Watters Amerigo Rebuild - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-22-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Watters Amerigo Rebuild

I picked up the trailer a week ago after first deciding to pass on it. My wife thinks I'm nuts - you may agree after taking a look at the pictures.

It was located about 2.5 hours away with an asking price of $650. I bargained the guy down a bit from that paying $300 for the trailer.

I'd consider it a total gut job.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:40 PM   #3
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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Exterior is mostly just dirty (cept the frame - it's rusty - and the wheels/axle too). Belly band and windows have been silicone caulked to within an inch of their lives.

Interior is pretty water damaged. All the paneling if visibly damaged. Dunno yet about any wood furring strips in the walls yet. Safe assumption is that at least some needs replacing. MIGHT keep the overhead doors - at least the aluminum trim from them when reconstructing overhead cabs.

Kitchen is mostly going. Planning on keeping a sink and cold water system just for doing dishes. Will be adding AC in that area roughly where the stove is now. Currently planning on doing it similar to an Aliner - back end permanently outside, only the top showing inside.

I've got a covered front egress window in the garage (leftover from PlayPac - didn't fit). Doesn't fit here either - but I'll be able to fill in some wall with glass to make this smaller window fit. That will have the advantage of letting me make the privacy closet about 6 inches wider - letting it fit my frame.

On the upside - I actually fit on the bed sideways so I'm going to keep that part similar to the way it is now. Instead of a U-dinette however, I'm planning on a gaucho bed in the back so we've got a sofa during the day.

It's pretty obvious that the trailer has been pretty extensively modified already. All the more reason not to feel too bad about gutting it out. I wasn't gonna feel bad about it anyway - that scary early 70s wallpaper in the kitchen was gonna go no matter what!

So, I'll post updated photos in this thread as I get around to doing things. Gonna be slow going though.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:56 PM   #5
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Oh... the FG-16 sticker is gonna go.

I'm also sad that the badge on the front now reads "Amerig".

There's three intact 3D badges though - so I'll remove the damaged one and restore the others along the way.

Currently planning on a white over red/metallic paint job.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #6
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Looks like you have a lot of fun ahead, but you might want to rethink the a/c idea for the following reasons:

1. Fiberglass walls aren't great for supporting anything. Any weight on the side walls may soon lead to cracks, you will need to add outside supports (See #3)
2. Leaving something sticking that far out the side is an invite to getting it hit, resulting in significant damage. ( By hit, I am saying that a tree might jump out in front of it etc.
3. IMHO: Seeing an a/c sticking out of any FGRV really ruins the appearance and natural clean lines of the Amerigo. remember it IS a classic among FGRV's.

You might think of installing it at floor level, in the front or back wall, with all but the vents inside.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:31 PM   #7
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BTW: I'm sending your wife an email offering her $1000 for your project. Then, as she has that money in her hands, and sees the Amerig- going down the road she will appreciate how smart you really are.....
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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I appreciate the input Bob. I've considered some other locations. None of the floor areas in the cabinets are going to work terribly well. Largely because the wheel wells are in the way. That leaves the dinette (yea, cold calves!) or the rear futon/bed (again, cold calves, and poor circulation at night). The place I initially thought of putting it is in the side closet either above or below the fridge (which will have to be a 110 dorm fridge - the original is long-gone). Primary advantage there is that the venting in the wall is already in place - just have to duct it with insulation. Problem with this is that I'd like to have much of that available for a closet if I can.

Far as the issue of something sticking out. That occurred to me. I considered sliders - but that's more a problem than it's worth. That is, after all, how Alliner has been doing theirs for years without much in the way (apparently) of problems.

In terms of support - with the bulk of it inside the back end of the kitchen counter, I can build a lot of beefy support in using the cabinet framing. That's not a big concern.

As to the lines of the trailer - I've never been much one for "restoration" as opposed to rebuilding for my own tastes. Given that the entire interior is going to have to be gutted anyway (at least the parts that weren't gutted out years ago), there isn't going to be much original about this except the frame and the shell.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:20 AM   #9
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No problem! Make it yours.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Johans View Post
No problem! Make it yours.
Yeppers!
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:43 PM   #11
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Temperature was FINALLY warm enough that I was willing to go outside and do some gutting (I don't "do" that work outside in the freezing cold thing anymore.).

Pulled the Stove/Oven thing and the Kitchen fan. Both are available for best offer to anyone interested. I'm not shipping the stove/oven though, that sucker is HEAVY!

Anyway - started tearing things out around the fridge too. Discovered it's actually a 110V/12V duel fridge (cool!) have to test if it still works soon.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:32 AM   #12
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Good buy Mike, after all the rebuilds I've seen on this site nothing suprises me, go for it and make it yours. Be sure to keep us informed of your rebuild with pics. Bob, good call to get Mike off the hook from his wife
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:17 PM   #13
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The weather is semi-respectable again! Back outside tearing out the interior of the Amerigo. Lord, what a mess! NOT looking forward to tearing up the floor!!! What little wood I can get in contact with already feels damp. This isn't encouraging. This may end up forcing a removal from the frame - which I'd like to avoid if possible.

Haven't gotten into the walls too much yet. Bound to be some water damaged wood in there too. All in all - I think the way to go is to remove absolutely EVERYTHING and start from the ground up. So, cabinets and seating is all going, as are the wall coverings and electrical gear. Dunno if it originally had a converter box or not - but what's in it NOW is a fusebox with two circuits (yes - fuses, not breakers). May reuse the fusebox if I don't get a converter box instead. Alternative is a small breaker box with 3-4 circuits in it. The fusebox may be one of those "if it's not broke don't fix it" items though.

Anyway - I'm gonna hope that the damp wood is just from tramped in water that's just now thawing out and not something more serious. Fingers crossed.

Gotta finish the tear-out first. Then I can take care of any floor issues, replace any rotted wood in the walls, seal up the windows (I'm replacing the front window with a modern egress window with build-in rock shield) as well as basic cleanup and repairs to the glass shell. After that - it'll be time to start rebuilding the interior. Gaucho in the rear, dinette in the front/left corner, everything else pretty much the same as the stock floorplan.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:34 PM   #14
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The interior gutting continues...

Range and hood are available for free to any interested party who wants them (and can come get them).

It's pretty clear that the stock windows have leaked - as has the area around the door. The wood paneling on the interior is pretty badly damaged (all gone now) but the wood framing inside the walls has some pretty bad areas of rot as well. Having "fun" tearing into all that.

Since I'm going to be adding AC to the trailer - I think I will likely take the approach of permanently sealing the windows to eliminate any further water intrusion.

Haven't gotten down to pulling up any floor yet. This project, so far, reminds me very much of the PlayPac. Same awning-style leaky-as-anything windows. Same fiberglass bottom below plywood (which just ends up sealing in any water so it keeps the flooring wet - actually encouraging rot instead of protecting the flooring).

It's pretty clear that the trailer has been half-gutted and rebuilt before (two different kinds of insulation in the walls - two different, non-matching styles of wall paneling, etc).

I'll post photos once the demolition is finished and the interior cleaned up a bit.
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