When you envision yourself owning a vintage RV, you probably think of spending leisurely weekends at the lake, or the surprised (and excited) look on people’s faces when they drive past and gawk – approvingly so. But often there is a lot of work that goes into prepping a vintage camper, especially if you are working on a limited budget.
This Amerigo truck camper looked pretty good from the outside.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, the Amerigo was ahead of its time and as far as truck backs go, well-appointed and built to last. They found their little beauty in an online ad, though located in another state. Within 48 hours, they had it home and ready to start renovations.
The Amerigo with the rear bunk folded out.
The interior looked serviceable, but hid many flaws.
Challenges began immediately when they realized the camper they had fallen in love with would not allow them to back their “dually” up under it. A mechanic at the dealership suggested removing the outside rear wheels. Problem solved – for the first time anyway.
On the surface the old girl didn’t look too bad.
They had some new feet machined for the jack legs to solve this issue long term. It’s amazing the things that can be engineered with a little know how, or the the right professional help.
The fun part, ripping everything out that doesn’t look good.
The camper needed serious updating. As they began to dig in, the extent of the degradation in the frame became apparent and a complete overhaul was in order. With a lesser truck bed camper, this would be a good stopping place. But the Amerigo’s aluminum siding is worth removing and reinstalling.
Removing the outside skin gave them a better idea of the damage.
Over the course of six months, they plugged along and eventually added the skin back on. This type of work can often feel like one step forward, two steps back. Their goal: a Memorial Day camp out.
A new main beam going in.
The 12 volt electrical and other mechanical elements went in once the frame was secure and the exterior envelope reinstalled. They added a safety escape hatch to the ceiling and with new technology, 12 volt LEDs took the place of old, incandescent lights.
The upper berth “reborn” with new framing.
Small touches like the blue rope light around the upper berth window and some had sewn curtains from a willing Mom started to make the dream a reality.
New ceiling (with new vent) in place.
A quality entertainment system was a high priority. So they installed a smart TV with built in speakers and stereo. By this point they were nine months in, but getting what you want takes time.
The hardwood that was “nicer than my house”.
The crowning glory was the Amerigo’s kitchen. For a truck bed, the Amerigo has a lot of space, so a nearly full sized kitchen is possible. They chose a beautiful light cherry wood finish and stainless steel appliances with matching back splash for ease of maintenance.
And here she is after – all the hard work paying off!
It was a long road, but judging by the pictures it was all worth it in the end. Congrats on the beautiful camper guys, let me know when you’re out my way, I’ll take it off your hands for a weekend!