Amerigo Progress......Finally! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-13-2016, 10:17 PM   #1
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Amerigo Progress......Finally!

I finally made some good progress on the Amerigo. I was hoping to avoid the complete gut & rebuild but after getting into the project it became obvious what needed to be done........you guessed right, gut & rebuild time.

The tear down didn't take as long as I thought, I probably spent more time thinking about doing it then it actually took. One thing is for sure, the rotted plywood part comes up easy!
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:21 PM   #2
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There was surprisingly just enough rotten pieces left to use for a pattern to cut the new plywood. I have the plywood cut & fitted in, I hope to get it 'glassed in by the weekend.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:19 PM   #3
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Big improvement already. Good job.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:07 AM   #4
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This is great, Steve. So glad you can resurrect this baby!
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:08 AM   #5
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nice keep it up
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:05 AM   #6
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Steve–

Please keep the photos coming on this restoration. Many of us follow in awe of what can be done to bring these trailers back to life.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:12 AM   #7
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Great job Steve. Meticulous work. So nice to see you restoring this gem
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:55 PM   #8
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Awesome!
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:31 PM   #9
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The temperature here has been a little cool but I did get some fiberglass work done today.
I'm doing away with the original Thetford "electra magic" toilet so I 'glassed up the hole in the floor for it. I coated the bottom side of the plywood and the cut edges also with fiberglass resin to help seal out moisture, hopefully that will help the new floor last a little longer. If the weather cooperates i hope to get the floors installed next!
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:10 AM   #10
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Snap!

I have gutted my Amerigo too. Replaced the floor with Densilite XP, it will never rot again. I also lined the channels in the floor with rigid insulation and under the XP with laminate padding and sealed the edges completely with auto caulk. I am waiting until the weather breaks and we can take it to get painted. After that it will be wiring. I am moving the electrical to the front under the dinette. I spent a whole month filling holes, gravel chips and cracks. Replaced the rotten belly band wood and completely glassed it in so that if there is a leak from a window it will not soak in to the wood and rot it.
We did a lot of work on the frame, the hold-down tabs had rusted off and we added more cross pieces, notably right across at the doorway where there was nothing to support the weight as you step in. I replaced the bumper with a 4" pipe and made the coupler and chains removable so that it would be very difficult to steal, no way to haul it. The most painstaking job was the windows. Spent many hours removing caulk and cleaning the frames, UGH. Actually that was not true, the worst job was removing the thousands of rusted clutch screws. If I never see another clutch screw I will be a very happy person.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:02 PM   #11
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I've made a little more progress since my last post. The plywood is bonded to the fiberglass underbelly and the front section is 'glassed in around the edges. I did leave drain reliefs about every 8" - 12" along the perimeter of the front section to (hopefully!!) allow any future water intrusion a place drain out instead of just laying on the plywood.

When I took out the old flooring I was a little shocked to see that despite being inside the garage for 3 months the plywood was still soggy & damp underneath the linoleum in the front corners. I did spring for the "one side finished" plywood so I stained & clear polyurethane coated the top side. In all the storage & cabinet areas I'll just have the plywood, no linoleum or vinyl flooring to hide any potential water problems.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:19 PM   #12
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The frame was in fairly good shape, it just had a little surface rust mainly on the bottom edge so I put it up on jack stands high enough to get underneath it. After a week of sanding, priming and painting it's a bit more protected & cleaner looking. Unfortunately my old trusty flannel shirt didn't survive the ordeal, it's now been reduced to rags for cleaning paint brushes with.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:02 PM   #13
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While the low ride height is good for ease of entry into the camper it was a little scary with the steep entrances to many gas stations & driveways around here. More than once on the trip home I heard the jack bottom scrape while slowly pulling out from a gas stop. While I had the Amerigo up on jack stands I felt it was a good time for my over sprung axle conversion.

From the factory the axle is mounted on top of the spring (first pic). That combined with the 4" dropped spindle makes this one low rider! Moving the axle under the spring is a good way to gain some ground clearance for my needs. This requires welding a new spring perch on the top side of the axle. Dexter does offer a kit to do this but I bought the new spring perches & U-bolts from the local Agri-Supply. I also replaced the shackles, shackle bolts and spring bushings while I was in there. I think all together I spent a little over $20 for the parts. The new spring perch should be welded on top of the axle parallel to the old mount.

Total lift from this conversion is 4 3/4" & the good part is you can easily change it back in under an hour since the old spring perches are still on the axle.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:11 PM   #14
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Before & after pics on the spring mount conversion. I'll feel a little more at ease pulling the camper now. The tire clearance was so close before the lift that I could barely fit my fingers between the tire & rear wheel lip. The interior is gutted in the second pic so I'm sure it will drop another inch or two once the interior and appliances go back in.
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