Outdoors

COVID-grade Terra Firma smart camping trailer shelters people and pets

COVID-grade Terra Firma smart ...
The Bowlus Terra Firma provides a safe, clean escape ... from pandemics or whatever else you want to leave behind
The Bowlus Terra Firma provides a safe, clean escape ... from pandemics or whatever else you want to leave behind
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The ne
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The new Terra Firma Edition brings the same shiny riveted aluminum look outside but with a special interior package
The Terra Firma has a dual-area dining lounge with individual tables
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The Terra Firma has a dual-area dining lounge with individual tables
This particular dog seems quite happy to sprawl out wherever, but other dogs might prefer the option of the cushioned bed
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This particular dog seems quite happy to sprawl out wherever, but other dogs might prefer the option of the cushioned bed
"I'm good," Buck says when his owners point out the purpose-designed dog bed
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"I'm good," Buck says when his owners point out the purpose-designed dog bed
A dual-stage water filtration system is one of the safety and hygiene features included in the Terra Firma package
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A dual-stage water filtration system is one of the safety and hygiene features included in the Terra Firma package
The Bowlus Terra Firma provides a safe, clean escape ... from pandemics or whatever else you want to leave behind
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The Bowlus Terra Firma provides a safe, clean escape ... from pandemics or whatever else you want to leave behind
With its robust lithium battery bank and full connectivity suite, the Bowlus Terra Firma lives and works quite comfortably, far off the grid
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With its robust lithium battery bank and full connectivity suite, the Bowlus Terra Firma lives and works quite comfortably, far off the grid
One of the new tricks on the Terra Firma, the slide-out dog bowl drawer makes it easier and neater to feed the pet
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One of the new tricks on the Terra Firma, the slide-out dog bowl drawer makes it easier and neater to feed the pet
The Terra Firma lets in plenty of light with its skylight and window array
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The Terra Firma lets in plenty of light with its skylight and window array
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The COVID-19 pandemic has made it obvious that sometimes you just need to load up some essential provisions, get in your vehicle and disappear ... for days, weeks, even months. And sometimes those essential provisions include a pet. California-based luxury trailer specialist Bowlus has added a few pandemic-friendly updates for both people and pets to its shimmering zeppelin trailer. The new, limited-edition Terra Firma houses and feeds its human and canine occupants in luxury, protects from germs, and supports two-week nomadic operations with a full array of smart, connected hardware.

The latest Bowlus special edition builds upon the 25.8-foot (7.9-m) Endless Highways Performance package Bowlus released last May, around the time pandemic shutdowns first had people going stir crazy. The Performance package bumps onboard power up with an 8-kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery bank, with Bowlus estimating up to two weeks of off-grid running time, assuming occupants are not dialing up air conditioning every night and microwaving three meals a day. Alternatively, a driver can use the battery to zap roughly 16 miles (25.7 km) of range into their electric tow vehicle, should it require an emergency power-up. The Bowlus battery itself takes between three and four hours to charge.

Running point for the powerful electrical system is Bowlus' cloud-connected power management system with a new touchscreen user interface. The touch display provides a central access point for information about and control of onboard systems, and Bluetooth and Web connectivity extend that access to mobile devices. A key pet-friendly aspect of the management system is remote temperature monitoring and control, which allows owners to ensure the interior is comfortable for a pet curled up inside while they're away from the trailer.

One of the new tricks on the Terra Firma, the slide-out dog bowl drawer makes it easier and neater to feed the pet
One of the new tricks on the Terra Firma, the slide-out dog bowl drawer makes it easier and neater to feed the pet

Bowlus weaves its pet-friendly design right into the structure of the Terra Firma interior, building a slide-out food and water bowl tray in the sofa frame. There's also a cushioned dog bed that slides neatly below the table of the two-seat dining nook, giving every occupant – whether clothed or furred – their own dedicated bed.

It looks like that doggy cushion will have to be relocated should the convertible dining bed be needed for teaming with the convertible sofa bed and rear bedroom V-shaped twins/king in meeting the trailer's four-sleeper capacity. Or, if the dog is anything like any dog I've ever owned, owners can just skip the cushion and expect her to push her way up onto one of the beds at some point during the night.

A dual-stage water filtration system is one of the safety and hygiene features included in the Terra Firma package
A dual-stage water filtration system is one of the safety and hygiene features included in the Terra Firma package

The Terra Firma sanitary package feels directly inspired by the pandemic that continues raging outside the trailer's shiny aluminum skin. It includes a new HEPA air filtration system with UVC disinfecting lighting, a feature that seems very much a response to the increased public focus on health and hygiene. The dual-stage water filtration (bacteria, chlorine, sediment, bad tastes and odors) also seems to appeal to a more health-conscious public, but such systems were fairly common for off-grid trailers even before "COVID" became an everyday term.

Enhancing the vehicular part of the safety equation, Bowlus adds a new smart brake controller for smoother, more confident braking. A "Find My Bowlus" GPS tracking feature adds a security layer and allows verified users to locate the trailer, useful when meeting up for group camping trips.

The Terra Firma has a dual-area dining lounge with individual tables
The Terra Firma has a dual-area dining lounge with individual tables

Beyond those new additions, the Terra Firma carries the floor plan of previous 26-foot Bowlus trailers, with a two-table central dining/living room, en-suite bathroom, rear kitchen with dual-burner Italian cooktop, stainless steel counters, compressor refrigerator and microwave, and large skylights. Amenities include in-floor heating, hot water, air conditioning, a 3,000-W inverter, and a full connectivity suite with mobile router, 3G/4G modem, Wi-Fi network and cellular booster.

The Terra Firma's interior color scheme aims to tell the story of a "lazy late afternoon watching a spectacular sunset." It's a mixture of warm wood, grain "Field" upholstery, and light-blue "Open Sky" piping and accents.

Bowlus announced the Terra Firma on Tuesday and is now accepting orders for 2022. The new package pushes Bowlus luxury trailer pricing ever higher with a US$265,000 base, a $40,000 premium over the Endless Highways Performance Edition.

Source: Bowlus

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10 comments
10 comments
Daishi
I don't like it much. It's designed for a couple of people but seats about 12. It would be like buying a school bus to convert to a camper but leaving the bench seats and standard windows through 80% of it. It costs more than a class A motor home https://i.imgur.com/isfYThI.jpg but it's much less lavish and needs to be towed. It reminds me of one of the DIY conversations people do with a $15,000 work trailer where they spend about another $15k converting it to a camper. Maybe they take a $150k profit margin on them.
Bill S.
That is the fugliest trailer ever built. But the price is great if you just won the lottery.
IdealistPragmatist
Totally a great option for the 1% who want a cute alternative to a Marathon bus. I'm curious what the bare bones version would cost: hollow trailers + batteries + regeneration axle? That's something I could invest in and build to suit
ArdisLille
Marketing 101: When you've only got 9 pictures to show your product, don't use up 3 of them on your dog and it's dinner. (Unless the product is the dog or dog food, of course. Then don't show so many of the camper.)
BlueOak
What I like about New Atlas - not only the rich range of content, but the critical writing method (vs straight advatorials) that often anticipates the cyclical nature of many of its readers.

Not sure Airstream is shaking in its boots over this trailer, especially with its $265,000 price. Will more than one actually be built?

Not confidence inspiring that their website fails to open as I write this, midday on a Wednesday.
Username
Why isn't it covered in solar panels?
Signguy
I'd rather have an Airstream...or a house! LOL!
Susan S.
Just took delivery of my Bowlus it is incredible!! Worth every penny when you appreciate the very best in craftsmanship and quality. Absolutely nothing compares!
JeffK
Outdoors RV, based in La Grande, Oregon, builds solid off road capable travel trailers and 5th wheels for a small percentage of that cost. Our 2019 24' cost around $38 K with 10 ply tires, shock absorber equipped off-road suspension, 8" I-beam frame with aluminum framed walls and roof, insulated for use to 0 degrees Farenheit, insulated water and gray/black tanks, marine plywood roof and subfloor, solar panel for battery maintenance and pre-wired for full solar, LED lighting, etc., etc. No, they don't look like a wingless aircraft but you don't have to sell your house to buy one.
Bonnie B
I have been in the Endless Highways and the craftsmanship was incredible. Photos don't really do it justice. This pandemic will end but the desire to truly escape never will. Want it!