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. 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.