What options or customizations are available?
You can choose from a variety of premium options to ensure your Road Chief reflects your personal style. You can order a Road Chief with a polished, mirror-shine exterior skin or you can request a satin finish. Beautiful birch flooring is standard, but we can accommodate almost any special request. The mid-cabin and/or galley can be finished in any one of the cool Chilewich flooring products which are incredibly comfortable on bare feet. You can select from any of the gorgeous pure linen luxury bedding, bath, and table linens from Libeco Home. Cushions are covered in Ultrafabrics and can be customized along with and any of the outdoor fabric for the awning from Sunbrella. All these choices are available at no extra charge. Should you crave something special we’d be delighted to make that happen, and of course we’ll let you know if it costs extra.
And if you’re worried about having to make too many fussy decisions, don’t be. We’ll make the selection process a snap with a minimal impact on your time. Or you can always leave it to us to “surprise” you.
What are the cool features in the new Bowlus Road Chief that are really interesting?
- Thanks to the low overall height of 7’10″ and the removable tongue (not as painful as it sounds) 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”.
- The showerhead 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.
- And, how cool is this? Every, original owner can choose a name for their Bowlus Road Chief which will appear on the fender skirt.
How can I keep up to date with the Bowlus Road Chief?
We make every attempt to be one of those social media savvy companies (although to be honest, it is a little exhausting). You can stay in touch through our Twitter feed @bowlusroadchief, or become a friend on Facebook, or keep up with us with Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest or Viddy (although we’re just getting this one together). For more of a personal touch email us or sign up for the newsletter for easy but not too frequent updates.
I love it! How Can I get my own?
A $1,500 deposit is required to reserve your own hand-built Bowlus Road Chief.
How many Road Chiefs will be produced this year?
We currently have a handful in production – however since every Road Chief is reserved in advance our production volume is dependent on orders.
What kind of car or truck do I need to tow a new Bowlus Road Chief?
The tongue weight of the new Road Chief is approximately 200 pounds, and the trailer itself has a maximum rated weight of 2,800 pounds. Many cars, small SUVs, light trucks, and crossover vehicles are rated to tow that amount of weight. Check your manufacturer’s specifications to know what you can tow. Due to the superior aerodynamic efficiency of the Road Chief, it can be towed with lower-horsepower vehicles than most other travel trailers.
Do I need a special hitch?
Your tow vehicle should have a Class II or higher hitch receiver installed with a 2-inch hitch ball. No weight distribution system is required for a Bowlus Road Chief (they’re those more complicated hitches you see on “other” travel trailers).
Does it have brakes?
Yes, it has electric brakes, which are controlled from the tow vehicle with a brake controller. This will be installed when you install your hitch.
What’s the best way to use my Road Chief?
Hands down our favorite way to use our Road Chief is to hit the road with some exciting destination in mind only to be pleasantly surprised when the unexpected pushes our best-laid plans out of the way. It’s happened countless times when we found ourselves absolutely tickled that the Road Chief has gotten us introduced to some fabulous folks and crazy good times.
But honestly, we’re just as thrilled when the Road Chief does double duty filing in a on a wide range of needs. Your Road Chief can be everything from a jewel of a pool cabana, a VIP suite for visiting friends and family, a man cave, a quiet office, a convenient storage spot, a “gluten-free restaurant” and a great refuge to pause and clean up after a training day. The possibilities are endless and the friendships you make with your Road Chief will be some of the most rewarding ones ever. That may sounds like we’re gushing a little too much, but it’s just the truth.
So, no one really loves to talk toilets but we are really quite chatty about the one you’ll find in your Bowlus Road Chief. This “accolade winning” cassette toilet (a direct quote that always makes us giggle) is so easy to use. All you need to do when the time comes to empty the cassette is open the exterior hatch pull out the sealed tank and pour it into any toilet. We know we don’t have to remind you about the special filters we’ve installed to keep things smelling fresh as a daisy. So to sum up no more hiding dirty hoses (known as stinky slinkies in the industry – eww) and no searching for special RV dump stations (yawn). We don’t mind if you think of us as a little OCD. In fact, we consider it a complement.
What does dry weight and load capacity mean?
Dry weight is the actual weight of the travel trailer containing standard equipment without cargo like bikes, paddleboards etc. and fluids. Load capacity is the maximum weight of cargo of “stuff” you can put in the trailer.
Is the Road Chief sold by dealers?
At this time all sales are factory-direct with delivery available across the USA. However, if you are a dealer shoot us an email. We always like to make things work for people who share our passion for the Road Chief.
Where can I get service for my Road Chief?
Service is always available at the factory or at any major travel trailer service center. All we ask is you give us a call first (the 1 800 phone number is answered up from 6 AM to 9 PM PST – 7 days a week) so we’ll ensure you’ll be efficiently assisted.
Do you offer financing?
Yes, we can introduce you to some financing options or we are pleased to work with your financial institution. Many folks don’t know that, if a travel trailer is your “second home” the interest on it is tax deductible. Something to chat with your accountant about if you’re considering financing.
Is the Road Chief available outside the USA?
The Road Chief is built to meet US specifications and is not currently offered for export, although governing regulations in most Canadian provinces matches US requirements. However, if you’re someplace else in the world and just have to have one, let’s chat about how to make it happen for you.
How long is the warranty?
You’ll find most in the industry offer a warranty of just one year. We just don’t think that’s reasonable for busy people so we’ll repair or replace any defects in workmanship (there are limits to component elements as they may be covered by their manufacturers) for a period of 24 months from the date the trailer is delivered to you, the original purchaser, assuming you’ve used it responsibly. A more detailed warranty is available for your review after a reservation is placed – just ask for it.
What differences are there between the original Bowlus Road Chief from 1934-1936, and the new Road Chief?
To start with, the new Road Chief is longer, taller, wider and therefore heavier than the original 1930s version. The design of the new Bowlus Road Chief also utilizes an aluminum frame where the original used steel. And, of course, the new Road Chief is stuffed full of the mod cons that hadn’t yet been invented when the original took to the road.
The new Road Chief also has a removable tongue, improved door and window design, internal tanks, power inverter and other electronic, stronger overall construction, better insulation, LED lights, and a host of design improvements. And it comes stocked with everything and we mean everything but your groceries and personal items.
Where can I see a Bowlus Road Chief in person?
Please sign up for the newsletter or email us and we will be in touch when a Bowlus Road Chief is in your neighborhood.
Why do you make such a fuss about lightness and aerodynamics?
We’ve made a serious commitment to our environment. Lightweight and efficient aerodynamics mean better gas mileage, which is good for your wallet but even better for the environment. We’ve proven you don’t have to “give up anything” to be serious about the environment.
Are other models or floor plans coming in the future?
With our own crisscrossed country adventures, conversations with friends, family, focus groups and our dedicated group of artisans, we think we have crafted the most amazing lightweight travel trailer – ever. So for now the only additional model under consideration is a version designed to meet European standards.
How hard is it to pull?
Easy peasy. You don’t need special expansion mirrors or a weight distribution hitch. The back is angled up so no worrying about curbs or uneven pavement. You’ll find city driving just as easy as pulling it down the highway as it tracks nicely behind your car with superb accuracy. We’ve had folks describe the towing experience as feeling they are pulling a small utility or boat trailer.
Yep, every Road Chief comes with a beauty, that’s 10 feet wide and you can choose from any Sunbrella awning fabric. It goes up and stores away in minutes. And you can mount the awning on either side of the Road Chief.
Tell us about the bedding?
We can go on and on about the importance of a good night’s sleep. So indulge us for just a minute. We use to think thread count was where it was at, but after “testing” countess sets of sheets (it was a great gig), we now believe that, just like with the Road Chief itself, it all starts in the “raw materials”. We are so glad that linen is once again in vogue. Linen is lush, clean feeling, super comfortable and lasts forever. The more it’s used the softer and stronger it becomes. Even better, flax doesn’t require irrigation during the growing process so it is gentle on the land, requiring little or no fertilizers and/or pesticides and is easily recycled. The very best linen is found in Belgium and we are thrilled to partner with Libeco Home to offer their full line of home products in the Bowlus Road Chief (you’ll find their products throughout). We love how the relaxed nature of linen is the perfect fit for a dreamy night under the stars.
We’ve also spent a ton of time thinking about how we love to sleep. A good night’s sleep starts with the Road Chief’s unique door system because a non-disturbed sleep is important. Our signature “twins” that transform into almost a “king” allow for optimum flexibility on how you might like to sleep. Sometimes twins make more sense, sometimes a big bed does – we don’t judge – we just want you to have the best night sleep you’ve ever had. You’ll find a combination of the highest quality foam and natural latex supporting you topped with a hypoallergenic feather bed. And if you want one side just a little softer than the other we are happy to make that happen because there is nothing more personal than your relationship with your bed.
How hard is it to hitch up?
The answer is very easy. Since you’ve never hitched a Bowlus Road Chief, here are the simple instructions. First, back into position so the ball is more or less under the hitch, which is a snap in any vehicle equipped with a back-up camera. Then move the Road Chief as necessary to align the ball under the connector. You can easily move the trailer side to side or forward or backwards with the jockey wheel (much like a boat trailer). Then lower the hitch coupler onto the ball and snap the lock on, connect the two safety chains and plug in the connector for the brakes and lights (it also recharges the batteries). Test to make sure everything is working. Then double-check to close the Road Chief’s windows and vents and lock the door. Really, it’s just that simple. When you take delivery you’ll get a guided tour and a hefty owner’s manual.
Who is on the Bowlus Road Chief team? And are you hiring?
We’ve been blessed with really talented folks who share our passion. We come with some serious successful start-up and production experience, are well capitalized, and have built a couple of very successful businesses by focusing on innovation, quality and our customers. We hope the same formula will be successful again. If you’re interested in working side-by-side with a close-knit cadre to create Bowlus Road Chiefs, please email us your resume.
Everything right down to your first celebratory bottle of French champers. Or tell us what you’d prefer and we’ll make sure it is waiting for you when we delivery your Road Chief. We know you’re incredibly busy and while it’s fun to research every solar panel out there, we’ve done all that work so you can max out your time to enjoy yourself. So you’ll find everything you need for two to four adventurous souls to be very comfortable. Oh, did we we forget to mention a full custom cover comes with every Bowlus Road Chief?
Ok, I love it, how much for my own with all the cool bells and whistles?
2013 models are priced at $100,000 complete, subject only to taxes and delivery. That includes over 5,000 hand-bucked rivets, the best in authentic materials and virtually everything else you could possibly need. A Bowlus Road Chief is built with honest labor rates to last a lifetime and, at 24 feet is the world’s most aerodynamic, lightweight trailer ever built.
Impressive but that still is a lot of money.
Yes, we agree it is. But we don’t skimp on a single thing. Personal production means every aluminum panels is hand-cut, hand-drilled, and hand-fitted to each Road Chief, much like a bespoke suit. We curated the best – whether it the super-cool Nova Kool fridge that comes with an extremely advanced German compressor which modulates the use of battery power, or the Zamp Solar panel that puts out a whopping 120W, or the fab SMEV cooktop that produces less CO2 than any other on the market or the bathroom flooring that is pure teak. Well, we’d love to go can go on if you’d let us, but you get the idea. We’ve searched high and low and installed only the best. Bottom line, we want the Road Chief to match your expectations of your home but be lightweight enough to take it anywhere.