Bowlus® | Product Information
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What Really Matters When You’re Buying Your First RV?

Are you dreaming about a life filled with adventure? Maybe you’re longing to see Denali, Gros Morne, or Yosemite to experience the natural wonders they offer. Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect pied-à-terre on Bainbridge Island or Cape Cod. Then again, why limit yourself? There’s no reason the adventures of your dreams can’t include all the above!

If you’re new to the RV world, one of the first things you’ll learn is that you need something that offers flexibility, performance, and luxury – regardless of your destination. One of the best ways to see North America is by land in a luxury RV that offers you the ability to travel comfortably on your terms.

This is the mission that drives us at Bowlus. When we hand-build our luxury travel trailers, we put your needs first. That means designing an interior that’s cozy yet spacious. It means using top of the line materials and finishes to create an atmosphere that feels like home. It means installing state-of-the-art technology that allows you to stay connected no matter where you are. And it means engineering power management systems that ensure you and your pets are comfortable whether you’re parked off grid for two weeks or relaxing in a luxury RV resort with full hookups.

The result is the best RV on the market.

We often hear from new customers after they’ve purchased their first RV that it’s way too big and hard to handle. While they love camping, they dread the process of getting to their campsite – and the fact that their RV is simply too big for the places they want to go. Others tell us that their first RV is just way too small and there isn’t enough space to take a Zoom call, let alone get a good night’s sleep.

When we introduce them to the amenities, spaciousness, and features of our finely-crafted luxury travel trailers, they always choose a Bowlus as their next RV. Let us show you why a Bowlus should be your first (and only) RV. Schedule an appointment for a Zoom tour or set up a time to meet in person in our showroom.

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Why Does Bowlus Continue to Lead the RV industry?

Someone asked us the other day – how is it that Bowlus continues to lead the RV industry when so many other manufacturers are on the decline? The answer is pretty simple – the relationship that Bowlus has with its customers puts us in the unique position to deliver best in class performance and luxury travel trailers that are exactly what discerning RVers are looking for.

Other RV brands have to guess at what their customers want because the customer relationship is with a dealer network, not the manufacturer. These brands try to appear forward thinking by developing “concept” RVs, but they’re really only doing that to make up for being so out of touch. They invest tons of money in creating their dream RV that may or may not have anything to do with what customers are looking for.

Doesn’t that seem a little backwards?

At Bowlus we think the best place to start is with the customer. Get to know the people buying your product. Learn where they want to go, how they want to travel, which features are important, and which aren’t.

When you start by listening to the customer like we do, you can invest in innovation, developing new technologies, and in the highly skilled artisans who hand build each of our RVs.

Nurturing the customer relationship is one of our top priorities. That’s why when you text, email, Zoom, or meet with us in person, everyone you interact with at Bowlus is a member of the team. We sell our RVs directly to you – no dealer networks are involved. From top to bottom, each of our employees is dedicated to delivering an RV that you and your family will love for generations to come.

The relationship we share with you is so important, we’d never trust an RV dealer to get it right.

At Bowlus, we love to hear from our customers and our potential customers because knowing what you want helps to make every Bowlus better. So what’s on your mind?

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Why Aerodynamics Are Key to the Future of RVing

The next time you drive down the road or through your favorite campground, look at the RVs around you. You’re bound to see aftermarket wind deflectors, sleek-looking vent covers, and low-profile antennas that folks have added to help improve the gas mileage of their tow vehicle.

But, the fact is that nothing you add to a heavy, boxy, or toaster-shaped RV will have any consequential impact on your tow vehicle’s mileage. Why? Because mileage is all about weight and aerodynamics.

Most RVs are rectangular shapes with flat sides, flat ends, and a ton of stuff on the roof. They also weigh 5,000 to 10,000 plus pounds. Between the drag created by the RV’s design and the weight of the travel trailer, your tow vehicle’s engine has to work hard to move you down the road – which means you’re burning through fuel (or range). It also makes towing with an EV any distance unfeasible.

If you really care about mileage and range, then you need to select an RV for its shape and weight. Weighing in at a mere 3,250 pounds, the Volterra is the most aerodynamic, lightweight luxury travel trailer in the world. The best part is along with the Volterra you can easily tow any Bowlus with a small SUV – including many electric models.

When looking at the Bowlus shape, you can see how it mimics that of an airplane fuselage, so it moves with little resistance. Another way to think about the Bowlus shape is that of a raindrop as it moves through space. That’s why the front of the Bowlus is curved in two dimensions to move easily through the air. Then the back tapers to infinity like the tail of a raindrop, so there is little wind resistance. We also made sure what is found on the roof is tapered and shaped to reinforce the natural curve.

The result is a luxury travel trailer that maximizes the range or mileage of your tow vehicle while also providing best-in-class handling in any driving or weather conditions. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact our incredibly knowledgeable sales team.

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10 Things Every New Luxury RVer Should Know

If you’re new to luxury RVing, there are ten simple things you should know to keep you in the good graces of your fellow RVers and campground hosts. Whether you’re in a luxury RV resort, a national park campground, or boondocking in a national forest, following these long established, and sometimes unwritten, camping etiquette rules will ensure that your time in your luxury RV is enjoyable for you, your family, and your neighbors.

The bottom line is this: respect other RVers and the land on which you’re camping. Without further ado, here are ten simple ways you can be a good neighbor to your fellow campers.

Keep It Down
Camping etiquette tip number one is to keep the volume down. Many luxury RV resorts have quiet hours (usually 10pm-8am) where it’s expected that the volume of music, laughter, and talking will be brought way down. But even during the day it’s important to be respectful of your neighbors – not everyone has the same taste in music, so blasting your tunes at top volume will be frowned upon.

You won’t find posted quiet times at boondocking sites, but if you have neighbors, RVers tend to follow similar guidelines. This includes minimizing generator noise, both day and night. Your fellow dispersed campers are likely off grid for the peace and quiet – not to listen to someone’s generator run. If you need reliable backup power, consider solar panels, like those offered by Bowlus.

Keeping it down also applies to your lights. If you’re walking around your campsite or through the RV park at night, keep your flashlight pointed to the ground, not into your neighbor’s travel trailer. You’ll also want to turn your RV’s outside lights off at night so you’re not illuminating your neighbor’s bedroom while they try to sleep. If you’re boondocking, click those bright lights off so you and any nearby campers can do a little stargazing.

Be Friendly
RVers tend to be a friendly group and most are willing to offer a hand or a helpful word of advice. Greet your fellow campers as you walk by and see if they want to strike up a conversation. You can ask them about their latest travels, if they’re working remotely, what their favorite camping trips were, or what camping gear they love. If you’re in a Bowlus luxury travel trailer, odds are they’re going to want to hear about your unique RV! If the conversation goes well, invite them over for happy hour. You may just make some life-long friends by breaking bread with a fellow luxury RVer.

Keep in mind that it’s best to wait until new neighbors get their site set up – running right over while someone’s setting up camp won’t be endearing!

Maintain Personal Space
There are limits to friendliness, and it’s important to know how to read the room, so to speak. This is especially true if you’re boondocking. Some people are out in nature for solitude, so don’t force it.

Maintaining personal space also means you don’t walk through someone else’s campsite, just like you wouldn’t walk through someone’s backyard. RVers in the know don’t take shortcuts to the swimming pool – they walk on the road or designated paths.

Another critical component to maintaining personal space is to keep all your gear on your campsite – don’t let bikes, kayaks, screened in rooms, your tow vehicle, or whatever else you’ve brought along to enhance your trip creep into your neighbor’s space. That means keeping your picnic table on your campsite as well. If you’re boondocking, you should also keep your stuff contained in a reasonable amount of space!

Boondocking pros will also tell you that it’s a major faux pas to park your RV too close to your neighbor. You also want to make sure you don’t block their view with your RV. The whole point of boondocking is to escape crowded campgrounds and experience the peace and quiet of nature. Maintaining some distance will also ensure that the noise you make doesn’t interfere with your neighbors (and vice versa).

Leave No Trace
Whether you’re in an established campground or boondocking, you don’t want to be a litterbug. Nobody wants to pull into a campsite littered with other people’s garbage. If you bring it in, you should take it back out! Not only is trash annoying to the next person who camps at the site, it can be very dangerous for wildlife and harmful to the ecosystem. Burn what you can in your fire pit, use the dumpsters at the campground, and if you’re boondocking, take your garbage home or to the nearest dumpster.

More than just cigarette butts, plastic snack wrappers, and wine bottles, you need to take all your waste with you. 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 in an established campground, either use your site’s sewer connection or the dump station. If you’re in a Bowlus, it’s easy to transport the cassette from your toilet to the nearest public bathroom.

Take It Slow
Speeding in a campground or dispersed camping area is frowned upon and dangerous. Make sure you obey posted speed limits in campgrounds and keep it under 10 miles per hour in boondocking camping areas. Camping is a popular family activity, which means campgrounds will have kids and pets running around. Caught up in the fun of camping, either could step into the road without looking. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for ever-present bikes rolling through the camping area.

Many campground roads aren’t paved, especially if you’re boondocking, and that’s another reason to keep your speed down. The dust you’re kicking up by flying down the road is going into someone’s RV if they have the windows open.

Be a Good Parent
Speaking of kids, if you’re traveling with young folks, camping etiquette requires you to keep track of them. That means supervising the little ones just like you would at home and making sure the older ones are well versed in camping etiquette.

Be a Good Pet Parent
There are a lot of great camping dogs in the world, and most campgrounds welcome them. You’ll find established campgrounds have written rules for pet parents, but these guidelines are good practices for boondockers to employ as well.

Cardinal rule number one for RVers with dogs is to clean up after them. Need we say more?

Campground rules typically require that you keep your dog on a leash and not leave Fido unattended outside your RV (some say you can’t leave them unattended inside your RV either). While it may be tempting to let your dog roam free, you don’t know how your pup will react in a new situation with new people, other dogs, and potentially the resident wildlife. For their safety and others, keep them under control.

You also need to take steps to avoid excessive barking, especially if you’ve left your pooch unattended in your RV. If your dog struggles with separation anxiety or just loves the sound of her own voice, don’t leave her alone for long periods of time. Either bring her with you on your hike or leave her at home with a trusted pet sitter.

Be Weather Aware
RV etiquette says you’re always weather aware. If winds are expected to kick up, secure your belongings so they aren’t blown into your neighbor’s campsite. It’s also common practice to put your awning down when you leave on windy days.

Camp in Designated Areas Only
If you’re heading off grid, you’ll want to make sure you’re setting up in designated dispersed camping areas. Creating your own site damages the natural beauty you and your fellow RVers are there to enjoy. Ask a ranger if you have questions about where you can park your luxury RV.

Boondocking pros also obey the stay limits on the site. Most off grid sites are limited to 14 days to ensure that more people can enjoy the area.

Follow Campground Rules
Last but not least, and this should go without saying, follow the campground rules and the guidelines established for your boondocking area. They’re in place to ensure that everyone’s stay is enjoyable, and that the area’s natural beauty is around for the next generation to experience.

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Understanding Your RV’s Hot Water Heater

Traveling the country in your luxury travel trailer has many benefits. You get to spend time in nature, meet fellow RVers, and see extraordinary things, all without sacrificing any of the creature comforts. Chief among those luxuries is that with the turn of a tap, hot water flows from your faucet or shower head.

Most of today’s RVs are equipped with hot water heaters so you can take a hot shower after a long day on the trail or do up the dishes without having to boil water over the campfire. But what do you know about your hot water heater other than it makes the water hot? Here, we break down the basics of this RV essential.

Gas, Electric or Both
In general, the hot water heater in your RV works just like the hot water heater in your home. There are two primary fuel sources that your RV can use to run this key piece of equipment – gas or electric.

If your RV water heater uses LP gas (propane), you’ll have to light a pilot light to warm the water to the desired temperature. This can be done either manually with a long match or with automatic direct spark ignition, depending on the model. Similarly, electric RV water heaters need a 120-volt shore power connection or a generator in order to work. The major difference between the two is that gas models tend to heat up your water faster than electric models. In terms of power usage, gas water heaters are also more efficient than electric.

Some RV water heaters, like the one found in every Bowlus Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition, can run on either gas or electric. This gives you the greatest amount of flexibility when selecting your destination. Propane gives you the freedom to boondock without hookups and still have hot water, and when plugged into shore power, you can save your propane for other uses.

RVs are equipped with one of two types of hot water heaters – they either have a storage tank or they are tankless. Next, we’ll look at the differences between the two.

RV Water Heaters With Tanks
At home you likely have a 40 or 50 gallon water heater, depending on the size of your house. If your RV is equipped with a hot water heater model that includes a tank, it works the same way – it’s just significantly smaller, holding just 6 or 10 gallons of hot water at a time. The heater warms the water in the storage tank to the desired temperature and maintains that temperature for as long as the heater is turned on. Most tank models will come equipped with an anode rod that will help prevent rust and corrosion. Common brand names you’ll see include Suburban and Atwood.

When you use the water in the tank for your shower or to do dishes, the tank refills and the heater kicks on to warm the new water. That means if your teenager uses all the hot water in the storage tank during their shower, you’ll have to wait for the warm water to be replenished before you can take your own, unless you’re into cold showers. If you’re traveling with multiple people who all want to shower in the morning, you may need to conserve the hot water in your tank by having your companions take military style showers. Common practice in the Navy, a military shower means you don’t leave the water running continuously. While it gets the job done, it’s not exactly luxurious.

There are some downsides to using a model with a water heater tank. First, you waste propane keeping a tank full of water up to temperature and ready to go at all times. Plus, if you like your showers on the hotter side, it’s going to take more propane to keep all that water hot. Second, you need to turn the hot water heater on well in advance to give the system time to heat the water in the tank. That leads to downside number three, which is that you’ll likely need to travel with your hot water tank full, adding to the weight of your RV. Even empty, this style of hot water heater is heavier than tankless models, which we’ll look at next.

Tankless
RV tankless water heaters are becoming more popular in luxury RVs. As the name implies, there is no separate holding tank with this type of hot water heater. Rather, when the tap is turned on cold water flows through a heat exchanger and is heated by an electric or gas heater element (depending on your fuel source). A common brand name seen on tankless water heaters is Girard.

With a tankless model, you have hot water on demand. There is no waiting for the water in the storage tank to reheat between showers or getting the awful shock of running out of hot water midway through your shower. There is also no limit to the amount of hot water you can have when you’re connected to city water and shore power. If you’re boondocking, you’re only limited by the amount of freshwater and propane you’re carrying. Goodbye military showers, hello long, luxurious, steamy showers in your RV!

One of the potential downsides to a tankless system is that because hot water isn’t stored and continuously heated, there’s a slight delay in getting the hot water out of the tap when you first turn it on. While the delay is minimal with most models (typically a few seconds), if you’re boondocking and carefully watching your water consumption, this is something to be aware of.

Bowlus Takes a Different Path
Every Bowlus is equipped with a best in class silent hydronic heating system that serves multiple purposes, including providing instant hot water. We designed our heating system using a top of the line European brand that provides a unit that is both a furnace and water heater all in one. Our unique boiler is powered by propane or 120V if you’re connected to shore power, and the highly efficient system heats your RV’s interior, your water, and your heated floors.

Our environmentally friendly design ensures that you have hot water whenever you need it, without having a storage tank. If you’re running the furnace or have your heated floors turned on, you’ll have instant hot water waiting for you because of the way the system is designed. In the summer when you’re not using the other components of the heating system, you can use the thermostat located in the control panel above the vanity to quickly preheat a bit of water to get your shower started. This eliminates the little bit of wasted water from the delay in the delivery we mentioned earlier, while also eliminating the inefficiencies of keeping 6 or 10 gallons of water hot at all times.

Final Thoughts
To help ensure the longevity of your RV hot water heater, make sure that the outside vent is free from any obstructions like leaves or dirt. Whether you have a tankless water heater or one with a tank, you’ll want to drain your water heater when winterizing your RV, following the manufacturer’s specific instructions. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when de-winterizing as well, making sure you open any necessary valves. Even if you use your RV regularly, your manufacturer may recommend you flush the hot water heater several times a year, so that’s something else to look for in your owner’s manual.

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10 Tips for Maximizing Your RV’s Storage Space

No matter the size of your RV, it will never be as spacious as your home. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be as luxurious. You just have to be a little more selective about what you bring and then maximize your RV storage space by being strategic in the way you pack.

How you pack your RV will evolve over time – the more you camp, the more you’ll know what works for your family and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to try something on one trip and then do it in a totally different way on the next. There’s a little bit of trial and error involved in RV organization!

The unique storage solutions in the Bowlus Terra Firma and Endless Highways Edition provide RVers with ample space to pack both the necessities and the luxuries. That said, we’ve got a few RV organization tips, hacks, and storage ideas to help you on the way to your best RV life.

1. Make a List – and Don’t Overpack
Traveling in an RV means you can bring many of the luxuries of home with you – but you should carefully consider what you put into your luxury RV. Most seasoned RV owners keep a running list of the things they’ll need for every trip (plates, coffee pot, towels). They then customize it for each specific trip based on where they’re going and for how long.

When you’re making your RV road trip list, consider not only what you’ll need while you’re at your campsite, but also what you’ll need for your daily activities. Take a look at the weather forecast to make sure you have appropriate clothes for the weather. If you’re planning on hiking, your hiking boots should be on the list, as well as a backpack or whatever else you’ll need on your treks.

Do a little meal planning before you go and make sure all the menu items are on your list (including the condiments). Be sure to include your everyday items like food, toiletries, medications, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, a coffee pot…and whatever else is specific to the way your family likes to travel.

2. A Place for Everything
To avoid your luxury travel trailer looking and feeling cluttered, come up with a plan for where everything’s going to live. Consider adding Command hooks by the door for keys, your dog’s leash, or other small items that are easy to lose. Installing magnetic strips to hold your knives will maximize drawer and counter space (if you store sharp knives in the drawer, always use knife guards to ensure you don’t cut yourself). If you’re traveling with a pet, think about where you’ll keep her food and water bowls. Every Bowlus has a convenient drawer for your pet’s bowls, and we even include a personalized bed for your 4-legged companion.

3. Don’t Pack Your RV Unevenly
As you’re packing, make sure you’re balancing the weight over the length and width of your luxury RV. You don’t want all the heavy things on the same side of your travel trailer as that could lead to a tire blowout or trailer sway if you’re towing a larger RV.

4. Reconsider Packaging
Replacing bulky packaging with square storage containers will maximize space in your RV kitchen cupboards. Look for containers that have a strong airtight seal and your food will stay fresher than it would in the original packaging. The Container Store is a great place to shop for high quality storage containers of all shapes and sizes.

Also, fill smaller bottles with the soaps, shampoo, conditioners, and cleaning supplies you’ll need. If you’re headed out for the weekend or even a couple of weeks, the original package your brought home from the store will be way more than you need, and it’ll take up valuable space.

Transferring your spices into smaller containers and installing a magnetic spice rack on the wall will save you cupboard space and allow you to create flavorful gourmet meals. Just make sure the lids are securely in place before you hit the road or else you could discover an entirely different kind of flavor explosion when you reach your destination.

5. Get Creative in Your Cabinets
We’re big fans of not having a bunch of loose items just hanging out in our cabinets. Putting similar items in baskets, caddies, or other types of small storage bins helps to keep your cupboards organized and things in place while you’re in transit.

Consider the humble magazine holder, which is an unexpected RV kitchen storage solution. Most magazine holders are the perfect size to hold your boxes of zip-top bags, aluminum foil, and cling wrap. They’re also a great way to store canned goods – lay them on their sides and stack. Then, you can just pull out what you need like you would a can of soda from a 12-pack.

Whether your RV’s cabinets come with shelves or not, RV packing pros know how to make the most of whatever vertical space they have. Consider racks to stack your plates, stacking drawers, or even installing extra shelves if you’re looking for an easy DIY project. Going vertical turns wasted space into extra space!

6. Divided Containers
Hanging racks or storage bins with dividers are a great way to maximize your closet space. You can use some of the sections as a shoe organizer (shoes are notoriously bulky space hogs), and others for folded clothes. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and learn how to fold your clothing to maximize storage space.

7. Multi-Taskers for the Win
One of the best ways to maximize small spaces is to pack items that can be used for multiple things. For instance, a roll up dish rack can be used to dry dishes or freshly washed produce. Depending on what it’s made from, it could also serve as a hot pad.

You could also replace some of your RV kitchen appliances with a multi-cooker, which is the very definition of a multi-tasker. A fancy wood cutting board can also be used to serve appetizers, turning it into a practical and stylish multitasker.

8. Invest in Foldable and Stackable Items
Another great way to maximize RV space, especially in the kitchen, is to invest in gadgets that either collapse or nest in each other. Collapsible silicone mixing bowls and colanders are great space savers. When you’re purchasing pots and pans for your RV, look for ones that will stack nicely. We recommend putting a cloth or mat in between each pot to minimize rattles and prevent scratches as you’re traveling, especially if you’re bringing along a non-stick pan.

We also bring a collapsible trash can on our camping trips. These large receptacles fold flat when they’re not in use, but are great for your campsite, especially if you’re traveling with a crowd.

9. Don’t Forget Your Outside Storage
Your outside storage is another place where you can get creative. A mesh bag is a great way to store your freshwater hose, and small hose reels can be used to easily store your electric cable, or any other cables you may be bringing along. Plus, they make setting up and tearing down your campsite a breeze! For Class A motorhomes, larger plastic storage bins are a must to keep your basement area organized.

10. Secure Your Belongings
As you’re rolling down the road at 65 miles per hour, your RV is going through a mini earthquake. You’ll want to make sure that cabinets, doors, and drawers are secured before you leave. Many experienced campers place curtain tension rods inside their cabinets and refrigerator to help keep things in place during travel.

Also keep in mind that any accessories you’ve hung on the wall during your stay must be held there securely or they’ll come down while you’re driving. Finally, if you’re traveling with breakables such as wine glasses, you’ll need to pack them carefully using wine glass “socks” or some other cushioning material that will prevent chips and breakage.

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Rethinking RV Interior Design For the Modern Luxury RV

RV remodels are trending these days. If you need proof of that, just head on over to Pinterest, YouTube, or your favorite social media site. Pop the words RV interior design into the search bar and you’ll have thousands of posts to scroll through.

Who can blame RV owners for wanting to mix things up? Open the door to an RV that’s rolled off an Indiana assembly line in the past two or three decades and odds are you’ll see an interior awash in beige, brown, or gray. In the industry’s effort to provide a neutral palette, they’ve veered right into a look that’s more drab than fab. If you have more modern or contemporary tastes, you’re out of luck if you’re buying a stock RV.

Ever since the launch of HGTV and social media, interior design ideas for DIYers have been plentiful, whether you’re looking to makeover a motorhome, fifth wheel, or a travel trailer. No longer do you need a degree from Parsons School of Design to turn your space into something you love. If you have the time, the funds, and the desire to get your DIY on, you can transform your RV into a space that reflects who you are. This is the mentality that’s driving a design revolution among RVers. But what if you could buy an RV with an interior that truly reflects who you are? What if you only needed to add a few finishing touches? With Bowlus, that’s possible.

The History of RV Interior Design
If there was one word to describe the history of RV interior design, it would probably be brown. From dark brown cabinets to brown flooring and beige furniture, shades of brown are undoubtedly the most popular RV colors. There have been some color experiments over the years in factory-made RVs. In fact, a quick scroll through social media will show you how people with older modles are renovating to remove the once popular avocado green (yes, that icon of the 1970s was embraced by the RV world as well).

RV interior design tends to lag behind home interior design by several years. The white, light, and bright interiors popular in today’s modern homes are still rare birds in the RV industry. Manufacturers tend to take a wait and see approach to interior design – if a color trend lasts more than a year or two, then it might be integrated into an RV’s color palette.

But RV interior design is more than just a color palette. It’s about the materials too. RV designers, whether professional or DIY, must make decisions based on weight and safety, not just looks. Solid surface countertops like those made of granite are a nice, luxurious touch, but they’re extremely heavy. If you’re trying to keep the GVWR of the RV down, that’s a factor that has to be considered when selecting materials. That’s why you wind up with walls covered with fake wood veneers that lack style and countertops that prioritize function over design.

RVers Take Interior Design Into Their Own Hands
If you drive or tow your new luxury travel trailer off the lot, you expect that it will be RV living ready. And while technically that’s true because you can immediately head out to your favorite camping spot, cookie cutter RV manufacturers aren’t exactly homey. It takes some effort to turn factory drab into the luxurious, relaxing experience you’re looking for.

Ask any camper that’s redone the interior of their RV why they did it and they’ll tell you they wanted to personalize the space so that it reflects their style. They wanted their RV to be warm and welcoming, however they define that. To some that means painting the cabinetry and interior woodwork white. It could mean adding a pop of color with stylish tile backsplash in the kitchen or covering wood veneer walls with a contemporary looking wallpaper. Other, more ambitious DIYers may even recover or replace the couch, dinette, or chairs with more modern and stylish RV decor.

An RV renovation can be a DIYer’s paradise – if you’re into that sort of thing.

The Downsides of RV Remodels
Of course, there are downsides to buying an RV that you know you’re going to want to restyle. First and foremost, it’s time consuming. Any time you spend painting, wallpapering, or replacing flooring is time you’re not out seeing the world in your RV. It’s also hard work, especially if you’re trying to squeeze your body, your tools, and whatever materials you’re using into a small space like the bathroom.

And then there’s the principle of the thing. You just bought a brand new RV, and now you’re investing even more time, money, and effort into making it your own.

Every Bowlus is Truly Move-In Ready
At Bowlus, we do things differently than the rest of the RV industry. You can see this in everything we do – from the way we build each Terra Firma and Endless Highways Performance Edition, to the way we think about interior design.

Every Bowlus color story is carefully thought out to ensure that our luxury travel trailers provide you with the warm, safe cocoon you need to escape the pressures of everyday life. But we also believe that when you buy an RV, it should reflect your personal style. Our luxury RVs are handcrafted, not sent down an assembly line, which means you can create your own custom space that speaks to you.

We offer two distinctive Bespoke Customization Programs for the Endless Highways Performance Edition. Our customers can work with our design team to select from an industry leading fifty-six million possible combinations. This means you can personalize your trailer, not just settle for the factory standard while dreaming about a remodel.

Good interior design also considers the texture and quality of the materials used in the different living spaces. To make an RV truly luxurious you have to select the finest materials that are cozy, durable, and provide timeless luxury. For example, our gleaming aluminum countertops in the kitchen and bathroom are lightweight, durable, easy to clean, and will never fall out of fashion. We use the highest quality materials that add luxury, but not a lot of weight to our RVs. This ensures we deliver a luxury travel trailer that can be towed with your mid-size SUV.

We take that design philosophy further by installing real birch wood on the walls and ceiling, rather than cheaper wood veneers. Our hotel style bathroom even has teak seating and flooring in the shower. We use durable, yet luxurious hand stitched upholstery on our furniture, and the linens are the same quality that you’d find in a five-star hotel. Standard RV linens typically include a thin, scratchy bedspread and some pillow shams. Bowlus luxury linens are incredibly soft and were selected because they’re ultra-comfortable. They help turn the bedroom into a zen-like space.

Good RV interior design stems from thinking holistically about the entire RV’s design. That means thinking from the outside in and adding exterior features that will transform the interior. Bowlus has large windows along both sides of our luxury travel trailers giving you both an unobstructed view of your surroundings and plenty of natural light. Our distinctive skylights in the living area add to the ambiance of the Bowlus interior. You’ll never feel like you’re in a dark cave when you’re traveling in your Bowlus.

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Why Travel Trailers are the Best Choice for Luxury RVers

Since the dawn of the RV era in the early 20th century, people have been debating which is better – a travel trailer or a motorhome. Since we make luxury travel trailers, it’s probably pretty obvious which side we come out on! There are pros and cons to every type of RV, whether it be a Class A, Class B campervan, Class C, travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, or pop up.

People tend to land in one camp or another based on their personal preferences, which means there is no right or wrong answer – there’s just the RV that works best for the way you and your family want to go RVing. We believe that travel trailers offer the most luxurious and flexible luxury RV experience you can have (especially if you’re towing a Bowlus) – and here’s why.

Ease of Driving
By most accounts, towing a travel trailer is a much more pleasant experience than driving a motorhome. Class A’s, for example, are built on a bus chassis. That means Class A owners are literally driving a bus. Wind, passing semis, and the entire driving experience can be exhausting – which is why so many older RVers age out of their motorhome, opting for a travel trailer because it’s easier to manage on the road.

If gas mileage is a consideration for you, then a motorhome is probably not the way to go. At 10-12 mpg (if you’re lucky), a motorhome sucks up fuel quickly. Now of course, if you’re towing your luxury travel trailer behind your fuel efficient midsize SUV, your mileage won’t be as high as it would be under normal driving conditions. But it will still likely be better than you’d ever achieve in a motorhome.

All-electric motorhomes have yet to hit the market, but you can tow a lightweight luxury travel trailer like the Bowlus Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition with many electric SUVs. If you’re looking to travel sustainably, there’s no better combination.

Dinghy
Which brings us to the topic of dinghies. A dinghy is what RVers call the car they tow behind their motorhome. They’re popular among the motorhome crowd because they give RVers the ability to park their behemoth coach and still have a vehicle to use for sightseeing. There are two dinghy towing options available. Option 1 is you flat tow a vehicle, which means all 4 wheels of the towed vehicle are on the road. The challenge here is that not all passenger vehicles are towable in this way. Your car needs to have either a manual transmission or a manual transfer case that can be placed in neutral. So, if you were thinking you could get a motorhome and not have to buy a new car, that may not be the case. You may still need to make a trip to the car dealership in search of a towable vehicle.

Option 2 is to use a car dolly. Secure the front wheels of any car onto the two-wheeled dolly, being careful not to exceed the towing capacity of your recreational vehicle or the RV’s hitch, and you’re ready to go. The downside is that you’ll have to find someplace to put the dolly while you’re at your campsite. At around 450 pounds, they aren’t exactly easy to move around. Even then, many campsites aren’t long enough to accommodate your RV, your dinghy, and the dolly – and some campgrounds won’t allow rigs that include car dollies, complicating your entire travel experience.

With a travel trailer, you don’t need a dinghy. Whether your tow vehicle is gas or electric, when you park your trailer at your campsite, you have your SUV for day trips and sightseeing.

Road Safety & Maneuverability
Road safety is another key consideration when choosing between a motorhome and a travel trailer. When you’re towing a travel trailer, your passengers and pets are safely buckled in their seats in a tow vehicle equipped with the latest safety features, including 3 point safety belts and side airbags. While motorhomes have belted seating for passengers sitting outside of the cockpit, many of those require your passengers to sit facing the side of the coach, rather than facing forward. Equipped with just lap belts, this seating arrangement isn’t as safe as the one found in your luxury SUV.

Safety aside, for riders with motion sensitivities, riding sideways may make for an uncomfortable trip for your passengers and your pets. Dogs and cats can suffer from motion sickness, just like their human companions and riding sideways may make them ill.

Keep in mind that just like it’s not safe for a human to walk around a motorhome while it’s in motion, it’s dangerous for pets to be mobile as well. Pets should be secured in a kennel or with a pet seat belt. If you’re towing a travel trailer however, your pet rides in the car with you, just like they would any other time you hit the road. Not only will they be safer in case of an accident, but it will also be more comfortable for them. Crack a window open and let them enjoy the full road trip experience.

Maintenance & Repairs
Another consideration in the epic motorhome versus travel trailer debate is around maintenance and repairs. Simply put, motorhomes need more maintenance than a travel trailer. There are oil changes, transmission maintenance, and a slew of other components that need upkeep to keep a motorhome on the road. Plus, many Class A and Class C motorhomes have diesel engines. That means you have to take your RV to a specialized service center that has experience not only working on diesel engines but has bays tall enough to accommodate your motorhome.

On the other hand, if you’re towing a travel trailer, you don’t need to do anything special other than keep up with the regular service schedule for your tow vehicle. And since it’s a regular passenger vehicle, you can just pull into the service center of your choice.

Also, consider that if your Class A or C has an issue while on the road, you’re going to have to find a hotel while your RV is in the shop. With a travel trailer, you’ll still have your own private space if your tow vehicle requires maintenance.

Boondocking and Other Camping Restrictions
The length of the rig is another thing to think about when choosing between a motorhome and a luxury travel trailer. Many new campers are, at first, attracted to the creature comforts, large living space, and amenities found in Class A motorhomes. But those luxuries require you to make some tradeoffs. The biggest is that national parks, state parks, and many private campgrounds have size restrictions that simply don’t accommodate large motorhomes. If you invest in a motorcoach, you may find yourself only able to camp in specialty motorcoach resorts. While these RV parks offer lots of luxurious amenities, they likely aren’t situated near (and certainly not within) the natural wonders you were hoping to enjoy when you first dreamt of an RV.

It comes down to what’s more important to you – a 40 foot motorhome with four slideouts or being able to set up camp in your favorite national park? Why not go for the best of both worlds and pick a luxurious, amenities packed travel trailer like the Bowlus that is perfectly sized to go wherever you want to set up camp?

Travel trailers are also the clear choice for people who love to boondock. While the enormous holding tanks on a Class A might be considered a benefit for extended off grid stays, getting in and out of a remote campsite in a motorhome can present quite the challenge. They’re big, they’re heavy, and if the ground is muddy they’re a challenge to get back onto the road.

Travel trailers, on the other hand, are easier to maneuver down dirt roads. And if it rains during your stay, you can always put your luxury SUV into 4-wheel drive and pull your trailer out of the mud. You don’t have that option with a Class A or a Class C motorhome.

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Tips for RVing With Anxious Dogs

For dog lovers, one of the best things about having an RV is that you can include your best four-legged friend in your camping adventures. But there are more things to consider when camping with dogs than vaccinations, microchipping and pet first aid kits. Not all dogs are innately well-suited for RV life, even if you’re towing the most luxurious RV. Some may take to camping naturally like it’s the best thing you’ve ever done together. Our dogs, for example, see the camping gear come out and they’re genuinely excited. They’re also constantly underfoot while we’re packing to make sure we don’t leave without them!

Other dogs are less enthusiastic. The new sights, sounds, and smells they encounter on camping trips may seem scary, making them more nervous than excited. Whether you’ve got a pup that’s ready to go or one that’s not so sure about this whole camping thing, we’ve got some great tips to help ensure your travels are just as relaxing for your dog as they are for you.

Camping With Dogs
Nobody knows your dog like you do. They’re a part of your family, which is why you want to bring them along in your luxury RV. This knowledge of how they’ll react will be key to ensuring everyone is enjoying the trip.

If your buddy is a first time RVer, plan to take them on a short weekend or overnight trip close to home. If they seem especially anxious on your test run, you may want to do shorter trips until they get used to life in their luxurious home away from home. Investing time in these dog training experiences can go a long way to making sure this important family member is comfortable.

It’s important to remember that old dogs can learn new tricks, it may just take them a little while longer to master their RV skills than it would a younger dog.

Controlling the Barking
The reality is that dogs bark. They bark when they feel threatened, scared, or anxious. They bark when they see other dogs. They bark when they see people walking by. Some dogs inexplicably bark at leaves blowing in the wind. Whatever triggers your furry friend at home will cause them to bark when you’re traveling in your RV. The trick is to control the barking so that it doesn’t annoy the rest of the campground. If it does, even the most dog-friendly of campgrounds may ask you to take your noise machine to another establishment.

Once again, the key here is knowing your pet. You know what’s going to set them off, so do your best to avoid their triggers. First and foremost, if you have a highly sensitive dog, tent camping is probably not the best choice for you. In a luxury travel trailer, you have more control over their environment. If people, animals, and other things walking by are triggers, you can close the shades so they can’t see what’s going on. If noises cause fits of dog barking, you can turn on the radio, AC, or a fan to block some of the exterior noises.

There are triggers other than people, places, and things. When you’re camping with your pet, it’s important to make sure that they have access to water. They may be barking to draw your attention to their empty water bowl! If you’re in a pet friendly RV like the Bowlus Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition, your pet’s dog food and water bowls are provided in a convenient drawer just for them. This makes it easy to keep their dishes topped off.

Beyond your stays in established campgrounds, it’s important to keep your dog’s barking under control while boondocking. All that noise may attract an unwanted visitor or two so for the safety of your best friend and the local wild inhabitants, you’ll want to help him behave like he would if you were camping in a state park or private campground.

Reducing Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety can be a real struggle for pets and their parents both at home and in the RV. You brought your dog camping so they could experience the trip with you, so ideally that means they’d go on every adventure you do. But there are places that simply aren’t pet friendly and you may need to leave your pup at the RV (be sure to check the campground rules first – some won’t allow you to leave your pet unattended). If you have an anxious dog, this could get tricky. A stressed out dog isn’t having any fun, but you can help ease that anxiety. We’ve found that consistency is the key.

One trick that works well is to kennel train your dog so they have a safe space to hang out while you’re away. Create a consistent routine of having them enter the kennel before you leave and remember not to set your kennel up near a window. While you might think they’d enjoy the view, it could trigger barking as the aforementioned people, dogs, and leafs come in and out of view.

If you’d prefer not to have to deal with a kennel in your luxury RV, you could restrict their access to a specific section of your travel trailer while you’re gone. This could be the bedroom or bathroom for example. Make sure they have their dog bed, so they have a comfy and familiar place to hang out. Lucky dogs that camp in a Bowlus get their own personalized bed, because we know he or she needs a luxurious place to rest and recharge for the next adventure.

The bottom line is that if you keep their boundaries consistent, they’ll feel safe, secure, and relaxed. Relaxed dogs are less likely to bark or worse, tear up the inside of your RV in a fit of anxiety.

A quick word about RVing with multiple pets. It’s important to know if and how they trigger each other. If they’re not good snuggle buddies, you may want to create separate spaces for them while you’re away.

Engage Their Brain
Another way to reduce both separation anxiety and barking is to make sure your dog isn’t bored while you’re away. Experienced campers who travel with their dogs always pack some favorite toys, a blanket, and plenty of treats to reward good behavior. Peanut butter or cheese filled Kongs are great (especially if they’re frozen). Dental chews also work well to keep your buddy busy – and their breath fresh!

Puzzle toys or a snuffle pad are fun for your dog too. Plus, if they’re busy looking for treats, they won’t have time to be anxious.

Safety When They’re Home Alone
Before you head out on any trip, it’s important to think about how you’ll keep your pet safe if you have to leave them alone in your RV. If you’re camping in a Bowlus, you can control your luxury RV’s HVAC system through an app on your phone. This remote temperature control system works like other aftermarket RV pet monitoring devices and gives you peace of mind and the power to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable until you return. If temperatures soar while you’re gone, you can turn up the air conditioner to keep Fido cool.

You could also invest in a WiFi camera to keep an eye on your pup while you’re away. You can hook the camera up to the campground’s WiFi, though those aren’t typically that reliable or that strong. If you’re traveling in a Bowlus Endless Highways Edition, you’ll have a robust router and an antenna pre-wired on the roof. Just hook up to as many as two different cellular networks, and you’re ready to securely connect your camera to the internet.

If you’re headed off for the day to tackle a long hiking trail in a national park or other locations where dogs aren’t allowed, you may also consider booking your best friend a spa day at a local doggy day care. You’ll come back to a dog that’s as exhausted as you are!

Final Thoughts
There are some dogs that just aren’t going to love the camping experience no matter what you do. And that’s OK too. There are some people who have no interest in RV life, so we shouldn’t expect that all dogs will be game for that kind of adventure! If this describes your dog, then it’s best for everyone involved to book them a nice trip to their favorite boarding facility while you head out in your RV. That way, everyone gets the vacation that suits them best!

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Tips for Luxury RVers Who Want to Stay Connected While on the Road

If you’re like most people, you don’t want to fully disconnect from the world when you hit the road with your luxury RV. Remote work has grown in popularity in recent years and many people have discovered the joys of working from literally anywhere – so long as they can get on the internet. The good news is that there is some really amazing technology that allows you to stay connected from just about any location. To help you find the mobile internet solution that works best for your needs, we’ve put together some tips and tricks used by RV pros who know how to stay connected safely from the comfort of their RV.

Wander Wisely on Wi-Fi

There are three primary ways to connect to the internet from your RV. Many RV parks promote their free Wi-Fi, so while that may seem like the perfect solution, there are some things you need to know before you go. 

Campground Wi-Fi is usually unbearably slow due to the number of other RVers using the bandwidth for streaming, gaming, or checking social media. Plus, depending on where the Wi-Fi repeater is located, there may not be enough signal strength to reach your campsite. In other words, the reliability you need if you’re working remotely from your luxury travel trailer just isn’t there if you’re depending on the campground Wi-Fi. You could invest in a Wi-Fi amplifier to boost a weak signal and that may be enough to get you on the web. It won’t however solve speed issues, nor will it solve the significant security risks posed by logging on to the RV park’s Wi-Fi.

Campground Wi-Fi systems are public; you should treat them just like you’d treat the Wi-Fi in your favorite coffee shop. Don’t think that just because it has a password it’s secure. That password has been handed out to every RVer that’s ever checked in – and it may not have been changed in years. Like many public Wi-Fi systems, the one in the campground is likely not encrypted, meaning that bad actors could see every piece of data that your devices send and receive. Even with encryption, there’s no guarantee of a secure or legit connection. Here are a few of the risks you run when using a campground Wi-Fi:

  • Hackers can use “man-in-the-middle” attacks to trick you into logging on to the wrong network, which puts your information at risk.
  • Your personal information like login credentials, financial information, personal data, and pictures are at risk – hackers could gain access to everything stored on your computer.
  • Just like there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there’s really no such thing as free Wi-Fi. You may not be paying for access, but someone is likely getting paid – by tracking your user and search data to sell to advertisers.
  • Malware can be planted on your device and viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, or adware can create chaos.

So, we’ve established that campground Wi-Fis are not the way to go, especially if you want to do any online banking, take a Zoom call, or go off grid where there are no amenity filled campgrounds. That’s fine for a weekend trip when you can disconnect from the office and your real life for a couple of days, but we live in a digital age and remote work is more popular than ever. Fortunately, there are solutions that enable you to safely log in and conduct business as if you were sitting in your office, not boondocking in your RV. 

Your Own Cellular Network

One of the most popular technology solutions that luxury RVers turn to for a strong, secure internet connection is their cell phone’s data plan. You can quickly and easily turn your mobile phone into a hotspot that will grant internet access to your laptop, tablet, or other devices. This is a great solution if you’re on an unlimited data plan, though keep in mind that using your phone’s hotspot will drain your phone’s battery life more quickly. You can also connect a jetpack or other mobile hotspot device to your cell plan and accomplish the same thing. Often, RVers will have cell plans with two different U.S. carriers to maximize their coverage area. Before you select your providers, take a good look at their coverage maps and make sure that you’ll have service in the places you want to travel. With careful planning you can make sure Verizon has coverage where AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile does not, so you’ll always be connected.

There are some remote areas in the U.S. where cell coverage is still dicey – Yellowstone National Park is one great example. The park is packed with amazing sites and wild animals, but cell coverage is limited, at best. This is another case of knowing before you go so you can plan your Zoom calls for days when you’ll have good coverage.

To help stay connected in areas where they only have one or two bars, many experienced RVers invest in a cellular booster. Cell phone signal boosters find a weak cellular signal, strengthen and amplify it, and broadcast it to the devices in your RV. A good booster could get you one or two extra bars, but keep in mind, if you’re too far away from the cell tower and there’s no signal to boost, you’re going to have to make other plans to connect.

Cellular signal boosters are key for those that love to take their luxury travel trailers off grid. So long as you can connect to a cell phone tower and can plug the booster’s power supply into your inverter, you can boondock and still be connected. This means that your office truly can be anywhere your RV can go.

You tend to get what you pay for with these devices and high-end aftermarket cell phone signal booster kits can run north of $600. Depending on the model, you may need to install an external antenna on the roof or side of your RV. But a better booster means a stronger signal and faster connection speeds. If you’re working from your RV, a high quality cellular booster will save you both time and frustration. It also provides you with your own closed network that’s secure. This is why we include a cellular booster in every Terra Firma and Endless Highways Performance Edition. We’re committed to providing you with the technology you need to surf the web, meet with clients, or conduct the most sensitive tasks.

Mobile Routers with Embedded Modems

Another popular and secure internet solution among luxury RVers is the use of a mobile router with an embedded modem. This is a more robust version of the cellular data solution discussed above. Rather than using your cell phone as a hot spot, you purchase SIM cards from your preferred carriers and plug those into the embedded modem that is mounted in your RV. Every Bowlus includes a mobile router with an embedded 4G modem that will accept up to two cellular devices. This is a good way to maximize unlimited data on multiple plans, especially if one carrier throttles your speed after a certain amount of data is used each month. It’s also a powerful solution if you need to have a multi-user set up in your RV. 

Other Solutions on the Horizon

There are some satellite internet services available for campers, but they tend to be more cumbersome and less reliable. Elon Musk’s Starlink service is one that many RVers have their eyes on. Musk’s SpaceX has launched thousands of satellites into low-earth orbit to create a satellite constellation. His goal is to deliver internet services to even the most remote places on earth. The system is live, but there’s a waitlist in most areas as the number of users is limited by the number of satellites. While it’s designed for stationary use, we have heard of some RVers that are using the Starlink system during their travels. There are options to set the dish up on a stand rather than attaching it to your motorhome or travel trailer. The company promises data speeds upwards of 150 mbps, but Starlink isn’t a perfect solution because there are some limitations for folks who like to camp in the woods – you have to have a clear view of the sky. But, as it becomes more widely available, this could be another great tool for RVers who want to stay connected and see the country.

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