy. Polycrystalline solar panels are slightly less efficient and slightly less expensive than monocrystalline, and each cell is made from melted and molded silicon. Amorphous panels are essentially a thin silicon film attached to a backing material that makes it flexible. These are the least expensive, and least efficient solar panels you can buy.

In addition to the panels, an RV solar setup needs a solar charge controller, an inverter, and a battery. The solar charge controller manages the energy generated by your solar panels so that you don’t overcharge your battery. A maximum power tracking (MPPT) solar charge controller, like the one found in the Bowlus’ integrated power management system, is more efficient than a standard controller. It’s also more expensive, but in a cost benefit analysis, the MPPT wins every time. Here’s why. The MPPT controller takes excess voltage and converts it into usable power. It also allows a higher voltage to travel through the wires from the solar panel. What this all means is that you can gather more solar energy and keep your RV batteries charged – even on a mostly cloudy day.

Your RV solar system will also come with an inverter. The inverter’s job is to take the direct current (DC) generated by your solar panels and stored in your batteries and convert it into alternating current (AC). AC is what you need to power your RV’s outlets and most of the appliances.

The final component to your solar system is the battery bank, which stores all the energy your panels generate. There are four primary battery types found in RVs – flooded lead-acid, gel, absorbed glass mat (AGM), and lithium iron phosphate. We think lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) is the best for RV use in general, but also for RV solar systems. They’re fast charging and provide a lot more power than the other options. That’s why every Bowlus Endless Highways Edition has a 4KWh lithium iron phosphate battery (the Terra Firma doubles this to 8KWh).

RV Solar Panels: Fixed or Portable?
If you’re buying a motorhome, fifth wheel, or a travel trailer that’s prepped for solar power, or comes with a solar system already installed, you’ll find that in most cases, the panels are located on the roof. Because they’re in a fixed location, you need your camper in just the right spot to be able to maximize the energy you can capture from the sun.

Bowlus does solar in a different way. We don’t mount our panels on the roof but provide optional portable solar panels that connect quickly and easily into the pre-wired input on the side of your unit (every Bowlus comes solar power enabled). We love the flexibility of the portable panels. First, they’re no bigger than a small suitcase and the foldable solar panels are easily stored in the closet. That means that if you’re going out for a week of camping with shore power, you can leave the solar panels at home. You can’t do that when they’re affixed to the roof!

Second, with portable solar panels, you can park your Bowlus in the shade, but position your panels in the best place on your campsite to get maximum solar exposure. This will keep your travel trailer naturally cooler because it’s not in the blazing sun, even though your panels are out soaking up the rays. If your panels are on the roof, you could wind up having to move your rig throughout the day to make sure your panels are positioned correctly. And that’s not what camping is all about!

The third reason we love portable solar panels is that they don’t interfere with the aerodynamics of the Bowlus. The Bowlus’ unique shape is designed to have a low center of gravity, which means it is easier to tow. Attaching solar panels and their mounting hardware to the roof would create more drag, which ultimately decreases your tow vehicle’s mileage or battery range. Also, because of Bowlus’ curved aluminum shell, if we were to affix solar panels to the roof, we’d need to use the lower quality, amorphous flexible solar panels. Instead, we chose to go with efficient, high quality portable solar panels.

Now that we have the basics of the RV solar panel kit down, let’s talk about how the whole thing works. First, you’ll lay out your portable solar panels, pointing them in the direction of the sun. Hook the wire from the panels up to the solar panel input (located right next to the electrical input on the side of your Bowlus), and you’re off and running. The wires from your panels take the energy you’re generating to the charge controller, then to the battery, then out to the inverter where it’s converted to AC power, and then ultimately to your outlets and appliances.

Running Your RV with Solar
All Bowlus luxury travel trailers are pre-wired for our 120 watt portable solar system. You can get one or two panels, based on your needs. The Bowlus solar panels can generate 40-60 amp hours per day depending on the weather conditions, and if you’re wondering, that’s more than enough to run the lights and all the power outlets in your trailer. You’ll be able to keep your laptop and other devices fully charged! It’s also enough juice to run many of the Bowlus’ highly efficient appliances, including the refrigerator.

You will still need to be weather aware, though. Even with the Bowlus solar panels, state of the art power management system, MPPT solar charge controller, inverter, and lithium iron batteries, you still need the sun to shine for your solar power system to work. And in the winter months, when the sun is lower in the sky, you’ll need to adjust how you position your panels to make sure you’re capturing the greatest amount of energy. You’ll also need to make sure your solar panels are kept clean and that you’re monitoring the system (Bowlus has an app for that!). When you add solar panels to your Bowlus, you’ll have the ability to power everything you need. You’ll also have the best RV for a luxurious, and peaceful, boondocking experience.

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Why RV Insurance Matters

Every state in the US requires insurance for motorized RVs like class A and class C motorhomes and class B camper vans. While the coverage is different, most states also require that you carry insurance on towed RVs as well, from travel trailers like the Bowlus Terra Firma, to fifth wheels and tear drops. Besides the legal requirements, your camper is a significant investment that you should protect, just like your home and car!

RV insurance coverage is sold by most of the major home and auto carriers in the US like State Farm, Progressive, and AAA. There are also some RV specialty providers, such as Good Sam. RV policies typically include comprehensive, collision, liability, property damage, and personal injury protection. But before you lock in your coverage, there are a few other things you should consider to ensure that your RV insurance provides you all of the protection you need. What we’ve outlined in this post will focus largely on insurance for towed trailers.

RV Insurance: Replacement Coverage
Let’s start by looking at the primary types of replacement coverage offered by RV insurance providers. If your trailer is a total loss due to an accident, fire, or water damage, the type of policy you have determines how much money you get towards your new trailer.

Total loss replacement (TLR) is the gold standard, and what we always recommend to our Bowlus customers. Also known as replacement cost coverage, a TLR policy means the insurance provider will replace your unit with a new, comparably-equipped RV if yours is totaled. Some policies have time limits on how long they’ll provide full replacement coverage (typically the first 4-5 years of the RV), after which most companies convert the policy to an actual cash value payout.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) is what a large percentage of RV owners have. The annual premiums on these policies are less expensive than TLRs. But, if your RV is totaled, an ACV policy will pay you the fair market value for your unit – and that may not be what it’ll cost to replace what you had.

Purchase price guarantee (PPG) polices reimburse you for the amount you paid for your trailer. These are commonly used with RVs that are more than two years old. Keep in mind though, that as manufacturers raise prices, PPG will likely not make you whole if your RV is a total loss.

If you have a classic camper, agreed value coverage may be right for you. With this type of policy, the value will be determined by the bill of sale or an appraiser.

If you’re planning on living in your RV full time (6 or more months of the year, or if the RV is your primary residence), you’ll need full-timer coverage (FTC). These policies can be harder to find, so you may have to look to a specialty RV insurance company like Good Sam. FTC policies typically provide additional liability coverage and some medical coverage.

RV Insurance Policy Options
There are a wide variety of coverage options available that allow you to customize your policy to suit your specific needs. Options will vary based on the carrier, but here are a few things you should consider, if they aren’t standard:

  • Personal Contents Replacement Coverage (Personal property coverage): Covers the cost of replacing damaged or stolen items that are kept inside your RV.
  • Vacation Liability: Covers property damage at your campsite and protects you if a guest is injured at your site or in your RV. If you have a large or expensive RV, you may want to invest in vacation liability coverage over and above the standard amount provided. This is also referred to as bodily injury liability and property-damage liability coverage.
  • Emergency Expense Coverage: Reimburses travel and living expenses if you’re involved in an accident. This could include a car rental, hotel stays, and food. Some policies also provide transportation home for you, your family members (including your pets), and your RV if you become ill.
  • 24-hour Roadside Assistance: You may already have this for your vehicle, but you should make sure you have coverage for the trailer you’re towing as well. You don’t want to leave it by the side of the road if your car breaks down and needs to be towed.
  • Tire Protection: Primarily a concern for large class A and class C motorhomes that use large (and expensive) tires, this may be something to consider for your travel trailer. Tire protection typically offers things like flat tire repair and tire and wheel replacement.
  • Pet Injury Coverage: Reimburses medical care for your pet should he or she be injured in an accident.
  • Audio-Video and Custom Equipment Protection: Covers select electronic components in your RV.
  • Key and Lock Replacement.

Mexico Physical Damage: If you’re planning on traveling south of the border with your RV, make sure to check your coverage before you go (some policies may not fully cover your rig outside of the US). You may need to procure additional coverage from an insurance company in Mexico.
Storage rates: Some carriers allow you to suspend portions of your policy while your RV is in storage for long periods of time. This can save you on your premiums when you store your trailer for the winter. Just make sure to reactivate the full policy before you head out on your first trip of the year.

RV Insurance Costs
Recreational vehicle insurance policy costs will vary state to state and person to person. Rates are typically calculated based on your driving history, the value of the RV, whether it’s a towable or a motorized RV, and any additional coverage you choose to have. Your age may also impact your insurance rates, just as it does with your auto insurance.

Just like your homeowners insurance and auto policies, you’ll want to shop around and look for discounts and the options that best suit your needs. We recommend starting with the insurance agent that you currently work with for your home and cars. Multi-vehicle or bundling discounts can provide significant savings if you get all your coverage from the same provider.

Other popular discounts that RVers can take advantage of are diminishing deductible coverage or safe driver discounts that reduce your premium or deductible if you don’t file a claim. Paying your annual premium in full, rather than each month, can also reduce the cost of your policy. Ask if the provider offers discounts to members of any associations or organizations. The insurance discount you get from joining an association like the National RV Association may be greater than the membership fees themselves.

Finding the right insurance policy for your RV sounds like a tedious task. But really, once you understand the basic components, you’ll be able to invest in great coverage that will give you peace of mind every time you hit the road for a new adventure.

Bowlus is neither an insurance broker or agent. Please contact yours for more information.

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Two Axles Aren’t Better Than One

These days, we’re bombarded with messages that preach “more is better.” But the reality is, sometimes less is more. This is especially true when it comes to the number of axles on your travel trailer. Two (or even three) axles aren’t necessarily better than one. At Bowlus, we’ve designed our luxury travel trailer with just a single axle. Here’s why.

The Axle and the Wheel
The axle is a simple machine that’s been around almost since the dawn of time. In basic terms, it’s a rod with a wheel on each end. While some improvements have been made since the fourth millennium BCE when the wheeled cart was the hottest tech going, it’s the same basic design that you’ll find on your RV today. The axle’s rod runs underneath your camper and allows the connected tires to rotate as you move on down the road.

How Many Axles Do You Need?
Campers typically have one or two axles, with many of the largest toy hauler 5th wheels having three. The number of axles you have on your trailer isn’t random or determined by what looks good; it’s based on the weight of the trailer. Most configurations have two tires per axle, though class A motorhomes commonly have four per axle (two on each side).

Every tire on the market has a load capacity, regardless of whether it’s going on your car, pick up, pop up, travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome. The total load capacity of the tires cannot exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or the maximum amount a vehicle can safely weigh. Single axle travel trailers, like the Bowlus Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition, are lighter weight, which means they need fewer tires to support the load of the trailer.

Take the Goodyear Endurance 205R15 tire, for example, which has a load capacity of 2,150 pounds per tire. Two of these tires on a single axle can support a vehicle with a GVWR of 4,300 pounds. Because the GVWR on every Bowlus model is just 4,000 pounds, two Goodyear Endurance tires provide more than enough load capacity for our single axle 26-foot trailer design. These are the tires we use on all of our models. A comparable 25-foot Airstream has a GVWR of 7,300 pounds. These units also come standard with Goodyear Endurance tires, but because of the camper’s weight, a double, or tandem, axle with a total of four tires is required.

Airstream’s single axle floorplans are considerably smaller and range from 16 to 22-feet long. While that’s more in line with the industry standard for single axle campers, it’s a pretty small space, especially if you have to give up your dinette and endure a wet bath, which you’ll likely have to do in a camper that small.

The Jury Is In: Single Axle Travel Trailers are Safe
If you spend too much time on the internet, you’ll see some die-hards that believe a double or tandem axle camper is safer than a single axle model. This simply isn’t true. Travel trailers with one axle are made the same way as their larger counterparts, using the same types of construction materials. So long as you don’t over pack and exceed the GVWR, and you keep up with your tire maintenance (including making sure the tires are properly inflated), a single axle camper is perfectly safe to tow. And for the record, you can’t overpack or ignore the tires on a dual axle rig either.

One of the common complaints you’ll hear is that single axle trailers have more bounce and sway than a heavier tandem axle counterpart. But our owners report that they find the opposite to be true. Because Bowlus maximizes aerodynamics, has a low center of gravity, and employs weight balancing techniques, our owners say that sway isn’t an issue. They even go so far as to say that the Bowlus handles better in challenging driving situations than larger, heavier, double axle trailers they’ve owned in the past.

Alignment is key to ensuring that any trailer is safe to tow and that your tires don’t wear unevenly. To keep your trailer in alignment, you’ll want to have it checked by a professional if you hit a curb, repeatedly hit potholes, or frequently travel over rough railroad tracks. All of these things can cause your RV to go out of alignment, just like your car might. If you need to get your Bowlus aligned, reach out to the Bowlus product support team to make a service appointment.

Single Vs. Double Axle Travel Trailers: Which is better?
There are two distinct camps of RVers, each insisting that they can answer the number of axles question. But since single and double axle models are equally safe, what it really boils down to is which camper best meets your needs. We love single axle trailers for a lot of reasons, many of which are tied to the fact that these units are relatively lightweight. Some of the things we love about single axle RVs are:

  • They’re easier to move with the use of a jockey wheel (as found on the Bowlus) because they’re lighter and they only have two wheels. This gives you the ability to position your unit anywhere on your site and it makes hooking up a breeze.
    They offer easy towing because a lighter trailer means less rolling resistance and less wind resistance.
  • There are fewer tires, brake bearings, and axles to check, maintain, and replace. Proponents of double axle RVs will tell you that if you have a blowout, you can limp your way home on three tires. What they don’t mention is that doing that can cause significant damage to the trailer and the wheel – and since that can significantly increase your repair costs, it’s not really an advantage in our book.
  • You don’t have to buy a big new car to tow a lightweight single axle trailer. Many mid-size and compact SUVs, including EVs like the Tesla Model X, have a 4,000 pound towing capacity. More than enough to pull a luxurious travel trailer like a Bowlus.
  • You’ll get better fuel economy and better battery range for your tow vehicle because the trailer is lighter.
  • Single axle travel trailers turn more easily than a double axle trailer of comparable size. This makes navigating sharp corners and tight spaces less stressful.
  • They’re easier to maneuver in general.
  • You don’t have to compromise on the floorplan or the interior living space.
  • A lighter weight trailer means that you can stop faster. Large, tandem axle models have slower acceleration and slower braking.Every Bowlus luxury travel trailer comes with electric brakes, though it’s important to note that not all lightweight RVs do. We also include a RF brake controller that requires no modification for your tow vehicle. This is just another way we put safety first for our owners.
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Top 10 Luxury RV Resorts

There are times when you just want to unplug, head off into the wilderness with your RV and your family and just be away from the world. If you’re boondocking on remote BLM land, you know the amenities are going to be sparse, and that’s OK! With the expectational off grid capabilities of the Bowlus Terra Firma and Endless Highways Edition, we’ve got you covered. But, then there are the other times – those times when you want the luxury camping experience to go beyond the front door of your travel trailer. Sometimes you want all the amenities a luxury RV park can offer, and we’ve got you covered there too. Check out this list of amenity packed RV resorts that we love.

What is a Luxury Camping Experience?
To some, luxury and camping seem like two words that should never be in the same sentence (clearly, they haven’t been in a Bowlus!). But there are a lot of really amazing luxury RV resorts that offer all of the amenities you’d expect to find at a five-star hotel. The only difference is that you bring your own room (and bathroom) with you.

We had a few parameters when we curated this list. First, any luxury RV resort you’ll see here has to accept travel trailers. There are a surprising number of high end RV resorts that only permit Class A and C motorhomes (they’re often called motorcoach resorts). Travel trailers, no matter how nice, need not apply. Since we love travel trailers, this was a no brainer.

We also considered the amenities you’d find at your campsite. Full hook-ups and spacious sites were a given. But we also looked for offerings like a supercharged wi-fi, paved and level campsites, patios with propane grills and gas fire pits, outdoor furniture, and special places for your pup. Though not every resort on the list has all these things, they are among the hallmarks of many.

The amenities of the resort at large were also a factor. Some of these perks vary based on where the resort is located, but here are a few of the things that caught our eye: resort-style swimming pools, workout rooms stocked with the latest fitness equipment, spa services, game rooms, and restaurants.

And speaking of activities, most luxury RV resorts will have a daily roster of fun things to do that are exclusively available to their guests. At minimum, the resorts will be located in areas where there’s plenty to do on your own. And that’s why the types of activities offered by the resort, or that are available nearby, were a consideration. And trust us, we’re talking about things like local winery excursions, not rowdy games of bingo (though if that’s what you’re into, no judgement here).

And without further ado, the list (in no particular order).

1. Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort, Maine
Moorings, which is located right on Penobscot Bay, offers oceanfront camping and spectacular views of the rugged Maine coast from every site. The resort has a private beach and they host a number of special events including a midsummer lobster fest. Located just an hour south of the stunning Acadia National Park, there are also several nearby lighthouses to check out. There are a few golf courses close by, as well as hiking and biking trails. If shopping and antiquing are your speed, you’ll want to hit the nearby coastal villages.

2. Petoskey RV Resort, Michigan
Located in the scenic northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula is the Petoskey RV Resort. This pet friendly, gated resort has a fitness center, game room, library, and a hot tub. If you don’t want to make the short trip to nearby Lake Michigan’s sandy beaches, RVers can enjoy the spectacular swimming pool. The resort is near the heart of Michigan’s thriving wine country and isn’t too far from Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. You’ll also find a number of top rated restaurants in nearby Traverse City.

3. Normandy Farms, Foxboro, Massachusetts
Normandy Farms is located in between Boston and Cape Cod, adjacent to the Foxboro State Forest. This award winning luxury campground has fitness and business centers, and you can catch a yoga class in the creative arts center. You can even get a massage from a licensed massage therapist in the on-site wellness center. The resort also has luxurious pool facilities, tennis courts, disc golf, a bike park, and a snack bar. Normandy Farms has a 1.5 acre dog park with all the gear your pup needs to practice their agility skills, and an on-site kennel where your dog can camp out while you’re off exploring the area for the day.

4. Bluewater Key RV Resort, Florida
Bluewater Key, as the name suggests, is an exclusive RV resort located in the Florida Keys. The resort is known for its large, private RV sites with tiki huts and ample outdoor seating. The Bay-Front and Canal sites also have their own private docks for easy water access. The resort offers high-speed internet, HD cable, and a temperature controlled fresh-water pool. Take a short trip outside the resort to play a round of golf, visit Hemingway’s house, and soak up that Key West spirit.

5. Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Tennessee
On the banks of the French Broad River, Two Rivers Landing calls itself a boutique RV resort. The grounds are impeccably landscaped, and all sites have a lush, natural privacy barrier, high-speed wi-fi, and free cable TV. There’s also a unique riverside pool. The resort is located just a short distance away from Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Gatlinburg. If you’re into country music, you’re only about thirty minutes away from Dollywood.

6. Stella Mare RV Resort, Texas
Stella Mare is a twenty-five acre RV resort located on Galveston Island. The all-inclusive resort offers free premium wi-fi, concrete pads on each site, and a heated swimming pool. There’s also a large splash pad for your little ones, a hot tub with ocean views, and two dog parks. With easy access to the beach, you can take a quick dip in Galveston Bay. The resort also features a tiki hut where live musicians amp up the fun.

7. Zion River Resort, Utah
Zion River Resort is located just a short distance away from Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. You can take the resort’s shuttle bus to Zion to kick off a myriad of outdoor adventures, including the perfect hike through the area’s famous red landscape. At the resort you can check out one of their educational programs about the area’s wildlife or Native American history, or you can linger in the heated swimming pool, relax at the spa, and make new friends in the community’s gazebo kitchen. There are even wine and cheese gatherings. Other amenities include a dog park, business center, and free high-speed internet.

8. Tiger Run Resort, Colorado
High up in the Rockies, located in the heart of Colorado ski country between Frisco and Breckenridge, is Tiger Run Resort. This impeccably maintained resort is a great place to kick off your outdoor adventures no matter the time of year. Each site has a concrete pad, grassy area, and a picnic table. To accommodate winter campers who want to hit the slopes at Vail or any of the other nearby ski slopes, each site has a heat probe in the water risers. Amenities include hot tubs, a fitness center, tennis courts and more. Because of the resort’s natural setting, don’t be surprised if you see a moose wandering by!

9. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, California
If you’re looking for a five-star resort that’s as luxurious as your RV, then you should check out Newport Dunes. The resort offers beachfront sites, a beach area reserved for resort guests, hydrotherapy pools, private poolside cabanas, concierge services, and the largest inflatable water park in southern California. Located right in the heart of Newport Beach, you’ll have easy access to all the area’s festivals, watersports, and fine dining.

10. Sea Perch RV Resort, Oregon
Located in southern Oregon, right on the Pacific coast, you’ll find the Sea Perch RV Resort. Oceanfront sites have a patio that offers stunning sunset views. Take a stroll on Searose Beach or hang out at the Sea Perch Club House. The resort is close to many local attractions including the Oregon Coast Sand Dunes, the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The nearby town of Yachats is a shopper’s delight with art galleries, gift shops, and more. It’s also home to several amazing restaurants.

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Your Guide to Selecting the Best RV Battery

The RV battery is a critical component of any camper’s power system. RVers need a deep cycle battery to provide a dependable, steady power current over a long period of time, under a variety of conditions. Deep cycle RV batteries are designed to take the regular and deep discharges of power that come from using RV appliances.

But not all RV batteries are created equal. There are four primary battery types found in RVs – flooded lead-acid, gel, absorbed glass mat (AGM), and lithium iron phosphate. Read on to understand which RV battery is the best for your unit, and why we’re so amped up (get it?) about the Bowlus battery system.

Flooded Lead-acid Batteries
Flooded lead-acid batteries are one of the most common types of batteries you’ll find in motorhomes, travel trailers, and 5th wheels. They’re the cheapest of the deep cycle batteries, and are readily available. However, they have lead plates or grids in the battery container, which makes them heavy and bulky. Those lead plates are immersed, or “flooded”, with a liquid electrolyte made of sulfuric acid and water. They typically have a lifespan of two to five years, depending on how well you take care of them.

While they’re commonplace, flooded lead-acid batteries are not an ideal solution for RVers. First, they need regular maintenance, which includes topping them off with distilled water. They also don’t charge quickly, and the total usable capacity is only 30-50%. They must be located in a well-vented area outside of your RV because they can generate dangerous gasses while they’re charging. And you need to keep them charged. Flooded lead-acid batteries will self-discharge over time and if the charge drops below 50%, you could damage the battery. That means you’ll need to keep a trickle charge on them during your camping off-season. On the flip side, you need to make sure you don’t overcharge a lead-acid battery, because that can irreparably damage the battery as well. Because they’re flooded, there’s also a chance they could freeze in cold temperatures; freezing could lead to a cracked battery case and a damaging spill.

Gel Lead-acid Batteries
Also known as sealed lead-acid batteries, gel lead-acid batteries have the same lead plates as their flooded counterparts, but in this case, they’re immersed in a gel. They’re less prone to spills, but they’re not spill proof – the gel is just a little harder to spill than the electrolyte in a flooded battery. They require little to no maintenance, but do need to be vented and overcharging will destroy the battery.

Gel batteries are simply not recommended by most experts for use in a recreational vehicle. The primary downside to this type of battery is that it has less energy density and charges more slowly than an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery, which we’ll talk about next.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries
This type of lead-acid battery is popular for RV use, even though it’s typically the most expensive of the lead-acid bunch. The liquid electrolyte in the AGM is absorbed into fiberglass mats, so it can’t be spilled. An AGM deep cycle battery charges about five times faster than a flooded battery, it can’t freeze and it’s maintenance free. Like its lead-acid counterparts, overcharging can ruin the battery. It has a low self-discharge of just 1-3% per month, as compared to the 5% seen in flooded models.

Lithium Iron Phosphate
At Bowlus, we’re big fans of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries – that’s why we put them in our luxury travel trailers. A totally different technology from lead-acid batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries are the safest and longest-lasting batteries available for RV use. Lithium iron batteries, while more expensive than a lead-acid model, can power your RV for 8-10 years of frequent camping trips. Because they’re made of non-toxic materials, they don’t need to be vented; we nestle the Bowlus’ LiFePO4 battery safely inside the shell.

LiFePO4 batteries have a wider range capacity than traditional lead-acid batteries in terms of both usable capacity and cycle life. They provide six times the useful power of other systems, with a whopping 80-100% usable capacity (compare that to the typical 30% you get with a flooded lead-acid battery). They’re fast charging, maintenance free, and because they’re not filled with lead plates, they’re about a third of the weight of a lead-acid battery.

We mentioned earlier that anything below a 50% charge and you’re going to damage a flooded lead-acid battery. Well, with a LiFePO4 battery, you can discharge it to about 20% of the battery capacity without damage. You also don’t need a trickle charge on your battery during winter storage – they can hold their charge for months!

Every Bowlus Endless Highways Edition has a 4KWh lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery (the Terra Firma doubles this to 8KWh), and it isn’t your typical off-the-shelf variety. Manufactured to European specifications, the battery we use is industrial strength. It charges quickly, so you can fully recharge your batteries in just a few hours. We pair it with our integrated power management system that’s designed to power your Bowlus far more effectively than a plug and play system you’d find in the aftermarket.

Our battery system means 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, something you’d be hard pressed to do with a lead-acid battery. The 3,000 watt pure sine wave inverter in the Terra Firma and Endless Highways Performance Edition (2,000 watts in the Endless Highways Edition) uses the battery to power all the outlets in the trailer, not just a select few. Plug things in just like you would at home. You can charge your devices even when you’re boondocking in the middle of a national forest.

Bowlus’ Best In Class Power Management System
Back in 2016, we were the first travel trailer manufacturer to develop an integrated power management system utilizing the LiFePO4 technology. We use best in class battery chargers and our inverters are the same as those commonly found in solar systems. The system intelligently manages itself so you can occupy yourself with the adventure of the day, not the status of your battery.

The Bowlus power management system continuously analyzes the demand for power and the power available from both the battery and shore power. Sensors in every battery cell communicate voltage and temperature to the system. The system has integrated cell balancing and cell monitoring for optimum protection, and the battery management system will automatically disconnect to protect the battery in case of under voltage, over voltage, or over temperature.

The system includes some exclusive technologies too:

  • Power Assist can boost the power in your RV so that you can run the AC and your hair dryer at the same time, even if you’re only hooked up to 15 amp shore power.
  • Charging Assist can dynamically adjust battery charging to protect the battery, just like your electric vehicle does.
  • Integrated Solar and Integrated Vehicle Charging ensures the LiFePO4 battery will be correctly charged from the optional solar panel and the tow vehicle, respectively. It does this by automatically connecting and disconnecting from the charging circuits as necessary.The battery management system protects your battery when you’re camping in cold weather. Lithium iron phosphate batteries shouldn’t be charged when they’re cold. The system allows power to flow from the battery, but won’t allow it to start charging until it’s warmed up inside the RV. With the battery located in the shell of the Bowlus, this happens in no time thanks to our powerful heating system that can run on either propane or 12-volt. Once it’s over 32 degrees in the unit, the battery will begin to charge at its full rate.To make sure all of this cutting edge technology is user friendly, there’s an easy to use control panel in the RV. You can also connect to the system via Bluetooth and monitor things from your phone. The system even alerts you if the batteries get low.

    Can you see why we love lithium iron phosphate batteries? With the total flexibility and reliability they provide, why would you want to use anything else?

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