Just bought a 1973 Amerigo FG16 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2021, 02:38 PM   #1
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Name: Joe
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Just bought a 1973 Amerigo FG16

Hello,

Iím Joe, and I just bought a 1973 Amerigo FG16. It seems to be in decent albeit 48 year old shape, and weíre looking forward to giving it a much needed overhaul and update! It was in the high desert itís whole life so it looked pretty solid, but after reading the forums Iím sure Iíll find a gremlin or two in there. Looking forward to learning a lot and enjoying using it here in a little bit!

Joe
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:48 AM   #2
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Congrats on your purchase! Be sure to post up some pics when you get a chance.
I'm always interested to see the minor variations in the fg-16's throughout the years they were offered new.
Best wishes on your project.
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Old 06-21-2021, 01:40 PM   #3
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Thanks! I’ll try to get pics up soon!

Question for hull and hole repairs: I have the fiberglass repair stuff, the resin and cloth, and also Bondo glass… any reason to not just fill holes with Bondo glass? Not really looking for the ‘easy way’, but not trying to complicate it either.

I enjoyed your thread and learned a lot prior to purchasing!
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Old 06-21-2021, 02:30 PM   #4
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Joe, I'm not familiar with the Bondo glass but I'm guessing it's similar to what was called tiger hair decades ago.....a runny kinda of body filler with fiberglass strands mixed in with it? For small holes that would likely do the job. For any holes larger than 2" dia I'd prefer to use resin & cloth from the backside then finish the outside with a body filler.
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Old 06-21-2021, 03:57 PM   #5
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Joe, I'm not familiar with the Bondo glass but I'm guessing it's similar to what was called tiger hair decades ago.....a runny kinda of body filler with fiberglass strands mixed in with it? For small holes that would likely do the job. For any holes larger than 2" dia I'd prefer to use resin & cloth from the backside then finish the outside with a body filler.
Awesome, thanks! So for external cracks and nicks, the Bondo glass (yes like Tiger hair) will be fine. Iíll post a pic
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Old 06-21-2021, 04:27 PM   #6
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Hi Joe,

Have you worked much with bondo glass? I found that it works ok filling holes, etc., but is not intended for the final layer or fairing. The final layer/fairing is done with bondo body filler or similar product. Good luck with your Amerigo! It's a great trailer.

John
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:07 PM   #7
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Hi Joe,

Have you worked much with bondo glass? I found that it works ok filling holes, etc., but is not intended for the final layer or fairing. The final layer/fairing is done with bondo body filler or similar product. Good luck with your Amerigo! It's a great trailer.Click image for larger version

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John
I have not. Iím pretty handy, but no fiberglass experience.

Hereís the damage Iím working with:
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Old 06-21-2021, 08:22 PM   #8
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The damage appears to be relatively minor. The good thing about fiberglass repairs is that if you don't like the results, you can grind it out and try again.

Here is a popular thread on this forum concerning how to do fiberglass repairs:

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ass-52498.html
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:24 PM   #9
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So this may shock all of you Amerigo people, but turns out there was water damage! Not the windows or door or anything I had seen in the forums and paid attention to, but from where the PO inexplicably mounted the spare tire through the back. So, itís pretty much a gut job since the back sub floor has to be replaced.

Here are some before pics:Click image for larger version

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Old 06-22-2021, 10:14 PM   #10
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Far from perfect on the corner for sure, but Iíll do some body filler and smooth it out a little more tomorrow. The rest of the damage is all cracks in the gel coat, Iíll sand them out and fill them. Hoping to paint the weekend, taking advantage of it being basically gutted right now. The wife and I are debating two-two vs the normal all white.
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Old 06-23-2021, 06:21 AM   #11
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Good work Joe! What kind of paint will you be using?
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:04 AM   #12
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Weíre leaning towards interlux topside paint, marine paint seems to be the way to go. Do you have experience with any other paints you recommend?
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Old 06-23-2021, 10:29 AM   #13
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I only have experience with Interlux Brightsides and I was pleased with that product. It goes on easily and flattens out/smooths out very well leaving no brush strokes. The previous owner of my trailer had rolled the trailer with it and gave me the remaining paint, which I used on repairs.
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Old 06-23-2021, 12:29 PM   #14
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Joe, Looks like you've got good bones to work with there. A slow leak here and there over 40+ years and you can almost expect some wood damage. The great thing is once you're done with repairs you'll likely get the same if not more years out of it with minimal maintenance along the way.

Your repairs look good & as John said if you don't like how a fiberglass repair comes out it's easy enough to grind it out & redo it.

Outside of the usual resealing the windows w/buytl tape there are a few other things to look at that I've found on mine. One is on the large fixed rear window there are weep holes in the frame just below the plexiglass, make sure those are open.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:38 PM   #15
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Thanks, Iíll look for those weep holes when I take the windows out to paint!

I figured I wanted to paint, and everything needs resealing, so might as well do it all now. Then replace the floors. To glue the plywood floor to the fiberglass, did you use fiberglass epoxy? My back plywood needs to be replaced (already tore it out), the front is still healthy and solid.

I appreciate all the info both from replies here and your threads!
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:32 PM   #16
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I used fiberglass resin to bond the plywood to the bottom of the shell. After test fitting the plywood first I poured a good amount down and put as much weight on top as I could find in the garage. I also used the screw jacks w/some boards underneath to help get a tight bond between the layers.

I know it looks a little redneck but it worked out well, there's no loose or flimsy feel from underneath and the floor is solid from the topside. The fiberglass floor by itself is surprisingly weak, it's amazing how the camper gains strength as all of the parts go back together.
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:53 PM   #17
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This is a weep hole. The bump in the middle of the pic. Yours may look different.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:43 PM   #18
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Awesome pics, thank you both!

Not to jump around too much but has anyone replaced their axle? Pretty sure mine is original! Also thinking of going overslung… not sure when in relation to painting I want to do that, obviously doing the frame and suspension then the body is best, but trying to keep this train moving forward.
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:53 PM   #19
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After a small break due to the PNW heatwave, progress is inching along again. I brought the Amerigo to my workplace for the tools and the friends who have volunteered to help sand before painting.

My current order of work is to paint the frame, replace the leaf springs and flip the axle, then sand and paint the body. Today I separated the body and frame. Click image for larger version

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I found the first real damage Iíll have to patch. The other damage was to the gel coat or a drilled hole, and fiberglass filler did the job there.

After seeing the axle, I think itíll be good with new leaf springs. I may replace the electric brakes now too, but itís light enough I havenít missed the brakes yet (the trailer is currently rigged as a 4 pin, not a 5 or 7) so I may not.

More progress to come this next week!
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:16 PM   #20
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3 wire brush attachments later, had the frame pretty much bare metal or as close as I could get it. 2 coats of Rustoleum primer, then spray canned the bulk of the body, and rolled the parts that will be exposed. I liked the rolled result so much that the second coat I rolled the whole frame.

Next up, the body will get more holes filled. I did three outside layers of fiberglass for that hole in the back… I couldn’t bring myself to cut a gaping hole to square it off, so I patched over the fiberglass after sanding. It’s 90% hidden by the frame so I’m not too worried about it. I’ll patch it from the inside tomorrow to make sure it’s solid. That was the source of the water damage, not the windows or the spare tire screws (my first suspicion before I found this). There’s a much smaller crack in the same place on the other side; I’m going to use fiberglass cloth on that as well since it seems to be a weak spot.

Hopefully not too much more body work before removing hardware and sanding, I’m looking forward to painting it!
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