The Bowlus Approach to Sustainability

Our Story

Sustainability is at the core of what we do. We consistently work towards minimizing our waste, water, and energy footprints.

Our values reflect that same minimalist style that Hawley first imagined. It's an approach that demonstrates a bias for simplicity, utility, and those special moments that only happen when connected with nature.

We believe we must build the best product and use our business to create and then apply solutions that are kind to the environment and support a mindful approach to adventures.

Material Sourcing

At Bowlus, we seek out materials and products that are as honest and as sustainable as possible.

We source from suppliers who share a vision. We also require that suppliers meet our standards for safe & non-toxic materials. We consistently seek out components that are high quality so they last longer.

A Bowlus uses Alclad 2024 T3 aluminum that can be polished for decades, much like an aircraft. We use aircraft-grade rivets for strength and longevity.

We use two types of wood. The first is a fast-growing tree that is grown in plantations in Italy. The second is grown as an FSC certified raw material to ensure a long-term, stable, and sustainable supply source. While all finished wood emits VOCs, we seek out panels produced with no added urea-formaldehyde resins or ones that are certified to meet the strict emissions standards set forth by the California Air Resource Board. We finish the wood using a UV hardening finish and a waterproofing wood protector on the edges. This protects against mold.

Unlike other RV manufacturers, we use no glues in the construction of a Bowlus. Glues are a leading contributor to high VOCs in the industry.

Flooring in a Bowlus is a low VOC certified resilient-vinyl product that supports indoor air quality (IAQ).

Our seating is a PVC-free, low-VOC polyurethane product that is 13% cooler than leather. The bedding we use is organic and grown using sustainable agricultural practices. We use only CertiPUR-US foams for the mattresses and seating.

Manufacturing Process

We look for our manufacturing practices to consider our team members' health and safety while seeking out resource efficiency using sustainable materials, planning for minimizing waste, and recycling materials whenever possible.

For example, we use aluminum in various weights and finishes. We efficiently use every sheet and tube and recycle what remains. Recycled aluminum uses 5% of the energy needed to create a comparable amount of raw materials. This is important because, unlike most RV manufacturers, who mostly assemble, we manufacture 70% of the Bowlus at our facility in Oxnard, CA.

Design

Every purchase of any vehicle is a compromise. However, more so with an RV is often the thinking that bigger is better prevails. Yet, most national parks have size restrictions that, if you exceed, mean you're not camping in the park. Additionally, if you are looking to be off-grid but online, lithium batteries and super-efficient appliances make better sense. Not all RVs are created equal, nor can they do all things, so really understand what your RV design will deliver so you can manage your expectations.

A Bowlus easy to tow and easy to handle because it is designed correctly. Incredible handling also means you can access more off-the-beaten-path campsites. Being truly lightweight means you can access a wider range of tow vehicles. Now, most compact crossovers meet our requirement of a 4,000 lbs. towing capacity, which means you can have increased comfort and better fuel economy and not require a new vehicle to tow. As more electric vehicles are on the road, lightness will be critical. We are the only full-sized travel trailer that can be towed by a Tesla X with a towing range of upwards of 200 miles.

Green Washing

Like many industries, the RV industry is riddled with green-washing practices. For example, 11,000 lbs. trailers are often called lightweight. Green certifications are dispensed for a fee by for-profit consultants. Some companies look to the old practice of buying trees to make up for their lack of green practices. No one should need to buy a certificate or a tree to illustrate a move in a positive environmental direction. We also share a frustration in understanding endless jargon and environmental classifications that often lack true meaning. Instead, we have a clear philosophy of what we support and make a conscious effort to include sustainability in everything we do.

Indoor Air Quality & Health

If you have sensitivities, you should be concerned about the materials and, in the case of most RVs, the glue that holds your RV together.

At Bowlus, we care deeply about indoor air quality, paying strong attention to natural ventilation, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) limiting sealants' use, and eliminating adhesives and ductwork. You'll notice when you step into a new Bowlus that there is no off-gassing smell. Additionally, unlike other RV, we do not spray insulation or use "soft" insulation that can mold.

Energy Efficiency

Bowlus uses Lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4) exclusively. Their advantages include:

  • High energy density: they produce more energy with less weight and volume
  • High charge currents: they provide more efficient charge times
  • Long battery life: up to six times the battery life of a conventional battery
  • High efficiency between charging and discharging with very little energy loss due to heat
  • Higher continuous power available, which allows for off-grid camping

Energy efficiency is also achieved through energy-sipping LED lighting, skylights to provide natural lighting, and energy-efficient appliances.

The central heating system is a highly efficient hydronic system with gentle natural air movement and natural humidity.

Every Bowlus is solar panel ready.

Water Efficiency

The goal is the smart use of water. We achieved this by using an instant hot water heater and use of a low-flow flush toilet. We also have a shower that is an indoor/outdoor shower, and the kitchen faucet reaches outside for cleaning of shoes/pets before entering the travel trailer. We take special steps are taken to reduce odors in the kitchen and bathroom. Although we offer a service to sanitize water tanks before delivery and a water filtration system in the Terra Firma, we do not recommend drinking this water unless you are vigilant in checking your water quality. It is far better to travel with purified or spring water for drinking or cooking.

Lightness and Aerodynamics

We believe in lightness and aerodynamics. Why? First safety. A Bowlus has the lowest center of gravity than any other RV. We don't require weight equalization hitches in attempts to fix design errors. A Bowlus is easy to tow and easy to handle because it is designed correctly. This means you can access more off-the-beaten-path campsites.

Second, being truly lightweight means you can access a wider range of tow vehicles. Now, most compact crossovers meet our requirement of a 4,000 lbs. towing capacity, which means you can have increased comfort and better fuel economy.

As more electric vehicles are on the road, lightness will be critical. We are the only full-sized travel trailer that can be towed by a Tesla X with a towing range of upwards of 200 miles.

Made To Last

More and more RV owners are becoming concerned about the lifespan of their purchase. While purchasing an RV has many considerations, it may be time to add a deeper conversation about how your purchase will impact the environment.

Brand Stories

Story Of Bowlus

Philosophy

Models

Endless Highways
Starting at $215,000
Learn More
Endless Highways
Performance Edition
Starting at $240,000
Learn More
Terra Firma
Starting at $265,000
Learn More