Bowlus Electrifies Their Entire Fleet With Wicked New Systems Developed for the Volterra

All Three Bowlus Travel Trailers 27 photos
Photo: Bowlus / Edited by autoevolution
Heritage InteriorAerosolar SetupHeritageHeritage InteriorHeritageTerra FirmaTerra FirmaTerra FirmaTerra FirmaTerra FirmaTerra FirmaTerra FirmaVolterraVolterra InteriorVolterra InteriorVolterra InteriorVolterra InteriorVolterraHeritage InteriorVolterra InteriorVolterraVolterraVolterraHeritageHeritageHeritage
In late 2022, Bowlus, a manufacturer of some of the most wicked aluminum travel trailers I've ever seen, announced the launch of their all-electric Volterra. Well, the plot thickens, as future owners can now electrify any Bowlus camper they dream of.
Folks, the name Bowlus has been synonymous with outdoor living since 1934. What set them apart from other crews on the market, aside from being one of the first to mass-produce such mobile homes, was how they built each trailer using aluminum as the base material. It's even said that Wally Byam, Airstream's grandpappy, was also inspired by these rolling hunks of metal.

However, in 1936, the last prehistoric Bowlus habitat rolled off the assembly lines. Funny enough, around half of the original units survived the passing of time and are still around today. What does this mean? It means they were nearly bulletproof. Years down the line, this nearly forgotten brand was sparked by none other than Geneva Long. In 2013, the world saw the result of a completely new Bowlus lineup.

Since then, this team has been picking up orders left and right and showcasing massive growth. This brand has grown to offer three impressive mobile homes. Best of all, they're built to the most modern of standards, and most recently, these buggers can be operated on nothing more than electricity, and I'm not just talking about their Volterra either; the entire lineup!

Now, to bring you up to speed on what I'm talking about here, we need to take a closer look at the unit that started it all, the Volterra. What makes this RV entirely different from anything Bowlus, past or present, is that this puppy is designed to function completely on electricity. If that's not enough, Bowlus even implements an array of proprietary software to ensure adequate energy for days on end. Actually, according to Bowlus, indefinitely.

Photo: Bowlus
This is made possible by the presence of a 17-kWh battery array, solar panels on the roof, and shore power. I nearly forgot to mention that part of Volterra's magic lies in its ability to recharge the same EV it's being towed with. Do you need help understanding just how much 17 kWh is? It's about the same amount of energy used by an average family in a two-bedroom apartment in one day, appliances and all.

There's just one catch, the price of a Volterra. It's currently selling for an account-shattering $310,000 (€287,000 at current exchange rates). I don't know about you, but I've seen some decent homes for that price. The Terra Firma, a non-electric unit, is selling for $285,000 (€264,000). As for the least expensive of the bunch, the Heritage, just $1,000 short of $160,000 (€148,000) is the asking price.

Oh, and those rates are for units designed and equipped to meet the basic needs of the on-road warrior. Once you start throwing in options and upgrades, well, you know how that story goes; the sky's the limit. Then there's the fact that you can have Bowlus create a bespoke unit for you. For a price on those, you'll have to talk to the team directly.

As for the big news here, Bowlus recently stated in a press release that the company is taking its entire aluminum lineup to the next level. How are they doing this? Simply by allowing future owners to create an entirely electric RV no matter the model they choose. This means that the Terra Firma and Heritage can be as cool and hip as their most expensive sibling.

Terra Firma
Photo: Bowlus
This is made possible by the Bowlus Power Management System and their Aerosolar setup. Starting with the Management System, everything is centered around a LiFePO4 battery array. It's here that the 17 kWh of energy will be stored, ensuring you have all the power you need to keep systems running overnight, even if the sun doesn't smile for a day or two.

Speaking of the sun, up next is the Aerosolar system. What's neat about this technology is that Bowlus designed the Aerosolar panels using PERC technology. PERC stands for Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell or Rear Contact. Without going into details, all we need to know is that PERC cells are defined by a different cell architecture and building process. As a result, Bowlus states that this system is up to 12% more efficient than traditional cells. Oh, and those panels are neatly integrated into every Bowlus unit's design.

There's just one question that remains: how much extra will it cost to transform your Bowlus into the most modern RV in the trailer park? Well, we don't know just yet. There's no information in the press release or on the manufacturer's website. The only way to find out is to give this crew a call and start planning your next financial move.

All that sounds amazing, but there is a downside, and it accompanies all battery-operated things. According to Bowlus, the metals used to build the battery array have a lifetime of 8-10 years, but most of us know that. Once it's cooked, it'll need replacing. In short, an EV can be, and often is, a bottomless pit for your cash.

Nonetheless, living off nothing but sunlight for up to ten years is one solid way to save some cash. Let's take my current electricity bill of around $200. Multiply that by 12 months, and it's $2,400 bucks out the window. Times that by 10 years, and that's $24,000. This upgrade better not cost any more than that.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
Press Release
About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories