Inspected an Amerigo today and have some confusion and concerns - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-03-2019, 01:06 PM   #21
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
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LOL. Maybe we scared the fiberglass right out of him. If so, SAD.

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Old 01-14-2019, 05:48 PM   #22
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Name: Kaat
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Hi all,



Sorry for the late response - Iíve been traveling quite a bit since and wasnít expecting such an influx of responses. I finally managed to pulled out the laptop at Starbucks to sit down and respond.



The AC is mounted with a wood frame in the back window. He did not cut the window framing or anything like that so it looks like I could remove the (pexi)glass and cut a new piece to replace it. There is no roof vent, which concerns me for reasons of ventilation and condensation. I suppose windows and fans could serve the same purpose. The cabinet/galley/ceiling area does not seem to be compromised at all so I have to assume the structural integrity is solid. Thank you for clarifying that for me.



But it does seem to be too good to be true and something seems amiss.
I definitely would like something that has more insulation for 3 seasons and well as more clearance off the ground for more off-road adventures so Iíve decided to pass this along.



Eyeing other models of fiberglass campers as well as customizing a cargo trailer for my little home on wheels. I don't mind some work but building something bottom up seems more appealing than restoring. Plus more height/insulation but more weight too. My budget isn't that great either. Will muse and research more.


Thank you so much for the thoughtful responses to my questions and concerns. Sorry about that. And I'm a she.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:24 PM   #23
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Thoughts +

Hi Katt,

I read through this thread and must say that I'm always amazed with how willing folks here are to help a newcomer. You're in good hands here, so welcome. I've also been treated with excellent personal advice so in an attempt to pay my good fortune forward I'll offer some thoughts of my own on your behalf.

Some years back I rebuilt an Amerigo RG16. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed it because I had the space, tools and time to do it. I very much liked the structure of it and felt that it was a pretty solid piece of manufacturing. Having owned other fiberglass trailers as well I felt that it held it's own in may ways. For what it's worth I include a couple of pictures of the finished trailer.


Onward...


We all travel a bit differently, have different needs, expectations and feelings about what would constitute the ideal solution for our purposes - all of which can change depending on any number of variables.
Truth be known a small FG trailer like an Amerigo is very easy to heat because it's such a small space anyway.

Comparing what most RV owners consider a three-season vs a four-season trailer, well, in actuality there is not a whole lot of difference between them if the criteria for comparison is based on insulation alone. Most trailer owners who occasionally camp in cold, winter conditions don't even try to use their plumbing the same way they do in summer. They've likely winterized it and opt to restrict their water use to portable water containers they can access from the inside of the trailer.

As well, if a trailer has a built-in bathroom, occasional winter campers often use a portable potty they can easily empty most anywhere without having to hunt down a dump station. Often times that task ends up happening at home.


As for heating, there are many discussions on this site that talk about alternative ways to warm the interior of a small FG trailer. As well, where you camp will have an impact on which solution will best serve you. A high humidity area will promote condensation in a lightly insulated trailer. (Which can be variably offset by using a dehumidifier.) The temperature differential between outside and inside will dictate how much condensation you'd experience. Speaking for myself, a little condensation and nippy air never stopped me from enjoying a little off-season camping - especially since finding a great place to camp is so much easier in the shoulder weeks/months on either side of "camping season."

Without letting this get too long I'll leave you with this thought: Carefully consider what your realistic needs really are and choose a trailer that best fits your style of camping and go for it. You can always sell a trailer if it turns out to be woefully inadequate. There will always be compromises to have to live with no matter what, anyway.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:23 AM   #24
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Name: Kaat
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Thanks for your thoughts Tony O. Your Amerigo looks fantastic! As for heating, yes, for such a small space it wouldn't be too difficult to keep it warm. How do you manage with how low the trailer sits? This is my biggest concern at the moment. I don't intend to do major off road expeditions but the occasional national forest road. The idea of the trailer end scraping as I pull out of a tricky gas station isn't appealing.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rootflux View Post
Thanks for your thoughts Tony O. Your Amerigo looks fantastic! As for heating, yes, for such a small space it wouldn't be too difficult to keep it warm. How do you manage with how low the trailer sits? This is my biggest concern at the moment. I don't intend to do major off road expeditions but the occasional national forest road. The idea of the trailer end scraping as I pull out of a tricky gas station isn't appealing.

Well yes, my style of camping precludes having a trailer with a low profile. I remember the axle on the Amerigo was bolted to the frame. That makes it easier to replace the axle with one that raises the trailer sufficiently to make it more "off-road" worthy. I can't remember what brand of axle the Amerigo people used but it looked a lot like a Dexter Torflex.

That in mind I've read that Torflex (or similarly made axles) can eventually lose their "flex", meaning that over time they start to irreversibly settle under the weight of the trailer. Knowing this some trailer owners recommend jacking a trailer up and placing it on jack stands when not used for long periods of time to allow the rubber inside the axle to relax and thus maintain their shape, lift ability and shock-absorbing capabilities.

After a while I opted instead to sell the very comfortable Amerigo trailer and buy a newer Casita which I subsequently added a relatively inexpensive 3" lift kit and larger wheels/tires. That upgrade made my addictive urge to see what is at the end of many Colorado mountain back roads a little less concerning. Life is good.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:52 AM   #26
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Wow, nice job. And nice photos.

Yeah Kaat expect that almost no matter what you'll be doing some modifications. I put a new axle on my Bigfoot first thing after buying it to raise it a little higher off the ground. Honestly, though a lot of people think about it for dirt roads, the clearance is really more helpful getting in & out of parking lots & gas stations. Those dips in the road will get you way more often than any dirt road.

I probably take my trailer down crazier roads than most, and I can tell you that you quickly hit a point where you realize any road that requires more clearance than a very slightly lifted trailer can handle is not a road you should be pulling your trailer down. It's the reason I've pretty much stopped bringing my trailer to southern Utah and opted for tent camping when I go there. I want to get down those roads...

Anyway, good luck and keep us updated!
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:12 PM   #27
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Thanks Tony and Zach! I certainly don't intend to go crazy with the off roads, at least drop the trailer somewhere safe beforehand. But after seeing how low that Amerigo sat, I winced at the thought of those parking lots/gas stations. I didn't even think about replacing the axle... hmm.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:21 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Rootflux View Post
Thanks Tony and Zach! I certainly don't intend to go crazy with the off roads, at least drop the trailer somewhere safe beforehand. But after seeing how low that Amerigo sat, I winced at the thought of those parking lots/gas stations. I didn't even think about replacing the axle... hmm.
My axle was/is good, but I added the 3" lift from OMW on my SD. Not so much for the off road clearance, but for the MANY more driveway aprons you end up using just getting from point A to B. Even if you should decide to replace the axle I'd add a lift too, just cuz. It also made no difference to the handling or mileage.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:11 AM   #29
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It's something to consider. I'm trying to remember...but it's not as expensive as you might expect. Not like a truck or something. If you bring it to a trailer shop, it'll be reasonable. If you bring to an RV shop, it'll be ridiculously expensive...
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:38 AM   #30
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Thumbs up Casters

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Wow, nice job. And nice photos.

Yeah Kaat expect that almost no matter what you'll be doing some modifications. I put a new axle on my Bigfoot first thing after buying it to raise it a little higher off the ground. Honestly, though a lot of people think about it for dirt roads, the clearance is really more helpful getting in & out of parking lots & gas stations. Those dips in the road will get you way more often than any dirt road.

I probably take my trailer down crazier roads than most, and I can tell you that you quickly hit a point where you realize any road that requires more clearance than a very slightly lifted trailer can handle is not a road you should be pulling your trailer down. It's the reason I've pretty much stopped bringing my trailer to southern Utah and opted for tent camping when I go there. I want to get down those roads...

Anyway, good luck and keep us updated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rootflux View Post
Thanks Tony and Zach! I certainly don't intend to go crazy with the off roads, at least drop the trailer somewhere safe beforehand. But after seeing how low that Amerigo sat, I winced at the thought of those parking lots/gas stations. I didn't even think about replacing the axle... hmm.

Although I've personally never installed them on my trailers I've seen that some folks bolted casters on the bottom of their rear bumpers to engage and thus roll through gas station exit canyons. Seems like cheap insurance against hard pavement related scrapes but not much effect on soft dirt roads. I've also seen trailers with steel "skis" underneath designed to guard against just such hazards. Since I now have a larger trailer I've become cautiously aware of gas station entry/exits before pulling into them.

When contemplating a boondocking site in new territory, checking out an unknown dirt road on foot or on my mountain bike has become Standard Operating Procedure before committing to a drive in. Past hard lessons have since been duly applied, thankfully contributing to safe, stress-free camping.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:29 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
My axle was/is good, but I added the 3" lift from OMW on my SD. Not so much for the off road clearance, but for the MANY more driveway aprons you end up using just getting from point A to B. Even if you should decide to replace the axle I'd add a lift too, just cuz. It also made no difference to the handling or mileage.

Good advice!
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