Meet Big Red, Chelsea Ann & her husband Jim…
Chelsea Ann & I met via blogland.. she’s super creative.. (take a looksee at ittybittybirdy)
I love her personal sense of style, her love of Japanese kitschiness and of course…Painted Airstreams!
Thanks Chelsea Ann for sharing your photos and for the great Q & A.
1. The first question HAS to be… the fabulous red!
How did you decide to paint it this color?
You know honestly I don’t think we ever really had much debate about it.
Both my husband and myself loved the idea of a fire engine red trailer.
If we were going to invest in a paint job we wanted it to be flashy.
Since then we have discussed other ideas such as Hello Kitty Pink, baby blue, and yellow.
I for-see that if there is another trailer in our future that choosing the next color wont be quite so easy.
2. What was the process to get it painted?
Lots and Lots of prep work.
My husband paints cars as a hobby but we decided to source out this project just based on the scale.
I didn’t think it would’ve been very good on our marriage to have my husband try to do it in our garage.
The most important thing is you want to choose quality paint.
It’s not an inexpensive endeavor but the maintenance and up keep of an exposed aluminum airstream was just not for us.
We ended up backing the corner of Big Red into a tree branch our first trip out.
If we had a traditional airstream we would have had to replace an entire panel,
but because the trailer is painted we just pulled out the dent just like you would with a car.
3. What made you decide on an Argosy?
It really came down to getting the most bang for our money.
I also didn’t like the idea of paining over a beautiful airstream body,
but I wasn’t up for the task of polishing the aluminum every 6 months.
4. What year is Big Red and although no interior pictures this time around…
do you have specific plans on what you want to do with the inside?
And will you two be doing the restoration?
We have gotten so many requests from people wanting to see the interior.
Big Reds insides are in great shape, that is if you are into the 1978 faux wood look.
However, with each trip it seems to take a toll on the old boy.
Our hope is too completely gut the interior… all the way to the exposed aluminum.
Not sure yet if we will just polish him up or paint the inside much like we did the exterior.
We really haven’t given much thought to the project,
but I think we both like the idea of making it somewhat patriotic with lots of electric blue and red.
5. When you renovate, will you be sticking to the vintage theme or going in a new direction?
We’ve talked about purchasing a wrecked airstream and simply transferring the innards over,
but no matter what it won’t be like anything else out there on the road.
Unlike our home, where I get to make pretty much all the design choices,
Big Red really is more of my husbands domain.
It’s a fun project for him, and if I get too involved with the design..
I don’t think he’ll be quite as passionate about spending his weekends renovating it.
The most important thing is to design in a way that makes every square inch usable space.
I’m by nature not a very utilitarian designer.
I’ll throw away a perfectly good oven mitt just because it’s ugly.
With the trailer I have to realize that some times good practical design has to come before aesthetics.
6. You use your trailer for short getaways, what have you learned on your camping voyages so far?
Pack paper plates.
I know that sounds silly but honesty try making life as easy on yourself as possible.
Instead of bedding use sleeping bags for example.
You want to be out exploring new places, not stuck inside cleaning up after every single meal.
7. What has been your longest trip thus far and where did you go?
Gosh all of our trips have probably been just about on the 4 day mark.
Probably the best trip was late last fall we went to Yellowstone on the last weekend they were open.
It was great because it seemed like no one else was in the park,
it felt like we had the entire park just to ourselves.
It literally started to snow the moment we left the park!
We’ve been planning on going to Mt. Rushmore for about a year,
and I’m really hoping we can finally make that trip a reality this summer.
I love traveling through America and just seeing her natural beauty.
I love meeting new people, and believe me when you drive up in a bright red trailer,
you get a lot of attention.
We get honks and waves, and people stop us and want to know more about our trailer.
It’s exciting to be part of something new and exciting in the eyes of so many people.
8. What do you pull Big Red with?
We have a 1995 Chevy Silverado named Randy.
We would love to get an old Jeep Wagoneer someday,
but they are such gas hogs that we would need to convert the engine to something more efficient.
We are just about to become foster parents and plan on taking in 3 children,
so we will be looking to upgrade to a 7 passenger vehicle in the near future.
9. Do you take your dogs with you when you go and if so how does that work?
Our dogs are like our children, and we take them on all our trips.
They love to travel, although they aren’t always the best road companions.
They get territorial and if fellow campers have a dog we might as well forget sleeping.
We hope with time they will settle down, but it’s understandable that they would be curious
and excited about every new smell and critter that comes along.
10. Any advice for young people thinking of getting a vintage travel trailer?
Do a fair share of research.
Everything from size, make, and condition will really affect
how much enjoyment you will get out of owning your own trailer.
It’s also good to go into it knowing you are going to make a lot of mistakes,
things are going to break, unexpected costs are going to arise,
and tight quarters can wear on the best of us.
But in the end the adventures are what you will most remember,
won’t be so much be the destinations but the road in between.