Newly Purchased an olí 1973 Amerigo FG-16 and have no idea where to start - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-17-2021, 01:04 AM   #1
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Name: Bianca
Trailer: 1973 Amerigo FG-16
California
Posts: 6
Newly Purchased an olí 1973 Amerigo FG-16 and have no idea where to start

Your not gonna believe how much I paid for this thing. I’ll tell you after a quick intro story of how I got so lucky.

A few weeks ago I went to pick car parts (I’m a mechanic on my off days) and my friend who works at the auto shop told me he got a new job as an RV technician. I told him I was in the hunt for a Camper/Trailer/RV to make a home out of. He said “I know someone who’s selling a camper.” I quickly asked him how much he was selling it for and he said “$200.00.” I was like “BS!!!, it’s probably something that’s falling apart.” He said “it’s in great shape actually.” So then I also asked if we could go check it out that day. Since he was on a ten min break outside he said he was gonna message him and find out.

I went in to the store to do my thing and my friend comes back in after a few minutes saying his friend will be there in about 15-20 mins and on his way. It all happen so fast. My first response was like “what? like now you mean then, I don’t even have any cash on me, or a place to store it, or anything.” Another co-worker out of nowhere shouts “I have a place you can store it. I have a big carport that can park 6 cars easy and I only use a spot for my car so I have plenty of space.” We ended on a $50/mo deal, if I decided to buy the camper.

For $200.00 I wasn’t expecting much but I gave it the benefit of a doubt. If anything I’ll get to laugh about it. Who knows if I’ll get to be one of those lucky bastards who gets a good deal, that we find about on social media and news. I guess I am that bastard The thing blew my mind! Everything works!!! No roof leaks or body dents by accidents. No real damages. Yes it needs some love but for the most part a few basic fixes here and there to make it more practical and secure, and it’ll be good to go. Would need a whack of a whole more love to make it pristine but as a mechanic women I’m always up for a challenge. Pristine can wait for now. I need to make it secure and livable first.

Soooo, yeah, I bought it. Like duh! No brainer. $200.00!!!! And it’s mine now. Can any if you believe this deal? You can’t beat that, unless is gifted or free. How everything worked out in a span. I’m not one for superstitions much but this one you cannot deny, it’s almost undeniably meant to be!!!

Anyways, my “new-to-me” camper/home has been parked at my “newly rented camper/trailer car port place” for about a month. I haven’t been unable to start working on it right away unfortunately. With a broken foot, and days recent of losing one of my best friends. I just have not gotten the chance to start at all. I won’t get into such sensitive subject since I’m still very sensitive to the topic so let’s leave it at that. What I’m trying to say with that is that I had valid reasons for being unable to start when I got it.

The main part of this whole thing is I’ve always wanted to get a camper to make a home out of. For months I’ve been in the serious search for one but my budget was not big enough for what was out there and I was running out of time.

When this opportunity came to me, like I mentioned here before I could not help but to believe it was meant to be. Problem is I have to be out of my current place by the end of the month (2 weeks approx). Also, I don’t have much time to work on my camper because I have my main job at a Cannabis Dispensary, which eats away days out of what’s left of the month for me to work on it.

Today I would consider it to be the first day of the true and real starting point of the proccess. I went in and cleaned everything I could. After that, I grabbed the measuring tape to start taking measurements on the things I found need fixing and/or replace. Then it hit me and I had to sat down at my realization.

I don’t know where to start.

I have no idea how to even. So I left after cleaning and decided to go home, put a rough list together (a start, no?), then another list for things I need to purchase, a budget one, and do some research. Did not know where to start with that either. Lol. Kind of like hitting a writers block. Somehow I manage to put this list shown below.

Again, I don’t have much time and without knowing what to do and how to start I decided to post this here. Hoping that someone(s) can give me light with anything anyone has to share to avoid my self a freak out, pulling my hairs out, go nuts and end up homeless living in the streets. No joke. Lol

So yeah $200 and about $1,000 initial investment I can drop on it.

My quick list:
- [ ] Patch things up. Just a temporary thing to make it more livable and rest for me to move in.
- [ ] Windows, latches, and their rubber seals. The latches are broken, they can open and close the window but they’re gonna get rust and because they’re old and almost brittle they won’t last much longer. I also don’t like the fact that I cannot open them for the inside. I have to unlatch from outside which sucks and it’s not safe. Anyone outside can open the window and they wanted to they can come in like that too. Maybe I’ll have to replace the whole thing but for now I’ll settle for some new window hinges and a interior window lock of sorts.
- [ ] The toilet could use an update. Eventually I would like to make the toilet room with a shower (totally possible) so I’m thinking on getting a compost toilet for the meantime if not a permanent thing. For now I’ll settle for showering outside until I can figure it out. The toilet I must do, though I have no idea how. Any thoughts, on all this toilet stuff?
- [ ] Fix some rust that’s about to start happening underneath the floor that’s exposed to the road. I’m thinking on cleaning it, brush the little rust spots and spray pain with an anti rust spray or something.
- [ ] One of the back leg lifts doesn’t fully extend and only one works but I’m using one of my auto jacks for now. I’d like to get that fixed or replaced prior to moving in.
- [ ] Two light fixtures need replacing.
- [ ] I want to attach some sort of curtain that extends around to create a loop I can latch to the other side of the wall (where the shower spot is) to give my self some privacy while I use it. Again I have no idea how but I know it’s possible. This until I can turn the toilet room into a full shower toilet room.
- [ ] I want to go full solar but I understand my budget may not be able to cover right off the bat. But if I can make it work sooner than later then so be it and I’ll make it happen somehow.
- [ ] The floor had a softer spot that I know may need some reinforcement. No idea at all in how I can do this.
- [ ] Cabinet doors, knobs, and assembly I think I can manage but as everything else, I wound’t know where I can purchase these things or if they even exist for me to purchase for this model. I don’t care for brands as long as the product is good and works as said to justify price and cost I’m ok for whatever necessary.
- [ ] I’m also gonna get a staple gun and some upholstery fabric to make the seat/sleep areas completely new. I’m picky where I put my head and body to rest. If you know what I mean. This I cannot go without. It’s definitely a must.
- [ ] AC. Any ideas? I was thinking maybe a roof unit. I have no idea about this either and any insights you got, you can throw at me
- [ ] Side note: I’m 6’2 and about 150lbs which for my height is very slender so I don’t weight much cause I’m tiny but I’m long af. Lol. No I don’t fit in when I try my full extent which lead me to check for options on extending the floor or roof to make it a little taller somehow. I don’t think it’s possible and I’m ok with that because the idea is to live cheaply in this util I can save up to get something bigger. In the meantime I’d like to live as comfortably as possible so if anyone had done something like this and have ideas willing to share I’m all ears.

It’s all I got to star for now. There’s more but i think it’s best to leave those for another time.

Any suggestions, comments, ideas, about any and all of this is welcomed. Good and bad, bring it! It’s all relative.

Thank you for having the time and patience to read all of this. I know it’s lengthy (like me. lol), and truly my apologies if it bored you to your grave, but I couldn’t go without giving you the story behind it and give you a better picture of the situation at hand.

For now best of luck and wishes for all of you warriors, the do-ers, who like me are making things happen.

If after a while any newbies join I hope to have gain some new experiences learned I can share with you in the future to help you get to where your heading.

✌ to you all.

Let’s do this. Let’s get it done.
#ProjectPeriwinkle
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Old 05-17-2021, 05:04 AM   #2
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Name: Ryann
Trailer: 1974 Trillium 1300
FL
Posts: 77
Did you get a title? I can't help but wonder why it was being sold for so cheap, when the market is so high right now, even for just shells. Otherwise, it was your lucky day!
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:42 AM   #3
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Name: John
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
Posts: 1,953
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Congratulations on your find Unicorn! I've always like the Amerigos. Two other companies also used the same molds to produce a travel trailer: Boler 1650 (square Boler) and the Liberty Van Companion!

The Amerigo does have some weaknesses. Two that come to mind are the fragile window hardware and the fact that water can collect under the subfloor plywood causing it to rot.

This is a great forum for figuring out how fix some of the problems with your trailer. I suggest you use the Search button at the top of this page, specifically the Search Site / Google box at the bottom of that pull down menu.

For example I found these threads about Amerigo window hardware using the Search Site / Google box and there are many more:

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ows-72039.html

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...d-72024-2.html
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:31 PM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16
North Carolina
Posts: 302
Congrats on your find and super deal on a camper.
John did hit a couple of the common problems with these campers but that's nothing that can't be fixed. A good starting point is a good cleaning & testing everything out. Look for leaks from the windows as that's the biggest cause of the plywood floor rotting.
It looks like it's got an updated fridge which is good. It also looks like it has good ground clearance so it has likely had some suspension/axle upgrades, another plus. Check your soft spot for rotted plywood under the newer looking flooring.
These do have a complete one piece fiberglass underbelly so adding grey water & black water tanks for a shower & toilet are tough to do. Many of these came as mine did with a toilet that had a storage tank built in & a dump valve/hose that connected underneath. The toilet dump valve is another area that typically has plywood floor rot problems.
Good luck with your new project & enjoy it!
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:02 PM   #5
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Name: Bianca
Trailer: 1973 Amerigo FG-16
California
Posts: 6
Hi Miarosa!

I did get the tittle, which I didn’t think I would get tbh. I’m not usually known to have the best luck but very rarely when I do I get hit with something really good.

The guy needed to sell it cause he could not have it parked where he had it at and was told the day before he had until the next day to get it out. I think this would make just about anyone settle for less. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but simply for the price factor I knew this was something I could not let it pass by. I was at the right place at the right time I guess.

Side note: I was afraid of registration costs but to my surprise it is actually quite inexpensive. Less than $50 in the state of California.

Thank you for your message. Any insights suggestions where to look for parts/replacement/etc will be very very appreciated. I’m a bit lost.
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:16 PM   #6
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Name: Bianca
Trailer: 1973 Amerigo FG-16
California
Posts: 6
John,

Thank you so much for the note and for links. This is very helpful.

Yeah, each of window hinges need to be replaced. The windows do open but the hardware is broken and it’s a bit tricky to get them to open but it’s manageable. I want to be able to open them and secure them from the inside. The windows are big, which is nice but I do not like that they open from the outside, and because of their size anyone could sneak in when I’m asleep or in the case I’m not there. I plan to do some traveling with it at some point in the future and this features would not make me feel as safe.

Also thank you for the search bar/ Google box and for the other two close compatible models. I did not know any of these. Super thankful.
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:35 PM   #7
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Name: Bianca
Trailer: 1973 Amerigo FG-16
California
Posts: 6
Thank you SteveV.

The floor panel by the entrance feels a bit lopsided and softer than the rest. I did suspect some rot but that may have to do with what John mentioned about the subfloor plywood collecting water. I’ll have to check that and I would like to re-enforce or completely replace.

Funny that you noticed the clearance and knew just like that having something to with the suspension. The guy that sold it to me let me know the previous owner had them recently upgraded a few months ago when he got it from him.

I did notice there were two tanks underneath it. If I remember correctly but I’ll have to re-check this and make sure. I figure, I could remove the toilet entirely and since it would leave me with the drainage whole, I could use that same drainage spot if I end up converting that little room installing a shower head. Again, I have NO idea what I’m doing but I do know it can be possible. You probably know better and I’ll for sure consider your insights and suggestions. I’ve seen so many micro conversions, van conversations, tiny trailer conversions and it’s almost miraculous what people come up with things and get them done. Highly impressive and it helped me not limit myself to use my imagination and deny new possibilities. I’m super excited about this little project I’ll soon be calling home.
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Old 05-20-2021, 05:45 PM   #8
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 30
Omg, I'm super happy for you! So glad to see such a great deal go to someone who sounds like he truly needs a bit of a break in life!

Enjoy, have fun fixing it up, and post pictures here please, I'm so looking forward to following your progress!
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Old 05-21-2021, 02:42 PM   #9
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Name: Bianca
Trailer: 1973 Amerigo FG-16
California
Posts: 6
Thank you Jonette!

I will be posting pictures with the updates and stuff. May take some while but will definitely do
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Old 05-22-2021, 06:28 AM   #10
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,988
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Step 1: click on the manufacturers tab on the upper right, then choose Amerigo. Then read, read, read all the various restoration and problem solving threads. You will quickly become a local expert by learning from others. You are not alone!

With the abundance of interior wood, leaks and rot are job 1. A small soft spot can be a larger area of rot once exposed. And often the water came from somewhere else. Got to find and fix the leaks.

Super deal on that trailer! A covered work area is a huge plus as it keeps leaks at bay while you do repairs.

Realize this camper is over 40 years old. It’s a testament to the durability of molded FG that it is still alive!

These projects take TIME, there is no way around that, short of paying a professional tend of thousands of $$$$$! Not practical for most of us.
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