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Our Guide to The National Parks of the USA

Exploring the National Parks is something that is on almost everyone's must-do list. The memories made while exploring America’s endless beauty are truly unparalleled. Like you, we have a goal of visiting all 59 national parks and the Bowlus Road Chief is truly the only RV made for these types of adventures.

Dealers and manufacturers are often not completely truthful about the limitations of their products to their customers, and as a result, you could end up purchasing an RV that does not fit your mission of exploration. Our goal is to help you find the product that is best for you.

Our family-run business of designers, environmentalists and perfectionists seek to elevate the camping experience with our legendary design DNA and a zest for modern adventures. It was our own experiences exploring this amazing country that inspired us to design a product that made adventuring easy, fun and of course, beautiful. It is important to us that we continue to handcraft the Bowlus Road Chief with fully sustainable practices and are proud to have created and pioneered zero emissions camping, which we see as the future to protect our public lands.

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What You Need To Know Before Purchasing an RV or Sprinter Van Conversion:

  1. Boondocking: Most National Park Campgrounds do not have hookups. Adventuring with RVs that are not built for boondocking means you could end up damaging your battery or unable to work even small 12V appliances due to your battery’s limitations. The Bowlus Road Chief is designed to be off-grid. Our large battery banks, sophisticated power management systems and ability to run necessary appliances like the microwave and all outlets while off-grid means you can stay in all the best spots since you don't require hooks to enjoy yourselves.
  2. Generator Use: Don’t assume you can rely on generator power. Only some National Parks offer generator hours and even when they do, they are very limited and are usually less than 4 hours per day with available hours most often in the middle of the day when you would rather be out exploring. You visit a National Park to experience it, not to hear the constant hum of your generator. The Bowlus Road Chief’s sophisticated power management system means you can go for over a week on each battery charge.
  3. Size Matters: Most National Park campgrounds cannot accommodate RV’s over 26’. With larger RV’s you’ll be stuck staying outside of the park and being far away from the fun. Even if sites can accommodate larger RV’s - they are not as abundant, meaning you will have a harder time making sure you get one. With a Road Chief, booking ahead is easy because there are more spots that you can fit into. It makes sense to have a trailer that allows you flexibility after all freedom of exploration is important to your travel mission.
  4. Getting into campsites: Even if the campground allows RVs over 26’, they will be very difficult to maneuver. Features like trees, canyons, and rocks can all make getting settled in your campsite difficult. For first come, first serve campsites, it’s important to have the flexibility or you could end up missing out with nowhere to stay. The Bowlus Road Chief is the easier travel trailer to maneuver. High ground clearance, ability to be placed into position by hand and spectacular easy of towing means you can have your pick of any campsite.
  5. Getting into the park: The routes may not be suitable to RVs over 26’ or Sprinter van conversions, as tight corners, steep grades, bridges, etc. can provide issues. It is important to know the size of your RV including any rooftop A/C units etc. Parks can have small roads, one way and steep grades and tree over the roadway that can be challenging to get into for anything other than a Bowlus Road Chief. Never be stuck or limit your exploration again.
  6. Weather Conditions: Many National Parks are located at elevation or located in desert terrain where temperatures can drop overnight. Most RV’s are not built for freezing conditions and damage will occur. The Bowlus Road Chief is built for every season, including winter. There is no need for concern when temperatures drop about damage and you’ll be warm and cozy inside too.

We hope you enjoy our guide to our favorite National Parks of the USA. Most National Parks fill up quickly so it is recommended to reserve sites 6 months or more in advance so it is never too early to order your Road Chief.

Happy travels,
Geneva Long & Family
Bowlus Road Chief

Bowlus Road Chief

Rocky Mountain National Park

Tip: On busy days consider exploring the west side of the park. Over 80% of visitors arrive through the east entrance.
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Olympic National Park

Tip: Take a kayak or canoe out onto the lake in the “Valley of the Giants”
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Acadia National Park

Tip: Visit the most popular sites before 11 am or after 4 pm.
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Zion

Tip: Consider visiting in spring or fall. Summer can be very hot. In the summer the only way to get around the park is by shuttle. If you are hiking The Narrows, stop by one of the many stores in town where you can rent proper gear.
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Yosemite

Tip: The Preseason Lottery for Half Dome cable permits has an application period from March 1 through March 31. If you don’t get the preseason lottery, check back after mid-April for open permits (weekdays are best).
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Denali

Tip: If you want to see the Northern Lists visit from September to April to increase your changes.
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Badlands

Tip: Join a park ranger for a Night Sky Viewing
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Glacier National Park

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Grand Teton National Park

Tip: Go to Snake River Overlook made famous by Ansel Adams. Go in the late afternoon to get the same reflection off of Snake River.
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North Cascades National Park

  • Reservation Campsite: Newhalem Creek Campground (no hookups, perfect for a Road Chief, reserve 6 months in advance)
  • First Come First Serve Campsite: Goodell Creek Campground (no hookups, perfect for a Road Chief, some sites reserve in advance).
  • Things to Do: Desolation Peak Trail - where Jack Kerouac described “ "I went out in my alpine yard and there it was ... hundreds of miles of pure snow-covered rocks and virgin lakes and high timber ... Below, instead of the world, I saw a sea of marshmallow clouds."
  • Our Favorite Hike: Cascade Pass Trail
Tip: This is the sixth least-visited national park, it is remote and beautiful with over 300 glaciers.
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Shenadoah

Tip: The Appalachian Trail runs through the park and spans from Maine to Georgia.

Information is subject to change. Please confirm with the NPS for any changes or closures before scheduling your trip.

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