Elkhart Leads RV Production, Bowlus Expands Luxury Line

19 March 2024

Luxury on Wheels: Bowlus Trailers Redefine Recreational Travel

In the world of recreational vehicles, the Bowlus travel trailer stands out like a gleaming beacon of luxury. Unlike the traditional RVs rolling out of Elkhart, Indiana, the Bowlus is crafted in the sunny climes of Oxnard, California, and is designed to be towed effortlessly by a Porsche sports car. This high-end travel trailer, with its sleek 1930s design and minimalist interior, commands a price tag of $310,000 for the top-end model, reflecting the spending power of its wealthy clientele.

As the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to combat inflation, affluent Americans continue to drive economic growth, splurging on luxury goods including cars, homes, and travel. The Bowlus brand has thrived during this period, with demand soaring during the pandemic. Even as the RV market has seen a downturn, with shipments of travel trailers dropping by nearly 40 percent last year, Bowlus has maintained strong sales and is now expanding its reach by introducing a more affordable model and venturing into dealership sales for the first time.

‘A Mindset’

Geneva Long, CEO of Bowlus, attributes their resilience to not overproducing during the pandemic—a pitfall that many in the industry fell into. The company’s meticulous production process involves a team of 35 workers who handcraft each component of the trailer, from the cabinetry to the seats made from high-tech Japanese fabric. This dedication to quality over quantity has allowed Bowlus to plan for steady growth while ensuring their trailers remain synonymous with luxury and simplicity.

Despite lacking some of the amenities common in other high-end RVs, such as expansive bathrooms or extendable walls, Bowlus customers value the brand’s commitment to quality and the camping culture it embodies. In a nod to modernity, Bowlus will soon offer televisions as an optional feature in all models.

‘Coke Bottle’

The Bowlus legacy dates back to the Great Depression when an aerospace engineer applied airplane construction techniques to create an aluminum outer shell with an aerodynamic design. Revived in 2014 by Long’s family, the Bowlus trailers continue to sport the iconic shape that has been trademarked and likened to the “Coke bottle” of travel trailers. Their monocoque structural system makes them exceptionally light yet sturdy.

Not Alone

Bowlus is not alone in catering to the luxury market. Other companies like Aero Build and Pebble are also introducing high-end battery-powered trailers with innovative features aimed at affluent buyers. As these niche producers and established manufacturers explore this burgeoning market, it remains to be seen how large the demand for premium RVs will grow.

With curiosity piqued among potential buyers and dealerships like Lazydays RV beginning to offer Bowlus trailers, the luxury RV market is poised for an exciting journey ahead. As Geneva Long puts it, owning a Bowlus is not just about owning a trailer—it’s about embracing a particular mindset that values quality, design, and a unique travel experience.

luxury travel trailers

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