Amerigo 16 Project Near Binghamton NY - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-07-2017, 08:21 AM   #1
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Amerigo 16 Project Near Binghamton NY

Hi,

I just saw this. https://binghamton.craigslist.org/rv...225730296.html

It will need some work and is definitely overpriced, but maybe they will be reasonable (playball) if you educate them.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:36 AM   #2
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I know that people get excited when they buy a new to them toy HOWEVER one would think that they would also consider or evaluate their "Restoration" skills before they turn their new toy in to " A Half Finished Project that brings 25% of What They Paid For It"!

Trailers sure do come apart easy! It's that "Put It Back Together" part that's kinda hard! This trailer was probably a great restoration project BEFORE the seller worked his magic.

This all begs continuing question:

Why do so many seller's start on their trailer project by "Striping Out" the old trailer interior and THEN decide to sell it???

Never ceases to amaze me!!
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:50 PM   #3
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
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Gutting--what a chore! Redoing--Priceless!

Not a great job of stripping out, either. And the weight at 1300 is shell weight only; it'll be 700-900 pounds more finished, depending on appliances.


I think the $2,000 price tag is OK; and the outside looks very good.


But once stripped with the interior gone, you've lost your patterns. Remaking those is a bugger.


I think people really don't realize how hard these things are to restore. If you have "house" skills, you also need automotive skills, and a workshop, and a place to keep it out of the rain, and, tools, and a seamstress or two, and a decorator, and, and, and...an electrician, and a propane guy, and a flooring installer, and a metal trailer frame shop, a fiberglasser, and the amerigo has two different skins, the outer fiberglass and the inner wood paneling...so it's double the skill set needed...

I think they get it gutted, and realize, whoops, it s a LOT more than what I thought! Not a straight edge in sight! Everything has to be custom-fitted, it's like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, it's not just a simple empty box, it's like a Rubik's Cube I want to sleep inside of...

For a space 7 x 13' (the actual body of the amerigo FG16), you'd think you could knock that out in a month. You'd be wrong!

BEST
Kai
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Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 020.jpg   Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 044.jpg  

Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 072.JPG   Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 067.jpg  

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Old 08-08-2017, 05:45 AM   #4
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I think how this usually happens is a thought process along the lines of

"Fire, Ready, Aim". "It smells a little musty in here, what happens if I poke or pry this with a screw driver... hmmm now it smells musty and looks like crap b/c I removed that thing and cabinet fell apart b/c it was being held together by the random trinket... I guess I should gut it... damn i don't have the time/cash/skill for this ... "

BUT for the next person who buys it, and knows what they are getting into or has some determination and imagination and is willing to learn on the fly (or already has the skill set) this could be a gem or a really fun adventure or learning experience.

I have been on both side of this scenario, but if you don't grow up around this stuff sometimes the only way to learn is by taking the leap.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:31 AM   #5
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This looks like it's forum member carlthecamper's amerigo, same pictures as his ad anyway. SOLD: 1973 Amerigo FG16
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:59 AM   #6
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Right, well-said. It starts out small and snowballs on down the mountain until the avalanche buries you.


Or you surf on top and survive...but it's a wild ride.


BESt
Kai
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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New Owner - Amerigo on Binghamton CL

Hi, I'm Bob in Vestal, NY. I purchased the Amerigo camper which was recently posted on Binghamton CL. It IS the former CarltheCamper camper. It is now referred to as the Chigger Woods camper. I have it set upon a piece of wooded property I own - separate from my residence. After purchasing, I completed stripping out the interior, have cleaned, repaired one crack in the fiberglas belly pan, and have installed PT floor structure, foam board insulation, and wide plank red pine flooring throughout. I'm not trying to restore it as it was new, since the original quality of workmanship and materials (of any camper) is pretty pathetic. The only original interior parts I'll reuse are the overhead compartments, the wall divider for the closet, and the formica table. The F'glas shell is in remarkably good condition and cleaned up well. I have taken care of most of the window leaks. I'm done for the season, but next spring I'll replace any remaining rotted wood wall structure, wire for 110v, insulate and panel the walls. Then enjoy.
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:28 AM   #8
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Hey, Bob in Vestal,

And there it is! Congratulations, best luck, thanks for the pics! Is that your new flooring?

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Kai
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:51 PM   #9
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Congrats on your purchase Bob.

Looks like you've already got a "happy camper" in your first pic!
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Old 11-11-2017, 02:20 PM   #10
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Vestal Camper Project

Yes - the little girl is a friends granddaughter and the love of our life. She thinks the camper is just her size. The flooring is leftover pine from last years flooring project at my cabin. In fact, virtually all materials I'm using is stuff which was just laying around the house. So, besides keeping project costs to a minimum, I'm clearing out my garage and basement. This Amerigo on CL last summer caught my eye due to it's all fiberglas construction, and it's a bit different from most vintage campers. I had never seen such a thing before! This one was priced right (after some negotiation) and just needed a special type of person to grab it up and give it some love. I guess I was that person. I like projects and this has been a fun one so far. I look forward to next spring to continue work.
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:00 PM   #11
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Nice flooring! Even nicer that it uses up leftovers.

I would just like to say that we have a 1973 amerigo FG-16 and it looks like you have a different year. They only made these a few years. Your front window is bigger than the '73, and if that storage box in the back opens to the outside, that, too, is a different feature from the '73. Probably doesn't matter.

Cute little girl! How fun for her to have this to enjoy! Like a playhouse.

BEST
Kai
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:43 PM   #12
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Amerigo in Vestal, NY

Yes - my registration says it's a '72 even though I think the seller advertised it as a '73. It was a pain to get it registered in NY since it had a PA title and the seller had never registered it in NYS. But its done and all legal now.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:08 AM   #13
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I hear you about the DMV tanglements. Congrats all around. Nice to see another amerigo here on FGRV.

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Old 11-12-2017, 10:28 AM   #14
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Amerigo production numbers?

Kai or anyone out there - does anybody know how many Amerigo FG-16 campers were originally produced, what years they were produced, and how many may have survived? Nothing I have seen in my research tells me that information. BTW - after purchase, I found an original copy in an overhead compartment of "Trailer Travel" magazine, "testing the radically new Amerigo FG-16". Dated August 1971 (60 cents). Kind of cool, and the three page write-up provides a lot of information on the camper. Their evaluation was mostly "thumbs up".
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:26 PM   #15
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Bob,
I'm coming up on 3 years since buying my '72 amerigo & mine came with a good amount of paperwork from the original owner. I also have the Woodall's Trailer Travel review and I think that was just a promotional literature piece that amerigo reprinted from the actual magazine.

I had posted pics here in an older thread of all of the original invoices, dealer price list, owners manual, warranty & original brochures from amerigo but they were lost in the photobucket ransom extortion from earlier this year. I will try to dig up those pics & repost the in my original thread.

My camper was sold new to a woman in Bristol, IN which is where all FG-16's were built. The second owner also lived in Bristol on State Road 120 just a few miles from the original amerigo plant (which was also on State Road 120!) I have tried to find production #'s also but have come up with nothing. Judging from the few that remain today it couldn't have been very many.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:48 PM   #16
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Amerigos were started by a fellow named Gardner in 1970. He was associated with KOA campgrounds. The first model would not have been out before 1970/1971; they only made the FG-16 trailers until 1975-1976 at the latest. Then they made other types of campers like slide-ins to go on trucks. All of the FG-16's were the same SIZE as yours and ours, 16' from tongue to tail with the same basic molded 13' shell. Originally from the factory they only offered a porta-potty, but many intermediaries added permanent toilets, cutting through the floor in the front closet/niche in such a way that it was never sealed properly; in 40 years a lot of them have rotted areas around those make-shift toilet holes.

Originally, they had no holding tanks. The permanent toilets required a black tank (which were often some shade of blue) and were temporary, just set loose under the trailer with a loose drain line running into it while parked. To travel, the loose tank had to be picked up manually and brought along with the cap screwed shut. The kitchen sink had no holding tank either, but just drained out onto the ground beneath or beside the trailer. That was considered OK back then.

The front niche never had a sink, as it was a closet, not a bathroom. The floor area there is smaller than it seems. Good for storing a port-a-potty. The niche came with a rather nice clothes rod, and the molded ceiling (attached to be permanent) is a beauty.

This information is compiled from a number of posts by Bob Miller, all scattered throughout the archives of FGRV, findable but not easily. Also from original sales brochure the PO had kept with the trailer. We are at LEAST the 3rd owners and I am guessing there were others.

If you have the "funny" wheels/rims shown below, they are "Dexstar" and were probably mounted originally on a torsion axle, the kind that usually wear out in 10-20 years.

If you want to spend some time researching, go up to the search section above and use the lower search blank to fill in your words of interest.

I never saw that Bob Mller mentioned how many total FG-16 amerigos were produced; he was quite the historian for these and the Sunrader trailers and others. Since amerigos are quite rare, I can only assume not many were made; and 43+ years ago. They had some of the largest window areas of any fiberglass trailers, which I think made them somewhat more vulnerable. But low production can easily account for their rarity. I see some for sale off and on...but have not yet encountered one in person other than ours.

I was going to name ours after the original Star Trek Shuttlecraft, but Leonie Belcher here on FGRV had already chosen that name, and we ended up naming ours "Peanut" -- one shell with two nuts in it.

BEST
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:03 PM   #17
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Amerigo production numbers?

Thanks all - for the additional info on the amerigo. Mine does have the funny wheels as shown on Kai's pictures. New tires and wheel bearings. As part of the purchase deal, I asked the seller to deliver from Endwell (across the river) to my property prior to closing the deal. He got it there safe and sound, so I figured it was still tow-able. Mine still has the original clothes hanger bar in the closet. The molded fiberglass inner roof/ceiling is an attractive design and I assume adds a bit to the trailers rigidity. Mine is in very good condition. I've recently installed two temporary 2 x 4 roof supports to help against potential snow load. It's surprising there are no production numbers available for these campers. Their rarity has me feeling guilty about letting it sit outside exposed to the winter weather. But I'm a car guy, and my garages are already filled with vehicles. Kai - was yours the one painted a maroon color? Very nice.

Bob
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:14 AM   #18
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Hi, Bob in Vestal,

Yours does sound remarkably whole...I agree about the roof supports; until we got the upright walls (including galley supports) in, the roof gradually sagged so we propped it up with flat pieces of plywood and a vertical 2 x 4 that Paul tapped in gently over a few days to ease the ceiling/roof back to a proper position.

Wonder if you still have the wooden bars inside your door...many don't. I don't know what they were intended for originally. Magazines?

Yes, Peanut was once dark. It was "root beer brown" with gold flecks.
We didn't love the brown, but would have left it except fiberglass repairs soon showed us there was no way to avoid a lot of patches, so we decided to paint it after all.

We've had the debate about tarping, fitted cover, carport roof, etc. with input from many people, both opinions--cover, don't cover. One made the point that what you save in sun damage, you lose in a cover "flapping" constantly and wearing down the outside from friction, no matter how tightly you snug it up. We leave ours uncovered in the driveway and are prepared to repaint one day. As they say, once painted, always painted. And--what you save in covering it from rain, you lose in possible interior condensation. Frequent checking when stored is a good idea. At least once a month? Paul's out there so often we don't have to schedule checks.

We don't feel you're being irresponsible to leave yours outside. Do get some kind of tire covers, though, if you want the rubber to last longer. And be sure to jack it up so some of the weight is off the tires. some just stand plywood in front of the tires...that'll do.


Since Paul and I use Peanut several times a week as a privacy and reading, area, we love having it handy in the driveway.




BEST
Kai
Attached Thumbnails
Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 022.JPG   1A 1 electronic tongue jack meant we couldn't open the tailgate of our TV van.jpg  

1A 2 In our driveway October 2015.jpg   Peanut 10 2015 to 6 2016 016.JPG  

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Old 11-13-2017, 09:27 AM   #19
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Bob, Here is some of the paperwork I have for the FG-16.

Along with the original purchase invoice I have the dealers price list on all of the options available in '72. Some of the more common options were priced as follows: 4 cu. ft gas/electric refrigerator w/auto defrost $252.00, 10,000btu furnace $98.00, overhead bunk bed $78.00, recirculating toilet (aka Thetford) $210.00, rear overhead cabinets $34.00.

2 different floor plans were available. The first had a front dinette that could convert to a single bed along with the rear gaucho that would convert to a double bed. This model had the large front window (same size as the side windows) and the rear cargo access door.

The second had a rear dinette that could convert to a double bed along with the front L shaped couch that would convert to a single bed. This layout has the smaller front window and has no rear cargo door. Many of this style will also have a rear spare tire mount. Both layouts had the refrigerator, stove/oven and sink located in the center of the camper over the axle.

Although the brochure lists a torsion axle as standard, my FG-16 has a leaf spring set up on it and it was not billed out on the invoice as an option. I've looked at mine very closely and it is definitely a factory installation, not a later conversion and every other FG-16 I've seen here or on other sites has the typical leaf spring suspension. I believe there was a change made after the brochures were printed & amerigo/Stewart Garner went with the traditional leaf spring set up. It may have been a supplier problem w/the torsion axle or even a cost saving move.....I guess we may never know for certain.

Overall I think the amerigo has a pretty nice layout in both floor plans. As you mentioned the quality in construction of most campers seems to be lacking but keep in mind weight is one of the bigger concerns.....it's not hard to add several hundred lbs of excess material.

All the best with your project & looking forward to seeing some pics as it progresses!
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:39 AM   #20
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neat looking

that trailer is very nice looking I like the design of it

bob
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