Clementine meets her new parents!
I have so many exciting things to share with you! I don’t even know where to begin. I suppose at the beginning is better than typing random pieces of information.
So all last week we were trying to find anything about the Comet trailers. Anything at all. And aside from the few and far between blogs about a Comet remodel, we found approximately ZERO information. Making it all the more intriguing.
David took the day off on Friday and we headed to “The Ranch” to check on the new babe, Clementine. We had a general list of things we wanted to accomplish and I’m happy to report that even with a cranky baby (our human baby, that is…actually our fur baby was pretty whiny, too) we managed to accomplish everything. We were motivated.
Here she is not long after we arrived. David gave her a quick sweep around with a broom and it was amazing how much better she looked after just that. He also moved all the stuff that was leaning against it away and Ta-Da! We popped open some of the windows and can I just say…even cuter. It’s like she’s waving. She’s so friendly.
We also learned that David’s granddad just painted the trailer with a silver paint. We’re currently going back and forth, trying to decide if it’s worth the effort to remove the paint and buff the metal, or just paint it a fun happy color like the adorable trailers I’ve been pinning.
We stuck J in the pack and play…which she had no problem expressing her disapproval about…but it allowed both of us to work. The side of screaming was a lovely touch. But I worked on cleaning out everything from inside and wow…things were crammed everywhere. It took about 45 minutes for me to find everything and get it out. Then I put the seating area and the sofa together and it felt SO much better!
This is the smaller bed to the right when you walk in. The laminate top is actually in perfect condition and is pretty cute. It’s a cream base with little gold colored flecks. And the little notches on the corners are pretty adorable (and useful since that space between the stove and the left bench is about the width of my knee…). The hook on the wall that holds the table is in desperate need of attention. Actually, I think it’s more like the hook is pulling out of the plywood because it’s super old. The bones of the cushions are in good condition, but the vinyl is ripping apart.
This is looking toward the back of the trailer. Everything is in about the state we expected. You can see on the ceiling where the leak caused lots of damage. Layers of plywood are flaking off bit by bit. BUT, the cabinets on both sides seem to be structurally in good condition.
The other big thing was to get a better understanding of the tires and wheels. I should mention that David’s uncle was at the ranch and helped David understand roller bearings and such. We were happy to have the help, that’s for sure. While I tried to get J down for a nap (a joint effort that took about 2 hours) David and Uncle Michael worked on jacking it up to get after the tires. After about an hour, I think, it looked like this:
While David was working on that, J woke up (all that work for a 40 minute nap. I’m just saying.) and luckily was totally happy to hang with Uncle Michael. He’s normally not quite so…chipper…which makes this photo even more hilarious. Although, he took a nap, too. He had major surgery recently and J was right at the weight limit that he could hold. Lucky us. Thanks, Uncle Michael!
Meanwhile, while David was cleaning and Michael was baby holding, I was busy taking dimensions of the interior. And sweating. Lots of sweating. I’m hoping to create a model in Sketch Up. Maybe not a full 3D model, but at least a floor plan that will help us with square footages. Here are some additional gratuitous shots of the interior. Where there’s a change in ‘wood’ is really contact paper covering up who knows what. I was too nervous to peel it away. Plus I was dripping in sweat. Did I mention that?
Anyway, so that was yesterday. Today, I started to really think about where to look for information. General ‘Comet travel trailer’ googling was leading no where. I stumbled on the Vintage Camper Trailers website and found their resource page…connected to a separate website that they provided, Atlas Mobile Home Museum, owned/managed by a guy who’s been collecting vintage travel trailer information since the late 90′s. There was no link to anything for a Comet trailer, so on a whim I emailed him.
Meanwhile, on the side of the trailer, where the Comet logo is, it has Wichita written below (extremely hard to make out), so I decided to do some digging about Wichita. Turns out that (according to their Wikipedia page) they are “The Air Capital of the World”. Really? Did you know that? I sure didn’t. As this states, they had some major airplane manufacturing going on in the 20′s -40′s (and the main manufacturer of B-22 Bombers for WWII). To bring it back full circle, David has had a growing suspicion that this was made out of leftover airplane material. While I was measuring, NOTHING was a normal dimension. Everything was like, 19 5/8. And no 2 windows are really the same size (you know, like they were making these things as fast as they could). Giving more credit to the idea that these were maybe leftover parts. AND, in the Wikipedia article, it mentions that the first aircraft to be built in Wichita was called the Cessna Comet. Interesting, don’t you think?
Within an hour of emailing the Atlas guy (Juergen), he had written back. He said he actually has a decent sized archive of Comet trailers – exciting! He also mentioned that the company was started in 1952 (although David has found conflicting information that the company was started earlier) and this looked like it was one of the first ones they made. So that’s cool! He also mentioned that he has tons of resources (available for purchase) on how to restore old trailers, original Comet material and specs, etc. It would appear that I accidentally hit the jack pot.
I’ve also sent an email to the local government for Wichita asking if they can point me in the right direction on where to dig up information. I’m sure they’ll be like, psh…we have like, real matters of government to discuss…but I hope they can at least respond with something.
So that’s where we are! We are so excited about the progress we’ve made in both the actual tailer and finding out information about it!