Travel Trailer Knowledge: The Basics And Terms You Should Know

Travel Trailer Knowledge: The Basics And Terms You Should Know

If you’re interested in expanding your horizons past tent camping, a travel trailer may be just what you’re looking for! Travel trailers are a great middle-ground between tents and oversized luxury RVs, giving campers a way to experience nature without having to leave behind all of the amenities they rely on. 


We believe that travel trailers elevate the camping experience so much that we decided to go into business making our own! With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of the basics that everyone should know about them so that you have all the knowledge you need to go out and buy one for yourself!


What Is A Travel Trailer?


While there are many different styles of travel trailers, they are all ultimately based on the same concept— a camping trailer that needs to be pulled with a separate vehicle. You may have heard them referred to by a different name before, as they are also known as bumper pull campers, towable campers, and pull behind campers. The laws in different states vary on whether or not passengers are allowed to ride inside them while on the road.


Travel trailers have been in use since the 1950s, partially because of the freedom they provide people with their ability to get out and experience the world. 


The Anatomy Of The Outside Of A Travel Trailer


It helps to think of a travel trailer as an apartment built on top of a mobile frame. That frame usually consists of either a single or double axle setup, which means it will have either two or four wheels.


At the front of the travel trailer’s frame is a hitch, which is usually a type known as a weight-distribution hitch, although the superior lightness of the Bowlus renders this unnecessary. These are popular because they help take some of the downward weight of the trailer off the vehicle and distributes it more evenly across the axles. Lower hitch weights can also help make the trailer more maneuverable, which is why we designed our Endless Highways Edition with a very low hitch weight.


The outside of the travel trailer, sometimes known as the “box,” is constructed similarly to a house. The “bones” are often made of aluminum held together with studs. How heavy those metals are plays into how heavy the trailer is overall. In contrast, the Bowlus is constructed more similarly to the way that you’d make an aircraft wing. The aluminum over the monocoque frame provides the structural integrity and results in the Bowlus’ extreme weight savings, relative to the traditional ‘box on wheels’ construction. It’s also more durable, more rigid, and much more beautiful.  


Between the exterior and interior of the travel trailer, manufacturers fill the space with insulation. They usually do this using one of two different materials— either fiberglass or foam sheets. At Bowlus, we take it one step further with polystyrene insulation with a high R-value. This rigid insulation is far superior compared to traditional fiberglass insulation that you’ll find in other RVs. This creates a thermal barrier between the outside world and the comfort of the living space inside. 


The Anatomy Of The Inside Of A Travel Trailer


The inside of a travel trailer varies depending on the manufacturer and style that you’ve chosen. Think of it like a floorplan for an apartment. The basic idea is the same, but the way that it is designed can be different depending on what you’re looking for in a travel trailer. 


Kitchen Area


Every travel trailer has some kind of kitchen area (often called a “galley”), but what amenities it has vary depending on the manufacturer. 


Your Bowlus travel trailer includes a two-burner Italian stovetop, a refrigerator-freezer combo, plenty of food prep area, three spacious cabinets, and a sink with an extendable faucet. You also get a microwave that can run on batteries for easier food prep.


When it comes to travel trailers, generally, the more cabinet and counter space, the better. That’s what makes Bowlus the best. You’ll also want to take a look at the durability of the materials used, as this should be an investment that will last you for many years to come. A Bowlus trailer is so well-constructed that you should even be able to pass it down through the generations. 




The bathroom of most travel trailers come with a standard toilet and a shower. With standard RVs, you’d need to drain your black water tanks at a designated dump site, but with a Bowlus’s easy-to-empty toilet cassette system, you can just empty the handheld portion into a toilet. 


Other amenities that may be included in a travel trailer’s bathroom include storage and wardrobe space, vanities and medicine cabinets, and full-length mirrors, all of which appear in a Bowlus. You also get continuous hot water so that you can take all of the long, hot showers you want after a long day of camping.


Sleeping Area


Depending on the number of people that the travel trailer can sleep, the sleeping area or area may look very different. With a Bowlus, there’s one master bedroom with a fixed bed with a mattress so that it doesn’t slide around when the travel trailer is in motion. This king-size bed can even be converted into two twins if that’s what your group needs.


Our mattresses are incredibly supportive and comfortable, with a memory foam top layer. That’s accompanied by a nightstand and reading lights, so you’re truly getting the most restful experience possible.


Our bedrooms also feature both a cooling and a heating fan, so that no matter what season you’ve chosen to travel in, you’ll have the perfect temperature in your sleeping area. 


Your Bowlus also features another sleeping area in the living room. A convertible sofa and armchairs give you two more sleeping berths, so you could even have overnight guests. 


Living/Dining Room Area


The final area that makes up a travel trailer is a living room and dining area, usually, which is one and the same. These aren’t big areas, normally, because most people who camp spend a lot of their time outdoors, which has plenty of room for dining. A Bowlus features a dinette set where up to four people can eat and seating that includes a couch and armchairs. 


You’ll want to look for a comfortable living room area if you intend to spend a lot of time inside your travel trailer when you are on the road. 


How Big Are Travel Trailers Normally?


Because the types of travel trailers can vary widely, so can their size. On average, a travel trailer ranges anywhere from 13 to 39 feet in length and are between 2,000 to 11,000 pounds in weight. They usually sleep up to six people at a time, but the sleeping arrangements can also vary between styles. 


The size of the travel trailer, in addition to dictating how many people can sleep in them, also affects how it can be pulled. Because they need a separate vehicle to tow them safely, attention needs to be paid to that vehicle’s towing capacity. Essentially, the towing capacity is how much weight the vehicle can safely tow without risking damage to the hitch, engine, and body. You should never attempt to tow anything that is heavier than your vehicle’s towing capacity for any reason.


Your Bowlus is lightweight and easy to transport, with an aerodynamic design that makes for easy driving. You never need to worry about your towing capacity because a Bowlus can be towed by almost all SUVs. 

The Pros Of Travel Trailers


While the ultimate decision about whether a travel trailer is the right decision for you is up to your specific camping needs, we’ve created a quick list of some of what we think are some pros of owning one.


  • They come in a wide variety of different sizes, styles, and price ranges, so there is something for everyone.
  • Some of the smaller size travel trailers can be towed behind SUVs and cars, so a truck isn’t required to enjoy their benefits.
  • Offer a way to enjoy nature without having to leave behind all of the amenities and comforts of home.
  • Most travel trailers are air-conditioned and heated so that the inside is always temperature controlled no matter what the heat is outside.


The Cons Of Travel Trailers


Just like with everything in life, travel trailers do have disadvantages. However, lucky for you, the traditional cons of travel trailers are not issues when you choose a Bowlus. Keep in mind that “cons” are all relative and may not be an issue for everyone.


  • Large travel trailers may be difficult to maneuver, especially for drivers who are inexperienced. However, this is never a problem with your Bowlus, as its lightweight, aerodynamic design makes it incredibly easy to drive, even up windy mountain roads and while making quick lane changes. 


  • Some of the heavier travel trailers may need a more heavy-duty vehicle to tow them. Once again, though, this is no issue for a Bowlus owner. Our models are so lightweight that you can pull them with most SUVs and even some standard cars. 


In Summary…


Travel trailers are an incredible way to camp, especially for people who prefer to bring the regular amenities of life with them on the road. A Bowlus travel trailer is the perfect way to do this. We made sure to include all the comforts that you might be looking for, all in a beautifully designed package.


We designed our travel trailers for exactly that purpose, to let you go on great adventures while still being able to enjoy a hot shower at the end. Life is an adventure as well, so don’t let it pass you by.