The Luxury Camper’s New Tesla Will Make Airstreams Blush
If you see a riveted travel trailer that resembles an Airstream but isn’t, it may be a Bowlus. That’s assuming you’re extremely lucky, too—there simply aren’t many of these rare, upscale campers out there, so spotting one is like peeping Bigfoot. The company roots trace back to an aircraft builder named Hawley Bowlus, creator of a riveted, polished metal travel trailer back in 1934 to transport flight crews to remote locations. The brand has since been reinvented by Geneva Long, CEO of modern-day Bowlus. Characterized by an upright rounded front that tapers into an upside-down canoe-shaped rear, Bowlus trailers appear quite distinct in their Streamline Moderne design, almost steampunk-like in detail and complexity. Now, those Bowlus models—the Terra Firma, Endless Highways Performance Edition, and the Endless Highways Edition—are joined by a new model, called the Volterra, that takes the classic format and fully electrifies it for a new era.
Bowlus makes some pretty bold claims regarding its brand-new, all-electric 2023 Volterra model, including that it is the first production RV to be 100-percent electric; the first to apply AeroSolar; the first with high-speed satellite internet; and the first to offer an induction cooktop. The Volterra is devoid of a generator or propane fuel, the common power sources for running appliances while boondocking and figuratively (and literally) keeping the lights on. It has 17 kwh of lithium iron phosphate batteries (for a 100-percent increase in battery capacity over its Terra Firma model). It has 20-amp outlets to give an EV tow vehicle a little bit of juice in the case of an emergency, and the EV (or, we suspect, a hybrid with substantial power generation capabilities such as an F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid—can likewise recharge the Bowlus while driving.
Bowlus is proud of its AeroSolar setup that has up to 480 watts of solar power absorption. Compared to aluminum-framed glass panels, the AeroSolar panels feature monocrystalline cells with PERC technology that make the cells more efficient and the panels lightweight and durable. They’re paired with a smart MPPT solar controller that coordinates the flow of vital juice. The solar panels fit the roof perfectly, and there are two optional suitcase panels for extra solar. Want to do some remote streaming or download some giant files to your mobile office in the middle of nowhere? The Bowlus Volterra has Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet for fast and reliable internet in most places. Starlink for RVs is relatively new and can be expected to hit a bounty of nomadic setups in the near future.
Whereas most (if not all) trailers normally have propane stoves, the Bowlus Volterra has an induction cooktop, excelling in energy efficiency while providing precise temperature and cooking control. One could argue induction cooktops are safer, too, as the surface works with a magnetic field rather than physically getting hot, which also means you don’t necessarily heat up the whole trailer while cooking dinner. The downsides of induction tops are that they require induction-ready cookware, and they’re simply more expensive. The Volterra sleeps and dines four inside the fully vegan, limited-edition interior theme that’s been named “La Cumbre,” for the name of a mountain peak behind Santa Barbara, California. “Ynez” seating with “Rafael” accent piping recreate a beautiful California sunset. Black and old rose striped 100-percent linen duvet covers, blankets, and throw pillows are included.
The Bowlus Volterra measures just over 27 feet long and has a base weight of 3,250 pounds (4,000-pound GVWR), indicating it’s pretty lightweight. It has a 50-gallon freshwater tank, which Bowlus considers “perfect for extended off-grid time or longer showers.” We’d like to see double that amount of fresh water—but that would exceed the GVWR in water alone. A cool feature when it comes to navigating into tight camping spots is its 120-degree color backup camera that’s rechargeable, waterproof, and compatible with all iOS and Android devices. Getting into a Bowlus Volterra will set owners back at least $310,000. That’s hard to wrap your mind around, right? This helps explain why you don’t see very many in the wild. To put this into perspective, the most expensive Airstream, the 33-foot Classic, starts at $206,500. If you ever see a Bowlus, it’s okay to stare.
Text by Monica Gonderman | Photo credit on motortrend.com | Read More Here