We just got back home in Texas from 10 days in the Berkshires. Our Road Chief towed wonderfully the entire 4,000 mile trip. Very pleased with our purchase.
Our Road Chief arrived in perfect shape right on time last evening!! We are excited to show the East Coast this awesome RV! Thanks so much. Your Sales Team is ***** (5 Stars).
What impressed us most was our visit to the Workshop and Design Center: wow! The Road Chief really lives up to the press. The care and thought that was put into the design and execution blew us away. Really, every little detail from a design and function standpoint has been thought of and beautifully executed. This kind of attention to detail and care is a rare find these days.
I first looked at the Road Chief website after seeing the high praise in the Wall Street Journal. I remember going to the website and poring over the photos and diagrams, trying to figure out exactly how this was all put together and worked. The website piqued my interest and prompted me to pick up the phone, but really what sold us on the Road Chief were our interactions with the Road Chief team on the phone and at the Workshop and Design Center – and, of course, seeing it in person.
When looking for the perfect travel trailer, here are a few of the criteria that were most important to us:
Needless to say, the Road Chief hits all the highlights.
- Easy to hitch/tow – flexibility of tow vehicle choice.
- Ease of operation – we really wanted an easy experience that wasn’t a logistical nightmare with stinky slinkies, or something that tied us to RV parks or in search of dump stations.
- Ability to access places easily – size does matter when you are trying to go places, and the Road Chief’s small footprint allows you to go just about anywhere. We’ve easily navigated into some beautiful but tight spots.
- Quality design construction and finish – we had looked at Airstreams and were completely underwhelmed.
We had an incredible visit to the Bowlus Showroom in Henderson, Nevada. It was so awesome to experience a Road Chief in person. My husband thought it would be tight inside based on the photos (he's 6'2" and 200+ pounds), but we both found it incredibly roomy. We didn't want to leave - we loved it! The visit itself was really informative and it was fun to see an original 1935 Bowlus Road Chief. You really can't compare this to visiting a regular RV dealership. We're so glad we made the trip.
I was a total newbie at towing anything but quickly adapted to driving with the Road Chief. You really do almost forget it’s there. The first day out we encountered some gusty side winds, and the Road Chief was unfazed so I was at ease. When traveling the size and maneuverability lets us stop pretty much anywhere we would like to. It really is so easy to hitch. I’m not a big person and have easily hitched and unhitched it by myself with ease. Even took a solo retreat to a Scandinavian spa in Whistler, B.C.
We really appreciate the subtle integration of technology. We love that our Road Chief doesn’t have a TV screen, but also appreciate being able to flip on the cell booster and attend to business when on the fringes of cell reception. Also love that there is place for everything – we have everything we need without the visual clutter or wires/chargers.
Our Road Chief is our escape pod and is an exceedingly comfortable home anywhere we go. Maybe it’s the beautiful shapes the interior panels make or the way all the finishes come together so perfectly, but we feel instantly relaxed when we step inside. Of course, enjoying beautiful places is at the top of our list, but even stopping at a rest stop is a treat when you can pull the curtains, take a nap and make a cup of tea in your very own serene space. The silently heated floors are so decadent we find ourselves feeling a bit guilty to be so comfortable out in the middle of nowhere. A friend calls our Road Chief the Ritz Carlton on wheels.
All our friends were anxious to hear if our expectations were met with the Bowlus Road Chief. The answer is YES!!"
Why did we decide to get a Bowlus Road Chief? A few reasons…
- We had a great time seeing it, sitting in it and learning about it.
- We appreciate the attention to detail and your insistence on using the best of everything.
- We love the story behind it and that this is a family endeavor.
- The design is gorgeous, the engineering a work of art.
- It felt less intimidating than other travel trailers, and I think that has to do with the way it is engineered and designed.
On the inside, the Bowlus is more compact than our Airstream but more efficiently laid out and more comfortable. It has a lounge area that is very comfortable. In contrast, we were never able to get comfortable in our Airstream’s seats, and it lacked a lounge area. The Bowlus has a cassette toilet that is, in my opinion, preferable to the "stinky slinky" of the Airstream. The fresh water tank and the grey water tank capacity is less than the Airstream but we have been able to manage without any difficulty. The refrigerator is a little smaller than the one in the Airstream but is vastly superior in terms of performance. The cook top also performs better than the one we had in the Airstream. The Bowlus heating system is wonderful - quiet and efficient. It heats the water and the floors - having a heated floor is truly wonderful on a cold morning! The built-in AC system is quiet and very efficient.
The build quality of the Bowlus is truly amazing and vastly superior to the Airstream. It has a fully boxed aluminum frame and the outer skin is 2024 T3 alloy, the same used in modern aircraft fuselages and much more robust than the aluminum of the Airstream. The attention to detail and the quality of the components is much better than an Airstream.
This just scratches the surface of the differences between the Bowlus and a comparable Airstream. If I had to give an overview I would say that the lightweight of the Bowlus is the biggest differentiator aside from the superior quality. It's hard to appreciate what a difference the lightweight makes until you've had a chance to tow one. Some Airstream owners might think that the more compact size of the Bowlus would make it a non-starter, but in fact we’ve found the Bowlus all around far superior.
Washing a trailer could be a chore, but with those lines and rivets it is like polishing a jewel.
TOP TEN REASONS WE RE GLAD WE BOUGHT A BOWLUS ROAD CHIEF (with apologies to David Letterman):
- It tows like a dream – seriously you don’t even feel it back there!
- Make the coolest friends - just have a Bowlus Road Chief!
- Heated floors – So incredible, need I say more?
- Lightweight and compact size gives so all those neat, out-of-the-way campsites are yours.
- From your rearview mirror we can see all the way thru the Bowlus, looking thru the last portholes!
- The Cassette toilet is so clean & superior - no more "stinky-slinky".
- We’re always connected with our 4G Wi-Fi booster.
- Refrigerator is WAY better than all other RV units.
- Supremely comfy seating as good as home.
- An oasis of calm with the gorgeous wood interior.
This afternoon we went over every inch of the Bowlus Road Chief.
My wife absolutely loves the trailer. Towing will be a breeze with our new crossover. The size is just right for us and the quality of the engineering and craftsmanship is unmatched in the RV world. As much as we loved our Airstream, the Bowlus is in a league of its own.
We love the twin bed configuration - so comfortable and the resulting great night sleep (no jamming into a double or climbing over limbs to get to your side of the bed) is perfect. It is SO nice to be able to separate the sleeping area from the living/galley area for those of us who don’t keep to the same schedules.
The new Road Chief is respectful to the original design while employing state- of-the-art design, materials and mechanicals. So how does an Airstream compare to a Road Chief? It doesn’t, unless you think Ginsu to Masamune can be compared.
If you consider it an expensive toy, then you have little knowledge of fabrication material or appreciation of fine workmanship, utilization of space, and design clarity. The Bowlus is certainly the best-built trailer in the world. It has no frivolous pseudo-luxury, no televisions or 200W sub-woofers, no granite counters, reclining chairs, automated awnings. It's lightweight, rugged, nimble, the finest materials (2024 T3, maple, teak, stainless...), and everything fits and is quality. Inspecting a Road Chief, you can feel the love and care in the artisans' expert craftwork, which is so totally void in any other travel trailer. No one else is capable of manufacturing at this quality level.
The Bowlus is 24 feet long. For the same price, you can buy six or seven more feet of wet, buckling floors, missed rivets, stripped screws, sticky windows, white box appliances, cheap carpet or puckering vinyl, oil canning skins and superficial glamour. From the viewpoint of a fabricator, the Bowlus Road Chief offers much more for the money. Bowlus Road Chief LLC operates with a very different ethic than other travel trailer manufacturers. Please don't misunderstand, I’m not bashing the "others", it's just absolutely factual that Bowlus Road Chief far exceeds any other travel trailer.
Love our Bowlus Road Chief! We use it for EVERYTHING! The six of us (three humans and three furry friends) just drove down to Apple Valley last night, Road Chief in tow, to pick up our brand new German Shepherd. Seven week old Fritzi is in love with the heated floors.
The Road Chief is very comfortable. We've camped in Death Valley in the summer and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the winter. The size is perfect.
To give you a sense of towing efficiency, with a ML350 Bluetec that gets 28 miles per gallon (MPG) without towing, we got 16 MPG towing our old Airstream. We get 23 MPG towing the Road Chief. We experience absolutely no sway in heavy crosswinds. And when you've unhitched it from the tow vehicle, one person can push it around the campsite.
They are not expensive when you consider what you get for the money: top quality materials, design, systems, fabrication, and performance, with no need to purchase a tow vehicle.
We are having so much fun with our Road Chief. We are working our way across the country whenever we have the time and storing it along the way. We flew to Atlanta to pick it up and drove to Pittsburgh, camping, hiking, and rafting along the way with the kids. It was so much fun. Next is the end of the month – we’re are flying sans kids and driving through Vermont and winterizing him in New Hampshire.
We wanted to write and let you know what a wonderful summer of excursions it’s been. We spent nearly five weeks and 5,200 miles on the road with our new Road Chief and loved every minute. We have been to see family and friends; we returned to places we've not been since childhood; and we spent time in new places we can't wait to get back to next spring.
For two people who swore they'd never buy a camper, we had a blast traveling the U.S. and can't wait for more. What turned us around and into travel trailers is the uniqueness of the Bowlus Road Chief. Its design was unlike anything we'd seen before, the quality is incredible, and while the price tag seemed high at first, we realized that the weight of any other trailer we might have bought would have required us to buy a new car, too. We simply love that we can tow the Road Chief with our Jeep Unlimited.
The one thing about owning a Bowlus is whether you expect it or not, you quickly become Bowlus Ambassadors. Everywhere we've gone so far - Nevada, Utah, Colorado, N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and New Mexico - we run into admirers who are full of wonderment and questions. We have our Bowlus story down to about two minutes now and have been the recipients of more thumbs-ups on the road than we can count. More people than we imagined actually know the history of Hawley Bowlus and his Road Chief and simply ask, "Is it an old refurb or a new one?" So far, we have found only those who love it. As do we. So, as fall and then winter descend on Colorado, we are happy to report that our Road Chief is tucked away in her indoor storage unit all plugged into a newly installed power outlet. We'll be spending the next months making our travel plans for April when the snow clears from the mountain passes and we're once again on the road.
We are not only hooked, we might be slightly addicted to our trailer and the adventures it allows us to have. We are grateful that you brought back this old classic, and did so bigger and better than Hawley Bowlus probably ever imagined.
We can’t believe how much is gracefully contained under that shiny shell. Sometimes we pull up next to giant motor homes and wonder what they could possibly need all that space for. It is very comfortable for us, and we’ve hosted happy hour for four with ease. Our dog loves it too and has his very own drawer dedicated to dog toys and supplies. He thanks you for not heating the floor under the table so it stays cooler for shaggy pups.
We’ve already road tripped to places we would otherwise never have gone, like the cool rustic hot springs in the middle of nowhere in Idaho, and we’ve just barely scratched the surface of places on our list. Living in the Pacific North West, our Road Chief is already a seasoned ferry traveler with crossing to and from Bainbridge, up to Vancouver Island and various inland BC ferries.
We found the Bowlus Road Chief through an article in the Wall Street Journal. We were near retirement but had not really talked about camping at the time. The Bowlus looked like a trailer that could change that. After a very engaging conversation with them, we decided that we were in. We traveled to their Henderson showroom and picked out the theme along with the schedule for pickup. Upon delivery, we traveled the 1900 miles to pick it up with our 2010 V6 Toyota Rav4. We weren't looking forward to driving it back over the Colorado Mountains, but our Rav4 had absolutely no problem pulling it. This trailer received LOTS of attention and is a cinch to pull. So light that you can hardly feel it back there. The experience at Bowlus when we picked it up was wonderful. We were told that it would take about two hours, but it turned out to be more like four hours and we got so much great advice and instructions from them. They were very thorough and went through everything. The delivery visit very much exceeded our expectations. Once we got home, we used it right away for a fall weekend in the Door County, WI. This camper is everything we ever could want in a camper. Lightweight, high quality, comfy, easy to use.
Before I was ever a woman, I was a girl who married a boy fourteen years ago. I didn't know much about life - I was comfortably miserable in my small world and terrified of adventure, the ocean and camping. He lived for all of these things. He packed a backpack on our honeymoon to Italy and I packed two suitcases. We continued on with life joking about how being opposites was fun but really, life was black and white with gray smeared on top. Two kids, separate dreams and twelve (very) opposite years later, we had fallen to our knees yet again, disconnecting and reconnecting in a tangled beautiful mess of highs and lows and a small fortune spent on therapy.
Somehow, with guidance and will, we held on just by letting go. I was loved at my worst, and, patiently, he got my best. This is where our Bowlus adventure begins even though we didn't know it at the time. I realized I needed to "let go" and suddenly found myself wanting to do just that. Where could we go just the two of us that was so out of my box? I got out a map. Iceland. That will do just fine, thank you. There was one rule for this trip we considered our marriage salvation - no rules at all. Get on a plane, reserve a camper (seriously?) and get in it and go. No destination. No plan. No fear. Just the two of us and an Atlas. The old beater of a camper was adorned with a hodge-podge of old sheets. Not a single pillowcase matched another piece of bedding, and it was clear this thing had been lived in by a thousand other lives. Perfect. Just perfect. I needed to let go and suddenly this city girl was winging it in a beat-up camper with the name "Duke" etched on the side. Our whimsical plan of a trip was life changing. We were two lost souls married to the strangers in one another who managed to find each other and Duke was our vehicle. We set up picnics on the side of roads, laughed at how "lost" we'd get and hiked some of the most breathtaking part of the Earth side by side. We slept through the cold nights huddled close in the mismatched sheets and dried off from natural hot springs with thin mismatched towels. As we returned Duke to the dealer, we promised him we would somehow reincarnate him in the States.
We picked up our Bowlus, the 10th in production, in March of 2016 and began the first of many adventures. Duke (as we call it) has now been through 18 states, countless state parks, on a ferry to cross NY to VT, and even in front of the Biltmore estate! The Bowlus is elegant minimalism…it teaches our children how to respect the small space we share and to appreciate the art of living in the most beautiful, comfortable silver bullet under the canopy of a national forest. The folks at Bowlus have thought of it all, from the floor heating to the screen door to the creative storage space, but they never knew how they would transform the lives of our family and re-energize our marriage. Thank you for taking us on this wild ride!
We looked at all kinds of RV options for about five years before purchasing our Bowlus Road Chief. Why did we buy? First, the light weight made it possible for us to buy something that would check all of our boxes. It is unbelievable what quality construction, technological advancements, comfort, and true luxury are packed into this 24-foot dream trailer. It handles like a dream on any road. With 85 mph speed limits on Utah’s interstates or crossing the bridge at Hoover Dam with 40 to 50 mph cross winds, you absolutely forget it is behind you. I swear that several times driving down the highway, we look in the rear-view mirror and are startled to see that we have a Bowlus behind us. The craftsmanship is superb, bringing together both American and European components - talk about a show-stopper.
We have now taken two major trips. The first was last fall in picturesque Utah, and the second was a 6,600 mile, six week trip to the east coast. The two of us plus our two dogs loved every minute of both trips. We are heading out again soon for a couple of weeks and are planning another trip for two months in late spring. Then next fall, we plan on going from Arizona to Nova Scotia, timing the fall colors of New England.
We can honestly say that we have not had one day of buyer’s remorse. We consider everyone at Bowlus as family. Our advice is to go order one today and enjoy this remarkable Road Chief experience.