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Bowlus Road Chief

Seven Steps To The Perfect Luxury RV Camping Adventure!

Almost all of us can lay claim to at least one camping experience. Maybe it was a family RV trip when you were a kid or a weekend at Girl Guide camp. Perhaps it was an incredible backcountry tent trip you just can't do anymore since you need to be accessible to the office. Even if you don't have any hands-on camping experience, no worries. So much has changed in the last few years, especially in the luxury camping space. We've written this easy-to-read guide to give you seven simple steps to get you on your way to the most incredible luxury adventures of your dreams.

Of course, the right RV makes all the difference in how much you'll enjoy yourselves. Nothing but a Bowlus Endless Highways Performance Edition will give you:

  • Supreme comfort with luxury bedding, heated floors, long showers, and off-grid A/C (critical).
  • Easy drivability (and parkability) so you are not restricted in your tow car decisions or your location choices.
  • The flexibility to be off-grid while still connected with your private Wifi network, so you never miss a deadline or your favorite new Amazon or Netflix release.
  • Four seasons of fun so your Bowlus can double as your ski lodge and beach house.
  • The quality, fit, and finish with marine grade appointments that will just make you feel like you are traveling with your luxury hotel suite.
  • Incredible equipment storage options, so bring along those boards and bikes.

Now that you are outfitted with the ultimate RV - The Bowlus Endless Highways Performance Edition, you'll be off to incredible adventures with these seven steps.

Bowlus Road Chief

Step 1: Consider the where, when and who of your adventure

To make every trip a success, consider asking yourself a few questions to best guide your trip planning. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What do you hope to gain from your travels? Is the trip restful or educational? Are you looking for a physical challenge or the ultimate wine tasting?
  • What type of experiences do you want to have? Are you looking for something you've never done before? Are you perfecting your fly fishing skills?
  • How do you want to remember this trip? Is there a lasting impact you're hoping for?
  • Are you planning this trip just for yourself, for another person, or multiple people? What is the best way to meet everyone's goals?
  • What season do I want to experience? Camping in the winter can be amazing, so don't count out a season.
  • What is my favorite trip? Is there a way to experience it differently (with my children, with my partner, in a different season, with a different intention).
  • Are there any challenges such as weather, etc. I need to consider?

With these questions in mind, you can begin your online research and see what ignites your spirit of adventure.

Some of my favorite sites to check out include:

What are other ways to find travel inspiration? Starting online is an excellent place to initiate some ideas, but I like the old-fashioned way - ask someone you admire. Frequently you'll find their suggestion is something you may not have thought of yourself, something that's not just being pumped online so that individual bloggers can make their commission through affiliate links. Ask fellow travelers at your campsite or ask the local barista for the best things to do in their town - you usually won't be disappointed.

I keep a list on my phone by categories - weekend trips, dream trips, backpacking trips, best hikes. Every time I hear about a new one, I add it to the list. If you are looking for some of my suggestions, check out my blog.

Bowlus Road Chief

Step 2: Decide your length of trip

Consider dividing your trips into a few different timelines: long weekends or less, one-week durations, and extended trips. Your packing list for each may change, and your power/refuel needs will change as well. For example, for a long weekend trip or even up to two weeks with the Bowlus Endless Highways Performance Edition, you may not need to charge your batteries. Our owners often find that starting long-weekend trips can help you build confidence and assist in approaching extended trips.

Remember, with a Bowlus that you'll experience little driving fatigue so you may decide to adventure further. However, it's always amazing to rest for a bit after all you've got all you need with you or a nap in the world's most comfortable bedding.

Step 3: Decide Your Route

There are many ways to get to where you are headed. Here are a few questions I like to ask my travel companions (and yourself) when planning a trip:

  • Do you like to take the long way there? Or is it important to get to the destination as quickly as possible so you can settle in and enjoy it? In other words, are you focusing on the journey or the destination? There is no wrong answer.
  • Do you enjoy multiple different destinations on your trip or prefer to make a home base?
  • Consider how long you wish to drive each day. What type of activities are planned, and is there time for the long route?

With other RV's, you are limited because you need to think about low bridges, narrow roads, and steep inclines and declines. With a Bowlus, you don't really need to think about this, so I suggest you take the most enjoyable route and have the most exciting places to visit en route.

Bowlus Road Chief

Step 4: Research, Plan, and Book Your Specifics

Every successful trip needs a plan. So now's the time to begin your research and once you're satisfied, make any bookings. My process for planning my trips goes like this:

  • Make a list of wish list activities in priority. Are we wine tasting? Long-distance hiking?
  • Research campsites that are conveniently located to the activity list.
  • Decide on the campsites that are critical to book in advance first-come, first-serve. If reservations are possible in advance, research review sites like Campendium to see if there are tips other travelers have given about what site is best. Here's the truth: the best site for you depends on your preferences. Maybe you like to have an outdoor campfire - look for a site with a fire ring (and check that the campsite even allows fires). Perhaps you like a site close to the ranger station, maybe you like a site close to all the RVs so you can meet fellow travelers. Maybe you want the sites far away from the RV's because many RVs run their generators and take away from the experience for you. Perhaps off-grid camping on public land is really for you. Maybe luxury RV resorts (yes, there are a few incredible ones around) give you the most joy. It's fun to read the reviews to see if they provide more information for your decisions.

Here's my recommendation: you really can't go wrong as long as you travel with an open mind and remind yourself that you can always leave and find something else OR chalk it up to part of the traveler experience if you don't like it. Once you have a few camping experiences, you'll start to build a list of your personal preferences, which you can seek in advance so that all of your adventures are just as you imagine them.

Although I've developed my personal preferences over time, I've genuinely never had a bad time while camping so long as I've brought along an open mind.

Types of Campsites For Your Bowlus Endless Highways & How To Book Them

With a Bowlus Endless HIghways, you soon realize the type of camping you can do is genuinely limitless. If you are booking a reservation in advance, remember you are looking for a spot that accommodates a 26-foot travel trailer.

Public Lands

National Parks
People are most familiar with National Parks. The first National Park, Yellowstone, was created in 1872. Since then, Congress has gone on to establish 59 other National Parks. It's the duty of the National Park Service to "conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Unlike other government agencies, the National Park System doesn't allow resource extraction or off-roading vehicles. For that reason, the Parks remain some of the most beautiful places in the world, from the glacial valley of Yosemite to the coast of Acadia.

Did you know that most National Parks have RV length restrictions? You don't want to end up buying an RV that will leave you having to camp outside the park. A Bowlus can go inside all National Parks where an RV is allowed, so you are right where you want to be

You typically reserve a space in advance. Some National Parks book up six months or more in advance, so either organization is critical, or the ability to off-grid outside the park is paramount. You can often find a spot on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are going to a first come first serve campsite during the high season, we recommend you are there before check-in time so that you can find a spot. An excellent resource to book National Park campsites in advance is: Recreation.gov

State Parks
While the National Parks often get most of the attention, there are so many phenomenal state parks that are amazing. With more than 10,000 state park areas in the U.S., there are so many choices.

Depends on the location, but sites are either best reserved in advance online or are first come first serve. Most states have their own websites to reserve on. Here are a few of our favorites:

National Forest, Bureau of Land Management Sites & National Wildlife Refuges National Forests and land managed by the BLM are "multiple-use." That is to say, while they are vested in preservation, they also manage the land for resources and tend to allow more recreational activity. National Forests and BLM land will let you camp almost anywhere (usually for free). These sites are generally dog-friendly.

These sites do not require planning, but some planning can help find the optimal spots. In general, boondocking or off-grid camping is allowed anywhere on federal public lands within a specified distance of any established road, except where otherwise restricted. Bowlus owners love the BLM lands since they can be off-grid but online and have incredible privacy. Each location may have different requirements, so please check locally or online. Keeping in mind not to camp closer than 300 ft of water and follow Leave No Trace practices. The USFS offers a Motor Vehicle Use Map that shows where dispersed camping is restricted. The BLM offers Use Maps as well. Some USFS sites can be booked online.

RV Parks & Campgrounds

While you might not think luxury and RV parks, things are changing. So when you are looking for luxury camping or "glamping" experience - there are some fantastic luxury campgrounds with stellar amenities. Did you say Latte? Wine tasting? To book a campsite, go to the campground's website and book your accommodations online or by phone.

Programs
Harvest Host/RV Golf

Harvest Host gives its members access to over 1000 bespoke destinations, including wineries, cideries, breweries, farms, golf courses, museums, and other exciting landmarks all easily accessible with all of your Bowlus amenities. All you are asked to do is support the member in making a purchase or contribution.

HipCamp

HipCamp is known as the Airbnb of camping, and an excellent resource for finding campsites on ranches, farms, vineyards and land preserves. Your Bowlus will serve as your perfect base for these fun locations.

Other Campsite Resources

Free Campsites is a trip planner and hub that allows adventurers to share the campsites and grounds they've discovered.

Campendium is a searchable campsite directory that includes RV Parks, National Parks, State Parks, and National Forests.

The Dyrt is a searchable campsite directory that includes RV Parks, National Parks, and State Parks.

Some helpful campsite terms:
  • Reservation-only: You need to make a reservation in advance for this campsite. Usually online.
  • First Come First Serve: It is impossible to make reservations for these campsites. You should check in with the ranger when you arrive to determine availability.
  • Day Use Site: There is no overnight camping here, only picnics and daytime activities.
  • RV Campsite: This is suitable for RVs (this includes travel trailers).
  • Hookups: This can refer to electrical hookups, water hookups, and sewer hookups.
  • Dump Station: This refers to a station where you can dump your grey water tank and standard RV black water tanks. Remember, with a Bowlus that you don't need to waste any time lined up for a dump station as you can empty your toilet cassette in any standard toilet.
  • Back In: This involves backing in your Bowlus into the campsite. Because you can also move the Bowlus by hand, if you aren't the biggest fan of backing up, no problem, just push your Bowlus in by hand.
  • Pull-Thru: This means you can drive through your campsite.
Bowlus Road Chief

Step 5: Create a Travel Checklist

The Bowlus Endless Highways is designed for easy adventures. Over time, you'll find that less is really more when it comes to what to bring. When you are camping, simplification is essential.

Here is a basic starter packing list for two people that we use. Of course, we would expect you to expand it for your own needs and purposes.

Recommended Equipment That Comes With Your Bowlus Endless Highways
  • Fresh Water Hose
  • Shore power electric cord, 30-amp capacity
  • Power cord adapter 30 – amp to 15 - amp capacity
  • Two wheel chocks
  • Coupler Lock
Recommended Equipment Exterior Kitchen Toiletries
  • Personal Medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet Paper
  • Hair Brush
  • Toothbrush & Paste
  • Lip Balm
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo, Conditioner & Soap
  • Towels (Two Large, Two Small, Two Face Cloths)
  • Razors
  • Laundry Bag
  • Other personal items (glasses, contacts, etc.)
  • Optional: Hair Dryer
Necessities
  • Headlamps
  • Books/Tablets
  • Cards
  • Cameras
  • Backpacks
  • Quick-Drying Towels
Bowlus Road Chief

Step 6: Preparing Your Bowlus Endless Highways & Tow Vehicle For Travel

The 30 minutes you will spend checking everything, means you will free your mind to enjoy the trip. My personal checklist is as follows. I recommend over time you build your own that best suits your needs.

  • Confirm your Bowlus & tow vehicle registration & insurance are current.
  • Confirm AAA RV is up to date.
  • Confirm tow vehicle has no issues & has been maintained with recommended intervals.
  • Bring all relevant documents, such as passports, driver licenses, and registrations for pets (many campgrounds require proof of vaccination).
  • If working remotely, confirm SIM cards in Bowlus router are current & ready for use.
  • Bring two sets of vehicle keys and two sets of Bowlus keys.
  • Specifically for your Bowlus Endless Highways.
    • Confirm the Bowlus battery is at 100%.
    • Confirm the fresh water tank is full, or there's water at your destination.
    • Confirm the grey water tank is empty.
    • Confirm the toilet cassette is empty.
    • Confirm the propane tank is over 50%.
    • Confirm the appliances are operational by turning them on and running for 5 minutes (Heating, A/C).
    • Confirm the hitch attachments & emergency equipment is operational.
    • Confirm the tire air pressure.
    • Turn on the refrigerator and stock groceries.
    • Hitch your Bowlus to your tow vehicle. Check all signals are operational, check brake controller is operational, do a circle check of your tow vehicle and your Bowlus before departing.
Bowlus Road Chief

Step 7: Camping

Here's how I set up my campsite regardless of whether it is off-grid and with hookups. Please modify the list so that it works best for your needs.

Setting Up Camp (Off-Grid/Dry Camping/Boondocking): Time: less than 10 minutes.
  • Check-In (if necessary).
  • Arrive at your spot.
  • Determine if you need to back in or pull through. Evaluate any low-hanging branches or obstacles. Make sure there is room for your awning.
  • Position your Bowlus in the site.
  • Chock the wheels.
  • Un-Hitch your Bowlus.
  • Level the Bowlus: With the jockey wheel on the front, it is easy to level your Bowlus from front to back. Although I rarely use them like these levelers because they are the easiest to set up.
  • Set up stabilization jacks.
  • Turn on propane, water pump.
  • Turn on hot water. Turn on heating (if applicable).
  • If weather permits, set up the awning, solar panel, outdoor carpets, outdoor table, and outdoor chairs.
How I Set Up My Campsite (With Hookups): Time: less than 10 minutes.
  • Check-In.
  • Arrive at your assigned spot.
  • Determine if you need to back in or pull through. Evaluate any low-hanging branches or obstacles. Make sure there is room for your awning.
  • Determine where the hookups for water and power outlets are located.
  • Position your Bowlus in the site.
  • Chock the wheels.
  • Un-hitch your Bowlus.
  • Level the Bowlus: With the jockey wheel on the front, it is easy to level your Bowlus from front to back. Although I rarely use them like these levelers because they are the easiest to set up.
  • Set up stabilization jacks.
  • Retrieve your freshwater hose and electrical cord from storage.
  • Plug in your Bowlus to electrical service.
  • Set up your freshwater connection to your city water inlet.
  • Turn on propane, water pump.
  • Turn on hot water. Turn on heating (if applicable).
  • If weather permits, set up the awning, outdoor carpets, outdoor table, and outdoor chairs.
What should I do when I'm ready to finish up my trip?
  • Store away exterior gear including awning, outdoor carpets, outdoor table, outdoor chairs.
  • Turn off appliances, including (heater, A/C, etc.).
  • Turn off propane, water pump, etc.
  • Unplug electrical service, fresh water connection, solar panel (if applicable), and secure for travel.
  • Secure everything for travel.
  • Retract the stabilization jacks.
  • Hitch up your Bowlus.
  • Complete a circle check - make sure you are ready for motion.
  • Drive home or to your next location.
  • Before storage (less than 30 minutes):
    • Wipe down the exterior of Bowlus with a wet micro cloth to remove dust and bugs.
    • Wipe down the interior of Bowlus with a cleaner.
    • Empty your cassette in any toilet.
    • Drain grey water tank. As the Bowlus does not combine black water with greywater, if you use biodegradable soaps, you can drain this in your garden. This is what I like to do, as water conservation is essential.
    • Remove items from the fridge.
    • Turn off all appliances.
    • Reconnect Bowlus to 110V power so the Bowlus can trickle charge and is ready for your next adventure.
    • Winterize if necessary (additional 30 minutes).

With this seven-point plan, you are on your way to enjoying the best in luxury land travel with the ultimate RV - the Bowlus Endless Highways!

Enjoy!

Geneva
CEO
Bowlus

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