Bowlus updates its striking $215K+ polished-zeppelin camper
With one of the most recognizable travel trailers on the roads and in the forests, Bowlus doesn't have to regularly update its lineup to attract attention. But every year, it's been introducing a new package or a few tweaks and updates to existing models. Last year, it added the pandemic-inspired Terra Firma model, complete with pet accommodations, and in 2020 it was the Endless Highways Performance Edition. It doesn't have quite as big of an addition for MY2022, but it does retouch its unmistakable styling, redesign a few key features, and make standard some technologies that ease the towing process.
Back in 2013, Geneva Long revived the Bowlus name from its short-lived run in the 1930s. Her retro-inspired Streamline Modern travel trailer design catapulted Bowlus right to the top of the attractive metallic camping trailer hierarchy, in our opinion surpassing Airstream, a company that owes its iconic design to the original Bowlus Road Chief. With the styling dialed in, Bowlus turned focus to enhancing the interior with the likes of extra space and large off-grid power systems.
For the 2022 Bowlus model lineup, Bowlus ever-so-subtly updates the styling that's served as the foundation of its trailers since its launch nearly a decade ago. It replaces the small, rounded taillights with tall, thin 15-in (38-cm) LED taillights, which look more similar to the thin, narrow lighting signatures popular in modern automotive design. The taillights also promise increased visibility for those driving behind the trailer, and we wonder if the tall strips won't reflect off the polished rear panels and make the bulk of the rear-end its own taillight.
At the other end of the trailer, Bowlus makes standard both the Smart Brake Controller that tailors the braking profile to the tow vehicle at the helm, making it easier to hitch the trailer up to different tow vehicles. Initially launched on last year's Terra Firma model, the feature relies on a Bluetooth-connected mobile app and triple-axis motion-sensing accelerometer to tune braking. Bowlus also makes the 60 Second Hitch standard on all models, simplifying the hitching experience.
Bowlus finds that its luxury glamping customers have been spending more time dining inside their trailers, so it updates the kitchen area to better assist them in preparing meals worth lingering over. The new extra large hard-pull, soft-close drawers offer plenty of room for cooking tools and dishes. Separate interior pantry drawers improve overall organization. The new drawer layout joins existing kitchen amenities including a dual-burner gas cooktop and marine-grade fridge/freezer.
Also new, the directed vents of the air conditioning system better direct purified air to all corners of the trailer.
All three 27-foot (8.2-m) Bowlus models maintain the four-sleeper layout with rear master bedroom, full dry bathroom, dining lounge with convertible twin beds, and front kitchen. The "entry level" Endless Highways Edition starts at US$215,000, and the mid-line Endless Highways Performance Edition leaps up to $240,000 with its 600-Ah lithium-iron-phosphate battery-based electrical system. While some of the $265,000 Terra Firma flagship's features have been extended to the lower-tier models, it still brings standard exclusives like the COVID-inspired BowlusPure air and water filtration system.