Bowlus Road Chief and RV Industry Disruption

Bowlus Road Chief and RV Industry Disruption

There’s a reason for the growing number of “lemons” in the RV industry. Manufacturers want to make products as cheaply as possible, which affects the entire supply chain. Suppliers are forced to comply or go out of business. When things fall apart (as they inevitably do, thanks to shoddy craftsmanship), dealerships refuse to service RVs because they’re afraid manufacturers won’t cover the warranty.

Enter Bowlus Road Chief, shining like a paladin to the rescue with aircraft-grade armor, ready to do battle against status quo and defend the meticulous craftsmanship of old.         

We believe the manufacturer-dealership model of business is outdated. In recent years, industries of every kind have seen a boom in direct to consumer (D2C) models, and their subsequent success. Nike is an oft cited example. Back in 2016, Nike introduced its mobile application and shifted toward a D2C model. As a result, the company is well on the way to its goal of $16 billion in D2C by fiscal 2020.

The D2C model is also beneficial for consumers: there’s a direct relationship with the brand who makes the product and the product itself is often better. That’s certainly the case with the RV industry, where manufacturers send parts to dealerships to be assembled and then sold. Bowlus Road Chief is the only company to sell D2C, and has been following the model since its revival in 2012.  

Talk about an RV industry disruptor. As a result of our D2C approach we are able to:

  • Ensure that each trailer is handcrafted to meet exacting standards
  • Use showrooms instead of dealerships, providing a luxury customer experience
  • Deliver the finished travel trailer directly to your doorstep or office

Let’s explore the first two points in a little more depth to understand how exactly Bowlus Road Chief is pioneering a new way forward.

UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY

In the RV industry, there’s often a back-and-forth between suppliers and manufacturers before a trailer is ever created. Manufacturers, who assemble the vehicles, want the cheapest passable parts. Suppliers either comply or risk being put out of business. Then, manufacturers rush the actual assembly of the vehicle because they want to turn out as much product in a day as possible. The result is a growing number of “lemon RVs.”

At Bowlus Road Chief, we build our travel trailers right here. Our skilled craftspeople spend hundreds of hours handcrafting each Road Chief to meet exacting standards. Additionally, we use only the highest quality materials for our purposes; or, as we like to call them, honest materials. That’s because the wood interior is crafted from real birch. The teak bathroom is truly teak. And the gleaming metallic shell is made from 2040 aluminum, the same alloy used to create aircraft. There’s a reason people have stopped us in the street to call the Road Chief in tow “art on wheels.” We take no shortcuts when it comes to workmanship. We make no compromises when it comes to quality. Every Road Chief embodies the vision of Hawley Bowlus, mingling the artistry of the past with the modern luxuries of today.

A LUXURY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Rather than a parking lot dealership with RVs packed in like sardines, we offer a luxury showroom in Las Vegas. This has several perks. First, it’s a highly personable experience that allows you to connect to the product. You can explore at your leisure and ask our experts any questions you may have. It’s also a much more relaxed experience. We’re honest about whether or not a Road Chief will suit your needs and aren’t interested in pushing product on the wrong audience. That’s part of why, in five years of production, no Road Chief has entered the secondary market. In other words: all of our travelers remain in the hands of their original purchasers.

As a technology company, we also bring the luxury tour experience to customers! You can step inside a Road Chief in the comfort of your own home via our virtual tours. It’s just one of many ways Bowlus Road Chief is disrupting the RV industry.

THE ROAD CHIEF ADVANTAGE

Disruption can be a very good thing, especially when an industry is spiraling downward. What’s happening to the RV industry is not dissimilar to what happened with the American automobile industry in the ‘80s. The Big Three (Chrysler, GM and Ford) faced a serious crisis because they could not keep pace with a changing industry. When Americans started opting for Japanese and German cars instead, the Big Three were forced to make some serious changes. That’s the thing about being a consumer: in the end, you hold the true power.

We’ve heard what RVers have to say about the industry. More than that, we’ve listened. Bowlus Road Chief is proud to be an RV industry disruptor. We introduced the world’s first lithium battery-powered travel trailer and it remains the only vehicle on the market that can last up to a week off grid. Heated floors and personal charging stations are two more industry firsts to our name. And we do it all in the spirit of modern adventure.

Ready for a better way to travel? Reach out to our adventure guide at adventureguide@bowlus.com or (855) 426-9587.

Stay innovative,
Geneva Long
Bowlus Road Chief

 

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