Editor’s Note: The following is a blog from Wired.com describing the rebirth of the classic Bowlus Road Chief trailer by a Canadian couple.
Think there’s nothing better than a vintage Airstream, those old-school Twinkie-shaped campers that define Americana? Think again. The Bowlus Road Chief is even cooler, and it’s coming back.
The original Road Chief dates to the 1930s and was created by Hawley Bowlus, the aviation designer who brought us the Spirit of St. Louis. They’re also crazy expensive because they’re incredibly rare. Just 80 were built before World War II, when the company stopped production.
John Long and Helena Mitchell, a husband-and-wife team of Canadian tech entrepreneurs, bought the rights and patents and are launching an update of the 1935 Vintage Bowlus Travel Trailer. They’ve made the first and have been driving around the United States. Four more are under construction, and they’re taking orders.
It’s got a vintage vibe, but the inside is thoroughly modern, with features like Wi-Fi and solar panels. There’s a full bathroom, a kitchen with two-burner stove, twin beds that can convert into a king, latch points to carry kayaks and paddle boards, polycarbonate seating fabric and an awning.
As for the lavatory, the toilet empties into a sealed container that can be emptied into a regular toilet — regular trailers use hoses that dump into special RV stations. Seals and filters keep the stink contained. The whole interior, down to the bedsheets, is fully customizable.
The whole thing stands almost 8-feet tall, is 23.5 feet long, and weighs in at under 2,000 pounds. It’ll retail for around $100,000, but the price tag includes having your trailer’s name etched in the wheel skirts.