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1955 Comet Trailer

Posted October 17, 2012 in Community Featured, Des Moines West

Pat Wollam and her dog, Mya, have been hard at work restoring her 1955 Comet Trailer to its original interior.

After years of camping out in tents and sleeping on the hard ground, Pat Wollam and her husband went in search of the perfect camper.

“We live in an old house and we like old things, so we said ‘Let’s find an old trailer,’ ” Wollam says.

After searching online, they found a 1955 Comet trailer, also known as a “canned ham” because of its shape, listed for sale on eBay. The Wollams purchased the camper from a seller in Michigan and drove up in July to get it.

This is the 27th trailer the seller has restored, so he’s got a lot of experience in the area. However the Wollams have decided rather than the modernized upgrades, they wanted it back to its original interior, or as close as they could get it.

After getting home, they tore out the insides and are starting fresh. In line with restoring it to the original shape, Wollam has been doing a lot of research, not only to get ideas on how the trailer interior should look, but also to get tips on how to get it done.

“It’s a steep learning curve,” she says of the remodeling.

Right now, the checkered pattern black and white floor is a bit too “Coca-Cola style” for the Wollams, and they plan to tear it up and put in a more neutral color. The exposed boards are a mere skeleton of what the trailer will be when it is complete.

Stepping inside the door, to the right are frames for what will eventually become seats for the fold-down table which can double as a smaller bed. Directly in front of the door will eventually be a short countertop and a sink which, in keeping with the time frame, will have a handle pump and five-gallon jugs as well as a small propane gas stove.

All the way to the back, two frames are awaiting completion to offer bench seating and a place to hold the larger, still not-quite-a-twin-sized, bed. Coming full circle, next to the door is a frame for what once held the ice box and storage.

“We’re not sure if we want to go that route or not,” Wollam says.

Even though they have only gone between Michigan and Iowa so far, Wollams says the camper has already gotten them a lot of attention.

“When we’re camping, we won’t have a minute’s peacebecause everybody comes up and says, ‘Tell me about your trailer,’” Wollam says. But she adds that’s one of the most fun things about having the trailer.

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