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Could the stunning Bowlus Road Chief make you love caravans?
Mirror finish body, vegan seats, yacht inspiration – this ain’t your nan’s caravan
Top Gear has had, it’s fair to say, a fraught relationship with the caravan community in the past. And sure, it may have been a little harsh to use them for playing conkers, or playing darts, or squashing Morris Marinas. But is that really any worse than letting them clog up summer roads faster than their owners clog up the waste chute?
If we were to extend an olive branch to the caravan community, bury the hatchet, and embrace the strange hobby of hooking up a miniature shed to the back of your car and towing it behind a set of preposterous door mirrors, then this might be the craft to turn our heads. Welcome to the Bowlus Road Chief. With that name, it’s already off to a good start.
Don’t look directly at it. You’ll probably go blind, thanks to an aircraft-grade aluminium (no, not ah-loo-min-um, Americans) skin that’s hand-polished for hours to give the extreme sheen. Why? So, when you’re parked up in the wilderness, the Bowlus reflects the landscape around it, instead of sticking out like a big white blob. The wheels are painted black so the whole thing looks like it’s hovering, as if Luke Skywalker’s off on his holidays.
Bowlus uses 2024-grade aluminium, which they think is cool because it has a high copper content for toughness. We think it’s cool because it sounds like it’s from five years in the future.
Inside, the seat fabrics are a vegan weave, there’s walnut, birch and aluminium trim, and the whole interior’s been given a sort of Monte Carlo yacht aesthetic, which sounds gauche but actually kinda works. No Tupperware in sight. And the on-board 4kWh battery offers up to seven days of power off the beaten track. Maybe bring a wind-up phone charger just in case.
Some of Bowlus’s other features are a bit more kitsch. They’ve fitted meteorological instruments that supposedly ‘harken to the bridge of a ship’. Ahoy there. There’s also a ‘mounted journal’ inside for occupants to ‘record all of their fantastic adventures’.
“Day 56. Dad is still making us polish his bloody caravan. Send help. And fresh cloths.”
Now, you might imagine that all of this pioneering spirit doesn’t come cheap. And you’d be spot on. The Road Chief will set you back $225,000 (£180,000) and that’s before you’ve bagged yourself a proper truck to haul it with.
Still, TG wants to give caravans a second chance. So Bowlus, if you’ll have one sent in this exact spec to the office by tomorrow, we’ll be happy to look after it for, erm, ever.