Gear Shed

Bowlus Road Chief: A Modern Travel Trailer

A mobile home for modern adventurers, Bowlus’ Road Chief is your secret weapon for stylish, comfortable staycations and short- or long-term adventures you can drive to

The exterior of the Road Chief.     Photo: Courtesy of Bowlus

The interior of the Road Chief.

At first glance, you might think that the Road Chief looks like a towable Airstream. It’s the shiny aluminum exterior that made its debut in the 1930s that’s familiar.

The teardrop-shaped Road Chief’s bow is aerodynamic, with an exceptional towing efficiency at highway speeds because it leads to a tapering tail that, unlike the more bulbous Airstream, channels air around your home on wheels with stability and without creating a drag-inducing vacuum. The entire thing weighs just under 2,000 pounds empty, and propane tanks, water tanks, and air conditioners are all tucked inside for the ultimate streamlined ride. Even the windows are flush to keep drag to an absolute minimum.

Inside, the road chief has the tasteful feel of a Scandanavian studio apartment with flexible sleeping options: the stateroom bed converts from twins to “almost a king;” the kitchen isn’t mobile home-like but a space where you can whip up a gourmet meal; and the expandable full bathroom comes complete with a shower. The iPhone of travel trailers, the Road Chief has state-of-the-art electronics, including 120W solar panels and two high-capacity power storage batteries. When you’re parked and lounging, a shady awning can be positioned on either side of your rig. And the Road Chief isn’t a road hog. Lots of clearance means you can reach just about any location that's accessible by car.

Made for adventurers, a front-entry door lets surfers, SUPers, bikers, paddlers, and skiers store long gear inside, strapping it down with cargo lash points. And there's room for plenty; the Road Chief can handle up to 800 pounds of gear, food, and whatever else you want to load in there.

When the adventure is over, you can back the Road Chief right into your garage. It easily fits through an eight-foot-high door. And it won’t set you back any more than a Sportsmobile. Available May 2013, $100,000; bowlusroadchief.com.

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