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Bowlus Road Chief Lightweight Travel Trailer

The original Bowlus Road Chief travel trailer was produced in 1934 by Hawley Bowlus, a pilot and aircraft designer.

Just by a glance its apparent the Bowlus Road Chief lightweight travel trailer was heavily influenced by aircraft design.  The original Bowlus Road Chief sadly was not a runaway success.

It’s estimated that only 80 or so were built before World War II put a halt to production. A few years later in 1936 a design which took queues from the Bowlus road chief surfaced which we now refer to as Airstream.

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The Original 1934 Bowlus Road Chief
The Original 1934 Bowlus Road Chief

A Canadian couple by the name of John Long and Helena Mitchell who were proud owners of a vintage Road Chief, took their rig on the road and were surprised by the excitement and interest people had in their Road Chief.

The couple happen to be accomplished entrepreneurs and were searching for their next business idea.

After discussing the warm reception they were getting from their Bowlus Road Chief lightweight travel trailer their kids suggested they start a company producing redesigned versions of their vintage rig. The rest they say is history.

John and Helena have now secured all the trademarks to the Bowlus’s trailer and starting in May 2013 will have the first batch rolling off the production line.

The New Bowlus Road Chief Travel Trailer

Model of the Bowlus trailer

Features of the Bowlus travel trailer

Bowlus trailer in the wild

Bowlus trailer at night

Lady standing in the doorway to a Bowlus trailer

Inside a new Bowlus travel trailer

Pull out couch in a Bowlus camper

Unique V style sleeping area

Bowlus dinette

Bathroom in a Bowlus trailer

Dinette set for a meal

5000 hand-bucked rivets are carefully aligned across the polished aluminum body.

The lightweight travel trailer from Bowlus has a tongue weigh of approximately 200 pounds, and the trailer itself has a maximum rated weight of 2,800 pounds.

It comes standard with electric brakes for better control. Every aluminum panels is hand-cut, hand-drilled, and hand-fitted to each Road Chief which is incredible in its own right.

The Bowlus is also outfitted with a super-cool Nova Kool fridge that comes with a German compressor which modulates the use of battery power, a Zamp Solar panel that puts out 120W, a SMEV cook-top that produces less CO2 than any other on the market, and bathroom flooring that is pure teak. The redesigned Bowlus Road Chief also comes standard with neat add ons like Wi-Fi, charging stations, luxury bedding and flooring.

This lightweight travel trailer from Bowlus spared no expense in building a top of the line unit any owner can be proud of. Bowlus also claims that this design is the world’s most aerodynamic and lightweight travel trailer ever built. It shares the wow factor  with its price tag as well. 2013 models are priced at $100,000.

Some of the more unique features of the Bowlus Road Chief:

  • The Road Chief has a low overall height of 7’10″ and a removable tongue  so the Road Chief can be parked in a standard residential garage.
  • The walls are insulated with polystyrene – just right to keep cool in the summer and warm when the temperature dips.
  • The interior height is 6’4”. Which should make it much more comfortable than comparable ultra lite travel trailers.
  • The shower-head can be passed through the emergency exit to allow for a risqué outdoor shower or perhaps for the less bold a perfect way to rinse off children, dogs or sports gear.
  • The two batteries are high-quality, maintenance-free Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) units, which are durable and safer than standard batteries.
  • The interior birch panels are hand-fitted, then removed and varnished on all surfaces and hand-fitted again. All extra time to ensure any unwanted moisture stays at bay.
  • The state-of-the-art polycarbonate resin seating fabric offers a beautiful, super-soft, luxurious washable surface that feels better than leather and is spill, stain, and pet resistant, for a long life.
  • There are special channels built into the body so that any moisture buildup will drip out the bottom and won’t damage the flooring.
  • Energy-sipping LED lights are used throughout, which means you can go a long time on battery power alone.
  • Natural light is maximized wherever possible, through windows and translucent skylights (you’ll find two mid-cabin), so there’s no need to turn on the electric lights during the day.
  • Every, original owner can choose a name for their Bowlus Road Chief which will appear on the fender skirt.

Each Bowlus Road Chief travel trailer will be built to order and available only factory direct initially. Each travel trailer will come with an industry leading 24 month warranty.  

If you’re interested in reserving your very own Bowlus Road  Chief, visit their website and tender a $1500 refundable deposit to make sure one of the first few off the production line is yours!

More Resources

Bowlus Road Chief FAQ Page


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