A Bowlus is the rarest of road-going creations. Not only are they extreme luxury trailers built with only high-end buyers in mind, it’s the only RV brand reborn by a female owner.
Original founder and aviator Hawley Bowlus designed his first aerodynamic, aluminum travel trailer in the early 1930s, hoping to build a lightweight transport that could carry flight crews comfortably to remote takeoff locations. Bowlus completed construction on the world’s first aluminum riveted trailer in 1934, basing the original construction on the aircraft of his day.
Jumping ahead to 2014, Geneva Long made plans to restore the Bowlus name while enrolled at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She spent the last eight years reimagining and reestablishing the Bowlus concept. Her 21st-century, US$235,000 trailers are now focused on ultra-luxury while incorporating eco-friendly sustainable designs.
Long, 31, shared a few of her favorite things with Penta.
The people who inspired me to do what I do is… my parents, whose long history of entrepreneurship inspired me to start Bowlus while I was still a student.
My ultimate place to roll my camper trailer to is… anywhere with solitude and amazing hiking. As plugged-in as we all are nowadays, sometimes it really is recharging to get away and experience nature—to appreciate quiet evenings and calm mornings in peaceful surroundings.
My passion for travel began when I… took an incredible cross-country adventure to the Denali National Park in Alaska.
The perfect meal out on the road is… a charcuterie board with a glass of nice wine. The more cheese, the better.
One road trip I still want to take… a tour of Newfoundland.
The one thing in my travel kit that I can’t live without… my silk sleep mask.
If I could have a drink with anybody, anywhere, it would be… my dear departed Grannie. She was vibrant, lively, witty, and an expert gossiper. Never a dull moment.
The best book I’ve read in the last year is… Principles by Ray Dalio. It’s a great reminder that our current circumstances are not unique when viewed through the lens of history.
An artist or designer whose work I admire is… Erich Mendelsohn, father of Streamline Moderne.
A passion of mine that few people know about is… needlepoint. I especially like stitching holiday ornaments.
The thing that gets me up in the morning is… an almond milk latte.
The one thing I’d love to fit in my RV… my giant monstera plant.
The must-have items on the road are… fabulous cheese and a very good bottle of wine. I keep the chef’s kitchen stocked at all times, so if I’m going to be away from quality markets for a while, I know I’ll have what I need.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.