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Old 05-31-2015, 11:49 PM   #1
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Rebuilding "Ms. Merry" The Amerigo - Updated 8/10/2017

Welcome to the tale of the restoration of our vintage 1975 Amerigo Snap-n-Nap Truck Camper, named 'Going Merry' or "Ms. Merry" for short.

Please select a chapter from the list below, or just scroll down to get started .

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Table of Contents
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rebuilding "Ms. Merry" the Amerigo - Chapter 1: A tale of Two Truck Campers - End of the KIT's road


Well, life is an interesting thing, and in this case, a rare find plopped into my lap not too long ago when I put up a Craigslist ad looking for Amerigo parts for my planned rebuild.

In this case, it came in the form of a 1975 Amerigo 11'6" Snap-N-Nap up in Puyallup, WA, and no the silver Dodge its sitting on is not mine .

The current owner has had it for roughly sixteen years, and has done several modifications to it already, including updating the power panel in the unit to a modern one, adding electric jacks to the front and building some very nicely done steel corner brackets that bolt both through the corner and sandwich with a steel plate on the inside as well as bolting through under the wing.

The camper has spent all of its downtime under a carport cover so that it has stayed out of the bulk of the Northwest’s weather, and hasn’t been used in the last several years as the her current owners have upgraded to a GMC Kodiak and a custom made Chalet Truck Camper.

The similarity of this tale to how the KIT was when I first found her is not lost on me.


Having made the trip to give it a good inspection, Dawn and I decided that we’d be able to get what we wanted in our remodel of the KIT by simply buying the Amerigo (ironically for the same amount as what we bought the KIT for nine years ago ), and restoring it.

Fortunately, the current owner is willing to hold onto it for us for a couple more months whilst we raise the funds really quick to make the purchase, as our savings was run down with a recent batch of dental surgery I had to undergo.

One of the first things I noticed is that he added a nice center aisle sky-light. In most Amerigos, there’s a vent roughly where the forward end of the skylight is, and that’s where the A/C unit is installed.

We’ll likely end up adding a second opening between the vent in the rear and the skylight to allow for the installation of a standard roof-top A/C unit, as the current owner has already upgraded the wiring in the unit to 30amp service, with a very nice marine twist lock plug.

Space-wise, in terms of floor space, the KIT and the Amerigo are fairly similar, the big differences being the floor plan and the fact that the Amerigo has a rear snap-n-nap, which adds a third bed (full size), oh and the two piece clamshell solid fiberglass bathroom that has a toilet that I can actually SIT ON without having to make major renovations, my one big beef with the KIT, I could never truly dry camp because I couldn’t comfortably sit on the john because the bathroom was too small.

One of the first things we plan to do is shift and/or shorten the dinette by about 4-5”, so we can extend the cabover bed back a little ways to allow it to fit a full queen size mattress (the mattress platform is 4’6 1/2” wide). The fridge compartment door will still be perfectly aligned, as the inner wall paneling actually over laps it by a good 3-4”.

The KIT’s bed actually already does this, so we’ll simply be recreating some more of the KIT’s floor plan.

The lower kitchen cabinets and probably the upper cabinets as well will be modified (and possibly refaced with kreg-joined solid oak pieces, similar to our Bighorn’s Kitchen).

The current owner has refaced a good part of the camper, which is why you see all the nice oak grain, the original wall paneling is the classic dark 70s wall board you commonly find in most similar era truck campers.

The yellow wallboard tacked over the top of the original wall paneling as a back splash for the kitchen is also going, and the range will likely be swapped out for the one in the KIT, as while its stainless steel like the range hood, its also fairly rusty inside, though the gas valves may prove to be useful.

The furnace is original, it’s a very early NT series style Suburban furnace, and is pilot lit, instead of electric spark ignition like modern units. The fact that it still looks brand new tells me this camper really never saw any winter use. We’ll either replace it with the KIT’s furnace, or if there’s funds enough, simply buy a new NT Series unit.

All of the plumbing has been redone with properly installed PEX water lines.


The rear snap-n-nap bed is a one piece fiberglass and aluminum framed construction with sprayed in foam insulation (way ahead of its time in 1975). The quilting is made of vinyl or pvc plastic, and I suspect, will get replaced with FRP paneling or possibly wood.

The hinged sides will be taken apart and foam board will be sandwiched into the middle, at which point we’ll reface them with FRP, or take a page from another Amerigo owner and recover them in marine vinyl.

One thing I noticed about the Amerigo’s and love that this one still has (and that I’ve located the truck side for) is a Phillips Radio Inter-Com system [img]file:///C:/Users/Matthew/AppData/Local/Temp/WindowsLiveWriter-429641856/supfiles2F3D6281/wlEmoticon-smile2.png[/img].


I find it to be very amusing that it even came with a circuit diagram for the device itself.


Sadly, the current owner didn’t have the other half, I managed to find the other half that goes in the truck cab for $25 (w/free shipping ) on ebay!


Well, that kind of wraps this up, the true adventure won’t start till later this summer, once I get the cash together, that’ll be when the real fun starts .
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:45 AM   #2
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my old friend a great find indeed
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:40 PM   #3
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That's a very cool rig, can't wait to see more pictures during the restoration process.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:40 PM   #4
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Looking forward to the progress on the Amerigo.

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Old 06-03-2015, 02:57 PM   #5
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Now THAT is a great vintage camper!!
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT4Runner View Post
Now THAT is a great vintage camper!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronspradley View Post
Looking forward to the progress on the Amerigo.

ronspradley
Quote:
Originally Posted by justafordguy View Post
That's a very cool rig, can't wait to see more pictures during the restoration process.
Quote:
Originally Posted by whem2fish View Post
my old friend a great find indeed
Thanks all, slowly raising the funds, 1/6 of the way there so far, should get a bit further end of next week.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:06 PM   #7
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Pirates and Truck Campers

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pirates and Truck Campers

Well, the Amerigo is officially mine and happily rests on the back of my trusty old Dodge truck.


I sit, preparing to enjoy my victory dinner at the Lacey Rock, Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits, chuckling at the fact that I took possession of my new “ship” on the annual “Talk like Pirate!” day.


In fact, I’ve found it so funny, that I’ve decided to let my inner nerd out to play, and have chosen a fitting name for my new ship .


For those that are familiar with Japanese Anime, there’s a series specifically about pirates, goes by the name of “One Piece”….


Ironically, the brand of my new camper is an “A-Mer-I-Go”…..


Those that know the show should be screaming by now, cause they know where this is going……


And the name of the main character’s ship sounds very, very similar……




So, without further adieu, I give you, “THE GOING MERRY!”



Arrrr! She be a fine ship, her keel be strong and she sails the asphalt seas as smoothly as a fair maiden’s skin!

…..Ehem….. Couldn’t help myself.

After driving her from Spanaway down to Lacey, I can say she rids on the back of the truck like a dream, that beautifully rounded cab-over slices through the wind far like a knife!


First time I actually managed to maintain 55mph going up a grade on I-5….. Granted, that might change after she’s had some remodel work done, but so far she rides like a dream.


At current she’s using a kludged power cord to drive the signals and running lights, but that will hopefully change soon as the next paycheck rolls around so I can invest in some new wire to get her properly wired up.
We’ve got a long worklist ahead of us, but I can’t wait to get back to camping!
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:09 AM   #8
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The interior can be viewed, here, from when it was originally posted back in May.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:01 PM   #9
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This is kind of sad, my old KIT thread actually got some attention
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:26 AM   #10
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She looks great! May the wind be at your back! (And have fun... though I'm sure you will.)
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:36 AM   #11
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Looks really nice. Also looks like it is built much better than my old 1972 Bell. It has seen the last of it's days and I am in the process of trying to get rid of it. Probably have to take it all apart..

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Old 11-08-2015, 01:58 AM   #12
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Nice read. interesting.
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:01 AM   #13
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Nice looking camper that you got there. I take it that it's new (new to you) congrats.
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:38 AM   #14
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You speak of Pirates it reminds me of a story once told by Heather Alexander and now told by Alexander Jones.

Heather wrote and performed Music, Alex still does.

Well down around Texas is a "Pirate Band" (They dress like Pirates, the Hollywood kind, Talk like Pirates (Again the hollywood kind) and so on. (Did you know there are real pirates in the world? Well there are, but politics is forbidden here so I can't say more about them).(not complaining I spend enough time doing that elsewhere).

Well they recorded an CD.. Turns out they used what they THOUGHT was a "Traditional" (Read that Public Domain) song.. But they found out it was one of Heather's.

So they talked to their lawyers (PIRATES WITH LAWYERS!!!!!) Contacted Heather who gave them license in exchange for a reasonable fee.

But PIRATES WITH LAWYERS.. Oh boy.. Be scared when Pirates have Lawyers.

(You know.. that's a lot of typing to get to the punch line).
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