We're Roger + Chris. You may know us from our sofas or our design projects. We met a decade ago and immediately fell crazily in love, launched our furniture company, and started working on a series of house renovations together.
We've been obsessing over trailers — vintage and otherwise — for years. The problem? Most of them didn't have much in the way of distinctive design. Sure, the vintage trailers can be beautiful, but they might not meet our practical needs. The modern trailers? Accommodating and comfortable but, uhm, not exactly hitting any home runs in the style department.
Our solution: Find a new trailer with a layout we love and turn it into a beautiful, cozy vacation home on wheels.
The perfect floor plan.
After looking at hundreds of trailers, we found what seemed to be an ideal floor plan. The Palomino Columbus 384RK, as it is not particularly memorably known, gave us the features we knew we would want.
- King bed
- Spacious shower
- Plenty of room for dogs
- Living space with high ceilings
- Generous kitchen with lots of storage
We also got some unexpected bonuses that were very exciting.
- Second half-bath
- Huge windows in the living area
- A second air conditioner, ducted HVAC, and insulated structure
- A second door to the kitchen
Having a second bathroom seemed like a wonderful bonus. We loved the bright light that the big windows let in, making the fifth wheel feel more like a house than a trailer. And that second door offered a few distinct advantages, including making the kitchen accessible on the road even when the slides were retracted and giving us another way to bring furniture in and out of the trailer.
First step: The exterior.
Our first order of business was to de-swooshify the trailer's exterior. The sales lots of today's RV dealers are something of a forest of swoops and stripes and swooshes. And, well, they're awful.
Our fifth wheel was more restrained in its use of vinyl graphics than many, but we still wanted to get them removed before sun and exposure to the elements had a chance to harden the glue. Even still, it was a surprisingly intense project, requiring hours of labor, lots of standing on tip toes on a very tall ladder, lots of Goo Gone, and a total of three Whizzy Wheel decal removers.
Does the finished exterior look great? Yes. Was it worth all of that work? Ye.....maybe.
A load of grey.
The interior of our trailer started off in the style of many models currently on the market: Grey, with accents in grey and darker grey.
While you might initially think that the photos above have been converted to black-and-white, we assure you that that is not the case. They...really sell them like this for some reason. For a recreational vehicle intended to be a home-away-from-home for exciting, happy vacations, this ultra-somber palette made zero sense to us. It had to go.
Trailers in the '50s were known for having a bit of color. A bit of whimsy. Some personality. We aimed to introduce that to our big, modern fifth wheel.
Beyond aesthetics, we also planned to make some changes to the layout.
- Ditch the cheap, uncomfortable recliners and extend the kitchen half-wall to function as a breakfast bar
- Remove the dining table and chairs to make room for a more spacious sofa
- Add a small office desk for remote work
Living on the road.
We transformed the living area of our trailer with color, texture, and new furnishings. To break up the grey walls, we applied a board-and-batten treatment, painting the lower portion a deep blue and the upper a muted yellow. We removed the stock roller shades and replaced them with handmade denim drapes. The unsightly "entertainment wall" was completely reimagined. No, those aren't real rocks; they're dimensional faux rocks covering the wall. The giant flag art piece is designed to be flipped around to create a canvas screen for a portable projector, and music is handled by a Marshall Bluetooth speaker.
Our intent to bring a bit of vintage trailer style into the fifth wheel can be found on the floor. We installed blue VCT tile throughout, bringing a more playful but still practical touch. Traditional Oriental area rugs finish out the slides.
The furniture had to go, of course. It wouldn't be right for us, the guys who run a custom furniture company, to tow around a trailer fitted with the grey vinyl dreck it came with. So we carefully removed the sofas and recliners — resold to folks looking for replacements for their own trailers — and brought in Roger + Chris furniture.
The 96" Olympia sofa in Varick performance linen might be the longest sofa ever fitted into a fifth wheel and is spacious enough for both of us. Our Sport button-back loveseat in Cortina black leather is positioned across from it, offering a more intimate seating space. An accent chair, ottomans, and side tables complete the furnishings — all easy to tuck away and secure when in transit.
We loved the kitchen layout of the fifth wheel, but wanted to bring more personality to the space. That is found in the vintage western print drapes around the kitchen windows, the colorful cabinet knobs and pulls, and the antler mount hanging above.
We felt that a breakfast bar would be far more useful than a dedicated dining table, so we enhanced the small wall leading to the kitchen. Wrapped in bead board and topped with a butcher block counter, the reinvented space delivers increased flexibility and fun.
We gave our trailer's bedroom a rustic but restful makeover. Cedar shingles were applied to the walls of the room and then painted a fresh white. We gave the bed more impact by hacking an antique bed frame into a headboard, coated in bold red paint. A favorite painting hangs above it. A vintage rug hangs on the wall to add softness.
We removed the built-in dresser and replaced it with a custom wood desk to create a compact remote work station. And to make this the coziest mountain getaway imaginable, we added a (electric) wood stove, complete with exhaust pipe. Our blue VCT tile work and handmade window treatments in the bedroom bring continuity with the rest of the trailer.
The little powder room was in need of more charm. We removed the awkward built-in medicine cabinet to replace it with a pine-framed mirror. More rock was added to one wall, and the window framed out in pine with custom pine shutters. Above the board-and-batten is one of our wallpaper patterns, modeled after vintage handkerchief designs. A new faucet and small design touches finish it out.
It can be yours.
Our lovely fifth wheel has been a delight for us. The process of turning it into something special and one-of-a-kind was thrilling. We have had the opportunity to take it on two trips to one of our favorite destinations, the Black Hills of South Dakota.
While we've loved our time with it, our ability to travel has become more limited and we are not able to make use of the fifth wheel. We're selling the trailer in the hope that someone who loves it as much as we do can take it on new adventures. To inquire about our trailer or get more information, please contact us.
- 2022 Palomino Columbus 384RK
- Full-featured luxury fifth wheel capable of year-round living
- Central vacuum, washer/dryer hookups, dual vanity in primary bath, king bed, smart control unit, frameless windows, residential refrigerator, and much, much more
- Fully custom interior design by Roger + Chris with thousands of dollars in design details, upgrades, and custom furniture
- Like-new condition with only ~3,000 miles