How Luxury Land Travel Was Born
A decade after transforming the RV industry with innovations and craftsmanship to create a luxury land travel experience with the world's first luxury performance RV, Bowlus continues to build upon the iconic Bowlus legacy to define the next chapter of fully electrified camping experiences with the 2022 launch of the Bowlus Volterra, the world’s first all-electric RV.
The Original Aluminum Trailer
The Bowlus story is about building upon a legacy of originality and authenticity which began when Hawley Bowlus made the first riveted aluminum travel trailer in 1934. Hawley hailed from the genesis of commercial air travel as the builder of the Spirit of St. Louis. He quickly found admirers and would-be copycats, including Wally Byam of Airstream, who attempted to duplicate the first Bowlus design.
Sought By Collectors
With Hawley's return to support the aerospace war efforts and aluminum's classification as a critical strategic metal, the Bowlus production ceased. However, Bowlus became sought after by collectors, with over half of the originals in private collections today.
2011 to 2013
While at the Wharton Business School, Geneva Long began to reimagine the RV's future as a luxury land travel experience fully powered by electricity and pulled by emerging EVs. Although sustainability and innovation drove her desire to revolutionize the RV industry, she believed there was, more often than not, poor quality in the industry that she could also set the standard for quality and execution. Knowing that lightness and aerodynamics would be critical to this revolutionary change in RVing, she and a small team of engineers and designers began reimagining the Bowlus and RVing experience from the inside out. They created RV's first fully aluminum monocoque space frame, making the modern Bowlus half the weight of comparable-sized RVs. It also eliminated issues like rusting that plague the RV industry. They also believed the emphatically futuristic design shape of the Bowlus could be reimagined for the ultimate towing experience with a sleek transformable cabin that could provide the ultimate sanctuary. They would soon release the first intelligently designed RV for comfort and performance, elevating every RVing adventure.
The Bowlus, at almost 24 feet long, is a complete redesign from the original, offering a full bathroom and private stateroom where the beds could convert from twins to kings. One of its most talked about features was the ability to enjoy heated floors off-grid and the aircraft-grade birch interior. Bowlus began moving away from propane appliances with one of the first RVs using a fully electric refrigerator. Bowlus also launched using high-capacity AGM batteries to take your Bowlus off-grid for a long weekend. In contrast, traditional manufacturers used lead-acid batteries that did not allow the same freedoms.
Bowlus offered a bespoke programme that allowed customers to fully customize their interiors.
Bowlus launched the Heritage Edition. A super light travel trailer, the Heritage weighed in at 2,500 pounds dry and appealed to those not wishing to purchase another tow vehicle.
Bowlus launched the first lithium-powered RV. This 4kWh lithium-iron-phosphate power system kept this Bowlus running for up to a week off-grid and, for the first time, powered air conditioning off the grid for up to 4 hours. This was the first RV that could operate off-grid. Also standard in the Lithium+ was a mobile router with a 3G/4G modem and GPS, which Bowlus envisioned as a work-from-home trend that fully manifested during the pandemic. This Bowlus sported an elevated interior with large skylights and a curated interior in two palettes.
The Bowlus Endless Highways is launched at 26 feet long. The Endless Highways is an all-original design with a hotel-style bathroom with an indoor/outdoor Italian marine shower head. This model's en-suite is elevated with touches that include teak flooring and seating and provides additional storage. The Endless Highways sports the innovative Bowlus Power Management System, with 4kWh of power.
This Bowlus extended the features of the Endless Highways on the Performance Edition and is loaded with tech from a personal WiFi modem, heating, air conditioning system, and device-charging systems to an extended lithium iron phosphate - Bowlus Power Management System that allows for up to two weeks of off-grid use. The Bowlus Power Management Systems is connected via Bluetooth and the internet to your smartphone, which can monitor power consumption. The Bowlus Endless Highways Performance Edition sports large skylights.
The Terra Firma was in response to the Pandemic and featured a HEPA air filter with built-in UVC lighting elements to reduce bacteria and other impurities inside the cabin. An onboard water-filtration system uses a carbon filter to deliver better-tasting and safer water through the designer faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. High-tech touchscreen controls for the Bowus Power Management System are standard and can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app. The Terra Firma features upholstery and linens rendered in light-colored natural tones, with PetFlex features, so four-legged family members find comfort Integrated into one of the lower drawers in the dining area is a set of food and water bowls along with the ability to monitor interior temperatures remotely. The latter provides an emergency micro-charge, should your electric car need it. The Terra Firma enjoys 8kWh with the Bowlus Power Management System.
Meet the world’s first all-electric RV, the Bowlus Volterra. The Volterra enjoys all the features of the Terra Firm with 17 kWh of power. It is the first application of AeroSolar™ in the RV industry. Combined, these features give you the ability to be off-grid indefinitely. Additionally, the Volterra is the first travel trailer with an induction cooktop and the first high-speed satellite internet-ready RV. The Volterra also features a new backup camera, a 150-percent increase in freshwater storage capacity, and a luxurious limited-edition color palette.
The Heritage is Bowlus' most accessible offering. It features a unique mill finish exterior, a custom Granite Ridge interior, and the recognizable electric off-grid power that Bowlus' clients have grown to know and love. The new model is also the world's lightest full-size travel trailer in production at a base weight of only 2,900 lbs. These unique attributes make the Heritage Edition the next chapter of the Bowlus story, implementing design cues of the past to inform the brand's future.