Bowlus® | Product Information
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Feature Highlight: Vanity

We all know a beautifully executed bathroom vanity along with a steamy latte or cup of tea can be the secret to the start of a great day. The Bowlus offers an all-in-one vanity that is incredibly functional, stylish, and clean-looking.

Once you pass the Bowlus large “yours and mine” or “(mine and mine)” closets, you’ll find yourself stationed at the stunning vanity in the Bowlus ensuite opposite the luxurious shower. At the vanity, you’ll find a large cupboard with two shelves roomy enough for all your necessities, and more so you can be super organized. You also find an easy access outlet for your shaver or blow dryer – all of which will run off-grid. A good-sized sink with an ample supply of hot water with stainless steel countertops will completely complement your morning or evening routine. A high quality, good sized mirror means you can truly see yourself at the right distance while comfortably standing.

Perhaps what is most commented on by our owners is the incredible lighting in the vanity. Whether you are an early riser or a late-night owl, know you can start and end your day with the right lighting. This is incredibly helpful, so you’ll be “close-up” ready even if you don’t have one planned.

The Bowlus vanity is just one more design concept that makes every Bowlus adventure better.

 
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Feature Highlight: En Suite Bathroom. Privacy Design

When we created the Endless Highways, one of the features that got everyone beyond excited was creating the ultimate RV with a beautifully organized and executed ensuite with privacy. We get it. Even if we have all been together for so long in the last year we’re completing each other’s sentences, it doesn’t mean you’re welcome in the bathroom. So how do we deliver the best privacy in the business?

It starts with a floor plan that makes sense so that you can travel for days, weeks, or months (yes, some of our owners are full-timing with others and pets and not feel cramped or on top of each other). Then read for our “secret” to incredible privacy. Yes, it is solid wood doors – just like at home. We do not use flimsy folding doors made out of paper or plastic at Bowlus. We only use solid doors with solid latches. All so that you can truly have a quiet moment to yourself to emerge ready to take on your next adventure.

 

 
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Don’t Overlook the Many Benefits of a Small Camper

When you’re shopping for a new RV, you won’t be lacking for choices. In fact, there are so many makes and models on the market that finding the right one for you can be a challenge. Your first instinct may be to buy the biggest rig you can afford. And while there are some merits to that mindset, there are a number of things you need to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

When it comes to RVs (and other things in life), bigger is not necessarily better. At Bowlus, we’re fans of small camping trailers. Read on to see why we think it’s better to invest in a small travel trailer with a well designed floor plan, like our Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition.

Small Camper Trailers are Easier to Maneuver
First things first, the best RV for you is the one you’re comfortable driving or towing. Before your camping adventures can truly begin, you need to get there. Since you don’t want your drive there to be the adventure, you’ll want a rig that you’re comfortable in when rolling down the interstate at 65 miles per hour, or worse yet, maneuvering through a cone zone or tight spaces in a campground (trees will not move for man or motorhome).

It’s a lot easier to get used to towing a smaller travel trailer behind you than it is to drive a 40-foot RV or even a shorter class C. It’s also less taxing both physically and mentally. If you’re investing in a RV for the long haul, consider that many people simply age out of their big rigs – they get to be too much work to drive. With a smaller, towable rig you’ll be able to continue camping into your golden years.

You’ll also be able to cover more ground with a smaller rig, since you won’t have to stop for gas or breaks as frequently. You may even gain a second driver if your partner is more willing to pull a smaller camper trailer than they would be taking over the driver’s seat with a fifth wheel in tow. With a low center of gravity and hitch weight, the Bowlus is easy to tow. Our integrated Bluetooth brake controller provides smooth braking to any tow vehicle and doesn’t require any modifications. It even offers vehicle-specific memory profiles so that you can quickly and easily tow with your Tesla X one day and your Porsche Macan the next.

Small camper trailers require less power to tow and can often be pulled with the SUV you already have in the garage. Smaller also equals lighter, which means better fuel efficiency or a longer range with your electric vehicle. The other factor in fuel efficiency is that smaller, lightweight travel trailers tend to be more aerodynamic than larger and taller rigs. The Bowlus is a perfect example. Our gleaming aluminum exterior weighs less than a fiberglass shell would, and thanks to Hawley Bowlus’ history in the aviation industry, our unique sleek shape is designed to have less drag as it’s going down the road.

It’s Easier to Store, Park, and Maintain a Small Camper
Before you take the plunge and buy an RV, you need to answer this very basic question. Where are you going to park it when you’re not camping? If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, you likely won’t be able to park your camper in the driveway or on the street for extended periods of time. Even without deed restrictions, there may be city ordinances that prohibit you from parking your RV at home. That means you’ll need to pay to store it, and larger units cost more to store, especially if you want indoor storage to protect your investment from the elements.

When you’re on the road with your camper, smaller travel trailers are easier to park when you stop for meals, fuel, and sightseeing along the way. Depending on the height of your small camper, you may be able to fit under the canopy at a regular gas station. Motorhomes and fifth wheels, on the other hand, have to fuel up at truck stops with the big rigs.

Here’s another great perk to a smaller unit – they’re much easier to maintain. First, you have fewer tires to worry about. If you’re in a Bowlus, there are only 2 water tanks to manage, whereas some of the larger rigs can have 4 or more. And we think this is a winner too – the interior of a Bowlus is so well-designed that you won’t have a leaky slide to contend with.

More Camping Options with Small Travel Trailers
One of the best things about smaller campers is that you’re not limited in where you can go. National parks and national forests have size limits, which means that large fifth wheels, travel trailers, and motorhomes are banished to RV resorts that may be long on concrete, and short on nature. Larger sites are often harder to find in state parks or first-come-first-served campgrounds, since there are fewer of them. And even on the larger sites, you may not have room to extend your awning. If you’re in a smaller rig, you have more flexibility in where you go and when you go because you don’t have to make reservations so far in advance.

If your camping trips include boondocking or heading off-road on a dirt track, you should plan on getting a smaller travel trailer. Most off-grid sites are on the smaller side and it’s often easier to get in and out with a smaller towable rig. At twenty-six feet, the Bowlus is the ideal small camper. You can get closer to nature, boondock, and even extend your camping season. Our lithium-ion battery system runs the air conditioner making sure you’re cool in the summer, and our heated floors and powerful propane furnace will keep you warm well into winter.

Smaller Travel Trailers Can Be Packed with Amenities
One of the reasons that people might be tempted to go with a larger RV is fear of missing out (FOMO). They’re afraid that they won’t have all the things they need to keep the entire family happy. Sure, in a big rig you can get bunk beds and multiple slide outs, but with a well-designed travel trailer like the Bowlus Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition, you don’t need those things to have a luxurious and comfortable camping experience.

At Bowlus, the floor plans of our luxury travel trailers are designed to provide both supreme comfort and maximum performance. Far from the average small campers like teardrop trailers, class B camper vans, or pop-ups, every Bowlus provides you with all the space you’ll need for cooking, sleeping, bathing, entertaining, and relaxing. The hotel style bathroom has a full shower with teak seating and flooring (no wet bath with a shared toilet / shower space in a Bowlus). You’ll find real wood on the walls and ceiling throughout the living space, as well as large side windows and skylights. Our 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 (the microwave even runs off our lithium-ion batteries).

We install commercial grade flooring that is both luxurious and durable. Our artisans meticulously stitch the high-quality sofa and armchairs in every Bowlus. We’ve redesigned the traditional dinette so you can entertain your guests in luxury. The Zen bedroom features a high-quality mattress with a memory foam top layer that converts from twins to a king-sized bed. There’s also ample storage space throughout the unit with large yours and mine wardrobes, a bathroom vanity, and slide-out storage drawers in the living area. With our Pet Flex features, even the family dog will be pampered in a Bowlus.

You simply don’t need a gigantic rig if your small camper has functional spaces that don’t skimp on the luxuries or the creature comforts.

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The Biggest Advantage of a Travel Trailer Under 6,000 LBS: Towing With Your Midsize SUV

Before you hit the road with your RV in tow, you want to make sure you have the right vehicle for the job. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the travel trailer, the bigger your tow vehicle needs to be. If you look at the RVs rolling down the highway, you’ll see a lot are pulled by heavy-duty pickup trucks. Without a doubt, pickups are one of the most popular types of passenger vehicles in the US, but they’re not for everyone. They can’t beat a SUV when it comes to a comfortable weekday commute, and when you’re traveling, a SUV with its third row has more space for your family and their gear, and you can still go off-road.

So what’s a person to do if they want to camp, but don’t want to invest in a pickup? Fortunately, there’s a whole class of travel trailers under 6,000 pounds that you can tow with many small and midsize luxury SUVs. We’re proud to say that the Bowlus, at just 3,200 pounds base weight, is in that group. To help you figure out which SUV is the best for towing a travel trailer, we’ve put together this handy guide.

It’s All About The Weight
Figuring out which camper you can safely tow with your SUV can be confusing, so let’s take a quick look at the key terms you need to know.

Dry Weight, or shipped weight, is the weight of your camper as it was shipped from the manufacturer. In and of itself, this isn’t a terribly useful number as it doesn’t include the weight of any of the stuff you need, other than the camper.

Tongue Weight / Hitch Weight is the amount of weight or pressure that’s applied from your camper’s tongue to the hitch on your vehicle.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is determined by the manufacturer, is the maximum weight the vehicle is able to carry. Both your SUV and your camper have a GVWR, but we’re primarily concerned with the GVWR of your RV, which can typically be found near the entrance of your trailer. The GVWR includes the trailer’s dry weight plus everything you put in or on it – fluids (water tanks, propane tank), accessories (like a bike rack), and all your cargo.

Make sure you don’t exceed your trailer’s GVWR when you’re packing, and it’s best if the actual trailer weight is less than the GVWR. Toss a few things on the bathroom scale because clothes and the pots and pans are probably heavier than you think. Over time, you’ll figure out what’s essential, what’s nice to have, and what’s just taking up space.

Maximum Towing Capacity is the maximum weight that can safely be towed by your SUV. This number can typically be found in your owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Your camper’s GVWR should never exceed your SUV’s maximum towing capacity. There are a number of factors that impact a vehicle’s tow rating, including engine size and type (V-8, diesel, ecoboost, electric, turbo), horsepower, transmission, and the drivetrain (four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive). Vehicles with the factory installed towing package are typically capable of towing more than those without this option. So, when you look for your SUV’s towing capacity, make sure you’re looking at your exact make, model, and trim level (including the model year).

It’s Also About the Hitch
With a standard hitch, the trailer’s tongue weight is transferred to the rear axle of your SUV. If it’s too heavy, the back of your vehicle sinks and the front lifts up, compromising your ability to control your rig. That’s why if you have a heavier travel trailer, you’ll need to invest in a weight distribution hitch. Like the name suggests, this type of hitch uses spring bars to evenly distribute the trailer’s weight, giving you a more stable, level ride when towing. They can also reduce trailer sway.

Check your owner’s manual to learn what the maximum tongue weight is for your vehicle. Typically, you’ll need to use a weight distribution hitch if your trailer’s GVWR is more than 50% of your vehicle’s GVWR. The Bowlus, for example, has a hitch weight of just 300 pounds and a GVWR of 4,000 pounds. That’s light enough that with most luxury SUVs you’ll be able to avoid the expense and hassle of a weight distribution hitch.

What Happens If You Exceed the GVWR and Towing Capacity (Hint: Nothing Good)
GVWR and towing capacity aren’t suggestions – overloading dramatically decreases the life and safety of both your camper and your SUV.

Here are just a few of the problems you could see if you exceed either the GVWR of your RV or the towing capability of your SUV:
· Your fuel economy or your EV’s range will plummet.
· You can damage the frame, suspension, axels, wheels, or radiator.
· You can overheat and damage the engine and shorten the life of your transmission.
· If you exceed the towing capacity of your SUV, it will take you longer to stop.
· Overloaded RVs are more prone to tipping over, and the rig is harder to steer. You’re also more susceptible to tire blowouts.
· Your insurance company may not cover your claim if you have an accident.

The Best SUVs for Towing Your Bowlus
This is where the rubber meets the road (so to speak). What, you ask, are some SUVs that are capable of towing a travel trailer that weighs under 6,000 pounds? What about a luxurious RV like the Bowlus Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition, both of which have a GVWR of just 4,000 pounds? We took a look at the manufacturer’s stated towing capacity of some of our favorite luxury SUVs:

Best Full Size SUVs:
Lincoln Navigator: 8,700 pounds
Infiniti QX80: 8,500 pounds

Best Midsize SUVs:
Land Rover Defender: 8,201 pounds
Land Rover Discovery: 8,201 pounds
Porsche Cayenne: 7,700 pounds
Mercedes Benz GLS: 7,700 pounds
Bentley Bentayga: 7,716 pounds
BMW X7: 5,950 pounds
Audi Q7: 7,700 pounds
Range Rover: 7,716 pounds

Best Compact SUVs:
Jaguar F-PACE: 5,291 pounds
Porsche Macan: 4,409 pounds
Audi Q5: 4,400 pounds

Best Electric SUVs:
Tesla Model X: 5,000 pounds

If you don’t have one of these in the garage, you’ll still have plenty of options to choose from. Interestingly, many small and midsize luxury SUVs equipped with a towing package have more towing capacity than their mainstream counterparts from Jeep or Dodge. Full-size SUVs like the Suburban, Ford Expedition, and the Nissan Armada are built on the same frame as a pickup truck, giving you both towing capacity and three rows of seating.

Every Bowlus is Lightweight, But Comes With Plenty of Space and Safety Features
Let’s take our real world example a step further. As we said earlier, the Bowlus’ dry weight is 3,200 pounds and her GVWR is 4,000 pounds. That leaves you with a net carrying capacity of 800 pounds, half of which should be reserved for the RVs essential systems.

The Bowlus comes with a 19-gallon fresh water tank, a 21-gallon grey water tank, and a 4.5 gallon black water cassette- a total of 44.5 gallons, or 371 pounds, if all the tanks are full (though realistically your fresh water tank and your grey water tank are likely not going to be full at the same). Our fully filled propane tank weighs 51 pounds. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a total of 422 pounds of water and propane that you can carry in your Bowlus, leaving you with roughly 378 pounds for everything else. That’s plenty of room to stock our unique storage solutions with food, clothes, dishes, and whatever else you need to make your camping trip fun and memorable.

The other great thing about the Bowlus is that with a GVWR of just 4,000 pounds, she’s a spacious 26-feet long. Most of the other travel trailers on the market that are under 6,000 pounds are a mere 20-feet (or less). Our superior ultra lightweight construction means you don’t have to compromise on space just to get a travel trailer you can tow with your SUV.

To help ensure your safety while towing a Bowlus, we also offer a smart trailer brake controller. This integrated Bluetooth device provides highly responsive, smooth braking to any tow vehicle. It doesn’t require any modifications and it has vehicle specific memory profiles so you can tow with your Porsche Macan one day and your Tesla Model X the next. There are a lot of reasons to choose a small travel trailer, but we absolutely love that we can hitch our Bowlus up to our SUV and safely hit the road in style.

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Feature Highlight: Off Grid For Two Weeks

Why You Need Two Weeks of Off-Grid Power?

As the folks who pioneered lithium iron phosphate batteries in the RV world, we thought we’d take a quick minute to explain why two weeks should be your sweet spot of RV battery power.

There are three key considerations when designing a battery system in an RV. The first is your use case of your users. At Bowlus, we knew our owners would never be comfortable performing confidential personal or critical professional work at the nearest rest stop McDonald’s or Starbucks because we weren’t. So when we loaded our first cellular amplifier in 2014 and a private network router in 2015, we ensured there was more than sufficient power to do what needed to get done, whether it was work or fun. In 2016, we were the first to extend the off-grid time to over a week and allow the ability to power large appliances such as A/C from the batteries. In 2019, we anticipated the requirement for longer land adventures – maybe it was the new Endless Highways hotel-style ensuite that kept people adventuring longer – in any case, we doubled the power to 2 weeks or two nights off-grid. We found it was the sweet spot for our owners.

But lately, the world’s gotten a little carried away by adding batteries, much like you’re seeing manufacturers adding tech for tech’s sake. So you’ll see someone on a chat boast about being loaded with batteries. Although they are more often than not such poor quality, there is limited benefit. Remember, batteries galore without an integrated system is a complete waste. And all those batteries add massively to weight. Maybe you have big truck dreams, but more often than not, your Bowlus dreams include an SUV or crossover that’s also your daily drive. So a thoughtful balance of weight to user requirements is critical.

Then add all the ways you can charge your Bowlus when you are out and about. A 3 or 4-hour drive can significantly recharge your battery. Then, plug in the solar, and you’re not positive on an average sunny day. Additionally, you can grab easy access to a standard outlet (RV outlet not required) when visiting friends and family and charge your batteries in under 3 to 4 hours from 20% to 90%. This is all that before you even consider adding a small generator because the sweet spot to your life is where everything is integrated.

So when we say you can drive from LA to Miami and back on a single charge, that’s even before you’ve plugged in your Bowlus to your tow vehicle. You can see why really anything else you add is not going to work and return for you in a value equation that will give you any more freedom to adventure on your terms. And that’s what matters.

Please contact us to find out why the Bowlus will serve your adventure needs today and in the future. 

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A Guide to RV Water Tanks

One of the best things about camping in a recreational vehicle is that you get to travel with your very own kitchen and bathroom. Because you have your own facilities, you can get out in nature without having to sacrifice any creature comforts of home. But unlike your house, where water always comes out of the tap and waste goes down the drain never to be thought of again, RVs require a little bit of work to keep things flowing. That’s why RV owners need to understand the differences between the water holding tanks under their units.

There are typically three types of holding tanks in a motorhome, fifth wheel, or travel trailer that store fresh water and wastewater. Dealing with this necessary, but decidedly unglamorous part of your RV adventure can be intimidating, but these systems are designed to be easy to use. This is especially true if you’re camping in a Bowlus, where we’ve even removed the need for the dreaded “stinky slinky.”

RV Fresh Water Tanks
The first of the three types of holding tanks we’ll take a look at is the RV fresh water tank. As the name suggests, this is the tank that holds the water that comes out of your faucets in the kitchen, bathroom, and shower. Because this is your cooking and drinking water, you’ll want to be sure to fill your tank with a hose devoted just to fresh, or potable water. To keep things sanitary, take care to not let the ends of the host hit the ground as you’re hooking up or tearing down.

The Bowlus features a 19-gallon fresh water tank and has a probeless tank monitoring system so you’ll be able to quickly and accurately gauge how much fresh water you have left. Because city water pressures can be higher than the 40-60 pounds per square inch (PSI) recommended for most RV plumbing systems, every Bowlus also comes with a pressure regulator on the water inlet to prevent burst pipes and other plumbing issues.

To ensure the water in your tank is odorless and clean, it’s also a great idea to use a water filtration system. A water filter will not only improve the taste of your water, it’ll also protect your plumbing by removing sediment before it has the chance to clog things up. If your RV doesn’t come with a filter, you can buy one to attach between the spigot and the hose running to your RV. But that’s not necessary when you’re in a Bowlus Terra Firma, which comes standard with a fresh water filtration system. Our carbon filters remove bacteria, sediment, chlorine, and other chemicals from your water supply. And because you can get fresh, clean water straight from the tap, you’ll have fewer plastic water bottles to recycle.

RV Grey Water Tank
The next tank located under your RV holds the dirty or “grey” water that goes down the kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as the shower drain. Large motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheels may have two grey water tanks. To maintain the health of your unit’s plumbing, it’s best to keep a filter on the kitchen sink drain to catch any food particles. Most RVs don’t come with garbage disposals, so food scraps should be disposed of in the trash as they can lead to clogged pipes.

Proper disposal of your RV’s grey water is a consideration when boondocking or camping off-grid. In many places, including national forests, national parks, and other federal lands, it’s illegal to empty your grey water tank on the ground. It’s generally only allowed in specific areas on BLM lands. State laws vary, so you’ll need to check before dumping your grey water tank in a state park or forest.

Most boondockers avoid dumping grey water on the ground because it can be harmful to both the environment and wildlife. Grey water may have traces of food, grease, hair, as well as remnants of the soaps and cleaning products you use, which can pollute the bodies of water they reach. Also consider that releasing the 20 gallons of grey water that most RV tanks hold (Bowlus’ tanks hold 21-gallons) can cause erosion.

Before you dump your grey water into the sewer, consider that it can be reused to water your own lawn or garden. You’ll want to make sure that you use biodegradable soaps and cleaning products in your RV to reduce the number of chemicals that ultimately reach your greenery. You may also want to filter it to remove any food particles (a pair of pantyhose works well). It’s best to recycle your grey water quickly because after 24 hours it may start to smell.

RV Black Water Tank
The last of the holding tanks under your RV holds the waste from your toilet. In RVs that don’t have a grey water tank, your water waste drains into this tank as well. A blackwater tank must be emptied at either a dump station or the sewer connection at your campsite. You do this by connecting a sewer hose, or stinky slinky, to your RV and the sewer connection. To avoid clogs, you’ll want to use single-ply toilet paper. Your black water tank will also need to be sanitized with chemicals to keep odors to a minimum.

Black Tank Alternatives: Composting and Cassette Toilets
Both composting and cassette toilets are popular alternatives to black water holding tanks. Composting toilets turn human waste into, you guessed it, compost. They don’t use any water, but they’re big, expensive, and there are a lot of challenges venting out the, erm, smell.

A cassette toilet is a permanent toilet with a portable black tank. To empty the toilet waste, you simply remove the portable tank and empty it in any public restroom or at your campsite’s sewer connection. No need to hook up your rig and tow it to the dump station. Typically the size of a small suitcase, most cassette tanks come with rollers making them easy to transport. They’re widely used in Europe, and in the US are commonly found in class Bs (camper vans).

After a significant amount of research and design, we decided to install cassette toilets in all of our Bowlus models. Our hygienic, easy emptying cassettes have a 4.5-gallon capacity and there’s a warning system that tells you when it needs to be emptied. To empty the cassette, you simply pull it out from the external hatch and empty the contents into any toilet. We’ve also taken care in the design to ensure there’s no splash back.

Every Bowlus comes with our custom ventilation system, similar to the process seen in sewage treatment plants, that eliminates odor. Our high-performance ventilator creates a slight negative pressure in the cassette when the toilet valve is opened. This allows fresh air to be drawn into the system, removing any new gases from the toilet bowl and preventing odors from escaping from the tank. The process accelerates the decomposition of the tank’s contents so that chemical additives aren’t necessary. It also means that you can use your favorite brand of soft, double ply toilet paper. When you’re camping in your Bowlus, you won’t have to sacrifice a thing, not even in the bathroom!

Water tanks in travel trailers may not be glamorous, but at Bowlus we’ve created a system that is easy and convenient to use. By eliminating the black water tank and replacing it with a cassette toilet, our RVs are designed to provide you with the flexibility you need for any camping adventure.

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Travel in a Post-Pandemic World: Safer in a Bowlus

After a very long year, the US is finally getting a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitalizations and deaths are down across the county, and restrictions are easing. One of the things people have said they missed the most during the quarantines and lockdowns was travel. And now that the world is opening back up, many are anxious to pack their bags for exotic locations or even just a road trip home to see their friends and family.

But not everyone is ready to return to life as it was before the pandemic. A recent study from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that 72% of Americans still plan to wear a mask in public, 80% will avoid crowds, and 90% will continue to wash and sanitize their hands frequently (good plan America!). Another study indicates that at least one-third of Americans plan to avoid traveling in the near future.

If you’re not quite ready to rush back to the airport, we hear you and we have great news. There is one sure-fire way to get out of the house while keeping your family safe from the pandemic. You can pack up your RV and hit the road. As legions of campers will tell you, they were social distancing before social distancing was cool (and mandated). And while it may take longer to get to your destination, we promise you’ll see more of this beautiful nation from the window of your car than you’d ever glimpse from a 30,000-foot flyover.

Post-Coronavirus Travel: Driving is Easier Than Flying
When deciding between transportation options for your family vacation, you have two primary choices; you can fly, or you can drive to your destination. In our books, driving is the better option especially if you’re pandemic-averse, mask-averse, vaccine-averse, or just want to avoid the pile of rules and regulations that come with flying the friendly skies.

Even for the fully vaccinated, air travel will continue to be fraught with hassles and challenges. States and the CDC are rescinding mask mandates just about everywhere – but not on public transportation. Vaccine or not, you’re obligated to mask up in airports, though this may not be such a bad thing since you’ll be surrounded by thousands of other travelers (hello large crowds of people). You’ll need to keep that mask on for the duration of your flight too. If you want to fly to a country outside of the US, you’ll likely have to present proof of a recent negative COVID test before they’ll let you in, and you’ll need one to get back home too. If you’ve chosen not to get a COVID vaccine, or haven’t received your full dose, you’ll need to keep an eye on your airline’s policies. Industry experts predict that many airlines, including Qantas, will soon require proof of vaccination for all international flyers.

On the other hand, there are no masks required when you’re in your personal vehicle towing your Bowlus luxury RV behind you. You also don’t have to worry about sitting too close to your seatmate (unless you’ve got 3 kids in the backseat), since your SUV is much more comfortable than your average jumbo jet. And this, we think, is the best thing about RV travel – you’re towing everything you need behind you, including your own private toilet. No public restrooms for you when you’ve got your Bowlus!

Post-COVID Travel: Camping is Safer Than Staying in a Hotel
Once you’ve reached your destination, staying in your own camper is far superior to staying in a hotel. Sure, at a 5-star resort someone will clean your room, make your bed, and bring you fresh towels, but if you’re trying to practice social distancing, do you really want to invite a stranger into your space? You don’t have to when you’re in a travel trailer like the Bowlus.

A RV is an extension of your home. You know it’s safe and clean for your camping trip because you’ve cleaned it. If you’re in a Bowlus, then you also know that your RV was fully disinfected prior to delivery. No need to worry about how clean the sheets and towels are, either. Our Terra Firma and Endless Highways Edition have plenty of storage space to carry your own fresh linens. You also have your very own bathroom. In addition to the toilet (ours is the best in the business!), each Bowlus has a full shower. No need to hike “up the hill” to the campground’s public restrooms in the hopes that they were recently sanitized. Plus, our two-stage freshwater filtration system means clean drinking water straight from the tap, whether you’re pulling it from your 19-gallon freshwater tank or your campsite’s water spigot.

Post-COVID Travel: Dine Al Fresco at Your Campsite, Not a Restaurant
RVing is also a great way to maintain social distancing because you don’t have to eat every meal at a restaurant. The Bowlus’ kitchen is a thing of beauty. From the Euro style cooktop to the gleaming stainless steel counter and sinks and the extendable faucet, you can cook a gourmet meal from ingredients you pull out of your personal refrigerator or freezer. There’s plenty of room in a Bowlus to bring all of your own food for your RV trip, sourced from your trusted grocery store.

If cooking and dining al fresco fits your mood for the day, Bowlus has that covered too. There’s plenty of room to stash a small grill in one of our unique storage units. Our Endless Highways Performance Edition is also outdoor kitchen ready with a 110V outlet and a propane connection. You could even try to channel your pioneering ancestors and cook over an open fire. The point is, when you’re camping in an amenities-packed travel trailer like a Bowlus, you don’t have to eat with 100 strangers at tables that may or may not be 6-feet apart. RVers can cook their own meals and enjoy even more time in the fresh air, all from the comfort of their camper.

Post-COVID Travel: Sight-Seeing is Safer When Your Camping
One of the safest places to be during this pandemic has been outdoors. And while there are plenty of campsites around some pretty amazing cities, most campers prefer to head out into the wilderness. Hiking, biking, kayaking, bird watching – the outdoor activities you can launch from your camper are endless. And when you’re out on the trail or the river, social distancing is a breeze. So much easier than, say, if you were trying to sightsee from a cruise ship. Not that there are any ships leaving from American ports anytime soon. Cruise ships won’t be able to depart from US ports until the CDC lifts its no sail ban, and that likely won’t happen until cruise liners can prove that 98% of the crew and 95% of a ship’s passengers are vaccinated. You could hop a ship leaving out of the Bahamas, but then you’re back to dealing with the airport again.

Post-COVID Travel: Camping is Even Safer When You’re Boondocking
A lot of people discovered, or rediscovered, the many joys of camping in 2020. That means you likely won’t be the only family looking to hit the road with your RV this summer. If last year’s trends continue, campsites at state and national parks, RV resorts, and other camping facilities will be at a premium. If you’re lucky enough to get a site, odds are the campground will be crowded, making social distancing even harder. If you really want to get away from all the people, you can go totally off-grid and boondock!

Off-grid camping, or boondocking, is typically done on National Forest or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands, though there are some private organizations like Harvest Hosts that offer camping on private lands. The Bowlus was made to boondock. Our best-in-class lithium ion phosphate battery can power your unit off-grid for up to two weeks, plus our travel trailers are solar panel ready so you can generate your own electricity. An integrated propane tank runs the heater, the cooktop, and the heated floors. The 19-gallon freshwater tank we mentioned also means you can be totally self-sufficient in your Bowlus. No hookups, no problems.

One of the best things that people have discovered coming out of the pandemic is the joy of land travel in an RV. And we suspect that even as the world goes back to “normal”, that many of you will still be hooking up your travel trailer and setting out to explore someplace new. We know we’ll be out there too, because there’s no better way to make amazing memories that last a life-time.

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The Best Places To Go Off-grid Camping In A Bowlus

THE BEST PLACES TO GO OFF-GRID CAMPING IN A BOWLUS
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, off-grid camping is the perfect way to unplug from the world and connect with nature. Often called boondocking, dispersed camping, dry camping, or wild camping if you’re north of the border, off-grid camping has none of the amenities you’d typically find in a RV park. There are no hookups (electric, water, sewer), no bathrooms, and typically no other people.

There’s also no shortage of scenic places to park your RV, especially when you’re in a Bowlus. Off-grid camping is most often done on public lands managed by the government. In the US, the two organizations you need to know about are the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Some private landowners may also be willing to let you stay on their land.

With millions of acres of public land just waiting for you, deciding where to go may be the hardest thing about your trip! Read on to learn more about how to find the perfect off-grid campsite.

Off-Grid Camping on Public Lands
National Forests or National Grasslands can be found in nearly all of the 50 states and all have areas for dispersed or off-grid camping. There are stunning places to camp from the Green Mountains of Vermont to the shores of the Great Lakes. In the middle of the country, you can park your RV on the sweeping prairies of the National Grasslands found in Oklahoma. Out west our National Forests put the rugged beauty of the US on display as the landscape transitions from the lush green forests of Washington and Oregon to the arid mesas of New Mexico. No matter your destination, if you’re off-grid camping in National Forests and Grasslands you’ll have no problem finding an amazing campsite to call your home away from home.

Off-grid camping is typically free when you’re on land managed by the Forest Service. There are areas where dispersed camping is not allowed, but they’ll be marked. Generally, you’re allowed to set up your off-grid camp anywhere except for established recreation areas or developed campgrounds. It’s best to set up on a site that’s been used before, keeping undisturbed land in its natural state. Most sites will be found along forest service roads and in pullouts. National Forests typically allow a 14-day stay, though this can vary based on the location; some areas permit longer stays. More popular areas, such as around Moab in Utah, mandate shorter stays. You’ll want to check out the specifics on the Forest Service website before you go.

It’s important to note that each National Forest sets its own rules not only about the duration of your camping trip but also around things like campfires and how far your camper must be from a stream or water source (usually 100-200 feet). If you have any questions, be sure to check at the nearest Ranger Station. Even if you don’t have any questions, it’s a great idea to chat with a Ranger. These folks work on the land and know it intimately. Looking for the perfect sunset, wildlife, or a stunning vista? Let them recommend the best camping spots.

The National Forest Service also has an app (Apple or Google) with an interactive map to help you find potential campsites on their lands. Use the filter to make sure there’s no fire activity in the area where you want to camp for an extra level of safety. You can also use the US Forest Service website, which provides downloadable motor vehicle maps that show where there are dispersed camping restrictions.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands are typically found in the western part of the US. Like National Forests, they’re almost always free for off-grid campers; camping is allowed in most pullovers and along secondary roads. The sites may not be marked, but BLM also wants you to find one that’s been used before. Camping is limited to 14 days to prevent damage to the natural habitat that would come from continuous use.

BLM has 245 million acres under their management, but not all of it is available to campers. Land is often leased for cattle grazing or mining operations, so be sure to keep an eye out for signs prohibiting camping. But even with some restrictions, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect place to camp. In Colorado, there are 8.3 million acres alone under BLM care and they are in some of the most scenic parts of the state. From alpine tundra to stunning canyons and rolling grasslands, BLM has something for everyone in Colorado.

Finding suitable campsites on BLM land can be a challenge. BLM boundaries aren’t shown on Google Maps, so you’ll need to prepare ahead. BLM does provide a handy interactive map that shows grazing areas, recreation sites, and more.

Off-Grid RV Camping on Private Lands
Apps like Harvest Hosts provide another interesting off-grid camping option. For a low annual fee, Harvest Hosts members can camp for free at nearly 2,000 wineries, breweries, distilleries, or farms. While you may be setting up camp in someone’s vineyard, you’ll still be off-grid as hookups are very rarely available. Note that you can only stay for one night and it’s expected that you’ll purchase something from the host. But if you’re staying in a vineyard because you love wine, then that shouldn’t be a problem!

Why Bowlus is The Best RV for Off-Grid Camping
Now that you know more about the amazing off-grid camping options available, you’re no doubt ready to hit the road. But before you go, make sure your RV can keep you comfortable. Camping off-grid is an amazing experience, but being in nature without sacrificing the creature comforts of home are what make Bowlus an exceptional luxury RV for all your off-grid adventures.

First of all, every Bowlus is lightweight and easy to tow. It’s also maneuverable, which means getting in and out of off-grid campsites will be a breeze. At 26-feet long, the Bowlus is small enough to get into the scenic spots, but spacious enough that you won’t feel cramped. Flexibility is one of the great benefits of off-grid camping. If you don’t like your site, simply hook up and move on to the next one. When you’re in a Bowlus, you’re not tied to one place because of a reservation or because your camper is hard to move.

It’s the mechanics of a Bowlus that make it the best off-grid RV on the market. Designed for a lifetime of adventures, Bowlus luxury RVs have an intelligent power management system that you can monitor with your smartphone via Bluetooth. Our best-in-class lithium ion phosphate battery can power your unit off-grid for up to two weeks. The battery will even run the air conditioner for up to two overnights. Our power inverter partners with our long-lasting battery to create reliable power and the ability to use multiple outlets at once. The Endless Highways Edition has a 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter and the Performance Edition a 3,000-watt pure sine wave inverter. Bowlus also has a built-in propane tank to power the heater, the Euro style cooktop, the instant hot water system, and the luxurious heated floors. Plus, every Bowlus is solar panel ready so you can generate your own solar power.

Water management is critical when you’re off-grid, and your Bowlus has that covered with its instant hot water and low-flow flush toilets. The Bowlus comes with a 19-gallon fresh water tank and a 21 gallon grey water tank. Each Bowlus is also outfitted with a cassette toilet, eliminating the need for a blackwater tank. Rule number one for off-grid camping is to leave no trace, so you’ll never want to dump your grey or black water on your off-grid campsite (it’s illegal in most places).

Handy Apps for Off-Grid Camping
So now you’re ready to be one with nature and soak of the peace and quiet offered by off grid camping. Before you go, here are a few other handy apps you should put on your phone.

· Campendium is a free app that allows you to search for free campsites by state.
· iOverlander is a free app that’s crowdsourced, which is both good (know what to expect before you go!) and bad (but beware because the data may not be 100% accurate).
· FreeRoam is another free app can connect with other off-grid campers.

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Bowlus Is Ready For An Ev Nation

The writing is on the wall for gas powered vehicles. Europe has set a goal of phasing out the sale of gas cars by 2035. So has the state of California. New Jersey has called for 90% of all new vehicles sold to be electric by 2040. New York, Washington state, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and several other states are working on similar legislation. At this pace, it won’t be long before the internal combustion engine is put on the endangered species list.

Without question, the transition from fossil fuel to electric vehicles (EVs) is a great step for the environment. We got a taste of this during the pandemic when we saw air pollution levels decline as people ditched their daily commutes and worked from home.

If you love the outdoors like we do, then you’re excited about camping in cleaner air. Are you ready to pull your RV with your EV and experience zero-emissions camping? Well you will be if you’re camping in a Bowlus.

Towing With An Electric Vehicle
Towing capacity is a big concern for most electric vehicle owners. If you were to show up at your local RV dealer with your Tesla Model X, most likely the first question they’d ask is “what are you going to tow your trailer with?” Most of the campers on the market today are simply too heavy to be towed by an electric car, and RV dealers know it.

Many small electric and plug-in hybrid luxury SUVs have a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. If you overload your EV and exceed the rating, your range will immediately suffer, handling becomes harder, you risk a tire blowout, and you could damage the structural integrity of your tow vehicle.

A Tesla Model X is an example of an EV with a 5,000 pound towing capacity. That’s not nearly enough to pull a 7,000 pound Airstream. Sure, you could go for one of the lighter weight RV models, but be prepared for some big tradeoffs. One of the primary ways manufacturers cut weight is to shrink the length of the unit. To find a conventional camper that’s less than 5,000 pounds, you’re likely looking for something in the 20-foot or less range. That can make for some very cozy camping if the rain drives you inside.

But a vehicle rated with a 5,000 pound towing capacity can safely pull a Bowlus. At just 3,200 pounds dry weight, you can fill the water tanks and pack all of your necessities in either the Endless Highways Edition or the Terra Firma, and have capacity to spare for souvenirs. Hook up your Tesla Model X, Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, Land Rover Discovery, or an EV model from any number of other high end manufactures, and you’re ready to roll. Plus, with a well-designed, spacious twenty-six feet of length, you won’t feel cramped in your luxurious towable home away from home.

Towing With An Electric Pickup
There are a number of manufacturers bringing electric pickups to the market. Rivian and Bollinger are two companies disrupting the space with big promises, while Tesla’s looking to make their mark with their Cybertruck. Detroit’s Big 3 automakers are also in the EV pickup game. Ford’s electric F-150 is expected to hit the market in late 2022. GMC is reimagining the Hummer as an EV, Chevy’s launching an EV version of the Silverado, and Dodge is transforming its Ram pickup into an EV.

Details on these new larger, more powerful electric trucks are limited, as many are still in the testing and development stages. Most experts expect their towing capacity will be between 7,500 and 11,000 pounds, so while you could pull a larger RV with an electric pickup, going bigger will likely negatively impact your range.

Towing Range With Your Electric Vehicle
Many electric car owners have range anxiety, but the charging infrastructure in the US is improving quickly. Tesla has over 4,500 superchargers across North America. Rivan is planning on having 3,500 fast chargers in place by 2023. They’re also preparing another 10,000 Rivian Waypoints (accessible to all vehicles) in places like campsites, parks, and other locations frequented by RVers. Joining the party are a number of other companies quickly working to install more universal charging stations. So while being range aware is a good thing, taking a road trip in an EV won’t be that different than it was in a gas vehicle. Just like you’d plan your route for fuel stops, you’ll need to plan for charging stops.

There are a number of factors that impact the range of your EV’s battery pack, especially when you’re towing an RV. Weight is one of the biggest issues. The heavier the camper, the more power required from the electric motor. The more power consumed, the shorter the range.

We’ve already talked a bit about how the RV’s length impacts its weight. But that’s not the only way manufacturers lighten the load. Featherweight campers also tend to be light on the amenities and the finishing touches. Cheap laminates abound in most of the “lite” campers on the market. Bowlus is unique in the RV industry because we don’t have to skimp on the finer things – our aluminum RVs are purposely designed to be lightweight without sacrificing any luxury or style.

Many of the same design features that make the Bowlus so lightweight yet strong are inspired by Hawley Bowlus’ history in the aviation industry. You can see our design DNA in the unique shape of our high end travel trailers! We select high quality construction materials that are lightweight, luxurious, and designed to last. That means real wood for our walls and ceiling and aerospace grade aluminum throughout. With a Bowlus, your camping experience won’t be lacking any of the luxuries you desire.

A Tesla Model X pulling a Bowlus gets up to 200 miles per charge. Hook up to a Tesla supercharger and you’re back on the road in around 15 minutes – about as long as it would take you to get a tank of gas. With a Bowlus, a zero-emissions camping adventure can be a reality. And if you find yourself running low on range, we’ve got you covered. Plug your EV into the Bowlus’ external 110V outlet for an emergency microcharge.

In a world that’s quickly going electric, Bowlus is here to make sure you can still enjoy camping in the great outdoors – emissions free!

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Boondocking Is Best In A Bowlus

2020 changed all of our lives, including the way we vacation. With cruise ships docked, amusement parks shuttered, and the general concern of getting too close to people outside of our bubble, many families decided to hit the road in a brand-new RV. Sales of travel trailers, fifth wheels, motorhomes and campervans soared last year.

You don’t have to look far to find all those newly sold RVs. Their owners are filling America’s campgrounds, and that means that a reservation is as hard to come by as hand sanitizer was in the early days of the pandemic. Frustrated with the crowds and the stress of finding a place to camp, many RVers are turning to boondocking, or off-grid camping.

You may be asking, “what is boondocking?” Read on and see if boondocking is going to be your new favorite way to go RVing.

What is Boondocking?
There are a number of ways to boondock. The common theme is that when you’re boondocking, you’re off the grid with no water, sewer, or electric connections. You also won’t have any of the amenities you’d find in a modern RV park like bathrooms, picnic tables, or dump stations.

Purists will tell you that boondocking, also known as dispersed camping or wild camping, happens only on public land. The National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Department of Fish and Wildlife allow dispersed camping on the lands they manage. Some state organizations also permit boondocking. It’s important to know that the managing agency may only allow dispersed camping in designated boondocking locations, so you’ll need to check with the agency before you set up camp. Also, while most boondocking sites offer free camping, some require a permit, so you’ll need to make sure your paperwork is in order before you set up camp.

Others in the RV world use an expanded definition of boondocking that includes dry camping on a site without water or electric hookups in a developed campground. Take it a step further and you could count overnight parking at rest areas, parking lots, or your buddy’s driveway as a boondock camping site. We prefer the purist definition at Bowlus and have designed our high-end aluminum travel trailers accordingly.

Before you hit the road for your first off-grid camping adventure, here are a few boondocking tips.

Boondocking Safety
The first rule of boondocking safety is to select your campsite wisely. Forest access roads often have spots where you can set up camp. Make sure you’re not in the road, and that your location is big enough to fit both your camper and your tow vehicle. You also want to make sure that you can get out of the site at the end of your stay. A Bowlus is the best boondocking RV because it’s lightweight and maneuverable. With a dry weight of 3,200 pounds, you can easily get in and out of most off-the beaten-path campsites. But it’s still best to inspect before you commit – so walk the site before you drive in.

The second rule of boondocking safety is to keep an eye on mother nature and her animals. A sudden rainstorm could turn your site into a mud pit, so it’s best to find a durable or hard packed surface to set up camp. One of the best things about boondocking is that you’re camping in the backyard of a variety of animals, so there will be a lot of opportunities to see wildlife. But remember they are wild, so giving them space will keep you and your pets safe.

Boondocking spots most likely won’t have a ring for your evening campfire. Before you break out the smores, check for any restrictions put in place by the land managers, especially if you’re in an area that’s suffering from a drought. Assuming there are no restrictions, careful fire management, and ensuring you completely extinguish your fire when you’re through, are the best ways to avoid forest fires. This is the third rule of boondocking safety.

Preparing to Go Off-Grid
When you’re boondocking you need to bring everything with you – including water. If you run out, you’re going to have to tow your camper to someplace with a water spigot in order to refill your fresh water tank. But Bowlus makes it easy to efficiently manage your water usage when you’re off the grid. Our campers come with instant hot water heaters and low-flow flush toilets, so you won’t waste a drop.

You’re likely going to be alone when you’re boondocking, with no other campers around. There probably won’t be any stores nearby either, so make sure you pack the food and personal items you’ll need. With a Bowlus, our unique storage solutions provide plenty of room for the necessities and the luxuries. There are ample cupboards and drawers throughout the camper, including yours and mine closets.

Boondocking Etiquette
If you do have neighbors, remember that they’re there for the peace and quiet just like you. Don’t park too close and keep your noise levels down. Many travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes will have to rely on a generator for their power, and that means managing noise will be a struggle, even with the quietest generator. But not when you’re camping in a Bowlus.

The Bowlus Endless Highways Performance Edition offers an electrical system designed for effortless off-grid adventures. You won’t need a noisy generator because our units come with a best-in-class lithium ion phosphate battery that can power your unit for up to two weeks, completely off-grid. The battery will even run the air conditioner for up to two overnights. Connected via internet and Bluetooth, you can keep an eye on your charge and battery performance levels with your smartphone. Plus, every Bowlus is solar panel ready so you can generate power for your camper.

Bowlus travel trailers also come with a built-in propane tank that fuels some of the RV’s essential systems. The heater, cooktop, and the instant hot water system all run on propane. So do the luxurious heated floors. The mix of energy sources allows you to better manage your energy consumption so you can rough it in luxury, off-grid. for longer periods of time.

Boondocking campsites don’t offer the amenities of a campground. That means, among other things, there’s no one there to pick up your trash but you. Boondockers live by the “leave no trace” philosophy and pack out everything they bring in – including the contents of their grey and black tanks.

No matter how you define it, boondocking is easy and fun when you’re in our Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition luxury RV. From efficient water and electric management systems, to our unique storage solutions, we’ve designed our aluminum luxury travel trailers with features that truly make it the best RV for boondocking.

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