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Old 12-01-2016, 05:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Let the record show this is a 35ft single axle trailer.

Not sure what "record" you are getting that 35' length from but the Bowlus website lists the length at 23' 9" (and I'm pretty sure they are counting the hitch in that length). On the Road Edition - Bowlus Road Chief - Bowlus Road Chief ​805-278-9800​

They also list the tongue weight at 170 lbs which is very light for a TT with a GVWR of 3000 lbs. Typically we try to keep at least 13% of the trailer's weight on the tongue for towing stability and to reduce the likelihood of trailer sway. I'm sure that with the aero advantage of the Bowlus vs a common boxy travel trailer you can get away with a bit less tongue weight but that 170 lbs is pretty low for the weight trailer.
For the $140,000 price of that 23' Bowlus I could buy a lifetime of roomier standard construction TTs of the same length with more creature comforts and lots more storage and be many $s ahead in the end. But I guess there must be a (very small) market for few of them actually produced.

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Old 12-01-2016, 05:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Both models are listed as 23' 9" in length. 35' didn't look right.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Okay, I was wrong. It's a clone of the original Bowlus Road Chief.

Quote:
The Bowlus Road Chief Two hundred Road Chief trailers were eventually produced by the Bowlus-Teller Manufacturing Company, in San Fernando, California, from 1934 to '36.

Dimensions Length—18 feet 6 inches

Width—6 feet

Outside Height—7 feet 6 inches

Inside Height—6 feet

Weight Approximately—1100 pounds
Here's the papoose. It was 11ft long.



But compare this post from the owner of a new one:

Quote:
The Bowlus is 24' and my AS was 23', essentially the same. The Bowlus is narrower and less high than the AS. The biggest difference between the two, and the main reason I love the Bowlus, is that it weighs 2,300 lbs dry and the AS tips the scale at about 4,800 lbs dry.
Bowlus Road Chief - Page 2 - Airstream Forums

So there's a 5 1/2ft discrepancy. and the clone weighs twice what the original did. ???

It has less frontal area and half the weight of an Airstream. The Papoose is not much bigger than a 4x8ft teardrop, just 6ft tall.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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FB, you'll want to find certified scale tickets of any claimed travel trailer weight. And then find out if the TT is loaded in any manner. From there, comparisons about features. The original trailer probably had no electrical system to speak of. No toilet or shower. No waste tanks. Etc. The Papoose isn't a useful comparison in any fashion.

As said before, weight considerations don't mean much with good aero. The Bowlus overemphasizes same to the detriment of storage and other capacities. On a price neutral basis one isn't gaining another class of vehicles which can tow the more aero trailer due to the very high power to be found across car lines today. I'm having a hard time seeing a bottom dweller econo car pulling one of these. What would be the point? They're uncomfortable for anything past commuting.

Towing an aero design trailer up to 4K is small beer. It's the quality of the lash up.

Airstreams are way too heavy today, granted. But they sell every one as it straddles the line on weight versus efficiency. The mpg difference in ordinary use solo between one class of vehicle and another is slight.

I believe they'd sell more and gain in stature with attention to "space age materials". Simplicity and robustness. But not bare bones. Getting rid of wood cabinetry would be my priority. Humidity and condensation and insect or rodent damage amelioration is a big deal, long term. But that's not who owns this company.

A TDI VW Jetta can pull a 20' Airstream without much complaint at 30-mpg on the flats at 55-mph. Neither that TT nor the Bowlus are the likely choice by an owner for much more than 3-4 day trips.

Neither will be favored to wait out bad weather. Etc.

"Lifestyle" trumps the rest. As with carrying bikes or canoes, it's status signaling. Read some of the blogs of these web-connected illiterates. Wouldn't know Erwin Schrott or Elina Garanca or a whole host of fast disappearing culture. But they know all about gizmos. Actively disdain reading for every purpose outside of these he minimum to remain employed.

Nothing new about this. The Bowlus is cool. Like a Porsche coupe. Excuses for a new wardrobe.

Last edited by slowmover; 12-02-2016 at 08:10 AM..
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Anyone else think of this every time they hear the name?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolus_(digestion)
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Permalink #5
Quote:
There must be a market for counterfeit "Bolus' trailers.
Here's Wally Byam's original Airstream. He sold the plans for $5.



Here's the oldest existing Airstream, built in 1935 from plans


Just A Car Guy: 1935 Airstream Torpedo, the oldest existing Airstream
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Want to spend a week of cold rain & wind inside that with your (now ex-) honeybun?

My mpg might go from averaging 15 to 18.

As I go along with mine -- thinking adapting to contingencies -- it has occurred to me that there is no real penalty for me to be able to run the trailer with all electric or all propane. Cooking. Heating water, etc. And not give up convenience. Propane oven or convection/microwave. Cast aluminum pressure cooker or the latest "Hot Pot". Not to mention cast iron for a campfire. Or the old cast aluminum charcoal cooker. Etc.

Let's remember that these things sit for pretty much 18 of every twenty four hours on an extended trip.

That little trailer runs out of supplies every three days. I can go about two weeks at same consumption rate. That more than pays for "improved aero".

Last edited by slowmover; 12-04-2016 at 01:06 AM..
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The other use case for the Bowlus is an electric tow vehicle with already limited range. When fuel isn't as quick to obtain or as dense with energy as petroleum, every mile counts. The balance between efficiency and comfort tip closer to the efficiency side, because otherwise you might not be able to make it to your desired destination(s).

It can be argued that the exercise is foolish, given that capable TVs are widely available. Wrong tool for the job and all that. But if one has a self-imposed constraint of using electricity to fuel their transport, it can limit the trailer choices.

I know a number of Tesla owners have ordered this particular trailer. I met one who has been towing it, and had the opportunity to tour it. It's nice, but I found flaws with the trailer that wouldn't make the extra range worth the price to me. I think it's quite beautiful, and has a number of impressive features, but I have a very difficult time seeing $137k-$220k of value in it. Others disagree, and that's fine.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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The trailer is not unfairly priced. It is likely to be on the road in another 75-years after being rebuilt at about the thirty and sixty year mark.

Travel trailers of ordinary construction are good for about ten years.

If it could be used as a range extender I'd like to see the testing. Not a disbeliever, but sceptical at utility.

Hybrid makes more sense. Same as for the trucking biz.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
If it could be used as a range extender I'd like to see the testing. Not a disbeliever, but sceptical at utility.
I don't see that being a reality. I believe self-driving will be viable prior to battery density getting high enough for this kind of scenario. Once true autonomy is a reality, the trailer will just meet you there. Very sci-fi sounding, but it does sound better than trailering a bunch of batteries to keep your charge realistic.

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