Skip to main content

The Luxurious Bowlus Terra Firma Is Unlike Any Travel Trailer You’ve Ever Seen

Bowlus Terra Firma Luxury Travel Trailer

The pandemic has had us all a bit stir crazy for the last year. So, it’s no surprise that 2020 fast became the “Year of the New Great American Road Trip,” and 2021 shows no sign of slowing down. Camping, road-tripping, and even RV’ing are more popular now than at almost any other time in history. If you’ve been considering the mobile nomad lifestyle and even a swanky Airstream isn’t disco enough for you, Bowlus has something to show you.

At first blush, the Bowlus Terra Firma is a showstopper. The bold design combines the aerodynamics of a vintage fighter plane, the taut riveted aluminum construction of an Airstream, and the overall aesthetic of, well, it’s hard to say. There are clear elements from the worlds of luxury boatbuilding and Jet Age-inspired spacecraft. It’s somehow all of these things and none of them — clearly modern, but with firm roots in early- to mid-20th-century transportation design. It’s enough to turn the heads of even the most hardened Airstream owners.

Related Videos
Bowlus Terra Firma Luxury Travel Trailer

None of this is surprising when you consider the company’s founder. Hawley Bowlus was a pioneer in the early U.S. aviation industry, with a hand in such projects as Charles Lindbergh’s famed Spirit of St. Louis. Bowlus’ namesake company produced less than 100 campers in its brief run, but they were bold, innovative, and unmistakable for anything else on the road. His designs have been copied and imitated ever since, practically defining the now-iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer segment. Almost nine decades after the first Bowlus rolled off the assembly line, the legend has been reborn as the world’s most luxurious travel trailer brand. The just-released Terra Firma is the company’s flagship model.

Under that vintage skin is a wealth of next-generation mobile technology. The Terra Firma is purposefully designed to live off-grid almost indefinitely. The limited-edition model boasts industry-leading lithium-ion phosphate batteries capable of running every appliance for up to two weeks. An optional 120W solar panel keeps the power bank topped off, while a touchscreen power management system maximizes the camper’s longevity in the wild. An integrated cell signal booster and a mobile router allow you to work from almost anywhere. A two-stage filtration system provides near-endless clean drinking water, and a built-in HEPA filter scrubs the cabin air while on the go. Plus, a factory GPS tracking system ensures strangers can’t take your Terra Firma out for a joy ride.

Like the shiny aluminum shell, the interior is deceptively simple. It’s crisp, clean, and bright, with elements of classic airline and boat design throughout. Panoramic windows and dual skylights bathe the interior in natural light. A great deal of thoughtful design ensures that no detail is too small or overlooked. Standard features in the Terra Firma include a gourmet galley, a radiant heating system, real wood throughout, and heated floors. Pets are well accommodated, too, with remote temperature monitoring, a slide-out food and water bowl drawer, and even a dedicated pet bed.

What further sets Bowlus’ lineup apart from everything else on the road is the price. Airstream catches flak for its sky-high price tags, but Bowlus occupies an altogether different stratum. Even the brand’s entry-level Endless Highways Edition travel trailer starts around $200,000. By contrast, the base price for the ultra-luxurious Terra Firma is $265,000. Sure, you might need to sell your condo to buy one, but can you really put a price tag on driving one of the world’s most beautiful RVs?

If the Bowlus Terra Firma is a little too rich for your blood, check out our picks for the best lightweight travel trailers (that also happen to be a lot more affordable).

Editors' Recommendations

Burton just gave you the perfect reason to go snowboarding this weekend
We don't ever need an excuse to go snowboarding, but this one from Burton is a good one
a day for jake snowboarding burton snowboards 2023 group

Fun fact: the original moniker for snowboarding is “snurfing.” It’s a mash-up of “surfing” and “snow,” which was how the forefathers of snowboarding viewed the sport. (And honestly, snurfing is a bit more fun to say, we should have kept that name.) Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of Burton snowboards, is considered by most the inventor of modern snowboarding, along with Tom Sims. Every year, Burton celebrates Jake with “A day for Jake,” a loosely organized worldwide day of riding. This year, A day for Jake will be this Saturday, March 11.

In 1977, in a barn in Vermont, Jake founded Burton snowboards. The original board had no bindings; it was basically a toboggan you stood up on. A rope tied to the nose of the board was all you had, and hey – best of luck in staying on top of a board without bindings. Here's why Burton snowboards was started, in Jake’s words:
I was working 12-14 hours a day and not loving it. I also (in the back of my mind) knew that surfing on snow could become a sport. So I bailed on my New York job, moved to Londonderry, Vermont and started ‘Burton Boards’ out of a barn in a house where I was the live-in caretaker and tending the two horses. By night, I bartended at the Birkenhaus Inn. By day, I built makeshift snowboard prototypes and tested them in the back hills of southern Vermont.

Read more
Improve your snowboarding edge transition with this easy-to-follow rule
Linking turns is a fundamental of learning to snowboard. This advice will help
how to set your snowboard stance snowboarder cranks turn on mountain slope

The key fundamental of snowboarding and the aim for all beginners is the hallowed ground of linked turns. Most likely, you'll start by side slipping, with a little falling leaf to move across the hill — using your edge to zig-zag down the hill without turning. Then you'll want to start working toward S turns, and this means transitioning from heel to toe edge or vice versa.

Every snowboarder you see has been in this position — yes, even that guy carving a snowboard and sending huge spins off jumps. Linking your turns together isn't easy, but without it, you'll find yourself stuck in a thigh-burning position all day. Perhaps the biggest challenge associated with linked turns is edge transition. This is the moment when you shift your weight from one edge (the uphill edge) to the other (the downhill edge) in order to initiate your snowboard turn. Doing this at the right moment, without tripping over that edge, requires practice, but we've got a gem that can help you out next time you're hitting the slopes.

Read more
Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero snowboard review: Powder lovers apply within
Snowboard review: What do we really think about the powder-plowing Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero?
burton family tree hometown hero snowboard review

Saying “fresh pow” to a snowboarder is like saying “walkies” to a dog. Ears perk up, heads tilt, eyes widen, and the mind spins into overdrive about how much fun can be had outside. For many, the lack of a proper snowboard equipped to handle deep powder detracts from heading into the snow altogether. Some take their main all-mountain ride into deep powder and hope for the best. For us, Burton snowboards rule the mountain, on and off-piste, so we were excited to give the Hometown Hero a shot at proving itself in powder. The Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero snowboard wants to help powder hounds achieve more – but is it worth the spend? Moreover, is it great in all conditions, or should you leave it on display until powder days arrive?

I recently tested the Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero in various conditions and on various terrain. Here’s my unbiased take.
The type of snowboarder I am
I am highly technical. If you want to nerd out on down-unweighted turns, I’m your guy. I plan my lines and execute them. I don’t crave speed, and I’m not reckless. I’m not always a park rider, but I’m not afraid of features. For me, side hits are far more fun to me than a terraformed park. I ride in the Pacific Northwest most days but often travel to go snowboarding.
The conditions for my Burton Family Tree Hometown Hero review
This board was tested on Mount Hood in Oregon and at Vail Resort in Colorado.

Read more